2023 S.C. Arts Awards: Aiken Center for the Arts

Governor’s Award: Organization Category

Graphic with white copy on a dark blue background overlaid on granite blocks. The white text reads South Carolina Arts Awards 2023.

As the day nears for the 2023 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year’s recipients: five receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts from the South Carolina Arts Commission and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, managed jointly by the SCAC and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

The Aiken Center for the Arts’ vision is “to be a community hub of creative expression and appreciation of the visual and performing arts that inspires, educates, and connects artists, students, residents, and visitors through exhibitions, performances, arts education, and a retail environment.”

Some 40,000 people come through ACA yearly. Making art more inclusive and accessible is a high priority. ACA staff and board of directors use this lens to make the vision a reality.

Three galleries change exhibitions every six weeks. ACA staff work to incorporate each exhibition into their ongoing educational programs, making a cohesive experience for the community.

ACA provides engaging instruction from local artists and musicians, enabling community members to find a creative voice through lessons, camps, workshops, and classes (scholarships available). The ACA Gallery Shop showcases these creative voices by selling local artists’ work.

ACA works closely with the Aiken County Public Schools. “Good Morning Art” was created to bring Aiken Head Start 4K students into the gallery, and ACA has authors and artists work directly in the schools, introducing a variety of arts that are integrated into content areas to connect learning and life.

Further, ACA has a heart for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities in its community. Youth summer workshops and year-round adult workshops provide for the development of communication skills, teamwork, and decision making at no cost to the participant, and ACA provides art experiences relating movement and painting to reach the Alzheimer’s/dementia community.

The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 8 p.m. ET.

South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.