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Governor’s School students receive top honors in 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

There's gold (and silver) in them there (Upstate) hills


Out of 18,000 works of creative writing and visual art competing in the national 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, 12 students from the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities won 18 medals. For the first time in the school’s history, a creative writing and a visual arts student both received the best-in-show awards—the American Voices and Visions Medals—representing the entire southeast region. All of these students will be recognized at the 2020 National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in June. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is the nation's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7–12, and serves as a launch pad for furthering students' future success by providing them with access to scholarship programs and workshops, as well as the ability to have their work published and displayed in regional and national exhibitions. The Governor’s School’s Creative Writing medalists include:
  • Camryn Hambrick - Gold Medal and American Voices Medal, Humor
  • Alyssa Wilson - Gold Medal, Poetry
  • Sophie Young - Gold Medal, Poetry; Gold Medal, Personal Essay & Memoir
  • Emma Rose Gowans - Gold Medal, Science Fiction/Fantasy; Silver Medal, Digital Art
  • Chad Moss - Gold Medal, Personal Essay & Memoir
  • Bees Runge - Silver Medal, Poetry
  • Gracie Young - Silver Medal with Distinction, Writing Portfolio
Visual Arts medalists include:
  • Benay Daniel - Gold Medal and American Visions Medal, Film & Animation
  • Honoka Segi - Gold Medal, Design
  • Lucy Siegler - Gold Medal, Design; Gold Medal, Comic Art; Gold Medal, Comic Art
  • Wylder Voegele - Gold Medal, Sculpture
  • John Wright - Silver Medal, Art Portfolio
In the fall, nearly 340,000 works were submitted to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards from affiliates and region-at-large competitions. In the Southeast Region-At-Large competition, representing Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, Governor’s School students received a total of 138 awards, including 30 Gold Keys and two American Voices and Visions nominations. All Gold Key works and five American Voices and five American Vision nominees from each region are then judged in the national competition. The American Voices and Visions Medals represent the highest regional honors and are given to one writer and one visual artist from each region. This year, both of these medals went to Governor’s School students. The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, located in Greenville, is a public, residential high school that provides pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, and music. For the past twenty years, students from across the state have been refining their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education.

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

Jason Rapp

$10 million Artist Relief Fund announced

Americans for the Arts committed to supporting the arts across America


Today, a consortium of funders announced the creation of the Artist Relief Fund, a $10 million national emergency relief fund for artists and creative workers that will provide $5,000 no-strings-attached grants. It is intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19. Americans for the Arts was brought on as the research partner in that effort. In that role, it was asked to develop and deploy the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, which is designed to: capture financial and creative impact of COVID-19 on creative workers, highlight the resiliency and generosity of the creative sector, and make sure that the 5 million creative workers in the U.S. are supported and heard during this ongoing crisis and the eventual recovery. This new survey is a counterpart to our ongoing Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Arts and Cultural Organizations survey, which over 11,000 organizations have completed to date. The South Carolina Arts Commission has been encouraging participation from the outset in lieu of conducting its own survey within the state. In addition to ensuring creative workers can sustain their practice, the goal in collecting data is to provide research that will support federal policy efforts in the next phase of stimulus and COVID-19 recovery; policies that are specific to individual creative workers. The SCAC invites you to share the Artist Relief Fund webpage and funding application, as well as the survey, with any artists or creative workers you know who have been negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Emerging Leaders of Color + CARES Act grants

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...


BREAKING

As The Hub was compiling this update, guidelines for the National Endowment for the Arts' CARES Act grants were released. The South Carolina Arts Commission is reviewing the guidelines and developing a grant program. (If you weren't aware, 40 percent of the NEA's $75 million relief funding is designated to state arts agencies to use for grants.) We will announce details as soon as possible.
Remember this? Like so many other things disrupted by the pandemic, South Arts is extending the April 17 deadline for Emerging Leaders of Color program applications indefinitely. Details on timing will be announced when they are available. Here's a quick refresher on ELC (South Arts link):

To promote representative leadership and equity in the arts, 11 to 13 cultural workers and arts administrators located in seven states in the southern region will be selected for this partnership program between South Arts and our colleague Regional Arts Organization WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation). Building on the success of WESTAF’s ELC program which has been attracting, training, networking and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010, the South Arts program will serve to advance Southern vitality through the arts through leadership development.

