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.

Grantee Spotlight

Crowd-sourced education: Engaging Creative Minds partners with Gaillard Center, Spoleto Festival, others

Editor's note: Engaging Creative Minds received a South Carolina Arts Commission Arts in Education Partnership grant to support a Summer STEAM Camp designed to combat summer learning loss. The grant was made possible by $1 million in new arts education funds approved by the General Assembly. The additional funds will allow the Arts Commission to expand arts education initiatives as recommended by the 2014 Arts Education Task Force, created to respond to new research and a new climate for education and arts education reform in South Carolina. From the Charleston Post and Courier By Adam Parker; photos by Brad Nettles

It began, as these things often do, with a phone call. The phone call came from Chicago. It was Christine Taylor on the line, the director of education programs for the Ravinia Festival. She told Robin Berlinsky she had some newly minted bills amounting to $25,000, furnished generously by Boeing, that she wanted to spend on “Porgy & Bess” education initiatives, and, well, she figured that Charleston might be a good place to offer that programming. It’s the place where “Porgy” is set, after all. Berlinsky, who runs the nonprofit Engaging Creative Minds, said, Come on down! “We’re going to open our community to you.” Oh, and by the way, Berlinsky added, your idea happens to coincide with Spoleto Festival USA’s plan to present a new staging of the famous Gershwin opera, so, like, the timing is perfect. That all went down last year, and the two groups rushed to forge their collaboration so they would be ready by the spring semester of 2015, when the “Porgy and Bess” production was supposed to be presented in the Gaillard Center’s shiny new performance hall. When construction delays prevented the hall’s opening in time for this year’s Spoleto Festival, Berlinsky shrugged. It only meant they’d have more time to get things together. (The show will be one of Spoleto’s big 2016 productions.) Since then, Ravinia and Engaging Creative Minds have been working hard to develop a unique curriculum meant to complement South Carolina’s social studies education standards. They will focus on eighth-graders throughout the tri-county area, as well as on teachers, to whom they will offer professional development opportunities. Spoleto Festival staff wouldn’t comment on the “Porgy” production it has in the works but did express enthusiasm about the chance to extend the festival’s reach to young students. Engaging Creative Minds STEAM camp Dance instructor Heather Bybee shows STEAM camper Amari Ancrum and other campers attending the Engaging Creative Minds camp a dance move that mimics forces of motion. “Spoleto Festival USA is delighted to be partnering with Engaging Creative Minds in 2016,” General Director Nigel Redden said. “Although our 2016 program is yet to be finalized and announced, we look forward to collaborating with them and to provide an opportunity for Charleston schoolchildren to engage with the festival.” Synergies Taylor said Boeing is the common denominator since it operates in both the Lowcountry and Chicago, and since it’s keenly interested in arts education. The company wants Ravinia to expand its outreach to other places where airplanes are made, she said. Ravinia has developed a music education model it calls “One Score, One Chicago,” based on the public library’s “One Book, One Chicago” program, which strives to galvanize the community around a single title. (The Charleston Public Library has its own “One Book” initiative.) “We started doing this in 2004 and we always felt it was the kind of idea that could take off in different places,” Taylor said. Ravinia will bring a team of trainers to Charleston on Oct. 23 and 24. The trainers will work with local teachers to demystify classical music and “transform their understanding about how they can use music,” Taylor said. The music of “Porgy” is so quintessentially American and appealing, it can help bring cultures together, she said. Kids in Charleston will have a richer experience because they won’t just be entertained, they’ll be listening for chromaticism and its significance, or the “Summertime” theme and the way it’s used to foreshadow tragedy, Taylor said. Teachers, instead, will learn to make musical instruments using found objects, sing in a chorus and, with eyes closed, sketch on paper the contours of a piece of music. In so doing, they will become more willing to engage with the music rather than sidestep it in favor of focusing only on literary themes, she said. “It’s all about creativity,” Taylor said. “Teachers are the most creative people in the universe, they have to be.” Infusing arts Engaging Creative Minds started to ramp up in earnest in 2013 and has since added key community partners and forged an important public-private partnership with the area schools. Its purpose is to enhance public school learning with arts-infused lesson plans. The group deploys dancers, visual artists, poets and musicians to classrooms to give kids a chance to learn by doing, and to do things that are fun and fascinating. The “Porgy and Bess” project is one of several efforts now underway, including a partnership with the Gaillard Center to develop more student lesson plans that have the arts at their center. Tuning conductor Christopher Blair let the audience know what to expect. An invitation-only audience got an early look at the new Gaillard Center Performance Hall, where their presence made them an important part of an acoustic tuning concert in the still-under-construction facility. Susan Antonelli, lead coach for Engaging Creative Minds, said “Porgy” provides a great opportunity to use jazz, show and Jewish music to help educate teachers who in turn can share insights with young students and engage them in Charleston history. And there is no reason why this new curriculum can’t be reused year after year, she said. Other art forms, such as film and movement, also will be used and connected to specific 5th grade social studies standards, she said. To inject its arts-focused lessons into the schools, Engaging Creative Minds depends on a variety of partnerships — with Annex Dance, the Charleston Performing Arts Center, Charleston Museum, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Stage, the Gibbes Museum, Storytree Theatre and several individual artists, among others. Those partners learn how to integrate specially devised lesson plans with classroom curriculum, working with children in innovative ways to drive the lessons home. “We’re trying not to work in silos,” Berlinsky said. Partnerships The newly reorganized Gaillard Center is getting in on the act, too, according to Rick Jerue, director of education, outreach and strategic initiatives. (Jerue sits on ECM’s board, and Berlinsky is a member of the Gaillard’s education advisory board.) The Gaillard will work with Engaging Creative Minds on the “Porgy” project as well as 13 other education outreach initiatives during the 2015-16 season. The Gaillard will team with Greenville’s Warehouse Theatre on a “Hamlet” project; Chicago’s Theatre Unspeakable on lessons related to the show “American Revolution”; the Kennedy Center on a presentation called “Elephant and Piggy” for K-4 students; Richmond, Va.-based Theatre IV on a “Songs from the Soul” initiative that explores the significance of African-American music; Theatre IV and the S.C. Aquarium on a production of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”; New York-based American Place Theatre on “The Life of Zora Neale Hurston,” and more. The Gaillard just hired Sterling deVries, a teacher at Angel Oak Elementary School, as its education coordinator. DeVries, who has lots of experience working with Engaging Creative Minds, said she will collaborate closely with key partners “to encourage teachers across all three school districts to incorporate arts into the classroom.” All of the Gaillard’s projects will involve “teaching artists” and will be accessible to thousands of students, Jerue said. The Gaillard, he said, needs to be a central resource in the community, and its partnership with Engaging Creative Minds helps it achieve that goal, “bringing people together to learn from one another.” “There are a lot of people doing a lot of interesting things, but they don’t know about it,” he said. Better would be to collaborate more and leverage one another’s expertise. Antonelli agreed. “Over time, this will really strengthen the arts community,” she said. Image above: Jonathan Gray, with Science Song Rocks, works with STEAM campers incorporating science words into lyrics and a musical tune during music class at the Engaging Creative Minds camp.


Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg seeks executive director

The Artists' Guild of Spartanburg is accepting applications for a part-time executive director. Job purpose:  The executive director’s position is at the heart of Guild activities and is paramount to the successful implementation of the organization’s mission of supporting local artists and advancing visual art in the community.  This is a highly visible position with many functions and tasks. Reports to: Four-person executive committee Duties and responsibilities: 1)      With the appropriate committee or officer conduct official correspondence of the Guild. 2)      Maintain all records and documents. 3)      With the president and treasurer, assist in revenue receipts for art sales, expense tracking, annual financial budget, year-end IRS and state filing. 4)      Promote active and broad participation by members in all areas of the Guild’s work projects. 5)      Assist the various committees in developing strategies and plans. 6)      Establish and maintain cooperative and working relationships with members of the community and partners of the Chapman Cultural Center. 7)      Manage the Guild Art Gallery in the Chapman Center and with committees organize monthly art shows and Annual Juried Show. 8)      Manage with committee all development activities, including the Guild annual fundraising plan, grant writing, grant applications, membership drives, fundraising events and mailings. 9)      Apply and write grant funding applications. Search out grant opportunities. Such funding will be through city, county, state and private organizations. Submit necessary documentation to respective entities on timely basis. 10)   Cultivate and steward donors and identify new donor resources. Maintain a diverse donor base of individuals, businesses, foundations and government. 11)   Manage marketing activities, including the Guild website, Guild newsletter, advertising, event and gallery opening announcements, mailing lists, and membership lists. 12)   Prepare Guild monthly trustee meeting agenda and report on past month activities and actions of the executive director. Qualifications:

