Learning Forum image 2016

Learning Forum Series
Select Sundays at 2 p.m.

Learning Forums are thought provoking presentations on a wide variety of topics. Each program features a forty-five minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, half-off for members & FREE for students (ages 6 - 17) with a paid adult/senior admission (includes museum admission)

January 15 - "The Making of Dignity" presented by Sculptor and South Dakota Artist Laureate, Dale Lamphere

Dale will be joined by his fabrication crew: Tom Trople, Andy Roltgen, Grant Standard and Brook Loobey and his three models: Sayna Trujillo, Sydney Claymore and Cante Heart. Dale's wife Jane Murphy will be present to talk about the dedication ceremony. Standing at a crossroads, Dignity echoes the interaction of earth, sky and people. Dignity is designed so the wind and sun move through her. At night, internal LED lighting shines through perforated stainless steel and illuminate the beadwork on her dress and leggings. The star quilt, an important symbol among the Lakota and Dakota peoples, is made of 128 diamonds, each 4' long and painted in the colors of the sky and water that surround her. It brings to light the beauty and promise of the indigenous people and culture that still thrive in this land.

January 22 - "Paul Goble, Storyteller" presented by Paul Goble Biographer, Gregory Bryan

Paul Goble is a leading figure in the worlds of children's literature and South Dakota art. Although born in England, Goble has called the United States home for almost 40 years and the vast majority of that time has been spent living in and around Rapid City. With the involvement and assistance of Goble and his family, Gregory Bryan has been researching Goble's life and career for the past several years in order to write his biography. The presentation will include biographical details and discussion of those things that influenced and inspired Goble's illustrations and his writing.

January 29 - "The Legacy of Black Elk" presented by Donovin Sprague

Black Elk was a Lakota Spiritual Leader and holy man. Many do not know that he was also a Catholic. Donovin Sprague will discuss Black Elk's incredible life and will have books and rare photos.

February 12 - "American Bison - A Survival Story" presented by Museum of the American Bison museum director, Susan Ricci

The buffalo once numbered almost 60 million strong across North America but by the end of the 1800s, there were less than 1000 buffalo left. This presentation will follow the early decline of the buffalo from the fur trade to its near extermination during Western settlement. We explore the cultural significance of the buffalo to the tribes of North America and the impact that the loss of these animals had on Native people. Finally, we will discuss the eventual restoration of the buffalo and the efforts of a few men and women to save the animal from extinction.

February 19 - "The Gun that Won the West - 150 Years of Winchester Firearms" presented by Mark Blote 

First Stop Gun owner, Mark Blote, will showcase some of his rare, collectible guns and discuss the rich history of the iconic name in firearms. The Journey will also display their rare gun collection for audience members to see. After the presentation, the Journey will draw the winner of their one-of-a-kind engraved 1874 Sharps rifle, provided by A&A Engraving.

February 26 - "The Mammoth Site & Sinkhole Treasures" presented by Dr. Jim I. Mead of the Mammoth Site

The presentation will show the strange creatures recovered from sinkholes, starting with the mammoths at The Mammoth Site here in the Black Hills, then will examine the skeletons from Persistence Cave (Wind Cave National Park), the bizarre animals from a sinkhole in eastern Tennessee, and the tropical oddities from a blue-hole in the Bahamas.

March 5 - "Sioux Women - Past & Present" presented by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve will discuss her latest book, Sioux Women: Traditionally Sacred, and how women have kept tribal values even as their lives were changed by outside forces.

March 12 - "South Dakota Women - Writing through Storms" presented by Linda M. Hasselstrom of Windbreak House Writing Retreats

Linda M. Hasselstrom will read from published writing by South Dakota women to create a conversation in prose and poetry, a song about communities of women in our state. Conflict and change are inherent in the West, and western women have weathered everything that nature, the climate, or humanity can do. Tough and tender, strong women built communities that grow and change with the years.

March 19 - "The Jewel of Jewel Cave - Jan Conn" presented by Riley Hayes of the National Park Service - Jewel Cave National Monument

Riley Hays of the National Park Service - Jewel Cave National Monument will tell stories about Jan Conn, one of Jewel Cave's pioneer cavers. Stories will also include those of her climbs and first ascents in Custer State Park, and other accomplishments throughout her life.

March 26 - "Bloomer Girls - South Dakota Women in Baseball" presented by Debra Shattuck, PhD of John Witherspoon College

Debra Shattuck will discuss the widespread popularity of baseball among girls and women who played it in the 1800s, despite the sport's reputation as a 'man's game'.

April 23 - "7th Generation" presented by "7th Generation" film documentary producer/writer, Jim Warne

April 30 - "Fighting Fire from the Air!" presented by Jim Strain, Assistant Chief of the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, and Darren Clabo, South Dakota Fire Meteorologist

May 7 - "The Math of Fine Art" presented by internationally acclaimed artist, Dick Termes

May 28 - "Walking with Coolidge" presented by Calvin Coolidge in the Black Hills author, Seth Tupper, and historian, Eric Zimmer

Ninety years ago this summer, President Calvin Coolidge spent nearly three months living, working, and playing in the Black Hills. While here, he made national news by attending the start of carving at Mount Rushmore, re-assigning a Secret Service agent in a fit of anger, and announcing that he would not seek re-election. He also traveled widely throughout the Black Hills and attended many local events. Seth Tupper, of the Rapid City Journal and author of the new book Calvin Coolidge in the Black Hills, will provide an overview of Coolidge's South Dakota summer.

Building off of Seth's broader overview of the Coolidge Summer, historian Eric Zimmer will focus on President Coolidge's interactions with American Indians during his time in the Black Hills. It examines the few, key moments during which Native American leaders visited with the president, then explores how tribal leaders and prominent Lakotas lobbied the president to improve tribal/federal relations while asking him to support the return of the Black Hills pursuant to the terms of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty during public events in Deadwood and on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

June 25 - "The Battle of Greasy Grass" presented by Donovin Sprague

New Horizons spacecraft flew by the dwarf planet on July 14, 2015 at a distance of only about 7,700 miles from the surface, after a 9-year, 3-billion mile journey that launched from Earth in 2006.  Until this mission, Pluto was the only planet (now designated as a “dwarf planet”) that had not yet been explored by robotic spacecraft.  This fly-by of Pluto capped a five-decade-long era of exploration that began in the early 1960s with Venus and Mars, and continued in the 1970s with the first looks at Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn, and into the 1980s with closer looks at Uranus and Neptune. 
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