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A Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina,

Canvas of the People 2010


Thursday, April 8

Chapman Cultural Center


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


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


  • Local arts councils support arts education and community arts activities
  • S.C. Book Festival

  • Hub City Writers Project – has broad spectrum of events and arts disciplines

  • Spartanburg has a foundation in facilities for arts groups – access to space

  • ABC (Arts in Basic Curriculum Project) Schools

  • Performing arts programs in local colleges

  • Arts activities offered by local colleges

  • Collaboration

  • Parents are still willing to invest in their children's education in the arts

  • Increased arts-based grants at the Humanities Council

  • High-quality performing arts activities

  • Arts appreciation is good because citizens see arts education as a priority

  • Lots of opportunities to participate in the arts, not only in Spartanburg, but across the Upstate

  • Art walks and similar activities provide an opportunity for citizens to get involved in arts events and have a more intimate relationship with the artistic process

  • Good diversity of arts media


What is one of the biggest challenges facing the arts?


  • Money
  • Funding is spread thin among arts organizations, presenters
  • Need more sales for artists
  • Artists need help selling their product
  • Challenges for earned and unearned income
  • Encourage collaboration among arts organizations and educational institutions
  • Arts education needs to remain a priority to maintain appreciation of arts
  • Independence among arts organizations
  • Attracting new audiences
  • Inclusion of segments of community who haven't been exposed or reached
  • 256,000 people in Spartanburg Co. Huge number of this group is either too busy to participate or is uninformed about the arts.
  • Breakdown of the newspaper industry. They are more ads and less content.
  • What is the next media? - How to communicate
  • Utilizing Web to stream and promote arts events – reach beyond traditional audience
  • Embrace new technology and social networking. Prepare for the next line of technology and products.
  • Gap between those who do and do not appreciate the arts
  • How to bridge the gap through education
  • Dealing with audiences who are not experienced with technology - need to reach and engage non-tech savvy audiences and maintain a balance
  • Create bridge to outlying areas not currently being reached by current media (Arts Daily, ETV, etc.)
  • Inclusion – Participation should represent community
  • Need creative solutions to deal with overall problem of inclusion
  • Need to embrace various cultures
  • Relevance - expand audiences by making activities relevant to all
  • Art that speaks to people is worthwhile to invest their time in
  • Jazz orchestra example - How do small arts groups get promotional opportunities and "play time"? How to build participation? 
  • Need performing arts events during the day for students.
  • Want to see Spartanburg diversify board membership/get new members on boards and new perspectives and ages
  • Lack of awareness; need help with marketing
  • Consider allotting money for marketing consultants in the next 10 years to help increase audience sizes and types
  • Boards – members need to take leadership roles; core groups do all of the work
  • Board training and education – how to keep board members engaged?
  • Many artists lack enthusiasm in their own art; need to try new techniques and step out of their comfort zone
  • Don't need to rely on the same grant sources; nonprofits need to be able to make up deficit when funding is gone
  • Nonprofit arts groups should follow more of a business model than nonprofit model; they need to retool and come out stronger.


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


  • Need funding to export artists out of state and attract more tourists to state

  • Utilize public TV to spotlight arts organizations and arts events

  • Collaborate with city council – need advocacy from the grass roots level all the way up to decision makers

  • Challenge and opportunity – Boards working with other boards to strengthen one another; growing issue with smaller arts organizations

  • Partnership among municipalities to reduce/share costs

  • Communication/collaboration to maximize efficiency

  • “Trails” example – it's a unified effort to bring in multiple audiences

  • Difficult to get respect as an artist working in a non-traditional medium

  • How to keep talent in Spartanburg

  • SC does a lot to get corporations to come into the state: require corporations to support the arts

  • Never forget "arts excellence"

  • Need leadership and policy makers who value the arts

  • Need to get good artists in the schools

  • Leadership – need more leaders in the arts

  • “Spartanburg has the foundation, but needs to package it.”