Nominations open for S.C.’s top arts awards

Let's honor exceptionalism in the arts

S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster (L) and former SCAC Board Chairman Henry Horowitz (R) present the Verner and Folk Heritage awards to 2019 recipients in May 2019. S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster (L) and former SCAC Board Chairman Henry Horowitz (R) present the Verner and Folk Heritage awards to 2019 recipients in May 2019.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 August 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, in conjunction with its partners, wants to honor the next round of exceptional arts and folklife practitioners, professionals, and advocates in the Palmetto State. Eligible persons fitting those descriptions can now be nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts or the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Both awards honor South Carolinians who create or support the arts, and both award programs use a simple, online nomination process. Nominations for both awards are due Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Both awards will be presented at the South Carolina Arts Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. An art sale and luncheon by the South Carolina Arts Foundation will follow the ceremony.

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards

Nomination letters for Verner Awards should describe the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina and should address any characteristics included in the category descriptions. The letter should answer these questions:
  • What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in the arts?
  • What exceptional achievements or contributions has the nominee made, and what has been their impact on the community, state or beyond?
  • What other information about the nominee is important to know as they are considered for the state's highest award in the arts?
Verner Award nominations can be made in the following categories:
  • Arts in Education
  • Organization
  • Government
  • Business/Foundation
  • Individual
  • Artist
For complete nomination guidelines or more information about the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards, visit, or contact Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough: or 803.734.8698.

Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award

Created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. The S.C. Arts Commission partners with USC's McKissick Museum to manage the awards. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:
  • Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, fiddling, hammock making and boat building.
  • Advocates: South Carolina individuals and groups that have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.
Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact Program Specialist for Community Arts & Folklife Dr. Laura Marcus Green to determine whether your nominee is eligible: or 803.734.8764. For more information about the Folk Heritage Award, visit

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call 803.734.8696.

Add your 2019/2020 events to Arts Daily

Free. Statewide. Multimedia.

We're not opposed to a shameless plug now and then, but this one is all about YOU. Specifically, helping you. Arts Daily is The Hub's free resource to help promote arts events and artist opportunities. As the only such statewide resource, and partnered as it is with South Carolina Public Radio, it has unparalleled visibility. To help you. Now is the time to add your 2019/2020 arts events to The Hub. Many already have. You don't want to be left out, do you? Arts Daily wants YOUR calls for art (all media), concerts, performances, exhibitions, readings, openings, and so on.
  • Add as much or as little as you want. Familiar with the five W's? They'll do. (Don't forget a link to your event on the web: your website, Facebook event page, etc.). Well-written descriptions, which require less editing time, are more likely to be posted. Which hints at the fact that...
  • Not all submissions are guaranteed to be posted. But most are, especially when... they are written well.
  • Make sure you add your well-written submission AT LEAST one month in advance of your event. Timeliness also helps submissions appear.
  • If you want your event read on our South Carolina Public Radio segments, one month's notice is required. (No exceptions.)
  • This is a big one: Please allow our team up to 10 business days to process your submission. Many are the submissions; few are the hands. We do our best.
Go make it happen, and best of luck this season.

McKissick Museum seeking folklife program director

Application deadline: Friday, Oct. 4, 2019

The University of South Carolina McKissick Museum is looking for a folklife program director to implement folklife-related public programs and research. The position is funded by a renewable folklife partnership grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). That grant enhances McKissick Museum’s ability to document for archival purposes the cultural practices of tradition bearers in South Carolina and to raise public awareness and appreciation of these practices through a variety of public program formats. The new folklife program coordinator collaborates both with McKissick’s chief curator of folklife & fieldwork and the SCAC’s program specialist in community arts & folklife to conduct fieldwork related to the SC Tradition Bearers Survey Project and SCAC’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative. The role will also involve coordinating major annual public programs, including:
  1. the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards (FHA) ceremony:
  2. a McKissick Mixer featuring Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award (FHA) recipients:
  3. FOLKFabulous, a 12-day public program series organized in partnership with the South Carolina State Fair in conjunction with the Museum’s year-long folklife exhibition(s).
The person in this position also is responsible for developing 2-3 programs annually (besides FOLKFabulous) that integrate tradition bearers statewide to enhance the impact of the year-long folklife exhibit. Conducts in-depth fieldwork with tradition bearers identified in the Tradition Bearers Survey Project, logs audio/visual materials for deposit in the Folklife Resource Center (FRC) and makes research available through Digital Traditions and other digital media Platforms. Learn more about the position by visiting the official posting here.

Submitted material

Columbia poet laureate makes call for poems

Call for poems from South Carolina poets!

Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts COMPOSED: a hospital poetry project Many of us have taken a moment to collect ourselves before visiting someone in the hospital. We stop and wash our faces, look in the mirror. compose ourselves. Using this moment as the inspiration for our next Prisma Health poetry project, we are looking for poems that fit that moment. We want to use local voices about health, healing, comfort, and courage in spaces where they can make a difference.  

