Past Comments

November Issue 2005
by Tom Starland

Big Visual Art Events In November

First, in Charleston, SC, the Charleston Fine Art Dealers' Association will present the Seventh Fine Art Annual on Nov. 4-6.

The second event taking place is the Greenville Open Studios Tour, which takes place on Nov. 5 & 6 in Greenville, SC. The event is organized by the Metropolitan Art Council.

Then on Nov. 17, the merchants and art galleries of the Congaree Vista area of Columbia, SC, will present the 19th Annual Vista Lights celebration, from 6-9pm.

These events offer major opportunities to learn about SC's visual art community and the artists who make it all possible.

And, don't forget the Toe River Studio Tour, featuring artists' studios in Mitchell and Yancey counties of NC, on Dec. 3 & 4 from 10am-5pm.

What "They" Don't Want You To Know?

On Sept. 19, 2005, we received the following in an e-mail from the SC Arts Commission: "The South Carolina Arts Commission Board of Commissioners will hold its first board meeting of fiscal year 2006 in Spartanburg at the Arts Center, 385 South Spring Street. The two-day meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. (EST) and on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. (EST).

Four additional meetings are scheduled for FY2006. They are as follows:
Nov. 30: Columbia
March 8: Columbia
May 25-26: Charleston
June 21: Columbia

This notice came 7 days after our deadline and the same day we turned our Oct. issue into our printers. Even if we posted the info on our website - that same day, people would still only have nine days notice of this meeting - which to my understanding is a violation of SC State law in that the public should have at least 10 day notice of public meetings. But, there are all kinds of loop-holes to what "public notice" is.

We should have received this info by Aug. 12 - our deadline for our Sept. issue - if the Arts Commission wanted our readers to know about this Sept. 27 & 28 meeting in Spartanburg, SC.

Board meetings of the SC Arts Commission are open to the public, but you have to know about them to be able to attend.

Most notices we receive from the Arts Commission which pertain to artists in SC come to us after our stated deadline and most of the time too late for publication.

The last notice we received in time to post in our paper was for the May '05 meeting in Charleston - which was cancelled without explanation.

What takes place in these meetings that "they" don't want you to know about?

I've been to a couple and they are an eye-opener to who is making decisions about are State's arts funding and why certain decisions are made. You'll also see how uninformed Commission board members are and what they do know is force-fed by Commission staff members.

No one goes to these public meetings, but if more people did - things would change. They would have to. Go to one and check it out.


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