  • Experience in art gallery management essential.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications as well as professional manner required.
  • Prior office administration experience and database record keeping required.
  • Ability to work with all members of the community both artistic and public.
Working conditions:
  • The executive director will have office facilities within the Chapman Cultural Center with a laptop computer and cell phone provided.  The Chapman Center provides a variety of resources including copying, mailing, postage, and marketing support.
  • The Artists’ Guild uses Constant Contact, DonorPerfect software and Square One and PayPal for sale of art, event tickets, and membership dues.
  • Some evening and weekend work.
  • This is a part-time job, 20 hours per week, limited time off.  Employee will be a contract employee.
  • Employee is paid bimonthly and given an IRS 1099 at year end reflection income earned.
Apply to: The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, 200 East St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306 Mark your application/resume:  ATTENTION GUILD PRESIDENT Via: Artists' Guild of Spartanburg


City of North Charleston appoints new Artist-in-Residence

Daryle Halbert Daryle Halbert The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department has appointed painter Daryle Halbert as Artist-in-Residence (AIR) for 2015-2016. The City’s AIR serves as a key resource for the department’s outreach programs, especially in the area of art instruction. The selected artist shares unique skills, talents, and experiences by providing services to senior groups, public schools, group homes, and various other groups within the city limits of North Charleston. Halbert will be available for visual art residencies of 12-15 hours at a minimum of two-hour increments at North Charleston schools and is also available to host workshops for community groups of all ages. Halbert was born and raised in Detroit, MI and received his B.F.A. there from The Center for Creative Studies in 1990. He went on to earn an M.F.A. at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1996, creating many public murals during his studies. Following a four-year career as a graphic designer for Tower Records and Video in Washington, D.C., Halbert relocated to Philadelphia, PA, where he became an active member of the arts community through exhibiting his work in local galleries and teaching art at the Renaissance Advantage Charter School. In 2002, he completed an AIR program at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnston, VT, and later, in 2009, completed the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Halbert moved to Charleston, S.C. in 2011 and is currently a member of the Charleston Artists Guild. Since moving to Charleston, Halbert has become very interested in the rich African American history and culture of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry. His most recent paintings depict scenes of Lowcountry cuisine, agriculture, music, and folklore. He views his work as a means to educate and inform and is passionate about inspiring others to develop their artistic talents. The North Charleston City Gallery will host an exhibition of Halbert’s work throughout January 2016. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. School liaisons, arts teachers, and the general public are invited to meet the artist at a free gallery reception on Thursday, January 7, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. Art teachers and school liaisons may initiate the request for FREE services by the AIR by contacting the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5851. Community groups are also welcome to submit requests, which will be considered on a first come first served basis. All project requests should be placed at least two weeks in advance, with residences completed by the end of May 2016. More information about the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department’s AIR program, as well as the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, can be found on the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at


