By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota

Decisions made in Pierre and Washington, DC shape South Dakota’s cultural horizons, making Election Day a powerful tool for building our state’s creative future. On November 8, your vote for those candidates who support the arts is one of the most important advocacy steps you can take. That’s 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 voting citizens. A strong and supportive arts policy in South Dakota and in the nation’s capital is achievable—if we vote for the people who care about our cultural heritage AND future.

In September, Arts South Dakota sent a survey to candidates for the South Governor, Legislature, United States Representative and United States Senate, in an effort to understand their positions on arts related issues. Our purpose was to provide information that you can access through our website, The candidate survey story on our site gives you the opportunity to read the responses of South Dakotans running for office. We hope you will find this information useful as one factor in casting your vote for arts-aware candidates next month.

YOUR vote is an essential element in building a stronger creative community in your hometown and all across our state. A healthy arts ecosystem must have the support of its political leaders. By casting your vote along with your neighbors, you make a bold statement to candidates and elected officials about the importance of the arts in South Dakota. 

To learn more about candidate views and arts advocacy, visit us at the Arts South Dakota website, and Vote smART! on November 8.