NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: Celebrate arts at Arts Equinox

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Farm Forum

Stacy Braun is the executive director of the Aberdeen Area Arts Council.

Fall not only brings the changing of colors. For many, it means changes in our daily routine.

Schedules have returned after the relaxing dog days of summer. At the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, it is the same for us. We switch gears from our two big summer events — Arts in the Park and Storybook Land Festival — to our membership drive and upcoming events. We also are exploring what new events to bring to Aberdeen in 2014-15. It is very easy to lose track of what year it is. There are times within a couple hour time frame, we can be working in three different years. We have just completed the evaluation of the 2012-13 year, working on current events for this year and looking at the many possible things to bring to Aberdeen in 2014-15!

There are times that you need to step away from the craziness of the day-to-day operations to spend time refueling, have productive discussions of critical issues and explore new pathways and skills. We have the perfect opportunity coming up to do all of those things. Artists, educators, school administrators, arts organizations and friends of the arts are invited — no, encouraged — to attend the Arts Equinox in Pierre on Sept. 16-18. The Arts Equinox will be more than a gathering of people interested in celebrating the arts; it will be an opportunity to network with artists, arts administrators, arts educators and community leaders from all across the state of South Dakota.

The first Arts Equinox was held in 2010. Almost as soon as it concluded, planning for the second Equinox started.

“Planning for the conference began with conversations and our sessions during Arts Equinox will focus on people exchanging brilliant ideas for and about the arts in South Dakota,” said Pat Boyd, executive director of South Dakotans for the Arts.

Arts Equinox will feature national representatives, such as Mike Griffin, National Endowment for the Arts; Theresa Cameron, Americans for the Arts; Jonathan Katz, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies; Naj Wikoff, Creative Healing Connections, to name just a few. There also will be wisdom in the room from those attending from all over South Dakota. We all wear many hats and bring many years of experience and knowledge to the table. Conversations with your peers are an excellent way to learn and to share about the amazing things that are happening in your community. Cultural tourism, importance of keeping arts education in the schools, how to market yourself as an artist and grant opportunities are just a few of the many topics to be addressed.

In addition to the state arts conference, our regional arts organization, Arts Midwest, conducts a yearly conference each fall that includes in-depth professional development and a marketplace with representatives from more than 150 management companies.

If you have not registered to attend the Arts Equinox in Pierre on Sept. 16-18, please sign up now. There will truly be something for everyone at the conference — artists, educators, administrators and community people. The Arts Equinox is sponsored by the South Dakotans for the Arts and the South Dakota Arts Council. To get information about Arts Equinox, including schedules, programs and registration information, go to sdarts.org.