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On the ground in S.C.

More than 50 local arts agencies (LAAs) serve South Carolina as umbrella organizations for their communities–usually one or more LAAs are in each county.  The SC Arts Commission works with this group of arts providers as one important layer of arts contacts in the field.  This blogsite is created as a way to connect with the leaders of these organizations as well as to provide more insight into the work happening throughout South Carolina.  It is also here as a means to connect arts leaders with each other,  and finally a way for us all to learn from the real successes and challenges of doing meaningful arts and community work in our state. 

More about the work of local arts agencies

Generally, a local arts agency sees itself as responsible for the cultural health and well-being a particular community.    In South Carolina,  local arts agencies typically meet at least two of the  criteria listed below.

 1) They have, as their principal purpose, the provision of planning, financial support, services, programs and development opportunities for arts organizations, artists and the public, in a community or communities ( for a specific geographic area or specific ethnic group)  during a major portion of the year.

2) They  involve, on a regular basis, activities, programs or services in more than one arts discipline (literary, media, performing and visual arts).

 3) They are not a single-purpose or discipline organization, i.e. not primarily an arts service organization, an arts producing organization, or an arts presenter. See definitions below.


 Arts Service Organizations:  These are primarily service providers, rather than artistic producers or presenters. They offer administrative support, technical assistance, financial assistance, or service to a variety of arts professionals and disciplines. They may promote arts education or access for a specific community, arts discipline, cultural/artistic heritage, or underserved population.

Arts Producing: The primary focus is the creation, production, performance or exhibition of works of art.

 Arts Presenting:  A presenter typically organizes, selects, curates and contracts for events during the year, (i.e., concerts, plays, films, performances or appearances by creative artists, or ensembles of artists). Rather than creating the artistic event, the presenter acts as a sponsor for a season of performances or events for the community, and is often responsible for managing or leasing the facility where the arts events take place.


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