SDHC Reveals 2021 Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award Winners

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books is switching from an in-person format to an all-virtual format. Visit sdbookfestival.com for more information.

Daniel, Harlan, OLLI to Receive Awards during Ceremony at Virtual 2021 Festival

The South Dakota Humanities Council is pleased to announce its 2021 Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award winners.

Receiving their Distinguished Achievement awards during the Virtual 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books will be Dorinda Daniel, Cyndie Harlan, and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

Winners are selected based on their outstanding commitment to scholarly and cultural advocacy for the humanities in South Dakota. This advocacy is seen in presenting humanities-related events and programs, writing books and publications important to the humanities, and providing funding or partnerships to sustain a vibrant cultural landscape.

The 2021 winners have dedicated themselves to donating their time and effort to SDHC programs like the Festival of Books, One Book South Dakota, Speakers Bureau and more. Daniel was the winner in the "Individual" award category, while Harlan was selected for the "Librarian" category and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Sioux Falls was the winner in the "Organization" category.


Dorinda Daniel, Pierre, 'Individual' Category

The History and Heritage Book Club was launched in 2009 by the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation as a way for people to learn more about the people and events that have shaped South Dakota History. As book club coordinator since that time, Dorinda Daniel has hosted authors, re-enactors, One Book South Dakota discussions and One Book Author Tour events at the Cultural Heritage Center and other sites throughout Pierre.

The increasing use of Zoom has made it possible for people throughout the country to participate in the programs, many of which were made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Dorinda Daniel, winner of SDHC's 2021 Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award.
Cyndie Harlan, winner of SDHC's 2021 Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award.

Cyndie Harlan, Lead, 'Librarian' Category

Until retiring in June of this year, Cyndie Harlan was the Director of the Hearst Library in Lead. During her 15 years there, she worked diligently to promote readers and reading events for all ages. The library's book club has hosted many local author visits and has participated in the One Book South Dakota program annually. For the last few years, library staff members have assisted in the planning and implementing of the South Dakota Festival of Books Author Reception in Lead and were pleased with the response to their uniquely designed name tags.

Harlan continues to participate in programming at the library and remains an avid supporter of SDHC events.


OLLI, winner of SDHC's 2021 Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Sioux Falls, 'Organization' Category

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a long-time friend of the South Dakota Humanities Council. Together, OLLI and SDHC have hosted programs like Speakers Bureau presentations, One Book South Dakota discussions and One Book Author Tour events. Several OLLI instructors have also been featured in SDHC programs, and the two organizations often share recommendations with one another for speakers. OLLI Director Thea Miller Ryan, a long-time Festival of Books volunteer, encourages OLLI members to attend the Festival to expand their educational opportunities.

OLLI remains committed to promoting humanities knowledge and SDHC programs to OLLI members.


Attend the Awards Ceremony and Learn More

Watch as the award winners are honored with a special ceremony during the Virtual 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, Oct. 1-3. For more information on the 2021 Festival of Books, click below to download a free copy of the 2021 Festival Guide!