Early this past Spring, the Arts Council of Beaufort County asked Lowcountry residents to take a survey about how they perceive new artists emerging here in Beaufort County. At the same time, free Get Your Art Out workshops were being offered by ACBC, through a grant from the Coastal Community Foundation.

New & emerging artists filled 45 spots in the Visual Arts Track, which was presented by a team of local artists including MA Mueller, Hank Herring, and Deanna Bowdish. These workshops focused on developing portfolios: Matting & Framing; Digital Photography of Artwork; Writing Artists Statements; and an on-going critique session that is open to the public.
    Participants also filled 39 spots in the Writers Track, which was presented by local writers including Jim Jordan, LaShanta Ase, and Gail Westerfield. The workshops were: Tools & Resources for Writers with Carl T. Smith; Spoken Word; Editing’ Marketing & Self-Publishing.
     Eighteen people also participated in the Teaching Artist Institute, which helps artists bring their artforms and expertise into the classrooms in a partnership with the school district.
The survey is now closed, but Get Your Art Out continues. The survey report adds up to 2369 words of encouragement, creative thoughtfulness, and demands. People’s responses to the same question vary from enthusiastic to grumpy, and reveal that many artists are ready to get to work and many collectors are ready to get shopping.
    The entire survey and responses can be read online at www.beaufortcountyarts.com/surveyresponses.html.

Here are the responses to question #8

Q8. Why does Beaufort County need more artists?

• Artists contribute to and support the Lowcountry lifestyle. – 75.8%, 47
• The arts economy creates opportunities for many people. – 61.3%, 38
• The arts are intertwined with important factors like tourism, education, and quality of life. – 88.7%, 55
• The arts capture our zeitgeist better than any digital recorder. – 29.0%, 18
• Because Beaufort County should have a good arts reputation. – 33.9%, 21
• Because the arts beautify our communal, commercial, and residential spaces. – 64.5%, 40
• So that there will be fewer uptight people. – 29.0%, 18
• Because the things artists create are more interesting than re-runs of Scrubs. – 41.9% 26
• The arts improve conversations at parties. – 40.3%, 25
• The arts help children learn and adults to communicate. – 77.4%, 48
• The right one could produce the next Christina’s World or The Thinker- 30.6%, 19
• To take the pressure off of everybody else to create a cultural legacy. – 14.5%, 9
Other – 21.0%, 13
• world peace;
• art speaks to viewers;
• Beaufort County needs less people;
• They help us see the world more clearly;
• The arts contribute to quality of life.;
• Art/Artists are an important part of any community.;
• I think Beaufort County needs more collectors, better critics and curators more than anything.;
• to mirror our local culture;
• it doesn’t;
• I like the uptight people…;
• foster cultural/intellectual diversity;
• promote higher order thinking and peace in the world;
• The arts allow all of us to communicate with each other without having to speak!