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Abstract June 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbuttke @ 3:25 pm

Abstract: Due to funding dilemmas in the South Dakota State Legislature, the role of the state in funding the arts has come into question. In February of 2009, Governor Michael Rounds proposed a budget plan that did not include annual funding for the state arts council which had been in existence since 1966. This article follows a study of the social and economic impact of the South Dakota Arts Council, specifically, the effectiveness of the council’s Artists in the Schools Program. A survey conducted among thirty artists in the program found that 85% believe that the program is crucial to arts education in South Dakota.  A survey of fifty teachers working in schools which host the program found that 90% believe that the artists in the schools program is an effective use of class time and 90% believed that the Artists in the Schools Program is an efficient use of state funds. The large proportion of survey participants who chose to reveal their own personal experiences with the program suggests that the Artists in the Schools program is an effective and essential part of arts education in South Dakota Schools. With the social impact of the Artists in the Schools Program revealed by the artists and teachers survey, the economic impact was derived from figures found in the council’s annual reports.  While all of the Council’s 2008 activities generated local matching funds of $13.7 million, the Artist in the Schools Program generated $153, 806 of local money.  The average cost to an involved student was found to be just above $8.50.

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4 Responses to “Abstract”

  1. Josh Doorn Says:

    I was wondering, do you think that if people took more art classes in their school years they would be able to realize the importance of art? In my Honors class last semester we discussed that most people do not take classes like art when they are do not have to, and I think that if a child quits taking art early they will lose interest and be unable to realize the importance of the subject when they are older. Maybe if people were forced to take more art classes in their younger years then they would be more likely to support the Arts Council. What do you think? Maybe you could add the number of art classes taken into a survey and find out.

    • jbuttke Says:

      I think you bring up a lot of interesting points, Josh. Unfortunately, the scope of my research doesn’t quite cover your questions, but I think there’s likely evidence to support your thoughts somewhere out there. In South Dakota especially, art classes aren’t available to all students. I’ve gotten a number of comments from teachers that say that “craft time” has become the only exposure to art that some students get. As music and art programs are often the first thing things to go when a school has a tight budget, we may soon see the effects of low arts exposure in our state.

  2. B. F. Pons Says:

    I notice in your abstract that you have “a survey” and the result from that. Is that your survey results or some other survey? If it is your survey, what do you now plan on doing with your research and which direction would you like to take it? If it is not the results from your survey, are you expecting your results to be consistent with the presented survey?

    B. F. Pons

    • jbuttke Says:

      Good questions, Bo. The survey that I speak of in my abstract is the survey which I’ve conducted over the past few weeks. The data which I’ve obtained suggests that at least one fourth of the teachers which received a link to the survey felt strongly enough about the program (one way or another) to fill out the survey. Of those teachers, 90% feel the program is worth the time and money. Because of this response, I feel my next step needs to be to involve the Council and increase the validity of my future research. Because of my survey methods, this research is only preliminary. I hope to continue it after the U.discover program.


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