Trustus Theatre names Chad Henderson producing artistic director

Trustus Theatre On Monday, the Trustus Theatre board of directors voted to end the organization’s search for a managing director that began in September 2019 and named Artistic Director Chad Henderson as the producing artistic director. Henderson will now serve the organization in an executive capacity to lead artists, staff, board and the community in realizing the theatre’s mission. He is a native of Spartanburg and began working at Trustus Theatre in 2007 as the marketing director after graduating from the University of South Carolina. After an eight-year career as a professional director, he became Trustus' third artistic director at the start of the theatre’s 31st season in 2015. This is Henderson’s fifth season as the artistic leader of the organization, and the South Carolina Theatre Association recognized him with the 2019 Founders Award last season in recognition for his contributions to South Carolina theatre the previous year. The theatre intends to hire an administrative assistant of production in the coming months to assist in the management of productions, contribution programs, and communications.


Sumner Bender, president of Trustus Theatre’s board, is confident in the board’s decision to make Henderson the producing artistic director. “Over the past several years, Trustus Theatre has been in a structural transition,” said Bender. “One of the only constants during that change has been Chad Henderson. The board of directors worked diligently over the past year to assess and evaluate the responsibilities and duties for an organizational leader. Many of those duties were already being performed by Mr. Henderson. A theatre organization is mutable, just like many smaller arts organizations, and it must be able to recognize when that change is needed. Therefore, when hiring an organizational leader, you can only hope for one that understands the mission, is a champion for the vision, and willing to work hard to maintain that integrity. We’re lucky that Mr. Henderson possesses all of those qualities and will continue to serve as a leader for Trustus Theatre.” Henderson is honored by the opportunity to serve Trustus in this new capacity. “Trustus has been my artistic home for over fifteen years,” said Henderson. “Being given the chance to lead the organization in this capacity is humbling, and it is also energizing. I can’t quantify what this theatre has given me since its co-founders Jim and Kay Thigpen hired me right out of college, but I constantly endeavor to give back in whatever way I can. While our strategies may transform on occasion, the organization continues to be a vital cultural institution in South Carolina. My hope is that my service to the organization can position it for continued success in the next 35 years by celebrating artistry, community, and the power of storytelling.”
Trustus Theatre is currently in its 35th season as the Midlands’s contemporary professional theatre. Founded in 1985 by Kay and Jim Thigpen, Trustus Theatre boasts two performing venues with the Thigpen Main Stage seating 132 and the Trustus Side Door Theatre seating 50. The theatre and the Trustus Company endeavor to enrich the lives and deepen the experiences of their artists and patrons by producing works that examine humanity in the 21st century. The theatre’s goal is to select challenging scripts that will start and nurture dialogues that promote discussion within the community with productions that are brought to life through dynamic storytelling and inventive designs.

William Henry Johnson works on display … on Long Island

Islip stakes claim to artist native to Florence


If by chance you find yourself in Islip, New York this month, they are celebrating Black History Month by featuring the art of Florence native William Henry Johnson at the town hall. Newsday tells the Johnson story while giving only the slightest nod to his roots, calling him a South Carolina native:

"Prints of more than a dozen of the South Carolina native's oil paintings are on display, including portraits of black heroes such as Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, street scenes of Harlem, chronicles of life in America during World War II and 'Flowers' — which appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 2012."

Johnson and his artist wife Holcha Krake are featured prominently at Florence County Museum, a cultural anchor in revitalized downtown cultural district in Florence (and 2019 recipient of the Verner Award in the government category). The museum certainly claims Johnson as belonging to Florence. It's certainly not The Hub's intent to start or step into any civic rivalries, but Johnson spent the last 23 years of his life in Central Islip State Hospital, according to Newsday, "hospitalized for mental illness caused by syphilis." He moved from Florence at 17, but spend the bulk of his life residing and creating in Harlem.  

Eight high school students reach S.C. Poetry Out Loud finals

State finals to be held March 14 in Columbia


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – Eight South Carolina high school students reached the March 9 state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – after regional competitions in Charleston and Spartanburg. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to state high schools. In the 2019/2020 school year, around 2,600 students from 21 schools in 12 counties participated. School competition winners competed against students in their region to move on to the state finals. The following eight regional finalists will compete on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Richland Library Main Branch in Columbia from 3-5 p.m.:
  • David Jones (Southside High School in Greenville)
  • Rowland Marshall (Wando High School in Charleston)
  • Anna Matson (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Jackson Penn (Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology in Longs)
  • Emma Rose Radcliff (Waccamaw High School in Georgetown)
  • Carson Stehling (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
  • Taylor Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
  • Emily Yi (Southside High School in Greenville)
This event is free and open to the public. The winner of the state finals will represent South Carolina in the national finals April 27-29, 2020 in Washington. State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.
About Poetry Out Loud Now in its 14th year, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

