Gary Brightwell and a local team celebrate their participation in The Art of Community: Rural S.C., an initiative of the South Carolina Arts Commission. The Walterboro Team includes (L to R) First Row: Eartha Cunningham, Jill Chadwick, Jason Cook, and Gary Brightwell; Second Row: Jennie Meetze, Kevin Griffin and Michelle Strickland.
By the S.C. Arts Commission | A small group of Walterboro citizens has embraced a new opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community through involvement with the South Carolina Arts Commission.
For several months, Gary Brightwell, director of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen, has been leading a team to consider issues local citizens face and how arts and culture might be incorporated to address one or more of those challenges. Last spring, when the South Carolina Arts Commission reached out about a pilot program, The Art of Community: Rural S.C., Brightwell answered the call. She agreed to serve as the “maven,” or connector, for Colleton County. Today, as part of the Art of Community initiative, she and her team are exploring the most relevant ways to connect local citizens with issues related to food, health and agriculture and adding a dose of arts and culture as a binder. Read more →
New grant funding opportunities and resources for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone
In this update, you will find new information and recent news on a variety of topics, including:
NEWS: The Promise Zone has held two town hall meetings so far this month; another is set for Monday in Jasper County. Allendale, Barnwell and Hampton counties will have meetings in November.
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: Learn about more than a dozen funding opportunities to help rural communities become stronger – from pilot projects and health center grant offerings to community food projects and training for farmers.
COMING EVENTS: There are a host of coming webinars with good information.
RESOURCES: This section provides links to studies and stories on rural health, education and more. Read more →
APRIL 30, 2015 | [CEO Jerry] Rickett said since receiving the designation Kentucky Highland Promise Zone, approximately $174 million has been committed to be invested by Kentucky, the federal government and private sector. “We have written 91 letters of support for projects applying for federal funds.”
Since the designation, Rickett said, the United States Department of Agriculture provided a loan to the Knox County Hospital that saved 200 jobs. “Those types of investments have been so critical to helping us maintain the employment we have,” Rickett said. USDA has committed $43 million to projects within the Kentucky Promise Zone.
APRIL 30, 2015 | The six counties in the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance became the second rural area in the United States to be designated a Promise Zone by the federal government.
Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community.