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.

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?

Reserve your space at the Statewide Arts Conference!

Guided by the theme "No Time Like The Future," we’re gearing up for an outstanding Statewide Arts Conference September 14 and 15 at the State Museum in Columbia. The conference features two national keynote speakers and top-notch sessions, the opening reception for the new State Art Collection exhibition, Eclipsing 50, AND customized museum experiences created just for our conference. We've also added a pre-conference session that is included in your registration fee of $75 ($65 for two or more people who register at the same time.) Register today to reserve your space. Conference highlights:

  • Two national keynote speakers - we welcome two highly regarded keynote speakers, Dr. Jane Chu, (left) Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, and Elizabeth Merritt, (right) Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums and Vice President for Strategic Foresight, American Alliance of Museums. Merritt will also lead a session during the conference.
  • Opening reception for new exhibition -  Eclipsing 50: The State Art Collection 1967 - 2017 was created to celebrate the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary and includes more than 80 pieces from the collection. The exhibition focuses on the spirit of dynamism and leaps of artistic faith of our state’s changing art landscape and spans work from the last five decades. The State Art Collection was established in 1967 as one of the first programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission.
  • Pre-conference session - Join the S.C. Arts Commission staff Thursday, Sept. 14 from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the State Library, 1500 Senate St., to find out about the Arts Commission's new and updated programs, opportunities and grants, including The Art of Community:Rural SC, ArtsGrowSC (a new loan program for artists) and our new grant application platform.
  • Conference location - we're taking advantage of our unique venue by designing museum experiences for you - our conference attendees. Choose from several options created and presented by museum staff.
  • The Vista Cultural District - explore Columbia's only state-designated cultural district during lunch on your own. Numerous restaurants and arts venues are a quick walk from the State Museum.
Conference schedule overview (Except for Thursday's pre-conference, all sessions -- including registration -- take place at the State Museum.) Thursday, September 14
  • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Session (State Library)
  • 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Registration (State Museum)
  • 6:00 - 7:15 p.m.  Opening keynote address - Elizabeth Merritt
  • 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Opening Reception for the 50th Anniversary State Art Collection - Eclipsing 50
Friday, September 15
  • 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Networking & coffee
  • 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round One
  • 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round Two
  • 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own in The Vista
  • 2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Keynote address - Jane Chu
  • 3:45 - 5:00 p.m. Museum experiences
A sample of sessions and speakers
  • Peering Into the Financial Future
  • South Carolina’s Creative Cluster - the Arts and Economic Development
  • Transformation: Creating Asset-Based Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
  • NASCAR, Improv and Advocacy?
  • Building Your Arts Community (for artists)
  • Combating Resistance in Your Art Practice (for artists)
  • Recycle and Renew: Hands-On Art Making
  • Moonshot! Exploring the State Art Collection in Eclipsing 50
  • Have Exhibition, Will Travel
  • Over the Moon - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Museums
  • Planetarium Potpourri
Area hotels are offering special rates  for conference attendees. Find out more and register today! Wells FargoThank you to Wells Fargo, our Statewide Arts Conference sponsor.

The rise of public art in South Carolina

From the Charleston Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker; photos by Brad Nettles and Adam Parker (Image above: This mural is located at the corner of Huger and Hanover streets in Charleston.)

