By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota

We’re all ready for a road trip, and South Dakota is loaded with destinations—arts and crafts festivals, community cultural celebrations, musical weekends and summer theater throughout our state. A full calendar of cultural events—many of them happening within an easy drive from where you live—is beckoning during the summer months.

Cultural tourism is a vital economic force for South Dakota, as visitors from all over the globe come to view our monumental sculptures. Those familiar destinations are matched by our world-class museums—from the National Music Museum on the USD campus in Vermillion to the Harvey Dunn collection housed at the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings and the Red Cloud Indian Art Show at The Heritage Center in Pine Ridge—all eager to welcome summer travelers. Drama and comedy draw crowds in theaters and parks from Custer to Sisseton, while music fills the summer air with bluegrass in the Black Hills, Levitt shows in Sioux Falls and traditional tunes at Newton Hills State Park.

South Dakotans will discover more arts and cultural events than they can pack into the summer on the Arts South Dakota website,, where anyone can sign up for the weekly art events calendar. The calendar is interactive and available for uploading your summer creative activities, as well as keeping you up to date on what’s happening in your area and around the state.

Thanks to the partnership between state government and the National Endowment for the Arts, South Dakota enjoys a higher level of per capita cultural support than other larger states. We rely on that support—and grants from the National Endowment—for many of the creative activities that light up the summer in South Dakota communities. You can help us keep our cultural scene strong year-round. To connect with our Congressional delegation or learn more about Arts South Dakota programs, join us online at