Fargo-based arts leader welcomes North Dakota artists and makers to attend virtual retreat focused on personal exploration
OCTOBER 20, 2022—Two years ago, a spark of inspiration ignited a shining new vision for The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val, one that has since helped her—and many others—rediscover passions, projects and purposes that have long since fallen into the shadows.
But first, she had to walk into those shadows.
Del Val recalls the moment the idea for (re)Discover Your Spark hit her where she needed to feel it the most: right in her head and her heart.
“In September 2020, I was awarded a two-week Artist in Residence with the North Dakota Museum’s McCanna House Residency. It was the middle of COVID. I was out in the middle of nowhere taking these long walks down dusty roads all by myself,” she said. “It was incredibly uncomfortable to be in this kind of artistic limbo, a place I hadn’t allowed myself to be for a very long time because it’s so easy to hide behind the business of our lives. But by just sitting with these feelings, I found I made it through the discomfort; what was on the other side was a new understanding of who I am as an artist and how I can use it to serve others.
That time alone completely disrupted who Del Val was as an arts leader and an artist herself.
“I was illuminated with this idea that I didn’t have to be just this one thing I’d been for more than 10 years, which was a nonprofit arts leader. I could reignite old, or even uncover new, ways to show up in the world through honest, personal exploration,” she said.
This epiphany has since evolved into a second career as a personal development coach and founder of (re)Discover Your Spark, a series of nationally-renowned personal development retreats for executives, business leaders, people searching for more—and now artists.
“I realized I could take what I was experiencing and condense it down into weekend retreats and multi-week courses for others to also disrupt their day-to-day rhythms and uncover the lost sparks of their dreams,” Del Val said.
More than 50 people have now participated in one version or another of what she has named (re)Discover Your Spark.
While she’s worked with all kinds of people from all across the country, Del Val’s always wanted to do a retreat specifically for artists and makers. Thanks to a National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan grant from the Minot Area Arts Council, she can do just that.
“I was thrilled to receive funding from MACA to do this work,” she said. “My experience changed the course of my life, both personally and artistically. I have long wanted to help guide that kind of (re)discovery for other artists who so often don’t have the opportunity or can’t take the time to do this important personal exploration to dive deeper into who they are as artists and makers.”
Del Val believed she had hit upon something important with the development of this content, but the continued enthusiasm by so many of the past retreat and course attendees has been truly astonishing.
For example, opera singer and General Director of the FM Opera David Hamilton said, “The retreat with Dayna really helped me focus on what I want to accomplish during the next chapter of my life. Her insightfulness was instrumental in the success of the weekend. I can’t speak highly enough of our work together! Anyone can experience profound and continuing change through the excellence of the journey you will take together.”
Del Val said she hopes to be able to offer more retreats at this deeply discounted price for artists specifically, but this is the only one scheduled for the foreseeable future, so if you are an artist of any kind and want to learn more, go to her website.
What: (re)Discover Your Spark Weekend Retreat for ND-based Artists and Makers
When: Saturday, December 3, 9-3:30 and Sunday December 4, 9-1 CDT
Where: Over Zoom
Cost: *$100 (a regular retreat is $1,497)
Interested artists may apply here. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on November 11, 2022.
*Payment due upon acceptance to the retreat. Can be paid by Venmo (@Dayna-DelVal) or check (address available upon request).