South Dakota is blessed with a variety of volunteer community arts groups, statewide arts institutions and strong partnerships for arts education and artists. As important as these organizations are, the real strength for the arts in every South Dakota community starts locally, and it starts with one voice. Will that voice be YOURS?
In some towns, new arts experiences begin with historic preservation—like the saving and repurposing of an old opera house into a community performance venue. Other communities fill their schools with professional artists through the Artists In Schools & Communities program—and celebrate that creativity at concerts, art shows, theater productions and the dedication of new murals. Each community can do something, as long as one person is willing to speak for the arts.
Too often we become caught up in the whirlwind of daily life and think that one person can’t make a difference. But the growth of creativity throughout our state has proven that a single good idea from just one person can capture the imagination of the entire town. The arts are like that.
One teacher who challenges her students to create something beautiful might light the future for countless children. A single community concert that brings people from all over the region together to share a magical performance can kick off a regular schedule of events in area towns. One single arts residency might be just the push needed to remodel an old building into a crafts center or introduce new excitement into the school curriculum.
The power of one voice willing to toss a good idea into the local coffee conversation is incredible, especially in South Dakota communities. For every one person who thinks a new community arts experience would be welcomed, there may be dozens of other people who think the same way, but just haven’t expressed it out loud.
Is your community ready to follow the lead of one voice? Will that voice be yours?
For more about local advocacy and other Arts South Dakota programs, join us online at www.ArtsSouthDakota.org.