The Lancaster County Council of the Arts (LCCA) was organized and designated as a 501c(3) nonprofit organization in 1977. Situated at 201 West Gay Street, and located in the historic Springs House in the Cultural Arts District in downtownLancaster, the organization enhances the quality of life in Lancaster County through a variety of programs, workshops, gallery exhibits, and performances. In its forty-one years, the organization has gained in prominence and recognition by forging collaborative partnerships with local, regional, state, and national patrons of the arts.
The LCCA maintains a formal partnership with the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County School District to bring programming and arts integration to students and teachers through The John F. Kennedy Partners in Education organization in Washington, D.C. TheLCCA offers arts and science summer camps to children across Lancaster County, and offers opportunities for student participation through the art of theatre and dance with performances like TheNutcracker Ballet.
LCCA contributes to the economy of Lancaster County because arts and culture are vital components to a thriving economy. Businesses want to know the cultural environment in the cities where they intent to locate and remain. LCCA supports a number of traveling artists’ performances throughout the year. The organization supports its local artists as well through gallery exhibits and featured performances. The arts provide a platform for the overall health and wellness of both children and adults in Lancaster County.
Our Process of Engagement in Planning
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts Board of directors worked together through an engaged process in meetings, review and discussion. The Board and staff present the following goals, objectives, and strategies to grow its presence throughout Lancaster County.
The Mission of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts is to enhance the quality of life in Lancaster County through arts education and programming, to form community partnerships for promotion and support of the arts, and to serve as a resource center for the arts. (Mission statement under review and revision, January 2018).
Vision & Values
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts will realize its vision when we achieve the following:
- A thriving downtown arts district in Lancaster; residents of Lancaster enjoy arts exhibits, community events, shopping and dining in the revitalized downtown.
- Bursting at the seams with activity.
- Providing scholarships for students who are pursuing arts degrees.
- Hosting music clinics featuring world-class artists.
- Celebrating huge art fairs in downtown Lancaster (revived ARTS ARE POPPIN) with food trucks, art galleries, activities for kids; draws people from Indian Land and Charlotte
- Offering free arts education for all children inLancaster County
- Celebrating bountiful memberships, donors, and anonymous contributions to promote its growth; LCCA forms partnerships with other non-profit organizations
- Hosting programs reaching a record number of kids (inits program offerings)
- A major catalyst for the re-development and re-shaping of Lancaster County
- Offering a variety of impressive arts programming from concerts to plays to readings to workshops (musical, drama, studio, and dance);those who have moved to the community and those who were born within the community enjoy the events and the relationships they have found; employers look to this community as a primary place to re-locate
- Awarded $10 million (from local philanthropist or targeted grant) for Arts Integration Initiative
- Improved programs through schools for arts education for elementary students in music, drama, visual arts, etc.; LCCA has created a strategic partnership with The Lancaster School District
- Widely recognized for its impact to the economic prosperity within Lancaster County
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts believes:
- Arts create connection, imagination, and creativity; the arts help us connect with each other; they help us exercise our imagination, especially by using creativity; they provide opportunities for unity and inclusion; they help us expand our experiences and our awareness. We value the work of the LCCA because it gives us an opportunity to serve, an opportunity to engage in the community and the arts, and an opportunity for growth.
- Arts contribute (in a measured way) to economic development; (Arts) offer a form of entertainment; (Arts) offer folksopportunity to develop and showcase their skills; (Arts) define a community.
- Arts will ensure our community is healthy and vital; a creative economy will help us grow; (Arts) offer connectivity and community investment.
- Arts contribute to the quality of life in Lancaster County; (Arts) bring us together to improve our County and community, and attract visitors/residents.
- Arts educate the community culturally; (Arts) allow for community participation and ensures that we are prospering as an organization.
- Arts provide a higher standard of living within a community by offering cultural events and activities; communities with more cultural events attract more businesses (to locate); (Arts) offer opportunity to build personal connections.
- Arts stimulate the mind; (Arts) give children ways to express their talents.
- Arts help promote diversity in a community, respecting different views, (promoting) open-mindedness; people can contribute their personal artistic talents to the community and help the community come together as one.
- Arts make you happy, making life worthwhile; also, the arts are important to a community’s economic health.
- Arts are important because they enhance the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for both children and adults.
Board Assessment of Organization Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
The Board views the strengths of LCCA as follows:
- Longevity of the LCCA organization
- Board has ability to think and act “outside the box” (creatively and imaginatively).
- Financial health of the organization
- Name recognition (Brand)
- Talent and resource pool available (board and volunteers)
- Relationships between the Board and the community it serves
- Variety of programs offered
- Good membership base
- Great Leader/Manager
The Board views the weaknesses of LCCA as follows:
- Could do a better job in marketing the organization of LCCA (our accomplishments)
- Could do more to showcase local artists
- Need additional staff to grow the organization allowing executive staff to work at a higher level
- We have a great relationship with the City/City Council and our office space/galleries are rent-free, as well as building maintenance/janitorial are provided. We are totally reliant on the strength of that relationship to maintain our lease and KC Partnership work.
- Aging donor base; need to build younger givers
- We have not found a way to engage the Indian Land area
The Board sees several opportunities for LCCA, including:
- Tap into more artists in the community
- Identify millennial donors and how to reach them
- Focus groups to identify needs, wants of younger audience; how to engage them
- Grow our audiences(demographically and geographically)
- Target and develop outlying areas of Lancaster County for future development with particular interest in Kershaw
- Kershaw - StevensPark project
Threats / Challenges
The Board sees several potential challenges for LCCA, including:
- Stigma of perceived notion that Lancaster has nothing to offer young people
- New tax law changes and how they might impact giving
- Competition for dollars/resources
- IndianLand not willing to participate
Board Perspective of Critical Issues Over the Next Few Years
The Board has identified several critical issues for LCCA, including:
- Growing a more diverse membership (demographically and geographically)
- New staff person in place for Operations and Fund Development (ideally, full time if budget allows; part-time as alternative)
- Identify new corporate sponsors/donors/individuals for board service
- New fall event (target outlying area)
Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics
Board Governance: The LCCA will maintain a culture of accountability, compliance, and transparency across its operations.
Objective 1: Accountability – The LCCA will ensure a high level of accountability and responsibility for all assets entrusted to the agency, and will ensure transparency across its operations.
Beginning 2018, expand annual orientation to include an update on current Strategic Plan with emphasis on the goals the board plans to accomplish during the given fiscal year.
- Board Chair conducts annual orientation in September each year.
- New board members to receive board manual that includes roster of board members, meeting dates, time and place, annual budget/financials, most recent minutes, strategic plan and operations plan for year, place for notes.
- Cover Conflict of Interest and Expectations of Board Members.
- Board member signs off on relevant documents.
Taking strategies from the Strategic Plan, staff and committees will create an annual Plan of Operations for each fiscal year, beginning 2019-20 fiscal year, and once new staff in position.
- Committees meet in April-May to discuss next year’s target goals for each area, describing the various activities that need to occur to realize the goals
- Staff and committees arrive at budget estimates of income and expense related to activities
- Staff refines the Operation Plan and submits to Executive Director, who in turn submits to Board for approval in June of each year.
Continued Board training on understanding of financials and relevant federal and state regulations
- Board Treasurer to conduct training on ongoing basis for Board members regarding how to interpret the financial instruments used in reporting financial data
Objective 2: Compliance – The Board and staff will stay abreast of the relevant laws and regulations that govern nonprofit organizations and will ensure compliance with such laws.
Board will form a Governance Committee to oversee function of reviewing by-laws and policies on annual basis. Committee charged with selection process for new members.
- Committee job description approved and place May 1, 2018
- Members Recruited by June 1, 2018
- Committee training on selection process for new board members July 1, 2018
- Committee to develop new policies manual no later than December 31, 2018
- Annual Policies Review no later than December 31, 2018 and ongoing
- By-Laws Review, adding new amendments as needed September, 2018 and ongoing
LCCABoard and staff will ensure timely reporting of990 to comply with IRS guidelines: 15th day of the 5th month following fiscal year closing.
- Closing of financials no later than July 15, (beginning) 2019 and ongoing
- Audit completed by November 1, 2019, (beginning) 2019 and ongoing
- Board Review no later than 2nd Tuesday Board meeting in November, (beginning) 2019and ongoing
- 990 filed no later than guideline date of November 15th, (beginning) 2019 and ongoing
- 90-day extension filed if issues prevent filing on deadline
Objective 3: Transparency – The Board and staff will disclose and make available relevant information to all of its constituents.
LCCA will maintain an accurate and clear accounting of its financial records and report activity monthly to its board of directors effective April, 2018 and ongoing.
- Ensure proper vetting procedure for external Accountant/Bookkeeper no later thanApril, 2018
- Create guidelines and deadlines as needed no later than March, 2018
- Training as needed, May, 2018
- Implement clearer Chart of Accounts for financial review and budgeting no later than June,2018
Make board meeting agendas available online beginning February 2018.
Maintain up-to-date binder of board meeting agendas, minutes of meetings, and monthlyTreasurer reports; make available as matter of public record in offices of LCCA beginning February 2018.
