top of page

Introduction to Beaufort Arts Council

The Beaufort Arts Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Beaufort, South Carolina. Its mission is to expand the presence of the arts in the daily experiences of residents and visitors alike in Beaufort County. Originally established in 1991, the Beaufort Arts Council has focused on activities that promote local art and artists, teach and expose young people to various art forms, and create greater awareness and appreciation of the arts in Beaufort County. With its recent re-location to the campus of the Technical College of the Lowcountry and its co-location with the Mather School Alumni Association’s Beaufort Chapter, the Beaufort Arts Council now has two additional community partners with whom to collaborate regularly on projects of mutual interest. Students of the College now have a vibrant local arts organization right on campus, within which to engage, learn, volunteer, and serve. In addition, the Council’s connection to the Mather School’s rich history has already paid dividends in the creation of the Mather Interpretive Center.

The Beaufort Arts Council is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of local artists and other community leaders from a variety of backgrounds. In addition to the volunteer leadership provided by the Board and the Program Committee, the Council has a paid part-time Arts Program Coordinator. Funding for the Beaufort Arts Council comes from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, other local and regional organizations, the South Carolina Arts Commission, special event fundraisers, individual donations, and program fees.

Strategic Planning Process


In early 2018 the Board of Directors decided to embark upon a new strategic planning process. With the help of funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Board engaged Governance4Good to provide consultation and facilitation. Based in Blythewood, South Carolina, Governance4Good equips nonprofit organizations to excel in governance, leadership, and accountability throughout their life cycle. Mark Cruise, founder and President of the firm, served as principal consultant on the project. He reviewed key organizational documents and records, toured the Council’s current location, and conducted interviews with Board members and key partner organizations. He facilitated a planning retreat on May 8th with 13 individuals present, including five Board members and eight community representatives. This Strategic Plan is the result of initial document drafting by Mark based on the retreat deliberations, additional Board actions taken in May and June, and final review and editing by the Council’s newly elected Board Chairman Jeffrey Shawd.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Beaufort Arts Council is to expand the presence of the Arts in the daily experiences of residents and visitors alike in Beaufort County.

What We Do

  • We provide opportunities for artists to create, exhibit, perform, and market their art.

  • We facilitate education and training in the arts, particularly for those that might not otherwise have access

  • to such education and training.

  • We partner with other non-profit organizations, public agencies, schools, foundations, and other entities to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts in Beaufort County.

  • We shine a spotlight on our local heritage, rich artistic legacy, and cultural uniqueness.


Our Partners

  • Beaufort County School District

  • Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

  • Mather School Alumni Association – Beaufort Chapter Pat Conroy Literary Society

  • Responsible Artistry, Inc.

  • South Carolina Arts Commission

  • Technical College of the Lowcountry



1991 – The Arts Council of Beaufort County is formed
2009 – The Arts Council of Beaufort County adopts “ARTworks” as its new name

2015 – ARTworks restructures the organization and rebrands as the Beaufort Arts Council

2017 – Beaufort Arts Council re-locates to the Mather Library on the campus of the Technical College of the Lowcountry

2018-2019 Strategic Goals

GOAL #1: Increase Profile

  1. Complete Community Mural Project

    This project, co-sponsored by the Technical College of the Lowcountry and the Beaufort Arts Council, is all about community. It combines our rich and diverse history to create a lasting memorial that unites us all. The mural is located in the tunnel that crosses underneath Ribault Road at the college’s campus, which was formerly the home of the Mather School for Girls from 1868- 1968. In addition to spotlighting the Mather School and some of its distinguished alumni, the project will also feature African American/Gullah, European, Native American, and Spanish influences. We will manage the project to completion (targeted for 2019), facilitate meetings of the project advisory committee, organize and prioritize desired art for various sections of the tunnel, recruit artists to create panels and arrange for them to do the work, secure sponsors as needed to help underwrite costs, acquire supplies, etc.

  2. Plan and Conduct a “Celebration of the Arts”

    Intended as a free, family-friendly, community-wide event celebrating the arts in Beaufort County – the only of its kind – the “Celebration of the Arts” will be owned, managed, and conducted by the Beaufort Arts Council. The planned dates for this event at May 17-18, 2019. It has three purposes – to create a space for artists to meet and showcase their art, to build bridges between artists and the wider community, and to raise money for the Beaufort Arts Council. If this event is successful, it is hoped that “Celebration of the Arts” will be held annually and become one of the premier arts events in Beaufort County each year.

  3. Execute Communications and Marketing Plan

    We will organize our contacts (i.e., all artists in the community, volunteers, donors, funders, partner organizations, supporters, friends, etc.) into an email marketing solution (e.g., MailChimp) and push out news, announcements, and event notices through it. We will use accounts on Facebook and Instagram to maintain a strong social medial presence. We will refresh our website and keep it updated with updated information and captivating content.

GOAL #2: Increase Programming

A. Execute Core BAC Initiatives

  • Educational programs in local schools

  • Summer camps

  • Arts Classes

  • Music Education Series

  • Fall Show

  • Annual Awards Ceremony (May)

  • Harlem Renaissance Gala (January)

GOAL #3: Engage, Educate and Inspire People

A. Recruit Volunteers

We will continue to rely heavily on volunteers to conduct the work of the Council. Volunteers may include but not be limited to Board members, local artists, patrons of the arts, TCL students and interns, and community members.

B.  Increase Administrative Capacity

  • We will augment our volunteer workforce with a part-time Arts Program Coordinator who will:

  • Develop and administer educational programs to meet our enrollment goals long-term;

  • Collaborate with the BAC Executive Team on approving workshops, seminars and classes;

  • Collaborate with committees on what the Arts community needs;

  • Collaborate with BAC/Mather on calendar of events;

  • Schedule and confirm instructors/teaching artists;

  • Maintain the BAC website and assist with social media updates

  • This person will report to and be accountable to the Board of Directors.

C. Build/Maintain Key Stakeholder Relationships

  • BAC Members

  • Local Artists

  • Funders and Donors

  • Mayor’s Office

  • Chamber of Commerce

  • Local Merchants

  • Local and Regional Media

GOAL #4: Operate Based on Sound and Transparent Principles

A.  ​Exercise Sound Governance

  • Draft and adopt a Board policy containing collective and individual duties of Board


  • Draft, adopt, and annually have every Board member sign a Conflict of Interest policy and

    disclosure statement.

  • Clarify terms for current Board members, and organize an updated Board roster with contact

    information, and beginning and ending dates of terms.

  • Adopt an annual budget, and review a budget vs actual income and expense statement and

    balance sheet at least once a quarter.

  • Adopt a Board meeting schedule at least 12 months in advance, with Board meetings

    occurring at least every other month.

B.  We will take the following steps to strengthen our Board and overall governance functioning:

  1. Increase Funding

We will raise funds to support an annual operating budget of $50,000. Our chief sources of income will be grants from local and regional foundations, corporate sponsorships, fundraising events, program fees (e.g., summer camps), advertising revenue, and individual contributions.

2.  Secure New Equipment and Technology

We will purchase a new computer (laptop or desktop) with necessary software and peripherals, and a color printer.

bottom of page