What is The Hub?
The South Carolina Arts Commission has launched The Hub to promote all that is special about the arts in the state. The Hub features arts news and opportunities, resources, calls for art, research, events and more. Join us on The Hub by submitting news and story ideas for consideration, commenting on posts and sharing Hub posts via social media.
“The Hub is a one-stop shop where readers can find real-time news, events and resources they need to participate in and learn about the arts in South Carolina. We want to help residents and visitors find arts activities, direct artists and arts organizations to opportunities, and let our citizens know they can be proud of our state’s contributions to the arts. In fact, we want the world beyond our state’s borders to know that South Carolina is a place where the arts can and do thrive.” - Ken May, Executive Director, S.C. Arts Commission
One Hub feature, "Experience the Arts in SC," offers a Google map of the state with arts venue locations, making it easy for readers to find places to enjoy the arts.
The Hub does not replace the Arts Commission’s current website
, rather it serves as a portal to the main website, to the agency’s Arts Daily
calendar and to websites of other organizations. Hub posts are a mix of original content, news gathered from other sources and items submitted by readers.
We're happy to see you on the Hub and hope you'll stop by often!
Art on the Trail invites artist submissions for October event
The Travelers Rest Artists Alliance is accepting artist applications for the third annual Art on the Trail fine arts and crafts festival, taking place Oct. 25, 2014 at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest, S.C.
Categories accepted are pottery, drawing/pastel/painting, fiber arts, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media (2-D & 3-D), photography, printmaking, sculpture, woodwork, and upcycled art. Applications must be submitted before midnight EST on August 29, 2014. Applications are available online.
Six prizes totaling over $1,500 in cash and prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
- Overall Best of Show
- Best 2D Artist
- Best 3D Artist
- Best Upcycled Artist
- Best Booth Presentation
- Art Patron's Choice
Art on the Trail is a one day, fine arts and crafts festival that celebrates visual, performing, literary and culinary arts through a series of gatherings, performances and events. The event attracted more than 5,000 visitors in 2013.
About the Travelers Rest Artists Alliance
The Travelers Rest Artists Alliance is a multidisciplinary arts organization developed to promote and support the region's artistic and cultural assets, integrating arts and culture into community life.
Images are works from the 2013 event.
Via: Travelers Rest Artists Alliance
S.C. native Chad Boseman nearly passed on playing the Godfather of Soul
"Get on Up," the movie about South Carolina native James Brown, opens Aug. 1. Actor Chadwick Boseman, who is playing the Godfather of Soul, is a native of Anderson. Viola Davis, who plays Brown’s mother, is also a South Carolina native. In this interview with the Huffington Post, Boseman explains why he initially decided not to accept the role.
From The Huffington Post:
Filling the shoes of "The Godfather Of Soul" James Brown for a feature-length film is not an easy task, according to actor Chadwick Boseman. This summer, the "42" star will play the lead role in Brown's highly anticipated biopic "Get On Up," alongside an all-star cast that includes Dan Aykroyd, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis.
Helmed by "The Help" director Tate Taylor and produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, the film will chronicle Brown's early days living in poverty in Georgia, his rise to fame and his years as one of pop music's most influential icons.
During a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Boseman opened up on portraying the hardest-working man in show business, and let us know what it was like to work with Mick Jagger on set.
After portraying the role of Jackie Robinson in "42," was James Brown on your personal list of icons to play?
It was actually something that I thought might not be a good idea to take on another person we revere as an icon. I was against it at first. But at the same time, when it rains it pours, and sometimes you gotta ride the wave of what's happening. And I meditated on it when it came to me, and asked people what they thought about it. And I just came to that decision that it was the best thing for me to do.
I knew it would be a difficult thing for me to do, and it would be a challenge. But it wasn't something that I said like, "I hope this happens." It was something that came to me and I said, "Should I do it or not?" Even when I started with dance rehearsal and vocal rehearsal, I still wasn't sure, all the way up to when we started shooting. So it was just one of those things like, "I'm just gonna have faith that this is right thing for me to do."
What was it in particular that led to your reservations about the role?
It was in doses. There were smaller challenges for this ... It would be something as simple as "Let me learn how to do the camel walk ... Let me learn how to do 'Mash Potatoes'" ... So it was just smaller things ... If you think about it from the perspective of "I'm James Brown every day," it's way too much. So as I got into it, I just took it apart and kept watching footage of him and read biographies. That information inspires you.
