Recently Americans for the Arts conducted a public opinion poll which provides an in-depth look at perceptions and attitudes about the arts in our country.
One of the most significant findings came in the question asking if people agree with the statement “Art institutions add value to our communities.” The survey showed 87% agree the arts are important to the quality of life, and 83% agree they are important to local businesses and the economy. And South Dakota proves those statistics.
South Dakota communities are proud of their unique identities, and promote their cultural heritage in creative ways. Heritage festivals and arts activities throughout the year make our hometowns family-friendly and culturally enriched. In addition, in many South Dakota towns, the local school is a community focus, with concerts, plays and performances of all kinds as major attractions that bring people—and dollars—to Main Street.
Galleries and gift shops are part of the cultural tourism industry that draws visitors to community events, one of the ways in which the arts add dollars to each local economy. The creative industry is strong in South Dakota, with artists and craftspeople enhancing the lives of their fellow citizens and paying taxes to support their home communities and state.
Throughout the state, professional musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors and so many more are building careers in South Dakota. Their connection to audiences and art lovers says something vital about our state and its support of our creative industry.
Another question asked for opinions on the statement, “The arts provide meaning to our lives.” In response, 73% agree the arts are a positive experience in a troubled world, 64% agree the arts give them pure pleasure to experience and participate in, and 63% agree the arts lift them beyond everyday experiences.
Whether it’s singing in the local choir, attending a play at the high school or taking in a concert by your favorite musician, the arts take you outside yourself. Our art experiences are personal, from creating a painting or playing an instrument to reading South Dakota authors. Pleasure and an escape from the ordinary are the gifts that art experiences bring to each of us. And sharing those experiences builds our cultural bond.
The arts transform people and communities every day. To learn more about how the arts impact all of our lives each day, browse more findings from the Americans for the Arts’ Public Opinion Poll at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/PublicOpinion. For more about Arts South Dakota, join us online at www.ArtsSouthDakota.org.