Tuning Up: Youth poetry contest, SCAC Fellow exhibition

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


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

Senate joins House to override SCAC funding veto

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

Help guide South Arts’ Performing Arts Exchange 2017

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

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

New funding partner for potential arts businesses

  • Central Carolina Community Foundation to help develop Midlands arts-based businesses
  • Joins statewide initiative begun by S.C. Arts Commission and CommunityWorks of Greenville
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Midlands artisans hoping to turn a passion into a business in the New Year now have help from Central Carolina Community Foundation as it joins an S.C. Arts Commission initiative. Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) joins ArtsGrowSC, a new program that combines the strengths of the S.C. Arts Commission and Greenville-based CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution, to offer qualifying artists resources – including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching, and workshops – that will help develop and grow arts-based business ventures. ArtsGrowSC is being implemented to allow arts-based businesses to further contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by South Carolina’s core creative industries. Involvement by CCCF will increase the number of artisans who can open Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), specifically in its 11-county service area. CommunityWorks serves as a statewide IDA funding partner for the matched savings program. Artists who use an IDA to save would see a 2:1 match, so a savings of $1,000 would be matched by $1,000 from one of the participating funders, based on artist location, and another $1,000 from the Arts Commission. Additional avenues of support from ArtsGrowSC include personal development and business coaching workshops that lead to the next-step Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant program. AVI provides one-time grants to encourage the creation of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project could receive up to $3,500, and on-going business ventures can get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit a letter of intent to seek an AVI grant is Jan. 18. AVI grantees may then qualify for the Business Builder Loan program, wherein CommunityWorks could lend qualifying artists up to $15,000 to expand their ventures. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, email Joy Young at jyoung@arts.sc.gov, or call 803.734.8203.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Arts Education Project (AEP) grants due next week!

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

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

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

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Arts Commission welcomes Jason Rapp of Columbia this month as its new communications director. Rapp will plan and develop an extensive and diversified communications program for the agency, to include oversight of public information and marketing initiatives. He will produce website and social media content; design, edit, and produce publications and printed materials; and collaborate with constituents, grantees, artists, and organizations. “Jason’s experience in the arts nonprofit world is a natural fit with our work,” said Executive Director Ken May. “He has the perspective of working for one of our grantee organizations and understands the value of public support for the arts. He joins the agency as we expand our services in arts education, artist development and rural arts development and will lead the charge in promoting those opportunities and communicating about the results. We are happy to welcome him to the team.” A Pittsburgh, Pa. area native, Rapp grew up in Florence, S.C. and graduated from West Florence High School before earning a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of South Carolina College of Mass Communications and Information Studies in 2002. He was most recently the communications and audience services director at the S.C. Philharmonic in Columbia for nearly 12 years, where he helped take the orchestra’s image and visibility to new heights, managed ticketing operations, and provided the highest level of patron services. The Arts Commission’s previous communications director, Milly Hough, was named deputy director in 2017 after holding her former position for 11 years.   ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:

  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. ###

Charleston Rhizome Collective first SC recipient of national ArtPlace America grant

Charleston Rhizome Collective leaders with City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Director Scott Watson and Mayor John Tecklenburg A Charleston grassroots organization is the first South Carolina recipient of a highly competitive national grant from ArtPlace America. The Charleston Rhizome Collective will receive $300,000 for the conNECKtedTOO project to help address the needs of small and tiny businesses using installations, visuals, forums, a tour, an app-based interactive map and a youth entrepreneurship program. conNECKtedTOO will create a solidarity hub and network linking tiny neighborhood businesses to consolidate buying and selling power and engage residents in decisions over business ownership, loans, job training, hiring practices, wholesale prices, schooling and housing. ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund invests money in community development projects where artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity work to strengthen communities across 10 sectors of community planning and development. ArtPlace received 987 applications this year, and after narrowing the field to 70 finalists, selected conNECKtedTOO as one of only 23 projects that will receive a total of $8.7 million in funding. The 23 projects represent communities of all sizes across 18 states and one U.S. territory, with almost 52 percent of this year’s funded projects taking place in rural communities. The South Carolina Arts Commission has been actively promoting this opportunity for the past five years and working with organizations interested in applying, according to Executive Director Ken May. “The ArtPlace application is a rigorous and competitive process; many South Carolina organizations have applied and only a few have made it to the finalist level. Clearly, conNECKtedTOO had the right ingredients—authenticity, local engagement, artistic sensibility and a compelling need—to bring home this prestigious award. Congratulations to the Collective for being the first South Carolina organization to join the cadre of creative place making efforts funded by ArtPlace America.” ArtPlace Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres visited South Carolina to present workshops about the grant opportunity and conduct site visits. “This year’s investments highlight critical dimensions of creative placemaking strategy that can provide great inspiration to communities across the country," said Torres. "We are deeply excited to announce these 23 new investments as our seventh cohort of funded projects through the National Creative Placemaking Fund.” For conNECKtedTOO, the Charleston Rhizome Collective will work with partners such as Jason Gourdine of the Black Collective, the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and several tiny businesses. “All of Charleston commends the conNECKted team on their ArtPlace America award,” said Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg. “Their past projects and recent efforts build confidence that the arts can be effectively put to work in new and creative ways to sustain and strengthen our local communities.” Find out more about the 2017 funded projects here. About The Charleston Rhizome Collective Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the Charleston Rhizome Collective is an art-in/with community group, where education, art and activism intersect. By design, it is grassroots, inter-racial and inter-generational. Through the arts, the Collective aims to amplify the voices of neighborhoods absent from public and private plans: social, cultural and economic. About ArtPlace America ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic. For more information visit www.ArtPlaceAmerica.org

Visual artists – there’s still time to apply for the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships!

Deadline: December 15 The South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. The program is open to individual artists living in the South Arts region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. This program is open only to visual artists and will expand to other disciplines in the future. The application deadline is December 15, 2017. Apply for the 2018 Southern Prize and State Fellowships South Arts State Fellowships; $5,000 The South Arts State Fellowship is a state-specific prize awarded to the artists whose work reflects the best of the visual arts in the South. A review panel will select one winner per eligible state, with artistic excellence being the sole criterion. A total of nine fellowships will be awarded. Each will be awarded a $5,000 South Arts State Fellowship, and will compete for one of the two South Arts Prizes. State Fellowship recipients will be required to attend an awards ceremony.

South Arts Southern Prize; $25,000 and $10,000

The nine State Fellowship recipients will compete for the South Arts Southern Prize. The $25,000 Southern Prize will be awarded to the artist whose work exhibits the highest artistic excellence, and one finalist will be awarded a $10,000 Prize, also based on artistic excellence. The Southern Prize winner will also receive a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. A national panel will convene to evaluate the body of work represented by the nine State Fellowship recipients and select the Prize winner and Finalist. Winners of the South Arts Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony. An exhibition of works by the State Fellowship winners may be organized during the award period. For more information, contact southernprize@southarts.org, 404.874.7244, ext. 10. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships are supported by Alabama State Council on the ArtsAtlanta Contemporary Art Center, Joanne Calhoun, Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc., Cultural Council of Palm Beach CountyCyberwovenEvans General Contractors, Arnold and Fran Gellman, Georgia Council for the Arts, Les Hamlett, Kentucky Arts Council, J. Martin Lett, Louisiana Division of the Arts, CJ Lyons’ Buy a Book, Make a DifferenceMailChimpMiami-Dade County Department of Cultural AffairsMississippi Arts CommissionNorth Carolina Arts Council, Scott and Terry Peterson, Michael Quinlan and Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, South Carolina Arts CommissionTennessee Arts Commission, Pat and Susie VanHuss, and powered by The Hambidge Center.

Reminder – North Columbia Pop-Up Art Show and Sale is Dec. 2

The South Carolina Arts Commission’s ArtsGrowSC program invites you to get into the holiday spirit at the North Columbia Pop Up Art Show and Sale, Dec. 2 from 2-6 p.m. at Woodforest National Bank, 3730 North Main Street, Ste. D in Columbia. Purchase one-of-a-kind gifts for special people in your life from these featured artists:

In addition to high-quality handcrafted decorative and wearable art, this family-friendly community event will feature a live band, swing dancers and beverage and food trucks. Admission is free!

City of Greenwood earns Cultural District status

The South Carolina Arts Commission has named Greenwood as the newest state-recognized cultural district. A cultural district is an easily identifiable geographic area with a concentration of arts facilities and assets that support cultural, artistic and economic activity. The cultural district designation was created by the S.C. General Assembly in 2014. The City of Greenwood and The Arts Center of Greenwood worked with local leaders and Arts Commission staff to develop a map of cultural assets and a strategic plan for the district. City officials will use the cultural district designation to attract visitors and residents to downtown and promote the area as a hub of arts and culture. (Find out more about the Greenwood cultural district.) “Thank you to the South Carolina Arts Commission for bestowing this honor on the City of Greenwood,” said Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams.  “This designation recognizes the hard work over the last 14 years to implement the City Center Master Plan and grow Greenwood’s City Center as a cultural arts and entertainment hub for our six-county Upper Savannah Region.” Anne Craig, director of The Arts Center of Greenwood, gives credit to local arts organizations for their role. “Along with the City Center Master Plan, the arts and cultural organizations have led the way in the revitalization of Uptown Greenwood, which has become more vibrant with year-round events, programs and festivals. The strong cultural activity and extensive city improvements have been the basis for growth in restaurants, retail and businesses. It is a formula that has worked well for Greenwood.” Participation of community stakeholders is key, according to S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. “Non-arts businesses and organizations are important pieces of a cultural district. A successful cultural district attracts creative enterprises, such as galleries and theatres, whose patrons want to dine out and shop, so nearby retail and other businesses benefit from that increased economic activity.” The cultural district program was developed after reviewing successful programs in other states and gathering input from leaders representing several sectors, including economic development, tourism, local government and the arts. Greenwood joins Beaufort, Bluffton, Columbia’s Congaree Vista, Florence, Lancaster, Rock Hill and Spartanburg as S.C. cities and areas that have earned cultural district status. Other states with similar cultural district programs include Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Texas. S.C. cities, towns and rural communities interested in exploring a cultural district designation are invited to contact their Arts Commission county coordinator or call (803) 734-8696. Complete guidelines are available at www.SouthCarolinaArts.com.