Since 1977, the Arts Council of York County (ACYC) has been providing education in art development, marketing, and advocacy. The main purpose of the Council is to create and maintain an increasingly aware arts community in York County.
This non-profit organization serves its community by offering several programs and competitions throughout the year that allows community members to showcase their works.
“We host about 40 or more events per year … that are open to the public at one of two cultural facilities: The Gettys Arts Center and the Center for the Arts, or in partnership with other organizations such as Winthrop University, McCelvey Center, the School District and The City of Rock Hill,” said Executive Director Debra Heintz.
For example, the Underexposed Film Festival yc, which was founded in 2012 by Karen Collins and Terry Roueche, invites first-time and seasoned filmmakers to submit their videos for broadcast and review. This festival, which is held in Rock Hill, encourages people to go out and engage with the filmmakers.
Underexposed Film Festival yc Festival Director Karen Collins said, “The Underexposed Film Festival yc seeks to provide a stage for both budding and established artists while producing a motivating and supportive environment in which the filmmaker’s creativity can thrive. Underexposed Film Festival yc goes above and beyond by actively looking for the undiscovered talent waiting to be exposed.”
According to the Underexposed Film Festival’s website, “Never wavering in its mission, the Underexposed Film Festival yc continues its focus on strength in storytelling, screening films that feature characters who come to life, breaking down the fourth wall, and enveloping the audience in each story.”
The mission of the Underexposed Film Festival yc correlates with the mission of the Arts Council in that they both promote arts education and strive to brand York County as an arts destination. This is why the council produces the festival every year.
This is not the only way the Arts Council tries to get the community involved in the art world. It also offers annual literary competitions to adults over the age of 18 as well as a separate competition to those under the age of 18. Cash prizes were given to each place winner.
The Arts Council hosts events like Havana Nights, which is this year’s theme for its annual fundraising gala. Sponsors are able to select a platinum, gold, silver or bronze level of sponsorship that correlates with how much money they will give to the council.
The money raised from fundraising helps fund events like the Underexposed Film Festival, literacy competitions and art camps that are offered during the summer.
“We provide Artist Studios for 25-30 artists at below market value rental rates, arts in education/master classes for York County schools and universities, 2-day Blues & Jazz Festival, Performing Arts Series, Public Art Projects, Small Grants for York County artists, arts organizations, teachers and schools and Summer Art Camps,” Heintz said.
Each summer, different arts courses are offered during mornings and afternoons to children from ages 6-14. The sessions start mid-June and last for a week. It includes a different art project for the campers to work on each day and at the end of the week, there is an opportunity for the campers to showcase their work for their friends and families.
Partnerships that support excellence in the arts have been recognized at the state and federal level. ACYC has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence – the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for arts organizations.
“Rock Hill is a model for others in the state showing that partnerships make great visions become a reality,” Heintz said.
Add the Arts Council of York County to your Givolio to help support arts education in the community!