The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has been awarded the Bush Prize for Community Innovation. The Bush Prize honors organizations for their innovative work in engaging their unique community. Winners are chosen for demonstrating a pattern of inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes that result in innovative solutions to community challenges. The SDSO’s Bush Prize includes a generous cash award of “creative capital” that will serve as a catalyst to explore new ways to serve.
The SDSO was awarded the Bush Prize because they are shifting the paradigm of what an orchestra can and should be. They think differently about how orchestras can engage in problem-solving by asking: “How do we use the orchestra to make our community better?” The SDSO has two signature initiatives that embody the spirit of the Bush Prize: The Lakota Music Project and Music as Medicine. The collaborative process and bold thinking behind these existing programs now serve as their model for the creation of new community engagement activities.
A newly-appointed committee of SDSO board members, musicians and staff, as well as community thought leaders, will make recommendations to the board on how to invest the Bush Prize to conceive, cultivate, nurture and sustain efforts that will advance the SDSO’s culture of service, innovation and relevance.