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.

Resources for disaster preparedness and recovery

Being prepared for any type of emergency, whether it's a storm, a fire, or a manmade disaster, means having a plan BEFORE a crisis strikes. With an active hurricane season upon us, it's possible to be in preparedness mode and recovery mode at the same time. Use these preparedness and recovery resources to create a disaster plan that will help you or your organization function during an emergency and recover afterwards.  

Nominate a traditional artist or advocate for a Folk Heritage Award

New this year! The nomination process is now an easy, online submission, and the nomination deadline is earlier -- November 15. The South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum invite nominations for the 2018 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Nominations are now submitted online through Submittable and are due by November 15. Find complete guidelines and submission instructions online. Created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:

  • Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, fiddling, hammock making and boat building.
  • Advocates: South Carolina individuals and groups that have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.
Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact the Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director to determine whether your nominee is eligible. The Folk Heritage Awards are named for the late Rep. Jean Laney Harris, who was an outspoken advocate for South Carolina’s arts and cultural resources. The South Carolina Arts Commission partners with the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum to administer the awards, which will be presented in the spring.

CERF+ offers “Get Ready” grants for craft artists

In 2017, CERF+ will award “Get Ready” Grants of up to $500 to individual artists and up to $1,500 to groups of artists in two grant cycles. The “Get Ready” Grant Program encourages awareness of and provides funding for artists working in craft disciplines to conduct activities that will help safeguard their studios, protect their careers and implement other safety measures to help artists build and sustain strong and resilient careers. Application deadline is November 30. Find out more.

Sumter Gallery of Art seeks director of art education

The Director of Art Education at the Sumter County Gallery of Art (SCGA) manages the Art Education Programs. He/she is responsible for the overall development, coordination and operation of the Gallery’s educational programs, which includes gallery based programs and art classes, and off-site, community–based art education programs and partnerships. The position requires a high level of professionalism, commitment to quality programming and excellent service, connecting with families and children, artist communities, education communities, community organizations, and the community at-large. The successful candidate possesses knowledge of modern and contemporary art and artistic practices, including socially engaged and culturally diverse art; commitment to the community engagement role of the gallery; some familiarity with museum education theory and best practices; program development and implementation, research, budgeting, personnel management skills.

  1. Job Duties/Responsibilities
  • Implement, evaluate and manage all established SCGA art education programs including: 7-week Summer Art Camp for youth ages 4-17, spring and fall classes for youth and adults, Summer Art Camp Scholarship Fund, workshops, festivals and off-site partnerships including, but not limited to, the HYPE afterschool program serving 300 children at 4 sites.
  • Develop and expand new art education programming and community partnerships
  • Seek out community groups with different missions for possible collaborative programming that align with the socially aware and inclusive mission of SCGA.
  • Collaborate with gallery staff, the Director, Curator, and education assistant on ideas, programs and activities that integrate SCGA art programs with the exhibitions.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and graphic design computer programs. Ability to design and generate spreadsheets, invitations, brochures, posters for all SCGA art programs strongly desired. Maintain the Education page of the SCGA website.
  • Identify and write grants to fund educational programming
  • Work with educators from Sumter School District to coordinate field trips and design assignments based on SCGA exhibitions. Work with Sumter art instructors to present the annual Senior Exhibition at the gallery. Plan, advertise and host reception.
  • Supervise and train education staff, including PT education assistant and volunteers
  • Plan and manage education budget
  • Prepare written/verbal reports for the Gallery’s board of directors.
JOB QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS:
  1. B.A. required; Master’s degree preferred in Art Education, Art History, Museum Studies, or related field OR a minimum 2 years prior experience in art education at the classroom, museum or arts organization level.
  2. Knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art, artistic practices, socially engaged art, and museum education methodology
  3. Solid computer skills including Filemaker Pro, Word, Excel and PhotoShop. If candidate is not adept in PhotoShop, a willingness and motivation to learn is imperative
  4. Knowledge of WordPress website platform
  5. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  6. Strong organizational skills, including personnel management, budgeting, prioritization, preparation and time management.
  7. Self-directed, energetic, highly motivated, and outcome-oriented. Respect for and sensitivity to diversity and individuality.
  8. Must be able to lift up to 40 pounds
  9. SCGA has a small, close-knit staff and we all wear many hats – some not directly related to the job description. Must be a good “team player” with an attitude and willingness to help and support each other.
  10. Some evening and weekend work – at least one Saturday a month.
Competitive salary based on experience. No benefits. Vacation and sick leave. E.O.E. Email Resume w/references and cover letter to scgadirector@gmail.com. 803-775-0543

Statewide Arts Conference canceled

In consideration of the impacts of Hurricane Irma and its aftermath, we have decided to cancel the Statewide Arts Conference. We've based this decision on the likelihood that participants and presenters from many parts of the state will face weather-related issues around housing and transportation, along with other situations that might prevent conference attendance. Our first concerns are safety and limiting potential difficulties that might result from moving forward with the conference. Although the weather will be back to normal by Friday, we are making this decision today to give everyone ample notice and to allow our contractors and keynote speakers to adjust their plans in a timely manner. We'll be in touch with registered participants as we begin processing refunds. Anyone who made a hotel reservation for the conference should contact the hotel directly to cancel the reservation. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to sort out logistics. Please let us know if you have any questions by contacting Milly Hough, mhough@arts.sc.gov, 803.734.8698. We wish everyone the best possible outcome today and after the storm.

