Jason Rapp

CARES Act funding announced for 7 S.C. NEA grantees

Awards total $350,000


Washington — The National Endowment for the Arts announces the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”


These awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. Overall funding is divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Seven NEA grantees in South Carolina received $50,000 grants each. They are:
  • Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) - Aiken
  • Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County - Camden
  • Spoleto Festival USA - Charleston
  • Columbia Film Society - Columbia
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawleys Island
  • Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) - Pickens
  • Hub City Writers Project - Spartanburg
  • View the full list of nationwide recipients by clicking here.

In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

From the beginning, the Arts Endowment has pursued both speed in making awards, and maintaining the agency’s reputation for organizational excellence. Just 12 days after President Trump signed the CARES Act legislation, the Arts Endowment posted guidelines for direct funding applicants. In less than three weeks, the agency had announced awards to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. This press release marks less than 14 weeks since the legislation was made into law.

Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jason Rapp

SCAC announces four 2021 fellowship recipients

Individual excellence in writing, dance honored


for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Hard work and exceptional abilities are earning fellowships for four South Carolina artists practicing in the dance and writing disciplines from the South Carolina Arts Commission for fiscal year 2021.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors approved four $5,000 fellowships among several other FY21 grant awards to be announced at a later date. The SCAC’s four fellows are:
  • Sarah Blackman of Greenville County in prose,
  • John Pursley III of Greenville County for poetry,
  • Erin Bailey of Richland County for dance choreography,
  • and Tanya Wideman-Davis of Richland County for dance performance.
Individual artists residing in South Carolina full-time whose work covers prose, poetry, dance choreography, and dance performance were invited to apply last fall for fiscal year 2021 awards. Out-of-state panelists from each discipline reviewed applications and, based solely on blind reviews of anonymous work samples, recommend recipients of each $5,000 fellowship. “Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of exceptional South Carolina individual artists. Recognition from a fellowship lends artistic prestige and can often open doors to other resources and employment opportunities,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. A diverse group of panelists judged the nominees applying to the FY21 disciplines in which they work. The poetry panelists were Joseph Bathanti, writer-in-residence at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; author Sandra Beasley, an instructor with the University of Tampa who lives in Washington; and publisher Lucinda Clark, principal with the Poetry Matters Project in Augusta, Georgia. Author/educator Catherine Reid of Burnsville, North Carolina and Charlie Vazquez, a consultant in New York City, judged the prose applicants. Panelists of the dance performance applicants were Laurel Lawson of Atlanta, Georgia with Full Radius Dance and Tamara Nadel of Minneapolis, Minnesota with Ragamala Dance Company. Maura Garcia, principal of Maura Garcia Dance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Patrick Makuakane of San Francisco, California with Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu Dance Company served as panelists of the dance choreography applicants. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual arts, craft, media: production, and media: screenwriting will be honored in fiscal year 2022. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the SCAC. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/.

About the FY21 Individual Artist Fellowship Recipients

Sarah Blackman | Prose | Greenville County Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-centered public high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her poetry and prose have been published in a number of journals, magazines, and anthologies and she has been featured on the Poetry Daily website. Blackman is the co-fiction editor of Diagram, the online journal of experimental prose, poetry and schematics; and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers she edits alongside her Fine Arts Center students. Her story collection Mother Box, published by FC2 in 2013, was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. Her novel, Hex, was published by FC2 in April 2016 and in 2018 she joined its board. John Pursley III | Poetry | Greenville County John Pursley III teaches contemporary literature and poetry at Clemson University, where he also directs the annual Clemson Literary Festival. He is the author of the poetry collection, If You Have Ghosts (Zone 3 Press), as well as the chapbooks, A Story without Poverty (South Carolina Poetry Initiative) and A Conventional Weather (New Michigan Press), among others. In addition, he works as the poetry editor of Burnside Review and is an assistant editor for the South Carolina Review. His poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, AGNI, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Erin Bailey | Dance: Choreography | Richland County Erin Bailey is a South Carolina native who discovered her passion for dance at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville. She has degrees from Columbia College (BFA) and Texas Women’s University (MFA) and has her certification and licensure in massage. She is an adjunct dance professor at Columbia and Coker colleges and the University of South Carolina. Bailey has worked and performed with Columbia area dance companies since 2004 and has performed nationally and internationally at festivals like Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston. In 2018 she founded and remains artistic director of Moving Body Dance Company. She has twice received awards for her choreography work. Photo by Jesse Scroggins. Tanya Wideman-Davis | Dance: Performance | Richland County Tanya Wideman-Davis is the co-director of Wideman Davis Dance and is on faculty as associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies. With an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, she completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012). Tanya has danced with many world-renowned companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet NY, and as guest artist with Ballet Memphis, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and Quorum Ballet (Portugal).  She received international acclaim as “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” from Dance Europe magazine. Photo by Sammy Lopez.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

Jason Rapp

South Arts Awards $323,000 among three grant categories

Four S.C. arts organizations to get funding


South Arts is awarding $323,000 in Performing Arts Touring, Literary Arts Touring, and Cross-Sector Impact grants in its nine-state service region.

Four arts organizations in South Carolina are among those receiving awards. Performing Arts and Literary Arts Touring grants support the presentation of out-of-state Southern artists for public engagements and residences, and Cross-Sector Impact Grants support collaborative, community-building projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society. These three granting programs, supported by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, connect arts organizations and communities with artists across South Arts' primary nine-state region of AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN. Applicants submitted proposals for each program throughout the spring, which were then reviewed by panels of peers and respected leaders in the field. While each grant has its own criteria and purpose, they collectively build towards South Arts' mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts. These grants are part of South Arts' annual cycle of programming, and organizations are encouraged to review the current guidelines as they plan current and upcoming work.
Performing Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern performing artists with up to $7,500. Applications for this program were due March 2, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Performing Arts Touring Grant recipients. Organizations in South Carolina receiving FY21 awards are:
  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina ($7,000)
  • Newberry Opera House Foundation ($5,100)
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Arts ($2,750)
Literary Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry with up to $2,500. Applications for this program were due May 1, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Literary Arts Touring Grant recipients. One organization in South Carolina is receiving an FY21 award:
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs ($1,750)
Cross-Sector Impact Grants harness the power of collaborative, community-building "arts and..." projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society with awards up to $15,000. Letters of Interest for this program were due March 30, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients. No South Carolina arts organization is receiving one of these grants in FY21. These grant programs are supported through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jason Rapp

Finalists named for 2020 South Carolina Novel Prize

Winner to be selected next week


The South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press announce the three books named finalists in the 2020 South Carolina Novel Competition.

The finalists are: Rebecca Helms of Murrells Inlet for her manuscript Singing in the Corn, Maris Lawyer of Easley for The Blue Line Down, and Susanne Parker of Spartanburg for her novel What Happens to the Children. The winner will be announced next week and will have her book published in 2021 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. Stephanie Powell Watts, was the judge of the biennial prize. Watts is the author of the novel, No One Is Coming to Save Us, and a short story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need, which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Her short fiction has been included in two volumes of the Best New Stories from the South anthology and honored with a Pushcart Prize. Born in the foothills of North Carolina, with a PhD from the University of Missouri and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she now lives with her husband and son in Pennsylvania where she is an associate professor at Lehigh University.

Rebecca D. Helms is a South Carolinian novelist, short-story writer, and poet who discovered her love of literature by the time she was only ten years old. Her style is influenced by the grit and grace of the Carolina low-country and her voice is an echo of the maternal village who raised her and showed her the way. Her first novel, Singing in the Corn, carries her readers deep inside every adventure with humor, fear, darkness, and joy—in many scenes, all at the same time. Ms. Helms is currently finalizing her Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and works abroad while writing her next novel.

Maris Lawyer grew up in Oconee County, South Carolina, and hasn’t strayed far since. Graduating with a degree in Creative Writing from Anderson University in 2017, she then moved into a tiny apartment in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband, where she spent her evenings hunched over a laptop writing stories. Maris and her husband (and two cats) are now homeowners in Easley, South Carolina, where she still catches a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains every day.

Susanne Parker is a Hub City native and graduate of the Converse College Creative Writing MFA. She loves to read journey and travel narratives when she isn’t embarking on some new adventure herself. Susanne works as a library assistant and spends her free time tending the single, enormous sunflower in her garden and snuggling with her pets. What Happens to the Children is her first novel.


The South Carolina Novel Prize is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, South Carolina Humanities, South Carolina State Library, and the College of Charleston's Masters of Fine Arts Creative Writing department. For more information about the Novel Competition, visit or call the South Carolina Arts Commission (SouthCarolinaArts.com | 803.734.8696); or Hub City Press (HubCity.org | 864.577.9349).

Jason Rapp

Public art promotes mask usage in Spartanburg

Public call for art also issued


In response to increased COVID-19 cases and as part of the Bringing Back the ‘Burg initiative, Chapman Cultural Center is partnering with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on a county-wide public art campaign that promotes the use of face masks by encouraging residents and businesses to place temporary face masks on public art.

The public is encouraged to participate by placing temporary face masks on pre-identified pieces of public art. Eligible pieces of art can be found here. Businesses may also participate by placing temporary masks on privately-owned visible works of art. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” Masks are available for purchase at many local pharmacy retailers, grocery stores, box stores and boutiques.

