Past Comments

February Issue 2005
by Tom Starland

One E-Mail Address

Some people have been using an old e-mail address to send items to us. I'm not even going to repeat it here - to hopefully stop someone from using it. The one and only e-mail address for Carolina Arts or to reach Linda or myself is ( It's the only one we'll be looking at. I know that you can still find mention of another address on our website - on pages several years old, but since there are over 4,500 of them - we don't have time to go back and make the change.

As it is there are enough problems with e-mail besides using the wrong address. For one thing you should always ask for confirmation that we received your e-mail - either by calling us or asking for a return e-mail - especially if it is something you hope to get in a certain issue.

Sending attachments is OK, but it is advisable to send a message in the body of the e-mail that mentions what you sent - photos, article, PDF, or whatever. Some people who think they are sending attachments haven't really done something right - as we don't find any at our end. That can cause problems when we don't know you were sending something. Items that are just a few paragraphs long don't really need to be sent as an attachment.

We don't mind getting high resolution photos, but don't try and send ten in one attachment.

Finally, read what you are about to send us before you hit that send button. Ask if you have the who, what, where, when and why included. Some people have missed the deadline (15th of the month prior to the next issue) while we are waiting for follow-up info that wasn't included in the first e-mail. And we can't offer our readers incomplete info.

And, remember, if you're not in the e-mail world - that's OK. We still like to receive mail, calls and even FAXs - if that's what you have.

Communicating isn't really that hard - do it often and early - you just might see what you sent printed somewhere in the paper - or not. We don't always have room for everything we receive by deadline. And, there's never enough room for the things we receive after deadline.

Remember, the e-mail address is:
( - nothing else.

Cultural Tourism

One of our cover articles is about a new marketing blitz to attract visitors to North Carolina's crafts industry. In case you didn't know, 2004-05 has been declared a Celebration of North Carolina Craft, by North Carolina's Governor Michael F. Easley. What is South Carolina doing to promote cultural tourism?

Well, after a long pause...

Here's a few things we could do that might fit into our state's budget: adopt the slogan - South Carolina - We're Right Next Door to North Carolina; we could pray that all media outlets respond to the media blitz as they always do by bunching us in with NC as the Carolinas; or we could remove all our "You are entering South Carolina" signs in order to fool travelers into entering our state while touring NC. Any and all suggestions would be more than our state is planning.

The issue of promoting cultural tourism was brought up at a meeting between commercial gallery owners and the SC Arts Commission last summer, but the response from the Arts Commission was that they don't even get invited to state tourism gatherings - anymore. Makes you wonder why that invitation stopped coming.

They wrote the phrase - Promote Cultural Tourism down on a large sheet of paper with other suggestions being made by gallery owners and there that idea probably will stay.

It's been over six months since those "rushed" meetings and I've not heard or seen anything in the way of follow-up. It's no wonder many people in the visual art community in South Carolina look for nothing and expect nothing from the SC Arts Commission. Still, they are the state agency we should look to for assistance - they are given millions of our taxpayer dollars each year to do something. Shouldn't we expect something? I know I do, and I would hope that the people who attended those meetings do too. Why else bother? Of course that's the feeling many people are left with after trying to play ball with the Arts Commission.

A lot of good suggestions were written on those pages of paper - some that could be accomplished - if someone wanted to.

Is six months too short a time to expect a response? Makes you wonder how many things can the Arts Commission handle in a year's time. Or are we all just supposed to forget about the whole issue that called for the meetings in the first place. I'm not.

So maybe next month I'll have to get out my files and notes and go over the whole issue again. It's kind of like tax reform - everybody talks about it - everybody wants it, but nothing ever gets done. If they stall all the way to another April 15th - then everybody forgets about it for another year.

I find as much as I try to forget about the SC Arts Commission - try to block them out of my mind completely - there is always something that brings it right back up to the front of the line.

I don't want to think of them, but they and other people make me think of them - that's bad.

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