So as opposed to, at first saying "I just want to do this justice," there's always that pressure, yes. And there's you wanting to do right by the family. But at a certain point, he inspires you. Like you're inspired by what this man was able to achieve, and just thankful that you get the opportunity to walk in those shoes and be the person that people look at as him for the two-hour span of the movie. It's an inspiring thing ... He had an unbreakable, undefeated spirit. And so at a certain point, if that doesn't get into you then you're not playing him. If you try to play it safe, you're not playing him. Cause that's not how he is.
One of the common traits that you guys share is your South Carolina roots. What are some of your fondest memories of him, growing up in South Carolina?
My earliest memories of him was just hearing his music played around the house. But I don't know if I was necessarily cognizant of the fact that he was James Brown. But at a certain point, I started to hear people say that he was from South Carolina and I actually never believed it. And I was like, "Where from? Barnwell? Where is that?" It's such a small place. And then you would always hear people from Georgia saying that he was from Georgia. And really both things are true. He was born in South Carolina. He lived there for a few years. He was then moved by his father to stay with his aunt in Augusta, Georgia. But I remember that argument as a kid about where he was from.
What were some of the most interesting facts that you learned about him that you didn't know prior to filming?
He was very cognizant of himself as a persona. So there's the "man" and then there's the "persona" of James Brown. And he knew that when he walked around that people should have to pay to see him. He wanted to give you that million-dollar persona at all times. Which reminds me of what you see a lot of hip-hop stars doing, or someone like Floyd Mayweather. It's an interesting thing ... Another thing about him is, he has all his hairdos. He would do a whole show for over an hour. Never stopped moving. And before he comes outside, he gets his hair done all over again. Rollers in the hair, dryer, everything.
How would you describe your on-set experience with the film's producer, Mick Jagger?
Before and during, he's been involved throughout the filming. I sat around one evening just listening to James Brown music with Mick Jagger, and just talking about what's the best recordings to use in the movie. He was very involved in the movie. He was on set as much as he could be.
You mentioned that you took vocal lessons prior to and during filming. Can viewers expect hear you crooning classic James Brown hits in the film?
No. A definitive no. There are moments when I am singing where it's part of his catalog ... Except for "Please, Please, Please." There's different versions of "Please, Please, Please" in the movie. There's one version in the movie where it's actually all my voice. But most of the catalog stuff in the movie is his voice, because obviously, we want you to hear James Brown singing. But there's other moments, say if I'm coming up with a song or I'm singing to somebody else and it's not a recording, then it's probably my voice.
It's a mixture. And then sometimes you may hear a little bit of my voice in the recording for various reasons as well. The main reason the vocal lessons were there was to make that merger happen and also to make that merger more believable. And also the placement of his speaking voice. So it was for all those reasons.
"Get On Up" hits theaters nationwide on Aug. 1.
Image: Chadwick Boseman, star of last year's Jackie Robinsom biopic "42," will play James Brown in the upcoming film "Get On Up." | Universal
South Carolina Arts Commission elects new officers
A new team is charting the course for the South Carolina Arts Commission's new fiscal year. After four years of leading the Commission, Dr. Sarah Lynn Hayes of Rock Hill is stepping down as chairman. "We owe a big thank you to Sarah Lynn," said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. "She has been an active leader in the agency's accomplishments and a tireless ally during tough times. The statewide arts community is stronger because of her support."
Greenville businessman Henry Horowitz takes over as chairman after two years of serving as vice chairman. Entrepreneur Delores "Dee" Crawford of Aiken will serve as vice chairman, and Hayes will continue on the executive committee as immediate past chairman.
"The Commission is in good hands," said May. "Our officers' business acumen and advisory experience will be key assets as we continue to work with the state legislature and partner with other organizations to ensure that the arts thrive in our state.”
Horowitz is the co-founder, principal and managing partner of Oxford Capital Partners LLC, a real estate investment firm in Greenville, S.C. and Dallas, Texas. He is a managing principal of MedProperties Holdings LLC, a private equity firm in Dallas. Previously, he served as president of RealtiCorp and in various executive management roles with Insignia Financial Group. Horowitz is chairman emeritus and founder of Greenville’s Artisphere Festival and serves on the Bon Secours Health System Board of Directors and the Wells Fargo Bank S.C. Regional Advisory Board of Directors. He is the former chair of the Metropolitan Arts Council of Greenville and former president of the Charity Ball Board of Directors. Horowitz previously served as vice chairman for the Arts Commission.
