FOLKFabulous moves to the State Fair

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum's signature festival, FOLKFabulous, has an expanded time frame at a new venue, moving from a one-day event at the museum to a 10-day extravaganza at the South Carolina State Fair October 11 - 22. Drawing on the yearlong exhibition “WELL SUITED: The Costumes of Alonzo V. Wilson for HBO’s® Treme”, FOLKFabulous@theFair 2017 celebrates the traditions and spirit of Mardi Gras—in New Orleans and South Carolina. Also featured are Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative artists, highlighting the Folklife & Traditional Arts Program of McKissick Museum and the South Carolina Arts Commission. This folklife festival brings together outstanding tradition bearers in an immersive atmosphere to help visitors better understand our region’s unique cultural heritage. Each day of FOLKFabulous brings a new opportunity to learn and engage with narrative stages, concerts, hands-on-activities for the whole family, and even a King Cake Contest. Visit www.artsandsciences.sc.edu/mckissickmuseum for details, including a complete calendar of events.

Current Fellows featured in 50th Anniversary exhibition in Lake City

As part of the South Carolina Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary celebration, the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City presents the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows 2018 Exhibition September 9 through December 3. The exhibition features the work of the four artists who received Arts Commission's FY 2018 fellowships: Linda Fantuzzo of Mt. Pleasant (visual arts), Jason Gourdine of Moncks Corner (media production), Leasharn Hopkins of Columbia (media screenwriting) and Elizabeth Keller of Conway (craft). Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of our state’s exceptional individual artists, selected through a highly competitive, anonymous process based solely on artistic excellence. This exhibition is supported by the South Carolina Arts Commission, South Carolina Arts Foundation, and First Citizens Bank. The Jones- Carter Gallery is located at 105 Henry Street, Lake City, S.C. 29560.   The gallery is open Tuesday- Saturday 11 a.m – 5 p.m and Sunday 1 – 5  p.m. Find out more about the Fellows. View the complete list of 50th Anniversary exhibitions. Image: Elizabeth Keller, Penjing Tea #5 with 3 Cups

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.

Creative Pillars forum coming to Hartsville

“What are some of the pillars needed in a community for a creative professional to have a high quality of life?” That’s the question the South Carolina Arts Alliance is asking at a Creative Pillars forum in Hartsville August 8. The free forum takes place at Black Creek Arts Council from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Advance registration is requested and is available on the Arts Alliance’s website, www.scartsalliance.net. The forums, which are open to any creative professional or those with an interest in a creative field, will include group activities meant to identify key amenities that help attract and retain creative professionals and targeted discussions to dive deeper into specific topics. The Arts Alliance is interested in hearing from every kind of creative professional, from the freelance graphic designer to the touring musician to the nonprofit fundraising professional. “We wanted to create a way to gather insight into areas other than pure arts and culture and how they play a role in the quality of life for a creative professional,” said GP McLeer, SCAA’s executive director. “We know that a high value on arts and culture is important, but what about access to healthcare, public safety, recreation, or even trash pick up – where do these kinds of issues lie in the hierarchy for the creative professional? Whether you’re an architect, designer, actor, musician, nonprofit arts manager, or even a board member, this is an important discussion to have as people look for ways to effectively make a difference in their community.” Creative Pillars is also serving as a pilot for a new statewide leadership development program, CreativeSC, being planned by the South Carolina Arts Alliance in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the University of South Carolina, and Together SC, with additional partners expected to join in the coming months. The comprehensive program will include networking, workshops/forums, and a selective leadership program. The Arts Alliance is targeting an early fall 2017 launch of CreativeSC. The series is supported by a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. About the South Carolina Arts Alliance The South Carolina Arts Alliance is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development, and public awareness. The SCAA is housed at the Younts Center for Performing Arts in Fountain Inn, SC.

Florence County Museum launches first 50th Anniversary Fellowship Exhibition

Terry Jarrard-Dimond Terry Jarrard-Dimond The Florence County Museum is the first organization to launch an exhibition of South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration. Evidence, an exhibition of works by veteran South Carolina artist Terry Jarrard-Dimond, is on display June 20 - December 3. Jarrard-Dimond received the S.C. Arts Commission Craft Fellowship Grant in 1987 and is represented by three works in the State Art Collection. The Florence County Museum has a unique relationship to the history of the S.C. Arts Commission. The first president of its board of trustees was E.N. Zeigler, who later became a state senator and the author of the legislation that created the Arts Commission in 1967. The Fellowship Exhibition program was developed to celebrate 50 years of public support for the arts in South Carolina, with emphasis on the achievements of artists who have received the commission’s Visual and Craft Fellowship awards. The exhibition is supported in part by First Citizens. Since 1976, the South Carolina Arts Commission's Fellowship program has recognized the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellows are among the most artistically accomplished artists in the state. Find out more about the exhibition. Find out about other 50th Anniversary Fellowship exhibitions.