McKissick Museum exhibit has quilting buffs covered

'Piece by Piece' showcases quilting traditions

English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. Provided by McKissick Museum.
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is proud to present the seventh rendition of its Diverse Voices exhibition series, “Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection.” On display through July 18, 2020 “Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past 150 years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection. Because of the fragile nature of historical textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year, according to the museum. Throughout the exhibition, panels explore the lives of these textile artists like quiltmaker Hattie Mitchell Grubbs, who was born in Barnwell and lived to be 97. Saddler Taylor, McKissick’s chief curator of folklife and fieldwork, is excited about the exhibition. “Quilts carry a strong sense of familial intimacy and human connection. It's strangely ironic that we know so little about many of the makers. This exhibition features beautiful examples of Southern quilts; but more importantly, we want to tell the story of some of the makers. Only then can the quilts be fully appreciated," Taylor said.
“Piece by Piece” is accompanied by a robust programming calendar, beginning with an opening reception with light refreshments on Sept. 12, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m. This free reception will feature a curator-led gallery talk beginning at 6 p.m. FOLKFabulous@theFair Oct. 9-20 2019 This year, our signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s rich textile arts heritage, including Native American, African American, and Mennonite quilting traditions, in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. You’re invited to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home! Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, concerts and hands-on music workshops. You won’t want to miss the chance to try your hand at making a story quilt block or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. FOLKFabulous 2019 is free with SC State Fair admission.   Lunch & Learn: “Quilts and the Stories of My Life” with Peggie Hartwell Oct. 14, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Grab your lunch and learn more about the life and work of 2017 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner Peggie Hartwell. Peggie is a fourth-generation African-American quilter and textile educator who is nationally recognized for her unique storytelling form. Lunch & Learn events are free and open to the public; space is limited.   Lunch & Learn: “Interpreting Civil War Quilts: It Gets Complicated” with Jane Pryzybysz Nov. 13, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Explore the interpretation of civil war era quilts with McKissick Museum's Executive Director, Dr. Jane Pryzybysz.   An Afternoon with Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi (Fall 2019) Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and Founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network.   The Quilt History Project – A Look Back (Fall 2019) Laurel Horton, lead scholar on McKissick Museum's Quilt History Project in 1984-1986.   Quilt Documentation Days (Spring 2020) Dr. Jane Przybysz, Executive Director, McKissick Museum.   Quilts and Wellbeing (Spring 2020) Marsha MacDowell, textile scholar and project director of The Quilt Index. Faculty, Michigan State University, Curator of Folk Arts at the Michigan State University Museum.   Lunch & Learn: “The Blythewood Survey Project” (Spring 2020) Kem Smith, project director for the Blythewood Quilt Survey Project.
McKissick’s calendar of events is updated frequently and available online. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. “Piece by Piece” and associated programming is made possible through support from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Submitted material

Youth music projects eligible for three $500,000 awards

Introducing The Lewis Prize for Music

Letters of interest deadline: Monday, Sept., 16, 2019
The Lewis Prize for Music is excited to announce the opening of its inaugural awards process. At the core of The Lewis Prize is the belief that music can inspire and catalyze positive social and systemic change. With the mission and vision of creating fair and vibrant communities through music, it will give three multi-year awards of $500,000 each to leaders of U.S. youth music organizations and initiatives in January 2020. Visit The Lewis Prize for Music website for information on the eligibility criteria, process and a link to the Letter of Interest application portal. All letters of interest are due no later than 11:59 EST on Monday, September 16, 2019.

Team additions, senior staff changes to improve SCAC service


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing additions to the agency’s team of arts professionals and changes to senior staff designed to improve and streamline the constituent service experience. New Executive Director David Platts is making these changes as part of plans being implemented to improve responsiveness to increasing demand for the agency’s services. The changes begin with two full-time staff additions that will provide constituents program-specific access points to arts professionals who can best serve their needs. Ce Scott-Fitts is to join the SCAC Monday, Aug. 19 as artist services program director. Scott-Fitts comes from Charlotte, where she was creative director and founding staff of McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She established an international residency program for North Carolina artists, curated exhibitions, developed the artist-in-residence program, and built the education/outreach and artist services programs. In addition, Scott-Fitts partnered with colleges and universities in both Carolinas, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and others to develop and fund residencies and public art commissions. She taught at Central Piedmont Community College and served on selection panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. An artist herself, she has exhibited throughout the Southeast and her work is held in public and private collections in the U.S., Japan, and the U.K. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D. joined SCAC on a full-time basis in late July. She previously split time between the agency and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum as a result of a folklife and traditional arts partnership between the two. In her new role, she is serving as program specialist for community arts and folklife. She holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University and a master’s in folklore/anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include community engagement coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, SCAC, Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.
Further changes include the promotion of Arts Education Director Ashley Brown to senior staff in a new role as deputy director. In addition to continuing as arts education director, Brown will also direct the short and long-term work of the grants, community arts, artist services, and visual art departments. Deputy Director Milly Hough is being promoted to senior deputy director. She will direct the short and long-term administrative, communications, finance, human resources, and operations departments’ work. “Having come to the arts commission from the role of a grantee lets me see some ways we can position ourselves to provide better constituent service. These changes are the start of a process that should ultimately make us even more responsive and efficient,” Platts said. “It is exciting for our team to be fully staffed again. Ce and Laura have the qualifications and experience to benefit the people they serve at a high level, and the expertise Ashley and Milly provide should dramatically enhance internal organization and processes.”