Crawford is president of a McDonald's organization that includes seven restaurants with more than 400 employees. She serves on the advisory boards of USC Aiken School of Business, the USC Aiken Inclusion Advisory Council and the Center for African American History, Art and Culture of Aiken County. She is an advisor to the Board of Directors of Juilliard in Aiken and a Fellow of the Riley Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University.
Hayes is director of the Central Child Development Center, which serves 350 at-risk four-year-olds in Rock Hill schools. She also co-owns Events per se, an event planning and management company in Rock Hill. She is past president of the Arts Council of York County.
The Arts Commission Board is composed of nine volunteer citizens appointed at large for three-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for the purpose of guiding the development of the arts in the state. Commissioners are residents of South Carolina who are selected for their practice of, participation in or support of the creative and interpretive arts. The Commissioners meet regularly to take action on funding and formulating policy for the Arts Commission.
For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission:
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three 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.
Aiken Center for the Arts appoints education director and exhibitions coordinator
Aiken Center for the Arts has filled two new positions to assist with its mission to inspire and educate by providing unique visual and performing arts experiences for all ages.
Jillian Decker joins the organization as the Aiken Center for the Arts’ first education director. She will be responsible for comprehensive development and management of all education programs at including summer art camps, workshops and annual classes for all ages.
“With this new position we were looking for a candidate who had experience and knowledge of both the visual and performing arts as well as the enthusiasm and initiative to grow our education programs so they fully meet the needs of the community," said Executive Director Elizabeth Williamson. "Jillian is just that person, and students will be impressed with her commitment to their opportunity for education in the arts.”
Decker earned her Master of Arts in Arts Education from The Ohio State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Pennsylvania State University. Her volunteer and work experience includes Bryce Jordan Center for Performing Arts, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Museum of Art and teaching Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. An avid artist and musician, Decker also works as a freelance graphic designer and runs a small art business in her free time.
Mandy Drumming has been promoted to exhibitions coordinator. For the past year, Drumming has worked in the Gallery Store and has been responsible for the layout and installation of exhibitions. In her new role, Drumming will be the point of contact for artists from the beginning of the submission process to the removal of their exhibit. She will be a key person in the exhibition planning, curating and presentation of artworks in the Center’s five galleries.
Drumming earned her Masters of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates/Corcoran College of Art + Design and her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of South Carolina Aiken. While in graduate school, she studied exhibition design with Mark Leithauser, chief of design at the National Gallery of Art. In addition, Drumming interned with Brian Lang, former curator of decorative arts at the Columbia Museum of Art.
“Mandy has been an asset to the Aiken Center for the Arts and a pleasure to work with,” said Williamson. “At each gallery opening’s artist reception, I am overwhelmed with compliments from guests and artists regarding the layout of the exhibits, all of which can be attributed to Mandy’s keen eye for detail, color and design. I am very pleased to be able to promote Mandy to a position that makes full use of her talents. With Mandy as exhibitions coordinator artists can expect a pleasurable exhibition experience.”
About the Aiken Center for the Arts
The Aiken Center for the Arts is a 22,000 square foot facility in the heart of downtown Aiken with gallery space, classrooms, a performance space and a gift shop. Classes in the arts are taught by professional teaching artists and available year round for students of all ages. With five galleries featuring the exhibits of local, regional and national artists, rotating monthly, visual arts are a prominent part of the Center’s activities. The Aiken Center for the Arts also works with local and regional performing artists to present concerts and theatre performances in the Brown Pavilion. In addition, the Aiken Youth Orchestra performs two concerts each year.
Chapman Cultural Center launches count of cultural assets
From the Spartanburg Herald Journal:
A half dozen Cowpens residents clustered around a map at the Timken Community Center on Tuesday morning pointing out cultural landmarks just as fast as The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg President Jennifer Evins could note their location and description.
In a matter of minutes, the small group added 10 cultural items to the map including the historic marker for a jail demolished long ago, a farmers market and a community mural. None of the landmarks were previously noted by Arts Partnership staff or the Spartanburg County planning department staff that helped compile the map.
“This is why we're doing this,” Evins exclaimed as she added another point to the map.
