Thursday, March 25, 2010

Canvas of the People Recap

The South Carolina Arts Commission held one of its seven 2010 Canvas of the People meetings at the Black Creek Arts Center on March 22nd. BCAC would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed. Below is a recap of the discussion from the meeting:

What is one thing that is working in the arts, either in your community, the state or elsewhere?

  • Arts incubator – Moore, NC
  • Spoleto
  • Local community getting together
  • Florence – new buildings
  • Artists crawl – Hartsville
  • Weldon Auditorium in Clarendon County – new facility; county council behind it
  • Providing leadership for a lot of people to be involved - Hartsville
  • Classes for all ages in Hartsville and Darlington – visual arts
  • Black Creek Arts Council – spreading info, coordinating
  • S.C. Arts Commission – keeps the arts community informed statewide
  • Cooperation – public/private partnerships
  • Darlington School District – business in the arts award
  • School exhibits outside schools
  • Singing in churches is going strong, especially black churches. History and culture of black churches supports learning recitations, poetry
  • Funding mechanisms are clear, e.g. from Black Creek Arts Center and Byerly Foundation
  • Good collaborations between arts organizations and the various arts discipline organization in Hartsville and Florence
  • A number of free events; Coker and Francis Marion
  • Technology is helping everyone to be more aware of what’s going on and cross promote
  • National historical marker/exhibit – Coker Farms in Hartsville – brings in outside visitors
  • Partnership between library and museum
  • Community players, high school theatre and music – extra curricular
  • Volunteers

What is one of the biggest challenges facing the arts?

  • Funding – salaries, utilities, programs
  • Members don’t have the time or money to commit
  • Lack of visibility and communication
  • Budget cuts at school district
  • How to educate and raise awareness, developing audiences for higher-level work
  • Inclusive – cross race barriers
  • Finite pool of donors – corporations
  • Inclusive more people to learn/ serve
  • How to cultivate younger volunteers 30-50
  • Declining funding = fewer opportunities for younger people
  • Do people really understand the value of K-12 arts education?
  • Change perception; people don’t fully grasp the value that an arts education provides to all other skills; arts are co-curricular, not extra-curricular
  • Emphasis on making money vs. well-rounded education; need to change mindset of public education system
  • Recognize that the arts can serve underserved and underprivileged populations and improve academic success
  • Rural/geography- Cheraw, e.g. doesn’t have a college; it’s challenging to attract artists for events – it costs more to get those artists; hard to get people to come to a rural area
  • Sometimes the arts are seen as elite
  • Competing with sports for audiences; young people’s ideas of entertainment is different from ours; it’s our job to education the young to create new consumers
  • Disabled folks are underserved
  • Some children don’t have basic arts supplies in the home

What is a great opportunity for the arts in our state?

  • Developing heritage corridor/ Gullah-Geechee corrodor; take advantage of ethnic tourism (fastest growing area of tourism)
  • Family reunion market
  • Artisans + “trails” model – promotes cities and artists
  • Link with historic preservation
  • Raise level of arts training – work with university and colleges to train world-class artists
  • cultivating arts culture – in home, civic, public arenas
  • Recognize/take advantage of home-grown talent
  • Promote S.C. as an “arts state” vs. regional approach. We have not set out to be a state with an image/focus.
  • advantage of the weather, long season for outdoor events
  • Need a “buy local” campaign for the arts
  • S.C. Arts Commission and PRT should partner; tap into tourism, put arts into the state tourism plan
  • Get the word out more
  • Cross the digital divide
  • S.C. Arts Commission should toot its own horn more; put S.C. Arts Commission on TV – have its own show?
  • Students can study with living artists in schools

What did you like or not like about this forum?


  • Food
  • Everyone had a chance to give input
  • Organized
  • Facilitator
  • Comfortable location


  • Questions were too broad
  • Need more diverse SCAC staff here
  • How was this meeting promoted?

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