South Carolina arts and cultural industries among fastest-growing in nation

Latest Data Shows Increase to U.S. Economy from Arts and Cultural Sector

Sector Contributed $804.2 Billion or 4.3 Percent of Nation’s GDP in 2016


Key national findings from this year’s ACPSA

  • Arts and culture play a significant role in the economic activity of the country. The value-added to GDP by arts and cultural production is nearly five times greater than that of the agricultural sector. Arts and culture adds nearly $60 billion more than construction and $227 billion more than transportation and warehousing to the U.S. economy.
  • Arts and cultural goods create a trade surplus. In 2016, the U.S. exported nearly $25 billion more in arts and cultural goods and services than it imported, a 12-fold increase over 10 years.
  • ACPSA exports are driven by movies and TV programs, advertising, and arts-related software such as video games.
  • The average annual growth rate for arts and culture outperforms the growth rate of the total U.S. economy. From 2014 to 2016, the average annual growth rate in the contribution of arts and culture was 4.16 percent, nearly double the 2.22 percent growth rate of the total U.S. economy.
  • Consumer spending of the performing arts has risen significantly. Between 1998 and 2016, the rate of consumer spending on performing arts admissions more than doubled, rising from 0.12 percent of U.S. GDP in 1998 to 0.26 percent, totaling $32.7 billion, in 2016.

Key state findings from this year’s ACPSA

Thirteen states had an average annual growth rate above the national average of 5.9 percent, as measured over the three-year period of 2014 to 2016. Listed in order, these states were the fastest-growing for the percentage of their gross state product coming from arts and cultural industries. Rank and Average Annual Growth Rate: 2014-2016

1.    Washington State:11.9 percent 2.    Georgia:11.1 percent 3.    Utah:10.2 percent 4.    Nevada: 9.8 percent 5.    California: 7.8 percent 6.    *Tennessee: 7.8 percent 7.    New Mexico: 7.7 percent 8.    *SOUTH CAROLINA: 7.5 PERCENT 9.    Florida: 7.1 percent 10.    *Montana: 6.6 percent 11.    Oregon: 6.5 percent 12.    Colorado: 6.3 percent 13.    Massachusetts: 6.2 percent

*These states are identified as rural by the Bureau of Economic Analysis because 30 percent or more of the state’s population live in rural areas. To learn about how arts and culture impact the economies of rural states, go to the Rural Prosperity report below.

Ed. note: this news comes the same day that President Trump released an FY20 budget today that removes all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. For more, please read more from the S.C. Arts Alliance.


Resources The Arts Endowment, BEA, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies have developed resources to help users understand the data.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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 NEA 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. Please visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jonathan Green to receive Order of the Palmetto

Governor to present award tomorrow

Jonathan Green will be awarded the prestigious Order of the Palmetto on Wednesday, March 20 at noon in the Governor’s office. The event will take place at 1100 Gervais Street, Columbia. Because of space constraints, the event is limited to media only. The Order of the Palmetto Award is given to recognize lifetime achievement and service. It is the highest civilian honor awarded by the state of South Carolina. Jonathan Green is a world renowned artist and 2010 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement. Green has participated in traveling exhibitions throughout the U.S. and 48 solo exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Smithsonian, Morris Museum in Augusta, Ga., the Afro-American Museum in Philadelphia, Naples (Fla.) Museum of Art, and the IFCC Cultural Center in Portland, Ore. Columbia City Ballet used his art as inspiration for a critically-acclaimed ballet that world premiered in Columbia in 2005.

Union library named finalist for National Medal

Here's a belated note worth sharing with Hub readers today. – Ed. Union County Carnegie Library Earlier in March, the Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for community service. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions throughout the nation that have demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Union County Carnegie Library was named to the finalist list. Throughout March and April, IMLS will celebrate the excellent community work of these institutions through its six-week Share Your Story social media campaign, which began last week. Anyone with a story to tell about these libraries and museums is encouraged to share comments and pictures with #IMLSmedals and tag IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. "We are thrilled to be a finalist for the National Medal, and we know that this is due in large part to our facility and partnerships. We wanted to share this great news with you and tell you how much we appreciate our partnership and are thankful for your support," Executive Director Rieta Drinkwine said. The S.C. Arts Commission was one such partner, as UCCL was host of the first Communal Pen writing workshop series that has since worked its way through South Carolina since last September. National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will receive their medals at a ceremony on June 12 in Washington. Learn more about the Union County Library System here. 

