S.C. Arts Commission names new executive director

David Platts to join agency July 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors is announcing David Platts of Lancaster is to be the agency’s new executive director, effective July 1, 2019. Platts currently serves as arts and science coordinator for Lancaster County School District, a position he’s held for 15 years. He will be the first new executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) in nine years, stepping in to lead an agency of 15 full-time staff who work to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three areas: arts education, artist development, and community arts development. “While I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity, I am even more excited at the thought of serving with this dynamic team as we strive to advance the arts in South Carolina. Having worked with them as a grant recipient, an arts advocate on many levels, and in arts education, I understand the Arts Commission’s essential role. I am excited to make Columbia my home, where together we will continue working to keep the arts in the heart of each South Carolinian,” Platts said. In his current role, Platts supports the Lancaster County School District’s arts teachers and oversees their instructional programs, six of which are for schools participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a joint program of the SCAC, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Department of Education. He manages the district’s arts state and federal education grants, some of which come from the SCAC. He is formerly a teacher, assistant principal and principal at elementary schools elsewhere in South Carolina and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. In addition to his work as an educator, Platts has served locally on the Lancaster County Council of the Arts as a board member and president. He has statewide experience as a member, president, and current treasurer of the Palmetto State Arts Education board and as a current member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance board, where he has been active as an arts advocate. He is involved in his community, serving on the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce board, and is an artist himself: a pianist, he is an accompanist and is involved in music leadership at his church. “We are pleased to identify David Platts as the new executive director of SCAC. We believe he has the right skills to oversee the agency, develop a new strategic plan and implement it over the course of the next 10 years,” SCAC Board of Directors Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “David is assuming leadership of a great state arts agency and wonderful staff and on behalf of the board of directors, we wish him best of success.” Dee Crawford, who will begin serving as chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors July 1, was chair of the executive director search committee. “In thinking about the specific roles someone in this job plays, we knew we needed a proven leader and experienced advocate to be prepared for the rigors of running a state agency. David has a broad blend of board leadership and his arts advocacy locally, statewide, and on the national level made him an ideal candidate,” Crawford said. “Further, David is an educator whose deep ties to the Arts Commission’s arts in education programs give him knowledge of the agency. Adding in his strategic planning experience, this is someone forward-looking who is focused on the future of the arts in South Carolina,” she said. Platts will replace Ken May, who retires at the end of June after serving 33 years at the SCAC, the last nine as its executive director.

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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Full Statements

HENRY HOROWITZ, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “We are pleased to identify David Platts as the new executive director of SCAC. We believe he has the right skills to oversee the agency, develop a new strategic plan and implement it over the course of the next 10 years. David is assuming leadership of a great state arts agency and wonderful staff and on behalf of the board of directors, we wish him best of success.” DEE CRAWFORD, SEARCH COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “In thinking about the specific roles someone in this job plays, we knew we needed a proven leader and experienced advocate to be prepared for the rigors of running a state agency. David has a broad blend of board leadership and his arts advocacy locally, statewide, and on the national level made him an ideal candidate. Further, David is an educator whose deep ties to the Arts Commission’s arts in education programs give him knowledge of the agency. Adding in his strategic planning experience, this is someone forward-looking who is focused on the future of the arts in South Carolina. His background as a musician will help him relate to our artists as our agency seeks to help them make sustainable careers.” DAVID PLATTS, INCOMING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION “While I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity, I am even more excited at the thought of serving with this dynamic team as we strive to advance the arts in South Carolina. Having worked with them as a grant recipient, an arts advocate on many levels, and in arts education, I understand the Arts Commission’s essential role. I am excited to make Columbia my home, where together we will continue working to keep the arts in the heart of each South Carolinian.”

Media Resources

Print and web formatted images of David Platts are available here. Interview requests for anyone named in this news release and other SCAC board or staff are available. Contact Communications Director Jason Rapp via the information below. The secondary contact is Deputy Director Milly Hough: 803.734.8698 or MHough@arts.sc.gov.

