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A Long-Range Plan for the Arts in
South Carolina, 2011- 2020



Once every decade or so, those of us in the arts in South Carolina have an opportunity to do an amazing thing. We come together as a community and discuss what we need, what we want, and what we envision for the arts in our state over the next 10 years. The process is called "The Canvas of the People," and it's been happening in South Carolina since 1980. It results in volumes of input from hundreds of people who attend meetings, answer surveys, send e-mails, or provide input in myriad other ways. All of that input is analyzed, sorted, grouped and matched. Regional differences and personal agendas fall away, leaving a core of key goals for the decade on which there is broad agreement, a challenge of achievability, and common purpose. These goals have become the centerpiece of A Long-Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina, 2011-2020.


Projecting the next nine to 10 years can be a risky business. Time can render some ideas quaint or downright obsolete. Looking back at the previous long-range plan, launched in 2001, who would have predicted the impact of social media and the parallel decline of traditional media? Who could have specifically foreseen the dramatic economic swing that has created such uncertainty and upheaval as we experienced in 2010? The goals in this plan are deliberately broad. They are intended to withstand the tests of time and remain wide open to multiple approaches and methods of making progress. Every sector has a role to play in the success of this plan. Beyond the arts community, the business, government, education, public and private sectors can find parts of the plan to own and contribute to its success.


Of course, the South Carolina Arts Commission will do its part. As South Carolina's state arts agency, with its mission to "develop a thriving arts environment" for the benefit of all South Carolinians, it is in a unique position to coordinate the Canvas of the People and develop A Long- Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina. Its own strategic plans over the next decade will be based on this long-range plan, directing the efforts and resources of the Arts Commission to making progress on these goals.


Here is an invitation to you, and everyone interested in the success of the arts and of the state of South Carolina, to help make this plan a reality.