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Arts Sector Makes $9.7 Billion Impact on S.C. Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6 February 2018   COLUMBIA, S.C. – The jobs, tax revenue, and spending by South Carolina’s arts-related sector add $9.7 billion to the state’s economy, according to a new economic impact study released today by the S.C. Arts Commission. Additional findings in “South Carolina’s Arts-Related Economic Cluster” include that the arts:

  • support 115,000 jobs,
  • are responsible for $3.8 billion in labor income,
  • and generate $269 million in tax revenue.
According to the study, the arts form a cluster like other large sectors of the state’s economy. Along with manufacturing and agriculture, “the arts-related cluster is a linchpin of state and local economic development.” It goes on to conclude that, “from any perspective, these are considerable economic benefits.” The study was authored by Douglas P. Woodward, Ph.D. Woodward examined 2014 data from the U.S. census and economic analysis bureaus and commerce department to complete the report, analyzing the S.C. economy associated with the arts, design, crafts, and related activities. He is the director of the Division of Research and professor of economics at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. “It’s certainly appropriate for state leaders to pay attention to the arts as a viable economic driver just as they do agriculture, manufacturing, and other key sectors,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “This report gives context to the work by artists and arts organizations all over the state and connects those efforts to S.C.’s creative economy.” The study utilized an economic multiplier model to determine the extent of the arts-related cluster’s impact. Researchers first analyzed the number of direct jobs in the sector and then assessed its economic impact using a model of South Carolina’s economic linkages – how spending in one sector spreads. Music and arts organizations, for example, hire workers who spend money in the local economy, leading to a ripple-effect of further income and spending through various other sectors. The concept of an economic multiplier is an accepted and widely practiced technique used to assess the total impact of regional business activities. For context, a recent study on the USC statewide system reported a $5.5 billion impact. Leading sectors in the state include agribusiness at $41 billion, automotive at $27 billion, and tourism at $20 billion. The complete study is available from the Arts Commission website at: http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/economic/artsclusterreport
  ABOUT DR. DOUGLAS P. WOODWARD Dr. Douglas P. Woodward is the director of the Division of Research and professor of economics at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Texas in 1986. Dr. Woodward's primary research interests are in regional economic development. He has published numerous academic articles in economics and regional science journals. Dr. Woodward has conducted sponsored economic research in the United States, China, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya and elsewhere. Over his career, Dr. Woodward has received many grants and awards. He has testified before local, state and national government committees and has presented his research at many conferences around the world, including the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzer- land. Dr. Woodward has been quoted frequently in the national press and has often appeared on television and radio programs discussing economic development and related topics.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

Tuning Up: State Library opens Gullah Geechee photo exhibit

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...


  • More than books: Starting today and running through March 30, visit the S.C. State Library (1500 Senate St., Columbia a/k/a two blocks from "Tuning Up") for a new photography exhibit, "Shadows of the Gullah Geechee." Photographer Pete Marovich explores the everyday lives of Gullah Geechee communities in coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Free. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, weekdays.
  • The Good Fight: GP McLeer (right), executive director of the S.C. Arts Alliance, talks Arts Advocacy Week and more in a new article at TownCarolina.com.
  • Why We Advocate: Talking of the Arts Alliance, we're still advocating over here. Through public support of the arts, the Arts Commission's Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project served 160,000 S.C. students in 440 schools in FY 2017. ABC is a shining star among the SCAC's programs, and you should read more about the great work of this partnership among the SCAC, S.C. Department of Education, and Winthrop University.
  • Last call: Arts Advocacy Day at the State House is coming Tuesday. Do you have luncheon tickets yet?

