SD Arts Council Chair Mary V. Bordeaux Elected to National Leadership Seat

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From Rebecca Cruse

Deputy Director, SDAC





SD Arts Council Chair Mary V. Bordeaux Elected to National Leadership Seat


PIERRE, S.D. — Mary V. Bordeaux, the chair of the South Dakota Arts Council, was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). Bordeaux will represent South Dakota’s arts interests on the national level as an at-large member for a two-year term.


The election was held in September during the NASAA Leadership Institute in Providence, RI, after a rigorous national nomination and interview process.


Bordeaux took over the chairmanship of the South Dakota Arts Council at its July meeting after serving as vice chair of the advisory board of the State Arts Agency for the past two years. Bordeaux is vice president  of programs and operations at First People’s Fund in Rapid City. She is the co-owner and creative director of Racing Magpie, a collaborative space with a Native art gallery and artist studios in downtown Rapid City. She received her bachelor's degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts and her M.F.A. from the University of the Arts; both degrees are in museum studies with an emphasis in exhibition design and planning. Bordeaux is currently working on her educational doctorate at Saint Mary's University, exploring Lakota epistemology. She has held curatorial positions with The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School and The Indian Museum of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial.


"I feel honored and humbled to have been elected to the NASAA board as well as to be able to represent the South Dakota Arts Council and First Peoples Fund. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow from this experience.  I hope to share my understanding and knowledge of the arts around indigenous and rural communities,” Bordeaux said.


The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit


The South Dakota Arts Council is a state agency providing grants and services to artists, arts organizations, schools, and other nonprofit organizations in South Dakota with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of South Dakota. The agency is organized under the Department of Tourism and advised by an 11-member Governor-appointed council.


The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.




*Photo by Shannon Burnette Meek