The predicted “cooler and wetter summer” has worked well for our summer concert series so far this year! We have been treated to wonderful music by our local Yankton Area Summer Band under the management of Gwen Wenisch. The guest directors each week have treated us to a wonderful array of toe-tapping musical selections.

Although the band has completed their portion of the concert series, the fun is far from over.

Join us each week for our Pops Concert Series. We have four bands lined up for your entertainment this month. First off, we welcome Maggie in the Meantime on July 9. The band is made up of fiddle, guitar, keyboards, pipes, oboe, voice, and drums. They blend original arrangements of traditional and modern Celtic music and stories. On July 16, Wild Bill’s All-Star Band, made up of talented musicians from Yankton and Vermillion will cover classic songs from the past six decades! The Dixie Daddys are coming back to the stage on July 23 to keep the music of Ragtime, Dixieland and Swing alive! Then on July 30, our concert series will close with a blues to bluegrass road trip by East of Westreville. If you like music from the movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” you’ll love this show!

Catch it before it’s gone! The exhibit currently on display at G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery is titled In Plain Sight: Images from Across the Prairie by painter Tom Roper. This exhibit can be seen through Tuesday, July 9, at G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-3 p.m. There will be a special reception tonight, Friday, July 5, from 5-7 p.m. Sue Hill will guide us in a demonstration of paint pouring, a technique she had on display in the gallery in 2018. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

Yankton Area Arts has started a new program highlighting student artists in our gallery each month. On display this month is artwork by our first Student Artist of the Month, Aaliyah Empkey. Aaliyah will be in eighth grade at Yankton Middle School in the fall and her art instructor is Cierra Voeltz. Aaliyah has two pieces on display at G.A.R. Hall through the month of July. If you are or know of a student who should be featured in our gallery, contact us at

Our next exhibit, open Friday, July 12, will be the 15th annual Mighty Mo Photo Show, an annual photography competition. The theme for this year’s exhibit is The Five Elements. Photographers were encouraged to choose one or all elements (earth, metal, water, wood, fire) in their compositions. Three judges will score the photographs on originality, composition, theme, and lighting to decide which photos are named Best of Show and Honorable Mention. These two photos will be announced at a special artist reception and award ceremony on Friday, Aug. 2 from 5-7 p.m. at G.A.R. Hall. Winners of these awards will be given a monetary prize! Each year, guests in our gallery are given the opportunity to vote for their favorite photo for a People’s Choice Award. This year visitors are encouraged to vote with their dollars! Each photo will have a jar designated to it. Money equals votes! The photo that receives the most in monetary donations will be named as the People’s Choice Award and will take home all the money collected in that photo’s jar. Voting will take place throughout the exhibit, July 12-Aug. 27, and the winner will be named at the close of the exhibit.

Tickets are now on sale for the 5th Meridian en Blanc Fundraiser! We are excited to be back on the Meridian Bridge for a night celebrating art and raising funds for our new Make Art Happen Initiative. This year’s event is sponsored by First Dakota National Bank, Rupiper Tours, LLC, the City of Yankton, Anna Lynn Claire Event Design, Meridian Rentals, Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc, Vision Real Estate and Truxedo. Guests will be able to count on great food provided by Counterfeit Catering, excellent music by the Jim McKinney Quintet, and exquisite artwork being created on the bridge and on our silent auction. Meridian en Blanc will be held on Saturday, July 20. Tickets are $50 and available for purchase (by cash or check) at G.A.R. Hall during regular office hours, Monday-Friday 1-5 p.m. For more information, please contact Yankton Area Arts at 665-9754 or email

Yankton Area Arts is seeking nominations for Art Advocate of the Year. This is intended to honor a person or persons who contributes to the arts, advocates for the arts in their everyday life, and/or has made a significant contribution to the arts in the community. Nomination forms must be submitted by July 24 and can be accessed on our website,

Mark your calendars for Riverboat Days and Summer Arts Festival! The festival will be held Aug. 16-18 at Riverside Park. We have been working hard all year long to bring you some of your favorite artists as well as find new artists for you to peruse! Be sure to follow us on social media to get a sneak peek into some of the new artists you’ll see this year.

All the arts happenings in the area can be found on the YAA Arts Calendar at, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Yankton Area Arts is a non-profit arts organization located at 508 Douglas Avenue in Yankton. The G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery is open to the public free of charge. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-3 p.m. For more information, call the YAA office at (605) 665-9754 or email

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