Arts Commission to release economic impact report next week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 31 January 2018

  • Economist, researcher Doug Woodward to present report at legislative luncheon
  • Statewide arts advocates to gather at State House in support of sector
COLUMBIA, S.C. – With Arts Advocacy Day at the State House in Columbia as a backdrop, the S.C. Arts Commission will release a new economic impact report on South Carolina’s arts sector Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. The new report, the first since 2010, will show the arts’ impact on the S.C. economy with detailed employment and total impact numbers, among other things. It was commissioned by the Arts Commission and completed by Doug Woodward, Ph.D., an economist, researcher, and professor at the USC Darla Moore School of Business who examined 2014 data from the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. As the keynote speaker at the 1 p.m. legislative luncheon at the Capital City Club (1201 Main St., 25th floor, Columbia), Woodward will give a presentation on his findings and be available for media questions. “We expect the report will show that the state’s investment in the arts translates to a significant impact on the state’s economy, from jobs created and maintained to the ripple effects of people then transferring wages to other sectors through spending,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “It’s certainly appropriate for state leaders to pay attention to the arts as a viable economic driver just as they do agriculture, manufacturing, and other key sectors.” Arts Advocacy Day is organized and presented annually by the S.C. Arts Alliance. Festivities begin shortly after 11 a.m. on the State House steps as 300 choral students from Richland School District 2 in Columbia sing on the building’s Gervais Street steps. Arts advocates then move inside for a rally, enthusiastically greeting members of the House and Senate arriving for the day’s sessions, before moving across Gervais Street for the 1 p.m. luncheon honoring the S.C. Legislative Arts Caucus.
ABOUT DR. DOUGLAS P. WOODWARD Dr. Douglas P. Woodward is the director of the Division of Research and professor of economics at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Texas in 1986. Dr. Woodward's primary research interests are in regional economic development. He has published numerous academic articles in economics and regional science journals. Dr. Woodward has conducted sponsored economic research in the United States, China, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya and elsewhere. Over his career, Dr. Woodward has received many grants and awards. He has testified before local, state and national government committees and has presented his research at many conferences around the world, including the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzer- land. Dr. Woodward has been quoted frequently in the national press and has often appeared on television and radio programs discussing economic development and related topics.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS ALLIANCE The South Carolina Arts Alliance is dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development, and public awareness. Based at the Younts Center for Performing Arts in Fountain Inn, S.C., the SCAA works across the state with artists, arts administrators, educators, creative entrepreneurs, community leaders, and arts supporters to strengthen the creative sector in South Carolina. More information can be found at SCArtsAlliance.net.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

Tuning Up: $350,000 on its way out

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...


"Tuning Up" is getting in on our advocacy push this week as we lead up to S.C. Arts Advocacy Week and the State House rally and luncheon with legislators, presented by the S.C. Arts Alliance. Today's advocacy story hits right in the wallet - in a good way. See this? Successful S.C. House and Senate veto override votes allowed Arts Commission staff to begin processing $350,000 in additional funds to operating support grantees - and you're looking at them. The arts work being done as a result of arts funding - public support of the arts - from the mountains to the coast is phenomenal. Keep telling your stories, and keep helping our state move forward together.  

Young Voices Build Pride in Place

Next week, the S.C. Arts Alliance presents the annual S.C. Arts Advocacy Day – with a twist: in 2018, it becomes Arts Advocacy Week. The main events are Tuesday with a State House rally and luncheon to follow. (We hope to see you there.) Here on The Hub, we're taking this week to connect the dots between public support of the arts and the net effect on society. This week's focus is on why we advocate, why support matters, and what arts support looks like on the ground, in communities around the state.


Sometimes, those communities have deep, historic problems. Oftentimes, those problems persist when one-size-fits-all solutions ... just aren't. Enter the Art of Community: Rural S.C. to foster creative, grassroots efforts to address problems through arts, culture, and creative placemaking. This program addresses the unique needs of rural South Carolina by taking what makes a community unique and building pride around that through creative partnerships with people previously not engaged to address those issues. An eclectic mix of young minds are rethinking the ways their rural communities are perceived to create a new framework for action. Please take a few moments to hear them tell their stories in the video below, which shows how arts and culture merge to face challenges where other attempts have fallen short. This is what arts support looks like on the ground. This is why we advocate: YOUNG VOICES VIDEO 5 MINUTES from Cook Productions on Vimeo.
The Art of Community: Rural S.C. advances the S.C. Arts Commission’s commitment to rural development through arts, culture and creative placemaking, creating a way to support new leadership, generate energy, and motivate action in a rural region of South Carolina. It is supported by the S.C. Arts Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. Read more about it here.