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Celebrating 50 years of the arts in Greenville

Here’s how the Metropolitan Arts Council has been supporting the artistic and economic wellbeing of our community for half a century.

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Artist and customer during Open Studios

Greenville Open Studios is just one of the vital and beloved programs offered by the Metropolitan Arts Council.

Photo by Creagh Cross

The Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) was founded in 1973 to support our city’s vibrant arts scene. Its mission: To stimulate and support artistic expression and its appreciation + enjoyment in ways that enrich all citizens, artists, cultural organizations, and communities in Greenville County.

MAC accomplishes this by providing funding and other vital services that greatly impact the artistic and economic wellbeing of our community. As Greenville’s umbrella arts organization (and the largest arts council in South Carolina), MAC provides an avenue for arts supporters to contribute to a wide range of local artistic endeavors, from individual artists at the start of their careers to large performing arenas like the Peace Center.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at MAC’s impact:

  • $2.1 million: MAC’s total endowment for its grants program
  • $510,455: Amount awarded in grants in 2022
  • 75: Average number of project grants awarded each year
  • 800: Number of arts-integrated units funded by SmartARTS in Greenville County Schools
  • 930: Artists and teachers trained through the SmartARTS Education Institute
  • 2,144: Number of individuals and organizations who donated to MAC in 2022
  • 1,600+: Number of MAC members (artists, arts organizations and galleries)
  • $678,950: COVID relief funds provided to 33 arts organizations in Greenville County
  • $3.445 million: MAC’s total assets

As part of its core mission, MAC created a vehicle for local philanthropists and corporations to support arts education. Enter: the SmartARTS program, founded in 2002 in partnership with Greenville County Schools. This program grew into the TD Center for Arts Integration, which is supported by organizations such as The Jolley Foundation and Duke Energy.

MAC’s arts integration work has expanded across 83 schools including 18 high-poverty schools in Greenville County. Through engaging artists in this meaningful work, MAC helps our city retain talent and empowers local creatives to make a living as artists.

How can locals help support MAC? Here are three ways to keep Greenville’s artbeat strong:

  1. Purchase a $50 ArtCard, which comes with buy-one-get-one-free tickets at Centre Stage, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Theatre, select shows at the Peace Center, South Carolina Children’s Theatre, and The Warehouse Theatre.
  2. Give to the Endowment, MAC’s fund to sustain its grants program for future generations.
  3. Support the SmartARTS program.

Learn more about MAC and the work it does to help Greenville’s arts scene thrive.*

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