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.

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...

Free workshop, lunch coming soon for coastal S.C. artisans

Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your business? Is your business in the creative or cultural heritage industries? Are you an entrepreneur whose business intersects with, or has the potential to intersect with the tourism industry? Are you an artist looking to start a business? Are you tired of questions and ready for answers?  This is the meeting you must attend…lunch is included! Seating is limited to 40, so register today.

  • DATE:            Saturday, April 14, 2018
  • TIME:            9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • WHERE:      901-905 Front Street, Georgetown, SC 29440
  • COST:            None. (That’s right. Free!)
Meet representatives from the Arts Commission, City of Georgetown Economic Development, CommunityWorks, Conway Innovation Center, Georgetown Innovation Center, and SCORE, along with other organizations that provide resources for small business and entrepreneurs. Network! Ask questions, provide input, and participate in planning to access business resources that can help your business grow. Click here to take a business / entrepreneur needs assessment survey that will help us help you before, during and after the meeting. This meeting is open to entrepreneurs located in Georgetown and Horry counties, but also includes the contiguous counties of Berkeley, Charleston, Dillon, Marion, and Williamsburg. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs!

What else?

Registration is required; walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Limit 2 registrants per business/organization. A registration-ticket will be sent 3 days prior to the meeting via the e-mail address you provide. Register now: Click here to register for this meeting. Registration closes April 9, 2018. This meeting is being facilitated by the SC Arts Commission. Sponsors of the meeting include the SC African American Heritage Commission, creator of the Greenbook of SC; Georgetown Innovation Center; Cultural Council of Georgetown County; Coastal Carolina University; and the City of Georgetown Economic Development Office.
For more information contact Joy Young, SCAC program director for Artists Ventures Initiative and ArtsGrowSC, at jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Scholarships available for Spartanburg arts students

Chapman Cultural Center doesn't just offer Youth Art Galleries, Artist in Residences and Muse Machine Performances in 6 out of 7 Spartanburg School Districts. They also want to help rising freshmen pay for college! The application deadline is April 13th for one or more $1,000 Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarships, awarded annually to Spartanburg students pursuing college degrees in the visual or performing arts. Applications are being accepted now by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg at Chapman Cultural Center. The annual award is funded by the Mary Wheeler Davis Memorial Fund for the Promotion of the Arts. Also available is Chapman Cultural Center's own Peggy Gignilliat Scholarship in Strings award, available to one Spartanburg County student each year who plays a strings instrument (violin, viola, cello, or double bass).  The winner receives one academic year of private lessons at Converse College’s Lawson Academy of the Arts, up to a limit of $1000. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of musical talent, and the recipient is selected by audition. More information on these scholarships is available by clicking here.

