By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota

The arts give us all an opportunity to express ourselves, and there is no time to express yourself like Election Day. This year, on November 6, you can help shape the future of our state and our nation in a way that people in other countries only dream of. And our creative culture is a vital part of that future.

That is why it’s so important for each of us to get out and vote! The arts in South Dakota help make us who we are as a people. We encourage everyone who cares about creativity and the arts to be active citizens. The best way to advocate for a strong and supportive arts policy in South Dakota is to vote.

In September, Arts South Dakota sent a survey to all candidates for state legislature, governor and the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to understand their positions on arts related issues. Our purpose was to share that information with you through our website, Just go to that site and click on the Vote smART! button to read the responses of South Dakota candidates. We hope you will find this information useful as one factor in casting your vote next month.

A healthy arts ecosystem must have the support of its political leaders. By asking the position of each candidate on arts related issues, we’re making it clear that one way a candidate can earn your vote is to support the arts in South Dakota.

YOUR vote is an essential element in building a stronger creative community in your hometown and all across South Dakota. By casting your vote along with your neighbors and arts advocates all across our state, you make a bold statement to candidates and elected officials about the importance of our creative community. To learn more about candidate views and arts advocacy, visit us at the Arts South Dakota website, and click on the Vote smART! button.