Scott & Terry Peterson divider Birthplace | Clemson, SC & Medford, WI
Image of Scott & Terry Peterson

Q Tell me about your background.

A S: I’ve worked in the arts all my life, as an arts manager and then as Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission. Later Terry and I moved to Washington, where I was Senior Deputy Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts during the Clinton Administration. Then we moved back to South Carolina, where I was the Director of the Arts Management Program at the College of Charleston. I’m still associated with the program as a Senior Fellow, but basically retired. T: I’ve worked in education all my life. I started out as a teacher, but for the last forty years I’ve worked with large organizations to make schools better. I was the Chief Education Deputy for the Governor of South Carolina. And then I went to Washington DC, and I was Chief Deputy for the United States Secretary of Education. Now I work part time for the College of Charleston, but I’m also a consultant to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Q You’re a dream team! Do you ever work in tandem?

A T: About ten years ago we were working on parallel projects in Mongolia. I was working in education, and Scott was invited by the US State Department to help start an arts council for Mongolia. Around that time we were also working in Brazil. We did a joint presentation on how to engage the community in learning—and of course one of the examples was to engage through art and music. That was fun.

Q Tell me about your philanthropy work.

A S: I serve as Chairman of the Board of Engaging Creative Minds (ECM). I worked with the College, school district, and other organizations to help start that program. It’s now an independent nonprofit.

Q And I understand that it’s somehow connected to Kiawah?

A S: ARTS, etc. is a nonprofit program here at Kiawah. Engaging Creative Minds is very fortunate to be one of the programs that they fund to assist the schools on Johns Island.

Q What does Engaging Creative Minds do?

A T: ECM places musicians and artists in schools and summer programs. ECM has a roster of artists—painters, writers, photographers—who have been screened and trained. This year ECM is working with twenty schools, including Angel Oak Elementary and Haut Gap Middle, and has a waiting list for twenty more schools. And then they also run a fabulous summer program. S: The College of Charleston co-sponsored ECM’s camp last year, in partnership with Chucktown Squash. So ARTS, etc. funding enabled thirty students from Angel Oak Elementary on Johns Island to attend the camp for six weeks.

Q How did you end up on Kiawah?

A S: We used to come for weekends, and then we bought a house with friends. Everyone loved it. We weren’t married at that time, so it was a great place to get all the kids together. T: When we moved to Washington for work we still had the place here. Working in DC is twenty-four-seven, political, sensitive…so it was so nice to come here. We’d fly down on a Thursday night and already be on Kiawah while our colleagues were still in traffic back in DC. I still remember driving across the Kiawah bridge and just feeling like…aaaahhhhh!

Q And then you moved here for good?

A T: Our five kids all grew up in Columbia. We’re a merged family. They now live all over the country. They suggested we move to Kiawah and make it our home, so that it could be their beach house.

Q Do your kids just love coming here?

A S: Oh yeah. They all come. T: And now it’s grandkids! When we first bought here, we had five kids. Then they all got married. So it was ten. And now six grandkids. So the kids in their wisdom [shakes his head], suggesting this as their beach house... S: Well they didn’t have to twist our arms.

Q What’s your life like here?

A T: We probably end up at Cassique and The River Course for dinner once a week. We love hanging out at the Beach Club pool and the gazebo with our entourage—even the grandkids know our club number. Poppy, what’s that number again? S: We love biking on the beach, going to the fitness center, boating...and we love crabbing.

Q I don’t even know how to crab!

A S: Oh! You just put a chicken neck on a string and put it out in the water and they grab it. You bring it in slowly and scoop it up with a net.

Q That’s it?

A S: That’s it! It’s so much easier than fishing.

Kiawah Island Publishing, Inc. Established 1989