Nominations are now open for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts

Recognize South Carolina innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts with a nomination for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts -- the state’s highest arts award! The nomination process is simple -- just email, mail or hand deliver a letter of nomination by Nov. 2. Verner Award StatueThe nomination letter should describe the nominee’s exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina and address any characteristics included in the category descriptions (see below). It should include specific examples and relevant data wherever possible. The letter should be structured to answer the following 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?
Note: a nomination letter is different from a support letter. Letters of support are not required as part of the nomination process. Nominations are accepted in these categories:
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION – open to S.C. individuals and institutions whose primary function is arts education. May include arts educators (teachers, consultants, principals, administrators), schools, school districts, college/university arts departments, etc.
  • ORGANIZATION – open to S.C. organizations that contribute to the advancement and/or support of the arts. May include arts discipline organizations, arts councils, arts advocacy groups, guilds, arts departments of organizations, educational institutions, etc.
  • GOVERNMENT – open to S.C. agencies and institutions generally described as units of state, county or municipal governments that have served their communities in outstanding ways through the arts, OR elected or appointed officials who, in their official capacities, have demonstrated notable support for the arts through leadership and public policy.
  • BUSINESS/FOUNDATION – open to SC individuals, or companies and foundations whose participation, support, and/or contributions have benefited the maintenance and growth of the arts.
  • INDIVIDUAL – open to S.C. individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and statewide impact through their leadership, support, and advancement of the arts. May include arts professionals such as managers, administrators; or arts supporters such as patrons, promoters, donors, etc.
  • INDIVIDUAL ARTIST – open to S.C. artists of exceptional talent and creativity, in any discipline, whose contribution to the arts has helped guide and influence directions, trends and aesthetic practices across the state or to national or international levels
Find complete nomination guidelines online. Images - Top: 2015 Verner Award and Folk Heritage Award recipients with Gov. Haley. Second image: A hand-crafted bronze statue, designed by the late artist Jean McWhorter, is presented to each recipient.


Resources for flood recovery

Our thoughts continue to be with everyone who has been affected by the monumental weather and flooding in our state, especially those in South Carolina's arts community. Our office is open, and we are confirming and expanding recovery resources, including how to get help from FEMA and other major relief providers. We've compiled a list of specific resources to help with flood recovery and will continue to update it as we gather more information.


Remembering John A. Zeigler, Jr.

JohnZeiglerheadshotWe are sad to note the passing of John A. Zeigler, Jr., a philanthropist, mentor, and artist. Zeigler was a pillar of the South Carolina arts community and winner of a 2013 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement. His tremendous impact included establishing scholarships and awards and providing support for individual students and organizations such as the College of Charleston and Spoleto Festival USA. His philosophy was that each of us can – and should – make a difference in the lives of others. He passed away Oct. 2 at the age of 103. Read more here:  


Why filmmaking is on the rise in the Upstate

From The Greenville News Article by Donna Isbell Walker; photo by Heidi Heilbrunn

Screenwriter Geoffrey Gunn doesn’t need the bright lights of Hollywood, or even his native Toronto, to make movies. Gunn can write scripts from his house near downtown Greenville, shoot the films around the Upstate with a South Carolina crew, and edit the movies on a laptop at his favorite coffee shop. In mid-October, one of Gunn’s films will be screened at Greenville’s new Reedy Reels Film Festival. His is among 45 films that will be spotlighted, selected from hundreds of submissions from around the world. Filmmaking is no longer an elusive dream that beckons aspiring writers and directors to the movie studios of Los Angeles. These days, filmmakers can create their art right here in places like South Carolina’s Upstate and have it resonate with movie buffs and other filmmakers around the world. “I think Greenville is a hidden gem for people who are really in the know and want more interesting cultural experiences,” said Gunn, whose short film “Last Night at the Ellington” will be shown Oct. 16, opening night of the two-day Reedy Reels festival. The S.C. Film Commission recognized several years ago that South Carolina filmmakers had the potential to make an impression on the film industry far beyond the state line. That was the impetus behind the Indie Grants program, which offers financial help and practical support to aspiring filmmakers from South Carolina. Gunn received one of those grants to make “Last Night at the Ellington,” based on a short story he wrote about a robbery at a movie theater. The Indie Grants program “is a great launch pad for South Carolina filmmakers,” said Gunn, who also co-wrote the horror film “Siren,” currently being shown on HBO. Gunn, who moved to the Upstate seven years ago with his wife, a professor at Furman University, found that continuing a film career in Upstate South Carolina after working in Toronto was easier than he expected. “South Carolina, like Canada, does a lot of traveling production,” Gunn said. “And what I mean by that is, South Carolina has fantastic crews, and there’s a terrific crew base in the Southeast. To actually make your movie, you have many, many qualified people to work with.” Greenville’s Joe Worthen found that to be the case after he received a $23,000 Indie Grant. He’s using that assistance to make a short comedy called “Isle of Palms.” Worthen, who also helped create and produce the Greenville-shot web series “The Girl From Carolina,” said the grant has provided him with a producer, as well as the financial resources to hire an editor and production team, and it even pays for some of the post-production work. Because of the grant, “it’s been pretty great because I haven’t had to struggle or flounder,” Worthen said. “As part of the grant, they really help you out and take some ownership of the script all the way through production.” “Isle of Palms” will begin shooting later this year, but Worthen’s work will be represented at Reedy Reels when the first episode of “The Girl From Carolina” is screened on Oct. 17. Boosting homegrown talent The way Tom Clark, director of the S.C. Film Commission, sees it, the challenge for filmmakers here has been finding financial support and an audience for their work. “We’ve always had talent here. … It’s just that it’s so difficult for independent filmmakers to get a leg up,” Clark said. In 2004, the South Carolina Motion Picture Incentive Act was passed, and the state began looking at starting a training program for existing film crews working in the state, and for people who aspired to work in the entertainment industry here, Clark said. A few years later, the Indie Grants program was created. The film office works with film production students from Clemson, University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College in Charleston to provide crew support for grant-winners, Clark said. Over the years, the number of applicants has increased from 15 to about 45, he said. “We allow a producer or a writer or a director, local people, an opportunity to do a short film, and they need to involve college students, and they need to involve other local people, as well as allowing us to help them by bringing in Hollywood professionals,” Clark said. “In other words, if there’s a director of photography who doesn’t have a lot of experience, perhaps we’d bring in a director of photography.” For one film, the forthcoming “The Final Adventure of John and Eleanor Greene,” the film commission was able to bring in Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter, who received the Academy Award for his work on “Titanic.” And some of those films have made an impression in Hollywood. One of the first films funded by the Indie Grants program, “The Debutante Hunters,” won the People’s Choice Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, Clark said. “We felt like we had a pretty good success there, and most of these films are featuring South Carolina people. They’re featuring South Carolina themes, many of them. And so part of it’s about exposure of our filmmakers, but it’s also about exposure of our state as well,” he said. Gunn’s film “Last Night at the Ellington,” made with Indie Grants support, won the Regional Spotlight Award for Best Film From the Southeast from the Charleston Film Festival. He describes it as his “calling card,” a way to introduce himself and his work to audiences and other filmmakers. A long history The Upstate has a long history with filmmaking, starting in 1950 with Bob Jones University’s Unusual Films production company. A few years later, the university added a cinema production bachelor’s degree program. It’s an intensive program, in which the senior project is a short film, written, directed and edited by the student and screened at the university. About 45 to 50 students participate in the program each semester, with about eight bachelor’s degree grads per year, said Sharyn Robertson, head of the cinema department. Graduates have gone on to work for video production companies, on the mission field, and in the media departments of churches. One BJU graduate now works in television in New York, and he credits his BJU education – “the discipline and perfection” – with helping him hone his skills, Robertson said. At Clemson, where animation and special effects are the focus, students can earn a master of fine arts in Digital Production Arts. Clemson graduates and faculty have worked on films such as “Happy Feet,” “Superman Returns” and “Frozen.” A strong community Chris and Emily White have been making films in Greenville for several years. Their latest, “Cinema Purgatorio,” a semi-autobiographical take on the Whites’ pursuit of their filmmaking dreams, was chosen as one of three feature films in competition at Reedy Reels. It will be the final entry, screened just before the awards ceremony on Oct. 17. There’s no shortage of filmmaking talent in the Upstate, and the region also benefits from the strength of Georgia’s film industry, Chris White said. “Our experience has been, living in Greenville, is that there is a lot of indigenous talent coming out of Greenville. We have collaborated on projects that are at least major and big to us, that we were able to support crew talent and acting talent from the Upstate,” he said. Reedy Reels will screen 45 films in the categories of documentary, short film, student film, animation and feature presentation. South Carolina-themed films will be spotlighted on the second day of the festival. More than 780 films from around the world were submitted, said Matt Foster, one of the organizers. Inspiration came from the Beaufort Film Festival, but Reedy Reels organizers wanted to add another component: the chance to meet the filmmakers and ask questions. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance, including one who is traveling from the United Kingdom, Foster said. The top feature film will receive a $1,000 prize, while other categories will award $500 and $250 prizes. “Our hope is to make this a destination event,” Foster said. “I’d like to see it become a large international film festival.” Gunn is hopeful that the film festival will inspire Greenville cinephiles to seek out films that don’t make it to the multiplex. Chris White also hopes that it will be a way for filmmakers to meet kindred spirits, in hopes of creating more art in the future. It’s not always easy for filmmakers to connect when they’re so focused on work, he said. “I think something like Reedy Reels is … a great opportunity for local filmmakers. If we’re not meeting on the steps somewhere, this is a place where we will meet, and we will be able to see each other’s work, and we will be able to hopefully inspire future collaborations together.”