Objective 4: The LCCA Board will maintain a diverse, interested, and engaged Board whose members share commitment to the mission of the organization.
The Board will seek to grow a more diverse board representing different viewpoints and perspectives and include a wider geographical representation for its 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- Using a BoardSelection instrument to evaluate existing board members and the skills each member brings, determine areas targeted for new skills/characteristics to recruit for board service no later than June of 2018 to impact 2019 selection process.
- Through proper selection of new members, recruit new members to maintain a diverse/interested/and engaged board.
- Be clear during recruitment phase to discuss with potential new members why they are being asked to serve on the Board.
- o Target new member from the Kershaw area – (a) Identify individual(s) connected to the Community Heart and Soul Initiative; (b) Identify potential member from the Indian Land area; (c) Target new member representing the millennial population group.
- Board to explore concept of creating Honorary Board Member status to recruit individuals who can positively impact work of organization but who cannot actively serve as a voting board member.
- Board to explore officer succession planning.
Objective 5: Evaluation – The Board will evaluate its own performance on an ongoing basis.
Using formal and informal process, the board will gain higher levels of feedback from members of the board beginning spring 2018 and ongoing
- Set aside board time in meetings to discuss goals and progress against the Plan.
- Every other year, through board survey engage in formal evaluation beginning 2019.
The LCCA Organization Will Enhance Existing Areas of Administration, Finance and Technology
Objective 1: LCCA will actively pursue hiring additional staff person to support operations and fundraising, allowing executive staff to work on more strategic initiatives and external relations on behalf of the organization. Note: Staff person reports and is responsible to the executive director.
Executive Director takes the lead by defining the work of new hire during early spring 2018.
- Job description crafted no later than March 1, 2018
- Salary determination discussed and approved by board March 1, 2018
- Recruitment through print and digital advertisements, March-April, 2018
- Interviews conducted by executive director and if desired executive committee, May 31,2018
- Executive director makes final decision regarding hire by June 30 ,2018
- Orientation and training by Executive Director by July 31, 2018 and ongoing
Objective 2: Finance – LCCA will expand the work of the Finance Committee to include members with investment and real estate experience to take advantage of future opportunities.
LCCA will identify existing or new potential board members with investment and real estate experience to serve on this committee during 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- The Board Treasurer chairs this committee
- Committee description developed during 2019
- Committee meets on quarterly basis during 2020
- Executive Director meets with committee
- Committee evaluates potential opportunities
- Treasurer compiles report of recommendation and presents to Board
Objective 3: Technology – LCCA will annually review its technology needs to stay abreast of needed changes to support work of the organization.
Executive Director reviews and evaluates technology based on operational needs.
- Explore various donor software programs used by non-profit organizations in the area during 2019-2020 fiscal year
- Finance Committee reviews costs and makes recommendation to budget
- System in place and functioning during 2020-2021 fiscal year
The LCCA Organization WillStrive to Increase Access to the Arts, Expanding its Reach to New Demographic Audiences and to Outlying Areas within Lancaster County.
Objective 1: Increase arts programming to new audiences within outlying areas of Lancaster County where local communities can benefit from diverse and rewarding arts experiences.
LCCA will review and target areas and population groups for extended market coverage within Lancaster County beginning 2018 and ongoing
- Enter into discussions with committee working on Kershaw Community Empowerment Project funded through Sims and Orton Foundations during Winter-Spring 2018
- BoardExecutive Committee discusses potential initial project for Kershaw during spring 2018
- Executive Committee presents to Board for discussion and vote Fall 2018
- Project in place during 2019-2020 fiscal year
- Staff seeks to identify grant funding for outlying area development project during Fall2018
- Identify potential new board member from the Kershaw-Heath Springs area during 2018 with intent to bring onto Board for 2019-2020 fiscal year
- Continue efforts to grow the Arts within Indian Land area by identifying potential partners for project development
- Grow attendance at arts camps in outlying areas by targeting new areas for expansion during Summer 2019 and ongoing
Objective 2: Create dialogue amongst interested groups intended to bring the millennial generation to Lancaster County for arts and entertainment.
Communicate and Collaborate with other community stakeholders with interest in bringing new audiences to Lancaster during 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- Meet withLancaster County Chamber representatives to discuss potential initiatives
- Meet withCity Council to discuss potential initiatives
- Discuss with other non-profits that have interest in tapping into new audiences for programs
- Enhance City of Lancaster partnership for potential fall festival during 2019-2020 fiscal
Hold focus groups with interested constituencies to determine how to tap into this generation of young people during 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- LCCA will take the lead by identifying participants and determine who will facilitate focus groups
- LCCA to explore potential partnership with USC-L for project
Explore potential grant dollars to support revitalization of downtown.
- Heart and Soul grant through Orton and Sims Foundation
- Federal and State Economic Development grants
Explore new venue for arts space with ownership or co-ownership by LCCA.
- Create space for creative arts activities for all age groups
- Allow space for artists’ studios
- Explore potential donor who might take special interest in project
The LCCA Organization Will Maintain and Grow its Funding Base through Increased Memberships, Community Partnerships, Fundraising Activities, and Grants.
Objective 1: The organization will identify and target new audiences, including millennials, for activities/events.
Develop events/activities that attract new audiences during 2019-2020 fiscal year
- Target millennials as new audience to support broader strategic initiatives
- USC-L Spring Fling to grow our volunteer base: (a) Contact administration to gain support; (b) Contact Student Life Coordinator
- Fall Frolic project idea to be coordinated also with USC-L: (a) Contact administration to gain support; (b) Contact Student Life Coordinator
- Collaborate with other nonprofits that target younger audiences
- Identify and develop youth-oriented events: (a) Focus groups with USC-L students to determine types of events of interest
Objective 2: The organization will target new outlying areas for market development where local communities can benefit from diverse and rewarding arts experiences.
Prioritize areas for market outreach using events as a means to develop relationships with potential community leaders during 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- Targets: Indian Land, Kershaw, Heath Springs
- Create fundraiser event to include Indian Land and event for Kershaw areas
Objective 3: The organization will continue its efforts to form collaborations and community partnerships for events and programs where citizens and visitors in our outlying communities can benefit from relevant and rewarding arts experiences.
Identify new venues for events where a community partnership could be developed during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
- Andrew JacksonState Park to partner event
- Stevens Park in Kershaw (note: possible contacts: Frances Moreland and Angie Neal): (a) Possible partner for local commissioned art; (b) Possible arts camp location for students to participate in arts experiences.
- Greenway (Hike/BikeFest); contact: Sherrie Gregory
- Enhance relationships with local government meeting groups
- Further develop and measure our Economic Impact within Lancaster County
- Re-visit “Night of the Living Arts” with smaller, more concentrated target areas: (a) Potential sponsors Craft Stand, 521 BBQ
Objective 4: The organization will expand its reach identifying new local artists to produce and showcase their works, offering opportunities for artists to produce exceptional art and build sustainable careers.
Support local artists through South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).
Individual artist commission grant.
- Investigate sub-granting initiative with SCAC
- Explore other potential avenues for funding to support local artists
- Promote activity through existing LCCA media activities
Objective 5: Establish financial goals for each fund development activity hosted by LCCA and to include memberships and grants written for each year beginning 2018-2019 budget year.
Set growth goals based on typical non-profit averages for each event on a yearly basis.
Bookkeeper to determine actuals for each 2017-2018 event and activity.
- Set new growth goals between 10 – 15% annually based on existing activity level
- Evaluate each year and set goals based on current activity level, structure of organization, and economy
The LCCA Organization Will Effectively Communicate Arts Initiatives to Potential Partners and all Community Stakeholders including Artists, Residents, and Visitors.
Objective 1: The organization will ensure and promote a consistent message about the mission of the LCCA.
Review and update the current mission statement during spring 2018 with new mission statement in place no later than June 30, 2018.
- Chair appoints committee to review and “tweak” at February 2018 board meeting
- Committee looks at other arts organizations to gain new ideas to incorporate
- Committee crafts new revised statement and submits to board for review and vote no later thanJune 30, 2018
- Marketing, membership, fund development committee promotes mission through print and electronic media once completion of work by mission development committee
Objective 2: The LCCA organization will market and promote the work of the agency to the community through targeted and consistent print and electronic media.
Staff and Committees review, edits and approves all message content before distributed.
- Banners, brochures, newsletters
- Membership letters
- CN-2 andLearn TV
- GatewayNewspaper (Indian Land) through paid advertising or news piece that targets area
Objective 3: The organization will expand its social media presence to target younger audiences who are high-end users of electronic media.
Expand social media presence to target younger audiences.
- Snap Chat Art Feature of the Day: (a) Will need specifications and guidelines; (b) Activity developed through new millennial board member(s) under direction of staff
- Grow Facebook presence with new messaging
- Explore use ofInstagram
Objective 4: The organization will expand its efforts to reach outlying targeted areas to help grow outlying area communities through the arts.
Create marketing opportunities for outlying areas utilizing all print and social media.
Target and prioritize outlying areas of Indian Land, Kershaw, Great Falls, Fort Lawn for market outreach of messages and promotion of events.