By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota

A new school year is well underway, with the excitement and color of marching bands, art classes and play rehearsals. For many students, educational experiences in the arts expand horizons, develop critical thinking capabilities and spark creative joy. For others, those classes, performances and creative endeavors are the first steps toward a career in the arts. Thanks to a new graphic on the website, it’s easy to see the huge panorama of arts careers available.

Today’s creative careers are not limited to performance or teaching, although those jobs are vital elements in the cultural environment of our nation. All of us can think of an inspiring teacher or a family member who became a musician, theater professional or visual artist. But when it comes to careers in the arts, education and performance are just the tip of the iceberg.

Think about theater experiences that transform into a career as a film editor, a lighting designer, a fashion consultant or a casting director. Visual arts training prepares creative job seekers for work as florists, museum curators, courtroom artists, interior designers or food stylists. A degree in music from a South Dakota university can lead to jobs as a recording engineer, copyright consultant, therapist, entertainment lawyer, event producer, touring artist manager, instrument builder, video game developer, music journalist or reviewer and much, much more. The choices—and the exciting careers—are endless. School arts experiences can lead to jobs with global opportunities.

Arts in education is vitally important for every single student in our schools, and is equally important at every scholastic level. In addition to building thinking, planning and organizing skills, the creative process helps students prepare for challenging and rewarding jobs. We’re planting the artistic seeds that may grow into careers that enrich the cultural future for our state and beyond!

See the fascinating graphic illustrating arts career possibilities designed in collaboration with Media One Advertising and Marketing Agency.