Clemson University celebrates 50th anniversary of the NEA and NEH

From Clemson University Article by Jeannie Davis

Clemson University celebrates NEA 50thCLEMSON — Clemson University Tuesday joined a nationwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities with a luncheon honoring Clemson faculty — past and present — who have received grant support from either agency. Clemson President James P. Clements said, “It is hard to believe these two agencies are only 50 years old because I can’t imagine our country without them.” Guest speakers included Randy Akers, director of the S.C. Humanities Council, and Ken May, executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission, who spoke about the respective roles of the arts and the humanities in higher education. Clemson Mayor J.C. Cook read a proclamation thanking the two agencies for “making a difference in promoting appreciation for the arts and humanities.” Cook’s statement acknowledged the arts and humanities for embodying “much of the accumulated wisdom, creativity, intellect and imagination of humankind.” “The humanities and arts are the beating heart of a great university,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “Every Clemson University student is touched by these disciplines in meaningful ways, not only in the classroom but also through cultural offerings, such as the Clemson Literary Festival and performances and exhibitions at the Lee Gallery and the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. “In recent years, employers have made it very clear that they value graduates who are thoroughly educated in the humanities, who can think critically. They are looking for graduates who are creative, who can navigate the constantly evolving landscape of thought and communication. At Clemson, we recognize that we are not just training workers, but educating citizens.” Clemson’s disciplines in the arts include visual and performing arts. The humanities disciplines comprise communication studies, English, history, languages, philosophy and religion. Programs that engage faculty from more than one discipline are increasingly in demand, and in recent years new undergraduate degree programs have been offered in Pan African studies, women’s leadership and world cinema. An interdisciplinary doctoral program in rhetorics, communication, and information design is now in its 11thyear. The event was sponsored by the Office of the President; the Office of the Provost; and the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Call for Art