Here are a couple updates on other South Arts grants:
  • Jazz Road Tours: Applications due April 21, 2020 Note: In addition to the April 21 deadline, in the coming weeks Jazz Road Tours will begin accepting rolling applications so artists can submit on their own schedule. Details will be announced when they are available. Jazz artists from anywhere in the US can apply for funds to build tours that include three to six sites, with an emphasis on reaching rural, isolated, and underserved communities in combination with dates at more traditional venues. Grants of up to $15,000 are available to support tours taking place between August 15, 2020 and August 14, 2021.
  • Literary Arts Touring Grants: Applications due May 1, 2020 Literary Arts Touring grants support presenting organizations for engagements by guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. These touring funds support publicly accessible readings and educational activities that provide opportunities for people to participate in the arts. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects taking place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Jason Rapp

NEA debuts ‘Chairman’s Corner’ podcast

A weekly visit with the chairman


Today, the NEA announced the first episode of a new weekly podcast featuring National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter. Each week, host Josephine Reed will interview Chairman Carter (right) about what’s on her mind. They will discuss the work of the Arts Endowment and artists and arts organizations across the country. Take a listen to this week’s "Chairman’s Corner" where she talks about the current impact of COVID-19 on the arts community and the $75 million the National Endowment for the Arts received from Congress in the CARES Act.
The NEA invites you to visit its frequently updated COVID-19 resource page at this link. South Carolina artists (#SCartists) and S.C. Arts Commission constituents can visit the SCAC's response page here.

Jason Rapp

Podcast features SCAC’s ‘Art of Community: Rural SC’

Rural shines in podcast series from UofSC

Growing Rural Podcast logo
A rural-focused podcast sat down recently to chat with the South Carolina Arts Commission's Susan DuPlessis, program director of "The Art of Community: Rural SC." "Growing Rural" is a podcast devoted to rural produced by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and its SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare. DuPlessis raved to The Hub about it. "I want to say a big thanks to Dr. Kevin Bennett and Alanti McGill for their interest in this initiative and the great way this series of podcasts is casting rural in a new light," DuPlessis said. DuPlessis would know; her work has been shining light on rural since the program launched in 2016. Originally in six "Promise Zone" counties in lower South Carolina, the program has spread to 15 counties total and creates a way to support new leadership, generates energy, and motivates action in our state’s rural communities by addressing long-standing challenges using arts and culture. It unites communities by giving more people a platform. One of those new leaders, Dr. Yvette McDaniel, was featured in an earlier "Growing Rural" episode. You can learn more about "Art of Community: Rural SC" on SouthCarolinaArts.com and by reading its new brochure. To listen to the podcast, visit the "Growing Rural" page.

David Platts

Constituent updates on arts relief aid

The CARES Act and the arts


Additional details have been released on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2 trillion bill signed into law last Friday. It offers benefits to South Carolina’s artists and arts organizations, and I want to update you on those. First, though, it is imperative that we get your help by asking you to complete the five-minute Americans for the Arts survey if you have not already done so. The survey aggregates data for each state on the real loss that cancelations and closings will have on arts and culture. South Carolina needs more input to be accurately reflective. Please, no matter your size or reach, stop now and take the survey. You may also update numbers previously submitted. Back to the CARES Act. I am happy to report it includes access to loans, grants and unemployment benefits previously unavailable to many independent artists or arts organizations. In case you missed it, this act also provides $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. State arts agencies like the S.C. Arts Commission will receive 40% of these funds to distribute. We do not yet know when we will receive these funds or have the details of how this grant will be distributed, but we will share details as soon as we know them. The other 60% will be distributed as direct grants from the NEA to local arts organizations and  can be used for operational support. Other aspects of the relief package relevant to the arts sector are loans through the Small Business Administration. Non-profit organizations, sole-proprietorships, and independent contractors are eligible to apply beginning today, Friday, April 3. Some of these loans are “forgivable” to encourage retaining workers and function more like grants. If you are interested in securing one, check  to see whether or not your bank is part of this network or find a list of SBA-approved participating lenders here. Our partner the South Carolina Arts Alliance has comprehensive information available about Small Business Administration loans and grants and unemployment benefits for artists and arts organizations. To learn more or to become involved in further advocacy, visit the South Carolina Arts Alliance website. Artists and other creative workers are eligible for federal unemployment benefits offered to those who are part of the gig economy. The new benefits cover the weeks ending April 4 through July 31. The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce administers unemployment insurance in South Carolina. Applications will be made through that agency. For all these things, please keep in mind that patience may be necessary as federal guidelines are interpreted and implemented. Our pledge is to point you in the right direction for assistance. We will continue to collaborate with the South Carolina Arts Alliance to give you timely information.
Photo by John Guccione www.advergroup.com from Pexels

