The Arts Council of Rock Hill and York County: ChristmasVille
The purpose of the Arts Council of Rock Hill and York County is to promote the arts as a crucial factor in the quality of life through education and performing arts. One such event is known as ChristmasVille, an annual holiday festival in downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina. With the involvement of major partners and sponsors, ChristmasVille increases in-state and out-of-state cultural tourism through targeted marketing in the Southeast. It showcases the arts, uses the arts as an economic development strategy, brings life to Rock Hill’s downtown area, generates business for shop owners and restaurants, and establishes Rock Hill as a destination for cultural tourists.
What Happened Next
The ChristmasVille concept arose from an idea gained from a conference in Alexandra, Virginia, about how arts organizations can work with downtown development organizations to generate economic development. Around the same time of the conference, there was an effort to brand downtown Rock Hill. City officials considered how to use the work of renowned children’s illustrator Vernon Grant, who had been a Rock Hill resident, into the branding and marketing of the downtown “Old Town” district. The idea of a festival built around Grant’s art began to take shape. The initial ChristmasVille festival was held in December 2006.
To measure festival impact and growth, organizers track results through toll-free numbers, Web site inquiries, statistics, e-mail inquiries, silent auction registration, parade registration, group tours booked, hotel room nights booked, surveys for promotional package drawing a three-day South Carolina vacation provided by Olde English District, and post-evaluation by vendors, artists, shop owners, and restaurants.
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