Artists in all disciplines sought for 2016 North Charleston Arts Festival

Free application process allows for variety of artists to propose participation in annual event NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is seeking applications from artists in music, theatre, dance, visual art, crafts, photography, media arts and literature for participation in the 2016 North Charleston Arts Festival to be held April 29-May 7. National, regional and local artists, ethnic and cultural groups, community based groups, and individuals are eligible to apply. Artists have the option of submitting a proposal for one of the festival’s stand-alone Individual Events, which take place at various locations throughout the festival week, and/or apply for inclusion in the Main Event, held April 30 and May 1 at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex. Visual artists should note that this application is for events and presentations such as installations, solo or group exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and lectures, and not for participation in the Festival’s Judged Art Competitions. The 2016 Artist Application will be available for download from beginning Oct. 1. There is no fee to apply, and Cultural Arts staff is available to assist artists with their proposals. Applications must be delivered or postmarked by Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Notifications will be sent by Jan. 15, 2016. The North Charleston Arts Festival is one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state, drawing more than 30,000 residents and visitors annually to participate in a fabulous array of performances, exhibitions, and activities in all arts disciplines. The Main Event Weekend at the North Charleston Performing Arts and Charleston Area Convention Center on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1 offers free admission and parking to more than 40 performances on four-themed stages: General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Bands, and Youth Entertainment. Other Main Event activities include judged art and photography shows, the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit, a gem & mineral show, an antique show, children's activities, art and craft booths, and a food courtyard. The Arts Festival continues with more than 70 events and exhibitions throughout the week at various locations. An array of free and ticketed offerings include street dances, concerts, theatre presentations, film screenings, an art walk, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, a National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, and much more. The festival concludes with the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park featuring performances, children's activities, and fireworks over the Cooper River. In addition to the Artist Application, local youth performing arts groups may also consider applying for the Opening Processional, which has kicked off the Arts Festival’s Main Event festivities for more than 10 years. The Processional is typically led by African drummers and dancers and features groups dressed in brightly colored outfits and costumes, volunteers carrying giant puppets, banners and other crafted props, jugglers, dance troupes, and local school groups. Participants parade around the Convention Center Complex into the North Charleston Performing Arts Center Auditorium where the celebration continues with a Community Groups Performance Spotlight, featuring performances by pre-selected groups. The Opening Processional application will be available for download from beginning Dec. 1, with submissions due by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival and other participation opportunities, visit or contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at (843) 740-5854 or Via: North Charleston Cultural Arts Department

Call for Art

Mary Alice Monroe to judge third SC High School Writing Contest

Deadline for students to submit entries is Nov. 2. New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe will judge the third annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest. Monroe, an Isle of Palms resident and noted conservationist, has written nearly 20 novels, most set in coastal South Carolina and many reflecting the importance of the relationships between people and places. She follows novelist Pat Conroy and South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth as judge of the contest, which is presented by the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Press. “We’re excited and honored to have Ms. Monroe as our grand judge,” said Steven Lynn, dean of the South Carolina Honors College and founder of the contest. “We know these acclaimed writers have busy schedules, and for one as celebrated as Mary Alice Monroe to take time to read the work of young writers tells me she’s interested in the future of our state.” The topic from previous years remains the same this year: “How should we improve the state of South Carolina?” High school juniors and seniors can respond in 750 words or less in the genre of their choice—poetry, fiction, prose, essay, or drama. Monetary prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third-place winners, and USC Press will publish all the writings by the winners and finalists in Writing South Carolina: Selections from the Third High School Writing Contest under its Young Palmetto Books imprint. Monroe will write the foreword. “My personal motto is ‘Make a Difference,’” Monroe said. “The topic speaks to me because it encourages all of us to consider ways in which we can give back to our community.” The program includes a second round in which finalists will gather at USC in Columbia for an impromptu writing contest. They’ll also hear remarks from Monroe, tour the university’s library collections, and receive books signed by South Carolina authors. Monroe will judge the finalists’ submitted and impromptu work. Winners and finalists will receive cash awards. First-place winners receive $1,000; second-place winners receive $500; third-place winners receive $250. The first-place winner in the senior class receives the Walter Edgar Award, funded by SCHC alumnus Thad Westbrook and named for the well-known USC professor and South Carolina historian. The second-place winner receives the Dorothy S. Williams Award, which is funded by an anonymous donor and named for the late public school educator in Anderson County. “I’ve entered contests, both as a student and as a professional,” Monroe said. “It’s part of the journey of a writer. I’ve won, placed with honorable mention, and of course, did not place. It’s exciting—a rush—to win, of course, a validation and a time to celebrate. Not to win or place can be a burn, but once the pain passes, I go over the scores and critiques carefully. A good judge or critique points out what the writer did well, not only what the writer did wrong. There is a lesson in that too, and getting good feedback is essential to fostering good writing and good thinking.” Deadline for students to submit entries is Nov. 2. Students can find out more about the contest and how to email their work here: Via: S.C. Honors College  

