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Dahl Museum celebrating half-century of art in Rapid City

C.J. Keene

This year marks a half-century of programming at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. Created shortly after the Black Hills Flood, the upcoming season opens the curtain on the museum’s permanent display – and more.

For the last 49 years, the Dahl Arts Center has provided both artistic and cultural resources for residents, tourists and artists across the Black Hills.

Now, as the museum marks a half-century of operation, executive director Jacqui Dietrich said it’s time to reflect.

“No matter what background, what place you come from, whether you’re from the indigenous community, whether you’re new to the community, the arts offer a way to not only understand each other better but to express our ideas and to really explore who we are as a community, what that shared identity looks like," Dietrich said.

Dietrich said this kind of programming can offer tangible value to a community.

“Rapid City needs more of those places where people can come together and rally around different ideas," Dietrich said. "We’re really building a model for what it looks like to participate in the arts and culture here in Rapid City that’s inclusive of everyone. Those can be really celebratory moments.”

To mark the occasion, there are already two galleries on display at the museum.

“One is the permanent collection show, which we have more than doubled in the past decade, and there are over 100 artists represented in that collection," Dietrich said. "We also have some of our most contemporary artists on display, and that represents 19 artists currently working in our community that we really think of as being the artists helping to elevate the quality of arts and culture in our region,”

The official 50-year celebration is in autumn of this year.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture