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Who is Chapman Cultural Center? - Your Local Arts Agency

November 19, 2020 | Features

Over the years, you have hopefully attended an event or show hosted inside the Chapman Cultural Center theater. Or maybe you have visited one of the independent museums, galleries, or cultural organizations located inside the facility. However, Chapman Cultural Center is more than an entertainment destination. Our organization's mission serves a much broader scope as the "cog" that moves Spartanburg County's arts and cultural sector forward.

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As the county's leading Local Arts Agency since 1968, we serve as an advocate for the arts to ensure they are relevant and supported in the public and private sector. We provide technical support and help build capacity for organizations and artists to provide the highest quality cultural experiences. 

Our grantmaking provides more than $500,000 in annual General Operating Support grants to arts, science, and humanities-based non-profit organizations. We also provide quarterly grants up to $5,000 to individual artists and smaller non-profits to expand arts and cultural experiences to broader audiences.

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Over the years, we have used community-based cultural planning to gain an understanding of the needs of our creative community and our community as a whole. This planning process has resulted in providing innovative solutions with critical leadership and resources. The first cultural plan in 1993 resulted in the United Arts annual fundraising campaign and the vision and plan that resulted in the successful building and funding of the Chapman Cultural Center campus.

More recently, a county-wide cultural inventory and asset mapping took place. This critical process led to the designation of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District which leverages our arts and cultural assets to increase tourism and economic development in our city and county.

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Chapman Cultural Center also facilitates community vibrancy by encouraging diverse offerings, growing audience engagement, and measuring support for the arts. Our cultural leadership extends to the oversite of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, by providing street music and public art programming that enhances the vibrant downtown experience. It also fosters and celebrates the arts in the unique neighborhoods and towns in our county.

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Since 1980, we have been committed to ensuring that every child in Spartanburg County has the advantage of experiencing world-class arts education programming through our professional artist residencies, Muse Machine live performances, and student art galleries. We support public, private and charter schools, Arts in Basic Curriculum schools, and provide arts-integrated PreK through 12th-grade teacher training. 

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This year, we opened Mayfair Art Studios as an arts incubator to help local artists and creative enterprises thrive in our community with affordable studio space, a collaborative community, and shared services.

As your leading Local Arts Agency, we bring value to our community by providing visionary cultural leadership that uses all of our resources to strengthen, develop, and promote the scope excellence and educational role of the arts, sciences, and humanities. To support a full creative life for all, the Chapman Cultural Center is also committed to championing policies and practices that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable cultural community. 

We are excited to continue our work for years to come and look forward to launching a new cultural planning process in 2021 to guide the future of arts and cultural experiences in Spartanburg County.

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