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Panel turns to consultants for guidance on Hilton Head arts venue

Hilton Head arts leader: New venue could have $500M economic impact on region

A new arts & entertainment venue on Hilton Head Island could have a $500 million economic impact on the region over a 5-year period. That's according to Dan Castro, a member of the Hilton Head Choral Society and vice president of Community Vision
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A new arts & entertainment venue on Hilton Head Island could have a $500 million economic impact on the region over a 5-year period. That's according to Dan Castro, a member of the Hilton Head Choral Society and vice president of Community Vision

Five national consultant groups are vying for a chance to help the town of Hilton Head Island come to an arts venue conclusion.

Town venue committee members said Wednesday they will spend the next 30 days interviewing the firms in search of the right one for the job. The consultants could help the committee gather community input, look at costs and collect on data on venue options, for example.

Jane Joseph, venue committee vice chairman, said a firm is needed to help members make an educated recommendation.

“They will bring expertise in all the areas we are looking into,” Joseph said. “They can take our data and make suggestions on where we should go.”

The committee is charged with figuring out what and where an arts venue could be located on the island. Town Council members gave the committee a deadline of December to complete the task.

The council also gave the committee $200,000 to cover the cost of consultants.

Cindy Creamer, committee chairman, said efforts to pick the right consultant group will start on Thursday.

Joseph said it could take only one round of interviews or it could take more.

Councilwoman Kim Likins, also a committee member, said every search process is different.

“I have been through this process many times,” Likins said. “Sometimes, there is a shooting star and sometimes there are three or four and they are all scored equally, and that is when we bring a presentation to the committee forward.”

The committee’s final recommendation for an arts venue would come directly following a Nov. 8 Beaufort County referendum that could provide funds for the project via a sales tax increase. If approved, the referendum would provide about $6 million to the town for an arts venue.

Preliminary plans presented by the town have included an outdoor amphitheater along with an indoor concert hall. Costs for the venue have been estimated to be as high as $65 million.

Teresa Moss: 843-706-8152, @TeresaIPBG

Consulting groups

  • Arts Consulting Group of Massachusetts
  • Webb Management Services Inc. of New York
  • Cultural Planning Group of Pennsylvania
  • Johnson Consulting of Illinois
  • CSL International of Minnesota
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