Grantee Spotlight

SC Jazz Festival turns 10 on Dizzy Gillespie’s 98th birthday

Dizzy Gillespie’s hometown of Cheraw, S.C., ushers in its 10th year of the South Carolina Jazz Festival Oct. 16-18 as the Cheraw Arts Commission presents three days of jazz and community activities. The weekend, which coincides with the 98th anniversary of Gillespie’s birth, will showcase the unique bond Gillespie shared with his South Carolina roots and jazz. A wide variety of both free and ticketed concerts and events are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-17. This year’s festival will culminate on Sunday, Oct. 18 with a Jazz Brunch at G.W. Long Church at 11:30 a.m. followed by a Jazz Mass at 3 p.m. on the grounds of First Presbyterian Church. More than 30 jazz performances are scheduled during the festival. The concerts will feature regional musicians from both North Carolina and South Carolina and beyond. Featured artists for the ticketed evening performances at the Theatre on the Green will be the Ignacio Berroa Quartet on Friday and the Carol Welsman Trio on Saturday. Joining Ignacio on Friday will be saxophonist Skipp Pearson and trumpet player Mark Rapp. These South Carolina musicians along with the Ignacio Berroa Quartet will pay tribute to Gillespie by performing some of his jazz compositions. Ignacio was a percussionist in many of Dizzy Gillespie’s bands and defined by Gillespie as “….the only Latin drummer in the world of American music that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro-Cuban music as well as Jazz…” International jazz pianist and vocalist Carol Welsman comes to the festival upon the release of her new CD “Alone Together” in August. Weekend activities include a Centennial Park performance by the Freedom’s Groove of the Army Ground Forces Band of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, “Dizzy on Display” at the Southern African American Heritage Center, a Bebop Parade, family art activities, late-night jazz crawls, a jazz breakfast, Bebop & Bites lunch and a wine tasting. Music and dialogue will be presented at the Gillespie family’s church home. Art abounds during the weekend with an exhibit by jazz artist Eric McCray of Raleigh, North Carolina, Gillespie-inspired artwork by local students, an Italian Madonnari chalk competition and art and fine crafts by regional artists. Attendees can enjoy a self-guided historic Cheraw cellphone tour to more than 25 points of interest, including Dizzy Gillespie-related sites. Tickets for a single evening concert at the Theatre on the Green are $30 per person and a two-day weekend ticket is $50 per person. For more information, call 843-537-8420, extension 12, or visit for more information on ticket purchases, festival events, lodging and restaurants. The Cheraw Arts Commission is supported by the S.C. Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Via: Cheraw Arts Commission

