Seeking Racial Justice through Artistic Expression
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- From middle America to Europe, murals have popped up in honor of George Floyd amid the renewed fight for racial justice. In South Dakota, there are parallels to other works that call attention to the issues of systemic racism.
Jim Speirs, executive director of the group Arts South Dakota, said the George Floyd paintings remind him of exhibits highlighting the massacre at Wounded Knee and the treaty at Fort Laramie.
"Both of those topics are are sensitive and difficult topics to discuss in South Dakota, because it's kind of a black eye on our past, in this state," he said, "and it's through art that these conversations can continue."
Those exhibits were led by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies on the Pine Ridge Reservation. While not many public displays have surfaced yet in South Dakota related to Floyd, Speirs said he believes that will change. He said it's only a matter of time before local artists find inspiration from the global movement and make their voices heard through their art.
Speirs said he sees some funding gaps for artists in South Dakota, although he said the state does a solid job in distributing the money it does have so that more people can create works that inspire conversation about serious topics.
"There's certainly gaps in our work," he said, "but I think as far as a state with with minimal resources, I think we've done a good job of being stewards of the dollars."
State data show that 89% of South Dakota counties received an arts grant of some form during the recent funding cycle, including tribal areas.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…
CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …