Courtesy of Studio Freshly
How this Folkways Initiative Is Garnering Passion for the Community
Picture this. One day, you’re scrolling through Instagram. You see the typical Feed; your past high school prom date had a baby shower, your old coworker went on a tropical vacation, the same old, same old. Switch to Stories; your cousin is traveling abroad to study her minor in French— wait, is that a chocolate croissant? You think how tasty that sounds right now and wonder where to get one at… Oh, look, that guy who was in your Intro to Business course in college is hiking somewhere, “wow that’s a nice view” you think. I mean, it’s no Grand Canyon, but you’re sure there are some good hiking spots around here somewhere… Switch to your Explore Page. After watching yet another “restock my cleaning supplies with me” ASMR video, you’re thinking how you can’t do this mundane scrolling much longer… And then you see it. Something colorful and familiar catches your eye—is that the Fargo Theatre sign? It is, and you’re looking at the words “A Morning in Downtown Fargo” and—oh my god, it’s a chocolate croissant, from Nichole’s Fine Pastry & Café. Duh, of course, they have that treat. You’re just thinking “Why didn’t I think of that” when you click on the page that the post is from and catch the words “Best Hiking Spots in the Area” and you squealed out loud a little bit. Next thing you know, you’re eating chocolate croissants at Buffalo River State Park. Through some fateful follow of a follower of a suggested follow, CampusFM’s post made it to your screen, and you can profit off its seriously cool content—but, wait a minute, what is this?
If you’ve seen @campus.fm pop up on your feed, you’ve probably wondered the same thing.
Short explanation, CampusFM is a workforce retention initiative run by Folkways aimed at persuading students to launch their careers in the FM+ area. Its social accounts serve as a local resource for all things food, events, classes, shopping, and more in the metro, run by students or recent college graduates, as a way to immerse the students in the community and show off all that our cities have to offer.
Long explanation… well, keep reading!
North Dakota currently has over 26,000 open jobs. By promoting student engagement and participation in the area, and hopefully a blossoming passion for the community, CampusFM aims to change that.
“CampusFM is focused on nurturing a sense of community among students in the FM+ area, which will inspire them to lay the groundwork for their careers post-graduation. It aims to bridge the gap for students who feel detached and unsure about their life after graduation,” said Simone Wai, Programs Director at Folkways. “Our goal is to ignite a passion for the FM+ area, offering students a sense of purpose and belonging.”
CampusFM was initially funded by Fueling our Future towards the end of 2019, with Dayna Del Val of The Arts Partnership at the helm. The project’s foundation was shaped by a collaboration of community leaders, such as the GFMEDC, FMWF Chamber of Commerce, Tri-College, and many more. By the winter of 2021, Folkways assumed a full-time lead role in this initiative.
As a prominent community-building force in the area, Folkways has successfully attracted almost half a million attendees to their events over the past eight years. This track record validates their capacity to unify people in the FM area. But, while it’s clear why Folkways—an experienced community-building organization—would spearhead a project like this, the question remains: how exactly do they plan to implement it?
To understand what exactly CampusFM is, you’d have to take a look at its online presence.
Did You Know?
CampusFM is a grant-funded initiative operated by Folkways, a local placemaking organization that creates moments to connect community, create culture, and foster a sense of belonging. Their other projects include Red River Market, Night Bazaar, and Christkindlmarkt!
“Through our innovative programs, local research, and dynamic social media presence we showcase the vast array of opportunities and experiences available in the area– equipping students with the necessary tools and resources to pursue their career aspirations,” Simone said. “We believe that in order to build a successful future postgraduation, students must be connected with their community beyond their campus.” To foster that connection between person and community, CampusFM offers Content Creatorships—a 10-week social media content development internship—to local students every semester. These creatorships serve as an adaptable learning opportunity for those students to immerse themselves in the community; live it, explore it, share it, and— reiterating the organization’s goal—stay to pursue their careers long after their time with CampusFM. “CampusFM Creators curate and produce content for students, by students in the Fargo-Moorhead area—helping their peers connect to the community all while learning the ins and outs of running strategic social media accounts,” Simone said.
