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Tuning Up: S.C. Cultural Districts, Canvass forum in the news

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Programs and initiatives led by the South Carolina Arts Commission received prominent mention in the news over the past few days, so we wanted to share.

‘The cool side of the river’: Art helps drive revitalization of Cayce, West Columbia (The State)

Cayce and West Columbia are using art to refresh key parts of their cities, attract public and private investment, and make their cities more appealing to residents and visitors. But can they succeed while avoiding the pitfalls bigger cities have struggled with?

The idea is that by devoting space and money to the arts, these cities can become magnets for new business, growth, tourism and revenue ...

The story went on to talk about creative placemaking and discussed South Carolina Cultural Districts, of which there are currently eight. Read Isabella Cueto's full report here. (Subscription might be required.) Rock Hill public forum makes the news Last week's public forum for Canvass of the People 2020 made it onto CN2 news, which covers Chester, Lancaster, and York counties on Comporium Cable. SCAC Executive Director David Platts was interviewed.

Canvassing the people… at least nine times

Once-a-decade survey comes to you, S.C. arts lover


As you probably do, the South Carolina Arts Commission believes the arts are more than simply "nice things." They offer quality of life; promote creativity, understanding, and civility; and are often indicated as points of pride in communities across any map—all while pumping nearly $10 billion into the South Carolina economy. And, and as you probably also do, the SCAC wants to them do even more of those things and do other things we haven't considered. We never said we could do it alone, so that's where you come in. We've already announced Canvass of the People 2020, a once-a-decade checkup on South Carolina arts and culture. Since then, additional public forums have been announced, and we wanted to update you because we really, really request the honor of your presence at one of them. (Not an option for you? Hang tight; we'll get to that.) Here's where the list stands going forward. Two public events have already occurred in Spartanburg and in Rock Hill (which boasted a significant turnout of about 60 informed and involved citizens).
  • Greenwood (Nov. 21, 2019)
  • Myrtle Beach (Dec. 9, 2019)
  • Pickens (Dec. 10, 2019)
  • Orangeburg (Dec. 12, 2019)
  • Sumter (Jan. 9, 2020)
  • Beaufort (Jan. 23, 2020)
  • McCormick (Jan. 27, 2020)
  • Greenville (Feb. 6, 2020)
  • Columbia (Feb. 12, 2020)
  • Aiken (Feb. 20, 2020)
Want more information on one or more of these? Our Facebook events page is serving as (pardon the term here) de facto "hub" for all event information. All current public forums are listed there. Because it's foolish to think everyone who lives in one of these areas and is interested in attending will be available when the forums occur, the SCAC website has an online survey you can take at your leisure and still be involved in this important process! To be frank, even if you can or do attend a public forum you can still take the online survey. We are asking you where we go from here, and we're eager to get to wherever that is with you.

Citizen input to help form new long-range S.C. arts plan

In public meetings and survey, SCAC queries arts’ direction


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is fanning out across the state this fall and winter, gathering public input to help it form the next long-range plan for arts and culture in South Carolina. Every 10 years, dating back to 1980, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) conducts the Canvass of the People in public and private forums and through an anonymous online survey to gather South Carolinians’ impressions of the successes and challenges for the arts and culture scene in the state. They are also asked to look ahead and weigh in on what the next steps should be. Results culled from the Canvass of the People help the SCAC form its Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina. “Public input is the cornerstone of this process. As we ask, ‘Where do we go from here?’ we need for our reach to be as far and wide as possible. There are several Canvass forums scheduled and more being planned, each chosen strategically for geographic diversity and, we hope, diversity of opinion and experience. The goal is to generate discussion about the arts to understand what South Carolinians envision for their communities,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. At present, seven public forums are on the calendar at locations throughout South Carolina. One occurred in mid-October, but the rest take place from November through February and more are in the planning stages. Two private forums have occurred, and more of those are expected as well, taking place during meetings of affinity groups in the state who work in or support the arts. The public forums on the calendar at this moment will take place in:
  • Rock Hill (Nov. 13, 2019)
  • Greenwood (Nov. 21, 2019)
  • Myrtle Beach (Dec. 9, 2019)
  • Pickens (Dec. 10, 2019)
  • Orangeburg (Dec. 12, 2019)
  • Sumter (Jan. 9, 2020)
  • Beaufort (Jan. 23, 2020)
  • Columbia (Feb. 12, 2020)
Updated listings and the link to take the anonymous survey can be found at SouthCarolinaArts.com/Canvass/. The SCAC is planning for the Canvass of the People to finish in March so work on the Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina may begin. An estimated release of the plan is fall 2020.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.