18 September 2015
VERMILLION, S.D. | Any volunteer group with aims to revitalize a city's downtown and foster cultural opportunities faces that moment when members might wonder how, or if, they're going to pull it off.
The South Dakota Community Foundation’s Community Innovation grant program presented a $10,000 check to members of the Vermillion Downtown Cultural Association (VDCA) last Thursday to assist in their Downtown Revitalization Project.
According to the VDCA board the funds will be used in the remodeling and revitalization of the Vermillion and Coyote Twin Theaters which were recently purchased by the organization.
Jeff Veltkamp, director of development for the South Dakota Community Foundation explained the grant the VDCA received came from what the foundation calls their South Dakota fund of unrestricted dollars and also their partnership with the Bush Foundation on community innovation grants.
"We have a committee on our board and people across the state read them and evaluate [the grant applications] and the decision is made by that group," Veltkamp said. "This one was deemed worthy as a good cause that will help kind of invigorate Vermillion so that’s why they were selected."
According to VDCA President Bill Anderson, this chance to revitalize downtown Vermillion stemmed from simple conversations about the need for an enriched cultural environment in Vermillion that connects the businesses, the university and the broader community.
The problem was they didn’t know where to start.