Registration open for South Arts’ Performing Arts Exchange

Registration is now open for South Arts' annual Performing Arts Exchange conference taking place September 25-28 in Atlanta. PAE connects hundreds of performing arts professionals, presenters, artists, agents, and managers for four days to set the stage for upcoming performing arts seasons up and down the eastern United States. PAE attendees experience showcase performances with tour-ready artists, hone skills and gain knowledge in professional development sessions, network with colleagues from around the country, and conduct business and bookings in our Marketplace. Register now with Early Bird rates to lock in the best deal of the year. via: South Arts

SC Arts Alliance to host Creative Pillars forums

“What are some of the pillars needed in a community for a creative professional to have a high quality of life?” That’s the question the South Carolina Arts Alliance is asking as it hosts Creative Pillars forums this summer in Greenville and Charleston. Forum dates and locations:

An additional forum is being planned in the Pee Dee area. All forums are free to attend and will run from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Advance registration is requested and is available on the Arts Alliance’s website, www.scartsalliance.net. The forums, which are open to any creative professional or those with an interest in a creative field, will include group activities meant to identify key amenities that help attract and retain creative professionals and targeted discussions to dive deeper into specific topics. The Arts Alliance is interested in hearing from every kind of creative professional, from the freelance graphic designer to the touring musician to the nonprofit fundraising professional. “We wanted to create a way to gather insight into areas other than pure arts and culture and how they play a role in the quality of life for a creative professional," said GP McLeer, SCAA’s executive director. "We know that a high value on arts and culture is important, but what about access to healthcare, public safety, recreation, or even trash pick up - where do these kinds of issues lie in the hierarchy for the creative professional? Whether you’re an architect, designer, actor, musician, nonprofit arts manager, or even a board member, this is an important discussion to have as people look for ways to effectively make a difference in their community." Creative Pillars is also serving as a pilot for a new statewide leadership development program, CreativeSC, being planned by the South Carolina Arts Alliance in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the University of South Carolina, and Together SC, with additional partners expected to join in the coming months. The comprehensive program will include networking, workshops/forums, and a selective leadership program. The Arts Alliance is targeting an early fall 2017 launch of CreativeSC. The series is supported by a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. About the South Carolina Arts Alliance The South Carolina Arts Alliance is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development, and public awareness. The SCAA is housed at the Younts Center for Performing Arts in Fountain Inn, SC.

Free Open House at Spoleto June 3!

The South Carolina Arts Commission is turning 50! Visit our Open House at the Charleston Gaillard Center June 3 from 1 – 5 p.m. during the Spoleto Festival USA and join the celebration with family-friendly activities, local arts performances and exhibits. Admission is free. The event will feature a display of the ABC (Arts in Basic Curriculum) Project Umbrellas, which were created by 67 ABC sites around the state, and poetry by South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth and South Carolina Poetry Out Loud champion Janae Claxton, a student at Charleston’s First Baptist School. Scheduled to perform:

  • Adande African Dance Company
  • Charleston Academy of Music
  • Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School Unichorus
  • Chamber Music Charleston
  • Daniel Island Middle School Theatre Troupe
  • Charleston Jazz
  • Lowcountry Voices
  • Smalls Institute for Music & Youth Leadership
  • Art Pot
  • Janae Claxton
  • Marjory Wentworth
  • D’Jaris Whipper Lewis
Exhibitors and/or children’s activities:
  • Yo Art
  • Smalls Music Lab
  • Engaging Creative Minds
  • Gaillard Education Program
  • S.C. Arts Foundation Zendoodle Coloring Stations
  • Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival Association
The 50th Anniversary Celebration is a joint project of the South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Arts Foundation. Find out more about other 50th Anniversary events here.

University of South Carolina School of Music mounts its largest musical event in 2018

