One of the reasons the arts have been successful throughout South Dakota is that local volunteers have pitched in to keep our creative culture strong in individual communities. From civic organizations to community arts councils to school art programs, citizens of all ages help ensure that statewide programs for the arts have a hometown group of advocates to connect people and creative activities.
Arts South Dakota, the state’s newest arts advocacy organization, was created to maintain those connections and be a resource to local volunteers and community arts leaders. Using online contacts, face-to-face meetings and communications like this column in your local paper, Arts South Dakota will keep the flow of information coming to the people who make the arts work in our state.
Our organization has a board of directors who are passionate about the arts and committed to continued success for creative expression across South Dakota. Our two staff people share that commitment and have extensive experience in arts programming and administration.
Shari Kosel, Arts South Dakota’s Programming and Communications Director, is well known to community arts organizations through her editorship of CANmail bulletins. She also has coordinated the Governor’s Awards in the Arts and the increasingly successful Arts Education Institute, which energizes teachers who wish to bring the arts into their classrooms. Shari is equally well known for her statewide animal advocacy and her communication skills. As communications director, she will be the point person for keeping in touch with local groups and community volunteers. Shari will be based in the Black Hills, but will be working throughout the state.
My background includes working with the SDSU Alumni Association, the Washington Pavilion and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. As a musician and trumpet player performing with a wide variety of musical groups throughout the state, from the Dakota Jazz Collective to the Hegg Brothers Christmas Jam, I have had the privilege to visit many South Dakota communities and meet local people who love the arts. My office will be in Sioux Falls, but like Shari, I will be traveling the state as executive director of Arts South Dakota, keeping in touch with you.
You’ll be hearing more about Arts South Dakota in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you have questions, I hope you’ll contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.artssouthdakota.org to join us.