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

Executive Summary


The South Carolina Arts Commission has a long and successful history of strategic planning based on broad statewide participation. The foundation of that success has been the creation of long-range plans, which lay out a far-reaching vision and direction for the arts, spanning as much as a decade.


The planning process is coordinated by the Arts Commission, which creates and distributes the plan document, and promotes opportunities for arts organizations and other stakeholders to integrate parts of the long-range plan into their own strategic plans.


The 2011-2020 Long-Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina:


  • creates a unified voice for the arts community in South Carolina
  • establishes common themes and achievable outcomes that individuals and organizations in all sectors can claim and work to achieve
  • is community-centered and value-specific, identifying community challenges and offering solutions through the arts


The process for gathering public input for the plan was “The Canvas of the People,” an interactive statewide outreach combining research, surveys, public forums and targeted meetings with participation and input from almost 1,400 South Carolinians.


For the first time, the 2010 Canvas process featured targeted meetings with local civic leaders to discuss issues (not necessarily arts-related) impacting their communities, with a goal of identifying key civic issues that intersect those of the arts community. The result is a plan for making South Carolina and its diverse communities better places through the arts. The intent of the plan is that all sectors in South Carolina, not just the arts, but local government, business, nonprofits, education and individuals, will find that their work can impact one or more of outcomes.


Key outcomes:

  1. South Carolina citizens and visitors benefit from diverse opportunities for relevant, rewarding arts experiences in communities throughout the state.
  2. South Carolina's professional artists are able to produce exceptional art and build satisfying, sustainable careers in our state.
  3. Students receive a comprehensive education in the arts that develops their creativity, problem solving and collaborative skills, and prepares them for a lifetime of engagement with the arts and productive citizenship.
  4. South Carolina arts organizations and other arts providers have the capacity and necessary resources to deliver relevant, high quality arts experiences to citizens and visitors.
  5. There is broad recognition within the state and beyond its borders of the value of and unique contribution made by the arts in South Carolina.


Specific objectives for achieving these outcomes are outlined in the plan.