Alliance announces latest arts grants

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts has awarded three new grants from its Lowcountry Arts Fund.

The $500 matching fund grants were awarded to:

Eclipse Survey at the Gibbes Museum of Art – The Gibbes partnered with Up End This Studio and artist Michael Zebrowksi to provide an art installation and a prime viewing location for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

Charleston Youth Company’s Rocking’ Science Kids – Create theatrical, science-themed videos that are performed exclusively by kids. 

Redux Contemporary Arts Center — Day in the Life of An Artist workshops

Previous Lowcountry Arts Fund grantees include:

Actors Theatre of South Carolina

Charleston Stage

Engaging Creative Minds

Enough Pie

Heal With Hearts

McClellanville Arts Council

Midtown Players

Storytree Theater

What If! Productions

Quantifying just how much Arts Matter

We all know the intangibles of the arts. It helps us educate our children. It helps inspire the soul. It brings beauty and joy into our lives. It simply makes us better as a person and as a people.

But there are certainly some tangibles as well, and a recently released study shows just how valuable the arts are in Charleston. Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit arts advocacy group, has released the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study.

A release by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs shared the numbers.

“The arts are an engine of economic growth, tourism, and employment. The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $186,525,751 in annual economic activity in Charleston, SC—supporting 6,744 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $19,088,000 in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study,” the release stated.

To put that in perspective: If “the arts” were a private company, we’d be the second largest employer in the area, second only to Boeing. That’s no small feat.

To learn more about the study and see just how incredibly valuable the arts are to our economy, visit:

OPEN Arts Expo registration is OPEN!

open2Are you ready for OPEN Arts Expo 2017?

It’s that time of year again! Registration is OPEN for our 7th annual event, and this year is shaping up to be our biggest and best ever.
We will be holding our event once again at The Cistern during Second Sunday on King, so this year’s event will be held on September 10th 2017. The following TuesdaySeptember 12th, is our inaugural day of giving, Arts Matter Day 2017. We highly encourage you to participate in OPEN in order to spread the word about Arts Matter Day to increase giving to arts in the low country.
If you are an artist or arts group and would like to participate in this awesome day celebrating the arts, visit: Once you register, we will email your specified contact person a personalized invoice for the $125 booth rental fee.
Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions by emailing or calling Mike or Elise ( or

Thank you for all you do for the arts in the Lowcountry! open1

UPDATE: Moe’s mural to stay

The mural on the side of the Moe's on Houston Northcutt Boulevard in Mount Pleasant shows John Lennon, Al Capone, and Marilyn Monroe. The Mount Pleasant Town Council voted Tuesday night to allow the mural at Moe’s restaurant to stay up.

The issue has been ongoing since last year, when it was determined that the sign violated a town ordinance. In April, council cleaned up the ordinance to better define murals. However, the new wording did not grant a pardon the mural. Last night’s vote gives the mural that pardon.

The mural, painted by Portuguese artist Sergio Odeith, is a beautiful and vibrant addition to the building. The pictures of John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and Al Capone are far more entertaining than a plain old wall. It’s even made it onto Roadside America.

Great effort, Mt. Pleasant, in the efforts to #savemoesmural.


Alliance announces latest arts grants

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts has recently awarded grants to four outstanding arts organizations in the area. And we couldn’t be more excited to help fund amazing projects that will:

  • Bring awareness to the flooding problems in Charleston through public art and events
  • Let students see their words come to life on stage by professional actors
  • Produce a documentary about an oft-forgotten American revolutionary war hero from Charleston who fought against slavey
  • Combine art and science to teach kids about the upcoming eclipse

The grants are from the Lowcountry Arts Fund, and are matching funds that assist these wonderful groups continue to produce amazing art. The grants went to:

The 100-foot Mary Edna Fraser banner is prominently featured on the side of the Joseph Floyd Manner.

The 100-foot Mary Edna Fraser banner is prominently featured on the side of the Joseph Floyd Manner.

Enough Pie

Looking to bring awareness to the continued growing problems of rising waters in Charleston, Enough Pie has kicked off AWAKENING V: King Tide. Running from the April to May King Tides (April 29-May 26), the month will feature more than a dozen public art events that highlight the growing problem of flooding in the area. The most visible work is undoubtedly the 100-foot banner by Mary Edna Fraser that currently hangs on the side of Joseph Floyd Manor.

Storytree Theatre and What If? Productions

Teralyn Tanner leading an acting class for Storytree Theatre.

Teralyn Tanner leading an acting class for Storytree Theatre.

This funding will assist with the Young Playwrights’ Festival. They will be working with students from East Cooper Montessori Charter developing 10-minute plays that will be presented during What If? Productions Playwright Festival, where professional actors and directors will present the students’ works.

Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina

John Laurens was a Charleston native and Revolutionary War hero who fought valiantly against slavery. Actors’ Theatre has produced a stirring documentary highlighting the valiant and noble war within a war fought by a true American hero. “John Laurens’ War” has already won numerous awards, and will bring his important story to the world.

McClellanville Arts Council


Children paint pictures at a recent McClellanville Arts Council camp.

