By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota

Would you like to present holiday gifts that are wonderfully original, totally appreciated, perfectly unique—and support a vital element of our state’s economy? Give the work of South Dakota artists! Choose handmade work created by one of our artisans, a print or painting by a South Dakota artist, or tickets to a special performance—all gifts that will be enjoyed throughout the year. Memberships to local arts and cultural organizations are gifts that keep on giving—to both the recipient and the community.

You’ll also be giving a gift that keeps South Dakota economically strong.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study from Americans for the Arts, was recently released showing $363 million in annual economic activity generated by the arts and culture industry across South Dakota. 

That economic activity also supported 6,054 full-time jobs in 2022 and generated nearly $52 million in local, state and federal government revenue. And South Dakota audiences spent extra dollars around arts events, benefiting local merchants, restaurants and lodging facilities.

Shopping for creative gifts brings you in direct contact with the people who are the South Dakota arts industry. Hometown bookstores promote our state’s writers, telling tales of the past or breaking new ground with exciting fiction or poetry. Museum gift shops are perfect spots to find South Dakota artists’ work, in an incredible range of prices, sizes, colors and subject matter. Galleries, both public and private, show and sell South Dakota visual arts. You can find furniture, sculpture, prints, drawings and notecards created here by your neighbors. And don’t forget albums and holiday performances by South Dakota musicians. 

Giving the gift of South Dakota art helps make South Dakota a place where artists are encouraged and creative enterprise succeeds. You can enhance our cultural heritage, advance the appreciation of the arts, spark new ideas for the recipient and strengthen our state’s economy. That’s quite an impactful holiday gift! 

To learn more about the arts industry’s impact on our state and for gift ideas, go to