The landscape of South Dakota is often stark with a beauty that’s subtle and sometimes unapproachable. In the new book, Visibility: Ten Miles, poet Sharon Chmielarz and photographer Ken Smith capture the spirit of life on the prairie through images and verse.


Jun 26, 2015

Sioux Falls string band Condor has grown by one since they released their first CD, "Deep Into the Pool," in the fall of 2013.  Founders Connor Pederson and Andy Shaw were joined by Mateo Bartlett, a friend of Shaw's, about the same time "Deep Into the Pool" was made public.  Bartlett adds banjo and vocals to Pederson's cello and vocals and Shaw's guitar and vocals to one-up the band's unique harmonies and instrumentation.  As a three-piece, Condor released "Poega" in March, 2015.  Every pluck, every strum of Condor's approach to swing, bluegrass, Americana and indie sets them apart.  Condo

Hope River Entertainment

After playing in other bands and their own impressive solo careers, Dave Adkins and Edgar Loudermilk  formed a new group together two years ago. It wasn’t anything they planned, though. They just started writing together and enjoyed the chemistry that resulted. Their debut album, Adkins and Loudermilk, was released in March.

Ledger Art: from Buffalo Hides to Accounting Books

Jun 24, 2015

 A Native American art exhibit in Sioux Falls showcases an art form that was almost forgotten. Native Americans once used buffalo hides to record history through paintings. When the buffalo herds were hunted to few numbers, tribes had to find a different way to tell stories. 


Native American ledger art is on display at the Center for Western Studies on Augustana's campus. Native American artist Donald Montileaux says tribes began repurposing the inside pages of old ledger books during the late 1800s.  

: Photo courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.

A new exhibit at the National Music Museum in Vermillion, “Banding Together: The American Soldier’s Musical Arsenal,” explores the role of music from the Revolutionary War to the war in Afghanistan.

This year marks the centennial of renowned South Dakota artist Oscar Howe. He was born May 13, 1915 at Joe Creek on the Crow Creek Reservation. He was an art professor at the University of South Dakota from 1957-1980 and one of the most important Native American artists of the 20th century. He’s credited with helping change the direction of Native American art by advancing the cause of personal expression and not conforming to the strictures of what was considered the “traditional Indian style.”

Courtesy Anna Huntington

A Rapid City artist has completed a 2-story mural near Main Street Square that reflects the images created in the ongoing ”Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture project. What was initially planned as a 5-week work schedule turned into almost 3 months of frequently intense labor for the muralist.

”Passage of Wind and Water” spokesperson Anna Huntington says the idea of having someone paint a mural on a 2-story wall facing Main Street Square seemed like a no-brainer.

Maya Van Nuys With Robert Dewan And Friends

Jun 12, 2015

Recent Rapid City Stevens High School graduate Maya Van Nuys assembled a cast of well-known and respected local players for a showcase concert last February at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.  Van Nuys is a classically trained violinist with a love for the blues and American roots music.  She came up through the Dahl's Emerging Artists Series.  Maya's father, guitarist Frank Van Nuys, introduced her to all kinds of music that inspired her current path as a musician.  The next stage in Van Nuys' career is taking her to Kansas where she plans to further her music career with collaborator

World-class pianists are back in Sioux Falls for the ninth annual Dakota Sky International Piano Festival. The event runs through Saturday, July 13 at the Washington Pavilion and features a series of recitals, seminars, master classes and children's concerts. Pianists Gregory DeTurck and Douglas Humphreys, cellist Maxim Koslov and soprano Kayleen Sanches are the featured artists for this summer's programs. Gregory DeTurck and founder and artistic director Paul Sanchez joined Dakota Midday for festival details.

National Museum of the U.S. Army

During the Vietnam War, James Pollack entered combat zones armed with a .45 pistol, canteen, camera and sketchbook. The South Dakota native was one of 46 U.S. Army Soldiers commissioned to chronicle the war as a part of the Vietnam Combat Art Program. After two months accompanying soldiers on patrol, Pollack and the other artists were shipped to studios in Hawaii to finish their work. It became property of the U.S. Army Art Collection at the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Laura Vidler

After staging comedies for its first two productions, the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is bringing one of the Bard’s darkest tragedies to Prentis Park in Vermillion June 11 through June 14.

