South Carolina Arts Commission names David Platts new executive director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors is announcing David Platts of Lancaster is to be the agency’s new executive director, effective July 1, 2019.

Platts currently serves as arts and science coordinator for Lancaster County School District, a position he’s held for 15 years. He will be the first new executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) in nine years, stepping in to lead an agency of 15 full-time staff who work to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three areas: arts education, artist development, and community arts development.

“While I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity, I am even more excited at the thought of serving with this dynamic team as we strive to advance the arts in South Carolina. Having worked with them as a grant recipient, an arts advocate on many levels, and in arts education, I understand the Arts Commission’s essential role. I am excited to make Columbia my home, where together we will continue working to keep the arts in the heart of each South Carolinian,” Platts said.

In his current role, Platts supports the Lancaster County School District’s arts teachers and oversees their instructional programs, six of which are for schools participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a joint program of the SCAC, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Department of Education. He manages the district’s arts state and federal education grants, some of which come from the SCAC. He is formerly a teacher, assistant principal and principal at elementary schools elsewhere in South Carolina and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina.

In addition to his work as an educator, Platts has served locally on the Lancaster County Council of the Arts as a board member and president. He has statewide experience as a member, president, and current treasurer of the Palmetto State Arts Education board and as a current member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance board, where he has been active as an arts advocate.

He is involved in his community, serving on the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce board, and is an artist himself: a pianist, he is an accompanist and is involved in music leadership at his church.

“We are pleased to identify David Platts as the new executive director of SCAC. We believe he has the right skills to oversee the agency, develop a new strategic plan and implement it over the course of the next 10 years,” SCAC Board of Directors Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “David is assuming leadership of a great state arts agency and wonderful staff and on behalf of the board of directors, we wish him best of success.”

Dee Crawford, who will begin serving as chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors July 1, was chair of the executive director search committee.

“In thinking about the specific roles someone in this job plays, we knew we needed a proven leader and experienced advocate to be prepared for the rigors of running a state agency. David has a broad blend of board leadership and his arts advocacy locally, statewide, and on the national level made him an ideal candidate,” Crawford said.

“Further, David is an educator whose deep ties to the Arts Commission’s arts in education programs give him knowledge of the agency. Adding in his strategic planning experience, this is someone forward-looking who is focused on the future of the arts in South Carolina,” she said.
Platts will replace Ken May, who retires at the end of June after serving 33 years at the SCAC, the last nine as its executive director.

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians.

Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
• arts education,
• community arts development,
• and artist development.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call 803.734.8696.


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