Three artists to develop businesses with new SCAC grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12 July 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission continues its commitment to helping the state’s artists build or bolster sustainable arts careers by awarding three Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) grants for FY2019. AVI grants encourage and enable the creation of new 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 total of $15,000 will be distributed evenly to three artists who were among 21 who applied for the grants:

  • Serwah Armah-Koranteng, Richland County;
  • Shauna Cooper, Orangeburg County;
  • Darin Gehrke, Greenville County.
Armah-Koranteng, a fashion designer, plans to use her grant to purchase a truck that will be turned into a sewing training center and mobile boutique – “the first authentic African clothing boutique on wheels in the Carolinas,” she said. “This has been my dream for the past four years of being in business, and I am just steps away from achieving it. Africstyle mobile boutique will be able to continue with its event planning activities, increase its pop-up store opportunities in major cities, and help teach basic sewing skills to customers who visit our boutique.” Cooper, who specializes in hand-molded, artisan-style candles, is owner and creative director of home fragrance and body care products company Wicks + Scents. She plans to use her award to build brand awareness with a mobile-responsive and navigation-friendly website with SEO optimization and purchase of commercial-grade equipment to increase the business’ scalability. Gehrke, a potter, will use grant funds to purchase a pug mill, a piece of equipment that will increase studio efficiency by recycling clay more quickly and thoroughly. It will also improve his studio environment by reducing dust and minimizing the physical stress of preparing clay. “The South Carolina Arts Commission commends these artist entrepreneurs on excellent pitches to our panel that sold their ideas. They contribute to an arts-related economic cluster which adds $9.7 billion to our state economy annually, and these transformative grants are to promote sustainability of these businesses,” said Executive Director Ken May of the arts commission. Beginning this fall, the S.C. Arts Commission will make a call for applicants for the next year’s grant awards. More information is available at SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696.
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.

Submitted material

Furman tenors shine at national competition in Las Vegas

After impressive performances at both state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions held earlier this year, two Furman University vocalists made the best of opportunities to compete on the national stage. Tyrese Byrd, a junior vocal performance major from Williamston and Bergsvein Toverud, a senior music education major from Lenoir, N.C., competed in the semifinals and finals of the National Student Auditions, part of the 55th NATS competition held June 22-26 in Las Vegas. The tenors won third place in their divisions at the event where they competed among 200 vocalists. Before getting a chance to compete in the semis, the two were required to submit YouTube videos for the preliminary round. (View them here: Toverud | Byrd)  Having made the cut, which included the top 14 in their respective divisions, the tenors matriculated to the live semifinal round where they continued to shine. Only the top three or four singers in each category from the semifinals advanced to the live, national final. “Tyrese and Bergsvein were the only two tenors competing in the college classical competition at this level. This is remarkable considering the size of our music program. It says a lot about the type of student and level of talent we have here, ” Furman Professor of Voice Grant Knox said. Knox believes no other school came away with two finalists at the competition. And besides acknowledging the raw talent students brought to the event, Knox gives a nod to Furman. “These types of successes would not be possible without Furman’s support and encouragement. These students come to Furman because they feel the university values music and the arts. I look forward to celebrating more achievements like these in the years to come,” he said.


For more information, contact Grant Knox at 864.294.3034 and grant.knox@furman.edu.

Governor affirms SCAC budget

Late this morning, Gov. McMaster signed off on the General Assembly's FY19 state budget with arts funding requested by the S.C. Arts Commission completely intact – which includes a $350,000 increase from the House and a $100,000 increase from the Senate. We're grateful for BIPARTISAN support for the arts from the legislative and executive branches. THANK YOU to the state leadership for affirming what we live and breathe every day: the arts benefit everyone, and everyone should have access to them. It's a great day for the arts in South Carolina!

Tuning Up: A two-act play about arts funding and bookkeeping

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...


ACT ONE: Arts Funding Update

NEWSREADER (downstage, alone, follow spot only - no stage/house lighting) (serious)

We're getting late word of an arts funding update. (Beat. Touches earpiece as if listening to producer). YES! Yesterday, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a state budget on recommendation from the conference committee. The House voted 84-28 in favor, and the Senate 30-9. The adopted budget includes an additional $350,000 the House included in March and $100,000 the Senate added for arts education. The budget has gone to Governor McMaster to sign, veto, or use his line-item veto power to strike portions he doesn't like.

