As we celebrate 50 years of arts support in South Dakota, it’s important to realize that people from every walk of life are responsible for the vitality of our state’s creativity. From teachers to legislators, from community leaders to musicians, painters, dancers and actors, thousands have participated in the ever-expanding creative energy in South Dakota.
State officials, governors and elected representatives have supported programs and grants to fuel the growth of the arts in our state ever since the creation of the South Dakota Arts Council in 1966. The state has instituted an Art for State Buildings Collection that is growing an enviable selection of works that are displayed to the public—and also supports working artists in South Dakota.
Beginning in the 1970s, residency artists began traveling our state, bringing their creative skills to classrooms and communities, sharing their talents with South Dakotans of all ages. The Artists In Schools & Communities program is still bringing working artists to communities that might not otherwise have that experience—and inspiring a new generation of artists at the same time. Our teachers are also becoming inspired at the annual Arts Education Institute, which shares great ideas for creativity in the classroom.
During the past 50 years of organized cultural support, South Dakota has seen the creation of symphony orchestras, theater companies, museums and much, much more—many of them supported by grants from the South Dakota Arts Council. In the same spirit, communities have organized local arts councils, to sponsor events, mentor young artists and gather their hometowns around the concept of creativity and cultural heritage.
In this time of giving thanks, we can all appreciate the hard work, dedication and creative commitment of the people who have made our state a cultural tourism destination and a place where the arts flourish. Because South Dakotans care about creativity in daily life, our state can be proud of our cultural past and enthusiastic about our creative future.
For more about the arts in South Dakota, visit ArtsSouthDakota.org.