About Us

Established in 1966 and funded by the State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC) is a state agency serving South Dakotans and their communities through the arts. Recognizing the importance of creativity in the lives of all South Dakotans, the Council makes quality arts accessible throughout the state by providing grants, services and information to artists, arts organizations, schools and the public. The Council is the advisory board to the SDAC staff within the Department of Tourism. Council members are appointed by the Governor.

South Dakota Arts Council Board

Board Member Office
Paul Higbee, Spearfish
James L. Walker, Bath Chairperson
Lynne Byrne, Sioux Falls Vice Chairperson
Andrew Kightlinger, Pierre
Lynda Clark Adelstein, Rapid City Treasurer
Brian Bonde, Sioux Falls
Mary Bordeaux, Rapid City Secretary
Laura Diddle, Brookings
Deanna Lien, Rapid City
Don Montileaux, Rapid City
Jane Rasmussen, Sisseton

South Dakota Arts Council Staff,
Department of Tourism

Staff Office
Patrick Baker Director
Rebecca Cruse Assistant Director
Heather Davidson Program Coordinator
Andrea Graham FolkArts Consultant

PUBLIC VALUES: The Council believes

• access to the arts by all South Dakotans is intrinsic to the well being of our communities and the state.
• the arts play an essential role in tourism and economic development.
• arts education stimulates creativity, communication and life-long learning.
• strong arts organizations contribute to vibrant, progressive communities.
• artists enhance the state’s quality of life and require an environment which nurtures and sustains their work.

South Dakota Arts Council Long Range Goals:

1. Increase public awareness and support of the arts

2. Advance the arts as essential to learning

3. Raise the standards for access and inclusion in the arts

4. Support artists through inclusive programs and networks

5. Stregthen arts organizations as partners in education, community and economic development

6. Position the arts as essential to South Dakota Tourism

The Long Range Plan contains a more detailed discription of each individual goal.

Arts Expansion Policy

The Council continues to encourage active cultural participation of ethnic and minority groups, particularly Native Americans, living in the state.

  • The Council promotes the development of artistic work and presentation models suited to the state’s diverse resources and needs of small towns and geographically isolated areas.
  • Educational opportunities at the state’s post-secondary institutions are encouraged and supported for the development of artists to work in South Dakota.
  • The Council strives to encourage private and public sector support of cultural development, planning and funding of the arts in South Dakota.
  • The Council seeks to remove social, economic and physical barriers to cultural activities, to ensure that all citizens have a role in cultural policy and decision making.