GCCA names Kim Fabian its new executive director

Kim Fabian has been named executive director of the Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) following an extensive local and national search. Fabian brings more than 25 years of experience driving operational excellence, strengthening brand awareness, and strategically engaging boards and teams for success. Fabian comes to GCCA from Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA), where she served as senior vice president since 2012. Fabian received a bachelor's in mass communication from Towson University, where she serves as an officer on the foundation board of directors and is a president emeritus of the alumni association board of directors. GCCA Board Chair Pat Kilburg said, “We are excited to have Kim join the GCCA as we prepare for the launch of the renovation of the Historic Cotton Warehouse and the significant expansion of programs. Her passion for the arts, organizational and business acumen, and love of Greenville will lead us into our next five years and beyond.” Since GCCA opened in 2015, the founders and board of directors of Greenville Center for Creative Arts have made significant progress toward ensuring that a permanent home for the arts is realized in Greenville. In late 2019, GCCA finalized the purchase of the Cloth Building which currently houses all of GCCA’s programs and the Historic Cotton Warehouse, which will be renovated to expand GCCA’s programs in the future. The GCCA Art School has attracted more than 2,300 students for classes and workshops, hundreds of scholarships have enabled students of all ages and income levels to participate in summer camps and classes, and three Brandon Fellows have been selected each year to develop their work as studio artists while pursuing careers in the arts. “It is a privilege to join GCCA in its fifth anniversary year which marks a milestone and celebration for this dynamic studio, classroom, and exhibition space,” Fabian said. "GCCA has become one of upstate South Carolina’s premier destinations for promotion and education of the visual arts and I am honored to play a part in its expansion.” Plans for a significant expansion of GCCA includes renovation of the Historic Cotton Warehouse after years of strategic and deliberate planning by the board of directors. The renovation of the Historic Cotton Warehouse will expand GCCA’s programming by offering classroom studios in three-dimensional mediums. “I am inspired by all that has been achieved by this dedicated group of artists, educators, and community leaders who have brought their vision to life,” said Fabian. “I look forward to taking this vision to the next level and ensuring that GCCA expands its capacity to create an accessible, inclusive place where artists of all ages can thrive.”


Greenville Center for the Creative Arts is located at 101 Abney Street, Greenville. For more information, call 864.735.3948, visit www.artcentergreenville.org, or email info@artcentergreenville.org.

American Craft Council show to feature #SCartists

South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing a pop-up exhibition to take place at the American Craft Council Show Atlanta 2020 at the Cobb Galleria March 13-15. It's organized by South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts in partnership with the American Craft Council. This pop up debuts the council’s new initiative to highlight southern states’ craft communities. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the first state arts agency to participate in this initiative.


Project Description

The South Carolina Arts Commission Pop-Up showcases six artists from the Palmetto State whose work honors the old while embracing the new in unexpected and imaginative ways. For over 50 years, the South Carolina Arts Commission has worked to ensure a climate in which artists are valued and remain at the core of South Carolina’s creative economy. The six makers included in the pop-up are some of the best South Carolina artists working in their respective craft medium.  Their work highlights some of the predominant trends taking place in South Carolina: tradition, innovation, social justice, technology, entrepreneurship, and upcycling.
  • Tradition: Chief Bill Harris of Rock Hill, Catawba pottery (above)
  • Innovation: Mana Hewitt of Columbia, medals featuring women of historic importance
  • Technology: Valerie Zimany of Central, porcelain and clay using 3D printing
  • Entrepreneurship: Quintin Middleton of St. Stephen, Middleton Made Knives
  • Upcycling: Flavia Lovatelli of Columbia, mixed media trashion wearable art
  • Social Justice: Jean Grosser of Hartsville, assemblage
Three of the six artists will attend ACC for one day each. Grosser (1993), Hewitt (2006), and Zimany (2020) are South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows.

Artwork Information

Jean Grosser School Days 1949 (Briggs v. Elliott) 2013 Wood & paper 22” x 22” x 2 ½” Chief Bill Harris Heron Bowl 2016 Clay 7” x 12” x 6” Courtesy of McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina Valerie Zimany Hanazume (Two-Ears) 2018 Ceramic, wheel-thrown and hand built porcelain with press-molded sprigs from three-dimensional model prints and hand-modelled florals 21" x 11" x 11"

Platts outlines SCAC’s FY21 budget request

South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts welcomed arts advocates from across the state and members of the General Assembly to the South Carolina Arts Summit breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 13. He used the opportunity to outline the agency's state appropriations request for fiscal year 2021 (which begins July 1, 2020). Here's a bullet-point summary:

  • Total ask of recurring funding is $5.4 million.
  • The governor’s budget, released in December, called for no increase.
  • Seeking to get to $0.85 per capita from $0.69.
  • Seeking one-time funding of $3.8 million for arts facilities upgrades that would be awarded via competitive grant application and review.
The budget process is underway with subcommittees of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will send the bill to the full committee for approval before the full House takes up deliberations in March. The Senate will have its turn starting with subcommittees of the Senate Finance Committee before moving to the full committee and then the Senate floor for their own deliberations. There is more to that story, but The Hub is stopping here before getting into full geek-out mode and just check back in periodically because we're here to update you.
The South Carolina Arts Summit is presented by the South Carolina Arts Alliance and welcomes arts advocates to Columbia for two days of learning, networking, and advocacy to legislators.