The Little Stargazers program will bring art and science together to teach kids about the total solar eclipse that will be perfectly visible in our area on April 21. Children age 3-7 participating in this week-long camp will pair science lessons with art related projects to learn about the eclipse that will darken the skies. A significant portion of those served by the McClellanville Arts Council are below the poverty line, and this grant will help offset tuitions costs for kids who might otherwise not be able to participate.

About the Arts Fund

Launched in 2016, the Lowcountry Arts Fund serves to help arts non-profits in the tri-county continue to produce valuable art for the community. The signature donation of 2016 was the $25,000 Boeing Vision Award to Charleston Stage to offer sensory-friendly performances for specials needs children and their family, performed at the Dock Street Theatre.

Previous matching grants include:

  • Engaging Creative Minds, to assist an initiative to launch their program in Berkeley County
  • Midtown Productions, to to provide scholarships for students for the summer production of “Godspell”
  • Heal With Hearts, for visual arts and science integration at Murray LaSaine Elementary School

There are still grants available, so we encourage any arts non-profit in the tri-county to apply. Click here for more information.

Additionally, the Alliance will be hosting an Arts Day of Giving on Sept. 12 and will be providing incentive funds to help donor dollars go even further.


Arts Day of Giving info sessions planned

Are you getting ready for the Arts Day of Giving?

We certainly are. Mark your calendars for Sept. 12, when we will host a day of giving that will help your donor dollars grow. The Arts Alliance will be providing incentive funds to help make every participating organization’s day even more successful.

We will be holding our first information workshops on May 22 and 23 where we will share the requirements for groups to be eligible for the Arts DOG and the incentives. Each eligible entity will need to take part in a few training workshops, but we promise to make them fun as well as informative. We will share more details on the eligibility requirements at the May meetings.

The meetings will be:

May 22

Time: 11:00 am

Location: Charleston County Public Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401

May 23

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: North Charleston City Hall, Montagu Room 2nd floor, 2500 City Hall Ln, North Charleston, SC 29406

Once you find the meeting that works for your organization, please RSVP (along with number of planned attendees) to as soon as possible.

The Arts Day of Giving is open to any arts organization in the tri-county area that is either a registered 501(c)3 or operates under the umbrella of a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)3. For more information, feel free to contact Mike Gibbons at 843-577-5288 or


Tag! You’re it.

We know you’re an arts supporter. You show it by your generous contributions to the many amazing arts organizations in our area. You show it by your attendance at shows and performances and gallerylicense openings. You show it be being involved in the arts community and sharing the word to everyone you know that #ArtsMatter.

So why not show it when you’re driving around town? The South Carolina Arts Commission launched the Driven by the Arts tag in 2007, and it is the official state Arts Awareness license plate. Proceeds from the plate help to fund art programs across South Carolina. For more information on the plate or to find out how to get yours, click here.

Get your tag today, and let everyone know that you are Driven by the Arts!

ArtPop winners announced

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts and Adams Outdoor Advertising  are excited to announce the five artists selected for the ArtPop Street Gallery. A selected work from each artist will be featured on billboards around the tri-county for one year.

The selected artists are:

  • Barbara Duval
  • Laura Dargan
  • Sarah Buell Dowling
  • Kate Hooray Osmond
  • Janie Ball (Community Choice winner, selected by online vote)

To learn more about the artists and to see the selected works visit

A total of 88 area artists submitted more than 150 works for consideration. The winning artists and those eligible for Community Choice voting were selected by a panel of seven judges: Wendy Hickey (ArtPop); Stacy Huggins Geist (Redux Contemporary Art Center); Mark Sloan (The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art); Brandon Sweeney (Adams Outdoor Advertising); Pam Wall (Gibbes Museum of Art); Geoff Yost (Annex Studios); and Cathryn Zommer (Enough Pie).

Wendy Hickey, founder of ArtPop, launched the initiative in 2014 in Charlotte, N.C. Charleston is now one of 14 cities for ArtPop Street Gallery.  


Vote now for Community Choice award

Make your vote count!

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts has teamed up with ArtPop Street Gallery and Adams Outdoor Advertising for an exciting project that will showcase five local visual artists on billboards throughout the tri-county. And YOU get to decide one those artists.Art Pop Logo Final Outlines TM 10-5-16 (2)

Please cast your vote  by visiting for the artist you would like to see on a billboard in the Lowcountry for one year. Four others artists, selected by a panel of judges, will also receive billboards. The five winners will be announced on Monday, April 10.

Voting for the Community Choice Award closes at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 7, so vote now, and spread the word!

The contest was open to visual artists residing in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester County. Artists must be at least 18 years old, and all submitted works had to be have been created no earlier than Jan. 1, 2015. 



Apply now for matching funds

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts has opened Lowcountry Arts Fund applications for our matching grant program.

Grants of up to $500 will be given to arts non-profits in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Click HERE to apply.

During the previous round of matching grants, funds were awarded to:

  • Engaging Creative Minds, to assist an initiative to launch their program in Berkeley County
  • Midtown Productions, to to provide scholarships for students for the summer production of “Godspell”
  • Heal With Hearts, for visual arts and science integration at Murray LaSaine Elementary School
  • Enough Pie, for the Indigo Vat Shack program
  • Charleston Public Library, to host a storyteller’s workshop for area artists and arts groups


For more information, contact Mike Gibbons at or 843-577-5288.