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S.D. Hosts First-Ever Arts and Sculpture Media Trip
South Dakota Ag Connection - 06/05/2019

Recently, four select journalists had the opportunity to experience some of South Dakota's finest art and sculpture pieces as guests of a South Dakota Department of Tourism press tour. The arts and sculpture press trip took writers to Rapid City, Faulkton, Hill City, Chamberlain, Watertown, Brookings, Sioux Falls and other communities, highlighting art as well as interesting dining spots and friendly faces across the state.

"South Dakota has such an amazing relationship with sculpture, rooted in both monumental history and modern pieces of all scales. This tour was an excellent opportunity to show off South Dakota's growing art scene," said South Dakota Secretary of Tourism James Hagen. "We are excited that we were able to share our great places with this distinguished group of journalists."

Although the department hosts several press trips each year to showcase South Dakota's offerings, this was the first time the department hosted a tour specifically devoted to the art of South Dakota. The tour included stops at the Dignity: of Earth and Sky sculpture outside of Chamberlain, sculpture walks in Watertown and Sioux Falls, the grain elevator mural at Faulkton, both Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills, and other select attractions and museums across the state.

Now that the tour is complete, the four hosted journalists will use the experiences and information they gathered to produce articles and stories for various outlets and publications. The stories, which will appear in national publications, will help garner interest in artistic attractions in South Dakota and encourage travelers to visit South Dakota.

"As a result of this trip, these journalists will provide an exciting collection of reasons for visitors to explore our great state," said Secretary of the Department of Tourism Jim Hagen. "The beautiful art that can be found across the state will certainly inspire more tourism traffic to South Dakota."

Press trips like this are common practice in the tourism marketing industry and vital to the South Dakota tourism industry. The press coverage that comes from such trips reaches new audiences and helps encourage visitation to the state. In the case of the Arts and Sculpture press trip, both local artists/communities and the state's visitor industry enjoy a mutual benefit.

"When visitors have a new reason to explore South Dakota, everyone wins," Hagen said. "Communities gain new visitors, travelers make memories that last a lifetime, and South Dakota residents enjoy the economic benefits that are directly connected to our healthy tourism industry."

For the journalists, the arts and sculpture press trip was an eye-opening experience that was unique, stimulating and ultimately inspirational.

"Now when I think of South Dakota, thoughts of artists that combine the land into their art will pop into my description of the state," said one attendee. "It's not just a textbook state--it's so much more than that. It's artists from all over the world wanting to add to the beauty and find a place to leave their own mark."

South Dakota's tourism industry continues to grow, with 2018 marking the ninth straight year of record growth. In 2018, 14.1 million visitors came to South Dakota and spent $3.9 billion.

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