Macbeth is a story of political ambition and quest for power for its own sake. After receiving a prophecy from a trio of witches and being spurred to action by his wife, Scottish general Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne. But he’s racked with guilt and paranoia as he and Lady Macbeth descend into madness.

Passenger Productions

The new film, Of Minor Prophets, was inspired by the biblical story of Hosea who was commanded by God to marry a harlot. The film was shot in northwestern Iowa and Sioux Falls and tells the story of lonely, bachelor farmer Doug who befriends Ami, a prostitute with suspicious intentions. It explores themes of love, forgiveness, sacrifice and deceit. Cora Vander Broek stars as Ami and Kris Kling is Doug. 

New York-based filmmaker Chloe Zhao’s first feature, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, was shot and largely cast on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It’s a portrait of life on Pine Ridge experienced partly through the eyes of a young Lakota girl who is preparing herself for the departure of her beloved older brother. Johnny and Jashaun live at home with their single mother. An older brother is in prison. At the start of the film, the brothers learn that the father they’ve never met, a famous rodeo cowboy, has died in an accidental fire.

Prairie Repertory Theatre

Prairie Repertory Theatre opens its 45th season on Wednesday with the doo-wop musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes. Other productions this summer include Boeing, Boeing, Dial ‘M’ for Murder and The Sound of Music.

Prairie Repertory Theatre is based at South Dakota State University in Brookings and its mission is to provide outstanding training for student company members and the best possible entertainment for audiences in Brookings and the Brandon Valley Performing Arts Center.

Ipso Gallery

Rapid City artist Bryan Christiansen grew up in a small log cabin in the Black Hills and learned to hunt. He’s still a hunter, but a different kind. He goes hunting through city alleyways and parking lots in search of discarded furniture. He skins and guts couches, easy chairs and tables and reassembles them into life-sized animal forms, such as deer, hare or buffalo skulls. And nothing goes to waste. He saves everything down to the last bit of sawdust and string, as well as the coins, pens and even TV remotes lost in the cushions.

Black Hills Playhouse

The two-man show, A Couple of Blaguards, is based on the real-life adventures of brothers Frank and Malachy McCourt. It takes them from an impoverished childhood in Limerick, Ireland to their immigration to Brooklyn in the 1950s. The play is a comedic remembrance based in the Irish storytelling tradition, but it also has a poignant edge.

Artist Oscar Howe has had a marked influence on American Indian artists who learned from his style. Whether Howe himself was influenced by other artists is up for discussion. Viewers can ponder that question for themselves at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, where Howe’s work is on display through September 7th. Regardless of what inspired his work, SDPB’s Victoria Wicks learns that Howe broke ground in ways that continue to benefit other artists today.

Most countries measure their success by Gross Domestic Product. But the remote Himalayan nation of Bhutan uses a different measure: Gross National Happiness. For centuries Bhutan was almost completely cut off from the outside world. The Buddhist nation began opening up in the 1970s after years of seclusion. Since 2008 Bhutan has gone through dramatic changes with a transition from a monarchy to a two-party parliamentary democracy and the introduction of free press and more western-styled media.

Travis Anderson

This month the Minnesota Orchestra became the first North American symphony to perform in Cuba since President Obama began normalizing relations with the island nation last December. In a whirlwind three-day trip to Havana, the orchestra played two sold-out concerts, worked with high school and college students, and played side-by-side with a conservatory youth orchestra. Some of the Minnesota Orchestra’s more jazz-inclined players stayed up ‘til the wee hours jamming with Cuban musicians.

Located in Custer State Park at the site of an old Civilian Conservation Corp camp, the Black Hills Playhouse brings artists from all over the nation to create theater productions for residents and people visiting the Black Hills, and educational experiences for students of theater.

The playhouse is affiliated with the University of South Dakota and is one of the oldest summer stock theaters in the nation. Each summer four to six plays are offered covering musicals, drama, and comedies during 72 performances Tuesdays through Sundays.

