Dakota Resources receives grant from SD Community Foundation

Posted on October 13, 2017

Paula Jensen
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Sioux Falls Nonprofits Celebrate Grant Awards
Posted on October 13, 2017 at https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/news

Ten Sioux Falls area nonprofits were recent recipients of Community Innovation Grants (CIG) and South Dakota Fund (SDF) grants awarded through the South Dakota Community Foundation. The  grant awards total $79,000.

The SDCF offers Community Innovation Grants through their partnership with the Bush Foundation. The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) received forty-three applications for its second round of 2017 Community Innovation Grants. Fourteen nonprofits were selected to receive awards.  Six of those were either from the Sioux Falls area or offering services in Sioux Falls.

“The SDCF is pleased to partner with these Southeast area nonprofits as they work to address community needs,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF program officer. “We look forward to working with them as they meet the challenges they identified.”

The six Sioux Falls area nonprofits receiving Community Innovation Grants and the amounts awarded are:

Dakota Resources (Statewide): $10,000

Dakota Resources is facilitating the co-creation of a Dilapidated Property Toolkit involving five communities (Redfield, Wall, Webster, Centerville and Lemmon) actively engaged in acquiring and cleaning up dilapidated properties. This process will take place over a 12-month period. Dakota Resources will host a design team session, facilitate monthly online design team sessions, provide a submission platform for tools and templates, as well as edit, publish, distribute and market the toolkit. This toolkit could be used by any other small towns in South Dakota so they can resolve the issue of dilapidated property in a more efficient way.

“This SD Community Foundation grant funding will help close the knowledge gap in small towns on one of the main housing issues – dilapidated property,” said Paula Jensen, Vice President of Advancement at Dakota Resources.

Multi- Cultural Center of Sioux Falls: $10,000

The Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls will implement a Job Skill Program tailored to meet the needs of immigrants including interpreters and English Language instruction. The City of Sioux Falls includes immigrants from 100 countries speaking 145 languages. The Sioux Falls unemployment rate remains at about 2% and workers are desperately needed. This program seeks to connect immigrant workers with employment opportunities and provide the necessary training and follow-up support to both the employer and employees.

“With the funding we are receiving from the South Dakota Community Foundation, we can continue the work of helping immigrants and refugees find jobs that fit their skill sets”, said Christy Nicolaisen, Executive Director, Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls. “Our program is dependent on donations and grants, so this contribution allows us to truly help our clients and employers have a successful match and good retention.”

South Dakota Network Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault (Statewide): $10,000

South Dakota Network Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault will use funds to enhance sexual assault task force (SATF) planning. The task force will meet quarterly and work on ten prescribed goals focusing on holistic and collaborative elimination of domestic violence and sexual assaults. They plan to focus on investigation and prosecution of cases, police response, provision of victim centered trauma care and medical services as well as the availability of victim referral services.

Krista Heeren-Graber, Executive Director of the SD Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, states “We are very thankful that the South Dakota Community Foundation supports victim services and our collaborative work across South Dakota communities in ending violence.”

South Dakota News Watch (Statewide): $10,000

South Dakota News Watch plans to begin work in early 2018.  It will be an independent, non-profit news organization focusing on watchdog reporting. They will employ two full-time journalists who will investigate and report stories of substance. SDSU and USD Journalism students will be involved in research, reporting, interviewing and presenting the content which will be shared on its website, through social media and distributed by media partners.

“We are grateful to the South Dakota Community Foundation for this important award”, said Maricarrol Kueter, Executive Director, South Dakota News Watch. “South Dakota News Watch is a non-profit news organization dedicated to providing in-depth reporting on statewide issues. Our goal is to inform South Dakotans and to encourage discussion on topics of concern. The Community Innovation Grant will help our new organization begin reporting and sharing untold stories.”

South Dakota Symphony Orchestra: $10,000

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s (SDSO) Lakota Music Project (LMP) was created between 2005 and 2008. Phases I and II were broad, canvassing as much of the state and as many reservations as possible. Phase III will include in-depth residencies with the communities of Sisseton and Crazy Horse as well as the creation of Chamber Ensemble programs in partnership with local Native artists.  The project will also include Composition Academies with Jerod Tate, American Indian composer, culminating with a concert with the SDSO performing their works and the creation of a new collaborative LMP program based on Lakota and white cultural heroes.

