Celebrating 50 years!

From April 2017 through June 2018, the South Carolina Arts Commission is celebrating 50 years of public support for the arts. The 50th anniversary celebration includes kick-off events in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, plus 15 months of exhibitions and performances showcasing the arts around the state.  Check out the calendar of events and stay tuned for updates! Gov. Robert E. McNair signs legislation creating the S.C. Arts Commission. Also shown, Nick Zeigler, left and Marvin Trapp. Gov. Robert E. McNair signs legislation creating the S.C. Arts Commission. Also shown, Nick Zeigler, left and Marvin Trapp. On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation creating the South Carolina Arts Commission, beginning a new era of public support for the arts in the Palmetto State. The legislation declared that the State of South Carolina would ensure that the arts “continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experiences of our citizens." For 50 years, the Arts Commission has joined with individuals, institutions and professional organizations to advance the state’s commitment to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all citizens. “The Arts Commission’s longevity is due in part to years of bipartisan support in the General Assembly,” said Executive Director Ken May. “Our state legislature recognizes that the people and communities they serve benefit in many ways from their investment in the arts, and they understand that the return includes a creative industry with a core impact of $9.2 billion and 78,682 jobs. That represents approximately $400 million in tax revenue.” Artists and arts professionals are the workforce of the South Carolina’s creative industries.  “The artists and organizations providing arts experiences in cities, towns and rural communities enhance the quality of life and produce economic activity,” said May. “They also attract visitors and tourists who shop, eat and stay overnight.” State support for the arts has also paid off in the classroom. “Since 1987, the Arts Commission has strategically invested in arts education, providing grants and leadership through the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, to enable schools to implement the arts as part of the core curriculum,” said May. “Research shows that the arts help young people learn critical thinking, communication, creativity and perseverance -- skills they need to be successful in work and life. The state’s commitment to arts education pays dividends in the form of our state’s future workforce.” The future of the arts will be a theme throughout the anniversary. “The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on what has been accomplished with 50 years of uninterrupted state support for the arts, and we have a great deal to celebrate,” said May. “The anniversary year is also an opportunity to plan for the future. The Arts Commission’s ongoing work, along with upcoming new programs, will help connect artists to additional sources of small business capital, establish the arts as economic drivers in rural communities, and assist arts organizations with professional development needs as a wave of baby boomers retires. We are poised to make the most of the next 50 years of public support for the arts.” For more information about the 50th anniversary, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/50.

Florence County Museum launches first 50th Anniversary Fellowship Exhibition

Terry Jarrard-Dimond Terry Jarrard-Dimond The Florence County Museum is the first organization to launch an exhibition of South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration. Evidence, an exhibition of works by veteran South Carolina artist Terry Jarrard-Dimond, is on display June 20 - December 3. Jarrard-Dimond received the S.C. Arts Commission Craft Fellowship Grant in 1987 and is represented by three works in the State Art Collection. The Florence County Museum has a unique relationship to the history of the S.C. Arts Commission. The first president of its board of trustees was E.N. Zeigler, who later became a state senator and the author of the legislation that created the Arts Commission in 1967. The Fellowship Exhibition program was developed to celebrate 50 years of public support for the arts in South Carolina, with emphasis on the achievements of artists who have received the commission’s Visual and Craft Fellowship awards. The exhibition is supported in part by First Citizens. Since 1976, the South Carolina Arts Commission's Fellowship program has recognized the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellows are among the most artistically accomplished artists in the state. Find out more about the exhibition. Find out about other 50th Anniversary Fellowship exhibitions.

Registration open for South Arts’ Performing Arts Exchange

Registration is now open for South Arts' annual Performing Arts Exchange conference taking place September 25-28 in Atlanta. PAE connects hundreds of performing arts professionals, presenters, artists, agents, and managers for four days to set the stage for upcoming performing arts seasons up and down the eastern United States. PAE attendees experience showcase performances with tour-ready artists, hone skills and gain knowledge in professional development sessions, network with colleagues from around the country, and conduct business and bookings in our Marketplace. Register now with Early Bird rates to lock in the best deal of the year. via: South Arts

