Georgetown gets nod for S.C. Cultural District

Grand Strand city awarded S.C.’s 11th cultural district


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing that the city of Georgetown, “where southern time meets maritime,” is home to the 11th South Carolina Cultural District designated by its board of commissioners.

The coastal city is the first South Carolina Cultural District in the Grand Strand region. It offers an abundant and diverse range of cultural assets in an oak tree-lined, strollable setting:

  • Multiple art galleries and performance venues;
  • restaurants catering to a wide range of tastes showcase the culinary arts;
  • public art displays, including murals;
  • public events that offer arts and cultural components, highlighted by the annual Art and Wine Walk in June;
  • and a unique and diverse blending of history and the arts.

The western part of the district puts a spotlight on African American and Gullah Geechee culture with performance venues, cultural centers, and history. Gullah Geechee artisans participate in the city Farmers Market, which offers local art in addition to fresh food year-round.

Responding to the designation, Mayor Carol Jayroe said, “The city is honored to receive the Cultural District designation and glad the South Carolina Arts Commission recognizes the abundance of culture in our community. This designation is significant in offering our city many opportunities economically for which we are very grateful.”

“As the third oldest city in South Carolina, Georgetown combines history dating back to the 1700’s along with cultural assets throughout our city. With the formation of the City of Georgetown Arts and Cultural Commission, and the new designation as a South Carolina Cultural District of, there will be so much more to come,” Main Street Director Al Joseph said. Joseph is also a board member of the new arts and cultural commission.

Legislation ratified in 2014 by the state General Assembly authorizes the SCAC to grant official state designation to cultural districts. The legislation specifies the following goals of this program:

  • attract artists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural enterprises to communities
  • encourage economic development
  • foster local cultural development
  • provide a focal point for celebrating and strengthening local cultural identity

The SCAC defines cultural districts as strollable geographic areas with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. They are easily identifiable and serve as centers of cultural, artistic, and economic activity. They frequently have galleries and artist studios, theaters and other live performance venues, public art, museums and arts centers, and arts schools in addition to non-cultural attractions like parks, restaurants and bars, and other commercial activity.

“Cultural districts put creative placekeeping and placemaking at the heart of economic development, growth, arts programming, and livability in our state’s cities and towns. The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to welcome a new coastal district in Georgetown, the first from the Grand Strand. We look forward to working with more cities and towns who recognize that arts and creativity are vital to our state’s communities,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

“Recognizing how the arts can unite communities and provide opportunities has been a special part of the certification for the city of Georgetown. Wide-ranging cultural assets from the West End to various festivals and events will highlight local history, Gullah Geechee culture, and much more. Through community-led change, we look forward to seeing how local creative placemaking efforts and unique public art experiences will continue to develop this new cultural district,” said SCAC Public Art Coordinator Margot Lane Strasburger.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences.

A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts through grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit or call 803.734.8696, and follow @SCArtsComm on Facebook, Instagram, and X for #Arts4SC and #SCArtists content.

Header graphic that reads: South Carolina Arts Commission News Release Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director or 803.734.8899