Arlene’s Award: Saugstad gets recognized for her contribution to local arts

Longtime supporter and patron of the arts in Minot, Arlene Saugstad was recently recognized for her efforts of involvement and presented an award from the Brass Band of Minot at their concert on Feb. 17.

The award, presented to Saugstad by Minot mayor Curt Zimbelman, was of a somewhat personal nature in that it was written specifically for her. The award was for Saugstad’s involvement and time given to the community to help cultivate culture and the arts for the benefit of Minot residents, as well as for her dedication to improving the quality of life here. It also said that Saugstad will serve as a beacon to those who follow her.

Saugstad, who is like a walking history book of Minot arts and culture, said part of her scheme for life is to not be ordinary, and that out of all of the entities she writes about in her monthly column for The Minot Daily News, the Brass Band of Minot was the one that honored her this time.

“I don’t think there is a cultural entity that I haven’t been involved with over the years,” Saugstad remarked.

She has been honored by all of the boards she has served on and even has a theater named after her. The latest project that Saugstad is involved in is Art Space, she said.

“I simply find it impossible not to be involved,” Saugstad said. “And I have never needed encouragement to get involved.”

Saugstad lives on a farm outside of Minot and said she has always wanted to be involved in Minot. “The art community in Minot is a reason for why people want to move here and why they stay here,” she said. “I’ve always liked to highlight and promote all that makes Minot so magic,” Saugstad added, making a reference to her monthly column in the newspaper.

It was definitely a surprise to Saugstad that she would be presented with an award like this, Saugstad said. Gordon Troxel, director of the Brass Band of Minot, called Saugstad and asked what she was doing on Sunday, Feb. 17, the day of the concert, and “that’s how the gate opened.”

“I’m happy that the Brass Band stands out as one of the cultural groups in Minot and I’m very proud (of them),” Saugstad said. “I’m honored to be honored,” she added.