AUDIENCE, off-stage (gasps)

But his vetoes!

NEWSREADER (reassuring)

Arts leaders are cautiously optimistic that the funding will remain as passed. A decision by the governor is expected next week. He has five business days, excluding Sunday and the July Fourth holiday to respond. (Follow spot fades. Newsreader exits. A spontaneous candlelight vigil begins in audience.)

(Intermission)

ACT TWO: ICYMI: A Stronger Bottom Line.

GP MCLEER (in toga, enthusiastically - a soliloquy)

OYEZ! OYEZ! The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available (lean in, with emphasis) for just $200. All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now!

Submitted material

South Arts awards $27,000 among seven S.C. arts groups

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, has awarded 68 grants totaling $276,949 to arts organization throughout the South. South ArtsThese funds, made possible through partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, support the presentation of touring performing and literary artists in public performances and readings along with educational activities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“These funds represent a major step for our organization in pursuit of our newly revised mission statement and strategic plan,” said executive director Susie Surkamer (former executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission. - Ed.) “We have refocused our grantmaking guidelines to primarily support Southern artists on tour throughout our communities. The talent and artistry created within our nine states is immense, and deserves to be shared.”

Organizations applied for consideration, making cases for the artistic merit of the proposed artists and the ability to develop audiences. An external panel of arts professionals reviewed each application for funding consideration. The grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization. These grants represent multiple initiatives by South Arts. Performing Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern artists (theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, and dance) from outside of the presenter’s state. Literary Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. Launchpad grants are part of a year-long professional development program for presenters new to the field, and include the opportunity to present artists from an adjudicated roster. Dance Touring Initiative funds are part of an ongoing capacity-building program developing audiences for modern dance and contemporary ballet throughout the region. “We are so proud to support tours of diverse, talented artists representing the breadth of our region,” continued Surkamer. “Some of the highlights this year include Ranky Tanky, based in coastal South Carolina, blending their Gullah heritage with influences of jazz and funk. Rosie Herrera Dance Theater of Miami is one of the nation’s leading contemporary ballet companies, effortlessly working across genres including hip hop, dance theater, and cabaret. Poet Jericho Brown, an associate professor Emory University in Atlanta, is a leading voice with verses exploring race, masculinity, and community.” Applications for South Arts touring grants for nonprofit and governmental organizations in the nine-state region open in the fall each year with deadlines in March and May. Additional information and a full listing of grant recipients is available at www.southarts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

South Carolina's recipients

  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $2,354 Literary Arts Touring grant to present P. Scott Cunningham in October 2018.
  • Midlands Technical College (Columbia) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Southern Guitar Festival and Competition (Columbia) received a $878 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Jay Kacherski in June 2019.
  • Coker College (Hartsville) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Hilton Head) received a $5,569 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Ballet Memphis in January 2019.
  • Wits End Poetry (Greenville) received a $890 Literary Arts Touring grant to present Asia Samson & Daryl Funn in September 2018.

Submitted material

Verner Award recipient Leo Twiggs a finalist for 1858 Prize

The Gibbes Museum of Art and Society 1858 have announced the 2018 short list of finalists for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The five artists selected for the short list are:

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons,
  • Stephen Hayes,
  • Birney Imes,
  • Leo Twiggs,
  • and Susan Worsham.
The 1858 Prize, awarded annually with a cash prize of $10,000, acknowledges an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. Nearly 250 artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia submitted applications to the 2018 competition. The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including:
  • Bo Bartlett, artist, 2017 winner of the 1858 Prize;
  • Liza Cleveland, Society 1858 board member;
  • Adam Justice, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum;
  • Anja Kelley, Society 1858 board member;
  • Marshall Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art;
  • Pam Wall, Curator of Exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art;
  • and Caroline Wright, Independent Curator and Co-founder of look-see.co.
The 1858 Prize winner will be announced by the Gibbes Museum in August.