Call for proposals – Statewide Arts Conference

Save the date! The South Carolina Arts Commission invites session proposals for the 2017 Statewide Arts Conference scheduled for Sept. 14 - 15 at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. The conference, a featured event on the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary calendar, kicks off Thursday, Sept. 14 with an evening plenary and reception and continues Friday, Sept. 15 with a full day of sessions. Conference registration opens in July. Call for proposals Theme: No Time Like the Future Fifty years? Where did the time go? Half a century can fly by when you’re busy making your state a thriving place for the arts. Reminiscing upon the past can be a pleasant diversion, but preparing for the future requires action. So after celebrating our accomplishments, it’s time to move forward…focused. It’s time for our next 50 years. Do you have knowledge or expertise to share with South Carolina's network of arts leaders, educators, artists, and supporters around these broad categories?

  • FORWARD – Have you overhauled an older arts program, restructured your governance, or redesigned your website with an eye toward moving your organization forward?
  • FOCUSED – Are you focused on harnessing today’s rapid pace of technology and/or change to impact your organization or community through the arts?
  • FUTURE – Are you already out there, gearing up for the Next Big Thing in the Arts, waiting for the rest of us to arrive?
Potential audiences
  • Arts educators
  • Artists
  • Arts leaders/executives
  • Board members
  • Community members
Possible topics
  • Board development/governance
  • Communications and promotion
  • Creating a thriving arts environment
  • Creative placemaking
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Executive transition and succession planning
  • Future trends
  • New business models
  • Next generation of emerging arts leaders
  • Participation
  • Program evaluation and assessment
  • Rural arts
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology
Proposals will be evaluated according to these guidelines:
  • Proposals submitted by Friday, June 16, 2017 will be given priority consideration. Final deadline is Friday June 30, 2017.
  • Proposal reflects the theme of the conference and should serve to advance the mission of S.C. Arts Commission.
  • Proposal is fully developed with the subject, format, and substance of the discussion, workshop, or presentation.
  • Proposal offers innovative modes of thinking, diverse and broad perspectives, and a concrete demonstration of the benefits to participants.
  • Proposal is not commercial in nature.
  • Qualifications of presenter(s).
Find out more and submit your proposal online.

Columbia jazz great Skipp Pearson dies

From The State Article by Dwaun Sellers

photo by Andrew Haworth Columbia musician Skipp “Pops” Pearson, a jazz institution in South Carolina, died after a years-long cancer battle. He was 80. Pearson, whose music career spanned more than 50 years, died Monday from organ failure due to complications caused by the advanced stages of bone cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends, according to a post from his foundation. His musical journey began on the drums, but fearing getting “kicked out of my mama’s house,” he switched to the sax. Louis Jordan and Earl Bostick were early influences, Pearson said in an interview years ago, but Pearson said he vividly remembered the first time he heard Charlie Parker. He and childhood friend John Williams had a competition over who could find the hippest records. “He called me and said, ‘I bet you ain’t heard this cat,’” Pearson says, eyes crinkling behind his glasses. It was Parker. “I thought that was the greatest thing I ever heard.” Pearson took private, 50-cent saxophone lessons as a sixth grader. He was leading The Rhythm Artists, a five-piece orchestra, at 15. Enlisting in the Air Force at 19 didn’t cramp Pearson’s style because he played everywhere he served. From Parker to Coltrane, Columbia native Lucky Thompson to Don Byas, Pearson listened to and learned from the greats. He played with some, too – among them Otis Redding, Wynton Marsalis, Paul McCarthy, Miles Davis and Sam Cooke. “Skipp is a legend. There’s no one more of a real deal than Skipp,” Mark Rapp, a Columbia jazz musician and friend of Pearson’s, said previously. “His tone, his phrasing, his ideas, his whole life embodies the truest essence of jazz music.” In addition to education programs and other activities to help young musicians, he received many honors from the state he called home. He was named the Ambassador of Jazz Music by the South Carolina Senate and House and was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor. He also was inducted into the South Carolina State University Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998. The community rallied around Pearson in recent years as he battled bone cancer, holding fundraisers like the Skipp Pearson Jazz Bash and Love Fest to help fund initiatives for the jazz great. Former staff writer Otis Taylor contributed.

