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Community Programs

Community connection is integral to sculptor Masayuki Nagase’s approach to public art. The project’s funders, Destination Rapid City and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, support the work in large part because of its potential for broad-based community engagement with art and as a means to build connections and conversations across demographics.

Momentum continues to build behind a wide range of community activities related to The Sculpture Project and YOU are encouraged to find creative ways to get involved.

  • Community Design Workshops.  Nagase met with 600-plus people throughout the Black Hills and on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in small-group community design workshops as part of his design process. The artist plans to hold more workshops in the future.
  • Echoing Passages Collaborative. Local modern dance instructor and choreographer, Sara Olivier, teamed up with filmmaker Randal Iverson, South Dakota State University professor and poet Christine Nunoz Stewart, musician Brian Akipa, and local dance students to develop a cross-disciplinary collaboration inspired by The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water. Their Collaborative has already created extensive original dance, film and poetry and successfully staged a free cross-artistic performance in the Historic Theater at the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City. The Collaborative will continue to create and perform through the course of Nagase's work. See an introductory video on our YouTube channel and find out how you can get involved on our Facebook page.
  • Public outreach talks. Throughout the fabrication process, the artist meets weekly with the public at the work site and at local arts and culture venues to give updates and answer questions. In 2014, Nagase will hold informal talks at Main Street Square most Thursdays at noon. Check Events page for details.
  • A Gathering of People, Wind and Water. An annual Native art market and cultural celebration in the heart of downtown Rapid City, Main Street Square, the third weekend of July. The Gathering showcases work by established and emerging Great Plains Native artists and promotes intercultural dialogue through demonstrations by tribal members of traditional crafts and performances of all types. The Gathering was inspired by Passage of Wind and Water artist Masayuki Nagase's themes of balance and transformation. See photos of the 2014 event. More information and applications at
  • Teaching Artists Program (TAP). Sculptor Masayuki Nagase and his wife, Michele Ku, worked with the Rapid City Arts Council education staff and the school district to develop and launch an artists-in-schools program modeled on one administered by the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland, California. If you are an artist and would like to apply to become a teaching artist or if you are an educator interested in bringing TAP (it's free!) to your school, follow this link for more information. This project is generously funded by the artist.
  • Wind and Water Exhibit. More than 30 South Dakota visual artists created original work inspired by Passage of Wind and Water for an exhibit at Prairie Edge Gallery in Rapid City in fall 2014. Exhibit photos.
  • Field Trips and Lesson Plans. Hundreds of school and university students have already put to use the dual-aligned Field Trip Curriculum tied to The Sculpture Project. Rapid City High School teacher Gabrielle Seeley developed 14 downloadable lessons for grades K-12 tied to The Sculpture Project.
  • Sculpture Project Arts Programming Grants. Destination Rapid City has teamed up with the Rapid City Arts Council to offer project grants to artists and arts organizations. Grants are designed to promote the arts, downtown Rapid City and to connect the community to The Sculpture Project. Read more and download an application here.
  • Creative documentation. Photographer Steve Babbitt is documenting the project’s unfolding through still and video photography. View photos and videos on the project’s Facebook page.
  • An advisory committee made up of local arts and community leaders is working to ensure that the community benefits to the greatest extent possible from opportunities presented by The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water
    • Peter Anderson, MAC Construction, Arts Rapid City board member
    • Steve Babbitt, Black Hills State University photography professor, artist, Rapid City Arts Council board member
    • Mary Bordeaux, Crazy Horse Memorial curator, South Dakota Arts Council member, Rapid City Arts Council member
    • Ruth Brennan, Allied Arts Fund board member, South Dakota Arts Council board member, Black Hills Playhouse board member, Journey Museum board member
    • Shiloh Day, Convention and Visitors Bureau of Rapid City
    • Jhon GoesInCenter, Jewelry artist
    • Carmen Hansen, John T. Vucurevich Foundation program officer
    • Anna Huntington, Community Arts Coordinator for The Sculpture Project
    • Denny Korb, Performing Arts Center of Rapid City and Black Hills Community Theater board member
    • Joan Martin, Marketing consultant and artist
    • Pepper Massey, Rapid City Arts Council executive director
    • Lori Pourier, First Peoples Fund president
    • Kenny Putnam, Musician and graphic artist
    • Gabrielle Seeley, Rapid City Schools language arts teacher, Rapid City High School, Rapid City Arts Council board member
    • Dan Senftner, Destination Rapid City, president and CEO
    • Sandy Swallow, Sandy Swallow Gallery, Hill City
    • Michelle Thomson, Black Hills and Badlands director
    • Patrick Wyss, Wyss Associates, Arts Rapid City board member

If you have questions about existing community programs related to The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water, or if you have ideas for new programs, please speak with a committee member or contact the Community Arts Coordinator for the Sculpture Project, Anna Huntington,



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