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Arts and Culture

Rapid City has a thriving arts and culture scene that encompasses the values and history of our region.

Rapid City’s premier arts center, the Dahl, is a public facility owned by the City of Rapid City. Since it opened in 1974, The Dahl has been the center for contemporary visual arts, arts education and performing arts. The Dahl is managed by the Rapid City Arts Council, which is one of the oldest and most respected arts councils in South Dakota, promoting and preserving the arts through education, exhibits, performances and collections.

A popular spot in downtown Rapid City is Art Alley. This outdoor gallery showcases graffiti art in a beautiful yet urban way. The designated alley off of 7th Street is free of charge and open 24 hours a day.

The mission of The Journey Museum is to be the education venue that serves as a forum to preserve and explore the heritage of the cultures of the Black Hills region and the knowledge of its natural environment to understand and value our past, enrich our present, and meet the challenges of the future. This is done through programs such as “Journey into Space,” Children’s Gardening, and “Final Frontier Fridays,” as well as a variety of events in the museum theater. The Journey Museum also brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains – from the perspective of the Lakota people and the pioneers who shaped its past, to the scientists who study it today.

The Allied Arts Fund provides operation and promotional support for eleven arts organizations, as well as funding for other non-profit, grassroots community art projects. Many Allied Arts member agencies provide programs at no cost or at low cost, and all give back to the community, providing outreach to children, seniors, and the underprivileged through donations of time, talent, performances, event tickets and scholarship funds. Together, the following groups represent the most active and established arts organizations in the Black Hills and provide over 1,200 culturally enriching events each year.

Black Hills Community Theatre reaches out to everyone in the Black Hills providing them with the opportunity to learn, share and experience the performing arts through participation, classes, or being an audience member at quality theatrical productions in the Black Hills. They do this by producing five Main Stage shows each year, one Dinner Theatre Fundraiser, four Children’s Theatre productions, a Senior Theatre program, and theater project development with the Suzie Cappa Players of Black Hills Works.

The Black Hills Playhouse has been presenting professional summer theater in Custer State Park since 1946. Four to five plays are presented each season from June to August, two of which are musicals, and each season offers something for all audience types. Over 1,600 children are engaged by the Playhouse in theatrical productions through its education and outreach arm, the Dakota Players. Black Hills Symphony Orchestra presents a five-concert series and co-sponsors the Young Artist Competition with the Black Hills Symphony League. Dakota Artists Guild provides the visual arts (gallery without walls) exhibit at Hill’s Diamonds, First United Methodist Church, and other locations in the community. Dakota Choral Union performs an annual series of four concerts with its non-auditioned choir. Rapid City Concert Association presents an annual concert series featuring renowned, nationally-known artists. Formed in 1937, it is Rapid City’s oldest arts organization.

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center has been the entire region’s entertainment center for more than three decades. The Civic Center Theater hosts the annual Broadway Play series of top quality traveling productions such as “Grease,” “A Chorus Line,” and “All That Jazz.” The Civic Center has also hosted top touring musical acts such as Elton John and Taylor Swift.

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