By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota
Each year artists, arts administrators and citizens who understand the importance of South Dakota’s creative culture gather in Pierre during the legislative session for Arts Advocacy Day. This year the event falls on Thursday, February 8—and you are invited to join in the celebration of our state’s arts scene.
This year’s Arts Advocacy Day will be the last for Governor Dennis Daugaard, who has been a consistent supporter of arts programs and South Dakota’s diverse cultural environment throughout his two terms as governor. From the presentation of the biennial Governor’s Awards in the Arts to the dedication of Dignity in Chamberlain, Governor Daugaard has spoken eloquently and often about the vitality and diversity of our state’s artistic and cultural heritage.
We will also be celebrating the support of the South Dakota Legislature, which created the South Dakota Arts Council over a half century ago to promote the arts throughout the state. Our legislators have continued to support the mission and the programming of the Arts Council, helping to bring artists and artistic experiences to school children and communities in every corner of South Dakota.
We’re hoping that community arts supporters and representatives from arts centers, museums and performance venues will join us in Pierre on February 8. We’ll be celebrating in a variety of ways, including a performance by the T.F. Riggs Chamber Choir, singing a cappella music in a variety of different styles during the noon hour. The South Dakota Arts Council and Arts South Dakota will serve refreshments during the performance, and will present packets of information about the arts in South Dakota to legislators and state officials, along with notecards featuring art from the Congressional High School Art Competition winner.
Advocating for the arts is a vital component of celebrating our creative culture. If you can’t make it to Pierre on February 8, consider letting your state senator or congressional delegate know how important the arts are to you, your community—and to the future of South Dakota.
For more about the arts in South Dakota, visit www.artssouthdakota.org.