Thursday, April 10, 2014
Programs sponsored by the Hill City Arts Council (HCAC) are meant to promote creativity in many realms, but, as with any worthwhile project, they don’t just happen. There is plenty of work involved. Two people were honored at the HCAC annual meeting last Wednesday for their dedication to making art events happen. Kristin Donnan Standard, president of the HCAC, presented Kathy Rost with the Volunteer of the Year award and Dan Dickey of the Desperados with the Business Volunteer of the Year.
Rost has been the volunteer coordinator for the HCAC, making sure volunteers are lined up for events, and keeping track of volunteer hours for the board of directors in order to use that information for potential grants. She has also been the chairman for Open Stage, held twice a month at Chute Rooster during January, February and March. Rost and her husband, Winston Barclay, attend every Open Stage during the season.
Dickey has been serving as the emcee for Open Stage for a number of years and he always lends his Desperados vintage pickup for the arts council to be featured in local parades. Dan and the Desperados restaurant provide beverages and ice for the participants at the Sculpture in the Hills Show and Sale.
“Dan just always shows up with his time and goodies whenever they are needed,” said Standard.
These awards were given out after several presentations highlighting activities from the past year and pursuits for the year ahead. These activities fall in line with at least two of six goals determined by HCAC.
The first goal is to provide three major community programs annually. Open Stage is one of the three programs, and 2014 was the best year yet in terms of audience, as well as monetary donations. A new award was established this year called the Thorpe Award, honoring Steve Thorpe, a musician who has promoted and performed at Open Stage. He was given a cash award and certificate, and in future years, other musicians will receive this award. A bronze harmonica is in the works to also be included in the award.
“We have been working with Jim and Joy Peterson and it has been a positive year for everyone. They would like us to have one more Open Stage and they will donate the bar proceeds to the arts council. So on April 5 we will have an Encore Open Stage. This just shows what a well-run, well-received event can do for us,” said Standard.
Sculpture in the Hills Show and Sale is another program in the works and scheduled for June 28 and 29 on Elm St. in Hill City between the Alpine Inn and Granite Sports. Sarah King, chairman of the sculpture show committee, said their expected outcomes for the show are to attract a minimum of 2,000 visitors over a two-day period and that 50 percent of the artists will sell sculptures.
“In 2013 we had 2,707 attend the show and 65 percent of the artists sold pieces, so we did achieve our projected outcomes. We have six new artists this year, so we are excited about that,” said King.
The third program is the High Plains Art magazine, which is now a web publication and will be in print in 2015.
The second goal has been to participate in annual events sponsored by other community organizations. One upcoming event in this category is the Black Hills Film Festival scheduled for Apr. 30-May 4.
According to Chris Van Ness, organizer for the event, it will begin on Wednesday with a Cinema Celebration on Main St. Square in Rapid City, followed by a showing of Dinosaur 13 at the Elks Theater. A post-show party will be at Murphy’s Pub and Grille. The rest of the weekend will be staged in Hill City with a variety of films, workshops and panel discussions and another showing of Dinosaur 13.
“I think sometimes we take ourselves for granted. The Black Hills Film Festival is amazing. It is what you could find in big cities and at bigger festivals. We have films by South Dakota people as well as films made by people from all over, and we have a Native American track. It is top notch,” said Standard.
Lesta Turchen talked about a new event “Beak Week,” that will piggy back on Art Extravaganza, sponsored by the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, May 10. It will run from May 10 through Saturday, May 17. Turchen said the week will be filled with bird related activities including art, quilts, wine and a bird-watching tour on the Mickelson Trail.
“It should bring in a whole new group of people to Hill City. Jerry Cole [chamber director] is enthused about this also,” said Turchen.
Turchen also reported on the economic impact of HCAC activities during the course of the year, using a calculator from Americans for the Arts. The calculations showed the events generated $696,152 in total expenditures in Hills City, supported 18 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and created $358,578 in household income. The events brought in $33,423 in local government revenue and produced $33,203 in state government revenue.
Memberships in the HCAC were encouraged at the meeting. Anyone interested in membership and promoting the arts in Hill City can check it out at www.hillcityarts.org.