The Matthews was recently selected as a recipient of a $200,000 Bush Foundation Community Innovation grant for ArtCentral,  a community collaboration to centralize the arts as an integrated asset for inclusivity, economic development, and sustained outreach in the Spearfish area. (ArtCentral application below)

(ArtCentral application below)

“We are honored to have been selected by the Bush Foundation to lead this grant. Their commitment to improving the quality of life in small communities throughout the region is exceptional,” stated Sian Young, executive director of The Matthews. “ArtCentral will give Spearfish an incredible opportunity to integrate the arts with community development and social outreach initiatives. We appreciate this generous investment the Bush Foundation is making in our community.”

What is this Grant about?

Community Innovation Grants support communities to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. Think of it as civic R&D, allowing communities to develop and test new solutions to community challenges.

What does the grant fund?

There’s a lot of work that happens in between identifying a community problem and implementing a new breakthrough solution, especially if you want to engage your community, make the most of existing assets and work collaboratively with other organizations along the way. Our Community Innovation Grants support that process – they fund the work that it takes to create a community innovation.

The Foundation provides Community Innovation Grants of $10,000 to $200,000. Community Innovation Grants of $500 to $10,000 are available from our intermediary partner organizations: Headwaters Foundation for Justice (MN), The Consensus Council (ND) and the South Dakota Community Foundation (SD).

ArtCentral Manager

Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral manager

Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral manager

Lead by Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral manager at The Matthews, the project will bring together a committee of advocates, artists, and residents working together over the next two years to create a new model for arts planning and outreach, focusing on the themes of belonging, inclusion, equity, rural connectedness, cultivating creativity, imagining space, and the arts as a community development catalyst. 

“I am excited for this opportunity to work in Spearfish with The Matthews on this innovative and important project to advance the arts in our community,” stated Freer. “I encourage local residents who are interested in participating in this process to apply to be a part of the committee.”


ArtCentral Application – Deadline dates – completed

Facilitated community conversations, art events, and pilot outreach projects are just a few of the tasks the ArtCentral committee will be a part of planning.  Applications to participate as a committee member are available for download below or they may be picked up in The Matthews art gallery.  

  • Applications are due by Oct. 26; applicants will be notified of selection by Nov. 4.