In West Ashley’s Avondale neighborhood, an alley behind the shops and bars near Magnolia Street has become an outdoor exhibition space filled with large and small murals. Artists have painted images ranging from an enormous turkey vulture to small cartoon-like figures on the sides of the buildings. On the Charleston peninsula, three murals by Shepard Fairey and several more on Huger Street by a variety of artists can be viewed. David Boatwright’s work — part art, part commercial signage — is scattered throughout the downtown area. In Columbia, a growing number of murals and sculptural pieces are adding a colorful dimension to a city so enthusiastic about public art that it has a dedicated nonprofit organization whose main purpose is to facilitate more of it.
This deliberate approach adopted by Columbia now is taking hold in the Holy City where efforts are underway to introduce more curated public art to the shared environment, and not just downtown. One advocate is even calling for a “1 percent for art” program that would set aside money in every public building construction budget for the purpose of procuring artwork. “I love public art,” said Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art. “It does serve a vital role in terms of meeting people where they are. It’s in the public way; you have no choice.” Sloan thinks public art is important enough to warrant more consistent support from patrons, civic leaders and private interests. Mostly recently he helped arrange the public display of five Fairey works in conjunction with a 2014 Halsey exhibition. (Three of those pieces remain.) Sloan also curated a big 2016 project in the Upstate called “Seeing Spartanburg” which featured nine outdoor light installations by Erwin Reidl. “Innovative, temporary public art can spur creative thought,” Sloan said. “That has unintended positive consequences.” It democratizes art, giving residents a chance to appreciate it outside the often rarified museum or gallery environment, he said. It also inspires dialogue about the urban landscape, city life, acute issues confronting the community and more. “The role of public art is to help us formulate better questions,” he said. In Columbia, a nonprofit established in 2012 that is almost entirely funded by the city has worked to cultivate public art, commission projects and establish a procurement and review process. One Columbia typically partners with private donors (individuals and companies) on these projects, according to its director Lee Snelgrove. To date, it has been involved in about 24 mural, sculpture and installation projects, 15 of which have come to fruition just this year. A mural in Columbia by the Milagros Collective, made for the Indie Grits Festival earlier this year. (Adam Parker/Staff) Several murals and sculptures are located downtown near Main Street, providing an important dimension to the city’s ongoing revitalization, Snelgrove and other civic leaders said. Public art also is helping to connect the Main Street area with the Vista neighborhood across Assembly Street, and it's being embraced by the Richland County Library, too. “It’s kind of all coming to a point where people want more coordination,” Snelgrove said. When an opportunity comes along, One Columbia hashes out some basic details with the organization sponsoring the art; helps to identify an appropriate location, coordinating with city planners; then assembles its public art selection committee. The committee, which consists of an artist, architect, developer, curator and others, meets quarterly, Snelgrove said. They issue a call for artists, assess submissions and determine a short list of candidates. They flesh out the project plan and budget, which includes a 20 percent earmark that goes into an art maintenance fund for use by the city. Each project takes about a year to fully implement on average. The process can be adapted for art projects on private property, Snelgrove said. The response has been positive. One Columbia might receive a few complaints about the aesthetics or design of a particular work, but no one has expressed any dissatisfaction about the concept itself, the process or the fact that the cityscape now includes numerous artistic landmarks, Snelgrove said. The city has been an essential partner, helping with site preparation, installations, safety issues and more. When one project required the creative painting of crosswalks, the city balked at first. Would it endanger pedestrians? But when they witnessed the results (no one was confused about where and how they trod), city officials became enthusiastic supporters of the quirky crosswalk initiative. “There is an appetite for (public art), but they don’t always know they have an appetite for it until they see it,” Snelgrove said. Lately, One Columbia has turned its attention to places outside the downtown area, such as the Five Points neighborhood, the Vista neighborhood and the Columbia Bethlehem Community Center a mile and a half north of downtown. It's also involved in the "Southern Lights" project, a laser installation at the Congaree River. An installation at the Richland Library (Provided) Meanwhile, the Richland County Public Library has embraced Sloan’s concept of a “1 percent for art” program. Currently in the midst of an extensive facilities improvement project, funded by a $59 million bond referendum passed in 2013, the library network is ensuring that each of 11 branches has at least one commissioned work of art, according to Emily Stoll, media relations specialist. The four-story central library on Assembly Street includes a gallery space temporarily showcasing the works that will eventually find a permanent place in each of the branches. Most of the artists are local, Stoll said. The art project is part of a larger effort to transform the library system into a robust public space. “It’s a hub of information, but also a conversation hub, a place where people can learn and share,” Stoll said. And they do. The main branch soon will include a new department of studio services where artists and writers can work. Another floor will be devoted to children and teenagers. Another level will have research and career materials. Think of it as a community center, Stoll said, one in which art plays a central role. Art also plays a central role for nine days each April in Lake City, the small town in Florence County that hosts the big — and growing — Artfields event, a multifaceted, multidiscipline showcase and competition. And in Myrtle Beach, an effort was launched a few years ago to improve the area with public art. "The Myrtle Beach Downtown Public Art Initiative was created to lead the process of establishing physical and performing arts in the (Downtown Redevelopment Corporation) District," its website states.

