SDCF to support Historic Homestake arts programs to help at-risk youth turn their lives around

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – The South Dakota Community Foundation announces a recent endowment to the Historic Homestake Opera House to support the organization’s specialized arts outreach program looking to create new beginnings for at-risk teens of the Lawrence County Teen Court system. Through endowment building and generous donors, Beth Massa, SDCF’s Director of Foundation Relations says they have a robust grantmaking program and their mission is to bring philanthropy to life for South Dakota.

The Homestake Opera House, who are quite active in the community, says Massa, “are a wonderful part of the Black Hills. They recently received a grant in the amount of $10,000.” Massa sees the partnership as mutually beneficial because “anytime you can step out in the community and everyone in the community and not just those that are great students, not those that don’t have any problems. I think it’s wonderful when we have non-profits like Homestake Opera House that are willing to step out and work with those schools, work with communities, work with Teen Court to achieve their goals as well it’s a win win for all of us. It’s a great opportunity to support this.”

Massa adds the purpose of the grant is for the “All for Arts Program” that will cover most of the Opera House’s educational programming. The Opera House will partner with Lawrence County Teen Court to provide one of their required classes the teens need to graduate teen court and get their charges removed from their records. Christine Allen, of the Homestake Opera House says, “the class will teach life skills, emotion regulation, and communication skills through acting games. We talk about how teen brains are wired differently and how to regulate emotions to lead to better decision making. We also play games with verbal and non-verbal communication aspects and talk about the goals of communication and why we want to make sure our verbal and non-verbal messages are aligning with our goals.”

Allen says the Opera House is also branching into early childhood play and educational spaces by partnering with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Library in Lead. “We will be working within their story time program. For example, we are having performers and more for Native American Day and we will do story time the week before with a story, crafts, and music and movement time that matches the artist we are bringing in. We will also do this with other season performances like the Nutcracker Suite, Irish Rambling House, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”

The SDCF makes some of these programs a reality for the nonprofits and sustains valuable programming across the state. If you are interested in learning more about SDCF and the grant options, please visit the link:

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