Two groups, two strategies, one goal: funding Rapid City’s arts community

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Throughout Rapid City’s budget talks for 2020, arts funding has been at the forefront of the discussion.

The Arts Contingency Fund is being cut 24 percent while the Rapid City Arts Council is getting an 11 percent boost. When comparing the numbers, arts is getting a roughly $5,000 boost. So how are the two organizations different and how is money used by each one?

The Rapid City Arts Council manages The Dahl and the Arts Contingency Fund is managed by Allied Arts; both aiming to promote art and culture in Rapid City but each do it differently.

The Arts Council, through The Dahl, provides art exhibits and classes to the public. “Those who come to The Dahl get an idea of what’s going on in the arts community here in Rapid City,” said Patrick Roseland, board member of the RC Arts Council.

The Dahl has been a center for performance arts, education, and contemporary visual arts since 1974. In the years since, it has been expanding to keep up with the growing importance of art in our community. The Arts Council also regulates the downtown canvas known as Art Alley.

“It’s all inclusive to art, music, pottery, everything that has to do with the growing art community in Rapid City,” said Roseland.

Part of growing that plan is through the Rapid City Cultural Plan which has been implemented since 2016. The plan, aiming to educate and promote culture as a way to bring in tourism dollars.

While The Dahl and Arts Council may appear more tangible in its exhibits, classes, and shows, Allied Arts directs the Arts Contingency Fund to promote the arts in more behind the scenes ways.

Allied Arts, in partnership with Rapid City, distributes dollars to 16 different organizations that promote different forms of art. “Some of those organizations include even non profits you wouldn’t consider arts organizations like the Black Hills Powwow, Minneluzahan Historical Society is one of those organization, Rapid City Ranger Band, our local community theater, symphony and black hills dance,” said GiGi Lage, Executive Director of Allied Arts.

Lage compares the organization to being the “United Way of the arts in the Black Hills and in Rapid City.”

Allied Arts has been in the community since 1971 but Lage explains the city’s partnership began in 1994 through the cultural plan that was adopted into the city’s comprehensive plan.

“The city really wanted an organization that really understood the arts organizations and would be able to help make those decisions about where the funding should go and where the dollars would be best invested,” said Lage.

Both organizations, though receiving funding through the city, also receive funding from donations from the community.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News