The ABC Project is a statewide collaborative initiative begun in 1987, whose goal is to ensure that every child in South Carolina, from pre-school through college levels, has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts, including dance, drama, music, visual arts and creative writing. The Arts In Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
The ABC Steering Committee, which includes the S. C. Arts Commission, the S. C. Department of Education, schools and school districts, colleges and universities, artists, educators, arts organizations, government and business leaders, forms the nucleus of a strong statewide coalition committed to achieving the Project's goal. Now comprised of more than 80 members, the committee meets three times each year to review Project initiatives and make recommendations for carrying out initiatives. The project sponsors a model sites program that provides grant funds for the development of innovative arts programs.
These ABC Sites, along with sites funded each year by the South Carolina Department of Education's Arts Curricular Grant program, have received over $1.5 million annually since 1990. The ABC Project has developed collaborative efforts leading to a certification program for dance teachers; establishment of the South Carolina Center for Dance Education at Columbia College, development of South Carolina Visual and Performing Arts Framework, and the South Carolina Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Standards.
The project "blueprint" for arts education was completed in 1988 with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The ABC blueprint outlines a curriculum to be taught by qualified arts teachers and reinforced by other subject area teachers, administrators, professional artists, arts organizations and community resources. The blueprint is founded on the premise that the arts are an indispensable part of a complete education because quality education in the arts significantly adds to the learning potential of our students. Arts education complements learning in other disciplines and establishes a foundation for success in school and lifelong learning. The ABC blueprint also provides a forum for the development of strategic arts initiatives, and serves as the foundation for a broad advocacy coalition for arts education reform in South Carolina.
Meet the ABC Project Director