Update on the Statewide Arts Conference and Hurricane Irma

We are monitoring the Hurricane Irma situation closely and will make a decision Monday, Sept. 11 about whether to go ahead with the Statewide Arts Conference. We will then notify conference registrants about our decision no later than Tuesday, Sept. 12. We’ll also post updates on our Facebook page and here on The Hub. There are many unknowns at this moment, but we will certainly take into consideration the aftermath of the storm – evacuations, power outages, traffic congestion, etc. If we have power outages here in Columbia, that will impact our ability to communicate, so please keep that in mind. If you are registered for the Statewide Arts Conference and haven’t heard from us by Thursday, Sept. 14, please feel free to touch base by calling our main number, 803.734.8696 or emailing Milly Hough at mhough@arts.sc.gov.

Current Fellows featured in 50th Anniversary exhibition in Lake City

As part of the South Carolina Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary celebration, the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City presents the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows 2018 Exhibition September 9 through December 3. The exhibition features the work of the four artists who received Arts Commission's FY 2018 fellowships: Linda Fantuzzo of Mt. Pleasant (visual arts), Jason Gourdine of Moncks Corner (media production), Leasharn Hopkins of Columbia (media screenwriting) and Elizabeth Keller of Conway (craft). Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of our state’s exceptional individual artists, selected through a highly competitive, anonymous process based solely on artistic excellence. This exhibition is supported by the South Carolina Arts Commission, South Carolina Arts Foundation, and First Citizens Bank. The Jones- Carter Gallery is located at 105 Henry Street, Lake City, S.C. 29560.   The gallery is open Tuesday- Saturday 11 a.m – 5 p.m and Sunday 1 – 5  p.m. Find out more about the Fellows. View the complete list of 50th Anniversary exhibitions. Image: Elizabeth Keller, Penjing Tea #5 with 3 Cups

New this year – Verner Award nomination process has moved online

(Image: Quentin Baxter of Charleston receiving the 2017 Verner Award in the Artist category from Gov. Henry McMaster and S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz.) 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 now a simple online process  — just upload a letter of nomination by Nov. 1. 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 and submission instructions online.

SC.Fellows exhibition celebrates exceptional artists

SC.Fellows Part I, a retrospective exhibition of the South Carolina Arts Commission's visual arts and craft fellows, is on view in two Columbia locations through Sept. 17.  701 Center for Contemporary Art and the McMaster Gallery at the University of South Carolina School of Visual Art and Design have partnered with the Arts Commission to present this exhibition as part of the S.C. Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary celebration. Several solo and group exhibitions of current and past fellows are being developed around the state. SC.Fellows is drawn from work of the 89 artists who have received fellowships since the program launched in 1976. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. “The 50th anniversary of the South Carolina Arts Commission provides an ideal opportunity to survey the breadth and depth of art made in South Carolina,” says New York art critic and author Eleanor Heartney, who curated SC.Fellows Part I & II. “The recipients of the award were selected solely on the basis of artistic merit, and as the works reveal, they work in media ranging from ceramic, papermaking and textiles to painting, sculpture, photography, installation and assemblage. The work is equally diverse in content. The fellowship winners present private worlds, wrestle with social and political issues, explore the expressive potential of abstraction, and celebrate the complexities and beauties of the natural world.” Heartney is a contributing editor for Art in America magazine and the author of several books, including Art & Today (2008). In 2004 she curated Thresholds, the traveling exhibition of art from five Southern states organized by the S.C. Arts Commission. In 2009, she curated The State Art Collection: Contemporary Conversations, a two-part traveling exhibition organized by the commission and 701 CCA. SC.Fellows Part II takes place in spring 2018 at 701 CCA and Benedict College Henry Ponder Gallery.  The exhibition is supported in part by First Citizens. 701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street (2nd floor).  During exhibitions, hours are Wed–Sat, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun, 1 - 5 p.m. The McMaster Gallery is located at 1615 Senate St. During exhibitions, hours are Mon–Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Find out about other 50th Anniversary Fellowship exhibitions.

Literary and theatre artists invited to apply for fellowships

Application deadline is November 1. The South Carolina Arts Commission is accepting applications for the next round of Individual Artist Fellowships. South Carolina artists working in prose, poetry, acting or playwriting are invited to apply for the 2019 awards. Each fellow receives an unrestricted $5,000 award. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process by out-of-state panelists and are based on artistic excellence only. The awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. Fellowships are awarded in four disciplines each year. Find complete guidelines and application instructions online. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2017. Related: Who won the most recent round of fellowships?