SDHC Awards $28K in Statewide Grants

Keya Foundation in Eagle Butte (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation) was awarded $2,500 for its research symposium, "Researching, Restoring and Rebuilding our Oyate for a Longer Life." The organization received one of 11 grants awarded at the South Dakota Humanities Council Board of Directors meeting in November. 

Research and Discussion Programs Cover Numerous Subjects

From discussions of philosophy and global human rights to research on the human race, a broad range of grant programs were approved for funding at the South Dakota Humanities Council November board meeting.

During its Nov. 16-17 meeting in Chamberlain, the South Dakota Humanities Council Board of Directors awarded 11 major grants totaling $28,000 to organizations across South Dakota. Major grant applicants must involve humanities professionals and include the humanities as a central focus of the program.

With the fall grant cycle completed, SDHC is now accepting major grant applications for programs after May 1. Board members will confer this spring to consider those major grant (more than $1,000) applications, which are due Feb. 28. Applications for mini grants (under $1,000) are being accepted on a rolling basis. Forms are available online.

The following organizations were funded for their programs occurring after Dec. 1:

University of South Dakota

Alice Crary will be featured at the University of South Dakota's undergraduate conference in philosophy in April 2018.

Dr. Alice Crary, a philosophy professor at The New School for Social Research in New York City, will be a keynote speaker at the USD undergraduate conference in philosophy in April 2018. She will also spend time on campus at USD to host workshops with students and faculty.

The Philosophy Program at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion received $750 to support the first-ever South Dakota undergraduate conference in philosophy, which will be held April 19 at the University of Sioux Falls.

The South Dakota Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will highlight the value and purpose of higher education in South Dakota for students from USD, South Dakota State University, Augustana University, Mount Marty College and USF. It will feature keynote speaker Dr. Alice Crary, a philosophy professor at The New School for Social Research in New York City, who will also spend time on campus at USD to host workshops with students and faculty.

The University of South Dakota also received $1,000 for "Frankenstein 200!," a symposium bringing together students, faculty, and community members to celebrate the 200th anniversary and wide-ranging influence of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." The symposium includes a pedagogy seminar for graduate students and faculty, a public screening of a topical film, a day of panel presentations featuring USD faculty and a keynote address by scholar Dr. Joel Pace. The free event, held Feb. 26-27, 2018 on USD's campus, is designed to cultivate awareness of and excitement for literature and the humanities by drawing on the broader public's existing knowledge of and fascination with Frankenstein's creature.


Keya Foundation 

Keya Foundation in Eagle Butte (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation) was awarded $2,500 for its research symposium, "Researching, Restoring and Rebuilding our Oyate for a Longer Life." The event will be held April 25-26, 2018. Approximately 120 high school students will participate in hands-on activities that provide insights into data collection and data application. They will then have a chance to meet and ask questions of the researchers. The goal of the symposium is to strengthen data sovereignty by focusing on building capacity in the community and bridging the divide between western knowledge and American Indian traditions and methods of healing.


Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society

The “Jazz Diversity Project,” a traveling assembly program that brings live jazz music to schools across South Dakota, performs in Beresford. The group received a $4,000 grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

The "Jazz Diversity Project," a traveling assembly program that brings live jazz music to schools across South Dakota, performs in Beresford. The group, a part of the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society, received a $4,000 grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society was awarded $4,000 in ongoing support of the "Jazz Diversity Project," a traveling assembly program that brings live jazz music to schools across South Dakota. The program combines music education, American History, the humanities and social sciences as students experience a live jazz presentation that brings the music to life. Students discover the role jazz music played from the early 1900s through the Civil Rights Movement into today. The program serves students in grades 6-12 with an interactive, multimedia presentation. The five band members who make up the Jazz Diversity Project have developed a strong reputation as some of the region's finest musicians.


South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University in Brookings received $2,000 in support of its "Conference on Global Human Rights," Sept. 27-29, 2018 at SDSU. The conference will bring together humanities scholars and students to explore human rights through the lenses of literature, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, religion, and ethics. It will feature several keynote speakers, including acclaimed fiction author, scholar and human rights activist Dr. Alicia Partnoy (pictured on right), Argentine poet and author of the memoir, "The Little School."

