Simplified: ARSA is a new nonprofit based in Sioux Falls with the goal of connecting artists, inspiring interest in the arts and connecting businesses with art.

Why it matters

  • Founder and CEO Hannah Van Steenwyk has been a professional artist in the state for more than a decade, and she saw a need for more uplifting connections within the arts community.
  • ARSA – named for "ars" the Latin word for "art" and the last "a" for "Americana" – has plans for four main branches of the nonprofit, but one of the main overarching goals is to increase networking and mentorship among artists.
  • The nonprofit also wants to encourage creativity in the community. That's why they're planning to host several events – including two this weekend – to urge people to try creating (even simple, not-very-good) art.
"Even if you barely can draw a straight line for a stick person you can still create art," Van Steenwyk said. "It's not that it has to look good, it's that you did it."

Tell me more about the nonprofit's goals

There are four main "branches," as Van Steenwyk puts it.

  1. Career development: This is all about helping artists with the business-side of art as well as connecting artists together, featuring individual artists and promoting mentorship.
  2. Personal development: ARSA plans to host artist small groups where discussions could range from everything from how art is discussed in the bible to art history to simply getting together to talk and create.
  3. Events. This is where ARSA plans to really push the idea of just getting out and creating art in the community.
  4. Publishing. ARSA also hopes to partner with magazines or other media partners to share stories about individual artists and document the nonprofit's work.

What happens next?

ARSA is hosting two doodling events in the next week. Anyone of any age can come and doodle with markers, Van Steenwyk said.

These events are:

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at the Caille Branch library
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 at the downtown library

The doodle murals created at these events will then be on display at La Luna Cafe downtown.

How can I learn more about ARSA?

Check out their website here.