ARTS SOUTH DAKOTA initiates, coordinates and sponsors programs and projects statewide to advance the arts through service, education and advocacy.


Arts South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council continue to co- sponsor a public awareness campaign emphasizing the value of the arts to individuals, communities and our state. The Executive Director of Arts South Dakota is a registered lobbyist with the Secretary of State and informs Legislators and Executive branch officials on arts issues.


Organizational members and individual donors of Arts South Dakota are kept informed of opportunities and issues through our magazine, ARTS ALIVE, which includes information on artists, local arts organizations, and the South Dakota Arts Council. Members also receive weekly updates and alerts on education, advocacy issues, events and programs through our weekly arts events emails sent every Monday afternoon.


The Governor’s Awards are sponsored biennially by Arts South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Awards recognize South Dakota’s finest artists and supporters of the arts. They are given for: Distinction in Creative Achievement; Outstanding Support of the Arts by and Individual; Outstanding Support of the Arts by a Business or Organization; Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education; and Outstanding Support of the Arts to Native Nations with Lands in South Dakota. Recipients are honored at a prestigious banquet attended by artists, arts patrons and government officials. SAVE THE DATE: February 12, 2019.


Arts Advocacy Day at the Legislature is held biennially, alternating years with the Governor’s Awards in the Arts. This day serves to heighten awareness and appreciation of the arts for our legislators and other decision-makers.  Next advocacy day February 2020.


The state arts conference is held every two to three years at different locations across South Dakota. Workshops, panel discussions, plenary sessions focus on key areas such as racial equity, arts education, fundraising, local arts councils, grant-writing, and marketing/social media. National arts leaders are invited to attend and provide keynote presentations and panel discussions.  Next conference 2020 location TBD.


Arts South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council travel the state each spring, meeting with the local arts community to talk about what’s going on. Ideas and issues merge into the design of programs and services for the arts and arts education in South Dakota.


Education is not complete without the arts. Arts South Dakota believes all children in our state should have the opportunity to experience and participate in art forms that enhance life-long learning by expanding curiosity, creativity, team-building skills and self-worth. Partnering with the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC), we work to raise the standards and extend the reach of arts in education through schools and organizations across our state by offering programming such as Arts Education Institute, ArtsCorr, POETRY Out loud, and general advocacy and awareness. LEARN MORE

ARTS EDUCATION INSTITUTE: Arts South Dakota, the South Dakota Arts Council ,and Northern State University sponsor the annual Arts Education Institute, providing quality professional development in the arts and arts in education for South Dakota teachers Pre-K-12. The Institute provides hands-on arts workshops for teachers and administrators and instruction on how to incorporate into their classroom. SAVE THE DATE: July 15-18, 2019, Northern State University, Aberdeen.

ARTSCORR provided participatory exposure to the arts for incarcerated youth in South Dakota’s state juvenile correctional facility, STAR Academy, before its closing in 2016. The successful twenty-year program included artist residencies, correctional staff training and integration of the arts into educational programs. A new pilot program at Sequel Transition Academy in Sioux Falls occurred in May 2018. ArtsCorr is administered by Arts South Dakota with support from the South Dakota Arts Council and the SD Department of Corrections.