The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations has presented Rock Hill resident Betty Plumb with its Nonprofit Advocacy Award for her 30 years as an arts leader and nonprofit advocacy.
For 25 years, Plumb has been a voice for public support for the arts as executive director of the S.C. Arts Alliance. She transformed the grassroots advocacy organization into the most influential champion of the arts in South Carolina.
She was also active in recruiting younger advocates and has lectured in arts management programs at the College of Charleston, the University of South Carolina and Winthrop University.
Plumb helped build the S.C. Legislative Arts Caucus, one of the most effective legislative advocacy endeavors in the state, by bringing in about 120 out of 170 members.
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Plumb plans to retire in September.
Under her leadership the nonprofit organization developed the state’s private sector coalition to help leaders advance the arts, led public policy development and advocated for public sector support of the arts and arts education.
“I don’t believe that many of us in the nonprofit section do what we do for the accolades,” said Plumb. “But it certainly is terrific to be recognized by our peers and to know we may have had a positive impact on our field.”
Under Plumb’s leadership, the S.C. Arts Commission advocated for an increase in funding from the S.C. Department of Education and support from federal agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education.
She was instrumental in advocating for funding and public policies that support arts education, strong local arts organizations, issues important to artists’ careers and developing networks of arts advocates.
In addition to her work for the arts, Plumb worked on behalf of the state’s nonprofit sector, serving on the nonprofit organization board for six years, helping to get passed legislation legalizing raffles for charitable nonprofits, teaching workshops and sharing resources with nonprofit leaders.
The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations has honored elected officials in the past, but this is the first time this nonprofit advocacy award has been presented to an individual nonprofit leader.