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Arts Education Institute connects schools to the arts

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota The arts should be a part of every classroom—and the arts can make every subject fun to learn. That’s one lesson of the Arts Education Institute, being held July 15-18 on the campus of Northern State University in Aberdeen. Over 100 South Dakota teachers, administrators and arts [...]

By |2019-07-08T16:13:32-05:00July 8th, 2019|

Band directors are the musical heart of our communities

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota For many of us, the portal to the joys of making music was opened by a band director during our school years. Those first tentative notes became an exciting new skill, shared by other band members as we learned one of mankind’s first art forms. Band directors [...]

By |2019-06-12T14:17:04-05:00June 12th, 2019|

Arts Education Institute celebrates 20 years of inspiration

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota This year, the week of July 15-18 will mark the 20th annual Arts Education Institute—two decades of providing inspiration, new ideas and networking opportunities to art teachers, administrators and South Dakota arts education advocates. It’s not too late to register for this year’s event, which adds a [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:41:23-05:00May 16th, 2019|

Volunteers are the heart of community arts councils

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota One of the most vital forces celebrating the creative spirit in South Dakota is the network of community arts councils that spans our state. From Leola to Sioux Falls and from Highmore to Rapid City, community arts councils initiate cultural activities, sponsor hometown performances and are often [...]

By |2019-04-11T14:56:40-05:00April 11th, 2019|

Poetry Out Loud connects arts and education 

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota When 12 high school students took their turns reciting poetry on stage in Sioux Falls during the Poetry Out Loud state championships, they were dramatizing the power of the arts. Each student stood in the spotlight, bringing words to life with stunning confidence. Each student had chosen—or [...]

By |2019-03-25T16:55:44-05:00March 25th, 2019|

The arts make winter one of our liveliest seasons

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota Winter in South Dakota can be an exciting time, with sports and activities getting us out of the house to enjoy life during the colder months. And no matter what the weather, the arts put on a great show during the winter, offering many ways to warm [...]

By |2019-02-25T12:43:48-05:00February 25th, 2019|

Awards and rewards in the arts

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota What does it take to win a Governor's Award in the Arts? Funding a music scholarship? Donating your priceless collection of original paintings? Or attending the high school band concert?  This year, Arts South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council, along with Governor Noem, are presenting [...]

By |2019-01-22T12:54:02-05:00January 22nd, 2019|

Partner with the arts this season 

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota Look around your community and chances are you’ll discover the arts everywhere this season. Maybe there's a play at the school, or a choral concert celebrating the holidays. You may find an arts and crafts fair that is an annual tradition or perhaps your community has a [...]

By |2018-12-10T11:38:34-05:00December 10th, 2018|

Giving thanks for our arts opportunities 

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota This time of year, as the harvest is gathered in, we often pause to reflect on the many things we, as South Dakotans, are uniquely thankful for. Among those things that make life worth living here on the prairie is the impressive array of arts and cultural [...]

By |2018-11-12T11:01:49-05:00November 12th, 2018|

Vote smART on November 6

By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota The arts give us all an opportunity to express ourselves, and there is no time to express yourself like Election Day. This year, on November 6, you can help shape the future of our state and our nation in a way that people in other countries only [...]

By |2018-10-17T10:30:03-05:00October 17th, 2018|