An evening with Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., oncologist and cancer researcher. A Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer. Appearing October 3rd, at 7:30 PM at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theatre.



Black Hills Human Services Collaborative

Since 2009 we have led a diverse group of community partners who invested hundreds of hours to develop a community plan to improve awareness about and access to mental health and substance abuse services. Over 40 organizations make up the Black Hills Mental Health/Substance Abuse Systems Change Collaborative. In 2013 the name was changed to the Black Hills Human Services Collaborative to include topics beyond mental health and substance abuse. A Steering Committee meets on a regular basis and other task forces meet as needed. An annual Community Engagement Forum is hosted to keep key stakeholders informed on relevant activities. For more information on their work, please click on the links below.

Publications & Presentations


Since 2008, a broad base of community leadership has guided the development of Teen-Up to implement a strategic plan which incorporates authentic youth engagement throughout Rapid City. Teen Up is a movement, which cultivates the virtually untapped resource of our youth. Teens who are invested in their communities are likely to return as that community’s future business and civic leadership. Involving our youth in the community, with their voice, impacting and influencing outcomes, not only helps to develop better young citizens, it makes Rapid City a better community. Thanks to financial support from Bush Foundation and Gwendolyn Stearns Foundation along with community wide support, we are excited about the future of Teen-Up. Partnership Rapid City will coordinate Teen-Up, since it so closely aligns with their goals. Teen-Up, formerly know as AYCE, past efforts are highlighted in the reports below. Follow them on Facebook.

Black Hills Community Needs Assessment 2011

A consortium of 17 organizations in the Black Hills commissioned the South Dakota Public Policy Institute, a project of the Chiesman Center for Democracy, to conduct a Community Needs Assessment study in the Black Hills area. Areas included in this assessment are Butte, Lawrence, Meade, Fall River, Custer, and Pennington Counties. This study is a follow-up to a study commissioned by the United Way of the Black Hills in 2001 that included the cities of Rapid City, Sturgis, and Spearfish and the 2006 study that included Pennington, Meade, Lawrence, and Butte Counties. Many of the topics covered in this study were similar to those found in the 2001 Community Needs Assessment Study and the 2006 Black Hills Community Needs Assessment Study. The 2011 study is similar to the 2006 study but with additional topical areas. This study is divided into eight issue areas. Employment, Education, Crime & Safety, Child & Adolescents, Housing, Heath (Physical & Mental), Art & Culture, General.

Non-Profit Networker

Non-Profit Networker was a collaborative capacity building initiative in Rapid City originated by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, Chiesman Center for Democracy, Casey Peterson and Associates, SD School of Mines and Technology, United Way of the Black Hills and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. The primary objectives of the Networker are to provide no and low cost capacity building training to area non-profits on topics prioritized directly by the non-profits and provide networking opportunities for peer support. Trainings are now being done on a regular basis through the Association of Fund Raising Professional.

In 2012, the group along with other funders including Black Hills Corporation, SD Community Foundation, Pioneer Bank and Trust, Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce and Abby Group commissioned the Chiesman Center to obtain data to complete the Black Hills Philanthropy Study. This study was intended to determine the amount and type of philanthropic and other funding sources that are available to non-profit organizations. The information will inform both donors and recipients of how funds are being allocated and used as well as an opportunity to identify funding gaps.

The Black Hills Philanthropy Study was presented to the public on February 27, 2013.

Rapid City Senior Cooperative Master Plan Collaborative

The Rapid City Council authorized funds to develop the Rapid City Senior Need Assessment and Service Gap Analysis in an effort to better understand the needs of our increasing aging population. In December 2010 the Rapid City Council reviewed a Vision 2012 project involving an adult resource center to be built in conjunction with a field house at the Roosevelt Park recreation complex. The City Council deferred action on the adult resource center and asked the group of people involved in that project to come up with a unified senior plan with recommendations. They asked Sandy Diegel, Executive Director of the John T. Vucurevich Foundation to lead this collaborative project because of our experience in leading other community multi-group planning processes.

The Senior Cooperative Master Plan Committee was formed with a diverse group of stakeholders representing both Minneluzahan and Canyon Lake Senior Centers, the business community, service providers, members of the City Council and members at large. The planning process looked into the following variables to make recommendations for future services, facilities or activities:

  • Health and wellness (physical, mental, safety, independent living)
  • Active lifestyle (volunteerism, recreation, arts, culture, employment, education)
  • Community design (economic impact, land use, mobility, housing)

The variation in needs among the senior population is apparent as you look at Boomers (50-65), younger seniors (65-80), and older seniors 80+. As they age, their definition of recreation, transportation and activities also change. Because of this variation, the Committee felt that cohorts of these different age groups as well as caregivers under age 50 needed to be represented in the study.

The Government Research Bureau at USD was awarded the project. A telephone survey was administered to 500 Rapid Citians in four different age cohorts, three focus groups were conducted along with individual interviews and a gaps analysis to obtain the results in the report.

The Committee recognizes that not all needs identified are the responsibility of the City but the information in this Plan provides data for the City Council as well as private enterprise to make Rapid City a more senior friendly community. The Committee recommended the City adopt the Plan, assign a champion to implement the plan and share results with all stakeholders. The Rapid City Council unanimously accepted the Plan on May 6, 2013 and referred the Plan to the Community Resource Department for review and recommendation. To read the entire report or the summary presentation to the City Council please click on the links below.

Rapid City Senior Need Assessment and Service Gap Analysis FINAL REPORT 11-2012 (pdf)

Senior Needs and Gaps Analysis Presentation May 2013 (ppt)

Future of the Arts in Rapid City Collaborative

As an effort to weave our Collaborations for Change strategy into our arts funding priority, JTVF began
convening a diverse group of stakeholders in the summer of 2012 to begin discussions about the Future of
the Arts in Rapid City. Around 75 people representing all aspects of the arts in Rapid City joined us in June
and September 2012 to begin a conversation about ways the arts programs could work together through
capacity development to meet their needs of increased participation and attendance at events and fiscal
sustainability. We have made significant investments in the Granite Sculpture Project, the Dahl expansion and
the new Performing Arts Center of Rapid City. Through strategic leadership of this collaboration we hope to enhance
the arts as a whole in Rapid City.

In January 2013, this Collaboration decided to form a Community Collaborative Research Committee to
look for successful community arts models that (1) increased revenue and revenue diversity and (2) created
efficiencies through shared marketing services that include a centralized clearing house for organizational
event planning and public information event calendars, a website, social media, and ticketing.

The committee researched around 25 models and decided on using the expertise of Destination Rapid City
as a strategic partner because of their strong connection with the tourism and business communities. The
result of the work of the collaborations got the attention of the Bush Foundation and received a $200,000
Community Involvement grant. Through this grant and a matching grant from JTVF,
was born to be a central place to find all things arts and culture in the Black Hills area.

  • September 2012
  • January 2013
  • April 2014