Bellman Brown Bag Series: William LeRoy

NEA Big Read Programming: Oral Tradition


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Join us for this month’s free-to-attend Bellman Brown Bag Series on Wednesday, March 8 at noon in the Matthews Theater with speaker William LeRoy.

 “My grandmother told me that it was time that I learned about The Big Elder Brother.  Who will teach selected-living beings about surviving upon the lands they’ve settled on.  The few life forms are all chosen by Ciye Tanka to become the next generation educators, and he taught them how and when to learn from him at his own discretion.  Ciye Tanka decides when to teach, so those who he selected to learn from him had to be ready at anytime to learn and understand.  It is the responsibility of these selected individuals to keep the knowledge alive through the oral traditions of song and story, and as long as the actions are never changed…this knowledge will guarantee the survival of all living beings.” – William LeRoy


About the Bellman Brown Bag Series

The Bellman Brown Bag series is a humanities program designed to explore ideas, history, literature, art and culture. The Brown Bag program was developed by Dr. Stewart Bellman in the 1990’s. Recognizing the Matthews Opera House as an ideal venue for the exploration of humanities topics, he engaged a line-up of speakers to present programs on a range of humanities topics each month.

Dr. Bellman was a professor of English at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. His teaching career spanned thirty years. Bellman retired from BHSU and passed away in November 2002.

Programs are presented on the second Wednesday of each month, noon to 1pm. Designed to begin and end within the lunch hour, patrons are invited to bring their lunch, if desired, or simply enjoy an hour of learning and entertainment.  This is an opportunity to gain insight into themes that touch our daily lives.


Coffee for the Bellman Brown Bag Series is generously provided by Common Grounds in Spearfish, SD.



About the NEA Big Read Program

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $24 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 16 years, grantees have leveraged more than $56 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 97,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible.

Visit for more information about the NEA Big Read. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information.


NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest



Date and Time:


Wednesday, March 8, 2023


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm




612 Main Street
Spearfish, 57783 United States
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