Recovery: arts council overcomes potential budget shortfall

The Arts Council of Beaufort County overcomes potential budget shortfall of $30,000

May 23, 2010, Beaufort SC: As economic recovery keeps pace with rising temperatures and happier outlooks, the staff and board of the Arts Council of Beaufort County is taking a moment from the hard work of promoting, nurturing and advocating the arts, to say Thank You to the community.

"We've received so much support in the past year of economic turmoil, from volunteers helping at ARTworks to a rise in average contributions, up from $35 to $50. The community is digging deeper, which helps us work harder," said J.W. Rone, executive director of the Arts Council of Beaufort County. "As I reflect on the changes, which certainly include losses to the arts community, I am even more positive about the short and long term success of the greater Beaufort arts community. We are making every dollar, helping hand, and creative idea count."

Recent achievements that exemplify the arts recovery:
- Arts council staffers provided services to 271 artists and 20 arts organizations, in the form of grants and guidance, that impacted 1,733 kids, and an audience of 7,218.

- 35 families are benefitting from scholarships for their children to attend ARTworks AFTERschool.

- the first annual Siete de Mayo celebration was a success, and marks the beginning of a collaboration with La Isla magazine in celebrating the diversity of the Lowcountry.

- In the affordable studios at ARTworks, resident glass-artist Kelly Collins Davidson has moved up to a larger space, Cassandra Gillens & Shaviance Mitchell are sharing a studio for their paintings, woodburnings, and henna tattoos, and Strings-n-Things has moved in, bringing a welcome audio dimension to daily operations in the 12,000 square foot ARTworks community center.

- the 6th season of the free Street Music on Paris Avenue series is underway, in a partnership with the Town of Port Royal.

- Fripp Island donated 135 chairs for the black box theater at ARTworks, and nine volunteers helped arts council staff move them all.

- Contributions from supporters are being matched by a challenge grant from the Donnelly Foundation, magnifying each dollar donated by new and lapsed arts council donors.

New plans are underway.
The arts council's success in promoting Beaufort County as an Arts Destination has been recognized and rewarded by the county with A-Tax funds, and matched by additional funds from the community.

"The community sees the value of our message: Beaufort County is an authentic arts and culture experience all year round, for artists and art collectors, and for people who just want to see how an artist works and ask a few questions, or even get their hands into the materials," said Rone. "Working with the wider community to get through this financial recovery makes our efforts, such as the fully-accessible transmedia portal we're about to launch, so much more meaningful and enjoyable. People have made it clear, they believe the arts council can get it done."

The Thanks don't end here.
Scholarships are also available for kids 6-12 for Summer ARTblast @ ARTworks beginning in July; upcoming gallery shows will showcase innovation and new takes on traditional fine crats; the next grant deadline for Community Arts Grants is August 15.

The Arts Council of Beaufort County is a non-profit service organization dedicated to nurturing multi-cultural arts, and is not a function of the county government. The arts council offices are located in ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center, a multi-faceted community arts center that contains working artists' studios, a black box theater, workshops, and much more: 2127 Boundary Street 29902, 843-379-2787, http://www.beaufortcountyarts.com. Map- http://schmap.me/xt7puq

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