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.

Visit us 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 – 6 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 Creative Arts Unichorus
  • Chamber Music Charleston
  • Charleston Jazz
  • Lowcountry Voices
  • Smalls Institute for Music & Youth Leadership
  • D’Jaris Whipper Lewis
Exhibitors and/or children’s activities:
  • Yo Art
  • Smalls Music Lab
  • Engaging Creative Minds
  • S.C. Arts Foundation Zendoodle Coloring Stations
  • Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival Association
  • Redux
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.)  

Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose

Early Bird registration extended to April 24. The South Carolina Arts Commission is again partnering with USC's Department of Sport and Entertainment Management to offer Making Money III.  This workshop will help arts organizations of any size to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. A working lunch will give participants a chance to practice what they learn. The session will conclude with report outs and group Q&A about the lunchtime exercise. Featured speaker and national arts consultant Surale Phillips will present a session geared toward South Carolina arts leaders. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose May 19 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Russell House University Union University of South Carolina—Columbia Campus Early Bird registration: $79 - ends April 24. Two or more from same organization: $69. Space is limited - find out more and register today! Session Descriptions This three-part seminar will include the following topics, featuring guest experts and hands-on learning. Part 1: The key to organizational success and financial stability. Part 2: Make your social media work for you!  Learn about strategies and tips to better engage your patrons and followers. Part 3: This 3.5-hour session with working lunch will help organizations to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Speakers: Surale Phillips, President and Lead Consultant at Decision Support Partners, Inc. surale_phillipsSurale Phillips has provided research and consulting services to the arts for 25 years. Her work has been the foundation of projects supported by the NEA, Wallace Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, and other national and local grant makers. Her more than 150 clients have included arts service organizations, municipalities, and nonprofit arts organizations of every discipline in nearly every state. She is a regular coach and presenter at the Americans for the Arts national convention and the National Arts Marketing Project conference. Her most recent workshops were hosted by Convening Culture for the State of Florida, Raleigh Office of Arts, and ArtsMemphis. Jennifer Clark Evins, President/CEO, Chapman Cultural Center, Inc., and 2007 Verner Award Winner evins_jenniferAs President/CEO, Evins heads the 4th largest and oldest local arts agency in South Carolina, leading a conglomerate of seven nonprofit collaborative partners that “co-locate” at the Chapman Cultural Center. Evins joined CCC in August 2010 as Senior Development Director and assumed the duties of the President/CEO in June 2011. Evins’ experience in the nonprofit sector was as a volunteer leader in Spartanburg for nearly 24 years. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million, and later raising $10 million for a new Spartanburg YMCA. Evins has lead numerous creative placemaking projects including winning the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Prior to joining the nonprofit field in 2010, Evins had an extensive professional career in marketing and public relations. Armen Shaomian, DMA, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sport and Entertainment Management armenDr. Shaomian is the producer and creator of the highly acclaimed Making Money series. He has an extensive background in performing arts, education and project management consulting. He is the founder and CEO of Armenize, Inc., an arts consulting agency specializing in non-profit arts management and foundational strategies. Prior work includes programs manager / associate producer for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) and its signature YoungArts program. In his role as their associate producer, Dr. Shaomian oversaw live performance logistics as well as strategic relations with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as the United States Department of Education and the United States Presidential Scholars program. His work with the NFAA included cost analysis and contract negotiations, allowing the Foundation to save fiscally while raising the quality of its programming. In 2016, he was nominated for the University of South Carolina’s Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dr. Shaomian currently serves on the board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).

April Showers is tonight! Tickets available at the door

The April Showers Art Party originally scheduled for April 5 has been RESCHEDULED for Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at 701 Whaley – the same time and location. We hope you will be able to join us. Ticket holders who cannot attend Thursday may request a refund by emailing Angela Brewbaker. Tickets will be available at the door for Thursday, April 6.   April Showers Art Party kicks off 50th Anniversary celebration Since 1967, the South Carolina Arts Commission has served as an umbrella for the arts, working collaboratively in all regions of the state to help establish and support arts organizations, arts education programs and artist development endeavors. With the umbrella as a prominent feature, the South Carolina Arts Foundation is presenting the April Showers Art Party April 5 to kick off the celebration of the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary. The fun begins at 701 Whaley at 7 p.m. with Singin' in the Rain -- a performance by Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet -- and continues with a sale of themed art work. The evening finale is a dance party featuring the Finesse Band. Tickets are $75 and are available online. April Showers will also celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, launched in 1987 by the Arts Commission in partnership with the S.C. Department of Education and Winthrop University. Sixty-seven ABC sites have transformed umbrellas into works of art that will be suspended from the ceiling during the party. After the party, the umbrellas will travel in an exhibition to ABC sites and a few other locations around the state. umbrellacompositehorizontal Left to right: McDonald Green Elementary, Lancaster; S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind, Spartanburg; Inman Intermediate, Inman; Kelly Miller Elementary, Winnsboro Find more information about April Showers and the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary online. Artists taking part in the invitational art sale (as of March 21): Angel Allen, Kent Ambler, Kristy Bishop, Connie Brennan, Patti Brady, Louis Bruce, Lou Chandler, Jocelyn Chateauvert, Jeff Donovan, Linda Fantuzzo, Diana Farfan, Jo Ann Graham, Mana Hewitt, Ellen Kochansky, Flavia Lovatelli, Kathy Moore, Marcelo Novo, Tabitha Ott, Rob Shaw, Virginia Watson, and Lynette Youson. Images: First row, left to right: works by Linda Fantuzzo, Rob Shaw, Linda Fantuzzo. Second row, l to r: Kent Ambler, Jeff Donovan, Marcelo Novo. April Showers collage  

Artists U is coming to the Pee Dee!