Hub City Press announces $10,000 Short Story Book Prize

Hub City Press announces the establishment of the $10,000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, made possible by an anonymous contribution from a South Carolina donor. The contest includes book publication and will be judged in its first year by Lee K. Abbott, author of seven collections of short stories. Submissions open on August 1, 2017 and close January 1, 2018. The first winning book will be published in spring 2019. The new prize is open to emerging writers in 13 Southern states. Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia, and must have no previously published books. Hub City Press Founder and Publisher Betsy Teter says of the new prize, “We are thrilled to announce one of the most substantial short story prizes in North America and to honor C. Michael Curtis, who has been a great friend to Hub City Press over the years.” The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982. Curtis has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges, in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press. Review the complete submission guidelines online. Founded in 1995 in Spartanburg, Hub City Press is an award-winning publisher committed to well-crafted and high-quality works by new and established authors from the American South. Its books are distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West.

Avoiding the life of the starving artist

From USC School of Music Article by John Brunelli

SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge teaches entrepreneurship to the arts community Savvy Musicians SAVVY teams create exhibits showcasing their business ventures. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated postimpressionist painters of the 19th century. But at the time of his death, he was penniless and obscure — the epitome of a starving artist. "You don't get any brownie points for being an amazing artist, who is so poor that you can't afford to create your art or share your gifts," says David Cutler, director of music entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina. For the past five summers, Cutler has led a School of Music workshop designed to help a diverse group of artists maximize income, prove their worth and adapt to a world that is changing at an exponential rate. This experiential workshop called the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge explores how a variety of business lessons are applicable to all art disciplines. This year's class is the most diverse yet — including musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors and even two mimes. Each of the 72 participants begins the week by giving a one-minute elevator pitch for an innovative arts-based business. The entire class votes on favorites and ultimately selects nine ideas to develop throughout the week. They divide into teams each with a CEO, a CFO, a marketing director and other key positions designed to create a successful business model. "There aren't a lot of tidy, secure, full-time jobs available for artists, even those with the most talent," Cutler says. "Most of us have to create our lives. SAVVY helps participants develop a variety of relevant skills for their own unique career path." Throughout the week, teams are required to solve eight "challenges." The finance challenge asks groups to create a startup budget, explain their business' cash flow and build a financial statement. A digital branding challenge requires the creation of a website consistent with the brand's personality while meeting the needs of customers. A research challenge gets them into the community to conduct surveys, interview experts and test core assumptions. "Entrepreneurship, for me, isn't just about career training. It's a way of life," Cutler says. "It's about creative problem-solving and innovation, as well as value creation, financial literacy, business-model design, taking chances and bold unapologetic leadership." At the end of the week, the teams pitch their businesses again — this time to a panel of judges and local government, arts and business leaders during the SAVVY Reveal at the Copenhaver Band Hall. People watching a livestream of the program from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. June 9 also can vote for their favorites. The week begins with the SAVVY Chamber Showcase, where four finalist ensembles featuring artistic excellence and innovative event design compete for a $10,000 grant prize/School of Music residency and management options. All finalists receive full tuition scholarships to attend the 2017 SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge. This year's finalists are: Real Vocal String Quartet from Berkeley, California, a multi-genre string quartet where all members also sing. Projecto Acromusical, based in Dekalb, Illnois, is a world music sextet that reimagines the Afro-Brazilian berimbau, a single-string percussion instrument, through a repertoire of concert chamber music. BIK Ensemble from Montreal, Canada, is a theatrical trio whose musicians dance around the stage, use cutlery as percussion and incorporate a host of other surprises. The final ensemble, The Living Earth Show from San Francisco, is an electro-acoustic group that generates a huge variety of sounds and sights from just a guitarist and a percussionist. The four ensembles compete at 7:30 p.m. Monday (June 5) in the newly opened auditorium at the Richland County Main Library. The concert is free and open to the public. In addition to becoming business savvy, Cutler hopes the participants, who are from nine countries and 25 states, will gain an appreciation for the resources and potential of a vibrant city like Columbia. Local organizations, businesses and community members are involved with SAVVY in a variety of capacities, as partners, dinner hosts, guest presenters and "entrepre-tainers." "SAVVY is literally the best event of its kind in the world," Cutler says. "This parallels a lesson we emphasize. For those with the courage and audacity to lead in relevant ways, the benefits can be tremendous."