Glenn Hare

Artist Boyd Saunders: a man of many talents

Editor's note: Boyd Saunders received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for Arts in Education in 2002. He has two works in the State Art Collection, including "Blackberry Winter: A Suite of Six Intaglio Prints," which will be exhibited at the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach Sept. 20 - Dec. 27, 2015, as part of "Selections from Contemporary Conversations Part II." by Glenn Hare Boyd Saunders McMaster Gallery features the art of Boyd Saunders in its newest exhibition, "Return of the Wanderer." Among the works on display are lithographs, paintings, etchings, sculptures and drawings Boyd Saunders’ studio and storage room are filled with objects that chronicle more than 50 years of art-making. A highly accomplished printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, painter and teacher, his work spaces are filled with bronze statues, framed lithographs and etchings, in addition to paints and drawings paper and canvas. Against one wall is an old wooden desk and leather chair where Saunders reflects on his long artistic journey. More than 30 pieces of work from his career are on display in McMaster Gallery beginning Aug. 27. “Return of the Wanderer,” a solo exhibition, includes lithography, painting, etching, sculpture and drawings developed over the last three decades. The oldest piece was finished 30 years ago, and the newest work was completed barely three months ago. The art demonstrates a long and storied career, but Saunders says this show isn’t a retrospective. “True, the show covers a lot of my work, but it’s focused on the theme of a returning wanderer,” he says. For instance, the etching “Southern Serves the South,” shows a man walking toward a train station with a hat on his head and coat thrown over his shoulder. The foreground includes a railroad-crossing signal with a blackbird resting below the lights. In the background, just beyond the station, is a weathered red Chessie train and a handful of people waiting outside of the station. “The landscape is not a depiction of one particular Southern town, but captures the essence and character of all Southern towns,” says Shannon Lindsey, the director of the gallery. Saunders trained at the University of Memphis, the University of Mississippi as well as the Bottega d’ Arte Grafica in Florence, Italy. He came to the University of South Carolina’s art department in 1965 to teach and with a mandate to establish a printmaking program. He soon became a fixture in the regional art scene. He co-authored two books about South Carolina printmakers and organized printmakers from across the South into the Southern Graphics Council, serving as its first president. In 1989, he published, in collaboration with USC Press, a deluxe limited edition of William Faulkner’s short story “Spotted Horses.” The book featured the complete text illustrated with 34 original hand-drawn and hand-painted lithographs. The project was an homage to Faulkner and horses, two of his favorite subjects. Saunders, who was raised on a west Tennessee farm, has been around horses since childhood. “On Sunday afternoons, my Papaw would hitch up his horse, put me on it and guide me around the front yard. When I was older, I had my own horse. It was a great childhood, straight out of Norman Rockwell,” he says. His desire to be an artist started in early childhood also. His idols were not “big New York artists,” Saunders recalls. “Fred Harman was one of my heroes. He was a westerner who lived on a ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colo. He drew the ‘Red Ryder’ comic strip. That’s what I aspired to do.” Saunders’ talents, however, went far beyond comic drawings. A highly acclaimed printmaker, his works have been exhibited throughout the globe and included in numerous private and public collections, such as the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China. Saunders retired from full-time teaching in 2001. But, he continues to produce art, just not every day. “When I retired, I thought every day would be like Saturday and I’d get in the studio and work all day,” he says. “It didn’t happen.” Medical issues, house renovations and family concerns interrupted his Saturday dream. “Life got in the way,” he adds. However, his secret to staying productive is to always have something to complete. “A painting that’s half finished or an etching that needs attention or an plate that needs preparing keeps me motivated,” Saunders says. And he admits that his life as an artist wasn’t well planned. He only had a drive to make art. “When I got into this racket, I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I only knew I wanted a way to make beautiful things,” he says. “Teaching was a way to do that and sustain myself.” As it turns out, he was a very good teacher and he enjoyed it, immensely. “One of the greatest treasures to come out of my entire life and career has been the long line of wonderful students who’ve come through my studio,” Saunders says. “We got to know each other and become part of each other’s lives. Hundreds of them keep in touch with me.” Above image: Southern Serves the South is one of 30 pieces by Boyd Saunders featured in the current McMaster exhibition, Return of the Wanderer. The exhibition runs through Oct. 9.

If you are going As part of the "Return of the Wanderer" exhibition, McMaster Gallery will host an opening reception 5-7 p.m., Aug. 27, and a gallery talk with Saunders beginning at 6 p.m. McMaster Gallery is located in the University of South Carolina's of School of Visual Art and Design at 1615 Senate St. with parking on Pickens, Senate and Pendleton streets. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Glenn Hare is a marketing and public relations writer with the University of South Carolina. 


Trustus Theatre seeks new Executive Director

Trustus Theatre, located in Columbia S.C., is looking for a full-time executive director. Trustus is a nonprofit theatre that produces live theatre year round. Trustus also offers a theatre education program for youths as well as training workshops for corporate organizations. The Executive Director is one of two key management leaders of Trustus and is responsible for developing and administering the budget, fundraising, managing non-artistic administration, programming and strategic planning. Other duties include marketing, and community outreach and connectivity. The position reports directly to the board of directors. Specific responsibilities include: • Developing and administering annual budget • Hiring and managing administrative staff members • Raising money • Creating and implementing development plan • Soliciting donors • Identifying funding sources • Writing grants • Overseeing fundraising events • Overseeing annual audit • Implementing strategic plan • Seeking sponsorships • Working with marketing firm to develop marketing materials for public relations • Collaborating with artistic director and staff to create programming. Qualifications: The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree and possess nonprofit, fundraising and grant writing experience. Also, the candidate should have theatrical experience and an understanding of the business, technical and artistic demands associated with operating a dynamic performance and evolving educational organization. The candidate should possess some background in business. The candidate must have strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills as well as advanced, persuasive writing skills, and must have the ability to interact and navigate issues at the executive level and work with a board of directors. Strong relationship building and solicitation skills are critical. The candidate should have proficient computer skills in word processing, spreadsheet applications and PowerPoint and a working knowledge of QuickBooks. Application deadline is September 15, 2015. Send resume and cover letter to Search Committee, Trustus Theatre, 520 Lady Street, Columbia SC 29201 or via email to Via: Trustus Theatre

