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.
Abstract June 22, 2009