Submitted material

SLAY, Lowcountry artists, slay

"Support Lowcountry Artists Y'all" debuts Wednesday


Local artists have joined together to respond to the havoc that SARS-COV-2 and Covid-19 have caused for the world and the arts community. SLAY is an acronym for "Support Lowcountry Artists Y'all." This is a relief effort for the arts community led by noted Bluffton based artist Amiri Farris. Farris wanted to do something about the many Lowcountry artists who experienced a significant loss of income when the COVID-19 virus caused the cancellation or rescheduling of many local art shows, festivals, and galas. Knowing that many in the art community are facing similar difficulties, he assembled SLAY as a collaborative of artists to create content to inspire and engage the community, recover some of that income, and raise funds at this critical time. Amiri Geuka Farris' handwashing artwork Handwashing artwork by Amiri Geuka Farris SLAY’s founding roster includes:
  • Amiri Farris
  • Natalie Daise
  • Michael Dantzler
  • Sophie Docalavich
  • Dr. Thaddeus Jones
  • Ment Nelson
  • Victoria A. Smalls
  • Calvin Woodum
Heather Bruemmer, executive director of SLAY, knows well the challenges SLAY wants to address. "Many artists, musicians, and other creatives will be left behind by The CARES Act," Bruemmer said. "If you are selling your artwork here and there at shows, or are a recent graduate just getting started, you are going to be left out. The relief only covers people who had an established LLC filed prior to January 31st or were getting paid as independent contractors via IRS Form 1099. Many small independent artists won't qualify." Bruemmer continued, "Worse, recent art school grads who were claimed by their parents last year won't receive the $1,200 per person assistance either. We could lose a generation of young artists who have to set aside their craft. These are the types of artists who are often also without health care. The need is urgent and legitimate." The group is moving quickly to respond to these challenges. SLAY has incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is expected to launch the website www.SLAYart.org April 1. The initial site will accept donations and requests for relief. As it grows, plans call for the site to be monetized through a membership model. Through this virtual co-op, donor members will receive unique content created solely for this platform from SLAY's roster of established and emerging Lowcountry artists, all of whom have experienced cancellations in recent weeks. A mix of online content, downloads, and mailed deliverables is planned. Farris states that the group will welcome new artists who are passionate about this work and have a connection to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia to join the effort. At this time the group is focused on serving the coastal counties of South Carolina and Georgia, along with the rural areas that comprise the South Carolina Promise Zone.

BONUS CONTENT: Does his name sound familiar? Learn more about Amiri Farris at the South Carolina Arts Commission COVID-19 response page.

SLAY’s goal is to be able to offer financial support to all kinds of artists and creatives who experience financial hardship during this difficult time. They will be able to apply for relief through a simple application on our web portal and can receive up to $500 in assistance rapidly via the Zelle app. This work will benefit the general public as well as the art world. SLAY will create high quality, contemporary art that comforts, inspires, and educates about practices which will need to be a long term "new normal" in our world long after the immediate threat from COVID-19 has diminished. To this end, public health experts have been engaged to advise on messaging and content that will be beneficial to the overall fight against the virus.

