The Town of Hilton Head Island and USCB Announce Plans for Future Arts Campus
“We’ve recently announced plans for a $65 million referendum to invest in parks, recreation and arts and culture activities on the Island. If approved, monies will available to construct a new Arts Campus at Shelter Cove and would allow for sustained support of arts activities that benefit Hilton Head Island residents,” said Mayor John McCann.
“We envision that USCB will own, operate and manage the facility through the development of several new degree-granting programs concentrated around arts and theatrical education. Additionally, this new and/or renovated facility will be used by our local art organizations to continue providing the wonderful public programming that is so well loved by our Islanders,” McCann said.
The Town and USCB already have a strong working relationship and are looking to build upon the existing success that occurred when the two partnered on the construction of USCB’s $25 million Hilton Head Island Hospitality Management Campus, the center of its thriving hospitality management degree program.
“The nature and high level of quality that exists within the building and grounds that are present in the Hospitality Management Campus are what we envision for the new Arts Campus. We believe we can create another jewel on the Island that reflects who we are as a community and continues our desire to have best-in-class public facilities,” McCann said.
For USCB, excitement around this project emanates from the potential opportunity to expand its partnership with the Town as well as strengthen its capacity to serve both students and Hilton Head Island residents.
“We think this an ideal opportunity for us to come together again, to build upon our existing successful partnerships and establish a center that can be a catalyst for arts and culture activities in the community, much like our Center for the Arts is in Beaufort,” said USCB Chancellor Al M. Panu, Ph.D.
The Center for the Arts, along with the City of Beaufort, was awarded the prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2017. The Center hosts numerous theatrical productions, forums and other year-round community programs. USCB’s Beaufort campus also houses its visual arts and design program for students.
Staff with the Town and USCB have begun exploring all aspects of the proposed venture. If the Town’s referendum successfully passes, $35 million would be invested in arts and culture facilities to include $25 million for the development of the Arts Campus, $5 million for the Mitchelville Freedom Park and $5 million for the Coastal Discovery Museum.