A student painting on the Vermillion mural.

Arts and Culture

At the center of who we are is a robust culture that celebrates all walks of life through a variety of art forms and experiences. Whether you are experiencing the beauty of Native Life, learning about different perspectives through an inspiring art gallery or celebrating with your peers at African Night, there are options and opportunities all over this campus.

A Variety of Artistic and Cultural Ideas to Celebrate 

Are you interested in joining a club that looks into new cultures? Visiting a musical production or play? Learning more about your personal heritage? USD has many opportunities for you to discover something new.

Students on Stage Holding Flags At African Night

USD African Student Association Hosts African Night

USD African Night showcases the various cultures that the African continent possesses through performances such as dances, music, drama and poetry.
Two USD actors performing on stage.

Theatre Performances

The USD Department of Theatre presents a variety of compelling and challenging productions for the public. April 20-24 check out "Triumph of Love" at Knutson Theatre. 


Mistaken identities, slapstick, wit and romance come together in this delightful musical. Princess Léonide and her faithful servant Corine dress themselves as men so that Léonide can win the affections of Agis. Complications and hilarity arise when not only Agis but his aunt and uncle all fall for the wily princess in disguise. Based on an 18th century French comedy, the show blends commedia dell’arte with vaudeville and contemporary musical theatre style.

USD Symphonic Band students playing the trumpet.

Live Concerts

Our symphonic band is the premier wind band and the flagship ensemble of the university band program. Our band is comprised of the finest woodwind, brass and percussion players at the university, including both music majors and talented non-music majors. Concert repertoire consists of the highest quality music written or transcribed for wind instruments representing all periods of music history.

We typically perform two concerts a semester and regularly feature guest soloists and guest conductors. The band tours the region annually and performs every other year at the South Dakota Bandmasters Convention.
A group of USD administration ribbon cutting to open the National Music Museum.

National Music Museum

Founded in 1973, the National Music Museum and Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections, which include more than 14,800 American, European and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods, are the most inclusive anywhere.

Students have opportunities to work in the museum, study historic instruments and perform in the concert hall.

student success story

Success story Lacey Mae McLouth smiling.
When I first started working at the John Day gallery on campus as a freshman and was opened up to endless opportunities to use my art skill. I've been able to experience working on big projects with the community and schools in Vermillion. Finding my culture through a class I took and giving me the inspiration to share my journey through my art and stories. Getting the opportunity to meet other successful indigenous artists and students at USD. I am extremely honored and thankful to be here and succeed by their side.

Lacey Mae McLouth

B.F.A. Graphic Design '22
Vermillion, SD

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