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A Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina,

Canvas of the People 2010


Tuesday, March 16

Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities


Here's what we heard at the Greenville Canvas forum:


What is one thing that is working in the arts, either in your community, the state or elsewhere?


  • Arts incubator – Moore, NC
  • Production quality is high and is not affected by economy
  • Theatre incubator @Greenville Little Theatre (Studio 444 is in its 3rd year)
  • Participation: there is a lot going on in the area
  •  A lot of audiences for all
  • High quality/talented young performers
  • Collaboration between theatres and between other organizations; established organizations welcome new organizations
  • Instead of competing, organizations are pooling resources
  • Annual upstate competition for high schools (higher quality – better every year – forces higher education to look at quality and expand programs)
  • Pickens County schools folk music – YAMS – Young Appalachian Musicians
  • Drama classes are full; children advance and move on to other theatres
  • (Greenwood) ACTS – integrated arts in middle school (moving to elementary school) in core subjects not just to produce artists but to improve learning; is filtering into community theatre, etc.
  • Marketing through Internet – saves money and response is quicker; linking technology to new opportunities
  • Peace Center helps make Greenville a top 10 destination.


What is one of the biggest challenges facing the arts?


  • Funding
  • Corporate world is budgeting for other things, not arts
  • Foundation money is not there
  • Schools are cutting back on conference attendance, other travel and field trips; district funding is down
  • Teachers find it difficult to take time away from classroom
  • Geography – Pickens is a large county
    (possible solution - target different parts of county)
  • Greenville Little Theatre - attendance previously held at 80% capacity; is down to 78-79% capacity; significant drop occurred when economy dropped; has stayed at that lower level
  • Technology health issues – “plugged in all of the time” How will technology affect creativity? Technology is expanding at expense of arts in education
  • Not developing younger (future) audiences due to cut in arts education (theatre programs, e.g.)
  • Costs have not gone down – everything/operations costs have gone up but have to keep ticket prices accessible
  • Long range issue: competitiveness between nonprofit sectors is growing because organizations are fighting for money for basic needs
  • Arts administrators making high salaries (not in S.C.)
  • Draw diverse audiences – challenge is to reach out
  • Some teachers were not exposed to arts and don’t see importance; challenge is to change that mind set
  • Art is not counted in grade point average (GPA) in schools or in student testing. Makes it easy to cut funding


What is a great opportunity for the arts in our state?


  • Increase recognition of the value of the arts in schools through standards. Maximize efforts to link arts to national and state standards. More accountability/assessment (standardized testing) to have a real push/impact
  • Data/stats model vs. creative model for accessing learning in the arts. Need to bring all factors together (data and creativity); new model should not be data centric. Artists evaluate learning differently
  • Need a census of what the arts do in S.C.; promote what is working in S.C.
  • Arts tours into other S.C. towns; group touring – theaters from big towns could tour in small towns
  • Educate legislature about the economic impact of the arts by providing compelling information, statistics and data on arts impact. They need to know that the arts are not a frill. Legislators do not respond to invitations to participate in the arts; yet they make the decisions.
  • Lander University – all education majors have to take arts integration. Get other colleges to do this as well; offer recertification credits
  • Brick and mortar grants to convert facilities in rural area; take advantage of lower real estate prices.