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ABC Project announces program specialist

Kelly Hall to join the team

Arts students singing and dancing during a performance. ABC Project file photo.
The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is pleased to announce Kelly Hall as its new program specialist. Kelly Hall In this role, Hall will work with leaders from across the state in service to ABC Project’s vision: that every S.C. student has access to and benefits from quality, comprehensive arts education. An arts educator herself, Kelly served as Beaufort Middle School’s theatre teacher for the past six years. Beaufort Middle School has been an ABC Site since 2009 and is an arts-integration school of choice in the Beaufort County School District offering chorus, band, guitar, visual arts, media arts, theatre, creative writing, and dance instruction.

"I am so excited to join the ABC team and share my passion for arts integration. As a former arts educator and ABC grant manager, I truly believe that arts education provides students with the skills they need to be successful in any career field," Hall said.

For the past four years Kelly also served as the ABC Advancement grant manager, responsible not only for the fiduciary disbursement of grant funds and reporting but collaborating with colleagues and community members to determine Beaufort Middle School’s strategic goals and actionable steps to achieve them. Recognized for her excellence, Kelly was selected the Beaufort Middle School 2018/2019 Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the SC Theatre Association, Palmetto State Arts Education, and Palmetto State Teachers Association.

“Kelly has the perfect combination of experience and enthusiasm. Her first-hand knowledge as an arts educator and ABC grant manager, an understanding of the ABC Project legacy in combination with her ambitious ideas of what is possible in the future make her the perfect fit,” said ABC Project Director Kim Wilson.

Hall joins the ABC Project team effective August 1, 2019. Learn more about the ABC Project on its website.  

Tuning Up: Get your piano fix today, Olanta arts

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


We have your "keys" to a good day. The Southeastern Piano Festival is livestreaming the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition today. For nearly 12 hours. Join the five official members of the jury and pick your unofficial favorites from among the talented young pianists. (The winner performs with the South Carolina Philharmonic in the 2020/2021 season. Last year's winner, Yerin Yang, is to perform in the upcoming, 2019/2020 season.) Olanta on the move. Here's a unique idea: tiny Olanta in Florence County is calling out recent civic/utility improvements being made with an art contest. Click here to find out what they do with the winning art from 13-year-old Abbie Turner.  

Joy Harjo is the new U.S. poet laureate

First Native American to hold title

(And she's also a musician!)


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, June 6, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position—she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry – ‘soul talk’ as she calls it – for over four decades,” Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.

Harjo currently lives in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the nation’s first poet laureate from Oklahoma.

What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”


Biographical Info

Harjo joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove. Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry – including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W. W. Norton, 2015); “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and “In Mad Love and War” (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her next book of poems, “An American Sunrise,” will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2019. Harjo has also written a memoir, “Crazy Brave” (W.W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, “The Good Luck Cat” (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, “For a Girl Becoming” (University of Arizona Press, 2009). As a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and in venues across the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her poetry, Harjo is a musician. She plays saxophone with her band, the Arrow Dynamics Band, and previously with Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CDs of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year. Harjo’s many literary awards include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Harjo has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her collection “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001” (W.W. Norton, 2002) was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read program. Her recent honors include the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers (2019), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation (2017) and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). In 2019, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Harjo has taught at UCLA and was until recently a professor and chair of excellence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has returned to her hometown where she holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

About the Laureateship

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1937, when Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library. Since then, many of the nation’s most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 (Dec. 20, 1985), as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry – a position which the law states “is equivalent to that of Poet Laureate of the United States.” During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in the fall and closes it in the spring. In recent years, Laureates have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry. For more information on the Poet Laureate and the Poetry and Literature Center, visit loc.gov/poetry. Consultants in Poetry and Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry and their terms of service can be found at loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

New arts mag promotes Greenwood + S.C. art

Art Mill debuted this month


There's a brand-new outlet that intends to advance #SCartists and the state's arts scene out now online. Writer Damian Dominguez has the full story in the Index-Journal:

"With sharp, clean lines and a minimalist approach to design, the look of the magazine Art Mill is as deliberate and expressive as the art works depicted in it.

Art Mill is the brainchild of Spenser Weeks and James Elliott — a project inspired by their mutual love of the arts and born from an interest in seeing more people engage with art."
The inaugural issue is available at ArtMillMag.com, and its stewards are seeking ways to allow for print publication. Various Greenwood artists are featured, and the magazine wants to work with artists from all disciplines.

