Celebrating 50 years!

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

Tuning Up: Youth poetry contest, SCAC Fellow exhibition

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts where The Hub delivers 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...


  • Young Minds Dreaming: The South Carolina State Library is encouraging young writers from grades 3-12 to capture the power of their words and experience the freedom of original literary expressions. (Maybe the snow could be an inspiration for Upstate students.) Check out more info on the Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest.
  • SCAC Fellow exhibition opening: Arts Commission Fellow Robert Lyon has  an exhibition opening at the Arts & Heritage Center in North Augusta. More details via The Augusta Chronicle here.
  • Person of the Year: The Orangeburg Times & Democrat named Dr. Leo Twiggs, 2017 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Lifetime Achievement Award winner and recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, its Person of the Year.
  • Caldera Arts seeks AiR applications: Now through March 15, apply for a 3.5-week residency in the foothills of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. (You don't have to tell us twice...) Open to all U.S. artists in any discipline.
  • AVI Grants Deadline tonight: Letters of Intent to pursue an AVI (Artists' Ventures Initiative) grant from SCAC are due by 11:59 p.m. ET tonight!
(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)

Senate joins House to override SCAC funding veto

This afternoon, the S.C. Senate voted to override a veto of funding to the SCAC, the S.C. House having voted to override the week before last. This restores $350,000 in funding to artists and arts agencies across the state. Our agency has a lengthy record of bipartisan support from the General Assembly, and we are grateful they recognize that our daily work benefits every South Carolinian. This funding is your funding, granted across the state so all can enjoy access to the benefits of the arts in their lives and communities, regardless of their location or circumstances. UPDATE, 17 Jan. 2018 | 10:02 a.m.: Read more about the what the overrides mean from the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission seeks administrative assistant

Application deadine is Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 The S.C. Arts Commission seeks a technology savvy, creative, and personable individual to perform with excellence while aiding the agency in meeting its mission.  Under direct supervision of the Program Manager I (Director for Agency Administration and Operations), the Administrative Assistant performs a variety of complex clerical and administrative duties for agency programs and departments requiring superb skills in time management, logistics, and customer service. The ideal candidate exhibits personal qualities such as:

  • Communicating with adeptness
  • Attending to details and organization
  • Striving to meet goals
  • Accepting personal responsibility
  • Solving problems creatively
  • Demonstrating respect
The Administrative Assistant is responsible for developing processes, procedures, and protocols that support his/her ability to deliver of a broad range of secretarial and paraprofessional duties, which generally requires the application of program guidelines and departmental policies. Utilizing web-based technology (e.g. Survey Monkey, Constant Contact, Submittable, SCEIS), computer software programs (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite), and office equipment (e.g. desktops, laptops, printers, projectors), examples of essential tasks include: Typing, faxing, scanning and copying documents; answering and directing calls; routing incoming and outgoing mail; arranging for office supplies; preparing documents for meetings; organizing data; creating reports; maintaining and scheduling meeting rooms; setting up for on-site meetings; and handling travel arrangements. View the complete list of requirements and job duties and find out how to apply here.

Help guide South Arts’ Performing Arts Exchange 2017

South Arts,  consortium of nine Southern state arts agencies, is already(!) gearing up for its annual Performing Arts Exchange (1-4 Oct., Orlando, Fla.). They recently put out a call for involvement at PAE in three specific areas of need:

  • Become a Juried Showcase Panelist Who: Agents, managers, artists, presenters, and staff of arts service organizations with at least five years of experience in the performing arts industry. No need to reside in the South Arts region to participate. HowRead these guidelines and fill out a self-nomination form.
  • Become a Grants Panelist ​Who: Presenters in South Arts' nine-state region. How: Read these guidelines and fill out a self-nomination form.
  • Suggest a workshop topic for the Performing Arts Exchange Who: Anyone with a burning question or a great idea for what performing arts professionals need for professional development. How: Fill out this form to suggest a workshop and potential faculty.

