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March 11, 2019

2019 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts

Kathleen Bateson is the recipient of the 2019 S.C. Arts Commission’s 2019 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in the Individual category, which is “open to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and statewide impact through their leadership, support, and advancement of the arts.” Bateson is president, CEO and executive producer of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, a 2006 past Verner award recipient in the organization category. She is past president of the S.C. Arts Alliance board, and served as the first chair of the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head. She currently serves as Chair of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry’s Women in Philanthropy.

Meet Kathi Bateson

Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson is President/CEO and Executive Producer of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina which annually produces five shows and hosts several presenting artists and provides education outreach programs to students in our four county region. She is past president of the S.C. Arts Alliance board and was founding co-chair and then chair of the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head. She was a founder and now chair of Women in Philanthropy. Ms. Bateson is founder and president of Management for the Arts, a national firm specializing in NPO organizational restructure, institutional planning, strategic positioning and new business ventures. She has served as cultural representative on international delegations to South Africa, China and Japan, and is herself a goldsmith and professional set designer.

Award Recipients 2019

“It is an honor and privilege to recognize individuals and organizations who live out the service, commitment and passion that help the arts thrive in South Carolina,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “Each of the Verner Award recipients makes a tremendous contribution not just locally, but they are honored for broad impact on the state’s arts community and beyond. These are outstanding ambassadors for our state.Bateson is joined by recipients in the other award categories: Cecil Williams (Lifetime Achievement), Tyrone Geter (Artist), Simeon Warren (Arts in Education - Individual), S.C. African American Heritage Commission (Arts in Education – Organization), Hampton III Gallery (Business), Florence County Museum (Government), The Gibbes Museum of Art (Organization), and Columbia Stage Society (Organization-Town Theatre - Special Award).

Award Process

A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members of the South Carolina community at large, reviews all nominations and, after a rigorous process and a series of panel meetings produces a recommendation for each category to the board for final approval.

The 2019 Verner Awards will be presented with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards at South Carolina Arts Awards Day sponsored by Colonial Life on Wednesday, May 1 in a morning ceremony at the USC Alumni Center in Columbia. The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during an honors luncheon. For more information about the Verner Awards, please visit and for Kathi Bateson visit