Arts & Culture

 As Darrin Smith takes the helm of the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences in Sioux Falls, he inherits a thriving arts community with a reputation for success as well as a history tinged with community skepticism. We’ll talk about Smith’s vision for the Pavilion, his quest to freshen its offerings for a new generation, and the opportunities and challenges of public and private funding. 

Photo by ​Mikayla St. Pierre

High school seniors are packing away their prom dresses and their suits and storing their memories of when they danced to their favorite music with their best date and spent a night on the town “dressed to the nines”.  But SDPB’s Jim Kent reports from a different kind of prom in the northern Black Hills, where the “seniors” aren’t in high school anymore.

It’s a nasty Spring day outside in downtown Lead. Brisk winds, temperature dropping and light rain just turning to snow. But inside the Homestake Opera House…

Courtesy Red Cloud School

The Red Cloud Heritage Center’s “Our Community Story” project has ended with screenings of students’ interviews of elders, artists and professionals from the Pine Ridge Reservation. We  visited with Lakota parents to see what they thought about the months’ long school assignment and its benefits to their children.

Mitakupi Foundation Presents Art Awards

May 7, 2016
Courtesy Mitakupi Foundation

Representatives from a non-profit group focused on reducing suicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation are in South Dakota this week. The group is handing out awards for its monthly art competition for Lakota youth this week.

The Mitakupi - or “my people” - Foundation was created in 2011 by Jennifer Jessum – an artist, producer, director and educator - after she witnessed the Pine Ridge Reservation’s suicide epidemic.

Courtesy Herb Ryan – Custer Free Press

Fourth grade students from the Pine Ridge Reservation’s Rockyford School are part of program called – “South Dakota's National Park Treasurers: Through the Voices of Our Youth.” Working with a Native American songwriter, the children helped compose songs about their visits to Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks. We attended the students’ performance of their songs.

Redlin Art Center

Terry Redlin, a renowned South Dakota artist, died on Sunday night at age 78.   Redlin retired from painting nine years ago. He died in a Watertown care center after a long-term battle with dementia.

Redlin is known for his oil paintings of wildlife and outdoor scenes. The Redlin Art Center in Watertown features his original work. 

Julie Ranum is the Executive Director of the Redlin Art Center. She says Redlin became an artist thanks to a college scholarship.   

Pine Ridge Students Develop Film Project

Apr 12, 2016
Courtesy Red Cloud School

Students from two Pine Ridge Reservation schools are taking part in a film project aimed at exploring and preserving Lakota storytelling as a sacred form of communication.

Lakota elders have used oral tradition – or storytelling – to pass on the history and culture of their people for thousands of years.

With support from the Better Way Foundation and the Indian Mission School Network, fourth-graders from the Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes Schools launched the “Our Community Story” project.

Photo by Jim Kent

Native American poet Tanaya Winder visited the Pine Ridge Reservation’s Red Cloud School recently to share her work and to hear the poetry of Lakota students.

Having the opportunity to voice her spoken-word poetry for the Lakota youth is as much of an inspiration for Winder as it is for the Lakota students to hear the  poems of A celebrated Native American role model.

Jazz Singer Cyrille Aimee Comes To Sioux Falls

Mar 2, 2016

Over the past couple years Cyrille Aimee’s reputation as one of today’s finest jazz singers has been steadily growing. She’s just released a new album, Let’s Get Lost. It’s receiving positive reviews and finds the 31-year-old singer on the brink of major success. Aimee is currently on tour in support of the album and performs at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls Friday evening at 8:00 for the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society concert series.

Lakota Filmmakers At Sundance Film Festival

Jan 27, 2016
Courtesy Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute’s annual film festival takes place in Park City, Utah this week. Among the hundreds of filmmakers in attendance are a Lakota documentary producer and a Lakota screenwriter. A visit with both examined the benefits of being part of the Sundance Institute while pursuing a career in films as a Native American.

Jesse Short Bull’s interest in filmmaking was sparked in 2006 when he attended his first film festival in Rapid City.

Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center

Potato Creek Johnny is featured in this week's Images of the Past.  Jessica Michak, Archivist with the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center shares the story behind the legend.

Courtesy Kevin Pourier

A Lakota artist from the Pine Ridge Reservation is in New York City today to take part in the 2015 Native Art Market. The prestigious gathering brings together Native American artists from North, South and Central America at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center.

SDPB’s Jim Kent spoke to the artist and has this report.

Courtesy Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries

The 25th anniversary of the film “Dances With Wolves” is being celebrated in Rapid City this holiday weekend with day-long showings of the classic Western at Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries.

SDPB’s Jim Kent visited with some of those involved in the event and has this report.

Historic Homestake Opera House

Historic Homestake Opera House is the focus of this week's Images of the Past segment. Sarah Carlson discusses the history of the Opera House and the restoration after the 1984 fire.

Lakota Artist Receives Regional Fellowship

Nov 20, 2015
Courtesy Dyani White Hawk

A Lakota woman with ties to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation is one of 7 recipients of the 2015 Regional Artist Fellowship. Awarded by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the annual grant recognizes American Indian emerging artists moving into an established career in their area of talent, knowledge and expertise. SDPB’s Jim Kent has more…

Siouxland Heritage Museums

The Rebecca Goodwin bonnet is the oldest artifact at the Siouxland heritage museums. Goodwin was the first white woman in Sioux Falls. Bill Hoskins, Director, Siouxland Heritage Museums, joins Dakota Midday to tell the story of the Goodwin bonnet.

