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Jason Rapp

Six findings from Amplify Columbia

From ColaToday (10/1/2018):

Back in January, the City + One Columbia announced that they were enacting a cultural arts planning process called Amplify in Columbia: an 18-month project that would kick off with focus groups + surveys to discover how the arts could better serve our city – and vice versa – and end with a formalized draft of a cultural section of the City Planning Department’s Comprehensive Plan in-the-making, Columbia Compass: Envision 2036.

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Now, Amplify is in its tenth month of its 18-month planning process. So – what has the Amplify team found out about cultural needs, wants, barriers + opportunities in Columbia? And how can that be written into Columbia Compass as future public policy for our city?


Data collected from 70 public meetings in 59 places across Columbia has uncovered a few things, and identified six themes that have come from people who attended. (The S.C. Arts Commission was the site of one such meeting, and Amplify's lead consultant served on the panel that reviewed applicants to our biggest grant program: General Operating Support for Organizations.)
  • 96% of survey-takers feel Columbia needs more arts activities and events
  • 50% feel that increasing public space for interactive experiences is a top priority
  • Other top priorities included focusing on the preservation and support of Columbia history and continuing to add more public art 
  • Columbia has artists who are willing to teach in their communities
  • Columbia's citizens define culture + art beyond visual creationsincluding food, festivals and more
Additionally, six themes emerged from the public hearings, discussions + forums:
  • Leadership
  • Investment
  • Spaces
  • Valuing Artists
  • Art Learning and Mastery
  • History
Head over to ColaToday to read more about the process and the findings to this point.  

Columbia holds free teaching artist workshop next week

From Amplify Columbia: Teaching artists, also known as artist educators or community artists, are professional artists who teach and integrate their art form, perspectives, and skills into a wide range of settings. Teaching artists work with schools, after school programs, community organizations, and social service agencies to encourage increased public participation in the arts for residents of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Join us Monday, Aug. 27 from 6-8:30 p.m. (Eau Claire Print Building, 3907 Ensor Ave, Columbia, SC 29203) for a free professional development workshop for teaching artists. Participants will be given structure, guidance, and tools to implement clear goals in their residencies and lessons and to improve their work. For both emerging and master teaching artists, this workshop is open to faculty of midlands universities, classroom teachers, artists, staff working with any area arts organization, museum docents and parks and recreation staff who work directly with young people. This session is free however preregistration is required. Register by emailing your name and a contact number to hello@amplifycolumbia.com.


About Amplify

Amplify is the capital city's new long-range cultural plan: a community conversation that identifies opportunities for broadening public participation in arts and cultural activities. The City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History are collaborating to oversee the cultural planning process. Facilitated community conversations involving a  broad cross sector of our community will focus on four core areas:
  1. Economic prosperity for the Columbia region
  2. Cultural vitality
  3. Social and cultural equity
  4. Ways to embed arts and culture across the city’s Comprehensive Plan
AMPLIFY is the name given to the planning process and helps make visible its progress. As the name implies, the planning process will highlight existing arts, cultural and heritage resources of Columbia and recommend ways to strengthen these valuable assets in our community. The leader or Amplify's consulting team is Margie Johnson Reese, who served on the SCAC's panel that reviewed General Operating Support grant applications this past May. Go here for more information about Amplify.