New funding partner for potential arts businesses

  • Central Carolina Community Foundation to help develop Midlands arts-based businesses
  • Joins statewide initiative begun by S.C. Arts Commission and CommunityWorks of Greenville
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Midlands artisans hoping to turn a passion into a business in the New Year now have help from Central Carolina Community Foundation as it joins an S.C. Arts Commission initiative. Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) joins ArtsGrowSC, a new program that combines the strengths of the S.C. Arts Commission and Greenville-based CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution, to offer qualifying artists resources – including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching, and workshops – that will help develop and grow arts-based business ventures. ArtsGrowSC is being implemented to allow arts-based businesses to further contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by South Carolina’s core creative industries. Involvement by CCCF will increase the number of artisans who can open Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), specifically in its 11-county service area. CommunityWorks serves as a statewide IDA funding partner for the matched savings program. Artists who use an IDA to save would see a 2:1 match, so a savings of $1,000 would be matched by $1,000 from one of the participating funders, based on artist location, and another $1,000 from the Arts Commission. Additional avenues of support from ArtsGrowSC include personal development and business coaching workshops that lead to the next-step Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant program. AVI provides one-time grants to encourage the creation of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project could receive up to $3,500, and on-going business ventures can get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit a letter of intent to seek an AVI grant is Jan. 18. AVI grantees may then qualify for the Business Builder Loan program, wherein CommunityWorks could lend qualifying artists up to $15,000 to expand their ventures. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, email Joy Young at jyoung@arts.sc.gov, or call 803.734.8203.
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. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Arts Education Project (AEP) grants due next week!

Educators: are you finalizing your AEP (Arts Education Project) Grant applications? The deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 16. UPDATE: The deadline is extended to Monday, Jan. 22. AEP Grants support well-developed arts education programs and projects in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that use the arts to advance learning (social service, health, community, education or other organizations). Funded projects and programs can take place in school, after school or over the summer. Grants of up to $15,000 are available (grantees must match their grant 1:1). An AEP Grant would support such programs as:

  • After-school classes
  • Workshops
  • Camps
  • Artist residencies
  • Public art projects
  • Performances
  • Exhibitions
  • Acquisition of critical equipment or supplies
  • Program planning
  • Professional development for instructors, artists and/or administrators
And others, as the list is not exhaustive. Most S.C. schools, nonprofit organizations (arts and non-arts), colleges and universities, and units of government are eligible to apply. Go here to learn more and apply.  

Jason Rapp joins S.C. Arts Commission as communications director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Arts Commission welcomes Jason Rapp of Columbia this month as its new communications director. Rapp will plan and develop an extensive and diversified communications program for the agency, to include oversight of public information and marketing initiatives. He will produce website and social media content; design, edit, and produce publications and printed materials; and collaborate with constituents, grantees, artists, and organizations. “Jason’s experience in the arts nonprofit world is a natural fit with our work,” said Executive Director Ken May. “He has the perspective of working for one of our grantee organizations and understands the value of public support for the arts. He joins the agency as we expand our services in arts education, artist development and rural arts development and will lead the charge in promoting those opportunities and communicating about the results. We are happy to welcome him to the team.” A Pittsburgh, Pa. area native, Rapp grew up in Florence, S.C. and graduated from West Florence High School before earning a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of South Carolina College of Mass Communications and Information Studies in 2002. He was most recently the communications and audience services director at the S.C. Philharmonic in Columbia for nearly 12 years, where he helped take the orchestra’s image and visibility to new heights, managed ticketing operations, and provided the highest level of patron services. The Arts Commission’s previous communications director, Milly Hough, was named deputy director in 2017 after holding her former position for 11 years.   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. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. ###

EXTENDED: Artists Ventures Initiatives letters of intent due January 18

(This is an update of a previous post. The deadline was extended.) Artists seeking to launch or expand a business venture may apply for grants or loans designed for varying levels of business readiness. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees are eligible to apply for a new Business Builder Loan program through ArtsGrowSC. Christine Eddy's nearly ready gypsy wagon Christine Eddy of Ladson is the first artist to receive a business loan through ArtsGrowSC, a partnership between the S.C. Arts Commission and Community Works, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Greenville. Eddy will use her loan to build and up-fit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. Eddy received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016.

"I was ecstatic to be awarded a grant by the Arts Commission via the Artists Ventures Initiative program to purchase a travel trailer and lights to turn the trailer into a mobile studio," said Eddy.  "The funds allowed me to turn my passion into a business and I was able to travel to arts events and started reached broader audiences for my tintype work.  I was invited to other states and made more connections which led to more business. My business has grown, and I have attended events in Ga., N.C., Fla., Pa, Tenn., Ky., and Ark.

"The (ArtsGrowSC) loan I recently received allowed me to build a custom gypsy wagon trailer which is a dream come true!  Most of the events I am invited to attend are historic reenactments and living history events. It made sense that a more historically accurate trailer would fit in better.  Several leading photographers in my field have reached out to me expressing their admiration of this project. I plan on adding more options to my services in the coming year and I am optimistic this new venture will bring me more business.  I am excited for the future and very grateful to be part of this program!"