Despite the small turn out, Evins said the first public meeting of the Culture Counts project was a success, and the community will have 10 more opportunities to point out cultural assets at public input sessions across the county through the remainder of the summer.
Culture Counts is an initiative led by the Chapman Cultural Center, a subset of the Arts Partnership, to identify and inventory all cultural needs, opportunities and resources in Spartanburg County. Resources are defined as places with historic or creative significance, and people who participate in creative endeavors as professionals or hobbyists.
Culture Counts is the spawn of Evin's personal inventory of downtown cultural resources. When she identified and mapped more than 75 public sculptures, 34 live performance venues and 158 studios and workshops, Evins said she felt compelled to show her findings to others.
“Everyone was blown away,” she said.
Now, the Chapman Cultural Center has teamed up with the county planning department to take the survey countywide. The goal of Culture Counts is to connect creative people, spark civic pride, attract new businesses and enhancing tourism and hospitality revenue throughout the county, Evins said.
“We want to get the word out so people know we have a vibrant community, and they can come visit and live here,” she said.
Attendees of Tuesday's meeting were excited about the project and came to learn more about available resources.
Dan Ford was roaming through the Timken Community Center when he stumbled upon the meeting, but quickly became engaged in the discussion. A longtime resident of Spartanburg County, Ford said it's the diverse atmosphere that's kept him local.
“One of the things that I'm excited about is how rich this area is in music,” he said.
The presence of many cultures is part of what makes Spartanburg a dynamic hometown, but Ford said he would like to see them more fully represented in the county's public arts space. The Hispanic culture is especially underrepresented, he said.
Avis Dawkins, a speech pathologist at the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind, said she would like to see access to the existing resources expanded. For example, she said she would be interested in community art and craft classes.
“We have so many in this town, I don't understand why I have to struggle to find them,” she said. “I'm just trying to find a way to make the community better. There should be ways for everyone, no matter what their level is, to improve themselves.”
Once the information is gathered, Evins said Culture Counts will report back to the community, receive more feedback and develop a strategic plan for the future. The county's last cultural plan was done in 1991. Evins said it is time for a new one, and she is optimistic about the project's success.
“I think the 1991 cultural plan was one of the most successful planning processes our community has participated in because we saw it through to fruition,” she said.
Future Culture Counts meetings:
Meetings start at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on each day.
- July 17 at Woodruff City Hall
- July 31 at Campobello Gramiling Elementary
- Aug. 7 at District 5 Fine Arts Center
- Aug. 12 at Upstate Family Resource Center
- Sept. 4 at Chapman Cultural Center.
Two S.C. arts organizations receive NEA Our Town grants
Two South Carolina arts organizations (and current South Carolina Arts Commission grantees) are the recipients of Our Town grants from the National Endowment for the Arts: The Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia and Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) in Pickens.
The Nickelodeon Theatre will receive $50,000 to support the expansion of free public programming for the 2015 Indie Grits Festival. Though it began in 2009 as a film festival in Columbia, S.C., Indie Grits has grown to showcase diverse and innovative work of artists from across the Southeast. Columbia Film Festival and the City of Columbia will partner to increase public programming throughout the festival, including video installations in downtown storefronts, pop-up arts experiences along Main Street, and public panels discussing how arts and culture can help shape the future of cities. Artists will activate vacant storefronts during the festival, demonstrating the potential for spaces to be used year round for creative endeavors.
Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music will receive $25,000 to support the redesign of a former elementary school auditorium into a community cultural space for workshops, concerts, and traditional arts activities in Pickens, S.C. The schoolhouse now serves as the Hagood Community Center and is in need of significant restoration to function as an arts space and the cultural and civic hub of the town. Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music, City of Pickens, and the Senior Citizens of Pickens will come together to conduct historical research to inform the design of the facility, host town hall meetings to solicit citizen input, hire an architect to redesign the auditorium, and participate in fact-finding visits to learn from other cultural centers in the region. This project will provide a space for residents and visitors to keep alive the traditional arts and culture of Appalachia.
"Our Town grants are very competitive," said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. "For the past three years, only one grantee from South Carolina has received this grant, so to have two this year is remarkable. We always encourage and offer to work with eligible S.C. organizations to apply for this grant and others from the NEA. The application process can be time-consuming, but the payoff can be great."
