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The Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society takes a bow

Sioux Falls
Bill Tetrault
A performance put on by the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society

This interview originally aired on "In the Moment" on SDPB Radio.

For 35 years, the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It worked to develop amateur musicians into lifelong music lovers and artists, while also supporting recreational and professional musicians and promoting the arts scene in the state and region. The organization has conducted several events and programs that got South Dakotans up on their feet and swaying to the rhythm.

Now, the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society is dissolving, but not before securing its legacy.

And what a legacy it leaves behind. The Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society has spent the past few decades celebrating and promoting America's original artform—jazz and blues. It leaves an impact with music lovers and musicians around the community.

Its live music and education events include The Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Festival, also known as JazzFest, a concert series, The Jazz Diversity Project, The All-City Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Camp, scholarship programs and more.

Through two financial gifts, the society will continue its mission of supporting music and arts education in the region.

A $55,000 endowment held at the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation will benefit Levitt at the Falls to be used specifically for music education in the area. In addition, the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society will donate $40,000 to the Sioux Falls Arts Council’s Artist Micro Grant program, which supports artists across all disciplines with $250 or $500 grants.

Beth Ormseth is board president of the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society. She joins In the Moment to discuss making the tough decision to dissolve the organization and her hopes for the future of music education in South Dakota. Nancy Halverson, executive director of Levitt at the Falls, talks about how she'll work to keep the society's mission alive.

Lori Walsh is the host and senior producer of In the Moment.
Ellen Koester is a producer of In the Moment, SDPB's daily news and culture broadcast.