S.C. Arts Commission recertifies three cultural districts


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing that three South Carolina Cultural Districts earned recertification, allowing them to hold the status for another five years.

The districts recertified are in Beaufort, Florence and Greenwood. Their recertification is effective July 1, 2024 and will be run through FY2029.

Every five years after designation, SCAC staff evaluate the annual reports, action plans, goals, and outcomes of designated cultural districts to assess the district’s impact and continued viability for state designation.

Beaufort’s district was designated in 2016, and the Florence and Greenwood districts were designated in 2017. Personnel changes, the pandemic and upgrades to the program changed the recertification timeline for some districts.

“A cultural district earns that designation after a rigorous application and review process that determines the extent to which they use arts and creativity to drive economic growth and tourism,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The South Carolina Arts Commission commends these districts for continued excellence in building community by leveraging the power of arts, culture and creativity to the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

Legislation ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014 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.

Cultural districts are defined by the SCAC 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.

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, 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com 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 jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899