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Dahl Arts Center adding more education opportunities

South Dakota Department of Tourism

From summer day camps to pottery lessons, the education department at the Dahl offers a wide selection of class lessons for children and adults.

Dahl education director Melissa Nelson said their program fills Rapid City’s art education gap.

“We have an after-school program, right now it’s on Mondays and Tuesdays, but we’ll amp that up in the next school year and hopefully offer more of a variety of art," Nelson said. "This summer we have summer camps, they’re going to be from 9 to 3 all summer long, all June and July, Monday through Thursday.”

Nelson said it’s a way to help kids find their voice.

“Kids gain confidence taking art classes," Nelson said. "They can create freely, it’s okay to make mistakes. We focus on the student’s creativity. That’s probably our main goal for that student to feel comfortable, to feel safe.”

Leah Killian, Dahl communications manager, said they’re trying to get more voices involved in local arts.

“These opportunities for getting involved in the arts, these are lifetime things. If you can paint, you can paint," Killian said. "If this is something that normally you couldn’t partake in or you couldn’t put your child in, if you go to you can go under education and find a place for scholarships. We would love to see more people taking advantage of that.”

The Dahl education programs are based on curriculums from the National Arts Standards, which are used by schools and museums across the nation.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture