New leadership in place at S.C. Arts Commission

  • New fiscal year brings new board, staff leadership
  • Two new board members welcomed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) welcomed a new board chairwoman, new executive director, and two new board members at the start of fiscal year 2020 on July 1. SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019. SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019. At their last meeting in June, the SCAC Board of Commissioners elected Delores “Dee” Crawford of Aiken as its chairwoman. Crawford is a former award-winning owner and operator of seven McDonald’s restaurants employing more than 400 people. She holds a mathematics degree from Fisk University in Nashville, and previously worked for IBM in the Washington, D.C. area. Crawford is a community leader, serving on numerous boards in and around Aiken and is a fellow of the Riley Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University. She was most recently serving as a vice chair of SCAC and was chair of the search committee that reviewed and interviewed candidates to be the agency’s new executive director. That committee’s work resulted in the hiring of David Platts of Lancaster as executive director, which was also effective July 1. Platts holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. He has broad experience in education, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in schools across the state. He joins SCAC from Lancaster County School District, where he served as arts and science coordinator for 15 years. In June, the state senate approved two gubernatorial appointees to the SCAC Board of Directors.
  • Bhavna Vasudeva of Columbia is a licensed real estate agent and owner and manager of several rental properties. She has deep community ties, as indicated by her service on high-profile local boards of the American Red Cross, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, and South Carolina Arts Foundation, among others. The UofSC graduate has previously served as a commissioner of the state governor’s mansion.
  • Linda Stern of Columbia returned as a commissioner. Stern, a previous chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors, is also a UofSC alumna and is a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts from SCAC and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. Active in her synagogue, Stern maintains her own deep community ties with service on multiple boards, including Columbia City Ballet, McKissick Museum, the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion, EdVenture Children’s Museum, and more.
“We’re delighted to welcome two new commissioners, along with a new executive director, during this time of transition. The new members will contribute greatly, and all of us are ready to begin working to serve South Carolinians and ensure everyone has access to the benefits of the arts in their lives,” Crawford said.

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.

Who’s-who of female #SCartists headline new project

Home-grown historic women to be honored by home-grown talent

Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt for The Supper Table.
The Jasper Project announced its most ambitious multidisciplinary arts project to date – The Supper Table – enlisting the talents of more than 50 of South Carolina’s most outstanding women artists from the fields of visual, literary, theatrical arts, and film. An homage to Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist art installation, The Dinner Party, and using Chicago’s project as a loose model, Jasper Project Executive Director Cindi Boiter conceived of The Supper Table as an innovative way of honoring some of South Carolina's largely un-celebrated, yet groundbreaking women in history. After consulting with experts like Marjorie Spruill, professor emeritus in women’s history at the University of South Carolina, Boiter selected 12 historic South Carolina women who, via their work in the arts, medicine, law, business, athletics, entertainment, and more, changed the course of human history. Using the model created by Chicago, Boiter commissioned Richland Library Maker Coordinator Jordan Morris to create a 12’ x 12’ x 12’ wooden table at which visual artists would create place-settings inspired by and honoring the historic women. In addition to the 12 visual artists, a dozen artists each from the literary, theatrical arts, and film were also invited to participate. The result is a multidisciplinary arts installation and performance which will premiere in September along with the release of:
  • a book Setting The Supper Table,
  • the premiere of a series of 12 looped 90-second films,
  • a staged oration by 12 women actors based on essays written by 12 literary artists,
  • and, of course, the installation of the table itself, complete with 12 place-settings.
Funded in part by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation, The Supper Table premiere begins Friday, Sept. 6 at Trustus Theatre with a celebration, performance, and panel presentation before moving Sunday, Sept. 8 to Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College for another premiere celebration and the installation of The Supper Table, complete with films and a collection of 12 original portraits of the honored women created by Artfields People’s Choice winner Kirkland Smith. After, it will travel to other venues in the state throughout 2020. In addition to the hand-crafted table with artisanal place-settings, the books, looped films, and portraits, the installation will also include three walls comprised of 120 hand-embossed tiles, each celebrating an additional history-making woman from South Carolina, some living and some deceased, called an "Array of Remarkable SC Women." These tiles were hand-painted this past spring by women and girls from the state's Midlands region. The women honored at The Supper Table range from indigo entrepreneur Eliza Lucas Pinckney to college founders Mary McLeod Bethune and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright to ground-breaking law professor Sarah Leverette, who died last August. The honored subjects also include Alice Childress, Septima Clark, Matilda Evans, Althea Gibson, Angeline and Sarah Grimke, Eartha Kitt, Julia Peterkin, and Modjeska Monteith Simkins. Eight of the 12 place-settings are devoted to women of color. Visual artists involved include Michaela Pilar Brown, Mana Hewitt, Eileen Blyth, Laurie Brownell McIntosh, Olga Yukhno, Flavia Lovatelli, Bohumila Augustinova, Lori Isom, Renee Roullier, Tonya Gregg, B. A. Hohman, and Heidi Darr-Hope. Jordan Morris created the actual table and Kathryn Van Aernum is the official photographer. The city of Columbia’s Brenda Oliver assisted with tiles along with Diane Hare. Literary artists include South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, Eva Moore, Claudia Smith Brinson, Carla Damron, Candace Wiley, Christina Xan, Qiana Whitted, Meeghan Kane, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Jennifer Bartell. Boiter is also writing an introductory essay for the book. Film artists include Emmy award-winning filmmaker Betsy Newman, Laura Kissel, Roni Nicole, Faye Riley, Katly Hong, Ebony Wilson, Jordan Mullen, Steffi Brink, Carleen Maur, Lee Ann Kornegay, Lillian Burke, and Tamara Finkbeiner with Josetra Robinson. Kornegay is also creating The Making of the Supper Table, a full-length film that will premiere in spring 2020. Indie Grits Lab’s Mahkia Greene is overseeing the filmmakers. Vicky Saye Henderson is overseeing the casting and directing of the theatrical artists.
For more information about The Supper Table,visit its Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thejasperproject/the-supper-table.

New public art project comes to Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District

The feet of people walking on a crosswalk


Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce the implementation of a new public art project that will bring unique crosswalk murals to three intersections in Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District. Chapman Cultural CenterFunding is being provided by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s One Spartanburg initiative and through a research grant from USC Upstate. The murals will be painted at the intersections of Main and King streets., Main and Spring streets., and Main and Magnolia streets on Sunday, July 21. The goal of this project is to create a more vibrant and walkable downtown – making Spartanburg roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Spartanburg Cultural DistrictEach installation is being designed and painted by a different local artist or artist team with Michael Webster painting Main and King streets, Matthew Donaldson painting Main and Spring streets, and Frankie Page and Adrian Meadows painting Main and Magnolia streets. The artists were chosen by a panel from the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District Steering Committee made up of businesses, residents, arts leaders, city officials and Chamber of Commerce representatives. To ensure the safety of the artists and the successful implementation of the murals, several roads in the cultural district will need to close to traffic at those intersections for 24 hours. The public is invited to watch the artists as they work on these vibrant additions to downtown that will create a safer environment for pedestrians and drivers. There will be a ribbon cutting and public celebration of the crosswalks on Monday, July 22 at 10 a.m. outside Little River Coffee Bar. Please contact Eric Kocher at the Chapman Cultural Center with any questions: ekocher@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9672.
Michael Webster is an artist whose focus is the built environments of cities, particularly the relationship of the spatial and the social.  He has completed site-specific projects in Chicago, Moorestown, NJ, Greenville, NC and Talca, Chile, and has participated in residencies at Hambidge Center, Elsewhere Museum, and Penland School of Craft. Recent exhibitions include Locust Projects, Miami, Paradise Palace, Brooklyn, Wiregrass Museum of Art, AL, and the Southside Hub of Production, Chicago. In 2012 he completed an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently an assistant professor at Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC. On his participation in this project he said:

“As a recent transplant to the area, I have been impressed with the recent growth of public art in Spartanburg. Beyond the impact of each individual artwork, the visibility of all public art within the city signifies a thriving cultural discourse. I am excited to contribute to Spartanburg’s public art collection through the development of this crosswalk, and to add a moment of visual stimulation for people walking or driving down Main St.”


Matthew Donaldson is a web & graphic designer, horror fanatic, and tattoo collector connoisseur. When he’s not working, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and seeing the world, having traveled to such destinations as England, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Thailand. Matthew has over a decade of experience in the design industry, working as a freelance designer, interactive designer, and design educator, and he is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at USC Upstate. Matthew commented on his participation, saying:

“The Creative Crosswalk Project is an opportunity for me to step away from my day-to-day work as a web and graphic designer and into the public art sector. It poses the challenge of removing myself from the digital realm and adapting to a real-world, physical environment. Three USC Upstate graphic design students will collaborate with me as we translate our knowledge of graphic design into public street art.”


Born in New York City and raised in Spartanburg, Frankie Page (aka Frankie Zombie) is a mixed media artist and music producer in Spartanburg. Frankie has collaborated with musical artists such as Pharrell, Miley Cyrus and John Legend to name a few. The collectors of custom Frankie Zombie apparel pieces span from New York City to Atlanta, to London and his art has reached influencers such as Jon Wexler of Adidas, and Pusha T. His current color balance style was birthed after his mother was suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, prompting his return to Spartanburg. Frankie’s art focuses around positive energy, race relations, spirituality, and health. He prescribes to the notion that individual energy determines how the world changes. Spartanburg born and bred Adrian Meadows (aka To Aspire) is a graphic designer, hand lettering, and mixed media artist. Adrian has collaborated with numerous companies such as Adobe Photoshop, Car & Driver magazine, BuzzFeed News and Makeup Forever. Adrian has also been featured in multiple national and international typography focused books such as GoodType: The Book, Vol 1. and Typism: Vol 3. He believes that art is the most impactful language we have and that people who like guacamole cannot be trusted. When asked of his artistic style and inspiration for the project, Page said:

“It literally came from watching the Jetson’s growing up. The colors, the patterns, the shapes, the monochromatic shades, it all came from the cartoon. The Jetson gave me a feel of everything I thought was just a cool dream at the time, and as I grew up, I started to see a lot of those dreams become reality.”


About Chapman Cultural Center

Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community.
Photo by ISABELA NAIARA MATILDE from Pexels

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conNECKtedTOO is on the move

Sculpture heads to North Charleston for the summer


“You Bet ‘N Me ‘N Me ‘N You,” a sculptural tiny business village of the future, has moved from the Cannon Street Arts Center in downtown Charleston to the lobby of North Charleston’s City Hall (2500 City Hall Lane) where it will remain installed through early August 2019. The sculpture was created by artists, apprentices and business owners working with conNECKtedTOO, a project of art and culture in/with community for economic development. The project supports and promotes tiny business in Charleston and beyond as a vital part of neighborhood and commerce by building a collaborative, sustainable network of business owners, artists and neighborhood youth. This network is inter-generational, interracial and grassroots by design; it reflects the importance of diversity in the building of equitable societies.

"Everybody's dream is not to become Bill Gates. Some folks want to support their families or live out something that's a passion of theirs. There's one guy that has always wanted to have a place to sell pizza. As simple as that. He doesn't want to be Pizza Hut," said conNECKtedTOO tiny business coordinator and Charleston native Theron Snype.

In addition to the tiny business village installation, conNECKtedTOO has developed an Active Memory Map as one way of seeking out local narratives that are often left out of economic conversations—the stories, voices and memories of generations of Charlestonians, especially those who represent marginalized populations like minorities, women, and immigrants. The participatory map will be at the Charleston County Library Main Branch (68 Calhoun St., Charleston) through July 31.
coNECKtedTOO, as a multi-faceted experiment, is being constantly imagined, forged and promoted. Our present plan, timeline and budget are supported in large part by an ArtPlace America award. Additional support is provided by Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For more information please visit conNECKtedTOO.org or email conNECKtedTOO@gmail.com.

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Warshauer symphony receives honors

Meira Warshauer's Symphony No. 1: Living Breathing Earth was awarded 3rd place in the 2018/2019 American Prize Competition's orchestra music division. Composer Meira Warshauer holding musical score Composer Meira Warshauer The work consists of four movements, Call of the Cicadas, Tahuayo River at Night, Wings in Flight and Living, Breathing Earth. Read more about the award here. The composer writes, “The title Living, Breathing Earth came to me in contemplating the image of the rainforests as lungs of the earth. I felt our planet, alive with all variety of creatures and plants living in symbiosis with each other, breathing in and out, and the planet as a whole, pulsing with breath. I also contemplated the earth rotating through space, a spinning orb of blue and green, at just the right distance from the sun to support life, and our protective blanket of air, the atmosphere of the earth, providing the medium for our breath.” She added, “I am grateful for time spent as a Hambidge Fellow at The Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, Georgia, from fall 2005 to spring 2006, where I began and continued this composition.” The work was also supported by unrestricted funds from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s 2006 Fellowship in Music Composition. It was commissioned by Western Piedmont (NC) Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, and Dayton (OH) Philharmonic Orchestra, and premiered by each orchestra in spring 2007. It’s published by Keiser Southern Music and was released on the Navona CD label (NV5842). Hear Warshauer’s recent interview about the symphony with South Carolina Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller here and a profile by Aileen LeBlanc for PRI’s “Living on Earth” here.

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Furman University tenor wins national competition

Bergsvein Toverud a winner in Chicago


Bergsvein Toverud, a 2019 Furman University music education graduate, has won first prize in the Advanced Classical Division at the Classical Singer Competition, which took place recently in Chicago. Toverud, of Lenoir, North Carolina, prevailed through several rounds (state, national second round, and semi-finals) before being chosen as one of four to advance to finals, where he bested students from the nation’s most prestigious conservatories and schools of music. "It’s exciting to win a competition, but winning is second to the pursuit of musical excellence. My drive as a musician comes from a reverence of the art and the intense human expression that music carries," said Toverud. Last summer, Toverud was a finalist and winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. While at Furman, he studied voice with Associate Professor of Music Grant Knox, who said, “This award is quite an accomplishment, not only for Bergsvein, but for the entire Furman Department of Music.” Active in many aspects of the music program, Toverud sang Ralph Rackstraw in “H.M.S. Pinafore” and the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel” with Furman Lyric Theatre, directed by Knox. He was a featured soloist in numerous concerts with the Furman Symphony Orchestra and was a member of both the Furman Singers and Furman Chamber Choir. Toverud was the recipient of the DuPre Rhame Scholarship and the Hartness Scholarship at Furman. Outside of the department, Toverud held the Herring Church Music Internship at First Baptist Church in Greenville. Toverud will continue his studies in vocal performance this fall at the Eastman School of Music, where he has received a substantial merit award and graduate teaching fellowship.

2020 S.C. Arts Commission fellowships announced

Four honored for achievement in visual art, craft, and music


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina artists in Darlington, Pickens, and Richland counties representing four arts disciplines received individual artist fellowships for fiscal year 2020 after approval by the S.C. Arts Commission board of directors. Individual artists residing in South Carolina full-time whose work covers visual arts, craft, music composition and music performance were invited to apply for fiscal year 2020 awards. Applications were up 25% over last year. Out-of-state panelists from each discipline review the applications and, based solely on their blind review of anonymous work samples, recommend recipients of each $5,000 fellowship. At its June meeting, the S.C. Arts Commission board of directors approved the following recommendations:
  • Adrian Rhodes of Darlington County for visual art,
  • Valerie Zimany of Pickens County for craft,
  • Fang Man of Richland County for music composition, and
  • Craig Butterfield of Richland County for music performance.
Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of exceptional South Carolina individual artists. Recognition from fellowship awards lends artistic prestige and often opens doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “These awards can be transformative; they lift artists’ spirits and self-perception while allowing them to focus on their art. Past fellows talk about how it can be a life-changing event,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “South Carolina’s artists are at the core of our creative economy and serve as indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities. Our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on behalf of those most affected by the work being honored: the people of South Carolina.” The diverse panelists (above) who judged each discipline’s nominees work in those disciplines. Reviewing the visual art and craft applicants were Wendy Earle, curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Bruce Pepich, executive director and curator of collections of the Racine Art Museum and Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, Michigan; and Marilyn Zapf, the assistant director and curator at the Center for Craft, a national arts nonprofit headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. Brent Milam, instructor of music theory and composition at Georgia State University; and Dr. Robert Tanner, associate professor of music at Morehouse College, reviewed the music composition applicants. Verena Lucía Anders, a conductor, pianist, vocalist, composer, music educator, and winner of multiple Grammy Awards; and Tami Lee Hughes, a concert violinist, recording artist, and music educator reviewed applicants in music performance. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: prose, poetry, dance choreography and dance performance, will be honored in fiscal year 2021. 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 https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/

About the FY20 S.C. Arts Commission Fellows

VISUAL ART | ADRIAN RHODES | Darlington County Adrian Rhodes, a Hartsville, South Carolina native, received her Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Winthrop University in 2011. Printmaking forms the core of her mixed media practice, resulting in installation, paintings, editioned prints, collage, and sculptural paper pieces. Her work has shown throughout the Carolinas, including select solo exhibitions at the UNC Charlotte, City Art in Columbia, the Dalton Gallery at the Center for the Arts in Rock Hill, and the Rebecca Randall Bryan gallery at Coastal Carolina University. Her work has frequently received awards in juried competitions, including taking the top prize at VAE Raleigh’s Contemporary South 2017 and Best of Show at the York County Juried Exhibition in 2013. Her work was recently featured in the Paper Worlds exhibition at the Spartanburg Art Museum. She currently teaches printmaking at the University of South Carolina. Her work can be seen at www.adrianrhodes.com, and you can follow her studio practice on Instagram: @adrian_rhodes. CRAFT | VALERIE ZIMANY | Pickens County Extensive time in Japan fostered Valerie Zimany’s examinations of complex relationships, to include East and West. She spent several years there after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia—first as a Fulbright Fellow, then completing a Master of Fine Arts at Kanazawa College of Art as a Japanese Government Scholar, and three more years in residency at the Utatsuyama Craft Workshop in Kanazawa. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions and competitions in Japan; Korea; Billings, Montana; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; Columbia; and more and it appears in multiple public and private collections. She was named an American Craft Council Searchlight Artist for 2007, a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist for 2008, and was a finalist for the Niche Award (2011) and the Society for Contemporary Craft’s Founder’s Prize 2013).  She is department chair and associate professor of art (ceramics) at Clemson University. MUSIC: COMPOSITION | FANG MAN | Richland County Hailed as “inventive and breathtaking” by the New York Times, Fang Man’s original concert music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra New Music Group under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestre de Lorraine (France), Minnesota Orchestra, Music from China, and others. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships and grants and the National Endowment for the Arts, Music from China, and Toru Takemitsu (Japan) awards. She has received commissions from around the world and has multiple recordings. Fang served as a resident composer in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. and has degrees from Cornell (MFA, DMA) and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. MUSIC: PERFORMANCE | CRAIG BUTTERFIELD | Richland County Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina, where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. He has composed, performed, and recorded in genres as diverse as classical, jazz, American folk, and World music. Notable collaborations include touring and recording with jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, three albums of original music with multi-instrumentalist Jesse Jones as the Jones/Butterfield duo, three albums with classical guitarist Matthew Slotkin as Dez Cordas, a collaboration with classical pianist Charles Fugo, and a current recording project of original folk-inspired music with Boomtown Trio. Butterfield’s YouTube channel featuring original performances in multiple genres has more than a quarter of a million views.

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.

Peace Center reveals Wyche Pavilion plan revisions

Vibrant new (old) space for music, entertainment

Artist rendering of the renovated Wyche Pavilion. Artist rendering of the renovated Wyche Pavilion.
The Peace Center is announcing revisions to its plans for restoration of the Wyche Pavilion and will return to the City of Greenville’s Design Review Board on July 9. The July 9 meeting follows a public hearing in February, where the Design Review Board provided feedback on the proposed project. Based on those recommendations and further meetings with members of the city and Design Review Board, the design was updated to make the expansion more subordinate to the existing Wyche Pavilion, while preserving the elements required to transform the Wyche into a fully functioning music and entertainment venue. The design by Summerour and Associates retains, preserves and emphasizes the 3,578 square foot iconic shell of the Wyche Pavilion. The addition of custom-made windows and doors, wood floors and ceilings, fans, architectural lighting and HVAC will allow for year-round use. The Wyche will be outfitted as a fully functioning performance venue, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment. The open floor plan allows for a variety of performance configurations, from cabaret to concert-style seating, to standing room only club space. The full footprint of the original building (circa 1835) which is much larger than the existing Wyche Pavilion will be utilized for an addition to house the infrastructure required to support the venue. This new structure includes a grand glass entryway, a Green Room for artists, restrooms, storage and equipment rooms, and a catering kitchen. Special features of this project include a large outdoor deck connecting to a walkway which cantilevers from the Wyche along the river, and a large gathering space facing Main Street, all of which may be enjoyed by the public on a regular basis. The landscaping, by Earth Design, will feature lush, environmentally friendly plantings carefully chosen to evolve with each season. Peace Center Board Chairman and CEO of United Community Bank Lynn Harton said “As the Peace Center’s vision has evolved, activity on the campus has expanded as well. In addition to the wonderful Broadway shows and concerts showcased in the Peace Concert Hall, there is continuous activity throughout the campus. The Peace Center hosts songwriters, local performing artists, summer camps, a poetry program for students and adults, music education salons, film, student jazz performances and much more. The board of the Peace Center is excited to see the iconic Wyche Pavilion restored and expanded to become another outstanding performance venue that will benefit the entire community.” The Wyche restoration is the first phase of the Peace Center’s larger master plan, which includes renovation of the Roe Coach Factory and two buildings located on Main Street: the Markley and the Gullick.

About the Peace Center

The Peace Center is a nationally recognized artistic and cultural destination located in Greenville. Situated along the Reedy River in the heart of downtown, its multifaceted, six-acre campus is the region’s center for art, culture, entertainment and engagement. From programs featuring world-class artists in music, theater, and dance to intimate musical performances, to enriching educational experiences and everyday encounters with the arts, the Peace Center hosts hundreds of events every year and welcomes thousands of guests to its riverfront campus every day.

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ABC Project announces program specialist

Kelly Hall to join the team

Arts students singing and dancing during a performance. ABC Project file photo.
The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is pleased to announce Kelly Hall as its new program specialist. Kelly Hall In this role, Hall will work with leaders from across the state in service to ABC Project’s vision: that every S.C. student has access to and benefits from quality, comprehensive arts education. An arts educator herself, Kelly served as Beaufort Middle School’s theatre teacher for the past six years. Beaufort Middle School has been an ABC Site since 2009 and is an arts-integration school of choice in the Beaufort County School District offering chorus, band, guitar, visual arts, media arts, theatre, creative writing, and dance instruction.

"I am so excited to join the ABC team and share my passion for arts integration. As a former arts educator and ABC grant manager, I truly believe that arts education provides students with the skills they need to be successful in any career field," Hall said.

For the past four years Kelly also served as the ABC Advancement grant manager, responsible not only for the fiduciary disbursement of grant funds and reporting but collaborating with colleagues and community members to determine Beaufort Middle School’s strategic goals and actionable steps to achieve them. Recognized for her excellence, Kelly was selected the Beaufort Middle School 2018/2019 Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the SC Theatre Association, Palmetto State Arts Education, and Palmetto State Teachers Association.

“Kelly has the perfect combination of experience and enthusiasm. Her first-hand knowledge as an arts educator and ABC grant manager, an understanding of the ABC Project legacy in combination with her ambitious ideas of what is possible in the future make her the perfect fit,” said ABC Project Director Kim Wilson.

Hall joins the ABC Project team effective August 1, 2019. Learn more about the ABC Project on its website.  

Joy Harjo is the new U.S. poet laureate

First Native American to hold title

(And she's also a musician!)


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, June 6, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position—she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry – ‘soul talk’ as she calls it – for over four decades,” Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.

Harjo currently lives in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the nation’s first poet laureate from Oklahoma.

What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”


Biographical Info

Harjo joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove. Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry – including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W. W. Norton, 2015); “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and “In Mad Love and War” (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her next book of poems, “An American Sunrise,” will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2019. Harjo has also written a memoir, “Crazy Brave” (W.W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, “The Good Luck Cat” (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, “For a Girl Becoming” (University of Arizona Press, 2009). As a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and in venues across the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her poetry, Harjo is a musician. She plays saxophone with her band, the Arrow Dynamics Band, and previously with Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CDs of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year. Harjo’s many literary awards include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Harjo has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her collection “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001” (W.W. Norton, 2002) was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read program. Her recent honors include the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers (2019), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation (2017) and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). In 2019, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Harjo has taught at UCLA and was until recently a professor and chair of excellence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has returned to her hometown where she holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

About the Laureateship

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1937, when Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library. Since then, many of the nation’s most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 (Dec. 20, 1985), as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry – a position which the law states “is equivalent to that of Poet Laureate of the United States.” During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in the fall and closes it in the spring. In recent years, Laureates have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry. For more information on the Poet Laureate and the Poetry and Literature Center, visit loc.gov/poetry. Consultants in Poetry and Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry and their terms of service can be found at loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.