Art Gilliard optimistic about his theater company, MOJA, and Baldwin play

From The Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker

Arthur Gilliard, 67, began performing while in high school, and he spent the 1970s as a fledgling actor in New York City. When he returned to his hometown of Charleston, he helped run the MOJA Arts Festival and he produced plays in the basement of Emanuel AME Church. Before long, city officials asked him to form a theater company that would emphasize African-American playwrights and works that shed light on the black experience in America. It was to fill a void, he said. Twenty-one years later, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts is still going. It has survived ups and downs, fundraising struggles, space challenges and more, but Gilliard seems unstoppable. Q: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you first get interested in the theater? When did you start directing plays?  A: I’m a native Charlestonian who started life “back da green” on the Charleston peninsula, and attended A.B. Rhett Elementary School and Simonton Junior High School before graduating in 1967 as senior class president from Burke High School. A scholarship to Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, allowed me to build on what I had learned growing up in Charleston, and joining the college choir allowed me to tour the East Coast and the West Coast every other year. After graduating from Bishop College in 1971 and after a brief stay in the U.S. Navy where I served as a yeoman, I accepted a (public relations) position ... on Wall Street. During this time, I decided that theater was going to be my profession; I did not like being in management on Wall Street. Q: You have run Art Forms & Theatre Concepts for many years, mounting productions in every Piccolo Spoleto Festival and MOJA Festival. Do you think the local market could support a year-round regular season in which Art Forms presents several plays highlighting aspects of the African-American experience? A: In short, yes. There is an abundance of talent here in the Lowcountry, and many are readily available once they realize you value them and their contributions to the world of art. I have found many diamonds in the rough locally that didn’t know how talented they were — and are. Art Forms simply offers a slice of the African-American experience, using whatever talents are available on our stages. We have an abundance of stories to tell, and I believe with the community’s support we’ll continue to tell those stories. That’s our mission. We are also preparing 30-minute vignettes that can tour the schools and other community (venues). Like many other nonprofits, a major challenge we face is our need for additional supporters and donors. We have not found that “theatre angel” yet, but I keep hoping. Q: Expanding the work of Art Forms would require that the company find a stable venue and enlarge its annual budget. What's the status of the organization? A: Short-term, we are again looking for a space to call home, or at least a space where we can conduct workshops, classes and rehearsals while handling day-to-day operations with the assistance of volunteers and interns. The board of directors is actively seeking a space right now. Long-term, the new budget has increased to reflect the need for an executive director and securing and operating that new space. Fortunately, we do receive great support from Mayor John Tecklenburg, city council and numerous supporters, including the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and others throughout the Lowcountry. ... Finding an affordable space to mount additional productions and keep the tickets affordable is the challenge. ... In the meantime, we have added a production in December at Christmas for visitors and residents, and in February as a salute to Black History Month. Q: For years, you have been heavily involved in organizing (and participating in) the MOJA Festival, even serving as chairman for a while. If you could wave a magic wand and change something about MOJA, what would it be? A: I think, conceptually, MOJA is an absolutely wonderful festival. I would like to see it focus more on its core mission of celebrating more African-American and Caribbean Arts, and making it more national and international in scope, working more closely with embassies and ambassadors from African and Caribbean countries and showing their connections to the Lowcountry. It would also be a great opportunity to highlight some of the talent that at one time resided in the Lowcountry, since there are many out there making it. It would also be great to move the festival dates to a part of the year when more tourists are in town on vacations, family reunions are planned and schools are out. Q: For Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Art Forms is presenting James Baldwin's play "The Amen Corner," which considers the role of religion and racial prejudice in the life of a black family. Tell me about your approach to the play, about the particulars of this production and about the message you hope the show will deliver to Piccolo audiences. A: For me, the play shows that true love never really dies. It’s just that sometimes we don’t know how to handle it so we find ways to escape, without considering others' feelings, even the ones we claim to love. Though Baldwin was treated harshly in America, and criticized terribly, he never gave up on himself or his beliefs. And in “The Amen Corner,” Margaret, I believe, really loves Luke, and Luke really loves Margaret, but they didn’t become one as they thought they would. The story is so unencumbered, so simple and straightforward. All of the characters are so clear, and I’m sure we all know some of them. But, like Maya Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." That is all I ask of the actors in the play. Stay in the moment. Be believable and let us experience your emotions.

