Arts Commission’s Sara June Goldstein to retire

Partnerships, literary arts maven retires March 1

After thirty-plus years of building partnerships and advancing South Carolina’s literary scene, Sara June Goldstein is to retire from the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC).

Goldstein, senior coordinator for statewide partnerships and director of literary arts, joined the agency in 1987 as project coordinator for “Carolina Connections,” a first of its kind three-day national literary festival that celebrated more than 100 writers with connections to South Carolina. She became a full-time member of the Arts Commission staff and program director for literary arts. A passionate public servant, Goldstein’s contributions to the state have all been partnerships.

For 32 years, Goldstein has been advocating for the contemporary literature of South Carolina as well as building and supporting diverse partnerships that highlight poets and writers—and other artists and communities—throughout the state. To her credit are notable and innovative partnerships she helped foster or create, including:

  • Art of Community: Rural SC, an SCAC program transforming rural counties with the arts;
  • the S.C. Novel Prize (with Hub City Press, College of Charleston, S.C. State Library, and SC Humanities);
  • the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, a partnership program among SCAC, Winthrop University, and the state department of education;
  • Leo Twiggs Arts Leadership Scholars Program with The Riley Institute at Furman;
  • Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission partnership;
  • the South Carolina Literary Arts Partnership, with SC Humanities and the State Library;
  • and the South Carolina Design Arts partnership, with Clemson University School of Architecture and S.C. Downtown Development Association

Through these programs, Goldstein has developed a national network of writers, artists, scholars, and publishing professionals who are increasingly familiar with the work of South Carolina authors and have a deeper appreciation of the rich diverse culture of the state.

In a fitting tribute, SC Humanities presented her with the prestigious 2018 Governor’s Award in the Humanities last October. Goldstein will leave the agency with a legacy as deep as it is broad when she heads into retirement this March 1.

“Working over the decades with individuals and organizations that support and champion free and creative expression, my work at the South Carolina Arts Commission has been filled with discoveries of places and people that have enriched my life and educated my imagination,” Goldstein said.

“Sara June has done as much for the literary arts in South Carolina as anyone I know, to say nothing of the way she brought so many partners to the table to work together and benefit the citizens of South Carolina,” SCAC Executive Director Ken May said. “We’re sad to see her go and will miss her, but our state will continue to feel the impact of her work.”

The S.C. Arts Commission is announcing that it is accepting applications for a community arts coordinator position resulting from the opening on its team. Interested applicants may learn more about the position from the official posting.

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 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 or call 803.734.8696.