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South Dakota residents to receive free admission at Cultural Heritage Center beginning Oct. 1

For the first time in more than 10 years, admission fees at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre are changing – and South Dakota residents are clearly benefitting from the changes. 

Beginning Oct. 1, all South Dakota residents will be admitted to the museum at the Cultural Heritage Center free of charge. The new admission policy includes students and South Dakota residents of all ages.    

“We’ve been studying the idea of giving South Dakotans free admission for a number of years, and we believe we will see an uptick in donations from the citizens of South Dakota who have always supported the activities of the South Dakota State Historical Society – both at the donation box and through annual giving, membership and other income producers,” commented Jay Smith, museum director. 

Other changes to admission fees include $8 for out-of-state adults ($7 if AAA members) and $6 for out-of-state seniors ages 60-and-older. All adult tour groups will be charged $5 per person as well, regardless of where they are from.   

“These new fees are well within industry standard,” said Smith.   

“We are excited to offer free admission to the museum at the Cultural Heritage Center for South Dakotans,” commented Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society. “We have also made some changes to our membership program. We look forward to greeting our members and South Dakotans at the Cultural Heritage Center.” 

Both the museum and archives reopened on June 15, and both continue to observe social distancing while providing other protective protocols during the current pandemic.    

The state archives is open by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT. Researchers are urged to call 605-773-3804 ahead to ensure personal space. The museum is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information about exhibits, special events and upcoming activities. 

About the South Dakota State Historical Society 
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, 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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