Three South Dakotans have joined the board of directors of Arts South Dakota. With expertise in the performing arts, Native American advocacy and STEM education, the new board members bring a wealth of talent and experience to Arts South Dakota and its statewide mission. 

Black Hills native Kenny Putnam’s combined careers in musical performance and visual arts reflect the talent and scope of creativity in South Dakota. He currently owns and operates Image Up Creative Services in Rapid City, imaging artwork and restoring photographs and documents for individuals and institutions. Putnam has, and is performing with popular South Dakota bands that include Red Willow, South Dakota Acoustic Christmas, The Song Pilots, Campfire Concerto and Cowboy Christmas, and his original artwork was recently selected for the Art for State Buildings collection by the South Dakota Arts Council. Putnam was a recipient of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award, a Rushmore Faces Award, and was inducted into the South Dakota Friends of Traditional Music Hall of Fame, the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame and the Legends of Country Music Hall of Fame.

Julie Garreau is the founder and executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) in Eagle Butte. A Bush Fellow, she also has earned a Bush Prize for Innovation, and has received both the Spirit of Dakota Award and the Presidential Points of Light Award. In 2019, Garreau was a recipient of Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Award, and also accepted the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award. Committed to creating culturally relevant, sustainable and effective programming for Cheyenne River youth and community members of all ages, Garreau leads CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute, incorporating a public art park and the annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam, an innovative internship program. In 2017, CRYP’s RedCan won the Robert E. Gard Award from Americans for the Arts, and in 2019, it was one of 50 projects honored through Americans for the Arts’ PAN Year in Review program.

In 2018, State Representative Scyller Borglum earned her Ph.D. in geological engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines, culminating a career and academic trajectory that started with a minor in Scandinavian language and included a theology degree as well as a job in the North Dakota oil fields. While earning her Ph.D. at Mines, the Montana native served as a role model to young Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) students on campus, offering coffee talks on such topics as time management and study habits. Known for her communication skills and outgoing personality, Borglum also spoke to more than 700 middle school girls visiting campus for the Women in Science Conference, initiating interactions to encourage other young women to open their minds to careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

“Advocacy, activity and strong arts connections are common characteristics of our new board members,” said Jim Speirs, executive director of Arts South Dakota. “Their energy, connections to our state’s cultural heritage and personal creative talents bring new capacity to Arts South Dakota.”

For more information, contact Shari Kosel