Public input wanted on arts in the state

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The South Carolina Arts Commission is fanning out across the state this fall and winter, gathering public input to help it form the next long-range plan for arts and culture in South Carolina.

Every 10 years, dating back to 1980, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) conducts the Canvass of the People in public and private forums and through an anonymous online survey to gather South Carolinians’ impressions of the successes and challenges for the arts and culture scene in the state. They are also asked to look ahead and weigh in on what the next steps should be. Results culled from the Canvass of the People help the SCAC form its Long Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina.

The public forum in Walterboro will be Feb. 18 from 5-6 p.m. at the Colleton Museum.

There is a plan to play a short film prior to the Canvass session that was made this past year using funding obtained from the SCAC. “After the event when people mingle we will resume our regular Tuesday night “Open Mic Night” at the Farmers Market,” said Museum Director Matt Mardell. “We encourage anyone and everyone involved with the arts in Colleton County to attend this meeting in order that we can not only shape a statewide program, but also a Colleton County specific program so that we can encourage and nurture existing and future artists.

“We sincerely appreciate SCAC identifying us as one of nine forums from where the next 10- year plan will evolve. With our great public spaces such as the Museum and Farmers Market, Colleton Civic Center, Colleton Arts Council, S.C. Artisans Center, Colleton County High School and the new Walterboro Wildlife Center with its outdoor amphitheater supported by our talented community from our youth through to adult, there is no reason why Walterboro and Colleton County cannot come to the forefront of the arts in South Carolina,” Mardell said.

Updated listings and the link to take the anonymous survey can be found at SouthCarolinaArts.com/Canvass/. The SCAC is planning for the Canvass of the People to finish in March so work on the Long Range Plan. An estimated release of the plan is fall 2020.

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