Get your piece of South Arts’ grants pie

One of the S.C. Arts Commission's critical partners is Atlanta-based South Arts, founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South ArtsSouth Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. They offer a portfolio of activities designed to address the issues important to our region and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. In addition to the S.C. Arts Commission, they partner with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Like SCAC, South Arts is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, plus its member states, and foundations, businesses, and individuals. South Arts has several grant opportunities currently available to #SCartists and arts organizations in South Carolina. We are including descriptions of some upcoming opportunities, including informational webinar details is applicable.


Southern Prize and State Fellowships – Deadline: December 3, 2018 Visual arts fellowships of up to $30,000 As mentioned before, the South Arts State Fellowships and Southern Prize acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. The South Arts State Fellowship is a state-specifi­c prize awarded to the artists whose work reflects the best of the visual arts in the South. A review panel will select one winner per eligible state, with artistic excellence being the sole criterion. Each winner will be awarded a $5,000 South Arts State Fellowship, earn a spot in the Southern Prize & State Fellowships Exhibition, and compete for one of the two South Arts Prizes. A national panel will then convene to evaluate the body of work represented by the nine State Fellowship recipients and select the Southern Prize winner and ­finalist to receive an additional $25,000 and $10,000 respectively, based on artistic excellence. The Southern Prize winner will also receive a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. (These are a big deal!)   Momentum – Dance Touring Initiative for Southern Companies – Deadline: January 18, 2019 Funding and professional development over three years for modern dance/contemporary ballet companies gain touring capacity Momentum is an intensive professional development program over a three-year period for a group of five Southern dance companies, which will include mentorship, networking, conference showcasing and exhibiting, on-site planning meetings with presenters, tour-prep residencies, and touring. If you are a modern dance or contemporary ballet company based in the South with touring aspirations but limited success, this new program is an opportunity to build both your artistic and technical capacity.   Traditional Arts Touring – Deadline: December 5, 2018 Funds up to $5,000 to support organizations presenting out-of-state, Southern traditional artists The Traditional Arts Touring grant program works to increase the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South, through funding projects which bring a traditional artist/ensemble and a scholar/folklorist for multi-day residencies in Southern communities. The maximum request is $5,000. For projects taking place between September 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.   Performing Arts Touring – Deadline: March 4, 2019 Funds up to $7,500 to support organizations presenting out-of-state, Southern performers The Performing Arts Touring program is an opportunity for presenting arts organizations in South Arts’ nine-state region to receive fee support to present Southern performing artists from outside of the presenter’s state. Touring support is awarded to theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, and dance projects that contain both a public performance and an educational component. These grants are limited and very competitive. The maximum request is 50% of the artist fee, up to $7,500 for dance projects or $5,000 for all other projects. Projects must take place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.   Literary Arts Touring – Deadline: May 1, 2019 Funds up to $2,500 to support organizations presenting out-of-state, Southern writers The Literary Arts Touring grant program offers presenting organizations the opportunity to receive financial support to engage Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry) who reside outside of the presenter’s state. Support is awarded to literary projects that contain both a public reading and an educational component such as a writing workshop. The project can include a single engagement by a writer or multiple writers involved in an event (for example, writers series or festivals). The maximum request is 50% of the writers’ fees, up to a total grant of $2,500. Each writer is required to fully-participate in the reading and educational/outreach component. Projects must take place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.   Express Grants – Deadline: Year-round, at least 60 days prior to activities Funds up to $2,000 to support rural organizations presenting out-of-state, Southern performers or writers This new, quick turnaround grant program is an opportunity for presenting organizations in rural Southern communities (with populations of 50,000 or below) to engage Southern guest performing or literary artists from outside of the presenter’s state. Support is awarded to theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, dance, fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry projects that contain both a public performance or reading and an educational component. Grants are very limited and awarded on a first-come/first-served basis, so early submission is encouraged. The maximum request is $2,000. For projects taking place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.   Professional Development and Artistic Planning – Deadline: Year-round, at least 60 days prior to activities Funds up to $1,000 to support organizations either attending new professional development opportunities, traveling to see new work, or hosting an artist planning visit Funding is available for the professional development needs of Southern presenters/programmers/curators to strengthen program design and increase organizational capacity. Applications are only accepted for new professional development opportunities. Artistic planning activities can include travel to see/explore work for future public presentations or planning meetings with artists for future public presentations. Proposed projects must support or relate to the applicant’s work as a presenter. For the purposes of these guidelines, presenters are defined as organizations that present or host artists for engagements in their communities. Grants are very limited and awarded on a first-come/first-served basis, so early submission is encouraged. The maximum request is $1,000. For projects taking place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Competition offers writers $7,000 in cash prizes

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Helping South Carolinians with disabilities have arts access

Arts Access South Carolina (AASC), formerly VSA South Carolina, is the only 501(c) 3, multi-service statewide organization in South Carolina guided by the mission to create an inclusive society in which people with disabilities learn, participate, and enjoy the arts. Click on images to enlarge.


For over 32 years as VSA South Carolina, AASC has actively engaged with community partners in Education, Health, non-profits and other organizations to inspire and empower people with disabilities through rich experiences in the arts. Although AASC changed its name in 2013, we continue to envision a world where people are no longer defined by their limits. We simply see people with incredible artistic abilities! Julia Brown-DuBose Executive Director Julia Brown-DuBose, long-time advocate for inclusive arts in South Carolina, also serves as the ADA/504 Program Director/Consultant for the S.C. Arts Commission. “Borrowing the words of my colleague, Betty Siegel, director of the Office of VSA and Accessibility at the Kennedy Center, ‘we share a deep passion for this work that we do. It’s likely that we share the desire to make a larger difference in the lives we touch. For many of us, we contribute to the stories with our words, with our actions and become agents of change…’ “Recently, someone asked me what am I most known for in life? Had to ask – are you really ready for my story? It’s something we all share, the commitment to invest in others. I give my time, talent and treasures to people with disabilities and for me it has always been through the arts. If you work in education and want to bring the arts to special education students, call me and tell me your story!” AASC provides classes, workshops, internships, apprenticeships, and support to professional and emerging artists in the cultural industry and to many businesses that support the creative arts industry in South Carolina. One example of our impact of is their C.O.T.T.A.G.E. Industries℠ concept, a highly important way for individuals with disabilities to turn the various skills they acquire through our projects into sustainable career opportunities. Throughout the state, those involved in AASC programs learn: In the arts, anything is possible!
For more information about opportunities to support or participate with AASC, visit their website: artsaccesssc.org.

‘Toning down’ stereotypes in ballet

A story appeared yesterday in The New York Times about New York City Ballet modifying its production of Balanchine's The Nutcracker to do away with "yellowface" – stereotypical portrayals of Asian people. Columbia Classical Ballet's presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2015. (Provided photo)

Last year, New York City Ballet modified the choreography, costumes and makeup. And, just last month, the Balanchine Trust, which owns the rights to Balanchine’s work, notified other ballet companies that the changes were an approved option, though not required.

With Nutcracker season upon us (several open on Thanksgiving weekend and the rate accelerates into December), The Hub thought it was an interesting topic to share with our readers, especially in light of the controversial comments made by Megyn Kelly before her departure from NBC last month.

These adjustments are part of a broader effort to re-examine how people of color are portrayed in the performing arts and how classics with potentially troubling aspects can be made acceptable to modern audiences. In 2015, the Metropolitan Opera eliminated blackface from its “Otello.” The Bolshoi has toned down a segment of its “La Bayadère” featuring white children in blackface, but it has been criticized for not going far enough. And more recent fare has also been revised: The musical “Cats” dropped a song in which characters sang in Asian accents.

You can read the full story here. These are hot-button topics everywhere, but it is certainly relevant to the S.C. Arts Commission, where our legislative charge is "to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their place or circumstance. Diversity, inclusion, and access are critical components of that charge.

Pro bono strategic planning for rural arts organizations

Application deadline: Friday, Dec. 14, 2018


The S.C. Arts Commission received word today of a new resource for rural arts organizations. The timing dovetails nicely as the advisory committee for the S.C. Arts Commission program Art of Community: Rural SC gathers for its annual meeting this week. That program has of course been documented here from time to time. Despite only being a pilot program at this stage, rural revitalization through arts, culture, and cultivation of pride of place is an important part of the S.C. Arts Commission's work. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management is pleased to offer pro bono strategic planning services for up to five arts or cultural organizations based in rural, semi-rural, micropolitan, or similar communities across the U.S. The Institute seeks five partners with whom it will work to develop a long-term strategic plan that celebrates the unique assets of their organization, community, cultural history, and environment. The planning process will be fully underwritten by University of Maryland. Interested organizations are invited to apply through Dec. 14, 2018. A brochure describing the opportunity is available here. Full information and the application can be found here: http://devosinstitute.umd.edu/ruralcommunities Interested organizations are invited to address questions directly to segunning@devosinstitute.net or 301-314-0958.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.  

Tuning Up: History and art at Florence park + Wando band update

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


We hope you paused to reflect during the weekend and/or yesterday's holiday. While Veterans Day comes but once a year, a park in Florence combines history with art to honor them year-round. Yesterday it added a monument to the Korean War to its six-and-a-half-acre expanse. The park features sculptures and, for history buffs, artifacts such as a 280-pound chunk of limestone taken from the rubble of the Pentagon's eastern facade and the bell from the USS South Carolina, which served during WWI. Last week we brought you the story of the Wando High school marching band's quest for glory at a national competition in Indianapolis. Writer Karen McDonough followed up with The Hub and reported that the band advanced to the 2018 Grand National finals on Saturday and finished sixth in the nation, a first for a South Carolina band. Congratulations!