Public call for art

In addition to placing masks on existing public art, the campaign includes a call for proposals for a new public art project that promotes the importance of wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Local artists should submit inquiries and proposals by June 26. The selected proposal will receive an award of $1,000 in addition to funding the cost of materials for the project. Artists interested in submitting a proposal, or who would like more information, should contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley at mEarley@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9685.
Chapman Cultural Center realizes that the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change as evidence from previous public art campaigns addressing serious issues in the community such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. As an extension of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light sought to improve police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie through the arts.   Chapman Cultural Center and the Spartanburg Chamber are committed to prioritizing public health and reducing the spread of COVID-19 while carrying out their respective organizational missions. "Bringing Back the 'Burg" is Spartanburg's COVID-19 recovery effort. Other initiatives include a Business Recovery Task Force, Open for Business Guidebook, Combating COVID-19 Commitment and marketing campaigns.

Submitted material

S.C. Humanities awards relief funds

$482,000 in emergency relief heads to cultural orgs


South Carolina Humanities has awarded $482,000 in emergency relief funds to 99 cultural organizations in South Carolina.

The awards reach 34 counties and all seven congressional districts. Funding for Bridge Emergency Relief Grants was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. South Carolina Humanities Bridge Emergency Relief Grants were designed to offer unrestricted operating and/or humanities program support to cultural organizations throughout the state that are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. These grants provide immediate funds to help stabilize humanities organizations and allow them to maintain essential functions and retain core personnel, ensuring their future success. Dr. Tom Mack, board chair of South Carolina Humanities, said, “The current pandemic has severely impacted our state’s economy; and among those most adversely affected by closure and event cancellation are museums, libraries, and other cultural centers offering humanities-based programming. SC Humanities is pleased and honored to be able to offer emergency funding to a host of cultural organizations that enrich the lives of our state’s citizens each and every day. We wish we could do more. For additional information on our ongoing grant opportunities, please visit our website at schumanities.org.” “South Carolina has an annual $24 billion dollar tourism industry that includes hundreds of arts and cultural organizations that bolster that important economic sector. Closed since mid-March, these organizations and their personnel have suffered dramatically. We are very fortunate to be able to offer relief during these difficult times,” South Carolina Humanities Executive Director Dr. Randy Akers said.
Arts organizations receiving SC Humanities Bridge Emergency Relief Grants: 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, North Augusta Arts Council of Chester County, Chester Arts Council of Greenwood County, Greenwood Arts Council of York County, Rock Hill Ballet Spartanburg, Spartanburg Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg Coastal Carolina University – Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Conway Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia Dillon County Theatre Association, Dillon Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston Greenville Light Opera Works/Glow Lyric Theatre, Greenville Greenville Theatre, Greenville Greenwood Community Theatre, Greenwood The Historic Winyah Auditorium, Georgetown Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg The Jasper Project, Columbia Lancaster County Council of the Arts, Lancaster McClellanville Arts Council, McClellanville Newberry Community Players, Newberry Newberry Opera House Foundation, Newberry Nickelodeon Theatre, Columbia Pat Conroy Literary Center, Beaufort Penn Center, St. Helena Island Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra, Rock Hill South Carolina Writers Association, Columbia Spartanburg Philharmonic, Spartanburg Speaking Down Barriers, Spartanburg Trustus, Inc., Columbia USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center for the Fine Arts, Aiken USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, Beaufort
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 350,000 citizens annually.  

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: McKissick Museum ‘Quarantunes’ adds performances

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

TONIGHT: Ron & Natalie Daise

Quarantunes, the popular virtual music series from the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is adding several new performances in the last two weeks of June. Fans of the Facebook Live series will be thrilled to see additional performances by Queen Quet, Sol Sabor and the J’s Family, The Edisto River Singers, and Charlton Singleton. The entire list of performances include:
  • Friday, June 19thRon & Natalie Daise
  • Saturday, June 20thQueen Quet
  • Thursday, June 25thSol Sabor and the J’s Family
  • Friday, June 26thSeitu Solomon
  • Saturday, June 27thThe Edisto River Singers
  • Sunday, June 28thCharlton Singleton
Tune into Facebook Live to hear these sounds of the south from the comfort of your own home. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. EDT and will be posted on McKissick Museum’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of each individual Facebook event. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to the McKissick Museum YouTube page. This celebration of the south’s traditional artists will mark the end of the Quarantunes series, which has been going strong since April. Quarantunes is made possible with generous support from the South Carolina Arts Commission.
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

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Spartanburg arts orgs to share relief award

Balmer Foundation gifts $155,000


Chapman Cultural Center is pleased and honored to announce Spartanburg’s leading cultural organizations received $155,000 in emergency funding support from the Balmer Foundation.

