Hub City Press, Charles Frazier partner on new book series

'Extraordinary' Southern writers to be put in spotlight

National Book Award winner Charles Frazier and Hub City Press are teaming up on a new series of books spotlighting extraordinary writers from the American South. Beginning in spring 2019, the Cold Mountain Fund Series will publish literary fiction in hardback. Frazier, best-selling author of “Cold Mountain,” “Thirteen Moons," “Nightwoods," and “Varina,” will provide financial support through the Frazier family’s Cold Mountain Fund at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Frazier also will assist in book promotion and make occasional appearances with the Cold Mountain Fund Series authors. “I have long considered Hub City Press to be one of the very finest independent publishers in the country and am excited to help foster their already excellent offerings of literary fiction,” Frazier said. Hub City Hub City Press, now in its 24th year, is the South’s premier independent literary press. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Hub City is focused on finding and publishing new and extraordinary voices from the South. Among its recent successes are an NPR Book of the Year, a Kirkus Book of the Year, a book longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and coverage in “The Los Angeles Times” and “The New York Times.” “I couldn't be more thrilled at this new partnership,” said Meg Reid, director of Hub City Press. “Charles Frazier has long been one of the South’s greatest writers, as well as one of Hub City’s most ardent supporters. This series will be vital in helping us continue our mission to find and champion the finest fiction the South has to offer.” The first three books in the series will be:
  • “The Magnetic Girl” by Jessica Handler of Atlanta (April 2019),
  • “Watershed” by Mark Barr of Little Rock, Ark. (October 2019),
  • and “The Prettiest Star” by Carter Sickels of Lexington, Ky. (April 2020).
“Finding an audience has never been easy for writers of literary fiction,” Frazier said, “so in working with Hub City, my hope is to help amplify distinctive Southern voices and connect them with curious readers.” Cold Mountain funds primarily will be targeted for more substantial book advances and for book marketing. Hub City Press titles are distributed by Publishers Group West. Among its published authors are Leesa Cross-Smith, Ron Rash, Michel Stone, Julia Franks, Ashley Jones and others. Hub City annually sponsors the $10,000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize (judged this year by Lauren Groff), the biennial New Southern Voices Poetry Prize, and the biennial South Carolina Novel Prize.

Ken May to retire from S.C. Arts Commission

33-year tenure comes to an end this June

May at S.C. Arts Awards Day in May 2018. Photo by Zan Maddox/Social Design House Ken May will retire from leading the South Carolina Arts Commission in 2019 after 33 years working to improve equity in and access to the state’s arts, culture, and traditions. May, executive director for the past nine years, carved out his niche by leading the arts commission’s efforts to provide equal access to publicly funded grants and programs. Under his leadership, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) earned bipartisan support, and it is widely considered a driver of the state’s $9.7 billion creative economy. With a new legislative session just beginning, May is to remain in place to shepherd the SCAC’s legislative agenda before stepping away at the end of June. “Early in my working life, after a few years in for-profit business, I became sure of two things: that I wanted to work in the arts, which have always been my passion, and that I wanted to be of service—to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Working at the South Carolina Arts Commission has given me an extraordinary opportunity to do both of those things, and I am deeply grateful for that,” May said.
When May became director of the Commission in 2010, the agency faced significant challenges from a severe economic downturn and a hostile political climate. Under his leadership, the agency rallied its supporters, weathered the political storm, and emerged leaner and better-funded to meet its mandate of service to all South Carolinians. In the most recent fiscal year, the SCAC distributed more than $4 million in grants to 44 of 46 counties. Through staff assistance, partnerships, programs, and grants, the agency served all 46 counties in the areas of community arts development, artist career development, and arts education initiatives. “Ken has served our state admirably during a distinguished career, and he cares deeply and works tirelessly to advance the arts in South Carolina,” SCAC Board of Directors Chairman Henry Horowitz of Greenville said. “This is a loss for the statewide arts community, but it has advanced to lofty places and serves more citizens and visitors because of Ken’s hard, diligent work. He’s leaving the agency in a great position with a terrific reputation on state and national levels.”
Throughout his long tenure at the Arts Commission, May played a key role in shaping the agency’s signature programs and initiatives. He was one of the principal architects of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which has driven statewide improvement in arts education for all students for more than 30 years, and he continues as the longest-serving member of that project’s coordinating committee. As primary grant writer for the commission, May designed and secured funding for major initiatives to use the arts for rural community development, enhance community design, build public participation in the arts, and help artists build sustainable working lives in South Carolina. He also led long range planning and directed agency efforts to bring grantmaking into the digital age and to make grant processes more transparent and equitable. Presently, May is expanding the SCAC’s national profile by serving on nationwide boards for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Grantmakers in the Arts. He also serves on the board for South Arts, a consortium of nine southern state arts agencies based in Atlanta. His recent focus on those boards has been to help funders work toward equity in the distributions of grant funds and other resources.
Incoming SCAC Board Chairwoman Delores "Dee" Crawford of Aiken will assume leadership on July 1. She praised May’s work. “Ken guided the Arts Commission to make significant progress in several rural South Carolina communities. The ‘Art of Community: Rural S.C.’ program is a national model for others to find success using the arts to revitalize places where other solutions failed. Our artists are turning into entrepreneurs, helping themselves make sustainable careers and changing the outlook in their communities,” Crawford said. “We, the commissioners, appreciate Ken’s dedication and leadership.” A nationwide search is underway to fill the executive director position, which has been posted with a full job description. Crawford hopes a new executive director is in place by the time May leaves. She is hopeful the next executive director expands on the work in rural communities and makes it a goal to develop more leaders in the arts statewide.

Full Statements

KEN MAY

Executive Director | South Carolina Arts Commission

“Early in my working life, after a few years in for-profit business, I became sure of two things: that I wanted to work in the arts, which have always been my passion, and that I wanted to be of service—to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Working at the South Carolina Arts Commission has given me an extraordinary opportunity to do both of those things, and I am deeply grateful for that.”  

Henry HorowitzHENRY HOROWITZ

Chairman | South Carolina Arts Commission

“On behalf of SCAC board of directors, we greatly appreciate Ken’s service to our agency and outstanding job in managing the agency over the course of 33 years. Ken has served our state admirably during a distinguished career and he cares deeply and works tirelessly to advance the arts in South Carolina. This is a loss for the statewide arts community, but it has advanced to lofty places and serves more citizens and visitors because of Ken’s hard, diligent work. He’s leaving the agency in a great position with a terrific reputation on a state and national level. We wish him the best of success in his retirement and new endeavors.”  

DELORES "DEE" CRAWFORD

Incoming Chairwoman | South Carolina Arts Commission

“Ken guided the Arts Commission to make significant progress in several rural South Carolina communities. The ‘Art of Community: Rural S.C.’ program is a national model for others to find success using the arts to revitalize places where other solutions failed. Our artists are turning into entrepreneurs, helping themselves make sustainable careers and changing the outlook in their communities. We, the commissioners, appreciate Ken’s dedication and leadership.”

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 services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Tuning Up: New AiR for Richland Library

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...


Richland Library names AiR: Jeweler and fine artist Allison Cicero Moore begins a five-month stint as the Richland Library artist-in-residence tomorrow. Moore lives, teaches, and creates art here in Columbia, and will have regular office hours at the library's main location at 1431 Assembly St. (Source: Midlands Biz)

S.C. State Parks to offer arts programs in 2019

Photography, painting to be offered throughout year

In 2019, state parks in South Carolina will offer programming that combines art, culture, heritage and ranger-guided recreational excursions to some of the state's most beautiful and significant settings. Many of the events in the series are hours-long or overnight premium experiences and can be found at www.SCParkStore.com as their registration deadlines approach. A Winter Nature Photography Workshop with renowned photographer Robert Rommel, for example, will be held Jan. 11-14 at Santee State Park. Participants will spend an entire weekend studying the art, creativity and technical aspects of nature photography, concentrating on landscape, wildlife and up-close shots. Other programs involve yoga, painting, paddling and 5K running. People who are interested in these exceptional experiences should check www.SCParkStore.com often throughout the year for registration details. You can also mark your calendars for arts programs on these dates:
  • Indigo painting at Santee State Park on March 3. The event also will be held:
    • March 19 and Sept. 17 at Devils Fork
    • Oct. 8 back at Santee
  • Watercolor journaling at Santee State Park on March 10-12
  • Watercolor painting with Amelia at Santee State Park on April 14-16
Non-arts programs include:
  • 5K runs at Sadlers Creek (Feb. 23), Hickory Knob (March 16), Huntington Beach (April 6) and Sesquicentennial (May 11).
  • Yoga in the Park with Cheryl Mason at Santee State Park on April 7-9. This weekend event also will be held Oct. 27-29 at Table Rock State Park.
  • Kayak with a Ranger at Colleton State Park on the fourth Fridays of every month beginning March 22 and ending Oct. 25.
  • Kayak with a Ranger at Givhans Ferry State Park on the first Fridays of every month beginning April 5 and ending Nov. 1.
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding with a Ranger at Table Rock State Park on the third Friday of every month beginning May 17 and ending Oct. 18.
Fees for these premium programs range from $35 for a single-day event to $225 for an event that covers an entire weekend. Details, including when and how to register, any available discounts and how to book lodging, can be found at www.SCParkStore.com.