The Barefoot Movement - Part 2

May 28, 2015

The Barefoot Movement, a four-piece acoustic band based in Nashville, has been called "one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene," by CMT Edge.  They received the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award for "Band of the Year."  But it's not entirely about bluegrass.  The Barefoot Movement plays a lush mix of Americana, folk, country, indie, rock - and bluegrass.  Their most recent CD, "The High Road to Linton," is a six-song EP consisting of traditional songs that have been fan favorites in their live performa

The Barefoot Movement - Part 1

May 21, 2015

Young and shoeless, The Barefoot Movement has gained much attention and acclaim in a very short time.  The diversity of The Barefoot Movement draws in fans of bluegrass, folk, indie and rock and roll.  Singer-songwriter and fiddler Noah Wall began to piece the band together when she met mandolin player Tommy Norris in high school.  Wall found an upright bass player in Hasee Ciaccio when they were classmates at East Tennessee State University.  Just last week, Ciaccio completed her BA in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music with a minor in App

Communist Daughter To Open BHMF

May 19, 2015

Communist Daughter opens the Black Hills Music Festival on Saturday afternoon at Elkorn Ridge RV Resort near Spearfish.  The band was founded in 2009 by John Solomon in Prescott, Wisconsin.  He joined with several Twin Cities musicians to create an indie/folk/rock sound filled with harmonies that range from beautiful to haunting.  Their second full-length CD is in the works while the band hits the road this week with stops in Lincoln and Denver before their Black Hills Music Festival gig.  Solomon visited about Communist Daughter's music Tuesday on Dakota Midday.

Trace Bundy

May 15, 2015

Listening to Trace Bundy is one thing, but seeing the "Acoustic Ninja" play live can confound even the most accomplished music fans as to how he can manipulate the fret board with his hands and fingers.  Surprisingly, Bundy is self-taught.  He uses harmonics, looping, multiple capos and his unique finger tapping skills to deliver jaw-dropping performances.  His most recent project, "Elephant King," was released in May, 2012.  It includes an 11-song studio CD and a live DVD disc.  Bundy performed at the Dahl Arts Center

South Dakota Art Museum

Harvey Dunn is well-known to South Dakotans for his prairie paintings, such as “Buffalo Bones Are Plowed Under” depicting a solitary man behind heavy yoked oxen slashing through virgin prairie. Another of his famous works, “After School,” portrays a girl and boy walking away from their one room school house on a windy day.

Photo by Jenny Graham

I first met Sarah Rasmussen twenty years ago when she was a junior at Sisseton High School. I was reporting on her production of Alice in Wonderland staged in the family basement. She directed a cast made up of her brothers, friends and other kids from the community. Two decades later she's preparing to take over as the artistic director of the Jungle Theater, one of the top theaters in the Twin Cities.

Kyshona Armstrong

May 8, 2015

Though she has only released two CDs, singer/songwriter Kyshona Armstrong has plenty of stories to tell.  Some of her songs are about family and legacy.  Much of her inspiration comes from her time as a music therapist.  The role helped her in overcoming a fear of performing in front of a live audience as she was using music to tap into emotion - something that is very prevalent in her writing and performing.  Once a fixture in the Athens, Georgia music scene, Armstrong now calls Nashville home.  Her latest CD, "Go," was released in June, 2014.  Armstrong has been named one of the "Top 5 Ro

The sixth annual Black Hills Film Festival kicks off today. The four-day event in Rapid City and Hill City features a line-up of more than 30 films from South Dakota and around the world. There are also several special guests with experience as actors, writers, directors and producers. They're sharing their insights into various aspects of filmmaking.

The Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies

A four day event at the Dahl Art center celebrates the living history and art of Lakota people.  

The Lakota Emergence exhibit runs through Saturday.  It aims to connect the Lakota creation story and a number of artifacts from the Sioux Indian Museum to new works by 16 different contemporary Lakota artists.

Paul Schipper

Nathan Edwards says his upcoming album, Far Away from Here, is the culmination of several years of writing and recording. The songs center around themes of time and travel. He says they’re a means of sharing his struggles with the existential search for meaning and the answers to why we’re here. Edwards says creating this album says was a time of intense growth, both as a songwriter, recording engineer, and as a person.