Seven Proposals Awarded 2016 Grants for Discussion, Research

Film, literature, farming and jazz projects earn grants from SDHC

BROOKINGS, SD – Seven humanities-oriented projects in South Dakota are receiving $33,482 in grants from the South Dakota Humanities Council. The funds will help the organizations with research, long-term projects and programs to share the humanities in South Dakota.

The following organizations and projects were awarded selection by the SDHC board in November:

  • SDSU Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings; $2,500 for FarmHer: South Dakota, Phase 1 (statewide)
  • Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society, Sioux Falls; $4,000 for the Jazz Diversity Project (statewide)
  • Brookings Renegades Muzzleloaders, Brookings; $2,000 for Living History Fair (Watertown)
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings; $7,000 for Beyond the 38 (statewide)
  • Black Hills Film Festival, Hill City and Rapid City; $6,982 for Reel South Dakota Films & Exhibit (Rapid City)
  • Stockyards Plaza Inc., Sioux Falls; $7,000 for Stockyards Ag Experience Barn (Sioux Falls)
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings; $4,000 for The Role of Humanities in the Digital Age: Great Plains Writers Conference at 40 years (Brookings)

The board selected proposals from the first round of the 2016 grant cycle, which were due October 15. The next round of proposals requesting more than $1,000 will be awarded in spring 2016. Applications are due February 28. Proposals which request less than $1,000 are reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis. The council gives special consideration to proposals related to the 2016 centennial of the Pulitzer Prize

For grant guidelines and information on community programs in the humanities, visit the SDHC website at or call (605) 688-6113. Grant information is listed under Engage.

More about the grantees

FarmHer: South Dakota Phase 1, $2,500
South Dakota State University - South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings

South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings, receives a grant for costs associated with a research project with FarmHer, Inc., and the South Dakota State University Sociology and Rural Studies program. Sociology graduate student Mary Killsahundred will interview Native American woman farmers of South Dakota. Her research will be incorporated into the FarmHer: South Dakota traveling exhibit to discuss the roles of women in contemporary agriculture through oral history and photography, to debut in 2018 in Brookings and presented at least five South Dakota locations in 2019.

Jazz Diversity Project, $4,000
Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society, Sioux Falls

The Jazz Diversity Project serves primarily middle school and high school students through an interactive and educational jazz performance. The program combines live jazz with educational components from American History, social science and humanities. Established in 2005, The Jazz Diversity Project has served over 37,000 students across South Dakota.

The project will support a 40-school tour throughout South Dakota during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years to reach at least 3,000 K-12 students. Organizers say the project brings new and creative learning opportunities to students in rural South Dakota communities. The program is offered at no charge to schools.

Living History Fair, $2,000
Brookings Renegades Muzzleloaders Club, Brookings

The Living History Fair is an interactive educational event for school children, their teachers, and the general public. On the day for school visits, the fair hosts up to 30 schools and 900 children who experience history and culture from demonstrators and entertainers. The public day of the fair features educational presentations by professional entertainers and demonstrators. The fair attracts an estimated 2,000 attendees. The Brookings Renegades Muzzleloaders Club sponsors the event February 5-6, 2016, at the Watertown Event Center.

Beyond the 38, $7,000
South Dakota State University, Brookings

This project will produce a multimedia segment for a documentary focusing on the deeper issues among the Dakota people today due to the lasting effects of the US-Dakota War of 1862. The title Beyond the 38 comes from the work of the late Dr. Elden Lawrence, a widely respected Dakota tribal member and academic who conducted extensive research on the US-Dakota War of 1862 and its effect on the Dakota people. Dr. Lawrence had a vision for the recovery of his people, and this project hopes to realize his vision. Ultimately, the project aims to create and distribute a documentary sharing his research and vision throughout South Dakota and neighboring states.

Reel South Dakota Films & Exhibit, $6,982
Black Hills Film Festival, 2016

Using film, interactive presentations, moderated discussions and the expertise of historians, professors, writers and filmmakers, the 2016 Black Hills Film Festival continues its "Reel South Dakota Stories and Books to Screen" discussion programs. The annual Festival, May 4-7, is adding a new screening venue at the Journey Museum, Rapid City, to present an exhibit about films made in South Dakota featuring movie memorabilia, costumes, clips and maps. In July BHFF will screen select Native American films for "Gathering of People, Wind & Water" at Main Street Square in Rapid City.

The Black Hills Film Festival focuses on history, lifestyle, Native American stories and South Dakota filmmakers and aims to build awareness of independent films, provide education opportunities for students and filmmakers, and bring high quality films to South Dakota.

Stockyards Ag Experience Barn, $7,000
Stockyards Plaza Inc DBA Stockyards Ag Experience, Sioux Falls

This project will design, develop and implement historic and educational exhibits at the two-story historic Barn in Falls Park. These exhibits will tell the story of the Sioux Falls Stockyards (which opened in 1917 and closed in 2009 on land a short walk from the Barn) and will interpret the story of how food comes from the farm to the table. The exhibit will be part of a greater project to establish a historical park and interactive museum in Falls Parks, Sioux Falls, to highlight the economic and cultural impact of the Sioux Falls Stockyards.

The Role of the Humanities in the Digital Age: GPWC at 40 Years, $4,000
Great Plains Writers’ Conference, South Dakota State University, Brookings

Internationally recognized scholars will discuss the impact of digital technology on writing and the humanities at the 40th Annual Great Plains Writers' Conference, March 20-22, titled "The Role of the Humanities in the Digital Age: The GPWC at 40 Years." The presentations will include a brief retrospective of the conference, but mostly focus on how narratives, writing and humanities scholarship are adapting to current technologies and speculate about changes the next 40 years may bring.

The annual conference was founded by the SDSU English Department in 1976 and choses a theme each year to help bridge a gap between the literary world and the public sphere.