Grantee Spotlight

Grant money lights the furnace for Conway Glass

From Article by Elizabeth Townsend, photos by Charles Slate

Newly awarded grant money is firing up the furnace at Conway Glass this fall. Ed Streeter, co-owner and visual artist, will use the grant funding to fan the flames of his monthly Saturday glass-blowing demonstrations, which are instructional presentations that show off traditional and experimental techniques in the ancient art of glass blowing to a crowd that grows each year. This year’s first demonstration will be held on Oct. 3 – the same day as the City of Conway’s Fall Festival and the Live Oak Festival events, which will feature arts and crafts vendors and musical entertainment.
During the demonstrations, Streeter works with 2,150-degree heat as he pulls molten globs of glass from the fire and fashions them into pieces of art before an audience in his studio at the back of Conway Glass, at 209 Laurel St. “It’s transformative. They start with a blob of molten nothing and in a brief time colors are introduced and then the little blob of glass is turned into a bowl or vessel, and it’s really fun to watch that happen right before you,” Jim Arendt said, who is also an area artist and has attended the demonstrations for the past five years with his wife and three children. Additionally, Arendt is the director of the Rebecca Randall Bryan Gallery at Coastal Carolina University. Ed is assisted by his wife Barbara, who is also co-owner and a visual artist at Conway Glass. Barbara usually narrates as Ed creates during the 45-minute presentations for audiences, ranging from 20 to sometimes 60 people an hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month. “It’s very informative, yet informal. We just have a good time. It’s fun for all ages,” Barbara said of the demonstrations. The Streeters are also occasionally assisted by friend and fellow glass-blowing artist Wayne Fitzgerald, who visits the studio about once a year from the Philadelphia area. Together, the Streeters have been putting on the glass-blowing demonstrations for roughly 15 years and have watched the crowds grow steadily each year. “On a cold fall day, it’s the hottest ticket in town,” Arendt said.
Conway GlassThe demonstrations are often themed; during October it’s glass pumpkins, December brings Christmastime decorations. About 500 spectators came to presentations on a January Saturday when old beer bottles were refurbished into drinking glasses. Flames of the furnace are also sometimes used to make popcorn for audiences and lunches for the Streeters while they’re in between shows. “I would absolutely love to attend the demos. I plan to go to as many as I possibly can,” said Melaney Mills, who is from Lake City but previously lived in the Myrtle Beach area for years. She has heard great things about the demonstrations at Conway Glass and is excited to attend future events. Mills said she enjoys the arts and dabbles in them herself. “I love the vibrant colors in the glass. It’s all so beautiful to me,” she said as she looked around at all the shiny merchandise at Conway Glass. The storefront of Conway Glass is simple, but within is a wonderland of glass orbs and ornaments, of stained glass mosaics and an array of handcrafted merchandise, big and small. The Streeters also specialize in other glass needs such as commercial and residential products, including windows, mirrors, shower doors, safety glass and more. Through a small hallway past the store’s front space and down the rabbit hole, is a large workshop studio where the demonstrations take place. It was revamped last year when Barbara was awarded a $5,000 grant from the S.C. Arts Commission that allowed her to add new video equipment, lighting and other technical improvements, which gave audiences a better view of all the action, Barbara said. The grant money also helped the couple hold the glassblowing demonstrations from October to May 2014 and propelled Barbara’s experimental glass-blowing theater project, which featured two plays with glass-blowing fused into the plots and a performance by a glass-blowing magician. After Barbara and 15 actors put in roughly 700 volunteer hours preparing, every one of the 100 tickets available to each blackbox-theater style event at about $18.50 a piece sold out. Barbara said she would love to do the events again, and may apply for more grant money to continue them. “Conway Glass is a real treasure. A glass-blowing studio is a rare thing in the state to begin with, so to have one in our backyard is really nice,” Arendt said. This year, Ed was awarded a $1,000 Quarterly Project Support for Artist Grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission for the 2016 fiscal year to help keep the demonstrations going. The Streeters said the funding helps pay for advertising, materials and time as the couple devotes an entire day to giving the public a free view of traditional and experimental glass blowing. The Quarterly Project Support for Artists is partly funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. Conway Glass is also helping Ed meet his obligation of matching the arts commission grant with local dollars. “I was just floored when I got the grant. It’s pretty exciting to be recognized by the S.C. Arts Commission,” Ed said. With this grant the Streeters will put on demonstrations on Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. The couple will apply for another quarterly grant to hold more presentations the first Saturday of each month from January to May. The Streeters offer classes from October through May from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays when demonstrations aren’t being held, and hold them on Thursdays as well. Walk-ins are welcome on Thursdays, but the Streeters request calling for an appointment on Saturdays. Prices range from $28 to $325 per class, depending on what people would like to learn.