Jason Rapp

NEA announces relief aid for arts orgs

$75 million included in CARES Act


In recognition of the arts’ $877 billion contribution to the U.S. economy and a source of 5.1 million American jobs, the National Endowment for the Arts will distribute $75 million in funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bill was enacted into law Friday. The Arts Endowment will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities survive the forced closure of their operations in response to the spread of COVID-19. “In this time of great economic uncertainty, I am grateful to the members of Congress and the president for recognizing the contributions of the arts to our nation and our economy and the devastation and job loss that this virus has wreaked upon the arts community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “With the agency’s experience in disaster recovery, economic crises mitigation, and distributing relief funds, the Arts Endowment will deliver assistance to help retain as many jobs as possible and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities.” As stated in the legislation, the $75 million is intended to assist nonprofit arts organizations “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally.” The legislation allows funds to be used for general operating expenses, a departure from the Arts Endowment’s requirement of supporting project-based funding and an acknowledgment of the dire situation facing the arts community. In addition, arts organizations do not have to provide matching funds to receive their grant. As regards to the distribution of the funds, the standard distinction remains of 40 percent awarded to state and regional arts organizations and 60 percent to be awarded by the Arts Endowment directly to applicant organizations. Details regarding timing and applications are being developed and will be announced as soon as they are available. Please check arts.gov in the coming days for more information. “On behalf of America’s taxpayers, we fully understand and welcome the responsibility which has been entrusted to the Arts Endowment,” said Chairman Carter. “America needs the arts and these jobs as part of our economy, our communities, and our lives and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to doing its part.” Economic Data According to data recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, arts and culture contributed $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017. That same year, there were over five million wage‐and‐salary workers employed in the arts and cultural sector, earning $405 billion. Today, as in 2017, most nonprofit arts organizations operate with lean budgets so the loss of earned income can have an outsized impact. This leads to fewer jobs with the organizations themselves as well as the businesses that supply them, from dry cleaners to parking attendants. Economic Crises The Arts Endowment has experience in recovery efforts. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress appropriated $50 million to the Arts Endowment to support the preservation of jobs in the nonprofit arts sector. The agency obligated $48.575 million in grant funds in 20 weeks, using less than one percent of its allocation to cover increased administrative costs. The Arts Endowment was the first federal agency to get all its money out the door, funds that helped preserve over 7,000 jobs. Disaster Recovery In addition, the Arts Endowment has responded to natural and man-made disasters, using the arts to support physical rebuilding and promote healing. Two examples: after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the agency led design charrettes to create a memorial honoring victims of the attack. In 2017, the Arts Endowment awarded emergency funding to the state arts agencies in the areas affected by Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria to re-grant to their artists and organizations. The NEA also sits on the steering committees of coalitions such as the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts 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 Arts Endowment 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. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Submitted material

Kristi Ryba named S.C.’s South Arts State Fellow

South Arts awarding more than $160,000 to 18 artists


South Arts, the nonprofit regional arts service organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts, announces the recipients of two fellowship programs.

Southern PrizeNine visual artists (one per state from its nine-state service area) will each receive a $5,000 State Fellowship; additionally, they are now in competition for the $25,000 Southern Prize with a residency at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences as well as the $10,000 Southern Prize Finalist awards.

The other 2020 State Fellowship recipients are:

  • Carlton Nell. Drawing. Opelika, Alabama.
  • Alba Triana. Experimental. Miami, Florida.
  • Fahamu Pecou. Painting. Decatur, Georgia.
  • Letitia Quesenberry. Multidisciplinary. Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Karen Ocker. Painting. New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Ashleigh Coleman. Photography. Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Sherrill Roland. Multidisciplinary. Morrisville, North Carolina.
  • Bill Steber. Photography. Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Additionally, another nine traditional artists and culture-bearers from Central Appalachian counties in KY, NC, and TN will each receive $9,000 Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowships to continue their lifelong learning and practice. The 2020 Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship recipients are:

  • Roger Cooper. Old-time music. Garrison, Kentucky.
  • Charlene Long. Willow & honeysuckle basket making. Upton, Kentucky.
  • Octavia Sexton. Storytelling. Orlando, Kentucky.
  • Janet Calhoun. Pottery. Lenoir, North Carolina.
  • Susan Leveille. Handweaving. Webster, North Carolina.
  • Bobby McMillon. Ballad singing. Burnsville, North Carolina.
  • Meredith Goins. Violin luthiery. Dunlap, Tennessee.
  • Jordan Hughett. Ballad singing. Winfield, Tennessee.
  • Mark Newberry. Chair-making. Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee.

“South Arts is immensely proud to support every one of these artists, craftspeople, and tradition-bearers,” says Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts and a former executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission. “Especially as our country enters the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, artists are among those most vulnerable to losing income. Yet their creativity, work, and stories are what carry us forward and will be integral to rebuilding our communities.”


Applications were open for both fellowship programs in the fall of 2019. The State Fellowships application pool was reviewed by a panel of experts including Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Edward Hayes, Jr. of The McNay Art Museum, independent art historian and consultant David Houston, and Marilyn Zapf of the Center for Craft. The panel made their recommendations based on the artistic excellence of their work and inclusiveness of the diversity of the Southern region. The Folk & Traditional Art Master Artist Fellowship applications were reviewed by a panel including Native American potter and storyteller Beckee Garris, Zoe van Buren of the North Carolina Arts Council, Mark Brown of the Kentucky Arts Council, and Evangeline Mee of the Tennessee Arts Commission. The panel made their recommendations based on the artists’ history and mastery of their respective tradition as well as the proposed lifelong learning opportunity.

The nine State Fellowship recipients will be featured in an exhibition that is scheduled to open at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in May 2020; due to the current closures of facilities, this date may be postponed. The announcement of which State Fellowship recipients will also be named as the Southern Prize winner and finalist will be announced at a ceremony surrounding the opening of this exhibition.

“I would like to thank each and every one of our donors and sponsors,” continues Surkamer. “Their support and investment in the arts, culture, and tradition of our region is vital even in the best of times, and their ongoing generosity is more important than ever before.”

To view the work by each of these fellowship recipients and read more about the artists and tradition-bearers, visit www.southarts.org.


About Kristi Ryba

Kristi Ryba's Chapel Of Perpetual Adoration II Chapel Of Perpetual Adoration II ; 2018 ; Egg Tempera & 22k Gold leaf on panel ; 3 panels each 18.75 x 15.25

Kristi Ryba enchants viewers with her narrative works as she combines the elaborate skill of handmade egg tempera painting with subjects that explore contemporary events and messages of morality. Museum visitors will experience the different stages of a painting; how the artist lays out the composition, prepares the painting supports, grinds the pigment, and applies gold leaf to envelop the final piece in regalia.

Kristi Ryba holds an MFA from Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont and most recently won 2nd place in the esteemed annual visual art competition ArtFields (2018). The artist is represented by Corrigan Gallery in Charleston and is in numerous private collections including the Medical University of South Carolina.

Artist Statement

Over the last several years, my interest in the study of Medieval and Renaissance art has informed my work. This series of paintings is taken from images from centuries ago and serve as a vehicle to simplify an urgent message by providing the symbolic and instructional imagery to illustrate and illuminate the leadership crisis we are in. All the gold, elaborate surroundings and messages of morality and ethics corresponded with what is happening in our government; the gutting of our social safety net and health care, eliminating environmental protections, the lack of restraint in spending money on personal enrichment and pleasure and the build-up of military spending and deficit in international diplomacy to name a few.

For more on the other 2020 State Fellows and the 2020 Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship recipients, please visit those links to content on SouthArts.org.

About South Arts

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.

Jason Rapp

Message from the SCAC on constituent service

As with the rest of state government, the South Carolina Arts Commission remains open and serving our constituents. Our team continues working diligently to respond to your needs. During this time, the best way to reach us is via email. We will resume in-person business as soon as state/local authorities and public health experts deem it safe to do so.