A Long Range Plan for the Arts in
South Carolina, 2001-2010
This is a summary of the nine-year guide to arts development in our state from 2001-2010. Because the South Carolina Arts Commission was determined to include as many citizens as possible, this plan is developed from hundreds of points of view and shared ideas from South Carolinians all over the state. Download a PDF copy of the complete long range plan
The Canvas of the People — Process and Purpose
The name of the process for including a diverse range of South Carolinians in the creation of this plan is “The Canvas of the People”. The Canvas of the People is a comprehensive statewide planning process designed to help the Arts Commission assess the state's artistic and cultural needs, share ideas, set priorities for future programming, develop arts networks throughout the state and build support for the arts in South Carolina.
The information collected from the Canvas of the People was used to do three things:
- Assess needs identified by citizens
- Identify common themes
- Develop target objectives
The Long-Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina is to be used as a guide by federal, state, and local government agencies, artists, arts organizations, businesses, schools, and individuals in helping to advance the arts in the Palmetto State.
The Plan’s theme areas and objectives are deliberately broad. They outline general areas where the arts have real opportunities to make progress and improvements in the next decade. Naturally as circumstances, technologies and economies change so will the broad nature of the themes.
The objectives are ordered into the following seven themes:
I. Artist Opportunities
Every aspect of the arts "ecosystem", and therefore this plan, hinges on the work of artists, without whom there would be no art or arts community.
- Support artists' efforts to earn fair compensation for their work.
- Increase the number of opportunities for artists to create, publish,
exhibit, distribute, and perform their work, so that it can be experienced
by a larger community, including state, national and international
- Support organizations and facilities where artists can create and
present their work.
- Assist artists in connecting with agents, galleries, publishers,
distributors and others who can expand their markets and provide access
to more commissions, sales and bookings.
- Support artistic training for artists and provide critical response
to their work that will set high standards of quality for art produced
in South Carolina.
II. Arts Education, PreK-12
Learning in the arts is an essential element of a complete education. We must work to ensure that every child in South Carolina, from pre-school through 12th grade, has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts, provided as a core component of the basic curriculum of every school.
- Maintain statewide momentum toward excellent arts education through strategic partnerships at all levels-from single schools to the national education reform arena.
- Increase understanding of and support for arts education among decision-makers
at all levels.
- Work to establish and maintain public policies and systems of accountability
that promote quality, comprehensive arts education for all students.
- Increase individual schools' and school districts' capacities to
implement comprehensive arts education.
- Increase knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity in the
arts among educators and students.
- Make quality arts experiences available to all school-age children
and young people both during and after the regular school day, through
artist residencies, partnerships with local arts resources, and after-school
Artists and arts administrators must reach out to others outside their current "spheres of influence" and purposefully pursue relationships and opportunities for partnership with other arts, business and community leaders.
- Promote mutually
beneficial business and arts partnerships.
- Stimulate creative collaborations within individual arts disciplines
and between disciplines in the arts community that will increase cooperation,
enhance impact and make most efficient use of limited resources.
- Pursue arts
partnerships with community, state, regional, national, and international
agencies and organizations, especially those involved in tourism, economic
development, community health, preservation, recreation, and others with
whom the arts find productive intersections.
- Develop new models of patronage that engage artists and arts organizations
with non-profit and private sector organizations and individuals in
on-going relationships as well as specific projects.
IV. Knowledge and Communication
Artists, arts educators and arts organizations are eager for accurate and up to date information about the arts and issues that affect the arts. There is a desire for a central source for authoritative research data and practical knowledge.
- Develop effective networks and regular opportunities for exchange
of information within the South Carolina arts community and with others
outside that community.
- Perform accurate, relevant research on the arts and issues that
impact the arts, and disseminate the findings for the greatest strategic
- Build capacity within state agencies, organizations and institutions
to help South Carolina arts providers gain the knowledge and skills
they need to succeed.
V. Marketing and Advocacy
In order to build an environment in which the arts can thrive, we must deliberately raise the profile of arts providers and supporters in South Carolina.
- Develop marketing and information systems that help citizens easily
identify and connect with arts resources that fit their needs and
- Train artists and arts organizations in professional marketing techniques,
and build skills throughout the arts community in obtaining press
and media coverage.
- Build public understanding and appreciation of the "behind-the-scenes"
creative process through which works of art are produced.
- Monitor and communicate the public's opinions and values regarding
the importance of arts in the schools and communities and their desire
for public funding to support the arts.
- Understand and document the economic impact of the arts themselves
and the influence of the arts on general economic development. Share
this information with all potential partners, and publicize it broadly.
- Develop ongoing relationships with local, state and federal legislators
and legislative staff, and cultivate two-way communication that increases
their understanding of the arts and the legitimate role of government
in their support.
- Engage business leaders and other influential allies to advocate
for arts and arts education.
- Influence public policy at all levels including city, county, state,
and federal, in support of the arts and public funding of the arts.
Recent research shows a decline in arts participation across all population groups in South Carolina. Recognizing this, we must learn more about the nature of cultural participation in order to broaden, deepen and diversify public involvement with the arts at every level.
- Understand and seek to
meet the arts needs of the full diversity of people in our state. Provide
access to the arts for all citizens and support for the arts of all
- Build greater understanding among arts providers of arts participation
as individual and social behavior, so that they can develop more successful
approaches to engaging a variety of participants in a variety of ways.
- Understand, anticipate and keep pace with the changing demographics
of South Carolina communities. Reflect the diversity of the community
served in all domains of arts organizations, including board composition,
staffing, programming, and marketing.
- Remove physical and social barriers to arts participation. Make
specific efforts to eliminate practical and perceptual obstacles that
limit participation especially among rural, disabled, and diverse
- Establish arts programs and services that offer participants opportunities
for broader and deeper experiences over time. Resource Development
People are the fundamental arts resource. We must invest in people,
focusing on leadership development and capacity building, in order
to move forward. But to do these things, we must constantly renew
our fundamental resource. We must foster the development of those
currently in the field and begin to grow and mentor the next generation
of artists, arts leaders, participants and patrons now.
VII. Resource Development
- Develop training and technical assistance to increase leadership
potential and organizational capacity for arts groups statewide.
- Strengthen cooperative relationships among arts funders across sectors
(private, corporate, government) and between these funders and the
artists and arts organizations they may support.
- Increase funding from state government and other sources for support
of South Carolina artists and arts organizations.
- Develop and deploy resources (people, information, facilities, etc.)
that meet needs effectively and efficiently. Encourage the sharing
of resources among individuals and organizations.
- Increase the number of individual collectors, donors, volunteers
and patrons active in the arts in South Carolina and recognize their
- Develop convenient, accessible ways for people in the arts to connect
with the full range of resources available to support their work.
- Understand the changing needs of career artists and arts organizations
as they mature over time and develop resources appropriate to different
stages of careers and life-cycles.
While the South Carolina Arts Commission's annual plans and programs from 2001-2010 will be directed toward accomplishing these objectives, this is not a plan for the Arts Commission alone. Just as the participation of wide ranging and diverse arts communities was necessary for a successful planning process, the success of the plan depends on the combined efforts of all South Carolina arts communities, with support from their communities at large.
Download a PDF copy of the complete long-range plan.