Charleston's Big Three performing arts groups have been strapped for cash before, but rarely like this. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Charleston Stage made public pleas for support last fall in attempts to head off what looked like massive budgeting shortfalls. None are out of the woods yet, but some good has come out this. One is the astounding level of giving from around the community. Charlestonians have declared that the arts matter. The second thing is the beginning of talks about the need for an arts council — something that handles the business side of the arts and leaves the art to the artists. It's all talk right now, but it's being led by a credible leader, George Stevens, head of the Coastal Community Foundation.