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New job opening at world-famous arts festival

Spoleto Festival USA seeks an executive assistant and board liaison

Hubbard St. Dance Chicago
The position supports the general director, managing correspondence, including drafting letters and transcribing dictation; facilitating communication with the board of directors as well as festival staff; maintaining calendar/scheduling; making travel reservations; and answering phone and maintaining files. The position also provides support to the director of development and maintains administrative management of the board of directors. This includes monitoring board members’ contributions, committee memberships, terms and contact details; coordinating materials, attendance, meeting room set-up, and other logistics for three annual board meetings and subcommittee meetings; drafting letters to the board of directors and festival donors; and serving as a primary point of contact for the board of directors. Additional responsibilities include co-maintaining the building reservation calendar and managing special projects on an as-needed basis, including but not limited to organizing site visits, monitoring position applications, and coordinating attendee lists for special events.

Qualifications & Capabilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in writing, communications, business, arts management or related field
  • 3+ years of executive-level administrative experience
  • Excellent organizational, writing, and communication skills – copyediting skills preferred
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently in a deadline-driven environment
  • Ability to handle multiple, concurrent tasks with high attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills & sense of discretion
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Word, & Excel
  • Experience with performing arts and/or not-for-profit organizations an asset
  • Experience with Tessitura software an asset

Compensation

Competitive salary; health, dental, vision, and LTD insurance; parking provided; paid leave and holidays; 401(k) matching program.

To Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter to mhale@spoletousa.org. No phone calls, please. (Ed. note: A deadline was not given.)

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NEA offers summertime learning

Arts-centric learning opportunities abounds

The National Endowment for the Arts, a major funder of the S.C. Arts Commission, is offering an abundance of varied learning opportunities this summer. Read on to learn more!

Citizens’ institute on Rural Design: Call for Applications from Rural and Tribal Communities!

Office hours through Facebook: June 18, 6-7 p.m. ET & July 10, 1-2 p.m. ET The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that the Request for Applications from communities is open now until July 22! The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ will continue its tradition of offering local design workshops that address specific community challenges, and also create a new cohort learning program that will engage rural leaders from up to 20 additional communities. All rural communities of 50,000 or less are eligible to apply for the CIRD local workshop and learning cohort opportunities. We encourage applications from nonprofits, tribal or municipal governments, regional planning organizations, and other community partners. We hope to hear from a variety of rural communities from a wide range of backgrounds, geographies, and capacities. If you are a rural service provider, please share this opportunity widely with colleagues and community leaders in rural areas who might be interested in applying. The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Navigating Your Arts Career: Resources & Financial Tools for People with Disabilities

June 19, 2019 | Register Join the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Beyond Sight on June 19, 2019, from 3-4:15 p.m. ET, for the second in a series of six webinars promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities. This webinar series is part of a toolkit, designed to help expand employment and career development opportunities for disabled people as artists and cultural workers, which will be launched later this year. This webinar, “Navigating your Arts Career: Resources and Financial Tools for People with Disabilities”, will address some of the barriers people with disabilities find when pursuing a career in the arts. Hear a panel of experts address the burning questions people with disabilities have when seeking careers in the arts, including how to maintain crucial public benefits while working in the arts or how to transition to work. Join experts for an interactive discussion. Host: Andy Arias, actor and Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor Speakers will include:

Our Town

Deadline: Aug. 8, 2019 New guidelines now online Webinar: June 24, 2019 Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Arts Endowment staff will conduct a webinar to share tips on how to ensure an Our Town application is clear and compelling on June 24.

Creating a State Data Culture to Inform Investments in Arts Education

Tuesday, June 25, 2 p.m. EDT | Register Speakers will include:
  • Ayanna N. Hudson, director, Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Claus von Zastrow, Ph.D., principal, Education Commission of the States
Join a webinar to examine a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and Education Commission of the States to build states’ capacity to report on the arts education data they collect. The webinar will focus on the current climate for such work in states, strategies and tools for supporting state-level data efforts, and the value of incorporating arts education data into broader efforts to promote a culture of information in states.

