By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota
December marks the season of giving. As we consider those to whom we wish to be generous, we need to remember our friends in the nonprofit arts community. Throughout the nation, arts organizations are looking to audiences, patrons and arts advocates to help fill their stockings with the funding that will carry the arts through the new year.
Here in South Dakota, we have a vibrant cultural environment. Community arts councils, local schools and special events all help to bring a holiday focus to performances, exhibitions and seasonal shows—and South Dakotans turn out to fill auditoriums across the state. As important as those ticket sales are to the strength of the creative industry, charitable end-of-year giving to arts nonprofits is equally vital to maintaining our state’s arts opportunities.
We have a unique nonprofit ecosystem in our country that depends on generous donations and active volunteers, especially this time of year. The arts community is fortunate in the continued support of advocates of all ages, not just in the larger cities, but in communities of every size.
Recent Arts Happy Hour gatherings in Spearfish, Pierre, De Smet, Sioux Falls and Brookings underscored the wide appeal of our state’s cultural landscape and the enthusiasm of South Dakotans everywhere for the arts. An ever-growing number of people understand that a strong arts industry and lively arts community are vital to the future of our state—and their willingness to support our creative environment with dollars and volunteer time is also growing.
This is the time of year for all of us to remember that the arts community does not thrive without individual support. Your favorite arts nonprofit organization probably has an online system for you to support its efforts financially, or simply call them up and ask how you can help. For more information about arts nonprofits, community arts councils and a calendar of upcoming arts events to help celebrate the season, check out our website at www.ArtsSouthDakota.org.