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A Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina,

Canvas of the People 2010


Monday, March 29

North Charleston City Hall


Here's what we heard at the North Charleston Canvas forum:


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


  • Piccolo/Spoleto
  • North Charleston – artists in classroom, residencies, lessons
  • Teacher training through Spoleto/arts integration (annual Creative Institute for teachers)
  • Chamber music in Charleston - interaction between the artists and the audience. This cultivates new ambassadors.
  • VSA artists working with students with disabilities.
  • Arts organizations, education and artists: there are many opportunities to network and get engaged in the arts
  • North Charleston Cultural Arts makes arts accessible to large area. Opened up art to those who might not have access; includes various artists (affordable)
  • North Charleston Cultural Arts – library participates in Arts Festival by hosting the event. This increases access.
  • Great musicians and artists.
  • Colleges provide arts opportunities to students in Title 1 schools
  • Arts magnet schools/schools for the arts
  • Plans call for arts-centered schools in every zone in Charleston
  • Is Charleston top 3 in arts education?
  • Artists/teachers also benefit from student interaction during arts education
  • Charleston Fine Arts Dealer Association (exhibits art); fine arts programs in schools
  • Arts Daily
  • Radio promotes others areas and generate ideas


What is one of the biggest challenges facing the arts?


  • Making arts sustainable amid cutbacks
  • Individual artists being able to sustain/make living
  • Lack of direction/multiple directions/agendas - organizations need to work in unity
  • Public doesn’t know about/doesn’t participate
  • Lack of access for public – make public understand the relevancy of art.
  • Need to pool resources instead of competing.
  • Put art/artists on tour
  • Arts organization management/board leadership. Board member at different levels of interests. Need to take advantage of training opportunities. Need clarity in what a board needs to do.
  • Need to collaborate with school district grants policies; schools’ priority might not be the arts’ priority
  • “More with less” – there is a breaking point
  • Lacking a MFA program in Charleston; lack of higher education opportunities for those who want to teach art.  They have to go elsewhere for the education and usually don’t return to the area - arts “brain drain”
  • New forms of media/compete with classic forms (different effects for audience; keep live art relevant)
  • Artists having difficulty making a living – need incentives/assistance to support artists - Subsidized housing, e.g.
  • Live/work spaces: safe, affordable housing for multiple artists from multiple disciplines to work together and interact
  • Artists need to collaborate and “DIY”
  • Separation between nonprofits and for-profit – commercial art businesses should be able to apply for funding and participate as equal partner in planning, etc.
  • Commercial galleries go out of business but that doesn’t make the news. They are not eligible for funding, but they are always giving.
  • How to get more participation in statewide planning process
  • Artists feel like they are the “bottom of the barrel”; they are at the end of funding line. Need guidance and leadership.
  • Arts education is also at the bottom of the funding line. It is the first to get cut
  • “Broad thinkers” are supposed to “just appear” without having been exposed to the benefits of arts education.


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


  • Grow the arts “pie” by educating children; they then engage their family. Next generation of arts supporters are not being exposed to arts in education.
  • Charleston Road Show to recapture 30s (young professionals) to grow participation/break down barriers
  • Expand use of new media. Expose arts education success stories through You Tube and other social media outlets.
  • Take arts to the public by placing it in nontraditional spaces (e.g., banks, town halls, etc.).
  • Encourage nontraditional “expressions of arts” and expose students to a wider spectrum of arts. Encourage teachers to not be afraid to actively encourage other forms of arts as well.
  • is free. Artists can post their profiles, events, etc. It’s an interactive place where artists can get the info out to the media, blogs, etc.
  • Expand on outlets for adults/children with disabilities. The arts provides safety.
  • Getting resources to people who need it.
  • Face-to-face interaction: be your own ambassadors. Believe, imagine and tell everyone what you do. “Six degrees” of separation in the arts.