The Heritage Center Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award


Gov Noem

Governor Kristi Noem presents The Heritage Center with the South Dakota Governor’s Award in the Arts.

The heart of The Heritage Center’s mission is celebrating all Native artists and their work. So we were thrilled to learn that The Heritage Center would be honored for just that—standing as an advocate for generations of Native artists and for the Native arts community across the state.

This February, The Heritage Center became the recipient of the 2019 South Dakota Governor’s Awards in the Arts, for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Organization or Business. In this category, The Heritage Center was recognized for its “leadership in supporting and encouraging the arts through time, talent and funding, or by funding and presenting projects by South Dakota artists for public education and enjoyment.”

The Heritage Center’s Director and Curator, Mary Maxon and Ashley Pourier ‘08, traveled to the capitol in Pierre to celebrate at an awards banquet, alongside many of the state’s fine artists and arts leaders. Accepting the award on behalf of The Heritage Center, Maxon reflected on the importance of art and artists, particularly in indigenous communities.

“For the Lakota people, and those across the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, making art is simply a part of life. The act of creating things of beauty and meaning is often a shared experience, and an essential way that culture is carried forward, from generation to generation,” she said. “At The Heritage Center, we’ve worked very hard over the decades to both honor the tradition and look to the future of creative expression. We’re deeply grateful for this honor—and for everyone, especially the artists themselves, who make our work possible. Like everything we do, this is really for them.”

War Bonnet


Photos © Red Cloud Indian School 


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