City of Lancaster, SC, 2015 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards Recipient for Government


The South Carolina Arts Commission announces the 2015 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the highest honor the state presents in the arts. Established in 1972, the annual awards recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina.

The City of Lancaster, South Carolina, nominated by Lancaster County Council of the Arts – as the 2015 Government Award

In recent years, the City of Lancaster has shown a remarkable commitment to serving the community through outstanding support of the arts. The vital nature of the municipal government’s efforts stands out given the severe social, cultural and economic challenges facing the city. High rates of adult illiteracy, unemployment and poverty have been barriers for the city and its citizens. The arts have been a central means through which the city has sought to address these challenges and positively shape the destiny of a rural community.

The city provides substantial in-kind and direct financial support to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts. This partnership has resulted in an impressive and rapidly growing portfolio of community-wide art projects and programs, including Night of the Living Arts, Ladies Night Out, the Spring Arts Crawl, community concerts, the Nutcracker Ballet, the Student Art Banner and Art Cubes Public Arts Project, public sculpture and mural projects, and storefront art exhibits. The city partners with USC Lancaster to support the Native American Studies Center, bringing Native American Arts and educational opportunities to the region.

Recently the City of Lancaster has achieved a high profile across the state through the success of the Ag+Art Tour initiative – providing leadership to other SC counties in developing tourism around the convergence of agriculture and the arts. Lancaster stands out as a model of civic commitment to draw upon the power of the arts to enrich communities in myriad ways.

“South Carolina’s quality of life, education and economy are enhanced tremendously by those who dedicate their work and lives to the arts,” said SC Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. “The Verner Awards recognize that service of commitment and passion. We are honored again this year to present the awards to a most worthy group of organizations and individuals. We are grateful for their contributions to our state.”

Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Columbia on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. The SC Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala, a fundraiser supporting the programs of the SC Arts Commission.

For more about the Verner Awards or the SC. Arts Gala, call 803/734-8696 or visit (


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