Aberdeen (population appx. 28,400) was settled in the 1820s as an ideal area for fur trading posts. Throughout the 1800s the area was built around newly developing railroad systems, similar to many Midwestern cities. Toward the end of the 1800s, there were four different railroads converging in Aberdeen, which caused the town to grow, flourish, and earn the nickname “Hub City of the Dakotas.”
Today Aberdeen has gained a reputation as an up-and-coming Midwest city. Although the roots of Aberdeen are primarily in the farming industry, many businesses and organizations have found a comfortable home in this medium-sized community. Ethanol production and beef processing are growing industries in the area, as well as healthcare, financial services, education (Northern State University and Presentation College), and construction. Perhaps most notably, the massive wind turbine blades for energy-efficient windmills are assembled in Aberdeen before being shipped throughout the country.
The Aberdeen Area Arts Council (AAAC) was organized in 1969 as a means to enhance the quality of life through the arts by initiating, sponsoring, and encouraging art opportunities and promoting the arts through education in the Aberdeen area. The AAAC serves six counties in northeast South Dakota and promotes the arts by hosting varied programming, co-sponsoring the ARCC Dance program, sharing information about each month’s events through radio, newspaper, and Facebook, and facilitating meetings of those involved in the arts. In addition, AAAC works closely with South Dakotans for the Arts to keep current on arts advocacy issues.