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Nov. 12

Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments. Ed. note: This post was scheduled late last week – the S.C. Arts Commission, like other state agencies, is closed today in observance of Veterans Day.


GrantsThis week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county or discipline coordinator with questions.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: Quarterly Projects for Organizations and Artists (these are separate grants!)

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • n/a

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult:
    • your county coordinator if you represent local organizations, businesses, or educational institutions, or
    • your discipline coordinator if you're an individual artist or serve the statewide population.

A call for artists affected by Atlantic hurricanes in 2017 or 2018

Application deadline: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.



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Wando band marches in national competition today

Sculpture and music combine for an award-winning marching band show

By Karen McDonough While most high school students probably have never heard of Alexander Calder, a group of South Carolina teen musicians have become quite familiar with the 20th century American sculptor’s work. Calder’s art work is the central theme of this year’s show by the nationally-ranked Wando High School marching band in Mt. Pleasant. The band performance – which features Calder-inspired sculptures as set props and other nods to his creative force – is a moving collaboration and celebration of sound, movement, and art. And it has catapulted the school to winning back-to-back, first-place wins this fall in regional Bands of America (BOA) competitions for the first time ever. The band performs in the BOA Grand National competition Nov. 8-10 in Indianapolis.

UPDATE, 13 Nov. 2018, 12:25: Go here for an update on how they did!

In the Calder-inspired show, some 260 students –playing everything from the piccolo to the sousaphone with a highly impressive drumline – move, dance and march across a football field, along with 38 color guard wearing bold-hued costumes during the 12-minute theatrical presentation. The Wando High School color guard performs on the swing prop. (Stacey Mercorelli) “Our show is an attempt to use the abstract use of form, color, balance and motion seen in Calder’s sculptures, to create an environment on the football field that is not unlike a modern sculpture garden,” Wando Band’s program coordinator Michael Gray told MoultrieNews.com. “Each of the Calder inspired props in our show contain elements that move throughout the show, all dependent upon the environment in which they are placed.” The students play musical selections from the classic film "To Kill A Mockingbird” by Elmer Bernstein, an original score by South Carolina composer Jay Bocook and “The Big Apple” by Johan de Meij – against a backdrop of colorful, movable props – all handmade by band parents – reminiscent of the shapes in Calder’s work. The show features recorded narration which tells Calder’s story from the words of art historians, collectors and others who best knew his work. One of the props is inspired by Calder’s famous red outdoor “Flamingo” steel and glass sculpture in downtown Chicago, which the band affectionately refers to as just “Chicago.” Other bright colored props carry the childlike and innocent feel of Calder’s work. Band parents adjust the "Chicago" prop. (Mike Terry) The show was titled “By a Thread” because Calder’s art seemingly hangs by a thread, Gray said, as viewers must look up to see his mobiles and large-scale sculptures. Michael Gray (Margie Jackson) Gray is a Charleston-based impressionist painter whose artwork is in several galleries around the country. He’s been a part of the Wando band creative team for 18 years and came up with the idea for a Calder-inspired show eight years ago. While it took that many years for the school to get permission to use the likeness of Calder images as set props and on the color guard flags, something else had to be present. The students had to be advanced musically enough as well to tackle a show like this, Gray said. And this season everything came together. Gray designed the color guard costumes, which were inspired by circus costumes Calder had designed for the dance company of Josephine Baker, who dominated the Parisian entertainment scene of that era. Gray also designed the band’s new uniforms this year, an upgrade from the same uniform they wore for 13 previous years. Gray’s artistic vision for the program, along with the hard work and long hours of a sizable team of pros lead by Wando Band Director Bobby Lambert and Assistant Directors Lanie Radecke and Jeff Handel, has helped raise the school’s national profile. “I love focusing our attention on a specific person because it allows us to bring that person and his art to life in a way that can only be done through music,” Lambert said. “In no other activity is a young person asked to be brilliant, athletic, sensitive, and artistic all at the same time. Bringing all of those mediums together alone is a triumph but to do it at a level commensurate with some of the best in the country is extraordinary.” Wando won two first-place titles in regional BOA competitions in October, earning Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect in each. The marching band has been a Grand National Finalist four times and the South Carolina 5-A state champions 11 times since 2005. It’s Gray’s hope to educate and entertain audiences watching this year’s show. “If one person gets on their phone and Googles ‘Alexander Calder,’ I’m at peace,” he said.
Karen McDonough is a freelance writer based in Mt. Pleasant.