Education Department 

The Heritage Center’s Education Department fosters creative learning opportunities through the Center’s diverse collection and its commitment to cultural preservation. The department offers a variety of specialized learning experiences for school groups, families, and adult learners at the museum. We encourage guests to make personal connections that strengthen cultural respect and preservation.

For information on education programming, please contact The Heritage Center at (605) 867-5491 x2247 or email:

Current Programing

To find out more about our upcoming programs, please visit our Facebook page:

Visiting Poet Series

The Heritage Center is proud to host its inaugural Visiting Poet Series. The Series brings poets and spoken word artists from all over the country to support the youth poetry movement on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This year the Series has Suheir Hammad and Tanaya Winder. Poets work with students in school and after school on writing and performing poetry, on creative expression, and on healing through the written word. The short residency culminates in a public performance which is free and open to the public!


Tȟéča Wówapi Káǧa OKȟólakičhiye, or the Young Writers’ Society, is an after school poetry program for teens. We create a safe space for our students to share their lines and get feedback. Our students also compete for a spot on the spoken word team Dances with Words which goes to the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam each year.

Discovery Team

Middle school students participate in the Discovery Team after school program to learn about art and museums through creative activities. We explore different media and dip our toes into the world of museology. Students learn about curation in museums by organizing their own Student Art Show. They see museum work up close by going behind the scenes at The Heritage Center. Together, the team explores traditional art forms as well as contemporary media by learning from local artists!

Community Storytelling Project

Fourth grade students at Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes create their own documentary films on the theme of Life, Then and Now. Students gather interviews of community members, study and create art at The Heritage Center, and write and record their own thoughts on what they’ve learned. This project will culminate in a public film screening in late spring of these 4th grade films!

Gallery Activities and Art Studio 

Become the artist! After studying the work of Native artists in the gallery, students create their own artwork in the studio. Class visits to the museum are image and inquiry based suitable for k-12 students. Gallery experiences encourage students to look closely, support inferences with visual evidence, and make connections to their own lives. Studio projects allow students to explore creatively what they’ve learned in the gallery!

To schedule a tour, please contact Audrey Jacobs at or (605) 867-5491 x2247. Tour and Art Studio themes can include:

Learning to Look: Students discuss artworks, supporting their ideas with elements from the artworks, and use their descriptions to inspire their own art projects.

Elements of Art: Every artist uses the building blocks of art: line, color, shape and form, space, and texture. Students explore how these elements can look different in each artwork and then apply what they’ve learned to their art projects.

Art Stories: Artworks tell stories! Students will unravel what’s going on in our collection’s artwork then write their own interpretation of artwork in the gallery!

Art in the Classroom

If you can’t come to The Heritage Center, art programs can be brought to your classroom! Contact Audrey Jacobs for more information at or (605) 867-5491 x2247