Van Gogh and more coming to CMA in 2019 

Columbia Museum of Art announces 2019 season

Columbia Museum of Art announced its full schedule of featured exhibitions through the remainder of the year, a broad assortment of largely exclusive, house-organized shows including Van Gogh and His Inspirations.
“From bold inflatables to delicate linocuts, from familiar Van Goghs to modern Latin American works of art, the roster of exhibitions the CMA is offering over the next year embraces a wide variety of materials and techniques, concepts and cultures, and times and places,” says Della Watkins, CMA executive director. “All will allow us to celebrate ideas different from our own and marvel at visual accomplishments — and have fun doing it.” Currently open exhibitions include Jackson Pollock: Mural, on view through May 19, 2019;Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards, on view through April 21, 2019, in conjunction with Richland Library; and the freshly opened A Life with Art: Gifts from Dwight and Sue Emanuelson.
  A Life with Art: Gifts from Dwight and Sue Emanuelson March 8 – May 19, 2019 Dwight and Sue Emanuelson have generously given artworks to the CMA for 35 years, and this sweeping four-gallery exhibition celebrates the couple’s ardent engagement with art and artists. Highlights include Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and midcentury design, with work by Pierre Cardin and Charles and Ray Eames. This is a unique collection of modern and contemporary art assembled through the lens of one couple’s life with art and each other. Shades of Greene: The Art of Sanford Greene April 4 – June 23, 2019 Sanford Greene has worked professionally in comic illustration and related industries for over 15 years, including work for mainline publishers Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image Comics. Greene’s most recent work with Marvel series Power Man and Iron Fist as well as covers for Black Panther and Luke Cage have made him well known in the comic-book scene, but his work is multidimensional. Taking a broad look at his artistic evolution, this exhibition explores Greene’s versatility as an artist and illustrator from an early age into his professional career. Latinidad: Latin American Art from the Collection April 26 – September 1, 2019 Latinidad: Latin American Art from the Collection features 20 rarely seen gems from the collection made between the 1950s and early 1990s by artists born in Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, including Roberto Matta, René Portocarrero, Ruffino Tamayo, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. With styles and influences on view including Mexican folk art and Surrealism, the installation also showcases a complete 1953 portfolio by important print collective Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño (Center for Puerto Rican Art) and contemporary photography by Jorge Otero. Wow Pop Bliss: Jimmy Kuehnle’s Inflatable Art June 14 – September 8, 2019 Jimmy Kuehnle is a performance and sculpture-based artist who creates large-scale, high-tech inflatables that expand our notions of abstract art. For this exhibition, Kuehnle is filling four galleries with touchable, interactive environments using inflatables that combine sound, light, space, and texture to create unexpected experiences for visitors as they move under, through, and around these works. Kuehnle is also creating a bright pink inflatable sculpture that will project dramatically out of the CMA façade’s architectural grid overlooking Boyd Plaza, literally spilling out into the city as a calling card to the wonder inside. Supported by The Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art. Mimi Kato: Ordinary Sagas June 14 – September 8, 2019 Mimi Kato draws on the rich history and visual traditions of Japanese culture as well as the absurd everyday elements of contemporary life and merges them in imaginary landscapes. In her lengthy artistic process, Kato photographs herself as a range of costumed characters — from everyday Japanese citizens to fantastical creatures in the forest — and embeds these images into large photomontages. Her work is narratively complex and darkly humorous. Supported by Susan Thorpe and John Baynes. Maryanna Williams: New Work September 6 – December 29, 2019 Maryanna Williams’ imagery creates a dialogue between simple forms and intricate patterns. In her prints she has explored moths, jellyfish, and even Italian Renaissance portraits, each subject chosen for its inherent beauty, delicate patterning, and vibrant hues. Close up and filling the picture plane, her subjects shift between realism and abstraction, at times dissolving into facets of color and marks vibrating across surfaces. Williams’ work is not about scientific illustration or realism, but about transforming subjects from nature and art into images that express her deep passion for the intense beauty that she sees in the world. Van Gogh and His Inspirations October 4, 2019 – January 12, 2020 Van Gogh and His Inspirations, presented by The Blanchard Family, is an original exhibition organized by the CMA that brings the work of one of the most beloved artists in the world to Columbia, South Carolina, alongside a variety of handpicked paintings and drawings that shaped his vision. From 2001 to 2010, as Steven Naifeh and Greg Smith researched their New York Times bestseller Van Gogh: The Life, they built a collection of over 30 works by artists who influenced Van Gogh’s aesthetic thinking. These works join loans from 10 museums across the U.S. to explore the artistic evolution of Van Gogh through the lens of the artists who inspired him. This exhibition also brings 12 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, including an outstanding painting of poppy fields from the National Gallery of Art, a sensitive painting of a peasant woman weaving from The Boston Museum of Fine Art, and the world-famous self-portrait from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Side-by-side with their inspirations, these works offer visitors a window into the mind of Van Gogh. For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org.

About the CMA

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA is undergoing a transformation funded by a successful capital campaign. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA recently underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, an entrance on Main Street, and a revamped CMA shop. Overall, more than 20,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit www.columbiamuseum.org.

Juilliard students help high school singers give voice to their art

Students practices singing in vocal masterclass. Aiken Standard photo. From reporting by the Aiken Standard:

High school students gave youthful voices Wednesday to an early art form that dates back to Italy in the late 1500s.

As part of Joye in Aiken's educational outreach program, students from the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville sang works from early Baroque opera during a master class conducted by students from The Juilliard School's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute of Vocal Arts.

Joye in Aiken receives grant support from the S.C. Arts Commission. Read the full story from the Aiken Standard here.

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U of SC Press celebrates the life and work of Boyd Saunders

The University of South Carolina Press has recently published A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH: THE NARRATIVE ART OF BOYD SAUNDERS, by Thomas Dewey II with a Foreword by Charles R. Mack.

Event TODAY at U of S.C. Thomas Cooper Library, 4:30 p.m., Columbia


A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH is a celebration of the prolific artist's heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. It is the first comprehensive examination of the life and art of Boyd Saunders, one of America’s premier printmakers. In this celebration of an enduring and widely acclaimed career as an artist, Thomas Dewey II chronicles Saunders’s work not only as a printmaker, but also as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, author, educator, amateur musician, and sometimes horseman. With great care Dewey exposes the common thread that runs through Saunders’s visual expressions: his intriguing tales that reveal his heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. Dewey has captured Saunders’s life story through intensive research as well as via a series of interviews with the artist over several years. Details of Saunders’s early life on a West Tennessee farm and his family’s long attachment to the land document a profound influence on his life, outlook, and art. But Saunders was also moved by literature—namely that of William Faulkner, whom he met while earning a master’s of fine art at the University of Mississippi. Saunders credits Faulkner with inspiring much of his work, demonstrated in his Spotted Horses, a limited volume of lithographs illustrating Faulkner’s short story of the same name, which was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 1989. Now a distinguished professor emeritus of the University of South Carolina, Saunders founded its Art Department’s printmaking program as well as a southern printmaker’s organization called the Southern Graphics Council. In the more than forty years since its founding the organization, now called SGC International, it has grown well beyond its southern borders and now serves twenty-five hundred members worldwide. A View from the South features more than 120 color images showcasing the themes, ideas, and techniques Saunders has used in his paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. His art is exhibited throughout the world and is included in many private and public collections, including the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington, D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China. A foreword is provided by Charles R. Mack, professor emeritus of art history at the University of South Carolina. Thomas Dewey II is a faculty emeritus associate professor of art history at the University of Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dewey has published widely in professional journals and penned an entry, “Audubon in Mississippi,” in The Mississippi Encyclopedia. On March 14 Boyd Saunders will be celebrated by the University Libraries and the University South Carolinians Society in a 4:30 p.m. event at the Thomas Cooper Library, where Boyd Saunders will show a "mini-retrospective" and discuss "The Storyteller's Art."

Tuning Up: Arts job at SCAC, arts ed, and more

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...


We're hiring... but not for long! The deadline to apply for the SCAC's community arts coordinator position is coming to a close soon. The deadline is Tuesday, March 19. Cool story, Spartan-bros. Chapman Cultural Center is celebrating Youth Art Month. There's a reception TODAY at CCC from 4-7 p.m. To highlight the importance of arts education, they put a local spin on the research results from the Gallup Student Poll (conducted in arts-rich South Carolina schools) that the SCAC released last month. Johnsons donate to IAAM Susu and George Dean Johnson, Jr. of the Johnson Collection Gallery in Spartanburg are helping to create additional cultural offerings in South Carolina by pledging a $1 million gift toward the creation of the International African American Museum in Charleston. Governor's School announces 'Grand Jete' winners The first annual Grand Jeté student dance competition, hosted by the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, featured 47 dancers, ages 10-19, from eight dance schools across the state, including one independent dancer. Here's who came away with prizes.

