Welcoming Community

How welcoming is our community to different types of people?

Welcoming Community

What is Welcoming Community?

According to the Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community Study, 'Welcoming Community' is the respondent's perception of how welcoming a community is to different types of people, including people with young children, senior citizens, college graduates and minorities, among other groups. Grant projects in this focus area support open and inclusive activities and programs. 

2017 Connected Communities Grant Recipients

The following nonprofits received a Connected Communities grant for their work in the 'Welcoming Community' area. Check back to this page throughout the year for updates on these projects.

  • FoodShare; Community Cooks: Creating a New Sense of Connection in a Public Housing Neighborhood through the Creation of a Community KitchenRenovation of the current kitchen in the new FoodShare facility to increase the space accommodating community cooking classes and small food business incubation activities.
  • Orangeburg County Fine Arts Centers; Arts Center Renovation Renovations and repairs to the art center will allow this important community building to be a gathering place for the community and a catalyst to increase arts awareness.

  • Palmetto Luna Arts; Latino Arts in MotionBringing Latino artistry to new venues across the community to give Midlands residents the opportunity to experience first-hand Latino art creation.

  • Sumter County Museum; Temple Sinai Jewish History MuseumThe transformation of a historic temple into a permanent Jewish history exhibit, allowing visitors be cognizant of the Jewish community’s contributions to the development of Sumter.

  • Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network; Seen and Heard: Women and Girls in the Midlands Documenting women’s diverse voices through community conversations and sharing their stories throughout the community to inspire social action.

Previous Communities Grant Recipients

EngenuitySC (2015,2016): What's Next Midlands- Economic development nonprofit Engenuity SC will launch its second year of What's Next Midlands, the collaborative crowdsourcing program aimed to gather great ideas for Midlands improvement from residents, and then connect those ideas with the community, capital and volunteers needed to turn them into reality. The program will complete one publicly vetted and approved project per quarter.  The first "What's Next Midlands" project to be funded recently added brightly colored, metal tables and chairs along Main Street to add social seating during events and peak times.

Historic Columbia (2015): Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative - The untold story of Columbia's Jewish community will be shared throughout the community, aided by a forum for the collection and sharing of stories, images and documents. 

Kershaw County Community Playground (2015): ADA Accessible Playground - Kershaw County's first ADA accessible playground, with specially designed play equipment, will allow families to play together locally.

South Carolina State Museum (2016)RACE: Are We So Different?- The concept of race is scientifically and culturally examined, pondered and challenged at the SC State Museum's new exhibit, which explores three primary themes- the science of human variation, the history of the idea of race and the contemporary experience of race and racism in the US- and explains why we should celebrate our differences. Associated programs complement the exhibit, displayed from June 11 to September 11, 2016.

Stories of Philanthropy