Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society to dissolve; funds gifted to Levitt, Arts Council
Nearly $100,000 in funds will be donated to two different organizations, as the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society will dissolve.
SIOUX FALLS — The Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society will gift its remaining funds to Levitt at the Falls as the organization will dissolve, the society has announced.
In a news release published Friday, Jan. 29, the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society (SFJB) announced their dissolution, citing the challenges the nonprofit group has faced since the pandemic began.
“The last few years, including during the pandemic, have been challenging not just for SFJB, but also other smaller arts nonprofits,” a statement issued by SFJB’s board of directors reads. “Thank you to the community, volunteers, staff, directors and sponsors for their support over the years.”
The SFJB had been organized for more than 35 years, executing its mission to celebrate “America’s original art form” — jazz and blues — and creating impactful live music and education events.
The society hosted major musical events across the city, including Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Festival (commonly referred to as JazzFest), Jazz Camp, the Jazz Diversity Project and various concert series, while also offering scholarship programs for young musicians and more.
“Through these events and programs, the organization impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” SFJB’s news release reads, “bringing life-changing music experiences that developed young musicians into lifelong appreciators and artists, supported recreational and professional musicians and was central to the arts scene in the state and region.”
As part of their dissolution, SFJB will donate their remaining $95,000 in funds to two music-oriented programs. Levitt at the Falls, which annually holds dozens of free concerts off Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls, will receive a $55,000 endowment for music education, while $40,000 will be contributed to the Sioux Falls Arts Council’s Artist Micro Grant program.
"Levitt at the Falls is grateful to receive this endowment gift from the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society," said Nancy Halverson, executive director of Levitt at the Falls.
Halverson said Levitt at the Falls will use the endowment funds to build on Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society's work to reach, teach and inspire the next generation with music education.
Kellen Boice, executive director of the Sioux Falls Arts Council, said the council is grateful for SFJB’s donation and the effect it will have.
“There is no doubt the positive impact Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society has had on our community over decades of their vibrant programming,” Boice said. “We are honored for the opportunity to continue Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society legacy through our Artist Micro Grant program and the ripple effect those grants have on our arts community.”
In its news release, SFJB said the future of jazz and blues in Sioux Falls is in good hands.
“With these donations, the Board of Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society will dissolve the organization, knowing the Sioux Falls community’s support of music and the arts is in good hands,” the news release reads. “These final gifts are made in the spirit of the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society’s mission: We celebrate jazz and blues through community, education and events.”