Arts education leader Christine Fisher announces retirement

Fisher led Arts in Basic Curriculum Project for 18 years


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 March 2019 Christine Fisher Christine Fisher COLUMBIA, S.C. – Christine Fisher is to retire from the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project this month after spending nearly 20 years working to provide comprehensive arts programs in schools across the state. Fisher, who lives in Florence, began her career in arts education in the classroom, teaching chorus, guitar and musical production at Dillon High School and then elementary general music, beginning band and middle school band in Florence School District One through 2001. She left that year to become executive director of the ABC Project, a partnership among the S.C. Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and S.C. Department of Education that works with schools and districts across the state to maintain and expand arts opportunities for all students. It is based at Winthrop in Rock Hill. Under Fisher’s leadership, the program grew to serve 84 schools or districts and 171,000 students this school year and played an important role in making sure the arts were included in the landmark Profile of the South Carolina Graduate in 2015, a rigorous set of standards for college and career readiness adopted by the state General Assembly in 2016. “Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. Many highlights dot the timeline of Fisher’s career. She was twice selected as a school and district Teacher of the Year, and twice selected as one of the five South Carolina honor roll teachers. Selected as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 1998, she is the only music teacher to hold the honor in the program's history. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded her state’s highest arts award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, in 2006, and she received the Winthrop University Medal of Arts in 2012. “She has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

Full Statements on Christine Fisher's retirement

MOLLY SPEARMAN S.C. Superintendent of Education

“Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly.”

KEN MAY Executive Director, S.C. Arts Commission

“The first time I ever heard Christine Fisher speak, she told the moving and powerful story of how the arts, specifically music, saved her life. As I reflect now on her retirement, I realize that all of her work, her entire amazing career, has been about paying forward—at increasing orders of magnitude—the wonderful, transformative gift that she was given. From her early days teaching in Dillon and Florence, to her ground-breaking tenure as State Teacher of the Year, to her long, outstanding service as Executive Director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, she has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making!”

JEFF BELLANTONI Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop University

“Christine has been an integral part of the arts community at Winthrop University for 18 years. We had the pleasure of recognizing the impact she has made in 2012 when she was awarded our Medal of Honor in the Arts. Her passion and commitment to integrating the arts into education throughout the state is unmatched. Christine’s steadfast support of the arts is evident through her many years of service as an educator and arts advocate, and she will be missed.”


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 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.

Myrtle Beach student wins S.C. Poetry Out Loud competition

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Brynne Hardman, a senior at the Academy for Arts, Science, and Technology in Myrtle Beach, is the South Carolina winner of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest. Hardman competed in the state finals competition in Columbia on Saturday, March 9 against seven other students from across South Carolina. The competition took place at the Richland Library Main branch. Hardman recited “To Have Without Holding” by Marge Piercy in round one and “Insomnia” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in round two. She and two other students advanced to the final round, where she recited “The Day Lady Died” by Frank O’Hara and received the highest score from the four judges: Marcus Amaker, Al Black, Kimberly Simms, and Michele Reese. Dr. Ray McManus was host of the event. Amaker, poet laureate of Charleston; and Zuri Wilson-Seymore, the S.C. Arts Commission state coordinator for Poetry Out Loud; gave professional recitation performances of their own poetry. Joining state winners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, Hardman will be South Carolina’s representative in the Poetry Out Loud national finals in Washington April 29-May 1, 2019. State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.


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 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.

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Twiggs receives honor from Georgia Museum of Art

Prolific #SCartist adds to his accomplishments with Thompson Award

Image of Leo Twiggs with award namesake Larry Thompson Dr. Leo Twiggs, left, recipient of the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award, and Larry Thompson.
On Feb. 22, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia held its annual Black History Month Dinner and Awards Celebration in Athens, Ga. Leo Twiggs received the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award for his efforts as an artist. This award is given annually to honor an African American artist who has made significant but often lesser-known contributions to the visual arts tradition in Georgia. It is named for the couple who donated 100 works by African American artists from their collection to the museum and endowed a curatorial position there (held by Shawnya L. Harris) to focus on art by African American and African diasporic artists. Twiggs studied art at Claflin College, the Art Institute of Chicago and New York University. In 1970, he became the first African American student to receive a doctorate of arts in art education from the University of Georgia. Twiggs went on to create the first fine arts degree program at South Carolina State University. In many of his works, he uses the wax-resist process of dyeing textiles called batik. His use of the Confederate flag serves as an evocative symbol of systemic racism in the South, and he continues to address social issues in his art, as with a recent series focusing on the murders at Mother Emanuel Church, in Charleston. A prolific artist, he has had work featured in 75 solo shows, one of which was held at the museum in 2004. Twiggs received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in the individual category from the S.C. Arts Commission in 1980 and was a recipient for lifetime achievement in 2017. Accepting the Thompson Award, Twiggs spoke about the event as a homecoming of sorts for him. “When I came here at the height of the civil rights movement, Lamar Dodd, chair of the art department, told me, ‘We don’t think of you as a student. We think of you as a colleague.' Art is a journey, but ours is a unique journey because: ‘We have come over a way that with tears has been watered. We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered," he continued, quoting “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Negro national anthem." "James Baldwin said that ‘the purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.’ To that end, I have never looked away,” Twiggs said.