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:

Education Resource Center

Teachers: Check out our new Education Resource Center for resources on teaching with our contemporary Native art collection; find images from our collection, lesson plans, guides, links to other helpful organizations, and more! Also check out our Art At Home video series full of creative projects based on our collection or created by Native artists.

Current Programing

To find out more about our upcoming programs, please visit our Facebook page and search the #Educator hashtag:

Visiting artists

Visiting Artists

Year-round the museum brings artists into classrooms to work with students on the reservation. Whether it’s Marty Two Bulls demonstrating ceramic techniques or Mike Marshall bringing Lakota games or Keith Braveheart integrating environmentalism and history into regenerating art, students benefit from in-person connections to working artists in their community. 

The Heritage Center hosted its inaugural Visiting Poet Series in 2015. The Series brings poets and spoken word artists from all over the country to support the youth poetry movement on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Series has hosted Suheir Hammad, Natalie Diaz, The Outspoken Bean, Autumn White Eyes, 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. Many of these visits have culminated in a public performance which is free and open to the public! 



Tȟéča Wówapi Káǧa OKȟólakičhiye, 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 participated in spoken word team Dances with Words which competed in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam each year.


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!

Our community story project


Fourth grade students at Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes create their own documentary films on the themes relating to our art collection. 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 culminates each year in a public film screening! Many of these films have been collected on our Vimeo channel—check them out! Listen to an SDPB story about our documentary film project in 3 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


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: Learners 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. Learners 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! Learners 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! Art bags and boxes can be checked out and used independently. Local teacher can set up visits for THC-lead programs in your classroom. And near or far, we offer Virtual Tours for classes upon request. Contact Audrey Jacobs for more information at or (605) 867-5491 x2247.