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"Midlands-area Cultural Council closes formal office operations"

The State

November 11, 2014

On November 7th, Columbia's The State newspaper reported on the closing of the Cultural Council of Richland/Lexington Counties.

Reporter Bertram Rantin wrote that the council was "a major funding source in the Midlands arts community for more than 25 years... and will function strictly as a volunteer-only group going forward."  Rantin called on Nexsen Pruet's Bob Coble for insight into the organization's impact and why the change is coming.  

An excerpt:

Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, a longtime Cultural Council and arts supporter, said the evolution facing the council is the same being felt by many nonprofit groups in the Midlands.

Coble said rather than giving to umbrella groups and letting them decide which organizations to fund, more businesses are making those decisions internally.

"They want to give directly, I think," he said.  "Umbrella groups are not as essential today."

What's more, Coble said, many businesses have merged, and more decisions are being made out of state and with more scrutiny.  "Quite frankly businesses are more bottom-line oriented," he said.

Read more from The State.

Bob Coble served as Mayor of Columbia for 20 years before retiring in 2010.  Today, he co-chairs the firm's Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Practice in Columbia.