Sixty-six Our Town grants totaling $5.07 million were awarded to organizations in 38 states, investing in local efforts to leverage arts assets to drive community development. Since Our Town's inception in 2011, the NEA has awarded 256 Our Town grants totaling more than $21 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Our Town projects generally fall into two categories; those that feature arts engagement activities, and others that deal with design and cultural planning activities. In arts engagement projects, artistic production is the focus. Design and cultural planning projects develop the local support systems and infrastructure necessary for community development to succeed.
Visit the Our Town website to find out more and explore the interactive map with all Our Town projects to date.
Via: National Endowment for the Arts
Clemson University exhibition connects West Greenville’s past and present
Clemson University's Center for Visual Arts was awarded a One-Time Project grant for the Sense of Place exhibition, which opened June 13 and runs through August 30 at the Center's satellite location in Greenville.
From Clemson University's Art Opportunities & Announcements by Greg Shelnutt:
Clemson University’s Art Department has been awarded a $5,000 grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission allowing the Center for Visual Arts at Clemson University to bring the internationally and nationally recognized editor, founder and curator of Fraction Magazine, David Bram to curate the Sense of Place exhibition that will be on display June 13 - August 30 in its satellite facility, the Center for Visual Arts-Greenville.
Bram invited four photographers to visit The Village of West Greenville to observe, learn and interpret what they discover through an artistic trained eye using the lens of a camera. “It is my sincerest hope that the results of this project will be a collection of works where the creative community as well as the existing neighborhood will share and connect with each other” expresses current program coordinator for the CVA-Greenville, Eugene Ellenberg. “The exhibit will be designed to spark conversations and genuine interactions which will empower the neighborhood while acknowledging their history.”
Art photographers invited to participate in this exhibit have a relevant body of work and strong photography portfolios that will help convey and bring together a relevant exhibit meant to honor its residents and surrounding community. The artists selected to participate in the execution of this exhibit are Leon Alesi, Dustin Chambers, Dawn Roe and Kathleen Robbins.
In 1935, a photography program was added to the Information Division of the Farm Security Agency (FSA) to visually document the living and working conditions of farmers. The agency hired 12 photographers to travel around the United States, meeting and photographing its citizens. Many of these images were published in newspapers and magazines of the day. The idea was to show America to Americans, but it has also served as a historical document of a time and place. Nearly 80 years later, we have a record not only of the geographical appearance of the Great Plains, but the faces of those who lived there as well.
In 2008, I was involved in a large-scale project featuring Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was part of a group of photographers asked to document the town, and the resulting images were included in a book and show entitled, “Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe”. The largest state-owned museum, The Palace of the Governors, now owns the entire collection of photographs.
When I was approached this spring with the opportunity to curate a show of photographs taken in a small section of Greenville, South Carolina, I was reminded of my previous experience in Santa Fe as well as the FSA photography project. I have never been to Greenville, though I was made aware of the rapid change and growth in the area: new restaurants, coffee shops, art spaces, and loft apartments.
With this in mind, my impulse was to put together a group of photographs that would provide a snapshot of Greenville today and could withstand the passing of time. This collection would create a historic document for the town and its people through the exhibit, “A Sense of Place.”
I selected four photographers for their unique eye and ability to demonstrate the theme of community. Each was given very loose instructions; they could photograph whatever they wanted in the method of their preference as long as they stayed within a certain geographic area. Having previously worked with each photographer either as an advisor or as editor of Fraction Magazine, I trusted their vision and craft would present Greenville in all its beauty and distinctiveness.
Dustin Chambers was the first to arrive in Greenville and dove right into the culture. The resulting portrait work is honest and engaging. Kathleen Robbins spent a day with a youth boxing club, encapsulating their spirit and brazenness in her portraits. Leon Alessi spent time walking around and interacting with people. His quiet portraits show aspects of both new and old Greenville. Dawn Roe took a different approach and worked solely with the architecture and landscape. Her diptychs reflect her unique photographic style while integrating landmarks of Greenville.
Perhaps the most unexpected element of this show is how strongly three of the four selected artists gravitated towards the people of Greenville. This was a pleasant surprise; their faces reflect the past and the future. This collection is meant to do just that: connect our remembrance of the past to hope for the future in a glimpse of the present. “A Sense of Place” creates a snapshot of history that we hope will be of interest for generations to come.