Artists Ventures Initiative grants encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Individuals and collaboratives may use AVI funding to help launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3,500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5,000. The AVI grant program is a two-part process, with letters of intent due Jan. 18, 2018. Selected applicants will be invited to develop a full grant proposal. Find out more about AVI grants. For more information about these opportunities, contact Joy Young.

SC Novel Prize now accepting submissions

Prize competition now open to all South Carolina writers – published and unpublished The First Novel Prize is now the South Carolina Novel Prize and is open to any South Carolina writer, including those who have never had a novel published and those who have been published. We also welcome a new partner – the College of Charleston Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, led by novelist and English professor Bret Lott. Submissions close March 15, 2018. South Carolina Novel Prize entries are submitted online through the Submittable system. The contest is highly competitive. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by a nationally recognized judge to be announced at a later date. The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. Winner is awarded publication by Hub City Press in the form of a printing of no less than 2,000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2019. This can bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community. Brock Adams of Spartanburg won the 2016 First Novel Prize. His novel, Ember, was published by Hub City Press in September 2017. Find complete eligibility requirements and application guidelines online. For more information, contact Sara June Goldstein, 803.734.8694. Images, left to right: First Novel winners Through the Pale Door by Brian Ray (2008), Mercy Creek by Matt Matthews (2010), In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve (2012), Minnow (2014) by James McTeer, and Ember (2016) by Brock Adams.

Anderson Arts Center seeks executive director

Apply by January 15. The Anderson Arts Center is looking for a team leader with limitless vision and innovation, and a proven track record of presenting creative, inspiring numerous arts programs. Our executive director will nurture existing relationships and foster new partnerships to further our mission to develop, advance and deliver high-quality arts and cultural experiences in the Anderson community. Our goal is to continually enhance the quality of life for our residents, while presenting Anderson as a destination city for visitors. If you have a passion for the arts and understand the strong influence they can have on people’s lives, we invite you to apply for this position. The executive director is responsible for:

