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New leadership in place at S.C. Arts Commission

  • New fiscal year brings new board, staff leadership
  • Two new board members welcomed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) welcomed a new board chairwoman, new executive director, and two new board members at the start of fiscal year 2020 on July 1. [caption id="attachment_40818" align="alignright" width="250"]SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019. SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019.[/caption] At their last meeting in June, the SCAC Board of Commissioners elected Delores “Dee” Crawford of Aiken as its chairwoman. Crawford is a former award-winning owner and operator of seven McDonald’s restaurants employing more than 400 people. She holds a mathematics degree from Fisk University in Nashville, and previously worked for IBM in the Washington, D.C. area. Crawford is a community leader, serving on numerous boards in and around Aiken and is a fellow of the Riley Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University. She was most recently serving as a vice chair of SCAC and was chair of the search committee that reviewed and interviewed candidates to be the agency’s new executive director. That committee’s work resulted in the hiring of David Platts of Lancaster as executive director, which was also effective July 1. Platts holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. He has broad experience in education, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in schools across the state. He joins SCAC from Lancaster County School District, where he served as arts and science coordinator for 15 years. In June, the state senate approved two gubernatorial appointees to the SCAC Board of Directors.
  • Bhavna Vasudeva of Columbia is a licensed real estate agent and owner and manager of several rental properties. She has deep community ties, as indicated by her service on high-profile local boards of the American Red Cross, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, and South Carolina Arts Foundation, among others. The UofSC graduate has previously served as a commissioner of the state governor’s mansion.
  • Linda Stern of Columbia returned as a commissioner. Stern, a previous chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors, is also a UofSC alumna and is a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts from SCAC and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. Active in her synagogue, Stern maintains her own deep community ties with service on multiple boards, including Columbia City Ballet, McKissick Museum, the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion, EdVenture Children’s Museum, and more.
“We’re delighted to welcome two new commissioners, along with a new executive director, during this time of transition. The new members will contribute greatly, and all of us are ready to begin working to serve South Carolinians and ensure everyone has access to the benefits of the arts in their lives,” Crawford said.

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.

S.C. Arts Commission names new executive director

David Platts to join agency July 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors is announcing David Platts of Lancaster is to be the agency’s new executive director, effective July 1, 2019. Platts currently serves as arts and science coordinator for Lancaster County School District, a position he’s held for 15 years. He will be the first new executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) in nine years, stepping in to lead an agency of 15 full-time staff who work to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three areas: arts education, artist development, and community arts development. “While I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity, I am even more excited at the thought of serving with this dynamic team as we strive to advance the arts in South Carolina. Having worked with them as a grant recipient, an arts advocate on many levels, and in arts education, I understand the Arts Commission’s essential role. I am excited to make Columbia my home, where together we will continue working to keep the arts in the heart of each South Carolinian,” Platts said. In his current role, Platts supports the Lancaster County School District’s arts teachers and oversees their instructional programs, six of which are for schools participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a joint program of the SCAC, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Department of Education. He manages the district’s arts state and federal education grants, some of which come from the SCAC. He is formerly a teacher, assistant principal and principal at elementary schools elsewhere in South Carolina and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. In addition to his work as an educator, Platts has served locally on the Lancaster County Council of the Arts as a board member and president. He has statewide experience as a member, president, and current treasurer of the Palmetto State Arts Education board and as a current member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance board, where he has been active as an arts advocate. He is involved in his community, serving on the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce board, and is an artist himself: a pianist, he is an accompanist and is involved in music leadership at his church. “We are pleased to identify David Platts as the new executive director of SCAC. We believe he has the right skills to oversee the agency, develop a new strategic plan and implement it over the course of the next 10 years,” SCAC Board of Directors Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “David is assuming leadership of a great state arts agency and wonderful staff and on behalf of the board of directors, we wish him best of success.” Dee Crawford, who will begin serving as chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors July 1, was chair of the executive director search committee. “In thinking about the specific roles someone in this job plays, we knew we needed a proven leader and experienced advocate to be prepared for the rigors of running a state agency. David has a broad blend of board leadership and his arts advocacy locally, statewide, and on the national level made him an ideal candidate,” Crawford said. “Further, David is an educator whose deep ties to the Arts Commission’s arts in education programs give him knowledge of the agency. Adding in his strategic planning experience, this is someone forward-looking who is focused on the future of the arts in South Carolina,” she said. Platts will replace Ken May, who retires at the end of June after serving 33 years at the SCAC, the last nine as its executive director.

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.

Full Statements

HENRY HOROWITZ, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “We are pleased to identify David Platts as the new executive director of SCAC. We believe he has the right skills to oversee the agency, develop a new strategic plan and implement it over the course of the next 10 years. David is assuming leadership of a great state arts agency and wonderful staff and on behalf of the board of directors, we wish him best of success.” DEE CRAWFORD, SEARCH COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “In thinking about the specific roles someone in this job plays, we knew we needed a proven leader and experienced advocate to be prepared for the rigors of running a state agency. David has a broad blend of board leadership and his arts advocacy locally, statewide, and on the national level made him an ideal candidate. Further, David is an educator whose deep ties to the Arts Commission’s arts in education programs give him knowledge of the agency. Adding in his strategic planning experience, this is someone forward-looking who is focused on the future of the arts in South Carolina. His background as a musician will help him relate to our artists as our agency seeks to help them make sustainable careers.” DAVID PLATTS, INCOMING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “While I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity, I am even more excited at the thought of serving with this dynamic team as we strive to advance the arts in South Carolina. Having worked with them as a grant recipient, an arts advocate on many levels, and in arts education, I understand the Arts Commission’s essential role. I am excited to make Columbia my home, where together we will continue working to keep the arts in the heart of each South Carolinian.”

Media Resources

Print and web formatted images of David Platts are available here. Interview requests for anyone named in this news release and other SCAC board or staff are available. Contact Communications Director Jason Rapp via the information below. The secondary contact is Deputy Director Milly Hough: 803.734.8698 or MHough@arts.sc.gov.