More than glass

In addition to their glass-blowing studio projects, the Streeters are stay active in the emerging art scene in Conway. Barbara is executive director of the organization CREATE!, which is a nonprofit 501 C-4 membership organization formed in 2011 and designed by local artists to celebrate and promote the arts in the community. Grant money was also awarded to the group over the summer, including more than $800 from the S.C. Arts Commission, $2,000 from the Waccamaw Foundation and $2,500 from the City of Conway, the Streeters said. CREATE! has about 30 members and is growing each year as more artists participate. The organization gained an administrative office space this year in the Conway Innovation Center near the Streeters’ glass studio in downtown Conway, but Barbara said the growing group desperately needs a bigger space. “I love watching it grow from just a few individuals to a recognized group trying to bring more art to Conway,” Jesse Nevins, membership coordinator and teacher with CREATE!, said in an email. Nevins has been a member of CREATE! for two years and teaches an after-school program for elementary school-age kids from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at the Mary Thompson building in Collins Park. She also keeps up with CREATE! members and recruits new ones. Nevins was has an art degree from Coastal Carolina University and joined CREATE! after finishing college. She said got involved with CREATE! because she wanted to work with an artist group that was “cutting edge” and “community focused.” “As an artist sometimes you can feel really alone in facing the problems of making. It’s nice to be able to share your frustrations with others who understand and bounce ideas around with others who have a background in art,” Nevins said. The organization’s website has also been revamped and a cultural events calendar was just added. The cultural calendar highlights creative events happening around Horry County such as art openings, cooking classes, wine tastings, plays and more. The Streeters also just established the Conway Cultural Development Corporation in April, which is dedicated to stimulating economic growth in the Conway area through the creation of a vibrant art scene. The Streeters said dollars stay around the Rivertown when cultural events and festivals are held as participants patronize area restaurants and shops, spurring the local economy in the process. Arendt and Mills both said when they visit Conway Glass they eat at area restaurants, shop at the Conway Farmer’s Market and visit other downtown stores. The organization envisions working with local municipalities’ planning departments to work with area artists using both public and private dollars to find a cooperative space for artists to create and to establish an art district in the community. A big project in the works for the CCDC is the creations of the Waccamaw Art & Design Center-MakerSpace — a cooperative gallery and studio in Conway that would allow members to use a shared space with tools and equipment, including a 3D printer, a laser cutter and industrial sewing machines. The nonprofit also hopes to set up a rental studio to recruit and launch design- and art-based companies. “Just having a group advocate for arts in the community is really important. Numerous studies have shown that art-focused communities have a better economic outlook and happier residents. It’s important to have people that care about the arts creating spaces and events for their neighbors to enjoy,” Nevins said. Barbara said the organization has looked at several properties but hasn’t found the right one yet. She said the organization wants to find the right space for area artists to call a creative home, and needs to be choosy to find a property that would suit the needs of a variety of different artists. “The center will really create an energy among the artists as they inspire each other, and if we can create that kind of energy, the sky’s the limit for Conway and Horry County together,” Ed said.

The couple

Ed and Barbara Streeter have been married for 29 years and have operated Conway Glass since 1990. The glass gods slowly sifted the sands of time to bring them together as they both moved to South Carolina in 1968 from different parts of the Northeast. Ed moved to the Myrtle Beach area from Rome, an upstate New York town, after his father was stationed at the Myrtle Beach Air Force base. Barbara, originally from Winslow, N.J., had relocated to Philadelphia with her family before her father got a job transfer to a textile plant in Spartanburg. Barbara has a genetic love for glass which she got from her great-great-grandfather, who was a master glassblower in Winslow in the 1800s. When Barbara was a child, she and her grandmother would take walks on the dirt road near their home leading by the an old, closed-down glass company, collecting bits of scrap glass along the way and fostering her hereditary love for glass. In 1979, Ed got a job out of high school working with glass. Barbara said Ed worked in the Spartanburg area the same time she lived there, but they never ran into each other, despite spending time at some of the same places. “We must have crossed paths several times over the course of 20 years, but we never actually met,” Barbara said. It wasn’t until summer 1985 that the couple would meet poolside at the Arcadian Dunes while vacationing in Myrtle Beach. They married a year later and opened their first glass business. “It was just meant to be,” Barbara said. The couple still pays nostalgic trips to the Arcadian Dunes from time to time. The Streeters started Conway Glass Works on Main Street with friend George McCorkle, who was guitarist and founding member of the Spartanburg-based, classic rock legend The Marshall Tucker Band. Together, the group ran the shop for about three years until the Streeters wanted to grow bigger in the glass business and arts and McCorkle wanted to stay small. The Streeters then opened Conway Glass in 1990. The couple has been perfecting their glass-blowing skills over the years by studying at various schools, including Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Wheaton Village in Millville, N.J., and the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. Barbara attributes their success personally and professionally to Ed’s steady patience and their ability to work together as a team, each combining their skill sets to fuse something strong. “It’s been an amazing journey,” Barbara said of their nearly three-decade partnership. “It’s a wonderful life. When you wake up happy to go to work together every morning — that’s a good thing.”
MORE INFORMATION For more information about Conway Glass and the glass blowing demonstrations, visit http:// or call 843-248-3558. Glass-blowing demonstrations will be held the first Saturday of each month starting Oct. 3 to May 7 at Conway Glass at 209 Laurel St. in downtown Conway and are free and open to the public. Glass-blowing classes are offered at Conway Glass from October through May from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays when demonstrations aren’t being held by appointment and on walk-ins are welcome on Thursdays. Prices range from $28 to $325 per class. For more about CREATE!, visit or call 843-248-4527. To see a calendar filled with cultural events, visit


