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Museum of South Dakota State Historical Society celebrates “Smithsonian Affiliation Day” with public reception

Museum of South Dakota State Historical Society celebrates “Smithsonian Affiliation Day” with public reception

Governor Dennis Daugaard and Harold A. Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations

PIERRE, S.D. -- The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, located at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, announced its new status as a Smithsonian Affiliate on Thursday evening, Jan. 10, at a reception where Gov. Dennis Daugaard proclaimed Saturday, Jan. 12, as “Smithsonian Affiliation Day” in the State of South Dakota.

In recognition of that, the museum held a public reception with free admission on Saturday.

“We are very deeply honored to be associated with one of the greatest museums in the world,” commented Jay Smith, director of the museum. “And we believe that this is an occasion worth celebrating with our community and our visitors.”

To help celebrate the new partnership between the State Historical Society Museum and the Smithsonian, the public enjoyed some hands-on activities during the reception on Saturday. They created small, folded sticker books to hold stickers relating to the many fine museums that are part of the Smithsonian – art, history, American Indian, air and space, culture, and the zoo.

Another hands-on activity was making a paper plate glider and seeing how well they fly. Airplane coloring sheets were also available.

Visitors to the Cultural Heritage Center also enjoyed various staff presentations about the new Affiliate relationship as well as videos from the Smithsonian Institution in the Observation Gallery. Among the videos shown were the very popular “Stories From the Vault” series that takes people on a tour of the collections at the Smithsonian Institution.

“This is our first step in what we hope will be the beginning of a great relationship and a new era for the museum and the State Historical Society,” said Smith. “There are many advantages to being an affiliate, and we will begin our exploration after we spend some time with our audience determining their hopes for the Museum as we move forward.”

The Cultural Heritage Center is located at 900 Governors Drive in Pierre.

About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to share Smithsonian Institution resources with Americans in their own communities. Smithsonian Affiliations works with affiliates to enrich communities with Smithsonian scholars, public programs, and professional development opportunities. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and a list of current affiliates are available at

The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. The State Historical Society is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

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