The book is based on Partnoy's imprisonment at a concentration camp in Argentina for 2.5 years as a prisoner of conscience with no charges during the "Dirty War" era in Argentina.

Dr. Alicia Partnoy, Argentine poet and author of the memoir,


CLASSICS Institute at Dakota State University

Joseph Bottum is a nationally known public intellectual and bestselling author who has frequently presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books.

Joseph Bottum, pictured above to the right with authors Patrick Hicks (directly to Bottum's left) and Jon Lauck during a panel discussion at the 2017 South Dakota Festival of Books, is a nationally-known public intellectual and bestselling author who directs The CLASSICS Institute at Dakota State University.

The "CLASSICS Institute" at Dakota State University in Madison received $7,000 for "The Cultural Consequences of Computers," a 2018 discussion series covering the effect computers have had on rural and small-town life, jurisprudence, the act of reading and human existence. Discussions will be in Madison, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Hot Springs (speakers and dates TBA). The CLASSICS Institute investigates the ethical, social, and existential condition of humankind, 40 years into the computer revolution. Described by President José-Marie Griffiths as Dakota State's think-tank, the institute forms the humanities component of the MadLabs project: Dakota State's multifaceted hub for education and research in cybersecurity and cyber operations, and is directed by Joseph Bottum. Bottum is a nationally known public intellectual and bestselling author who has frequently presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books.


Siouxland Libraries

Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls received a South Dakota Humanities Council grant for

Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls received $5,000 for "Siouxland Reads," a four-week community reading program in April 2018 encouraging adults in the Sioux Falls area to read and discuss the same book. Local readers helped select "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman for the project. The library will host related programs and discussions over four weeks, including a film screening of the movie adaptation, a panel of speakers on immigration, book discussions and more. Siouxland Reads seeks to inspire the community of Sioux Falls and surrounding area to engage with quality literature as well as each other and to enable citizens to grow their passion for reading.


Washington Pavilion

The Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls receivd a $1,000 grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

SDHC grant-funded activity "Art is My Life: A Lecture Commemorating Oscar Howe's Centennial Birth" at the Washington Pavilion during Tribal Art Week in September 2015. The Washington Pavilion received a $1,000 grant in 2017.

Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls was awarded $1,000 for "Performance Insights," a lecture series inviting Performance Series patrons to engage in conversation with a local scholar about the history and significance of the performances to be presented. The speaker events are free and open to the public. More than 60 patrons regularly attend Performance Insights before performances and, with 13 performances of four shows remaining in the 2017-2018 season, an estimated 1,000 patrons will enjoy the opportunity to learn about the cultural importance of a variety of performance offerings.


South Dakota Discovery Center

Students enjoy an event at the South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre.

Students enjoy an SDHC-funded event at the South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre.

South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre was awarded $1,000 for "Exploring our Place," a program exposing elementary students, teachers and chaperones to institutions that explore and explain South Dakota's place - the history, settlement, and people - through rich, memorable, hands-on experiences. Students and teachers will dive into the concept of place and how it's expressed in South Dakota through a day of field trips in Pierre May 7-11, 2018. Events include a Missouri River paddle boat ride, a planetarium star show featuring Lakota star stories, riding a bucking bronco and more. The South Dakota Discovery Center, founded in 1989 as a state centennial project, is a hands-on science center.


Brookings Reconciliation Council

Brookings Reconciliation Council in Brookings received $1,000 for "Researching the Canton (SD) Indian Insane Asylum," featuring research from local author Phyllis Cole-Dai (right). She will explore the history of the federal institution, the only one of its kind in the U.S., which operated in South Dakota from 1903-1934. The 400-plus Indians from at least 50 tribes detained at the asylum were deemed "insane" but were rather epileptics, alcoholics and "troublemakers" who had somehow offended American authorities. Kept in deplorable conditions, many died. Cole-Dai's research into Asylum detainees and the Euro-Americans (mostly South Dakotans) who managed and staffed the facility will form the basis for a historical novel or work of creative nonfiction; an informative website; and related public multimedia presentations.

Author Phyllis Cole-Dai.


Apply for a Grant 

For more details on the grant application process, visit the SDHC online at sdhumanities.org or call (605) 688-6113. To apply for a grant, click below.