Public art evolves

In Charleston, public art efforts so far have been ad hoc. The Halsey Institute coordinated Fairey’s mural-making. The nonprofit Enough Pie, which is concerned with responsible development and arts advocacy on the upper peninsula, arranged for the murals on Huger Street. There are a couple of remnants of Spoleto Festival USA’s landmark 1991 public art show called “Places with a Past,” the most prominent being David Hammons’ odd-shaped “House of the Future” on America Street. Some of the mural art in Avondale is graffiti-like, some fantastical, some representative. (Brad Nettles/staff) The murals in Avondale were largely facilitated by the chART Outdoor Initiative & Gallery and include an enormous turkey vulture by the well-known Italian street artist Hitnes. Hitnes happens to be in town working on an exhibition to be mounted at the Halsey in the fall of 2018. He said he got his start 20 years ago making rogue art — unauthorized graffiti, but after a few years graduated to street art that required more planning and cooperation with others. He has painted large murals all over the world and gained a reputation as a leader of the street art movement. In recent years, Hitnes’ work has taken a naturalistic turn. His Halsey show is called “The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon.” Hitnes spent three months traveling through the eastern half of the United States, following the ornithological trail Audubon forged in 1820-22. He collected bird samples (photographic), make a video documentary and created art along the way. One of the murals he painted was the Charleston turkey vulture. Another was a barn owl at a friend’s residence.
Hitnes said the nature of painted public art — which is clearly divided into two categories, graffiti and street art — has changed significantly in the past 20 years. Graffiti is unauthorized yet relies on strict codes and rules, he said. It’s the same everywhere. Street art is illustrative, comprehensible, often commissioned. With the advent of social media, the availability of digital tools like Photoshop, the emphasis on graphic design and the introduction of moneyed interests, the public art enterprise changed, and along with it the way galleries work, the way street artists are treated and the way art is perceived. “Street art became curated, desirable, more like contemporary art,” he said. Now, one local nonprofit is seeking to become a public art facilitator, not unlike One Columbia. The Charleston Parks Conservancy has been awarded a $50,000 National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant for the purpose of installing artwork along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. Think of it as a pilot program, said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Parks Conservancy. The organization, now 10 years old, has worked closely with the city to improve its greenspaces. Its last big capital project was the renovation of Colonial Lake. The Parks Conservancy remains dedicated to this kind of work, Lesesne said. “But we felt it was time for us to expand our horizons a bit,” he said. He and his colleagues hope to become standard-bearers for public art, facilitators akin to One Columbia, advocates who argue that engagement with art enhances the park experience and improves quality of life, he said. “It’s kind of a void in our city, so that was something we thought we could catalyze some attention around,” Lesesne said. Half of the NEA grant will be spent on planning, the other half on art. “Number one, we want to incorporate an artist into the master-planning process and have that artist help us with the design,” as well as identifying other artists who might participate, good sites and necessary infrastructure, he said. “Number two is to install pieces of art along the greenway.” The effort should take less than a year, Lesesne said. It is meant “to show people what can be done and that more is coming, both on the bikeway and all over the city.” For example, Lesesne said, one other piece of public art —coming to Hampton Park in the fall — is a sculpture by Joe Dreher of Decatur, Georgia, whose work was featured in Lake City's Artfields this year. Scott Watson, executive director of the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, said his goal is to define a sustainable public art process based on the Parks Conservancy project and other models, such as One Columbia’s. It’s useful, he said, to take into account the recent dustup in Mount Pleasant over a Sergio Odeith mural at Moe’s Southwest Grill that some town officials initially took to be a sign and therefore not allowed. Watson said public art is a good way for communities to express their aspirations and initiate change, especially in areas in need of improvement, such as West Ashley. “Why wouldn’t we want public art to be a crucible for how revitalization can happen?” And not everything needs to be a mural, he added. “We could have light installations, sound installations, an eclipse-related project — if we had a process to get it done,” Watson said. “We (at the Office of Cultural Affairs) would like to help frame out and organize a structure that’s sustainable and scalable. We don’t want it to be arbitrary. At end of the day, it should be something that pushes boundaries.”

