Entries Tagged 'Washington Pavilion' ↓

‘Loving Vincent’ to play in Sioux Falls on Sunday

You can’t miss this movie!

The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the LOVING VINCENT studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent’s brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death.

I have been following the progress of this movie for over a year.

Art museums are supposed to be ‘Art’ friendly NOT ‘Kid’ friendly

Should have seen this coming a mile away when you put a youth pastor cartoonist in charge of a fine arts center. To that in a moment.

Last night at the council meeting they only had three resolutions on the agenda. It was 5 year contract renewals for SMG, Ovations & the Washington Pavilion.

I suggested that SMG promote more of their own shows to make the city coffers a little money. After the meeting, Argus Leader reporter Joe Sneve told me it may be difficult for the Denty to promote their own shows because they signed a contract with Live Nation. I said, “Well that was stupid.” Joe then asked Turbak who was standing there if that was true and like the grump toad mayor he just stood there and glared at me. Joe said to me, “You just aren’t happy about anything Scott” and chuckled. I responded, “We are running a concert hall not a church hall.”

When the resolution for the Pavilion came up, I suggested to the council that they look at audits and financials more thoroughly before okaying these contracts. I also suggested they amend the contract so that the visual arts center is free to all for local and regional exhibits. Councilor Starr called up Darrin Smith and asked him about the VAC. Smith said they are going to be making ‘great changes’ over the next couple of years in the VAC to make it better, including making the arts center more ‘kid’ friendly.


Arts centers should concentrate on ART. Visual art no matter the style has a wide appeal to all ages, that’s what makes it great. If there is a challenging exhibit to younger tikes – this is a great opportunity for parents to talk to their young ins about the topic and start a conversation. Art museums are not playlands, they are there to inspire emotion, influence creativity and are supposed to make you think. If kids want to play, they can play in the Science Center.

As for the VAC being FREE, there are two reasons why it is important. First off, it brings people into the Pavilion that normally wouldn’t visit an arts center, but more importantly it is a nice service to the public who help fund the facility. The city subsidizes the Pavilion for over a million a year. Besides FREE Tuesdays and First Fridays, the only other thing in the entire building that is FREE is the Sioux Falls black history cases (that few people know about because it is buried on a back hallway.)

Just another facility the taxpayers subsidize and still have to pay to walk through it’s doors. The Pavilion for years has tried to shake off the stigma they are only for the elite in Sioux Falls, I guess they have just given up that fight and accepted it. Sad.

Charles Luden, Nov 2, 2017

The Sioux Falls Washington Pavilion was moving smooth with the cool sounds of JAS featuring Charles “Chuck” Luden on November 2, 2017. The Thursday night audience was enjoying Chuck’s beat poetry. Join in the festivities of cool jazz on Thursday’s in Leonardo’s at 7:30pm.

Video by Cameraman Bruce

If you are looking for something to do tonight

Washington Pavilion Contract likely to be renewed with little to no oversight and review

With all of the kerfuffle about the secret siding settlement and secret RFP process, it seems the city council has learned little to nothing. And I’m not talking about a select few, I’m talking about ALL of them.

The Washington Pavilion is up for contract renewal soon (Finance Director Tracy Turbak is expected to do a short presentation next Tuesday, November 7 at the informational with a resolution by the council of approval on Novemeber 14.) And that easily the Pavilion will have renewed their 5 year contract with the city, with little questioning, little review, no accountability, and no outside competition.

We wonder what went wrong with the EC siding? Well a little combination of all of the above and you create a perfect storm for corruption. So don’t act shocked when bad things happen.

I enjoy the Pavilion and go to shows there and enjoy the visual arts center (though it should be free again) but that doesn’t mean the council should just blindly take their word that everything is on the up an up when it comes to the day to day operations.

Let’s look at some concerning factors;

The Pavilion hasn’t had a city audit in over 10 years.

Besides a subsidy to their operations, the city spends millions from the entertainment tax fund for brick and mortar upgrades to the city owned building each year with little oversight to those upgrades.

The Pavilion hasn’t shown us a financial report since 2015. The 2016 report is still NOT finished. That’s right, only 2 weeks away from a contract renewal and the 2016 audit is NOT complete yet. The Pavilion claims they are saving money by having the audit so late in the year. Yah, sure, you betcha.

