World-renowned artists who call South Carolina home want Gov. Nikki Haley to reconsider her plan to veto funding for the South Carolina Arts Commission.
In a letter to media, celebrity artists including Pat Conroy, Jonathan Green, Sue Monk Kidd, Hootie and the Blowfish members, Kwame Dawes and others argue that:
For over four decades the SC Arts Commission has brought arts programming and arts education to all citizens of our state.
We believe that the arts are the Palmetto State’s finest export and most valuable resource.
We believe that a thriving arts community is part of what makes our state special. It drives tourism and generates over 78,000 jobs statewide.
We believe that everyone in South Carolina deserves opportunities to benefit from the arts, not just those who are wealthy or live in urban areas.
We believe that a good arts education is an affordable effective way to boost student’s self-confidence and academic performance. It contributes to students’ overall creativity, problem solving skills and self-discipline.
We believe that the arts connect us to one another, help us heal and help us grow.
We believe that innovation begins with a well developed imagination. W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office of The Boeing Company has stated, “At Boeing, innovation is our lifeblood. The arts inspire innovation by leading us to open our minds and think in new ways about our lives – including the work we do, the way we work and the customers we serve.”
The cut to arts funding that would result from this veto is unnecessary and harmful. The budget that the General Assembly sent to the Governor is balanced, including a modest appropriation for the arts that will produce an outstanding return on the state’s investment. We urge you to contact your South Carolina state Representative and Senator and ask them to vote against elimination of state funding for the Arts Commission.
List of arts notables who signed:
Jack Bass, author
Quentin E. Baxter, musician/educator/composer/producer
Erik Calonius, author
Pat Conroy, author
Cassandra King Conroy, author
Carol Ann Davis, poet
Kwame Dawes, author/poet
John Duckworth, artist
Mary Edna Fraser, artist
Jonathan Green, artist
Kevin Harrison, filmmaker
Zsolt Haraszti, cinematographer
Hootie and the Blowfish – Mark Bryan, Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, Chris Carney and Josh Smoak
Danielle Howle, musician
Josephine Humphreys, author
Sue Monk Kidd, author
Catherine Lamkin, artquilter
Kurtis Lamkin, poet
John Lane, author
Olivia Pool, publisher
John Pundt, artist
Theodore Rosengarten, author
Dale Rosengarten, author
Mary Alice Monroe, author
Ann Kidd Taylor, author
Gary Smith, author/journalist
Betsy Teter, publisher/editor
Cookie Washington, fiber artist
Marjory Wentworth, author/poet
Peter Wentworth, filmmaker