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Be Driven by the Arts
A Long Range Plan for the Arts in
Tuesday, March 16
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?
- 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.
The Canvas of the People
Here's what we've heard so far:
- Summary of all public comments
- Columbia public forum
- Beaufort public forum
- Greenville public forum
- Arts Alliance Board meeting
- Hartsville public forum
- Aiken public forum
- North Charleston public forum
- Spartanburg public forum