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

Planning Process and Research


The Canvas of the People is a comprehensive statewide planning process designed to help assess the state's artistic and cultural needs, share ideas, set priorities, develop arts networks throughout the state and build support for the arts in South Carolina.

The 2010 Canvas is the sixth to be conducted by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Canvases conducted in 1980, 1984 and 1987 focused on gathering input for the Arts Commission's strategic plans. Beginning in 1992, the agency expanded its view and planning process and developed a plan for the arts in South Carolina. The 1992 plan also covered a longer (10-year) time span. The next statewide Canvas was held in 2001.

This longer, more comprehensive view has allowed the Arts Commission to serve as a convener and catalyst in moving the state forward through a coordinated planning process and has provided other arts organizations with a context for their own strategic plans. With this statewide, long-term context, the Arts Commission monitors progress on key issues regularly, through a variety of means:


  • formal, contracted evaluations of major initiatives
  • collection and analysis of grantee data
  • surveys
  • field work
  • convenings of artists, arts organizations, and community leaders
  • economic impact studies
  • polling and benchmarking against regional and national data.