After a year of organization, South Dakota has a new arts advocacy group with a new name and a commitment to being a megaphone for the voice of the people. Arts South Dakota is the new arts education, service and advocacy organization created to represent arts supporters, artists and arts groups all across our state.
A grassroots arts advocacy organization like Arts South Dakota is necessary, providing a statewide group of advocates and arts organizations the opportunity to work together with the South Dakota Arts Council. As the state’s only arts advocacy group, Arts South Dakota is the public partner to the state arts agency.
It is an honor to be chosen to lead the new organization as executive director. I have worked in arts administration for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Pavilion. I’m also working artist as a member of the Jazz Diversity Project, the touring program of Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society, and play the trumpet in a number of South Dakota ensembles.
Playing in communities from Hot Springs to Flandreau in renovated downtown theaters, local armories and schools, I have experienced the warm appreciation and enthusiastic applause of South Dakota audiences. Our state is rich in creativity and in our appreciation for the arts and artists.
As a 501(c)3 organization, Arts South Dakota provides a way for all residents to support the arts with tax-deductible donations. In a classic public- private partnership, Arts South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council will each have a role in promoting the arts in our state. While SDAC functions primarily as a grant-making government agency funding programs to bring the arts to everyone in our state, Arts South Dakota will be the people’s voice for the arts. Our group will help steer the conversation about the arts and tell the story of our state’s artists and arts groups. Most importantly, Arts South Dakota plans to connect people to the arts and connect arts groups in a dialog that can only benefit our state’s cultural scene.
Throughout the summer, South Dakota Arts Council director Patrick Baker and I, along with staff members, will be making visits to South Dakota communities celebrating the arts in their own ways. The schedule for our Summer Arts Road Trip will be posted on the Arts South Dakota website www.artssouthdakota.org. 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.