The art of literacy: New park hopes to promotes education through expression

The South Carolina Arts Commission launched The Art of Community: Rural SC in May 2016 to help advance rural development through the arts, culture and creative placemaking. From the Jasper County Sun Article and photos by Liz Bloom

Jasper County ranked 45th in the state in education in 2014, with 49 percent of third-graders testing below state standards in reading. The county’s high school dropout rate of 6.8 percent from 2013-14 ranked 46th. When Jasper County Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Davis saw those stats from 2016 Kids Count South Carolina data, he felt compelled to try to raise awareness in a positive message. On Saturday, thanks to a Promise Zone grant, he – and members of the community – built a new art park for kids in downtown Ridgeland. “We were given a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission. It was given to each county in the Promise Zone and part of the idea was that we were to try to determine an issue … to address and pick a project that would bring awareness and address that issue. We chose education, and in particular literacy, to address in our county,” said Davis. “We could use the money in the private or public sector, but they wanted us not to create something new, but go with what had been working already in the area. We chose the Morris Center downtown because it was centrally located and had some good momentum with its opening and drawing in lots of folks from the outside. We decided to do an art park. It’s in the back of the center in an area that’s not being utilized, and we thought it would be the perfect place.” Davis and his small Jasper County Arts Council embraced a simple theme – art of literacy. The idea is that literacy along with visual arts provide students invaluable ways to express themselves through words, pictures, paintings. At the grand reveal on Saturday, kids and adults cycled in and out of the green lot next to the Morris Center on Jacob Smart Boulevard in Ridgeland to paint stepping stones, help build the giant scrabble board, and create paintings and drawings to display. Davis wanted the community to be proud of something and claim ownership. The green space is just a small park, but Davis has a bigger vision to add murals to walls and even make the area a place to host outdoor movies for families. He wants the area to evolve into a regular epicenter of community and fellowship. He doesn’t see a big need for playgrounds, or fancy installations, just an area where people can feel safe and express themselves. From there he hopes to spread the pressing issue of literacy. “The best thing to do is bring awareness that there’s an issue. We do have an issue in Jasper County with illiteracy and drop-outs. With education being our focus …, we want to help provide places to go after school for kids, for them to not only express themselves through homework, but through art,” he said. “Let them be creative and grow in that way, give them a chance to work their brains and learn to express themselves in a creative way, and we’ve got to give them opportunities to do that. We’ve got to provide places for them to go and do that. “This project is not meant to solve the county’s issue, but just to bring awareness to it. Hopefully this jump-starts something bigger and better and we can start doing these things around all of the county.” The art park project intends to highlight the poor literacy rates, but also promote local art. For the murals Davis wants to paint, he’s hoping to hold a contest at RHHS for students to come up with designs and get an entire group to paint two or more of them on a building by the Morris Center. He wants kids to come to the park to paint, draw, and perform – the Scrabble board is also a stage for kids, speakers, and artists, to utilize. “There’s a bigger mission, bigger vision with this project,” said Davis. “This is kind of the jump-start.” There’s more to highlight in Jasper’s schools besides test scores, and Davis hopes to do just that.

