The signing for the State Military and Veterans Arts Initiative.  Pictured: (rear l-r)Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Dan McKee (former chair), Lt. Gov. Matt Michels,  (front l-r)Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (vice chair) and Jay Dick with Americans for the Arts.

PIERRE – Last month, Lt. Gov. Matt Michels was selected to serve as chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association during the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, TN. As chair, Michels announced the group’s initiative for the year would be to focus on connecting veterans with opportunities in the arts.

Now, in partnership with the Michael J Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home, the South Dakota Arts Council and Arts South Dakota, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office is working to design comprehensive arts residency programming for the State Veterans Home and community of Hot Springs. The veterans arts program will be designed around a central storytelling component and include professional artists-in-residence from all arts disciplines.

“I’m excited to begin working on this program, as are all of our partners,” said Michels. “We’ve already developed a concept for the program, and it will take some time to get it designed and implemented. But this will be a wonderful investment to help our state’s honorable veterans share and celebrate their stories.”

Arts South Dakota, funded entirely by donor contributions and grants, is a non-profit, non-partisan corporation whose primary purpose is to advance the arts in South Dakota through service, education and advocacy.

An office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council’s mission is to provide grants and services to artists, arts organizations and schools across the state with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the state of South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.