New leadership in place at S.C. Arts Commission

  • New fiscal year brings new board, staff leadership
  • Two new board members welcomed


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.

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.

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 or call 803.734.8696.