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call 803.734.8696.

Submitted material

Call for (dark) art from Black Creek (Dark?) Arts Council

Don't be spooked, though

Submission deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019
Black Creek Arts Council is eerily excited to present their first annual exhibit to coincide with their Second Annual Halloween Party. The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone. Submit your original uncanny, sinister, ghostly, spectral, supernatural, otherworldly, mysterious, curious 2-D, 3-D and photographic original work to this juried exhibit. Amateur and professional artists age 18 and older are invited to enter. Any person in who lives, works or creates in the Pee Dee region may submit images for consideration. All work must be original, created by the person who enters that work. Submissions will be accepted through September 3. Go here for further submission information.  

Talking Heads with Diana Farfán

'Head' to Paris Mountain for a unique experience

(Ed. note: The purpose of this post is fundraising for the South Carolina Arts Foundation, a partner of the S.C. Arts Commission. Similar posts going forward will utilize the "PROMOTION" tag in the tags listed.) Enjoy a day on Paris Mountain with artist Diana Farfán and create a work of art under the instruction of the artist. Farfán’s studio is set in a picturesque environment with spectacular views of downtown Greenville. Upon arrival, participants will enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres before settling in to hear about Farfán’s artistic journey from Bogotá, Colombia to Columbia and Greenville, where she currently resides. The artist who created the Bread and Circus series, We Marionette, the Dream Life of Broken Toys and the Toy Republic will discuss these works and the origins of the Heads. With interest piqued and creative juices flowing, participants will spend about two hours designing and hand painting (with underglazes) their own head which has been formed and bisque-fired by the artist prior to the workshop. Each head measures approximately 7” x 5” x 3”. The artist will add the finishing touches before kiln firing the works at a later date. The day ends watching a beautiful sunset and enjoying a tapas meal at the artist’s home. Bonus Experience: Participants are invited to the Kiln Opening (date and time to be determined).

About the Artist

Diana Farfán was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. She received a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá and a Master of Fine Art in ceramics and sculpture at the University of South Carolina in 2010. Farfán also studied at the University of Anchorage (Alaska) and at the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan as exchange student. Farfán is a 2019 Liberty Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Experience Details

Cost: $300 Package includes one bisque-fired ceramic head, workshop instruction, materials, light fare and dinner. Participants must provide their own round-trip transportation to artist's studio. Capacity: Just 12. The experienced is envisioned as an intimate gathering. Date: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 Times: Noon-4:30 p.m., workshop; 5-7 p.m. cocktails and tapas meal To reserve your space in this intimate, unique gathering, please contact Harriett Green (
  Talking Heads on Paris Mountain is organized by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. The Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to support the programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission through fundraising in the private sector.

GCCA announces 2019/2020 Brandon Fellows

Fellowship launches artistic careers, promotes diversity

Greenville Center for Creative Arts announced the three 2019/2020 Brandon Fellows last week.
  • Nick Burns (above, left) is an up-and-coming visual artist and a Greenville native. He began his artistic journey as a performing artist at age 5 and has been teaching dance in the upstate for 13 years. In high school he started out as a street artist, drawing caricatures and custom graffiti art at farmers markets and city events. After years of training in graffiti he began creating murals for homes, businesses and communities and now has over 40 commissioned works in South Carolina. Nick is now as a visual arts educator at West Greenville school and plans to increase in artistic abilities to better serve the community and help make visual arts more attainable to less fortunate people.
  • Julius Ferguson (above, center) is a self-taught artist from Greenville. He’s not only a painter but also a storyteller who hopes to inspire others. Julius takes his life experiences and messages that he feels come from God and puts them in his paintings. Julius has been painting since 2015 and hopes to be able to for as long as his energy is needed in this world. He hopes that he can inspire the community and the world one day with his paintings that tell stories.
  • Jaz Henderson (above, right) is a native of Greer and a graduate of Claflin University where he earned a bachelor's in digital design. His dad is an artist as well, so it can be said that art runs in the family and has therefore played a major part in his life. Jaz has always dreamed about being more involved in the arts around his city and of meeting other artists as well. When he found out that he was selected into the Brandon Fellowship, he knew this was a great opportunity for him to showcase his artwork and continue his career as an artist.

About the Brandon Fellowship

The Brandon Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the age of 21-30 by providing a supportive environment, mentoring, and art education. The three main goals of the Brandon Fellowship are:

  • to help young artists launch their art career in our community or prepare for formal arts studies

  • to foster a sense of community

  • to promote diversity at GCCA

Each fellow gets an university style studio space at GCCA. Brandon Fellows must spend a minimum of 25 hours per week in the studio. They also benefit from two $250 stipends for art supplies per fellowship period. They also get:

  • dedicated tutors, assigned based on interest and medium, who will guide them during their residency,

  • access to one 6-week class per Art School session,

  • support and mentoring from neighboring studio artists at the art center,

  • to participate in group exhibitions and community events,

  • and to participate in alumni events.

Learn more about the program by going here.