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Reserve your space at the Statewide Arts Conference!

Guided by the theme "No Time Like The Future," we’re gearing up for an outstanding Statewide Arts Conference September 14 and 15 at the State Museum in Columbia. The conference features two national keynote speakers and top-notch sessions, the opening reception for the new State Art Collection exhibition, Eclipsing 50, AND customized museum experiences created just for our conference. We've also added a pre-conference session that is included in your registration fee of $75 ($65 for two or more people who register at the same time.) Register today to reserve your space. Conference highlights:

  • Two national keynote speakers - we welcome two highly regarded keynote speakers, Dr. Jane Chu, (left) Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, and Elizabeth Merritt, (right) Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums and Vice President for Strategic Foresight, American Alliance of Museums. Merritt will also lead a session during the conference.
  • Opening reception for new exhibition -  Eclipsing 50: The State Art Collection 1967 - 2017 was created to celebrate the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary and includes more than 80 pieces from the collection. The exhibition focuses on the spirit of dynamism and leaps of artistic faith of our state’s changing art landscape and spans work from the last five decades. The State Art Collection was established in 1967 as one of the first programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission.
  • Pre-conference session - Join the S.C. Arts Commission staff Thursday, Sept. 14 from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the State Library, 1500 Senate St., to find out about the Arts Commission's new and updated programs, opportunities and grants, including The Art of Community:Rural SC, ArtsGrowSC (a new loan program for artists) and our new grant application platform.
  • Conference location - we're taking advantage of our unique venue by designing museum experiences for you - our conference attendees. Choose from several options created and presented by museum staff.
  • The Vista Cultural District - explore Columbia's only state-designated cultural district during lunch on your own. Numerous restaurants and arts venues are a quick walk from the State Museum.
Conference schedule overview (Except for Thursday's pre-conference, all sessions -- including registration -- take place at the State Museum.) Thursday, September 14
  • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Session (State Library)
  • 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Registration (State Museum)
  • 6:00 - 7:15 p.m.  Opening keynote address - Elizabeth Merritt
  • 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Opening Reception for the 50th Anniversary State Art Collection - Eclipsing 50
Friday, September 15
  • 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Networking & coffee
  • 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round One
  • 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round Two
  • 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own in The Vista
  • 2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Keynote address - Jane Chu
  • 3:45 - 5:00 p.m. Museum experiences
A sample of sessions and speakers
  • Peering Into the Financial Future
  • South Carolina’s Creative Cluster - the Arts and Economic Development
  • Transformation: Creating Asset-Based Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
  • NASCAR, Improv and Advocacy?
  • Building Your Arts Community (for artists)
  • Combating Resistance in Your Art Practice (for artists)
  • Recycle and Renew: Hands-On Art Making
  • Moonshot! Exploring the State Art Collection in Eclipsing 50
  • Have Exhibition, Will Travel
  • Over the Moon - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Museums
  • Planetarium Potpourri
Area hotels are offering special rates  for conference attendees. Find out more and register today! Wells FargoThank you to Wells Fargo, our Statewide Arts Conference sponsor.

Statewide Arts Conference to feature two national keynote speakers

Special anniversary pricing of $50 is valid through July 21. The Statewide Arts Conference will feature two national leaders as keynote speakers: Dr. Jane Chu, (left) Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, and Elizabeth Merritt, (right) Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums and Vice President for Strategic Foresight, American Alliance of Museums. Merritt will also lead a session during the conference. The conference kicks off at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia's Vista Cultural District Thursday, September 14 with an evening plenary and a reception for the exhibition Eclipsing 50: The State Art Collection 1967-2017. The conference continues Friday, September 15 with a full day of sessions and museum experiences. A sample of conference sessions:

  • South Carolina's Creative Cluster: A Look at New Data About the Arts and Economic Development
  • Making Your Life as an Artist: A Guide to Building a Balanced, Sustainable Artistic Life
  • Advocacy and NASCAR
  • Recycle & Renew: Hands on Art Making
  • Peering Into the Financial Future - Finding New Strategies for Sustainable Support
  • Moonshot! Exploring the State Art Collection in Eclipsing 50
  • Have Exhibition, Will Travel
The conference also includes customized tours and presentations by State Museum staff members. Take advantage of special anniversary pricing!  Registration is only $50 through July 21. After July 21, registration is $75 per person ($65 per person for two or more participants who register at the same time.) Area hotels are offering special rates  for conference attendees. Find out more and register today! Thank you to Wells Fargo, our Statewide Arts Conference sponsor.