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The arts build bridges in a divided society

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota As a musician, I’m aware of the unique way that music draws people together. As we play, musicians look out on audiences that are diverse—all ages, races, genders—and yet all moving to the beat of the same tune. The arts do that—bring us together around a single [...]

By |2020-07-07T11:30:23-05:00July 7th, 2020|

Financial relief for artists with new emergency fund

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota South Dakota’s working artists have been among the groups hardest hit by the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the best of times, artists must struggle to weave together a livelihood, and now this group is particularly vulnerable as their work relies on public gatherings and [...]

By |2020-06-09T12:16:50-05:00June 10th, 2020|

A message to South Dakota artists 

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota The path of an artist is not an easy one. It takes courage in the best of times and today we need you to be extra courageous, facing our current challenges with your creative spirit. That creativity will help us all negotiate the uncertainties of tomorrow, embrace [...]

By |2020-05-19T11:31:59-05:00May 19th, 2020|

Connect with the arts while staying safe

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota As the situation in our state continues with a growing number of cases of COVID-19, most of us are trying to shelter in place to do our part to not spread the virus. We are all grateful to those essential services employees who continue to keep things [...]

By |2020-04-17T17:16:45-05:00April 17th, 2020|

The arts in a COVID-19 world

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota These are incredible times. Our world seems to be upside down and life as we know it has essentially come to a standstill. What did you have planned for last weekend? What did you end up doing? I'm sure most of us followed health experts’ advice by [...]

By |2020-03-16T18:29:19-05:00March 16th, 2020|

Connect with the power of shared ideas at state arts conference

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota New ideas have the power to energize people and organizations, and the State Arts Conference in Rapid City May 14-16 will be a catalyst of great creative ideas. This year’s conference featured speakers are Mary Anne Carter, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Torrie Allen, [...]

By |2020-03-10T12:42:15-05:00March 10th, 2020|

State Arts Conference: Fresh ideas, learning, networking and excitement

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota If you make art, support the arts and want to gather with people like you—the State Arts Conference in Rapid City May 14-16 is the place to be. This year’s conference celebrates the world-class artists of South Dakota, our state’s unique cultural heritage and our incredibly diverse [...]

By |2020-02-10T15:53:34-06:00February 10th, 2020|

Arts advocacy means sharing YOUR stories 

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota One of the key roles of Arts South Dakota is to encourage South Dakotans to speak out in support of the arts. We call it arts advocacy—but it is really just telling positive stories about the many ways the arts make a difference in your life.  It’s [...]

By |2020-01-10T09:09:35-06:00January 10th, 2020|

Arts nonprofits need your holiday generosity 

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 [...]

By |2019-12-12T16:11:04-06:00December 12th, 2019|

#StateOfCreate puts South Dakota arts in the spotlight

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota The South Dakota Department of Tourism, in partnership with the South Dakota Arts Council, has launched a social media campaign, #StateOfCreate—and we think it’s great. Tourism and the arts are vital partners in our creative life and our economy, and you can track the campaign by following [...]

By |2019-11-07T09:57:04-06:00November 7th, 2019|