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A Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina,

Canvas of the People 2010


South Carolina State Survey, Fall 2009


What do South Carolinians think about the arts? As part of the Canvas of the People Long Range Planning Process, the S.C. Arts Commission participated in the fall 2009 South Carolina State Survey administered by the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Public Service and Policy Research. The survey asked about participation in the arts, perceptions of the value of the arts and their role in education, and public support for the arts.


Read the full survey report >>>



Highlights of the fall 2009 survey:


  • Almost 67 percent of adult South Carolinians participated in the arts at least once during the last year.
  • The average frequency of participation was 14 times during the year.
  • Almost 44 percent of the population donated money, time, or both to the arts during the year.
  • Just over 13 percent purchased an original work of art.
  • Almost 60 percent rated their communities as either excellent or good places to pursue their artistic interests.
  • Eighty-seven percent say it is important to have quality arts events in their communities.
  • Ninety-five percent of respondents said that the arts are important part of basic education.
  • Fifty-four percent rated the contribution that the arts make to the education of children as the most important benefit of the arts in their lives and communities.  Other choices included experiencing enjoyment (22 percent), economic impact (9 percent), and one’s own creative activity (8 percent).  Only 6 percent said that the arts provide no real benefit.
  • South Carolinians strongly support state and local government funding for the arts. Thirty-eight percent favor increased funding for the arts and 55 percent say that it should be kept at its current level.
  • More than 92 percent support taxpayer funding for the arts – and almost 40 percent want to see public funding for the arts increased.
  • 79 percent favor increased funding to strengthen arts education in our schools.



The survey was a random sample of South Carolinians 18 years of age or older that was weighted to accurately reflect the demographics of the state.