At almost every Levitt concert, Diane Olson is up front in a big sun hat and the iconic blue Levitt vest. She’s busy smiling, laughing, engaging the crowd and always dancing across the lawn. Diane moved to Sioux Falls in 2016 after retiring from her position with IBM as a software engineer. After first attending a Levitt concert in 2019, Diane immediately signed up to volunteer and soon joined the Levitt’s Board of Directors.
Diane Olson sits in front of a fall themed backdrop
After attending your first concert, why did you want to get involved with the Levitt?

The energy, the welcoming atmosphere, the friendly staff and volunteers and fellow attendees was captivating. The energy on the dance floor removed my inhibitions and had me kicking up my heels!

What’s your favorite kind of music to hear at the Levitt?

I love it all! Some of my favorites are everything vintage, also rock & roll, country, blues, jazz, and cultural music. Before coming to Sioux Falls I had traveled to many corners of the world. I have a deep love and appreciation for the beauty, ancient wisdom and history of every culture. The Levitt music reflects and embraces the rich tapestry of cultural heritage and evolution.

Tell me about your job on the board. What are some of your favorite responsibilities as a board member?

The Levitt Board is a joy to be part of. Probably my favorite thing to do as a board member is open up the dance floor. I am so very privileged to go out on the dance floor and start the dancing, as soon others will join me and before long there are lots of dancers. The other patrons love to watch the dancers too, and it brings such great energy to the venue. Another favorite board activity is to welcome our sponsors to the Lloyd Lawn at the Levitt and thank them and to meet the volunteers and let them know how much we appreciate them! Our vendors, the Parks and Rec folks who maintain the lawn, and local businesses who support the Levitt in many ways are all greatly appreciated. I love having a chance to express our appreciation to everyone who helps make the Levitt so successful.

You’re sort of our dancing queen at the Levitt now. What power do you think dancing has at concerts, and what drives you to get up there and dance?

Many people love to dance but perhaps are too timid to be the first on the dance floor, so I try to help alleviate those issues by starting the dancing. Other people love to watch people dance to wonderful live music. It enhances the experience! 

Diane Olson claps at a Levitt concert.

What’s something everyone should know about coming to the Levitt?

Several key things come to mind: It’s always free admission, everyone is welcome, it’s family friendly and high-quality music, we have chairs you can rent if you need one, and the energy is wonderful and revitalizing!

What do you love about the Levitt?

Obviously I love the good fellowship the Levitt brings to our community and the prosperity this venue helps bring to Sioux Falls. I love the opportunities the Levitt provides for new up-and-coming musicians and for the arts in general. I love seeing friendships form between people – volunteers, dancers, and audience members. I love hearing stories, such as how the Levitt helped one man navigate the trauma of a divorce. I love our staff, I appreciate their work, and I know without them and their hard work and leadership, the Levitt would not meet our goals or be the community-building venue it has become.

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