Korczak also built the museum’s first wing and started a scholarship fund for Native American students. He had inspired his wife, Ruth, and their children to carry on the Memorial’s mission with the nonprofit Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.
The family of Korczak and their supporters dedicated the carving’s giant face, representing the spirit of Crazy Horse, in 1998. They started the first university-level courses in 1996, enlarged the museum into a 40,000-square-foot visitor complex in 2000, and they opened the Indian University of North America and its first Student Living and Learning Center in 2010. The continually expanding Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $1.5 million since Korczak’s first $250 grant in 1978.
All of the accomplishments are funded with visitor admissions and donations. The work continues. More mountain carving details are about to emerge.
The sculpture is about three-fourths of a mile from the visitor center. For $4, tourists can ride to the foot of the mountain. For $125, a visitor can get a van ride to what will be Crazy Horse’s outstretched arm.
During the first weekend each June, the public can walk up to the arm during the 10K (6.2-mile roundtrip) Crazy Horse Volksmarch. The hike is the only time visitors are allowed to walk to the mountain.
Crazy Horse Memorial offers far more than the mountain carving. Visitors taking a cultural educational quest will find:
- The Welcome Center, where the “Dynamite & Dreams” movie explains the Memorial’s mission, the carving work to date, Crazy Horse’s life and Korczak’s dream.
- The Indian Museum of North America, home to an expanding collection of artifacts and contemporary art.
- The Native American Educational & Cultural Center, where artisans sell their works and discuss their varied cultures with visitors.
- The year-round displays include historic Edward Curtis photographs and hands-on educational activities for all ages.
- The Ziolkowski family home and sculptor’s studio, filled with antiques, fine art and examples of Korczak’s sculpture.
- “Legends in Light,” the laser-light program shown at dark nightly from Memorial Day weekend through Native Americans’ Day in mid-October.
- Laughing Water Restaurant, which has a full-service lunch and dinner menu, buffet, a Snack Shop and free coffee.
- Museum gift shops offering American Indian-made items and exclusive Crazy Horse souvenirs.
Located on Crazy Horse Memorial Highway, US 16/385 between Hill City and Custer, the Memorial is open every day.
For additional details, visit crazyhorsememorial.org