Art Works

Deadline: July 11, 2019 (for projects beginning no earlier than June 1, 2020) Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, we support public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Teach at Greenville Center for Creative Arts

Instructor proposals being accepted now

Submission deadline: Thursday, June 20, 2019
GCCA is currently seeking proposals from teaching artists for the fall 2019 class sessions (Session I: Sept. 9-Oct. 26, Session II:  Oct. 28-Dec. 14). If you've ever had any interest in teaching a class or workshop at the Village of West Greenville's arts anchor, now is your chance. They are looking for artists doing interesting work who double as excellent teachers. GCCA instructors include both working artists and professional educators who possess a willingness to communicate technique and process, strong technical skills, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to teach classes that are open to a range of skill levels, from intermediate to advanced. Proposals can range from six-week classes to one-day, two-day and three-day workshops. In addition to general proposals, we are particularly interested in artists willing to teach specialized classes for teens (examples: concept art, animal anatomy, etc.).

Find out more and submit proposals by clicking here.

Artist opportunity from S.C. Office of Rural Health

Submission deadline: Wednesday, July 17, 2019; 3 p.m.


South Carolina artists are invited to submit work for consideration as the official imagery for South Carolina's 23rd Annual Rural Health Conference and 9th National Rural Health Day.
  • What: Rural SC Art Competition
  • Theme: Rural Scenery in SC
  • Deadline for Submission: July 17, 2019
  • Prize: $500 1st place/ $300 2nd place/ $200 3rd  place
  • Type of Artwork: This contest is open to all visual art forms
The South Carolina Office of Rural Health is looking to promote the work of up to three artists. The winning design may become the official image for South Carolina Office of Rural Health’s 23rd Annual Rural Health Conference on Sept. 28-Oct. 2nd, 2019 and/or 9th National Rural Health Day on Nov. 21, 2019. The first, second, and third place images may be incorporated into all promotional and marketing materials for the events mentioned above; such as, save the date cards, posters, advertisements, website and social media.

Find out more about the 2019 Rural South Carolina Arts Competition here.

  Image: Shrimpers, Trish Emery
The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.  

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Theatre for children this summer in North Charleston

First of two presentations is June 21


The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to offer the first of two Summer Children’s Theatre presentations on Friday, June 21, 2019, featuring Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws!, presented by Good Clean Fun. The interactive, STEAM learning based program is for all ages and features two showings at two different locations. Daycares, community groups, families, and individuals are welcome to attend the 10 a.m. showing at Northwoods Park and Recreation Center at 8348 Greenridge Rd. and/or the 2 p.m. showing at Danny Jones Recreation Center at 1455 Monitor St. in North Charleston. Tickets are $2 per child with accompanying adults admitted at no charge. Parking is free. Good Clean Fun is led by Deena Frooman, an award-winning event producer and 25-year veteran of festivals, corporate entertainment, and tv/film production, who specializes in providing interactive amusement for children. As purveyors of play, Good Clean Fun is dedicated to “recretainment,” a combination of recreation and entertainment. Their mission is to bring STEAM play to the people using juggling and manipulation of objects as the core for development. Their hands-on assemblies and workshops can invoke a sense of belonging for audiences, both interpersonally and intrapersonally. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws is a program that incorporates a combination of STEAM-related vocabulary and skills focused on Newton’s Laws, Force of Motion, velocity, inertia, other scientific information, self-confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, and more. To learn more, visit www.goodcleanfun.simpl.com. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws! is presented as part of a Summer Children’s Theatre Series, which also includes an anti-bullying and self-esteem enhancing program by TiffanyJ featuring Super Beauty on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Groups of 10 or more are asked to reserve space in advance. Seats fill up fast, so reserve early by calling the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 843.740.5854. For reservation forms, directions, or information on additional programs and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of NorthCharleston.org.

Tuning Up: Art is for everyone, Part Infinity

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


No, really, art is for everyone. Good luck making it through this story (video) from CBS Sunday Morning without a huge smile. Maybe a tissue. (You've been warned.) Bonus content. We are sharing this story because it happened in our state, it is arts-related, and is newsworthy, but we are definitely not commenting. NOPE.