MSU hopes to unite people with new project

Shyanne Belzer/MDN

Minot State University has started a new public art project called the UNITY project on campus.

The project opened Monday at noon and will go until the 23rd. UNITY is an interactive public art project that is meant to examine how labels both help and hinder our ability to build unity as a nation and as a human race. The Minot Area Community Foundation (MACF) has teamed up with Minot State University to bring the art project to Minot.

The art project will be an arrangement of 32 poles between MSU’s Gordon B. Olson Library and Swain Hall. Each pole is labeled with an identifier, like “I’m a parent,” “I speak English as a second language,” “I identify as LGBTQ,” and more. Participants will take yarn and tie it to each pole with an identifier they identify with. A canopy of disconnectedness will form as more people participate. The goal is for in the end, people to be able to see that everyone is connected by something.

“Students already love it and have been asking lots of questions. We want them to, instead of always recognizing the differences between people, to instead see all the similarities,” Chelsea Kirkhammer, marketing director for MACF, said.

The project had been going on for three hours and already 12 balls of yarn had been used.

“It’s cool to already see how people are intertwined,” Kirkhammer said.

The creator of UNITY, Nancy Belmont, believes that this project can change the tone of our national conversation. She hopes that a renewed spirit of optimism, camaraderie, and respectfulness will emerge and prompt united leadership. Her vision is for communities around the country and even the world to build their own versions of the project, spreading unity around the globe.

UNITY has already spread to 20 countries, 15 states have launched UNITY projects, and 47 states have downloaded the manual in hopes of hosting the project.

For more information on the UNITY project, visit