“The Community Innovation Grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation will support the activities of our Lakota Music Project during our 2017-18 season”, stated Anne Weyer, Assistant Director of Development, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. “This program was created to promote a deeper understanding of these two different but coexisting cultures (White/Native) and demonstrate the value of peaceful, positive collaboration through various musical activities.”

Special Olympics of South Dakota (Statewide): $10,000

Special Olympics of South Dakota will partner with several schools, colleges and universities to provide education, trainings, uniforms and necessary equipment to implement their Unified Champion School Program (UCSP). UCSP brings youth with and without intellectual differences together through education and sports as well as other related initiatives. UCSP has three main components (1) youth leadership and advocacy, (2) whole school engagement and (3) inclusive sports and fitness.


“We are very excited you have given us the opportunity to work with schools across the state, including reservations, to become more unified in all areas of school including Inclusive Sports and Fitness, Leadership and Advocacy and Whole School Engagement, said Julie Briggs, Vice President-Outreach, Special Olympics South Dakota. “Unified Champion Schools brings youth with and without intellectual disabilities together to create and sustain school communities that promote acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students.”

Four nonprofits were awarded South Dakota Fund grants. They are:

Helpline Center – $5,000

The Helpline Center provides three core services which include 1) 211 Helpline program for 16 SD counties, 2) Volunteer Connections program connecting individuals, groups and businesses with volunteer opportunities at hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the Sioux Falls/Black Hills areas and Brookings community and 3) the crisis line for Suicide Crisis and Support program. Phone service for this organization is critical. Funds will be used to integrate their phone system with communication platforms that have been added since their last purchase.

“The Helpline Center answers a statewide suicide crisis line and the grant funding through the South Dakota Community Foundation allows the agency to purchase an updated phone system that will ensure that we are always here for people when they or their family member is in crisis”, said Janet Kittams-Lalley, President, Helpline Center.

Harmony South Dakota – $2,500

Harmony South Dakota is a free after-school program that empowers children and positively transforms their lives through immersive music education and performance. Students attend classes every day the public schools are in session plus five weeks in the summer. Harmony is expanding its classes to create a class better suited to students ages 6-8. This will build a strong foundation for these students when they start their string program and the more challenging choirs in the following year.

“This music foundations program prepares students to enter the larger Harmony choirs and orchestras when they are older,” said Heidi Goeller, Program Director/Teacher, Harmony South Dakota. “This grant will help provide this life changing opportunity to more kids in our community.”

South Dakota Miss Amazing – $4,000

Funds will help support the 2018 South Dakota Miss Amazing program. Any girl/woman in the state of South Dakota with a documented disability ages 5 and up can participate. Girls and women with disabilities are paired with volunteers from the community. These volunteers are part of the “buddy” program and assist the girls and women with their needs throughout the day.

Becca Worden, special education teacher, stated “At South Dakota Miss Amazing, we envision a world where girls and women with disabilities have equal opportunities to reach their fullest potential. With this money, we will be able to provide more girls and women with disabilities across the state opportunities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment at our annual program in April 2018. Our goal is to impact 50 participants and over 100 volunteers, in addition to community members and families.”

Arts Midwest – $7,500

The second of two retreats will be held in Sioux Falls on October 26-28, 2017 for leaders in North Dakota, Iowa and South Dakota who will participate in ArtsLab. ArtsLab is a capacity building and leadership development program. ArtsLab is followed up with monthly virtual workshops and facilitated coaching sessions for participants. Funds will support the participation of fifteen individuals from the following South Dakota organizations: Day County Arts Council (Webster), Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Rapid City), Missouri Valley Arts Council (Chamberlain), The Historic Homestake Opera House (Lead), Sioux Falls Arts Council (Sioux Falls), Aberdeen Arts Council (Aberdeen) and the Sisseton Arts Council (Sisseton).

“ArtsLab helps arts and cultural organizations adapt and remain relevant in today’s rapidly-changing world”, said Colleen McLaughlin, Vice President for Advancement, Arts Midwest. “By supporting these organizations, ArtsLab helps ensure the continued vitality of the South Dakota communities in which they operate. We are thrilled to receive support from the South Dakota Community Foundation for this important work.”

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