Four artists honored with S.C. Arts Commission fellowships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 June 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina artists in Charleston, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg counties representing four arts disciplines received individual artist fellowships after approval by the S.C. Arts Commission board in Columbia. All individual artists working in prose, poetry, and theatre acting and playwriting were invited to apply for awards for fiscal year 2019. The S.C. Arts Commission board approved $5,000 fellowships based on recommendations made by out-of-state review panelists, who select these fellows after  reviewing anonymous work samples:

  • Rutledge Hammes of Charleston County for prose,
  • Stephen Tulloh of Spartanburg County for poetry,
  • Paul Kaufmann of Richland County for theatre acting,
  • and Kevin Ferguson of Horry County for theatre playwriting.
Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. They are awarded through a competitive, anonymous process and based solely on artistic excellence. Recognition from fellowship awards often lends artistic prestige and opens doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “Past fellows are quick to share stories about the transformative difference award dollars make and the positive effect on their spirits and their self-perception,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “It can truly be a life-changing experience. South Carolina’s artists are indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities and make up the core of our creative economy. A fellowship is one of the best ways the people of South Carolina thank them, and our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on their behalf.” The panelists who judged each discipline’s nominees work in those disciplines elsewhere. This year’s prose judge was Jamey Hatley of Memphis, Tenn., an author who received a prose fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016. The poetry judge was poet Shane McCrae of New York City, an NEA poetry fellow and writing professor at Columbia University. Nancy Rominger of Montgomery, Ala., director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, served as the theatre acting judge. The theatre playwriting judge was Betty Peterson, an English professor at Somerset (Ky.) Community College. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists who work in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual arts, craft, and music performance or composition, will be honored in fiscal year 2020. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the S.C. Arts Commission. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grants/artists/fellowships.shtml.

About the FY2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship Recipients

PROSE F. RUTLEDGE HAMMES | Charleston County “What I write, at its very best, is some illegitimate hybrid of South American magical realism and Southern Gothic I like to think of as Southern Fabulism,” Rutledge Hammes says of the sum of his prose. Hammes, who lives in Charleston, is the writer-in-residence and creative writing teacher for the Charleston County School of the Arts. His students, throughout a 10-year tenure, have accounted for more than 3,500 regional and national writing awards. The city’s 2011 “Best Up-and-Coming Writer” is co-author of two published novels. His first solo novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, is to be published under his name this September. He is the winner of six ADDY Awards for copywriting and winner of the Cypress Dome Fiction Awards. His talent extends to poetry, where he was a finalist for both the Montage Poetry Award and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Award for Poetry. POETRY STEPHEN TULLOH | Spartanburg County Stephen Tulloh received his MFA in creative writing from the University of South Carolina. The Spartanburg resident has spent time as a tutor and instructor on the collegiate level, where he develops and implements subject- and student-centered courses which nurture creativity, empowerment, self-actualization. As a writer, though, Tulloh considers himself versatile and meticulous as he creates essays, books, and articles for traditional or digital publication. He blogs and has three credits to his name: two out-of-print collections of essays, activities, and lectures on communication and writing; and 2009’s Symmetry, described as “retrospective, introspective, emotive, and somewhat innovative, the poems and drawings in Symmetry focus on two siblings' relationships – with nature; with one another; with family, friends and foes.” THEATRE: ACTING PAUL KAUFMANN | Richland County Though an actor for most of his life, Paul Kaufmann is a multi-faceted artist: playwright, songwriter, fiction and copy writer, and a visual artist. A resident of Columbia with a bachelor’s in communications from Florida State University, he is a veteran of the city’s theatre scene, serving as a cast member in stage productions at Trustus Theatre and at USC. His resume includes appearances in productions in New York City, Wales and on screen in Third Reel, a Jason Stokes film. He has been the principal at Kaufmann Forensic Actors for 12 years. His company contracts 20 actors from across the U.S. to provide actors to the FBI, ICE and other federal and state agencies for use in scenario-based training, where they portray victims of myriad crimes. THEATRE: PLAYWRIGHTING KEVIN FERGUSON | Horry County He describes himself as a son, friend, actor, counselor, teacher, mentor, playwright, dramaturg, and a literary manager, but “not always in that order,” says Kevin Ferguson of Little River on his website. He is credited with writing six plays: five original, and an adaptation of Dickens’ famed A Christmas Carol. His work was included in a short play anthology in 2015 and he contributed to a nine-vignette collection of works with other playwrights. Ferguson teaches playwriting and dramaturgy at Coastal Carolina University. He earned an MFA in playwriting with a concentration in dramaturgy from Hollins University. He is playwright-in-residence, literary manager, and resident dramaturg at Atlantic Stage in Myrtle Beach. He is also the resident Dramaturg at the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins.

