Stephen Colbert: "I am [South Carolina] and so can you!"
The Charleston Project was inspired by the street artist JR and the non-profit TEDx. JR was selected to give the 2011 TEDx wish to change the world. Instead of revealing his wish, he asked this question: Could art change the world? This question should be taken a step farther by exploring the idea that arts education will change the world. But how does one person change the world? By reconnecting, us all, ya'll!
I saw this video 6 weeks ago, and my mind immediately flashed to my friends leaving the comforts of the Palmetto State in search of work. I started tracking them on facebook and discovered an unsurprising truth: all of them are doing incredibly creative and innovative things. I would like to think my friends and I are special, but we are not. As I researched into other SC natives, this truth dogged me relentlessly. Whether you are Patina Miller, Chazwick Bundick, or Mary-Louise Parker, arts education develops an individual's ability to innovate. We are in a world that is slicing arts education budgets at an alarming rate, but I think we have a unique opportunity to use ourselves as proof that the ability to create and innovate lies in arts education. The greatest thing about this idea is that it's not my opinion. My trust in arts education derives from personal experience coupled with my studies in biology and anatomy. Science is so cool!
The Charleston Project mandate: to create a global forum, and then use it to organize and action with Inside Out in the hopes of inspiring other States to enact similar arts education programs. The possibilities for this forum as the future unfolds are seemingly limitless.
We want to start the project in our home state of South Carolina. South Carolina has a comprehensive arts educational system that is supported by the public, private, and non-profit sectors. People who have had the fortune of benefiting from this system belong to an intimate SC community and provide the perfect bedrock on which to build a network innovative enough to change the world. At the culmination of TCP, we want to pair the newly created network with the very project that inspired it: JR's INside OUT Project.
Sadly, money don't grow on trees and this project needs an operating budget in order to get going. Travel expenses, printing costs, mailing costs, and official fundraising capital represent a small portion of the expenditures required to make this network happen. It is for these reasons, that we need your $$$$. If you are unable to part with coinage that derives from trees (I always thought that was funny), it's okay and we still thank you for reading this far! Monetary funds are a necessary evil, but what we really need is people to start networking! If you are broke as a joke, send this your friends that have spare cash. If all goes well, the Charleston Project will be hiring a small staff by the end of October 2012!
Many individuals and businesses have already volunteered their help and services, but it's not be enough just yet. In 5 weeks the project's founders have recruited a variety partners and have started five projects in addition to The Charleston Project:
- The NYC Project
- The Chicago Project
- The DC Project
- The LA project
Each project listed above is designed to seek fellow South Carolinians located in these major cities for our network. As you can see, we have been unable to reach out to our home turf beyond the East Coast. If you believe arts education can change the world, help us make global arts education a reality.
A special thanks to my partners:
Laura Anthony, Karen Harmon, Ben Dunlap, Paul Whitty, Creative Spark, The North Charleston Arts Council, Inside Out, Will Cavedo, Peyton-Grey Robins, Dean Adams, Susan Kattwinkle (for her constant lecturing), Stereo Reform, and many more. Thank you SC arts educated for giving a damn...oh, wait! Arts education encourages empathy over apathy. So, I should say, thank you SC for ensuring we learned how to use our imaginations!
Thank you for your donations!
Founder of The Charleston Project
$12 Billion/ year.
In fiscal year 2010, SC's investment of $2.4 Million helped to generate how much $ in local matching funds?
Over $91 Million! It's because of the people we have such an amazing arts education system!
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