The South Carolina Arts Commission welcomes ArtPlace America to the Lowcountry

The South Carolina Arts Commission welcomes ArtPlace America to the Lowcountry!

ArtPlace America is coming to the Lowcountry September 21-22, and you're invited to participate in one of three informational sessions about its National Grants Program.

Come learn more from Director of National Grantmaking, F. Javier Torres, and Program Assistant, Leila Tamari.  They are visiting to encourage applications from South Carolina.

Participants can attend any of three sessions (RSVPs are NOT required.):

Sept. 21 from 9:30-11:30 at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston

Sept. 22 from 9:30-11:30 at the Penn Center, 16 Penn Center Circle West, St. Helena Island

Sept. 22 from 4-5:30 pm at the Colleton County Museum, 506 East Washington St., Walterboro

Topics include: 

What is creative placemaking?
An overview of the grant process.
What makes a strong application?
A discussion of how the arts have been used to "move the needle" to address relevant and challenging community issues.

Who should attend?

Anyone and everyone interested in learning about how you can be supported to creatively make change in your community! Artists, arts organizations, designers, community developers, planners, city and town administrators, community residents, business owners, faith and religious groups, philanthropists, and more are invited to learn more about arts-based strategies to community development. The National Grants Program will fund anyone regardless of tax-exempt status.

Consider these questions:
What's your understanding of how the arts change communities? Have you identified a community issue that leverages arts and culture as an intervention?  What part do partners play? In what geographic "place" will you work to solve this community-based issue? Who sits at "the table" when the decisions are made for this intervention? How will you measure success?

These and other questions will guide the conversation and provide specifics about ArtPlace's grants program that offers $50,000 to $500,000 to support place-based arts projects as they relate to advancing our communities. Since 2011, ArtPlace has invested $66.875 million in 227 projects across 152 communities of all sizes, in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Its National Grants Program is designed to invest in creative placemaking projects that involve cross-sector partners committed to improving the social, physical, and economic fabric of their communities through arts-based strategies.

The timeframe:
ArtPlace will open its call for projects in early January 2016.


ArtPlace America ( is a 10-year collaboration among 15 foundations, eight federal agencies, and six financial institutions who are dedicated to positioning art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. 

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, the set of practices in which art and culture work intentionally to help to transform a place. ArtPlace does this through a national grants program and five community-wide investments; it seeks to understand and disseminate successful practices through its research strategies; and it works to connect practitioners, organizations, and communities with one another.

F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking

F. Javier Torres was the Senior Program Officer for the Arts at the Boston Foundation for over three years. Under his leadership, the Foundation's arts strategy explored the role of culture as a tool for transformation, sustainability, and as central to the development of vibrant communities. In his tenure, Javier has successfully supported the Foundation in balancing the institution¹s whole contributions to the field across several grantmaking mechanisms as they sought to impact the regions whole cultural ecology. In partnership with the Boston Foundation's donors, Javier supported the Foundation in stewarding $10 million dollars annually to the field. Prior to his role at the Foundation, Javier spent six years as the Director of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a program of IBA, a community based multi-disciplinary arts complex that operates as a regional presenter and local programmer for Latino arts. Currently, he serves as Secretary of the board of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, and is a board member for Grantmakers in the Arts. He has previously served as a board member for MASSCreative, a member of the MA Governor's Creative Economy Council and Chair for the Boston Cultural Council.

Leila Tamari, Program Assistant

Leila Tamari joined ArtPlace America as Program Assistant in 2015. Most recently, Leila was Programming Coordinator at Creative Time for over three years, where she led various engagement initiatives and produced a diverse range of major public art projects in New York City, from solo artist commissions such as Suzanne Lacy's Between the Door and the Street (2013) and Kara Walker's A Subtlety... (2014) to group shows like Funk, God, Jazz, & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn (2014). Prior to her career in the arts non-profit sector, Leila was trained as a visual artist. She received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History with a Museums Concentration, and while there, she collaborated with notable artists Rick Lowe and Wendy Ewald, which led her to produce public art projects on a larger scale in her native town-New York City. With a budding passion for exploring public art practices globally, Leila presented her field research on public art spaces in Israel and Palestine at the 2011 Social Theory, Politics and the Arts Conference.


Ken May, executive director

The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call (803) 734-8696.

Special Thanks!
Charleston County Public Library
Penn Center

Colleton Museum & Farmer's Market