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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, SC 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"]Lancaster, SC 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

Olde English District holiday market accepting applications

[gallery ids="13093,13094,13099"] Application deadline is Sept. 30. Artisans, craftsmen, and holiday vendors are invited to participate in the second annual Artisans of the Olde English District & Downtown Holiday Market in downtown Lancaster, S.C. This indoor market will be held at 212 S. Main Street on Saturday, December 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as part of the Red Rose Holiday Tour. The market is a partnership of nonprofit agencies Avant Garde Center for the Arts and Olde English District Welcome Center & Artists Market. Applications are online at www.lancastercitysc.com or may be obtained by contacting Cherry Doster, cmstevens@comporium.net.  Applications are due by Sept. 30. The market is promoted throughout the region and is made possible with support from Duke Energy Foundation, the City of Lancaster, Mitch & Mandy Norrell and other sponsors. The Red Rose Holiday Tour includes a multitude of holiday open houses at galleries, gift shops, designers, cultural centers, and historical locations, in addition to the annual Native American Art and Piedmont Folk Art Sales, home tours, a Winter Block Party, a Santa Train & Workshop, a jewelry trunk show, and free concerts. Details will be available at www.lancastercitysc.com. Images: Examples of items from the 2013 market. Via: City of Lancaster, S.C.

Art and agriculture tours in York and Lancaster counties

Artists, farmers and other vendors will showcase local art works and local food in York and Lancaster counties during Ag + Art Tours beginning this weekend. Watch artists in action, purchase their works, dance to traditional music and learn more about rural life. Participating artisans include potters, weavers, quilters, painters, musicians, metalworkers, woodworkers and others. Tours are free and self-guided.

Ag  + Art York

York Ag + Art Tour The second annual York County Ag + Art Tour takes place June 8 - 9 at more than 20 venues in Rock Hill, York, Fort Mill and surrounding areas. Partners producing York Ag + Art are Arts Council of York County, Clemson Extension York County, Culture & Heritage Museums, Olde English Tourism District,  and York County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ag + Art Tour Lancaster

Lancaster Ag + Art Tour Lancaster County's first Art +Ag Tour is scheduled for June 22 - 23 and features farms, arts studios, galleries and cultural and historical sites from Indian Land to Lancaster to Heath Springs. Partners in producing the Lancaster County event are Clemson Extension Lancaster County, Olde English Tourism District, See Lancaster, Lancaster County Council of the Arts and Lancaster Agribusiness Center. Let us know about other events in South Carolina that combine the best of art and agriculture. Via: Arts Council of York County, See Lancaster, The Herald Journal