Leonard Bernstein’s MASS brings profound messages of peace and unity The University of South Carolina School of Music marks the centenary of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein’s birth in 2018 with his monumental MASS, a theatre piece for singers, players and dancers. The production was composed at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center in 1971. Bernstein’s MASS is one of the most profound stage works ever created in English and an iconic piece of Americana. The epic stage production includes two orchestras, a rock band, a blues band, several choirs, singers, dancers and actors, and features as the Celebrant acclaimed Seattle tenor Kevin Vortmann, who recently performed the role to critical praise with the Philadelphia Orchestra. MASS, sung in English, Latin and Hebrew, was Bernstein's most ambitious theater work. Themes of faith, doubt and tolerance, and the work’s powerful message of hope, renewal and unity through peace and understanding, is explored through journeys both spiritual and secular. After the premiere’s final note in 1971, the audience sat in silence for three minutes, then stood and applauded for thirty. The USC School of Music mounts this spectacular work for three performances on March 2, 3 and 4, 2018, at the Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets go on sale this summer and will be included in the 2017-2018 season subscriptions of Opera at USC and the USC Symphony Orchestra. Single tickets and group tickets will also be available. The son of Russian-Jewish parents, a social liberal, and lifelong activist, Bernstein made a surprising choice of text when approached by Mrs. Kennedy to write the work: the Roman Catholic Mass. But instead of a straightforward, purely musical setting of the Latin liturgy, he created a broadly eclectic theatrical event by placing the ancient religious rite into a tense, dramatic dialog with music and lyrics of the 20th-century vernacular to explore the crisis in faith and the cultural breakdown of the post-Kennedy era. While employing some of the elements of a traditional Catholic Mass, the piece also draws upon the composer’s Broadway experience as well as other religious and popular genres. “I’ve always had a deep interest in Catholicism in all its aspects; its similarities and dissimilarities to Judaism,” wrote Bernstein. He used the mass as the structure to express his beliefs and questions about society and our world and is considered the composer’s life statement. Bernstein enlisted the 23-year-old composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz to work with him on the text. Schwartz had recently proven his ability to transform religious stories into contemporary theater with Godspell, his hit musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Once again, Bernstein reached beyond his own world of classical music for a collaborator to help him create a large-scale musical theater piece, as he had with West Side Story. Bernstein and Schwartz mixed sacred and secular texts using the traditional Latin liturgical sequence as the fundamental structure and inserted recurring themes in vernacular English that question and challenge, and meditations that demand time for reflection. They took the Tridentine Mass, a highly-ritualized Catholic rite meant to be recited verbatim, and applied to it a very Jewish practice of debating and arguing with God. The result was a piece that powerfully communicated the confusion and cultural malaise of the early 1970s, questioning authority and advocating for peace. The eclecticism of MASS's music reflects the multifaceted nature of Bernstein's career, with blues, rock, gospel, folk, Broadway and jazz idioms appearing side by side with 12-tone serialism, symphonic marches, solemn hymns, Middle Eastern dances, orchestral meditations, and lush chorales, all united in a single dramatic event with recurring musical motifs. During his work on MASS, Bernstein consulted with Father Dan Berrigan, a Catholic priest and anti-war activist who had been on the FBI's "10 Most-Wanted" list before being apprehended and imprisoned. In the summer of 1971, as MASS approached its premiere, the FBI warned the White House that the piece's Latin text might contain coded anti-war messages and that Bernstein was mounting a plot "to embarrass the United States government." President Nixon was strongly advised not to attend and was conspicuously absent at the premiere. Responses to the premiere of MASS covered the spectrum. The Roman Catholic Church did not approve—some cities cancelled performances under pressure from their local Catholic churches—while other prominent clergy declared their support for the piece. Certain music critics disapproved of the mixing of genres, while others found the work to be inspired. For the most part, the audiences were deeply moved, experiencing firsthand the shared, communal journey of the composition. Over the years, the ideas and dissent embodied in MASS that were so threatening to the political and religious establishments in the volatile early-1970s, have become a more accepted part of spiritual and political discourse. MASS came full circle when, in 2000, Pope John Paul II requested a performance at the Vatican. Its radical mixing of musical styles, too, has also become less shocking and more accepted in the musical sphere. Time has revealed MASS to be a visionary piece that continues to be relevant and move audiences as it enjoys performances around the world. Key University of South Carolina faculty members are Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, stage director; Scott Weiss, conductor; Alicia Walker is chorus director/master; and Neil Casey, assistant conductor. By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., Sole Agent for Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company LLC, publisher and copyright owner.

Joe Riley to receive McNair Award at SC Arts Awards Luncheon

Joe Riley The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr. The South Carolina Arts Foundation will honor Joe Riley, former mayor of Charleston, with the 2017 McNair Award for his dedication in ensuring that the arts continue to play a vital role in our communities. The McNair Award will be presented at a luncheon showcasing the South Carolina Arts Awards, which also honor recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. The luncheon takes place in Columbia May 2, beginning with an art sale at 11 a.m. at the USC Alumni Center, 900 Senate St.. The luncheon follows at 12:30 p.m. Established in 2007, the McNair Award is named for the late Governor Robert E. McNair, who signed legislation to create the Arts Commission in 1967 to “ensure that the arts continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experiences of our citizens." Originally presented posthumously to Governor McNair, the award continues to honor outstanding leaders who have built on the legacy of the award's namesake: working diligently to make South Carolina a place where the arts thrive for the benefit of all South Carolinians. Luncheon tickets are $50. Reserve tickets online or by calling (803) 734-8696. (Verner Awards and Folk Heritage Awards will be presented May 2 at 11:30 at the Statehouse. The awards ceremony is open to the public.)