State to honor five with 2018 Folk Heritage Awards


  • Four artists and one advocate selected
  • Program managed jointly by McKissick Museum at USC and South Carolina Arts Commission
  • Awards to be presented May 2 at South Carolina Arts Awards Day
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Five South Carolina recipients are to be honored by the General Assembly with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, presented annually to recognize work that keeps the state’s traditional art forms alive. The following five recipients – four artists and one advocate – are being recognized as practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature, and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. The 2018 recipients are:
  • The Blackville Community Choir (Blackville): A Capella Spiritual and Gospel Singing
  • Michael King (Greenville): Piedmont blues
  • Henrietta Snype (Mount Pleasant): Sweetgrass basketry
  • Deacon James Garfield Smalls (St. Helena Island): Traditional spirituals
  • Dr. Stephen Criswell (Lancaster): Folklife & Traditional Arts Advocacy
“The work of proliferating our state’s unique cultural heritage is an important one in an age of constant change,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “The intrinsic value of these treasured art forms is the story each tells of where and who we’ve been, and are, as a culture. We should all be grateful for the work these award recipients do on our behalf.” Jean Laney Harris Jean Laney Harris The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is named for the late State Rep. Jean Laney Harris of Cheraw, respected as an outspoken advocate and ardent supporter of the arts and cultural resources of the state. Up to four artists or organizations and one advocate may receive awards each year. The program is managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at USC. Community members make nominations to recognize exemplary artistic achievement/advocacy. An independent advisory panel appointed by the lieutenant governor and house speaker selects the recipients, who must be living and practicing in the state. The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s awards, sponsored by Colonial Life, are presented at South Carolina Arts Awards Day on Wednesday, May 2 in a morning ceremony at the State House. The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). South Carolina artists’ work will be on sale to support the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and available for purchase through SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696. For more information about the Folk Heritage Awards, visit the McKissick Museum website at http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/mckissickmuseum or the S.C. Arts Commission website, SouthCarolinaArts.com.
  • Blackville Community Choir (Artist Category) was formed in 1965 as the Macedonia Tabernacle Choir. In 1976, the choir changed its name to The Blackville Community Choir. The group expanded to include members from different congregations and continued to sing at churches, festivals, funerals, weddings, banquets, public schools, and college graduations. Choir members have been advocates for the arts, organizing an annual program featuring visual and performing artists, collectors, crafters, entrepreneurs, culinary artists, and storytellers.
  • J. Michael King (Artist Category) is a composer, writer, teacher, and accomplished Piedmont blues musician with an insatiable love of traditional South Carolina music. The Piedmont blues, a unique regional distillation of the blues, blossomed in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia near the beginning of the 20th century. Influenced by ragtime music and early banjo techniques, Piedmont blues involves a light, finger-picking style and steady rhythms. A popular instructor, King teaches the Piedmont blues throughout the region. For over 30 years, he has mentored musicians of all ages in and around upstate South Carolina.
  • Even at 98, Deacon James Garfield Smalls (Artist Category) sings songs dating back to the mid-19th century and stands as one the most important active Gullah singers and cultural ambassadors. Smalls received musical training from B.H. Washington, a member of the St. Helena Quartet and music director at St. Joseph Baptist Church. Smalls sang in Washington’s renowned community choir The Hundred Voices, and later led the ensemble. He also served for many years as director of the senior choir at St. Joseph Baptist Church. Beyond his early musical career, Smalls served in the Pacific with the U.S. Navy’s Seabees during World War II. Over the past three decades, Deacon Smalls has led the singing at Penn Center Community Sings, various island churches, and music festivals.
  • Henrietta Snype (Artist Category) is a Mount Pleasant native and third generation sweetgrass basket maker. Snype’s work has been featured at venues in the Lowcountry and in museums throughout the U.S., including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art. Schools, museum shops, business owners, and private art collectors have commissioned works from her. She conducts workshops for public and private schools throughout Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and does countless demonstrations for all ages.
  • Dr. Stephen Criswell (Advocacy Category) has worked in folklore and anthropology for more than 20 years. His most prominent contribution is his advocacy work for Native American culture, focusing on Catawba potters and contemporary expressive traditions. In 2005, the University of South Carolina Lancaster hired Criswell and challenged him to build and direct its Native American Studies program. After 13 years, the Native American Studies Center (NASC) houses the largest fully intact collection of Catawba pottery in existence and an extensive archival collection. Its new facility has welcomed 30,000 visitors from all over the world since 2012, raising awareness of the history, culture and traditions of Native people of the South.

ABOUT THE FOLKLIFE AND TRADITIONAL ARTS PROGRAM The Folklife and Traditional Arts Program is designed to encourage, promote, conserve and honor the diverse community-based art forms that make South Carolina distinct. The major initiatives of the program serve both established and emerging cultural groups that call South Carolina home. ABOUT MCKISSICK MUSEUM The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and university holidays. For more information, please call at 803.777.7251 or visit http://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/artsandsciences/mckissick_museum/. 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.

New course to coach creatives on starting a business

Today's lunchtime read about creativity posted by the S.C. Arts Alliance on Facebook was nothing if not well-timed: we've got a teaser for creatives today. The Arts Commission and Midlands Technical College will be partnering soon to present a 10-week FastTrac course on channeling your creativity into a business that you run! YOU can be the boss of you. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone in the arts or creative industries (arts, history, heritage, tourism, etc.). More information coming soon. PS: It will only cost $75. And you could win $500. PPS: It’s online, and provides CEU credits.

Interested? Reach out to the SCAC’s Joy Young for more: jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Re-enactors to tell story of African-American women in Civil War

Coming this Friday is a show-stopping event that deserves your attention. The South Carolina African-American Heritage Foundation is presenting an event that uniquely bridges Black and Women’s history months: a reenactment of African American women during the Civil War era. On Friday morning at 10:30, Female Reenactors of Distinction (FREED) will bring to life untold stories of struggle, strength, and success of African American Women who contributed to our American history. The reenactment will be performed at the South Carolina Archives and History Center (8301 Parklane Rd., Columbia). It’s free, but you must register to attend first. The South Carolina Arts Commission is sponsoring this event.