Spoleto Festival USA’s 2019 lineup announced

It's happening.

South Carolina's largest and most famous celebration of the arts is May 24-June 9, and today they announced this year's lineup. String bands, jazz, opera, dance, theatre, and classical music all feature varying degrees of star power, and the event will culminate at Riverfront Park in North Charleston. General public ticket sales begin Wednesday, Jan. 16. Donor pre-sales begin Monday, Jan. 7, if you want to support beyond ticket purchases. We'll see you there. (Full schedule)
Spoleto Festival USA receives operating support funding from the S.C. Arts Commission.
Main page image: Shakespeare's Globe, courtesy of Spoleto Festival USA.

Tuning Up: CCC awards grants + GCCA workshops + more

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...


So we didn't mean for this to be an Upstate Edition, but here we are.
  • Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center awarded three individual artists a Community Grant for Quarter 3, 2018/2019, grants cycle! One of CCC's major funding opportunities is through our quarterly Community Grants Program, which awards up to $5,000 per application and is open to both individual artists and non-profits/government agencies. See who was just awarded a grant this cycle.
  • TOMORROW is the deadline to register for Greenville Center for Creative Arts Winter Session I six-week classes (which start Monday, Jan. 7at GCCA). Click here to learn more and register by, again, TOMORROW. You'll find instruction in a diverse range of mediums for every age and artistic skill level. Try something new in the New Year!
  • Going back up I-85 a few stops, Hub City Press announced Lauren Groff will judge the 2019 $10,000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize. Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the celebrated short story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida. More to come here on this, but get a head start: the prize is open to emerging writers residing in 13 Southern states, and submissions are open until April 15, 2019.

S.C. Art Education Association honors West Main Artists Co-op

West Main Artists Co-op in Spartanburg received the 2018 “Business Supporter of the Year” award from the South Carolina Art Education Association. The award was presented to Co-op chair Beth Regula on Dec. 1 in Greenville by Cindy Riddle, the association’s president-elect and assistant superintendent of visual & performing arts for Spartanburg School District 1. “On behalf of West Main Artists Co-op, I want to thank everyone who has worked to make this recognition possible,” Regula said. “I want to especially thank Jane Nodine and Susanne Gunter for taking the initiative to write the letters of recommendation. Most importantly, I want to thank the member artists of West Main Artists Co-op because they are the ones who are out in the community and here in our studios and galleries finding creative ways for the Co-op to be involved and relevant. There is indeed a business side to art, and West Main Artists Co-op works very hard to be an active, and creative, member of the business community.” In her letter of support, Nodine, who is distinguished professor emerita of USC Upstate, said, “USC Upstate Art has maintained studio space at WMAC and offered that as an annual award to a deserving student. We have sponsored and partnered with WMAC in workshops and group exhibitions, and USC Upstate students have worked at the Co-op in internships that earn them academic credit and give them valuable field experience.” Dr. Gunter, chair for art and design at Converse College, said in her letter, “WMAC is a true partner to area schools, colleges, and universities. This fall, students in the Converse Arts Management program will be working to help with the first annual multi-state juried exhibition, providing students with a unique opportunity to assist with all levels of administrative tasks to put on a major exhibition. WMAC provides ‘work residencies’ to help struggling artists to provide a studio and membership. This is critical to the success of many young artist, in particular.” South Carolina Art Education Foundation (Association) is a chapter of the National Art Education Association (NAEA), which advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. NAEA is dedicated to providing you with connectivity, resources, and opportunities to enrich your classroom, enhance your career, and inspire your creativity. Connect to a worldwide network of like-minded artists and educators representing K-12 art educators and administrators, college and university professors, preservice students studying art education, researchers and scholars, museum educators, teaching artists, and more. The mission of West Main Artists Cooperative is to create a community of artists wherein members mentor and support one another; to provide affordable studio, display, and performance space to established and emerging artists living in and around Spartanburg, South Carolina; and to provide the public with opportunities to view original art and to interact with the artists. To learn more about WMAC, please visit WestMainArtists.org.