Attention Pee Dee artists! The Artists U Intensive: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist is coming to the Soulé Art Space in Florence May 26 and 27. Artists are talented, hard-working people, so why are so many exhausted, broke, and overwhelmed? Artists U will present tools and approaches for building a balanced, sustainable artist life. Based on 10 years of work with artists locally and nationally, artist leaders Andrew Simonet (Philadelphia), Michaela Pilar Brown (Columbia) and Rodney Lee Rogers (Charleston) will offer artists tools for reconnecting with deep values, building community, and managing time and money. Dates and location:

  • Friday, May 26, 7 – 8:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Soulé Art Space, 130 S. Irby St., Florence, SC 29501
  • How much does it cost? It’s free (but the class size is limited).
  • Who is it for? South Carolina artists.
  • Do you have to attend both sessions? Yes.
  • Will there be beverages? Of course. And lunch on Saturday.
  • How do I apply to participate? Find out more about Artists U and register here.
Any professional South Carolina artist may apply to attend (you do not have to live in Florence.) You will be notified once you are enrolled.  

April Showers Art Party – it’s raining umbrellas!

The April Showers Art Party is the kick-off event for the South Carolina Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary. Join the South Carolina Arts Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission April 5 to kick off the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary! For half a century, the Arts Commission has served as an umbrella for arts development in the Palmetto State. The April Showers Art Party will carry out the umbrella theme via works of art by professionals and umbrellas embellished by students and installed in the ceiling. These decorative umbrellas will represent the 67 sites of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. April Showers will include a "Singin' in the Rain" performance by Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet, an invitational art sale and a dance party featuring the Finesse Band. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online. April Showers Art Party Wednesday, April 5 Grand Hall at 701 Whaley, Columbia, S.C. 7 p.m. - Singin'in the Rain Opening Performance, Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet 7:30 - 9 p.m. - Invitational Art Sale 8:30 - 10:30 p.m. - Dance Party featuring the Finesse Band Find a list of participating artists and sponsors online. About the 50th Anniversary On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation creating the South Carolina Arts Commission, beginning a new era of public support for the arts in the Palmetto State. The legislation declared that the State of South Carolina would ensure that the arts “continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experiences of our citizens.” For 50 years, the Arts Commission has joined with individuals, institutions and professional organizations to advance the state’s commitment to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all citizens. From April 2017 through June 2018, the Arts Commission is celebrating 50 years of public support for the arts with kick-off events in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville and exhibitions and performances showcasing the arts around the state. Check out the calendar of events and stay tuned for updates! SCAC-Logo_Icon-Stacked-FullColor  

Take a tour and hear the story behind Seeing Spartanburg in A New Light

If you haven't yet toured Spartanburg's public art exhibition, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, here's your chance to do so and get the inside scoop from the creative team behind the project. The Chapman Cultural Center is hosting a two-day celebration of Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light beginning February 16 with a panel discussion and Q&A featuring the creative team involved with the project. The program continues February 17 with a tour by trolley of all nine installations, led by project artist Erwin Redl, and concludes with a presentation and reception back at the Chapman Cultural Center. Guests can take advantage of a discounted rate at the Spartanburg Marriott, conveniently located across the street from the Chapman Cultural Center. There will also be access to other local cultural institutions and exhibitions. One of four recipients of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light is a large-scale public art exhibition that features nine original artworks by renown light and media artist Erwin Redl installed throughout 10 neighborhoods in Spartanburg. This project is an unprecedented partnership between Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center, Mayor Junie White, and the Police Department to use public art as a platform for building stronger relationships between local residents and police officers. Please RSVP by February 10, 2017 to Renee Denton at info@seeingspartanburg.com or (864) 278-9685. Via: Chapman Cultural Center

Public invited to Poetry Out Loud competitions

Nicole Sadek Nicole Sadek, 2016 S.C. Poetry Out Loud champion Since school began in the fall, high school students around the state have been memorizing poetry, practicing recitation skills and polishing performances to compete in Poetry Out Loud school-level competitions. School-based winners are competing in three regional competitions taking place January 21 and 22 in Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston. Winners from each regional competition will advance to the state finals taking place March 11 in Columbia. The competitions are free and open to the public. Regional competition schedule:

  • Region 1 (Upstate) Jan. 21, from 2 - 4:30 p.m. Spartanburg Community College Downtown Campus, 220 E. Kennedy St., Spartanburg, SC 29302 (Please use entrance at back of building.) Counties: Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, York, Lancaster, Chesterfield, Anderson, Laurens, Union, Chester, Abbeville, McCormick and Greenwood Partner: Hub City Writers Project
  • Region 2 (Midlands) Jan. 21 from 2 - 4:30 p.m. Richland Library Main (second floor), 1431 Assembly St., Columbia, S.C. 29201 Counties: Edgefield, Saluda, Newberry, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Darlington, Marlboro, Aiken, Lexington, Richland, Sumter, Florence, Marion, Dillon and Calhoun Partners: One Columbia, South Carolina Center for Oral Narrative-USC Sumter and Richland Library Main
For 11 years, the South Carolina Arts Commission has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the Poetry Out Loud National Poetry Recitation Contest to South Carolina. The Arts Commission engages regional partners to promote participation and to manage regional competitions. Nearly 4,000 South Carolina students participated this year. The state champion will compete in the national finals April 24-26 in Washington, D.C. About Poetry Out Loud Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed. The national winner received a $20,000 scholarship.