ABC Project seeks project fields services specialist

Application deadline: June 15 The Arts in Basic Curriculum Project is seeking a project field services specialist. This is a grant-funded position. Reports to: ABC Project director, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) The ABC Project field services specialist is responsible for providing educational expertise to schools and districts to help them develop and sustain quality, comprehensive, standards-based arts education, and for working extensively with Arts in Basic Curriculum Project director to coordinate all activities of the ABC Project, including ABC task forces, ABC Steering Committee meetings, workshops, presentations and other educational events provided by the ABC Project. Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Working extensively with ABC director to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Working with the SCAC, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University, and the S.C State Department of Education (SCDE), to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Facilitating arts education strategic planning for schools and districts.
  • Coordinating and documenting ABC meetings, conferences, workshops and the Summer Arts Institutes.
  • Preparing reports and collecting statistics.
  • Providing assistance to schools and districts, including arts and arts integration curriculum development, grant writing/information, etc.
  • Serving as liaison to SCAC and SCDE and notifying them of ABC Project participation in conferences, workshops, Summer Arts Institutes, school/district meetings and other ABC activities.
  • Monitoring and identifying new research, policies and initiatives in the arts or that impact the arts.
  • Assisting with Arts Education Leadership Institute (and other ABC Project activities, as needed.)
  • Attending designated conferences to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Administrative duties as designated.
Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degree and teaching or administrative experience with K-12 arts education
  • Understanding of arts integration, classroom instruction, lesson planning
  • Familiarity with National and/or SC Visual and Performing Arts Standards
  • Grant writing experience
  • Excellent time management, research and organization skills
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with teachers, parents, district staff, community, and all other groups involved in the activities of the job
  • Excellent written, oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to document meetings and events and complete, process, and maintain required records.
  • Working knowledge of computers and websites
  • Ability to identify effective arts education strategies
  • An ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, as needed
Employment conditions: This is a full-time, 12-month, grant-funded, salaried position. Salary: approx. $40K commensurate with skills and experience, plus benefits. Position availability: August 1, 2017 Application deadline: June 15, 2017 How to apply: A letter of interest; current curriculum vitae; and the names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of five professional references should be sent to: Ms. Christine Fisher 105 McLaurin Hall Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC 29733; E-mail: fisherc@winthrop.edu Winthrop University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Artist believes disabilities shouldn’t hold one back from creating

From the Aiken Standard Article by Stephanie Turner

Throughout his career, artist and art educator Carter Boucher has worked with various ages with various skill levels and abilities. One demographic that he teaches comprises children, teenagers and adults with disabilities. Since his first class with this demographic, he's taught people in wheelchairs, with autism, with Alzheimer's Disease, without limbs and prone to panic attacks, to name just a handful. Boucher started this specific endeavor in the 1980s. Through certain programs, he would visit schools and noticed that students with special needs were often not invited to program's classes. "I started going to the principals and just saying, 'We ought to include those kids,'" Boucher said. "It was sort of a surprise to them that I wanted to do that. ... I feel like populations like that particularly benefit from doing things. A lot of times they get left out." Based in Anderson County, Boucher has taught students throughout South Carolina and will teach a set of classes in Aiken this summer. When he knows about his class's students, Boucher will prepare so he is best able to accommodate each person's needs. Some of his classes have consisted of students with different disabilities, and he said he tries to tune into what each student needs while the class is in session. "The more you know about who's coming and whatever their situation is then the better you can work with," he said. The art teacher has tools such as scissors for people with hand problems. He has contacted schools to see if the student needs any special equipment and if he can then borrow it. If Boucher sees a condition listed on the roster with which he hasn't encountered or has any questions, he will contact a physician for more information or reach out to someone who has worked with the student to see if there is anything which Boucher needs to be aware. One example of how he has adjusted his approach can be seen in a class of autistic children. "Sometimes, I would slow down the process," he said. "For instance, if we were doing silkscreen pencil stencils, I would let them tear or cut or whatever they want to do to make an image, and it would often draw them out. I got a lot of comments from the teachers who worked with autistic kids how much it seemed to draw them out and get them doing things." He's had a student tell him that his class was the first time they felt like they were really part of a class. "What surprises a lot of people who watch me work with the kids is how much they do on their own," Boucher said. "Whatever it is we do with them and however they accomplish it, ... they feel like they own this artwork. It wasn't something we did. It was something they did." Boucher is an Arts Access SC master artist who creates fine art or illustrations with different mediums and methods such as oil, gouache, etching, wood engraving, silk screen and airbrushing. He will be the instructor of the Aiken Center for the Arts' new creative day camp, I Spy Art & Music Camp. The camp is for ages 5 to 13 with cognitive and physical disabilities such as traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy. It will run from June 12-16 from 10 a.m. to noon or from 1 to 3 p.m. at the arts center, 122 Laurens St. S.W. The camps are free, but enrollment is limited. "(Art) builds confidence. It lowers anxiety and activates parts of the brain that help with almost every subject," Boucher said. He will have some helpers present and is planning for the students to make paper mache masks, work with screenprinting and make music with simple tonal musical instruments that anyone can use. If the young artist has any specific triggers or needs, it is recommended the parent or guardian include that information. Applications are only accepted online. For more information on the camp or Boucher, visit www.aikencenterforthearts.org or www.boucherart.com or call 803-641-9094.