Reminder – Artist Fellowship applications due Nov. 2

South Carolina artists working in prose, poetry, dance choreography, and dance performance may apply for a 2016-2017 Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the South Carolina Arts Commission. One fellowship of $5,000 will be awarded in each of the four categories. The deadline to apply is Nov. 2. Application guidelines are available at

The Individual Artist Fellowship program encourages the pursuit of artistic excellence and provides financial support to South Carolina artists of merit. The award is unrestricted, and past fellows have used the award for professional development, projects, travel or living expenses. “As a teacher, summer is when I usually do freelance work to finance a few weeks of writing time,” said Scott Gould of Greenville, the 2014-2015 prose fellow. “Because of the fellowship, I was able to devote 100 percent of my time to working on my own creative endeavors instead of chasing magazine editors or invoices. This was huge for me.”

Past fellows agree that fellowships offer endorsements that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “The fellowship was pivotal to my choosing to continue developing my art in South Carolina,” said Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton of Columbia, the 2012-2013 choreography fellow. “The honor was validating and connected me to a wonderfully diverse and supportive arts community.”

Since 1976, the Arts Commission has awarded more than 200 fellowships to actors, craftsmen, poets, screenwriters, visual artists, musicians and others in recognition of exemplary artistic talent. Fellows are recommended by out-of-state review panelists, who make selections based solely on a review of anonymous work samples. These recommendations are approved by the Arts Commission Board. For more information, visit or call (803) 734-8696.


S.C. Academy of Authors announces annual awards in fiction and poetry

The S.C. Academy of Authors has expanded its annual award competitions to include a separate category for student writers of fiction and poetry and an increase in prize money. Thanks to a recurring grant from the Penelope Coker Hall and Eliza Wilson Ingle Foundation, the SCAA will now sponsor two prizes in both fiction and poetry. The Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Fiction and the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Student Prize in Fiction will offer winning authors $1500 and $1000, respectively. The grant honors the memory and literary legacy of the late Elizabeth Boatwright Coker (1908-1993), who was herself an SCAA inductee in 1991. Likewise, the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship and SCAA Student Prize in Poetry will offer winning authors $1500 and $1000, respectively. Fellowship winners in fiction and poetry will be invited to the SCAA induction ceremony and awards brunch in Anderson, S.C., in April, 2016; their entries will be published in Fall Lines, an annual literary journal published by Muddy Ford Press in Columbia. Student Award winners in each category will also be invited to the SCAA Awards brunch. The entry deadline for all awards is Dec. 1, 2015. Applicants for the Fellowships in Fiction and Poetry must be full-time South Carolina residents.   Applicants for the Student Awards in Fiction and Poetry must be 18-25 at the time of submission, legal residents of South Carolina, and enrolled full time at a private or public South Carolina institution of higher education.  Complete submission guidelines can be found at Questions about the fiction prizes may be directed to Jon Tuttle at; questions about the poetry prizes may be directed to Libby Bernardin at The Fellowship in Fiction is now in its fifth year. Previous winners are Rachel Richardson of Spartanburg (2015), Nancy Brock of Columbia (2014), Thomas McConnell of Spartanburg (2013), and Craig Brandhorst of Columbia (2012). This year’s fiction judge is Ron Carlson, the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, most recently Five Skies and Return to Oakpine. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, and GQ, and has been featured on NPR’s This American Life as well as in Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Carlson is the director of the UC Irvine writing program and lives in Huntington Beach, California. Recent winners of the Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship include Barbara G.S. Hagerty of Charleston (2015), Jo Angela Edwins of Florence (2014), Susan Laughter Meyers of Givhans (2013), and Kit Loney of Charleston (2012).  This year’s poetry judge is Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and the author of eight books of poetry, including This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award, and Restoring Sacred Art and Concertina, both winners of the Roanoke Chowan Prize. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. About the South Carolina Academy of Authors The South Carolina Academy of Authors was founded at Anderson College in 1986. Its purpose is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and their influence on our cultural heritage. The Academy board selects new inductees annually whose works have been judged culturally important. Each inductee, whether living or deceased, has added to South Carolina’s literary legacy by earning notable scholarly attention or achieving historical prominence. Entry fees help support the SCAA in its mission to preserve and promote South Carolina’s literary legacy. For more information about the South Carolina Academy of Authors, visit