Arts Alert: Governor McMaster Vetoes Arts Funding



On June 12, Governor Henry McMaster issued 41 budgetary vetoes. Veto #24 eliminates $350,000 from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Veto #24 Message from the Governor: “This new line item in the budget gives private artists a permanent toehold in the state budget. A better use of these funds would be on classroom education for children.”

These funds would support grants made to over 150 nonprofit arts organizations around the state, professional development for industry leaders, and help reach underserved and rural areas in South Carolina – they are not directed to private individuals. Without these funds, grantees could see as much as a 17% decrease in funds already awarded for FY2018, and therefore they will be unable to provide the same level of service expected by their communities, create and maintain jobs, and provide educational outreach to students and schools. 

The funds threatened by this veto were allocated to the SCAC with bipartisan support throughout the budget process, beginning with the House Ways & Means Committee and through adoption in early June by both the full House and full Senate.

The House and Senate will not be returning until January to take up these vetoes, but you should act NOW to ensure your legislator hears from you before they return. A 2/3 majority in both houses is required to override gubernatorial vetoes upon their return to the Statehouse.


Actions You Can Take Now:

Contact Your Legislator
Head over to our Action Center
and contact your legislator and encourage them to OVERRIDE Veto #24 upon their return to the Statehouse. Legislators may not take up vetoes until January, 2018, but they need to hear from you NOW before July 1, when the new fiscal year starts. We’ve given you a message to start with, and you can edit it with your own story.

Social Media
1) Click Here to put an “Arts Advocate” sticker on your social media profile picture.
2) Share this article with your friends and fellow arts supporters. Copy/paste the address into your post.

6 replies added

  1. Bing Somers June 13, 2017 Reply

    This is shameful. Governor McMaster needs to know that he will be held accountable.

  2. Frank Crow June 13, 2017 Reply

    Quite obviously Governor McMaster does not understand how funding by the South Carolina Arts Commision is provided and has taken a drastic action based on the misunderstanding. Hopefully the matter can be appropriately corrected when the Legislature consider the Governor’s vetoes. It is a shame that every year there has to be re-education of politicians regarding funding for the arts. If all of us who are arts champions do not maintain our constant conversation with elected officials the arts funding will just disappear and organizations and school arts programs across South Carolina will suffer tremendously. As one who was privileged to grow up in a world of the arts, I cannot speak too strongly about programs for the arts exisiting in our schools and communites, and these programs should not have to worry about raising funds on their own when there are organizations like the South Carolina Arts Commission or its local counterparts such as the Florence Regional Arts Alliance that operate fundmentally support the art in the State or in Florence County through funding and promotion. I call on everyone to keep these organizations strong and well funded in order to ensure a vibrant arts community for the State and our local communites. The arts do matter and do play and important part in our lives. They have been an important part of my life for almost 76 years now, and I hope to see arts programs flourish in order that children and adults can experience the arts as I have done throughout my entire life. A line item in the State Budget of $350,000 if a drop in the bucket of public spending; it ought to be $500,000, and it would still be a drop in the budget. The arts have never been greedy at either the local, state, or federal level. The practitioners of the arts should be able to purse their craft and not be out trying to raise funds to make an arts project happen. The history of the world shows the importance of the arts to our civilizations and also shows that there has always been patronage. Minimaly support from the federal government and the state governement is only a continuance of the patronage that has always existed because of the important role the arts play in the life or each and every person. The United States of America historically lacked a great hall for presentation of the arts, even though many communities had phenomenal facilites that had been built over the year through the support of many of the great families of America, but it took the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to bring about a great performance hall in our nation’s capital. There is a valuable lesson to be learned from the realization of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. We do not need for there to be additional deaths in order to ensure federal, state, and local funds for the arts. And funding for the arts does not merely mean governmental funding becasue it also requires us all to reach deeply into our pockets and give genersously to support the arts as well. America as a society must learn the importance of funding at all levels–including federal and state bugeted line items as well as corporate and personal giving in our local communites–to keep the great arts programs of our great nation as strong and vital as they can be for the people of today and those of tomorrow.

  3. Jackie Hendrix June 13, 2017 Reply

    There are people who don’t understand the value of the Arts. They don’t realize the outlet for children to realize there talents. It is not about always performing , it is about developing self confidence, self worth,exsposer to all the possibility that the Arts provide.
    It is amazing that people don’t get it. You mention the value of sports and the world stops!! Sports is supported without question!
    Concussion and all!
    Sorry for the rant! I have a daughter who has a master degree in Theatre Education and a niece on Broadway!
    A sister who is choreographer. the Arts are alive and make our lives vital!.

  4. Concerned Citizen June 15, 2017 Reply

    Since when have artists been private? The fundamental nature of art is that it is to be shared, unlike private clubs, private schools and private comments.

Leave your comment