Lexington County joins 2020 Ag + Art Tour

On June 13-14, 2020, Lexington County will join 10 other counties in South Carolina for the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour. This is a free tour for visitors and residents to tour farms and farmers markets featuring local artisans at every stop. During the tour, visitors get to see firsthand where food comes from, watch artists an action and purchase their works, maybe dance to a few melodies of Bluegrass and folk songs and basically learn more about rural life in South Carolina. The Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism office is supporting the Ag + Arts tour in Lexington County.  And, a committee has been formed to help recruit farms and artisans for the weekend event. The committee members are Julie Colson, Jayne Baker, Kari Pepper McKeone, Jennifer Williams and Shannon Mercer (see attached photo). “Our regional tourism office is excited to help with the Lexington County Ag + Arts event. We know that visitors are drawn to a unique experience and  agri-tourism is a growing market in the tourism industry,” said Miriam Atria, President/CEO of Capital City/Lake Murray Country. Visit AgandArtTour.com/farms to apply to be a tour site and to get more information. For information specific to Lexington County Ag + Arts, call 803.781.5940 or email julie@lakemurraycountry.com.


2020 Ag + Arts Tour Schedule

  • May 30-31st: Colleton County
  • June 6-7th: Kershaw County, Newberry County, Richland County, York County (East)
  • June 13-14th: Chester County, Chesterfield County, Lexington County, York County (West)
  • June 20-21st: Fairfield County, Lancaster County
  • June 27-28th: Union County

Submitted material

North Charleston Arts Fest reveals 2020 design competition winner

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Christine Bush Roman of Johns Island as the winner of the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. Thumbnail version of "Oak Circus" by Christine Bush Roman. "Oak Circus" by Christine Bush Roman. Click image to enlarge. As the winner of the statewide contest, Bush Roman’s mixed media painting, titled "Oak Circus," will be used to promote the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place April 29-May 3. In addition, the artist was awarded a $500 cash prize and the piece has become part of the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection. "Oak Circus" was one of 75 entries by artists from 17 cities across South Carolina that were submitted for consideration for the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. Christine created the painting specifically for the Arts Fest using acrylic, ink, pastel, and fabric. “When beginning this piece, I knew I wanted to illustrate the vibrancy and emotion of all kinds of creators coming together to share their work,” Roman said. “I began the painting with the simplified image of an oak tree spreading its branches because the oak is such a well-known visual for the Lowcountry. The tree is also an iconic symbol across many cultures of growth, transformation, unity, and enlightenment. I wanted all the other elements of the painting to react to the tree. Setting the tone of celebration, the colors and rhythm hint at all of the different art forms highlighted during the North Charleston Arts Fest.” Most often inspired by ideas of our perception of self, her colorful and busy paintings reflect a compressed narrative of an ever-changing personality; acting as illustrations of an inner story full of ups and downs, constant change, and growth. Her works are about how we are constantly being shaped by where we live, people we know, and major life events. Christine currently creates in her home studio in Johns Island, SC, and instructs art classes for One HEART Connection and Art in the Park Art Lab, both in Charleston. To learn more about the artist, visit ChristineBushRoman.com. A collection of Bush Roman’s mixed media paintings, including her winning piece, "Oak Circus," will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2020. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Dr. in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during the North Charleston Arts Fest Opening Celebration & Artist Reception on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, from 6-8 p.m. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase during the festival.


For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship, on-site marketing opportunities, and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Tuning Up: From ABT to ACSD + ArtFields volunteers sought

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...


This is not your average news item. We confess to doing a double-take upon reading the Charlotte Observer headline "Former world-class ballet dancer now a South Carolina deputy." We're so glad we did, because the non-traditional path one of Abbeville County Sheriff's Department's finest took to the force is worth our attention and yours. (Subscription might be required.) Pee Dee friends! Volunteer at ArtFields! Your smiling face can be put to great use in Lake City this April... lead student tours, staff venues, direct traffic, or serve one one of the other awaiting opportunities. A Volunteer Kick-Off Dinner is coming March 5, so click here to get more info and to register for your ArtFields volunteering. Midlands friends! "Canvass of the People" in Columbia tomorrow! 

Tuning Up: ICYMI Verner and weather cancellation

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...


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