Webinar today to feature work of arts in Promise Zone


How arts work within community development

The work of arts leaders around the S.C. Promise Zone will be a focus of a live webinar discussion set for noon EDT today with Sandi Curd of Kentucky and Susan DuPlessis of the S.C. Arts Commission.

If you can’t participate, we’ll post a recorded version when it is available.

Background:  “The Art of Community: Rural S.C.”

On March 15 and 16, a group of arts advisors from the Promise Zone and leaders from other parts of the state and nation met to showcase the S.C. Arts Commission’s initiative known as “The Art of Community: Rural S.C.”  Participants hailed from as far away as Iowa, Vermont, Indiana, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

A summary of what happened from Susan DuPlessis:

While the national press was considering the relevance of arts and culture funding in our country, we were living it, breathing it, seeing it and tasting it.  This first Advisors’ Meeting showcased what this new initiative is about:  we heard from our mavens–what they experienced and how surprised they were to be asked;  we heard from our Young Voices and know that our ‘next generation’ is there, willing and able—just waiting to be asked; we heard from our advisory co-chairs and advisory members who stepped in to guide and connect us; we heard from special guests that this work connects us in South Carolina to a national rural frame gaining momentum, interest and relevance.

On that note, two important announcements were made:

1) A partnership was announced between the Art of Community: Rural S.C. initiative and Write to Change Foundation and its national partners to support youth leadership development.

2) An invitation to become part of the Next Generation initiative which currently engages with the states of Iowa, Minnesota and Kentucky and is a program of Art of the Rural.


Two tours gave us a deeper look into community life.  Special thanks to the Walterboro Team and the Allendale Team who organized and led  tours of their towns.  Each team endeavored to “out-do” the other which was all in great fun and the spirit of community.  We heard how both towns are working with their assets to strengthen the fabric and resiliency of place.  It was inspirational.

We also heard from our special guests as they spoke to what they observed about this approach and new ways to connect to other important initiatives grounded us all and gave us hope for moving forward as we address our challenges using the ever bonding “glue” of arts and culture.

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