Four South Carolina Cultural Districts earn recertification
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The first four South Carolina Cultural Districts designated in 2015 after the program’s launch earned recertification based on FY2020 data gathered by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).
The districts recertified are: the Congaree Vista
, Rock Hill
and Spartanburg Downtown
, all designated in 2015. Their recertification is effective July 1, 2022 and will be run through FY2027.
SCAC Executive Director David Platts
approved recertification at the recommendation of reviewer Jason Rapp
, the South Carolina Cultural Districts program
director. The SCAC reviews annual reports and action plans submitted by the cultural districts and, every five years after designation, is to evaluate the districts eligible for recertification. Though delayed because of the pandemic, FY2020 data was collected and reviewed for these original four districts.
“The South Carolina Arts Commission commends these districts for many things, but top-of-mind right now is the way they didn’t allow the upside-down pandemic world of lockdowns and restrictions to take their focus off arts and creativity. The reports showed each district managed to find its way in the face of major challenges. They are poised for big things as the world returns to normal, and we congratulate them on their significant achievements,” Platts said.
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
“A district is designated after a rigorous application and review process that determines the extent to which they use arts and creativity to build community and encourage economic growth,” Platts said.
Cultural districts are defined by the SCAC as walkable 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.
Additional South Carolina Cultural Districts
are designated in Beaufort, Bluffton, Camden, Florence, and Greenwood.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) 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 by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com
or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
‘Springing into the Arts’ in Lancaster
With mural debut, fun events
Lancaster County Council of the Arts is partnering with Lindsay Pettus Greenway and the City of Lancaster for "Spring into the Arts" celebrating public art with the reveal of the greenway's first mural as the event centerpiece.
The Saturday, April 24th event will feature art by children from each of the Lancaster County schools in a Youth Art Month outdoor exhibition on the greenway, an inclusive participatory project titled "Be the Art" for everyone who wishes to participate, a drone video project, live music and a poetry reading, a morning run, a rain barrel workshop, a bird count, arts and crafts for kids, food trucks, and the mural unveiling with an artist talk—all designed to bring attention to and support for Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway's commitment to public art in the environment.
[caption id="attachment_43762" align="alignright" width="150"]
Artist Amiri Farris
designed the Woodland Drive underpass mural, and it will be painted under his direction by teams composed mostly of UofSC Lancaster students and other interested participants. The mural will reflect the environmental mission and beauty of the Greenway. Teams will paint throughout the week beginning on April 19 and ending with an unveiling and artist’s talk by Farris on Saturday, April 24 at noon. Anyone interested in viewing the work in progress is welcome to visit the Woodland Drive underpass during Greenway open hours from dawn to dusk and at the unveiling on Saturday April 24 at noon.
"Be the Art" is an interactive “Spring into the Arts” exhibition in which anyone can participate. At 11 a.m., beginning at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street School, participants will carry umbrellas on the short, 7/10 of a mile walk from Barr Street to the Woodland Drive underpass. Anyone who wishes to "Be the Art" will walk single file, wearing masks and socially distanced, along the greenway with umbrellas open while a drone films the moving line of umbrellas. Borrowing from the New Orleans umbrella tradition, this is an interactive and visually bold art piece that highlights inclusivity, movement, color, and the beautiful setting of the greenway. The drone video of this project will be used to highlight the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway in various media and on the LCCA’s YouTube channel. Umbrellas will be given away to the first 250 people who wish to participate.
“Youth Art Month,” normally displayed at the Historic Springs House Galleries, features art by Lancaster County School District K-12 students. This year the exhibit will be a one-day event on the greenway. The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. and remain on view until 2 p.m. and take place in various greenway locations between Founders Federal access at Barr Street and Constitution Park (at the intersection of Woodland Drive and Main Street).
Spring into the Arts events to celebrate the mural unveiling are as follows:
- Katawba Valley Land Trust bird count and walk (8 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
- Lancaster Runs (9 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
- Keep Lancaster Beautiful litter pick up (9:30 a.m., Founders Federal access at Barr Street)
- Nature Crafts for Kids (1-3 p.m., Pier Overlook near Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
- Catawba Riverkeepers Foundation Rain Barrel Workshop (1-3 p.m., Nature Pavilion at the Comporium access on Colonial Drive. Please sign up at https://catawbariverkeeper.dm.networkforgood.com/forms/april-24-lpg-rain-barrel-workshop)
- Lancaster County Council of the Arts Lemonade Stand (12-1 p.m., Woodland Drive Underpass)
- Poetry Reading by Lisa Hammond, USC Lancaster faculty and guest poet (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
- Artist Talk by Amiri Farris, guest muralist (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
- Music on the Greenway with guest musician Bo Beaumont (11 a.m. until noon at the Almetta Street access; 1-2 pm. at Constitution Park)
Parking for “Spring into the Arts” April 24 events is available at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street, Lancaster High School Stadium, Parking Lot at 800 North White St. (former Arras Foundation building), and First Presbyterian Church at 700 North Main St.