Arts Commission grants available for those preserving S.C. cultural traditions

Update, 14 March: The deadline is extended to Thursday, March 22.

For Immediate Release: 1 March 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) welcomes applicants for its Folklife and Traditional Arts Grants, which help ensure the state’s living traditions remain vibrant and visible. Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity gained by one’s belonging to a particular group and could be characterized by family, geographic, tribal, occupational, religious, or ethnic connections, among others. As expressions of a living culture, traditional arts have been handed down from one generation to the next and reflect the group’s shared experiences, aesthetics, or values. (At right: Storage Container with Lid, 1993, by Marguerite Middleton, State Art Collection) The SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts grants – up to $6,000 – support non-profit organizations seeking to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state. Priority for funding is given to projects that provide recognition and support for South Carolina's traditional art forms and their practitioners. The types of work or projects funded can include the presentation or documentation of traditional art or folklife, cultural surveys, conservation projects that seek to keep cultural practices vibrant and visible, and more. The deadline to apply for one of these grants is Thursday, March 15. Information is available at SouthCarolinaArts.com, or from Folklife and Traditional Arts Program Director Laura Marcus Green by calling 803.734.8764 or emailing lgreen@arts.sc.gov.
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.

Another win at Poetry Out Loud; repeat champ makes Charleston proud

It's a South Carolina first. State Poetry Out Loud winner Janae Claxton (center) receives her trophy from South Carolina Arts Commission representatives Zuri Wilson-Seymore, program coordinator (left), and Ashley Kerns Brown, arts education director (right). This past weekend, Janae Claxton of Charleston became the first back-to-back champion of the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition, which is organized by the South Carolina Arts Commission. A senior at First Baptist Church School in Charleston, Claxton was judged the winner after three rounds against five other South Carolina finalists Saturday afternoon at Richland Library Main Branch in Columbia. She won an all-expenses-paid trip for herself and a chaperone as she represents the state in the Poetry Out Loud national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington. She also won $200. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.

  • Taylor Elisse Wade of Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster was first runner up, winning a $100 prize for herself and a $200 stipend for her school to spend on poetry books.
  • Alyssa Stone of Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant was second runner up.
Four first-time judges were part of the Poetry Out Loud state finals: Al Black, Dr. Ray McManus, Dr. Charlene Spearen, and Dr. Ernest Williamson III. SCETV's Beryl Dakers served as event host. Claxton recited three poems from memory on her way to the victory: “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams in the first round and “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late, Famous General” by Jonathan Swift in the second. Her judges’ score advanced her to the third and final round, where she recited Sharon Olds' “I Go Back to May 1937

Grants Roundup – Deadlines for the week of March 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 on everyone's radars. Grants are merit and/or need based; They are not for a select few. Every last person at SCAC takes seriously the role of being a steward of public funding, which is appropriated to go right back out from where it came to make lives better. So to that end, The Hub wants to reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then include what's on the horizon.

This 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!

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.

Six students readying for ‘Poetry Out Loud’ state finals Saturday

Six South Carolina high school students will compete in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – this Saturday, March 10, 3 p.m. at the Richland Library Main Branch (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). Janae ClaxtonThe S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the competition to state high schools for 12 years running. In 2017, around 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties participated. School competition winners competed against students in their district to move on and compete in January’s regional finals. The following six state regional winners, three from each of two regions, compete Saturday for the opportunity to be the South Carolina representative in the national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.:

  • Grant Butler (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Janae Claxton (pictured - First Baptist Church High School in Charleston)
  • Sha’Kaila Stewart (Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook)
  • Alyssa Stone (Wando High School in Mount Pleasant)
  • Alexia Story (Buford High School in Lancaster)
  • Taylor Elisse Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize. Contestant Janae Claxton is the 2017 S.C. Poetry Out Loud winner. Update, 12:25 p.m. March 8: First alternate Alyssa Stone will replace Keegan Dustin, who is unable to perform, on the program.

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.