Performance Artist, Author and Storyteller, Tom Roberts, is originally a farm-boy from the Ipswich/Aberdeen area of South Dakota, but he and his wife, Tammy, have been long-time residents of Sioux Falls. Tom participated as an artist with the South Dakota Arts Council’s “Artist-In-Residence Program”; “Touring Arts Program”; and “Arts In Corrections Program” for nearly 28 years. During that time he performed and taught theater professionally throughout South Dakota, the Midwest, and over-seas. He also led the “Very Special Arts (VSA) Program” for two years.
In 1999, Tom was recognized for his talents and contributions to arts education by the Sioux Falls Mayor’s Office and Sioux Empire Arts Council when he was chosen to be the recipient of their first annual Outstanding Artist Award. During that same year his life and work as an actor was featured in a book published by the Lessons In Leadership foundation entitled, “Turning Dreams Into Success” by Bunny and Larry Holman.
In 2002, he and his wife produced his Christmas story, ‘Twas The Night Before Christ, into a book as a fundraiser for Children’s Home Society. The project was a great success and eventually led to them publishing 7 more books which helped the organization raise over $1.5 million for the kids and families they serve.
Over the years Tom has become a much-requested actor, writer, storyteller, and narrative voice for programs such as Christmas at the Cathedral, Mt. Rushmore’s Anniversary Celebration, Christmas on the Prairie, and a South Dakota Public Broadcasting Television Special “Our Statehouse: A Capitol Idea.” In 2008, 2009, and again in 2011 Tom created a series of writings based on his interviews and observation with cancer patients and their families during an artist-in-residence project at Sanford Health entitled, “The Journey of Healing Through The Arts.”