Creators participate in an immersive curriculum, which enlists community experts to teach the art of creating captivating digital stories. After absorbing each lesson, students are expected to put their fresh skills into practice, creating stories that reflect our local community, businesses, and events.
“During their creatorship, they attend weekly sessions taught by social media professionals. Our creators try new restaurants, attend events, and check out local haunts as the faces of CampusFM.”
Here Are The Details:
- The Content Creatorship is a paid internship that runs every semester for 10 weeks, Fall: Sep-Nov, Spring: Jan-Mar, and Summer: Jun-Aug.
- Students apply on our website at folkways.org/campusfm.
- Up to five students are selected per Creatorship cohort based on their social media aptitude and their willingness to be in front of the camera.
- Applicants submit a resume and any social media accounts that they currently manage.
One of the real perks of this opportunity is that every student adds their unique touch. So, while these creators have specific tasks to fulfill, the places or events they highlight are chosen by them, reflecting their interests and passions,” Simone explained.
“We’ve found that the most effective way to engage with students is through their friends and on the platforms they’re already using, in a language that resonates with them. We encourage our content creators to feature events and spots that they’re genuinely excited about and want to share with their fellow students.”
“At Folkways we’re all about community belonging,” Simone explained, “and CampusFM is how we extend that to students. We promote content created by students, for students. Our mission is to build a supportive student community, equipping them with the right tools to achieve their goals. We believe that by nurturing an inclusive environment, we’re setting students up for success in their future careers.”
According to CampusFM’s website, these are the Focus Areas:
- Communicate “We develop pipelines to communicate with students where they are–in both the digital and real world.”
- Connect “We strive to connect students with peers, mentors, internships, and professional opportunities.”
- Research “We want to understand students through local surveys alongside state and national data.”
- Collaborate “We are building an ecosystem that connects students to business and higher education communities.”
- Educate “We create opportunities for student interns and content creators to develop professional skills and get connected in the community.”
Let’s Meet The 2025 Summer Creators!
Concordia College, Business Marketing Major
Jesus is from Brownsville, TX, he first moved to Moorhead for college and soon after became infatuated with Fargo. He has since been exploring everything the FM area has to offer. He greatly enjoys his time downtown and can be spotted at the Night Bazaar, Red River Market, and strolling up and down Broadway. He is looking forward to meeting new friends and creating a stronger sense of community alongside the CampusFM team!
NDSU, Junior, Strategic Communications Major, Art and Business Minor
Kylie is from Rochester, MN. She came to Fargo in 2021 to start her education at NDSU and fell in love with the community and culture Fargo has to offer. Kylie is active in her school’s PRSSA club and wildlife society. She spends her free time exploring local coffee shops, working part-time at a dog daycare, and spending time with her cat (Marble) and bearded dragon (Beardy). Kylie is excited to meet new people and be a part of creating an involved community through CampusFM.
MSUM, Junior, Digital Media Management
Maddie is originally from Oakes, ND and fell in love with Fargo-Moorhead area because of its community and diversity. She is active with her jobs as a waitress and on-campus job and enjoys her free time in the sun and with her cat Rebel. She looks forward to learning all the ins and outs of Fargo-Moorhead with CampusFM.
2022 NDSU Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science & Microbiology
Mal was born and raised in Moorhead, MN, and has been living and working in downtown Fargo since 2020. She loves her two cats Wesley and Aspyn, and one day dreams of opening her own cat cafe. Her favorite part of Fargo is that she never feels like a stranger anywhere she goes, and it seems like everyone she meets is only one circle away from each other. She is excited to join the CampusFM team to showcase Fargo’s vibrant atmosphere!
While this content may be produced by students and dons the name “campus,” it is a wonderful and engaging resource for anyone who wants to venture into the FM community—and we know there are countless opportunities to do so.
Follow along with these creators this summer and see what new adventures you can explore in the community! Learn more about the CampusFM initiative at campus-fm.org