Susan DuPlessis

Community Arts Development Director
The South Carolina Arts Commission
Columbia, South Carolina

Susan DuPlessis has spent most of her life in her native South Carolina, and it is this place that defines her.  With her family's long history in the state dating to the early 1700s, her sense of connection stems from her people who were mountain folk, share croppers and mill workers as well as professors, entrepreneurs and software engineers.    She began her career as an individual, community-based artist with a focus on underserved communities. For 25+ years, she had had myriad opportunities to use arts and culture as a fundamental basis for engagement and connection in nonprofit and corporate settings, locally, regionally and nationally.  Today, as Director of Community Arts Development at the South Carolina Arts Commission, she engages with artists, arts organizations, educators, grassroots community leaders and culture bearers across the state.  She is particularly proud to have co-directed the coastal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor partnership program for the agency as well as to have developed and now lead the new initiative called The Art of Community: Rural S.C.  in a six-county 'Promise Zone' region.