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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

The Self Family Foundation

2012 Business/Foundation Award



The Self Family Foundation was established in 1942 by James C. Self, the founder of Greenwood Mills, to build Self Memorial Hospital in Greenwood, S.C. Over the years, the mission expanded to include education and, for the last 20 years, has included arts and culture.


The SFF has played a major role in the development of the arts, culture and history of the region, including providing the seed money to establish the Greenwood Arts Council in 1995 and support in 1997 to hire staff. The foundation awarded grants to support assessments, feasibility studies, planning and renovations that ultimately led to the development of a new arts center in the vacated Federal Building, anchoring a thriving arts district in Greenwood -- the “Emerald Triangle” -- that also includes The Museum and Greenwood Community Theatre. The success of these three cultural assets has sparked the revitalization of the city center, attracting private artist studios and galleries, specialty shops, restaurants and residential development. The SFF has supported arts and cultural programming regionally and statewide with the Abbeville Opera House, S.C. Educational Television, Greenwood Lander Performing Arts, Lander University, McCormick Arts Council, the Humanities Council SC, the National Heritage Corridor and the Benjamin Mays Historic Site. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina on Hilton Head Island (formerly the Self Family Arts Center) is constructed on land given by the Greenwood Development Corporation (now Greenwood Communities and Resorts), a Self family enterprise, in honor of the Self family.


Since 1995, the Self Family Foundation has granted more than $2.8 million to support arts and culture in S.C.