Chapman Cultural Center seeking corporate giving manager

Apply by August 11. Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg is seeking a corporate giving manager who loves Spartanburg and the arts. He/she must thrive on connecting people with great causes. Making calls and meeting strangers in local businesses is a must. Chapman Cultural Center is a fun and exciting work environment that produces meaningful work for the entire community. Corporate giving manager is responsible for assisting with the fundraising of the United Arts Annual Fund Campaign and works closely with the senior development staff in creating and implementing an annual fundraising and stewardship plan with goals, objectives, and strategies for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting corporate gifts. Description of work/primary job factors: Fundraising

  • Actively cultivate and nurture relationships with current and potential corporate donors in the Upstate region looking for revenue growth and increased corporate donor investment
  • Collaborate with the development staff to design and execute United Arts Fund campaign collateral including brochure, online giving campaigns, and direct mail solicitations, etc.
  • Assist in managing ROIs of direct mail solicitations and recommend potential opportunities for additional direct mail campaigns
  • Manage donor recognition and stewardship program to retain donors and encourage increased engagement in the arts
  • Work with the development staff and marketing and communications director to convey our mission, value, and relevance in a manner that is highly compelling in all of our communications and marketing materials
  • Lead organization to increase donor retention with special emphasis on first-time corporate donors and lapsed corporate donors
  • Assist with the development committee of the board of trustees to successfully implement United Arts Fund annual campaign, stewardship activities, and events
Special events
  • Assist development team with Cultural Champions luncheon, Peggy Gignilliat reception, and other donor recognition events
  • Attend community cultural events and represent United Arts Fund Campaign at festivals and community events
Annual giving campaign administration
  • Utilize Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge software and target analytics to support strategic donor cultivation and solicitation; and to prepare campaign management reports, campaign forecasting, prospect tracking, etc.
  • Work with development associate to insure accurate and timely gift record-keeping, management of database, and all records, files, gift processing, pledge reminder and donor acknowledgements
  • Provide support for the president, development staff, and campaign chairs, committee members and other campaign leadership as well as the board of trustees. Attend development committee related meetings, scheduled board meetings and monthly executive committee meetings
Salary range: $30,000 - $40,000 depending upon experience. Find more details and application instructions online.

SC Humanities invites applications to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America

Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. SC Humanities announces a special South Carolina tour of Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small cultural organizations and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations. The exhibit will tour six South Carolina communities from September 2018 – June 2019. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. Applications are due by September 1, 2017. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development, and more. Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to envision their futures by exploring the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition will prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred. Dr. Randy Akers, executive director of SC Humanities, is pleased to be bringing Crossroads to South Carolina: “SC Humanities is one of the first three states to host this new Smithsonian exhibit, joining Illinois and Florida.  I grew up in a farming village of 600 people in rural Illinois and have seen the devastating changes as small farms collapse, industry moves out, young people move to the city, and schools close. South Carolina is such a rural state, and its numerous small communities have suffered the past decades. Yet there are people, values, and cultural and historical assets that offer hope.  The exhibit and programs which accompany it will challenge us to think about the future. What can we do to bring new life to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in our state? This is a timely and extremely important exhibit addressing one of the most pressing social issues of this century.” Crossroads: Change in Rural America has been made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. Crossroads is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Find the application online. For more information about Crossroads: Change in Rural America in South Carolina, contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or tjwallace@schumanities.org.

Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County seeking executive director

Application deadline: August 21 The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, located in historic Camden, S.C., is a 501-c-3 nonprofit performing arts center serving Kershaw County as a cultural center for entertainment and education in the performing and visual arts. Founded in 1974, the campus has three main buildings: The Bassett Building with a 284-seat auditorium and smaller black box, performing arts wing; The Daniels Education Building (studios, classrooms); and the historic Douglas-Reed House. The executive director provides overall artistic and administrative leadership and is responsible for achieving the Center’s goals for artistic excellence, audience development, fundraising, sponsorship and business relations development, financial sustainability, and community engagement. The director sets the artistic vision, including the selection of performances, artists, and other creative and educational programming. The position is a full-time, salaried position with a competitive compensation package. The director’s duties include, but are not limited to, hiring and managing employees and contractors, fundraising and development strategies and implementation, and budget management, as well as developing the season of performances and programs. The candidate should have excellent written and oral communications, interpersonal and customer service skills, and a strong ability to multi-task with organizational skills, as well as knowledge and proficiency in computer and social media skills. He/she should be able to exhibit strategic thinking, diplomacy, flexibility, and creativity. Applicants should submit resume/vita to include qualifications and experience. Apply by e-mail or by mail:

  • fackcsearch@gmail.com (application must be received by 11:59 pm August 21)
  • The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County E.D. Search 1201 Lyttleton Street Camden SC 29021 (mailed applications must be postmarked by August 21.)
Position will remain open until filled.

