A Pocket-Sized Masterpiece

Written by: Marisa Jackels

How one local financial is supporting local art in a fun and creative way

Support local art.

It’s a mantra found on t-shirts, pencils, and posters across the Fargo metro and serves as a rallying cry from artists and art supporters alike. But what does it really mean to support local art?

Over the past decade of growth, significant strides have been made to bolster and support the local arts scene in Fargo. Market and vendor opportunities have also increased, giving artists greater access to new customers.

Now, a prominent member of the local business community is stepping up in a new and creative way. Choice Financial’s customers now have the ability to carry their very own piece of local art with them at all times in the form of a debit card.

“We wanted to celebrate local art in the best way we could,” says Shelley Szudera, Choice’s director of marketing.

Support local art with Choice Financial debit cards

Szudera first thought of the idea when she was staring at her own generic-looking debit card.

“People can choose cards with palm trees or cats on them,” she thought. “What if instead they had the option of a ‘mini masterpiece’ from a local artist? And what if that card could also represent an investment in art councils across North Dakota?”

After months of planning, Szudera’s idea is now a reality. Customers can now proudly tout a debit card featuring work by North Dakota artists Dan Francis, Chris Fulton or Ashley Kunz. In addition, they can make a $5 suggested donation to one of seven art councils across the state.

But here’s the cherry on top: Choice Financial will match donations up to $7,500 total, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the art councils.

“Not enough is known about how art councils contribute to our communities,” Szudera says. “If we can highlight that in a small way, while also supporting them financially to do more of what they’re doing, then that’s a success.”

The Arts Partnership recently hosted a grand release of Choice’s “Support Local Art” debit cards that included the three featured artists and their families.

“We wanted to celebrate local art in the best way we could.”

The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val commended Choice Financial’s efforts to advocate and invest in local art.

“It’s so important to see companies like Choice Financial stepping up and showing they believe in the work the arts councils are doing in our communities and to be actively investing in the arts as well,” she said at the event. “Not to mention the cards are beautiful!”

Shelley Szuders and Dayna Del Val
Choice Financial Director of Marketing Shelley Szudera (L) and The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val (R) with the #SupportLocalArt debit card artists at a recent event. Photo credit: Trevor Mathew

The cards are limited edition, with only 750 of each available. Szudera says the bank plans to feature three additional North Dakota artists on the cards if the first round sells out.

Szudera herself is a passionate advocate for the arts and the proud owner of an Ashley Kunz debit card.

“When I look at my debit card, I feel proud of why we do what we do and proud we are able to support local art,” Szudera says. “We all carry debit cards. Now, we have the opportunity to have them represent something positive.”

Cris Fulton
Cris Fulton

Dan Francis
Dan Francis

Ashley Kunz
Ashley Kunz

The Beneficiaries of #SupportLocalArt Debit Cards

  • Badlands Art Association (Dickinson)
  • Dakota West Arts Council (Bismarck)
  • Ellendale Area Arts Council (Ellendale, ND)
  • Gorge Arts and Heritage Council (Walhalla, ND)
  • Northern Lights Arts Council (Langdon, ND)
  • North Valley Arts Council (Grand Forks)
  • The Arts Partnership (Fargo)


Choice Financial

Learn more about the #SupportLocalArt debit cards at ChoiceFinancialGroup.com/SupportLocalArt.

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