New story takes look at SCAC program
The S.C. Arts Commission pilot program “Art of Community: Rural SC” is turning heads across the U.S. for its success in bringing new voices to the table to address long-standing problems in rural communities through an arts lens.
Hampton County (Estill) maven Audrey Hopkins Williams (left) and SCAC Community Arts Development Directory Susan DuPlessis (right).
Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis, who is also the program’s director, regularly presents at national and regional conferences, and the program has key figures from around the country on its board (to include Pam Breaux, the executive director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies).
Pew Charitable Trusts released a story on their website today discussing the Smithsonian Institution’s “Museum on Main Street” program, with which the SCAC and SC Humanities are partners to bring its traveling exhibition on rural American to small South Carolina towns. The story features DuPlessis and extensive discussion of “Art of Community: Rural SC.” To wit:
With the support of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding, the South Carolina Arts Commission identified six leaders, whom they call mavens, in each county to build local teams of residents who were passionate about the community, but weren’t always in positions of power.
“Some of the rural communities we work with are really tired of organizations coming in with solutions, dropping money on a place, nothing significant happening, and then that organization is gone,” DuPlessis said. “Part of what we’re doing is creating pride of place and creating opportunities for people to own their community and see themselves differently.”
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