The Pavilion management has changed so many hands in 5 years it’s hard to keep track who is in charge. And since Darrin Smith has been in charge many long time and short time directors and management have left. Has anyone asked why? Nope, just get out the rubber stamps, than in 3 years we can put a cute timeline together of what went wrong, because that is much easier than asking the tough questions to begin with.

Than there is the NEW leader of the Pavilion. A former city councilor who quit mid-term after losing a mayoral bid. Re-appeared to dig up false dirt on Staggers winning him a job in the Huether administration as director of community development (something he knows nothing about) in which he screws up the DT parking ramp deal (and we keep throwing thousands of dollars at the project) and runs away once again to another job. This time he lands his feet as the director of the Pavilion, still cashing in on the taxpayer buck. Here he decides to wait 10 months before auditing the year before, than not only appoints a youth minister cartoonist to run the arts center but also the science center, I heard soon he will be also in charge of cleaning the rain gutters.

It seems the city council can’t understand why they have so much controversy surrounding the lack of transparency, secret settlements, and no oversight. If they approve the Pavilion contract without truly digging in what has been happening there over the past 5 years, they only reap what they sew.

City Council MUST do a thorough review of Pavilion contract before renewal

When I see stuff like below, I am continually baffled by the decisions the Pavilion management is making. Obviously the citizens hands are tied and their isn’t much we can do to persuade the board of directors BUT we still have the city council.

The Pavilion’s management contract is set for renewal on January 1, 2018 and as I understand it, it will be an automatic renewal. We haven’t seen an audit of the Pavilion in over a decade and the last annual report was posted online in 2015.

I don’t understand how the Mayor and City Council could just let this contract renew itself without a complete review and outside audit? Especially with the recent change in contractors at the golf course after we let one contractor run the joint for 23 years.

It’s extremely irresponsible for our municipal government to be so careless with our tax subsidy and property ownership. Please, do your job and do a full review of the Pavilion before you sign on the dotted line before the whole building is run by youth pastor cartoonists.

Washington Pavilion Management contract renewal

As I have already blogged about recently the Pavilion’s contract is up for renewal on January 1st. I believe it is a 5-year contract that will have to probably be renewed in October or November.

I know with all the talk about the Golf Contract and the secrecy surrounding contracts recently, I’m just wondering if there has been any talks about changing some terms with the Pavilion before renewal? The last city audit I could find I think was 9 years ago (don’t quote me on that, the city council probably has better access to those).

Besides an audit, the ONE thing on my wish list for change of terms is making the visual arts center (the galleries) FREE admission again as promised in the original contract. Obviously they would have to charge something for international/special exhibits like Rodin and Warhol, but for regional and even National work, I think the admission should be FREE for all AGAIN.

Believe it or not, I don’t think Darrin Smith would be opposed to that proposal. I talked to someone who saw the last couple of internal audits and they said the Pavilion only takes in approximately $15K in admissions since they implemented it. That could easily be covered by a couple of sponsors or grants.

I am also concerned with all the entertainment tax money that is being poured into the place. I would much rather see the money be spent on paying down the EC mortgage.

With all of the talk about letting the sunshine finally in on the Huether Administration, I think the City Council could use this contract renewal as a good experiment moving forward on contract awards, and their involvement in that process.


UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council will approve easement for Arc of Dreams ‘SOON’

I asked the city council on Tuesday night if there have been any permits approved for Arc of Dreams. After not hearing anything, I emailed them tonight the same question. One of the councilors responded that the council will be presented a public right of way easement soon to approve. Good to hear.

UPDATE: I also got this response from the city;

Mr. Ehrisman,

Thank you for your recent inquiry about the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture permitting process.  No permits have been issued at this time.

In your email, you were correct in that the sculpture is on private property and over public property. Therefore, a grant of easement by the City of Sioux Falls for the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture is currently in process.  The City Attorneys Office has drafted a resolution and associated easement documents for the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture.

On August 15, 2017, the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture was reviewed and recommended for placement approval during public meetings by both the Visual Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board.  The proposed resolution is scheduled for public hearing consideration at the City Council’s regular Tuesday, September 19, 2017, meeting.  Pending adoption of the resolution, and receipt of project plan submittals for City review, then appropriate City permits will be determined and required.

It is anticipated that site construction will begin this fall, with sculpture installation completed by August 2018.  Associated installation and maintenance costs for this sculpture will be the responsibility of SculptureWalk, and not the City of Sioux Falls.

I hope this information helps with your inquiry.