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.

Tuning Up: Spoleto attendance + grantee bookkeeping workshop

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...


ICMYI: Near-record attendance reported at Spoleto. "Highlighted by four U.S. premiere productions, four world premieres, and several new musical arrangements, the 42nd season of Spoleto Festival USA proved to be another landmark 17-day celebration of the performing arts ... In summary, the 2018 Festival welcomed more than 65,000 ticket holders to 158 performances and events, achieving ticket sales of more than $3.3 million—the second highest in Festival history." Get all the details here. A Stronger Bottom Line. The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available for just $200. (Not a typo; we checked. - Ed.) All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now! Artist talk at 701 CCA. SCAC fellowship recipient Jane Allen Nodine is giving an artist talk Sunday at 3 p.m. in Columbia at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art to close out the SC.FELLOWS Part II exhibition at the gallery. Reservations required. Get more information here.

Announcing the 2018 S.C. Novel Prize winner

      LEAD MEDIA CONTACT: Kate McMullen, Hub City Press 864.577.9349|  kate@hubcity.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19 June 2018 Winner announced for biennial South Carolina Novel Prize SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, the College of Charleston, and the South Carolina State Library are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 South Carolina Novel Prize is Scott Sharpe for his manuscript “Whispering into the Wind.” Scott Sharpe (2018) Scott Sharpe was born and raised in the Sandhills of central South Carolina and graduated from the University of SC with a degree in business. He lives in Eastover and currently works for the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office. When not helping the state rebuild its rural communities or writing, he practices the art of fly-fishing and paddles any body of water big enough to launch his canoe. He has written countless short stories and is currently working on his second novel and a collection of short fiction.  “Whispering into the Wind” follows protagonist Jack Parker’s struggle to find some purpose to his life-long strained relationship with his father and his father’s peculiar actions just before his death. The very issues that separated them in life ultimately lead to understanding and a quiet peace as Jack reluctantly follows in his father’s footsteps. Sharpe’s winning manuscript will be published in 2019 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. Jill McCorkle, author of 10 books including “Life After Life” was the judge of the biennial prize this year. The South Carolina Novel Prize is funded by the following partner organizations:

  • 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.
  • Hub City Press was founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995 and since then has emerged as one of the South's premier independent presses.
  • The College of Charleston is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty, but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program provides students an immersion in a world of prose and poetry and the practical aspects of establishing a career in the arts.
  • The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.
  • South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a founding partner of the South Carolina Novel Prize.
For more information about the Novel Competition, visit or call:
  • SouthCarolinaArts.com / 803.734.8696;
  • or HubCity.org / 864.577.9349.
 

Tuning Up: Arts funding update + Google grants opportunity for Midlands

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...


Increases possible for federal, state arts funding. No, really. Yesterday in Washington, a Senate committee concurred with the House that the NEA should be funded at $155 million for FY19. That's a $2 million increase from FY18. The Senate Appropriations Committee should vote on the measure Thursday. Across the street from us at the State House, a conference committee is to reconvene next week to reconcile differences between House and Senate budget versions. Both bodies already approved a $350,000 funding increase for the S.C. Arts Commission, but an additional $100,000 in Education Improvement Act funds recommended by the Senate will need conference committee approval to progress to Gov. McMaster's desk. Midlands arts nonprofits: want a $50,000 grant? Four nonprofits from Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties will receive $50,000 in grant funding and training from Google thanks to Google Impact Challenge Columbia. All nonprofits are invited to submit proposals for their creative and innovative ideas to grow economic opportunity in their communities. A local panel will select four winners, and then the public votes on which of those will receive an additional $50,000. The SCAC can't urge you strongly enough to make a run at getting one of these. Be one of the... top dogs! The deadline is July 11. See a story from WIS here. Best of luck!