-- David Bram, July 2014
To see more images and read the artists' statements, please visit: http://www.fractionmagazine.com/sense-of-place
|Photo by Dustin Chambers
S.C. artists 40 and younger invited to apply for 701 CCA Prize
701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., announces the second installment of the 701 CCA Prize, a biennial art competition and exhibition for professional South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. The project will take place this year with a juried process resulting in a October – December exhibition for the competition’s three finalists and an award celebration announcing the winner. Eligible artists are invited to apply for the prize by September 8, 2014. Complete guidelines and the application are available online.
work by 2012 701 CCA Prize winner James Busby, (Mirrorball, 2012)
The project’s purpose is to identify and recognize artists 40 years and younger whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit. The 701 CCA Prize will be awarded to one young professional South Carolina artist for outstanding art production since January 1, 2012. Aside from the age requirement, eligible artists must currently live in South Carolina. They must have or have had a solo exhibition in a museum, art center, regular commercial gallery or a designated gallery space in a cultural facility between September 1, 2012 – September 1, 2014. They also must fulfill several practical requirements outlined in the application guidelines. The application fee is $25.
An independent jury of three art professionals will select three finalists for the 701 CCA Prize. The three finalists will be included in the 701 CCA Prize Exhibition from October 30 – December 21, 2014, at 701 CCA. The exhibition’s opening reception will be October 30. The 701 CCA Prize Winner will be announced during the 701 CCA Prize Celebration on November 27, 2014.
The 701 CCA Prize Winner will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; consultation services from a professional advertising and marketing firm; and an ad in a national publication. The jurors for the 701 CCA Prize 2014 will be announced later.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sheldon Paschal at (803) 319-9949.
Related: Artist James Busby wins inaugural 701 CCA Prize.
Via: 701 Center for Contemporary Art
Camp teaches science by turning it into an art form
Engaging Creative Minds received an Arts in Education/Education and Community Partnership grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission for the Summer STEAM Institute.
From the Charleston Post and Courier:
Under the watchful eye of dance teacher Heather Bybee, students glided across the floor before pulling each other through the air.
The children weren't focused on their dance form in anticipation of a carefully choreographed performance. Instead, Bybee was explaining how their movements mimicked friction as part of a lesson in the forces of motion.
That's the goal of the 2014 Summer STEAM Institute, a new summer camp aimed at incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM. The nonprofit Engaging Creative Minds hosted the weekly camp for students in grades 3-8 at the Charleston County School of the Arts in North Charleston.
The Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math at the College of Charleston developed the curriculum for the camp. Cynthia Hall, director of the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math, said each week has a different theme, such as climate change and chemical reactions. Artists are given free rein to incorporate the week's theme into their lessons for music, dance and art, Hall said. Science classes each afternoon tie in the arts activities through more traditional classroom experiments.
"I think it's been very effective," Hall said.
Last week, musician Jonathan Gray helped a group of students write a song about static electricity, magnetism and gravity. Students stomped their feet and made a variety of sounds to serve as the backdrop to lyrics explaining each force of motion.
Across the hall, students were drawing cartoon sketches depicting various geologic landscapes.
Camper Brandon Steen, who will be in the fourth grade this fall, liked that he had the freedom to draw his own vision of a geologic landscape.
"There's no right and no wrongs in art," he said.
In Bybee's dance class, Memminger Elementary teacher Dave Bonezzi was impressed with how using dance could engage the students in learning science vocabulary words. Bonezzi, who was assisting Bybee, said he will likely incorporate dance techniques in his second-grade classroom.
"It's giving them a sensory experience of the vocabulary rather than just an auditory experience," Bonezzi said. "They keep hearing it over and over in the concept of dance."
The Summer STEAM Institute is the latest endeavor for Engaging Creative Minds, which partnered with the Charleston County School District in 2013 to help schools teach science, technology, engineering and math through the arts.
The group is currently in 14 schools, and there's a waiting list of more public and private schools hoping to bring in artists. The group is offering after-school programs in the fall at some Charleston schools served by the nonprofit Charleston Promise Neighborhood.
Robin Berlinsky, executive director for Engaging Creative Minds, said the success of pairing the arts with math and science comes from being able to provide students with a dynamic learning experience.
"Engagement is the key," she said. "The arts just naturally engage children. When you can teach using the arts you have a fully engaged classroom."
Related: Engaging Creative Minds offers Summer STEAM Camp