Russ Sorenson• 9-08-2017

Urban Planner • City Of Sioux Falls

Sorry, but I still struggle with the concept that the fine individuals who run the very successful SculptureWalk program for our city would commission a now $1.6 million dollar sculpture before having at least a conditional or preliminary permit or permission from the city. Someone signed off on this a long time ago and now they are just going through the motions.

It reminds of the guy I saw once at the Board of Adjustments, he was requesting to build a bigger garage. His reasoning? Because his new truck didn’t fit in the old garage. He was denied.


I found this interesting that this is going thru the city as an RFP. Or maybe this is how this has always been done?

A question that I was asked recently was if the Kirby family is still sponsoring the Kirby Science Center or if that was a one time gift? I have NO idea.

Also two long time directors have ‘LEFT’.

Darrin Smith seems to be shaking things up at the Pavilion and spending a lot of money. Not sure if this is a good thing or not?

Washington Pavilion Management looking to renew contract in October

The Washington Pavilion is looking to renew their 5-Year contract in October of this year (The current contract runs until December 31, 2017). The first I heard about this, and most of the councilors was yesterday during the budget hearings.

Besides the fact that SMG has been salivating for years to get the contract on the only room in the building that makes any money, the Great Hall, I am wondering if the Pavilion contract has ever been put out for bid? Or like the external auditor contract, we just pick someone in the dark of the night?

I think with the recent move to allow other entities to bid on our public golf course contract, it might not hurt to open up the bidding for the PAV.

Even if they don’t, the council should have oodles of questions for the current management team. It has been NO secret for years that the Great Hall makes the Pavilion money. Mainly because the Pavilion controls it’s own ticket sales and much of it’s promotion of shows (something they need to do at the Events Center). Do they make money on all of their shows? No, but year after year, the Great Hall has been profitable, very profitable. I think the only time the Great Hall probably didn’t make money was during the economic downturn in 2008-09. The Visual Arts Center has always kind of broke even. Mostly through grants, etc. and there skeleton staff. The Science center has always been a money pit. The problem is that the Pavilion doesn’t split up the accounting for the 3 departments. In other words, even if the Great Hall makes money, there is an appearance of loss due to the Science Center because all of the money sits in one kitty. This needs to change with the new contract.

The Pavilion has also had some major management changes over the past year, not just with the new Director, Darrin Smith, but some long time managers have said bye-bye.

So why is it important that the city council dig deep before signing another 5 year contract?

The last internal city Audit was in 2008

The last 5 year contract was signed in October 2012 (Item #31)

Last annual report presentation to city council was in 2014

As you can see, besides the Pavilion spending millions over the past couple of years in building upgrades sliding under the radar in the consent agenda and taking money from the lucrative money tree called the entertainment tax, there has been very little transparency since the last time they signed a contract.

It’s time for the council to really pull up their boot straps and dig deep, and ask the important questions before blindly signing another contract.

The Pavilion must be getting VERY desperate for VAC directors

TV Host, Cartoonist, Artist, Youth Director . . . there isn’t nothing this guy can’t do.

I had to take a double take when I read this;

The Visual Arts Center in Sioux Falls will have a new leader starting next month.

The Washington Pavilion announced Thursday that Jason Folkerts has accepted the position and will start on August 2.

Before joining the staff at the Washington Pavilion, Folkerts graduated from the University of Sioux Falls and worked as a youth pastor for 12 years. He is also a full-time artist and owns his own business that specializes in murals, cartooning, and live art.

Folkerts used to be the editorial cartoonist for the Argus Leader. He was relieved of his duties after a couple of local cartoonists made the newspaper aware that he may have plagiarized a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. But the AL just couldn’t get enough of Jason’s work so they brought him back, until he was suspected a second time of plagiarizing another international cartoonist (who ironically was the president of an anti-plagiarizing organization). The AL relieved him permanently after that. (You can read all of Jason’s comments about the incident HERE in the comments section of this blog post).

Besides his lack of integrity when it comes to other artists creative property, what baffles me even more is that the Pavilion would hire an individual that doesn’t even have a degree in art, art management, etc. Heck, he doesn’t even have a degree in regular management or business, he is a youth pastor with a seminary degree.

Running a Visual Arts Center isn’t like running summer Bible Camp folks.

I have been told though that the qualifications for the position have been drastically changed since the last director left (it was also changed a little before she took the job).

The Pavilion management and board are apparently losing their freaking minds. There needs to be a National search for an ACTUAL art director with the experience to run such an important division of the Pavilion.