Call for Art

S.C. Jazz Festival seeks artists for juried fine arts and crafts exhibit

Deadline is Sept. 30. Organizers of the South Carolina Jazz Festival are seeking artists to display and sell their work during the event’s juried fine arts and crafts exhibit in October. Categories include painting, photography, drawing and graphics, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, sculpture, watercolor, wood, clay, digital art, drawing and graphics. Only original work will be accepted with no imported, mass-produced or manufactured items allowed. The fine arts and crafts exhibit is planned from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. The 10th annual S.C. Jazz Festival, honoring the life and work of Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie, runs from Oct. 16-18 in downtown Cheraw. Interested artists must submit photos of their work via email to and include contact information or mail the images to Cheraw Arts Commission, PO Box 219 Cheraw, SC 29520 by Sept. 30. No registration fee is required. Accepted artists will be notified on or before Oct. 2. Registration and information forms will be forwarded to participating artists with acceptance notification. For more information about the festival, visit or call 843-537-8420, extension 12. Via: Cheraw Arts Commission

Grantee Spotlight

Artist Susan Lenz takes her “Wall of Keys” to England

Lenz installing Wall of Keys Lenz installing Wall of Keys Columbia artist Susan Lenz received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Project grant to help support installation of her work, The Wall of Keys, at the Festival of Quilts held Aug. 6-9 in Birmingham, England. Lenz was invited to show her work and present two lectures during the exhibition Maker, Making, Made, curated by Through Our Hands, an international invitational group of leading textile artists. The Festival of Quilts is Europe’s leading patchwork and quilt show and includes more than 25 curated exhibition areas, 300 vendors, 1,000 competition quilts and 180 workshops and lectures. The Wall of Keys is a site-specific installation of 1,800-plus keys with handmade paper tags attached using a unique zigzag-stitched piece of cording. The tags include individual letters clipped from new and vintage magazines, sheet music and other print materials. The Wall of Keys confronts viewers with countless human desires for real and imagined locations in life, such as “The Key to Happiness,” “The Key to Fame and Fortune,” “The Key to a Fast Internet Connection,” and "The Key to Failure." Since returning from England, Lenz has installed The Wall of Keys at her business, The Mouse House, 2123 Park Street, Columbia. Visitors may drop by without an appointment Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Susan Lenz, Wall of Keys Wall of Keys at The Mouse House. (click for larger image.) Visit Lenz's blog, Art in Stitches, to read more about her experience (Part 1) and view photos of works (Part 2) exhibited at the festival. The Quarterly Project grant program is designed to support specific arts activities that promote an individual artist's professional development or career advancement. Projects that promote excellence in an arts discipline and make such excellence accessible for general community-wide audiences are also encouraged. The program is funded in part by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. The next Quarterly Project grant application deadline is Nov. 15, 2015. Top image: An exhibition visitor snaps a photo of The Wall of Keys. All photos courtesy of Susan Lenz.


Individual 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.


Molly Fortune named executive director of Newberry Opera House

From Midlands

Molly FortuneNEWBERRY, SC – Molly Fortune, a former director on the executive staff of the Fox Theater in Atlanta, was named executive director of the Newberry Opera House after an extensive national search. She will be only the second executive director in the NOH’s stellar history. Molly previously served as the Restoration and Operations Director for the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia for 15 years. In her tenure with the Fox she was instrumental in developing and implementing strategies focused on the guest experience through authentic preservation of the historic landmark. Building on the marriage between Operations and Preservation, she was the co-founder of the Fox Theatre Institute; an outreach program that assists historic theatres in Georgia with preservation expertise as well as operational/booking knowledge. Through this program she was able to further develop and hone the guest experience for all who walk through the doors of the Fox, staff, performers and ticket buyers through lessons learned from other venues. She has been active in many national organizations including the board of the League of Historic American Theaters, on which she currently serves. Molly commented “The Fox and The Newberry Opera House are more similar than first glance would allow. They are vibrant economic engines, repositories for memories, launching grounds for dreams and empowerment tools to change the world. They both think beyond their four walls and strive to touch, cultivate and challenge the character of those who walk the halls.” Molly is married to LTC Christopher Kemper and has two daughters age 9 and 6 and one co-dependent golden retriever, Teddy. Phil Spotts, chairman of the board of the Newberry Opera House commented “Molly is the perfect visionary leader for this new phase of the Opera House and for Newberry.”