SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – From vandalism of sculptures to closed businesses, the economy of Downtown Sioux Falls has been shaken during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization is hoping a new fundraiser can help the community find some stability.
On their own, every sculpture in Downtown Sioux Falls holds a different meaning, but all together, it means one thing for the community.
“It’s something that puts us on the map and sets us apart from many other places in the whole entire region – if not, the nation,” Community Outreach Coordinator for Downtown Sioux Falls Sadie Swier said.
They stand sturdy and steady around downtown for onlookers to see. Back in May, foundations were shaken as the walk fell victim to vandalism.
“It was definitely a hit especially around this difficult time,” Swier said.
“We have a 2500 dollar deductible when a sculpture is vandalized, so that is expensive to sculpture walk. We don’t have that added into our budget because we hope people won’t do that, but it happens,” Executive Director of the Sculpture Walk Jim Clark said.
With three vandalized in over the past two months, that adds up to $7,500 to reimburse the sculptors. Also taking a hit, is the lack of foot traffic going to local businesses. As a response, DTSF and the Sculpture Walk have teamed up to create an online fundraiser.
“We want to make a difference. How can we help? And, so that’s what it’s all about: all of us coming together to help downtown come back to be vibrant as it was,” Clark said
You can go online and order a DTSF gift card for $100 dollars. Half of that goes directly to the sculpture walk, while the other half is yours to spend across over 60 downtown businesses of your choosing.
“Whether that’s retailers, restaurants, and so that gift card is special because it’s on a closed-loop system, which means that it’s only available – you can only use those funds on that gift card at those businesses,” Swier said.
“It’s important for all of us to come together and make a difference for Sioux Falls,” Clark said.
While the sculptures are made from hard materials, its foundation of a strong community that keeps them standing.