1881 Courthouse Museum

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum.  The new “Images of the Past” release is about the Flick Cabin in Custer.  It was built in 1876 and is the oldest known still-standing structure in the Black Hills.

Hollywood writer and director Nick Simon returns home to Sioux Falls for the October 29th Midwest Premiere of his Wes Craven executive produced film, THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS. The screening is only the second screening of the horror movie in the United States, and the fourth globally since its September world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. With cinematography by Dean Cundey (Halloween, Scream II, Jurassic Park, Back To The Future), it is also the last film produced by renowned horror filmmaker Wes Craven before his death in late August.

This week’s Images of the Past features gold recovery methods at Homestake Mine.  There’s film from 1936 and 1954 and video from the 1990s and 2002 – including the final gold pour at Homestake before it was shut down. 

Wayne Paananen is with Historical Footprints Inc.  He shot a lot of promotional/instructional video for Homestake and other Black Hills mining interests over the years. He explains the mining process where .4 ounce of gold comes from one ton of ore. 

Rolling Rez Arts: An Art Bus Bank On Pine Ridge

Oct 27, 2015
First Peoples Fund

Pine Ridge has a new bank, financial literacy hub, and art space and it’s all on wheels.
Rolling Rez Arts  is a mobile creative space, business training center and bank all in one bus that is crisscrossing Pine Ridge in part to help spur art based economic development.

The Collages Of Arthur Amiotte 1988-2014

Oct 14, 2015
Paul Horsted

Arthur Amiotte is a celebrated South Dakota artist and professor.   He grew up in Custer in the 1940’s and 50’s and spent the summers with his family on Pine Ridge.

In 1961 as a young Lakota man Amiotte attended a workshop with famed artist Oscar Howe that helped start his art career.  

Today Amiotte‘s work hangs in galleries around the world.   This week he’s attending the opening of what’s being called his final comprehensive show at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.  

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with Amiotte to talk about his life’s work.

Dr. Patrick Hicks, Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, and Liz Patro, a Portland, Oregon-based writer whose short stories and essays have appeared in over two-dozen literary journals and magazines join Dakota Midday.

Cherokee Artist Donates Work To BHSU

Oct 9, 2015
Courtesy BHSU

A well-known Native American artist and former administrator at Black Hills State University is donating all proceeds from the print sales of one of his works to the school. As SDPB’s Jim Kent reports, Cherokee artist John Gritts recalls his 24 years at BHSU as a time of nurturing and openness.

South Dakota State Historical Society

Gaylord Torrence, Senior Curator of American Indian Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art discusses the international touring exhibition, "The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky".   Torrence is one of the nation's leading scholars of Plains Indian art.  He describes the Great Sioux Horse Effigy as being a truly quintessential piece.

Liz Almlie, Historic Preservation Specialist for the South Dakota State Historical Society and State Historic Preservation Office discusses three South Dakota properties that were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The listed properties are the First National Bank, Freeman; Harmony Friends Church, Wessington Springs vicinity; and Terrace Park and Japanese Gardens, Sioux Falls.  The National Register is the official federal list of properties identified as important in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture.

Beginning with her 1988 novel, Cape Ann, Faith Sullivan has told stories of the people living in the fictional small town of Harvester, Minnesota. In her newest novel, Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse, Sullivan tells the life story of school teacher Nell Stillman, a minor character from Cape Ann.

Ron Capps served in the Army and Army Reserve for 25 years and is also a retired Foreign Service officer for the Department of State. He served both branches in some of the world’s deadliest places: wartime Kosovo, Darfur, Chad, Afghanistan and Iraq. The horrors of what he witnessed and his inability to stop the death and bloodshed inflicted him with shakes, panic attacks and severe depression.

In 2007, Brittany Gibbons began writing about her experiences as a curvy woman in her blog, Brittany Herself. She wore a swimming suit to denounce body shaming in a TED talk a few years ago. Her mission is to destroy the myth that every plus-size woman hates her body and herself. Her book, Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin… Every Inch of It, is a memoir of her life from her teens in rural Ohio to the early years of her marriage and as mother of three kids.

One of the best-known early residents of Deadwood is Calamity Jane. According to the various stories about her, she was a scout for the army, a pony express rider, a sidekick of Wild Bill Hickcok, and an angel of mercy who nursed small-pox victims and aided the poor. The reality is she wasn’t a Wild West heroine, but a tragic alcoholic. However, the legend of Calamity Jane has endured from 19th century dime novels, through Hollywood films, to the recent HBO series, Deadwood.

Wes Shelton, Executive Director of the Black Hills Educational Institute, discusses Living Rushmore.  The event is Sept. 27. The performance features a discussion among the four Rushmore Presidents about their role in the various aspects of America's history.  Washington and Jefferson, though not close, and sometimes political rivals knew each other, but they know nothing of Lincoln or Roosevelt.  Lincoln respected and studied the leadership characteristics of Washington especially his involvement in the Revolutionary War.  Roosevelt knows of all three but is really from a different era.