SC Arts Commission seeking communications director

Application deadline: September 18 The South Carolina Arts Commission seeks an energetic, creative and resourceful communications director with a successful record of managing public relations and communications programs and a commitment to public service for the citizens of South Carolina. The communications director must be willing to take the initiative to accomplish tasks, manage projects and programs and solve problems. Our ideal candidate will share our mission and values, have a love of the arts and be excited to help lead the agency's efforts to communicate our programs, services and activities to a range of audiences. Duties:

  • Plans, directs and manages communication strategies for the agency's public relations, marketing and advertising efforts designed to promote and publicize agency goals, objectives and activities.
  • Develops and implements a comprehensive communications plan that elevates public awareness and visibility of the agency statewide, regionally and nationally.
  • Directs the planning, development, editorial content, production and evaluation of educational, informational and promotional communications tactics through print, internet, social media, traditional media and other channels.
  • Produces communications products and resources that promote, market, and support agency programs and services.
  • Manages media relations and develops and disseminates news releases and other information to appropriate media outlets.
  • Manages the agency's websites and social media channels, working collaboratively with staff to produce content.
  • Assists executive management in coordination of long-range and strategic planning processes.
  • Assists and advises Arts Commission board, executive management and other staff in developing and presenting information and representing the agency to the public.
  • Manages the agency's compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and develops policies and procedures for releasing agency information.
  • Responds to requests for information from public, media and staff.
  • Delivers speeches and presents programs to various organizations.
  • Develops and manages the public information budget.
  • Attends legislative, public and advocacy group meetings as appropriate.
  • Advises agency constituents on communications issues as appropriate.
View the complete list of requirements and find out how to apply.

Upstate Musicians Registry aims to create database on local performers

From The Greenville News Article by Donna Isbell Walker; photo by Bart Boatwright

The city of Spartanburg is looking to make a name for itself as a music city.

The Downtown Music Trail offers a look at the singers, songwriters and bands that Spartanburg has spawned over the past several decades, and the Downtown Cultural District was launched last fall as a center for entertainment events, art galleries, music venues and more.

Now, Chapman Cultural Center is putting together a registry of musicians with ties to Spartanburg in particular and the Upstate in general.

“Chapman Cultural Center is the main local arts agency here in Spartanburg, so what we’re trying to do is live up to our mission, which is basically to provide cultural leadership, and that includes music,” said Rachel Williams, director of marketing and communications for Chapman Cultural Center. “So we want to be a resource, not only to community organizations, but also the musicians that we serve, to make sure we are identifying them in the community,”

Since Chapman Cultural Center opened up the application process, around 40 musicians have signed up, “and it’s growing daily,” Williams said.

The registry focuses on musicians and bands based in Spartanburg, but performers from other cities in the Upstate may also submit an application to be considered, she said.

One purpose of the registry is so that organizations or individuals looking for a performer of a certain genre, or a recommendation for a local musician or band, can receive a list of recommendations that fit their request.

“It’s about putting musicians to work. That’s our main goal, our No. 1 reason why we want to create the musicians registry,” Williams said. “And then we are getting ready to launch, at the beginning of August, our Downtown Cultural District programming, which will essentially be 12 different gigs for street musicians Wednesday through Saturday in the cultural district here in Spartanburg. And we’ll be doing our own hiring from that registry. And it just kind of streamlines things for us. We just want to make sure we’re including all types of music, and we’re representing all of the music that’s available here in Spartanburg.”

The Downtown Cultural District was launched in November 2016, and one of its goals has been to make sure that downtown Spartanburg has plenty of entertainment events and options.

“The music programming that we’re getting ready to do … was kind of the the jumping-off point. We needed this for our own personal use, but then we realized this could actually be something greater than that. And so it could be a community resource as well.”

Eventually, the registry may be accessible to the public, but in the beginning, someone who is looking for a local musician can contact Chapman Cultural Center to get the info, Williams said.

For more info, go to www.chapmanculturalcenter.org.