Through this gift, $130,000 went towards funding Chapman Cultural Center’s General Operating Support Grantees and $25,000 will be designated to cost of operating Chapman Cultural Center. The Balmer Foundation trustees presented each organization with their funds at a limited-capacity ceremony on June 2 to encourage social distancing. Chapman Cultural Center, the leading local arts agency in Spartanburg County, awards General Operating Support Grants (GOS) to cultural organizations each year that have been established as a 501(c)3 for 3 years or more, and must continue working to advance the mission of the organization. Grantees for GOS Grants are evaluated on the basis of merit, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service to all of Spartanburg County. These awards support up to 20% of the grantees’ annual operating expenses. The Balmer Foundation Board of Trustees offered the following statement in regards to their gift:

“The current trustees of the Balmer Foundation, inspired by the historic and remarkable commitment of Hans and Lucia Balmer to proactively support the Spartanburg community, have chosen to assist key institutions in this unique time of stress and challenge. The Balmers loved animal education and the arts, as they did other key projects that are important to our lives (such as Spots of Pride). While the foundation does not encourage grant requests, it believes the Balmers would want the foundation to commit to this contribution and thereby encourage your good work.”

In the last 25 years, through generous donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded over $17 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way. “We are very concerned about the financial stability of the arts during these uncertain times. Our General Operating Support Grant program is critically important to our grantees because it gives them a reliable funding source which allows them to plan strategically to expand programs, reach larger and more diverse audiences, and retain creative talent. We are beyond grateful for the support of generous donors such as the Balmer Foundation, who truly see the value the arts bring to a community, especially during the most difficult times,” said President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center Jennifer Evins.
Emergency funding by The Balmer Foundation was awarded to the following organizations:
  • Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg*
  • Ballet Spartanburg*
  • Hatcher Garden
  • Hub City Writers Project*
  • Spartanburg Art Museum*
  • Spartanburg County Historical Association
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic*
  • Spartanburg Science Centre
  • Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre
* arts organizations CCC’s Board Chairman Bert Barre, stated “The cultural sector has grown since we first started providing these grants in 1995 and more demands are being placed on organizations as our community grows and prospers. We evaluate the grantees in a thorough process that includes thirteen volunteer grant reviewers representing our Board and members of the Spartanburg community. They conduct site visits, review applications and listen to presentations made by each organization. Together, these organizations serve over 143,000 people each year and the grants allow these organizations to continue to grow their collective impact.”

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural CenterOur mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

Jason Rapp

2020 S.C. Arts Awards to be presented online


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Postponed from their May 6 intended date because of the pandemic, the South Carolina Arts Awards will instead honor exceptional South Carolinians in a professionally produced streaming presentation planned for Monday, July 13, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and frequent partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina will honor the six recipients of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and five recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards in a special online presentation. The virtual ceremony will be presented live, at no cost to viewers, on the SCAC’s Vimeo page and YouTube Channel. SCAC Executive Director David Platts will be the lead host of the virtual ceremony and will be joined in a special location by a surprise co-host. UofSC McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz will announce the Folk Heritage Award recipients, and Platts will announce the Verner Award recipients. Mini-films by South Carolina filmmakers Drew Baron, Patrick Hayes, Roni Henderson, Lee Ann Kornegay, and Ebony Wilson will be debuted to tell each recipient’s story. The filmmakers worked under the direction of producer Betsy Newman. Location shooting for the ceremony and production of the stream are being provided by Midlands-based iSite Multimedia and Fisher Films. The Verner Award recipients were announced in February. In the following categories, the recipients are:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Philip Mullen, Columbia
  • ARTIST: Glenis Redmond, Mauldin
  • INDIVIDUAL: Mary Inabinett Mack, St. Helena Island
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Cindy Riddle, Campobello
  • BUSINESS: United Community Bank, Greenville
  • ORGANIZATION: Charleston Gaillard Center, Charleston
The Folk Heritage Award recipients were announced in March. They are:
  • Kristin Scott Benson (Boiling Springs): Bluegrass Banjo
  • David Galloway (Seneca): Spiritual Gospel Singing
  • Voices of El Shaddai (Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area): Lowcountry Gospel Music
  • Judy Twitty (Gilbert): Quilting
  • Vennie Deas Moore (Georgetown): Folklore and Cultural Preservation

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

About the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

Jason Rapp

Arts classrooms included in AccelerateED draft guidelines

Public input sought until June 19


South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman convened the first meeting of AccelerateED, the Department of Education’s task force on school operations in April in the wake of COVID-19.

The task force was charged with developing guidelines on reopening schools across the state next school year. Today (June 15), the task force released its draft report and opened it up for public comment through June 19. The arts, including arts classrooms specifically, were included in these recommendations. SCAC partners the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the ABC Project, along with the S.C. Music Educators Association, were invited to provide input on how districts should continue providing access to a well-rounded education, especially in the arts, in the wake of COVID-19 next school year. AccelerateED is taking public comment on these recommendations until Friday, June 19. Click here to see how to send in your endorsement or your own recommendations.