All events are free and open to the public. Donations to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway are encouraged and welcome by both organizations.
Food Trucks Kona Ice and Wilber’s Last Ride will have food available for purchase from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lancaster High School Stadium lot.
Artists, artisans sought for Gay St. Arts Crawl in Lancaster
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts is seeking handcrafted artists, artisans, and craftspeople interested in setting up a ‘Pop Up’ Artists Market Friday, Nov. 1 in the upcoming Gay Street Arts Crawl in the center of the downtown Cultural Arts District.
No entry fee or charge for participation (artists are required to pay all applicable taxes and gain any licenses required to sell their work). Local/downtown businesses are encouraged to take part, as well.
Artists, artisans, and craftspeople selected to participate need to bring all necessary display items, tables and chairs to set up your assigned space (in and around Gay Street). If you bring a tent, please bring your own lighting and weights for the tent.
The Gay Street Arts Crawl is from 6-9 p.m. Artists must be set up by 5:30 p.m. and may not remove displays before 9 p.m. At 5 p.m., sections of Gay Street will close. Artists may need to walk their artwork to their location, and are advised to take a wagon or a tote for this. In addition to the Arts Crawl and Artists Market, food and drink will be available in certain locations and for purchase.
For an application, contact the Lancaster County Council of the Arts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.285.7451. Completed and signed applications are due as soon as possible. This event is rain or shine, and you will be alerted to your approval as your form can be processed. All artisans and artists must preregister. If there is inclement weather, any registered artists and artisans will have a spot waiting indoors.
The Gay Street Arts Crawl is being sponsored and hosted by the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, See Lancaster - City of Lancaster, the Craft Stand, and local businesses.
Lancaster and Spartanburg are the state’s newest Cultural Districts
The South Carolina Arts Commission has named downtown Lancaster and a portion of downtown Spartanburg as state-recognized cultural districts. A cultural district is an easily identifiable geographic area with a concentration of arts facilities and assets that support cultural, artistic and economic activity. The cultural district designation was created by the S.C. General Assembly and Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014.
[caption id="attachment_21765" align="alignleft" width="250"] Spartanburg's 1Spark Festival[/caption]
Each city's leading arts organization worked with local leaders and Arts Commission staff to develop a map of cultural assets and a strategic plan for the district. City officials will use the cultural district designation to attract visitors and residents to downtown and promote the area as a hub of arts and culture.
Related: Chapman Cultural Center invites Spartanburg artists to submit qualifications for cultural district logo design.
[caption id="attachment_21763" align="alignright" width="250"] Downtown Lancaster[/caption]
“The recognition as a cultural district will help enhance the vibrant arts initiatives in Lancaster,” said Cherry Doster, marketing and development manager for "See Lancaster." “The cultural district designation is another way to help increase support of existing businesses and attract new ones.”
City of Lancaster Administrator Helen Sowell remarked, “The City of Lancaster is honored to have received this award. Our city is fortunate to have a number of local artists who have educated our citizens to understand the importance of art not just to the community, but especially to our school children. Our own resident artist, Bob Doster, has worked tirelessly to teach our children to embrace their creativity and to explore and appreciate all forms of art.”
Non-arts businesses and organizations are important pieces of a cultural district, says S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. “A successful cultural district attracts creative enterprises, such as galleries and theatres, whose patrons want to dine out and shop, so nearby retail and other businesses benefit from that increased economic activity.”
“The cultural districts legislation is a new initiative that promotes the value of the arts and the benefits of economic growth to promote a thriving local arts environment,” said S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. “This program was developed after reviewing successful cultural district designations in other states and gathering input from key S.C. stakeholders, including representatives from economic development, tourism, local government and the arts.”
Lancaster and Spartanburg join Rock Hill as the state's first three cultural districts. Other states with similar cultural district programs include Massachusetts, Kentucky, Texas and Colorado.
South Carolina cities, towns and rural communities interested in cultural district designation are invited to contact Rusty Sox, (803) 734-8899.
Image above: Downtown Lancaster
S.C. Arts Commission announces 2015 Verner Award recipients
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts! The S.C. Arts Commission annually presents the awards, the highest honor the state gives in the arts, to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Columbia on Wednesday, May 13. The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala.
This year’s recipients:
"South Carolina's quality of life, education and economy are enhanced tremendously by those who dedicate their work and lives to the arts," said S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. "The Verner Awards recognize that service of commitment and passion. We are honored again this year to present the awards to a most worthy group of organizations and individuals. We are grateful for their contributions to our state."
For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Gala, call (803) 734-8696 or visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com
About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three 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 www.SouthCarolinaArts.com
or call (803) 734-8696.