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Jason Rapp

Ninth S.C. Cultural District approved in Camden

S.C. Arts Commission board votes unanimously for approval


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The city of Camden was awarded the ninth South Carolina Cultural District today by a unanimous vote of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) board of directors, effective immediately.

The new Downtown Camden Cultural District runs along Broad Street from West/East DeKalb streets south to York Street and along Rutledge Street from Church to Lyttleton streets, touching all or part of 14 city blocks. It includes the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, galleries, studios and other makers spaces, artisan and farmers markets, and prominent historic landmarks dating to the late 1800s. Signage and other markers are planned to define the area to residents and visitors. Children making chalk drawings in an alley in Camden“Camden has had a strong arts community for well over half a century, and downtown Camden hosts several arts spaces, including the Arts Center of Kershaw County, private galleries and studios, music and maker spaces,” said city of Camden Main Street Program Manager Katharine Spadacenta. “We’ve identified 60 cultural assets in this area to be designated as the Cultural District. We are very excited for the arts and culture of our community to be recognized as an official South Carolina Cultural District.” 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. 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 show the best of what South Carolina has to offer. They prove that arts and culture drive growth, bring people together, and make our communities stronger. We welcome Camden’s new cultural district. The possibilities and impact are boundless. We hope other cities and towns make arts a focal point of progress,” SCAC board of directors Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “Our South Carolina Cultural Districts attract tourists, help preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance the image and visibility of a place, foster a supportive environment for arts and culture,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “You don’t have to be in Camden long to see all of that is going on in our newest district. It is a wonderful and fitting addition to the program, and I congratulate them for making arts and culture a point of community pride.” “Personal connections in Camden let me observe the progress of its ongoing downtown revitalization through the past 13 years. Strong, visionary leadership steered toward this accomplishment, and the arts commission is thrilled to see the arts and creative sector used yet again to keep momentum building,” South Carolina Cultural Districts Program Director Jason Rapp said. Downtown Camden Cultural Districts joins eight other districts: Beaufort, Bluffton, Congaree Vista, Florence, Greenwood, Lancaster, Rock Hill, and Downtown Spartanburg. More information about South Carolina Cultural Districts is available at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/community-development/programs/cultural-districts/.

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. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Submitted material

Spartanburg streets to come alive with music again

Downtown programming returns for new season


Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series will be returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District this week starting tonight.

Spartanburg Cultural DistrictSince its launch in August 2017, Downtown Programming has provided over 800 entertainment experiences through weekly live music and performance “buskers." Downtown Programming is 100% funded by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce through the One Spartanburg initiative. The City of Spartanburg is also a valued supporter of the program. The goals for downtown programming include increasing, pedestrian traffic, retail sales for local businesses, use of downtown parking garages, awareness of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, and diversity of both performing artists and audience. We encourage the public to safely interact with musicians while out in public by observing social distancing and through the use of face coverings when possible. Please also consider directly supporting musicians through mobile payments and tips when possible. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded cultural district status in 2015 to the City of Spartanburg for downtown Spartanburg. The district is about four square blocks from Barnet Park to Spartanburg Community College’s downtown campus on Kennedy Street, west on Kennedy to the Grain District, and bordered on its northern edge by the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
About Chapman Cultural Center Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

Tuning Up: S.C. Cultural Districts, Canvass forum in the news

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Programs and initiatives led by the South Carolina Arts Commission received prominent mention in the news over the past few days, so we wanted to share.

‘The cool side of the river’: Art helps drive revitalization of Cayce, West Columbia (The State)

Cayce and West Columbia are using art to refresh key parts of their cities, attract public and private investment, and make their cities more appealing to residents and visitors. But can they succeed while avoiding the pitfalls bigger cities have struggled with?

The idea is that by devoting space and money to the arts, these cities can become magnets for new business, growth, tourism and revenue ...

The story went on to talk about creative placemaking and discussed South Carolina Cultural Districts, of which there are currently eight. Read Isabella Cueto's full report here. (Subscription might be required.) Rock Hill public forum makes the news Last week's public forum for Canvass of the People 2020 made it onto CN2 news, which covers Chester, Lancaster, and York counties on Comporium Cable. SCAC Executive Director David Platts was interviewed.

Tuning Up: Myriad opportunities for artists + grant writing

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


This one's for you, #SCartists...

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="aligncenter" width="563"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] A spate of calls for art and/or fellowship opportunities came through in recent days, so we're letting you know what we've seen (which, dear reader, is not to be assumed is an exhaustive list of opportunities). Please visit links for deadlines and requirements/restrictions/guidelines! And now, here they are:
  • Submissions are being sought for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2019, the center's fifth survey exhibition of work by contemporary South Carolina artists. The exhibition will be held at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. The 701 CCA S.C. Biennial 2019 will be presented in two parts with openings in September and November. Artists working in all media and styles are encouraged to apply. Artists must be a current resident of South Carolina. Please visit the website for specific details regarding the submissions.
  • Greenville Center for Creative Arts announced that 2019/2020 Brandon Fellowship applications will open June 7, 2019. The Brandon Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the ages of 21-30. Brandon Fellows receive a university style studio space at GCCA, a $250 stipend for art supplies per six-month period, an artist mentor, access to one 6-week class per session, and participation in group shows & community events. Please visit the GCCA website for Brandon Fellowship information.
  • Spartanburg/Upstate musicians are encouraged to sign up for live street performances in the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District. Currently, performances are scheduled to be held near four street intersections: Liberty & East Main streets, Church & East Main streets, Magnolia & Dunbar streets, and W. Main St. Pocket Park by The Coffee Bar. The live performances will take place Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, concluding in October. You must be a Chapman Cultural Center registered musician to perform. A link to join the registry and more information is on this page.

Oh, yeah, grant writing

The Central Midlands Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Columbia, June 17-18, 2019.  This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.  Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county, and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend. Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals.  Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary. Click here for full event details.