  • Board Relations/Strategic Plans. Teaming with the President and Directors to implement Board decisions, assisting in developing goals and long-range plans, and reviewing progress of achievements. Aggressively implementing the Arts Center’s Strategic Plan, offering sound recommendations, and inspiring Board responsibility. Working effectively with City and County Governments to develop and implement strategic goals.
  • Internal Relations. Working in full cooperation with the Board and the Chairs of the Membership, Executive, Special Events and Capital Campaign Committees to further the mission and goals of the Arts Center.
  • Public Relations. Enthusiastically and effectively serving as an ambassador and spokesperson for The Arts Center to the public, special constituencies, potential donors and other organizations. Developing publicity materials, newsletters, annual reports and resource materials for various constituencies. Establishing and maintaining beneficial relationships with key individuals with integral roles in shaping the Arts Center’s future. Developing innovative educational opportunities for artists, students, Board members and potential donors.
  • Development. Overseeing and implementing annual appeals, while actively soliciting and managing solicitation of sponsorships. Developing and supervising fundraising events. Providing excellent service to donors, and issuing comprehensive, accurate and timely statements of donor activity.
  • Membership. Working with the Board and Membership Committee to grow and retain Anderson Arts Center memberships. Remembering that we are only as good as our collective membership.
  • Grants Management. Administering the grant request program of The Arts Center, using the framework established by the Board-approved Fundraising Plan. Actively generating methods for The Arts Center to leverage its resources to meet community needs. Initiating and/or partnering with other nonprofits to enhance the effectiveness of Arts Center funding. Providing oversight and research for new foundation funding sources, and for creating and writing new grants.
  • Fiscal Management. Preparing and operating within the parameters of the annual budget. Anticipating and planning for capital needs of The Arts Center. Working with the Executive Committee to assure proper cash management. Ensuring that The Arts Center complies with established policies and procedures, and with all governmental regulations and requirements. Working with auditors in the performance of annual audit, and effectively implementing recommendations.
  • Human Resources. Attracting and retaining quality Arts Center personnel, demonstrating a good working relationship with all personnel, and providing regular performance evaluation and counseling.
  • Personal Performance. Working effectively with the Board of Directors, volunteers, staff, other organizations and the community to achieve common goals. Demonstrating critical problem examination that leads to identification of key relationship components, and developing solutions. Continually improves the organization by exploring creative ideas or seeking further education on issues of importance. Demonstrating positive oral and written presentation of ideas within and outside the Arts Council. Understanding and following established policies. Exuding self-confidence, and demonstrating enthusiastic job performance with a minimum of direction. Trying new ideas, experimenting and taking reasonable risks. Forming sound evaluations of facts, opinions and options, while minimizing personal bias in decisions. Delivering consistent, reliable results, while instilling confidence in others.
  • Fiscal Year Goals. Hiring talented staff to replace vacancies, developing a Strategic Plan, expanding the Board by recruiting new members, and developing and executing successful fundraising for The Arts Center.
Knowledge and abilities needed for success include:
  • Vision and proven leadership abilities; A knowledge and appreciation of the arts and art education; Excellent organizational and communication skills; Honesty, enthusiasm, assertiveness and independence; A fine degree of diplomacy; Flexibility in task completion, and in interaction with professional and volunteer personnel; A solid commitment to the mission of the Anderson Arts Center.
  • Excellent communication skills; A collaborative leadership style; Demonstrated knowledge of administrative and fiscal management; Resource management and solid business protocol; Professionalism, the ability to manage multiple projects at once, Flexible working conditions; Juggling content and scheduling.
  • A proven track record in fundraising, event planning, donor development, membership development and retention.
  • An understanding of the characteristics and differences in communities, including rural, underserved, urban and suburban; Effects of geographic, cultural and economic barriers, and their effects on the role of the arts, arts education, economic development, community development and cultural tourism.
  • A knowledge of local, state and federal government affairs and the legislative process; diplomatic skills, and sensitivity to the current political environment (policies, practices and positions).
  • An ability to oversee the work of the staff, committees, contract workers, website management, graphic design, bookkeeping, database management, publications, information distribution, brand-based advertising, technology infrastructure and facility management.
  • An ability to manage and oversee Arts Center-related facilities, while maintaining strong tenant relationships.
  • Negotiation and executing all legal documents (annual renewal of Director & Officers Liability & Employment Insurance, Building, General Liability, Exhibit and Personal Property, Annual registration with the Secretary of State, Contracts for SC Arts Commission grants, Private Foundations and local government documents).
  • Working relationships with the SC Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, various foundations and other granting agencies in securing funding initiatives; Grant and proposal preparation for foundations, local government and private businesses.
  • Maintaining a professional awareness and interest in the field; Attending exhibits, performances, festivals, professional seminars and workshops; Advising Board members of trends in the field and upcoming changes in the future; Facilitating long-range and strategic planning for the organization.
  • Have a proven working relationship with artists, a knowledge base of various media, presentation techniques, exhibition policies, artist contracts, installation procedures, lighting, gallery programming, public and past curating experience.
  • Planning and organizing various programs/services within the stated purposes and policies formulated by the Board of Directors and General Membership.
This position requires a bachelor’s degree, along with a minimum of seven years of experience with progressively increasing responsibility and oversight of an arts division or organization. Part of that experience must include active supervision and leading of others to reach departmental goals. The ability to work flexible hours is required. The position is full-time, with a base salary starting at $55K. Any additional incentives for the position will be discussed with candidates during the formal interview process. The Anderson Arts Center is accepting resumes and cover letters through January 15, 2018. Please submit via artscenteranderson@gmail.com. About the Anderson Arts Center Established in 1972, the Anderson Arts Center is a 501(c)3 that promotes and fosters the practice and appreciation of the arts in Anderson County and the surrounding areas in South Carolina. Once a primarily rural and textile area, Anderson continues to grow at a rapid pace with close to 30 schools, over 230 manufacturers, including 22 international companies, in the county. The Anderson Arts Center strives to meet the cultural needs of our diverse community through local and national exhibits, comprehensive arts programming for all ages, and community based public art projects. Our organization’s major partners include the Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Anderson County, the City of Anderson, and the South Carolina Arts Commission. After its founding, the Arts Center found a permanent “home” in the Carnegie Library building, secured through the Pendleton District Historical and Recreational Commission. There, the Center thrived and increased its arts programming for 34 years, until growth necessitated acquiring and renovating the adjacent P&N Railway Warehouse. Since 2006, the 33,000 square foot Anderson Arts Warehouse has provided exhibition and classroom space in a handicapped accessible location. The Anderson Arts Warehouse significantly changed the cultural landscape of our area, and has opened the arts to thousands of people in Anderson County and the surrounding areas in South Carolina.