South Dakota arts community converges on Sioux Falls for state conference

By  | 

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - This weekend South Dakota arts are on display for all to see. A two-day conference open to all is taking place in Sioux Falls. The goal is to celebrate and enhance the arts in South Dakota. Special guests are headlining the event including federal officials.

Jane Chu says art plays a vital role in South Dakota communities.

Jane Chu is an artist, but her federal role is bringing her West this weekend. She’s the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a government branch that helps fund arts programs nationwide.

“ The luncheon in Sioux Falls is going to celebrate the characteristics of South Dakota, how the arts help make South Dakota what it is,” said Chu.

The conference spans two days, from Friday afternoon to Saturday night. Chu, a keynote speaker, says the South Dakota arts conference will leave everyone with an understanding of the importance of the arts culturally and economically.

“People coming together to say, ‘We can really make this happen,’ because they’ve recognized that the arts help jumpstart vitality in the community,” said Chu.

She says the local efforts keep brushes stroking in Sioux Falls. Jim Speirs, executive director of Arts South Dakota says this weekend serves as a chance to weave a tighter arts community.

“We hope this is an incubator opportunity for people to come together and share new ideas and find opportunities to work together,” said Speirs.

He says he is inspired by how strong the arts community is in Sioux Falls. But, he says, to keep that strength, more funding is always needed. He hopes this weekend sheds light on that aspect of the picture as well.

“The awareness that a state arts conference brings to the importance of the creative community in South Dakota will help with that conversation,” said Speirs.

Events kick off Friday night at the Holiday Inn Downtown City Centre.