Submitted material

Mauldin unveils latest public art installation embracing industry

The City of Mauldin unveiled The Groundbreaking – the fourth installation along its Public Art Trail – on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Artist Arrington Matthews’ sculpture exemplifies the theme “Industry of the Upstate” by portraying the ever-changing face of industry – from where we began to where we are heading. Matthews has been a metalsmith with John Boyd Smith Metal Studios since 2012, where he designs, creates, and finishes architectural commissions. Skilled in design, welding, forging, and metal fabrication, his work is represented in Florida, Maryland, California, Hilton Head, Savannah, and now Mauldin. Matthews is also a firefighter with the Mauldin Fire Department. Being an employee of the city, he is intimately aware of the growth Mauldin has seen recently and chose to focus his piece on the city’s industry. The focal point of The Groundbreaking is a six-foot-tall shovel rooted in a chunk of actual railroad track and painted with a skyline graphic. The overall effect is a representation of the changing face of Mauldin from a railroad-rooted city to one that has expanded to include a variety of industries. Large metal gears round out the piece, indicating the combination of Mauldin’s current businesses and tourism efforts working to create a forward-moving city. The Mauldin Public Art Trail was established in December 2014 as a way to beautify the community with artworks created by South Carolina artists. This year’s sculpture will join three others outside of the Mauldin Cultural Center — 2015’s The Depot, 2016’s Palmetto with Flowers, and 2017’s We Are All One. To learn more about the installations along the Public Art Trail or how you can submit an application, please visit MauldinCulturalCenter.org/public-art-trail.


About the City of Mauldin

The city of Mauldin is located in the Upstate of South Carolina and in the heart of Greenville County. It is the 17th largest city in South Carolina out of 270 municipalities and one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Mauldin was first charted in 1820 and has grown to a population of more than 25,000. More information about the city of Mauldin can be found online at CityOfMauldin.org.

Tuning Up: Family sues Dutch in S.C. to get back art + SCSM exhibition review

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...


Dutch won't return art Nazis forced S.C. man's grandfather to sell. The Hub is not really the place for news with geopolitical implications... until it is. "Two Jewish brothers in the Netherlands sold works of art at steep discounts to Nazi officials, some in exchange for helping relatives escape the occupation. But now, a lawsuit filed in South Carolina says, the Dutch government refuses to return the paintings to the family." (Charlotte Observer) S.C. State Museum celebrates 30 years with help of #SCartists. "Perusing all 70 works in the juried exhibition, any visitor to the Lipscomb Gallery should be impressed by the overall variety of subject matter and range of media ... In all, the juried anniversary exhibition effectively takes the pulse of South Carolina’s contemporary arts scene. And the heartbeat is strong." (Free Times) The exhibit is ongoing, so consider a visit during your holiday break.

Wrapping up 2018

'Tis the season, after all.

The South Carolina Arts Commission had a notable 2018:
  • Through staff consultation, grants, and direct programs, our work impacted all 46 South Carolina counties.
  • Our grantees were able to provide more than EIGHT MILLION arts experiences for residents and visitors as a direct result of SCAC grants.
  • "Art of Community: Rural S.C." furthered its reputation as a national model for rural creative placemaking – addressing ongoing challenges in those unique communities with arts and culture-based solutions.
And there's plenty more. Today, we're making public a brief annual report that sheds light on FY18's accomplishments and outlines what and where grants and programs were put to use, from the three “corner” counties of Oconee, Horry, and Beaufort to the 43 arranged inside. You're invited to have a look.

Holiday Schedule at the SCAC

Many of the SCAC staff have already exited stage left for well-deserved annual leave, but others remain and constituents can still expect service with some exceptions: the office will close with other state agencies on weekends, from Dec. 24 to 26, and on Jan. 1. You can expect content on The Hub and Facebook to continue, though it will be less frequent. Whatever you celebrate this season (and even if you don't), the board and staff of the Arts Commission wish you the happiest, merriest, most festive time and peace and prosperity in the New Year!

Liked what you saw in the annual report? 

The South Carolina Arts Foundation would like to hear from you.