Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Art Alley graphic art - Rapid City, SD
Art Alley graphic art - Rapid City, SD
Leanna Bussell

Arts & Culture


With one of the most famous pieces of sculpture in the world, it's not surprising that the arts play an important part in the culture of the Black Hills. Despite its size, Mount Rushmore reflects only the granite high-point of an energetic and dynamic arts scene that includes muscians, dancers, painters, sculptors and extraordinary craftspeople.

The history of the region is reflected in this artistic output. American Indian painters, jewelrymakers, quilters, sculptors and singers build on tradition to interpret the history and current life of Lakota people living in western South Dakota. Rural musical traditions rooted in the migration of Yankee gold seekers and homesteaders provide context for modern country music and bluegrass performances. The annual Sturgis Rally provides a venue for world-famous rock-and-roll performers visiting the Hills every August.


Performing Arts  

The Black Hills area offers a large variety of arts programs throughout the year. Find communities throughout the Black Hills and the great opportunities for enjoying theater and music that they offer.

Visual Arts

The Black Hills is home to a wide variety of sculptures and statues including Gutzon Borglum’s Mount Rushmore and Korczak Ziolkowski’s Crazy Horse.  Downtown Rapid City is home to the presidential statues and works by Dale Lamphere. Information about and the location of other sculptures throughout the Black Hills area can be found here.

Dahl Arts Center
Rapid City’s Dahl Arts Center serves the community as a center for arts education, performing arts and showing of visual arts by local artists.  It is home to the Cyclorama Mural, an oil on canvas mural spanning 200 years of history, which was painted by Bernard P. Thomas.  It is one of four left in existence.

The Journey Museum
Rapid City's Journey Museum is an educational venue that both preserves and explores the heritage of the cultures of the Black Hills region, and its natural environment.  The museum's collections and displays include work by early Black Hills artists from the Oglala Lakota and settler communities.


The Suzie Cappa Art Center is a division of Black Hills Works that supports artists of all abilities in creating art. It is a non-profit studio established in 2001 in memory of Suzie Cappa.



Arts Media

Black Hills Today   
The Black Hills Portal business directory provides information about artists, guilds, associations, theaters and galleries in the Black Hills.  A listing of resources for materials and supplies for the arts is also available.

Arts Rapid CityArts Rapid City is a they provide information about upcoming events and meetings in the community, including classes and workshops, music and activities for the whole family. They promote art-powered community development and encourage collaboration, providing marketing and educational tools to help creatives strengthen the value of the arts.

Supporting Organizations

Artists of the Black Hills - an organization of professional artists, artisans and galleries with a common goal of establishing the Black Hills region as a prime source for art of the highest quality. ABH sponsors a major annual show and sale and works with various agencies, organizations and businesses to promote the arts. The organization also provides an introduction to the artists who are members of the organization and their work on its website.

South Dakotans for the Arts - a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose goal is to advance the arts in South Dakota. They believe that the arts are an important aspect of community well being. The organization sponsors programs throughout the state to promote the arts.

South Dakota Arts Council - a state agency whose goal is to provide quality arts through the state.  The Council provides grants, services and information to artists, schools and the public. The Council also sponsors a Traditional Arts Apprentice Program.

South Dakota Festival of Books - sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council, this festival is a yearly, weekend-long event featuring well-known authors participating in book signings, presentations, discussions and readings. The 2011 festival was held October 7-9 in Deadwood. Speeches from Ian Frazier, Joseph Marshall III, Craig Johnson and Marilyn Johnson are avalible for viewing. This year the festival will be held September 24-27 in Rapid City and Deadwood.


525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]