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Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.

Columbia’s Wideman Davis Dance selected for South Arts program

'Momentum' to help build touring capacity

Momentum program director with Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis. Momentum program director Nikki Estes (left) meeting with Thaddeus Davis (center) and Tanya Wideman-Davis (right) of Wideman Davis Dance in Columbia, South Carolina prior to "Migratuse Ataraxia," a multidisciplinary reimagining of antebellum homes
South Arts, a regional nonprofit arts organization, has announced the five Southern dance companies selected to participate in Momentum. This new three-year project, funded with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will allow the selected companies to build their capacity for regional and national touring. South Arts“There is remarkable dance occurring in our region,” said Nikki Estes, program director with South Arts. “Southern artists are pushing boundaries and telling important stories through this art form. Yet, they are often overlooked in favor of their counterparts in other parts of the US. Through Momentum, we aim to address that gap and raise the profile of Southern dance companies across the region and country.” Over the course of three years, each company will receive professional development, residency opportunities, and touring grants to fund their work. Participants will also showcase at the Performing Arts Exchange booking conference to share their work with arts presenters and programmers. The selected companies are:
  • Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami, Miami, Florida. Jennifer Kronenberg, Artistic Director.
  • Helen Simoneau Danse, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Helen Simoneau, Artistic Director.
  • New Dialect, Nashville, Tennessee. Banning Bouldin, Artistic Director.
  • staibdance, Avondale Estates, Georgia. George Staib, Artistic Director.
  • Wideman Davis Dance, Columbia, South Carolina. Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis, Artistic Directors.
The five companies were selected from an application pool of 37 companies by a national panel of leaders in the field of dance presenting and touring, and show exceptional promise both in their artistic quality and potential for expanded touring. The panel included:
  • Neil Barclay (CEO, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History),
  • Christy Bolingbroke (Executive/Artistic Director, National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron),
  • Laurie Eisenhower (Founding Artistic Director, Eisenhower Dance),
  • Christopher Heacox (Executive Director, Auburn University Performing Arts Center),
  • Sophie Myrtil-McCourty (President, Lotus Arts Management),
  • Martin Wechsler (Former Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater),
  • and Ichun Yeh (Vice President/Director of Booking, Sozo Artists).
“Momentum is the next incarnation of our Dance Touring Initiative,” continued Estes. Through the Dance Touring Initiative, nearly 30 performing arts presenters throughout the Southern region have received professional development and funds to strengthen their work with touring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies over the last ten years. “We recognized that—even though we were working with Southern arts organizations—Southern dance companies were often not being engaged for tours. We began designing Momentum as soon as we identified this need.” The companies selected for Momentum will convene at the 2019 Performing Arts Exchange conference in Orlando, Florida to begin their professional development, and will participate in a series of webinars throughout the program addressing pertinent topics to the field. Additionally, they will be partnered with Dance Touring Initiative presenters for residencies to develop their work and touring capacity. South Arts will make grants available to present these companies in upcoming seasons. “Momentum is deeply informed by our new mission statement: advancing Southern vitality through the arts,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director with South Arts. “One of our goals is to support the artistic and professional growth and success of artists in the South, and Momentum represents new steps for our organization in that direction.” To learn more about Momentum as well as South Arts’ other programs supporting artists, arts organizations, and communities throughout the South, visit www.southarts.org.

About Wideman Davis Dance

Tanya Wideman Davis and Thaddeus Davis, Artistic Directors Wideman Davis Dance, founded in 2003, is deeply committed to revealing social and political issues through an African American perspective. They make work that is inspired by and engaged with current issues including race, social class, gender, and location. Viewing education as essential, Wideman Davis Dance connects with communities of all ages through residencies and by increasing their awareness of these social and political issues, and the ways in which those issues play out in today’s world. When designing residencies, they create environments for participants that cultivate their potential and empower them to change. The company works in an egalitarian way, in collaboration with artists, scholars, and students, implicitly shifting the traditional company model and leveling the hierarchical structures that typically exist within the arts field and its pedagogy. Wideman Davis Dance make dances that have the capacity to tell the truth and move the spirit, giving voice to the people who both perform and view them. They create a space for truths to be told, rupturing the silence of denial, and retelling history about the African American experience. Through their work, they catalyze an artistic ripple effect: their dances—and this shared history—resonate emotionally within the artists who perform it and ultimately within the audiences who view it. Ideally, artists and audiences are motivated to tell their own truths in their own voices: they remember and discover things about themselves and about their own history. Telling such truths can foster a range of reactions, from inspiration to discomfort, from inquiry to debate. In their artistic encounters, the company highly values the exchange that occurs with their audiences as they respond. The company draws from a strong lineage of dance forms they have studied, artists with whom they have worked, and socio-historical issues that they illuminate. Through both choreography and performance, they embody a range of aesthetics, including ballet and contemporary movement. They have created and performed with legendary companies and artists, including Dance Theater of Harlem, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Ballet NY, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Most influential is the lineage of ideas, history, and social structures that inspire their work and influence the world in which they—and their audiences—live. Artist Statement Wideman Davis Dance moves audiences, through the dances we create and perform, dialogues we lead, research we conduct, and movement experiences we share. We invite audiences and communities to engage: With ideas. With history. With the world around us. With honesty. Our artistic vision reflects truths from our shared lives. Our lineage draws from our long careers with leading professional companies in ballet and contemporary dance. Our model for working with audiences reflects decades of collaborating with communities around the country. Our track record of working with—and delivering to—presenters, colleges, and communities shows lasting results, as told through the stories from our collaborators.

About South Arts

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

Tuning Up: Experience the arts this weekend

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...


Jennifer Wen Ma’s team installs a version of Cry Joy Park at Beijing’s Tang Contemporary in October 2018. (Courtesy Halsey Institute) Jennifer Wen Ma’s team installs a version of Cry Joy Park at Beijing’s Tang Contemporary in October 2018. (Courtesy Halsey Institute)

Hey, look; we made it.

Friday is here. You've been looking forward to it since 8:30 or 9 a.m. Monday, and it's finally here. The Hub will be mowing and pitching in on some house cleaning for sure, but a good weekend has more to it than the mundane. We are here to help. BLACKVILLE The 8th Annual Blackville Music & Art Festival is bringing a weekend full of entertainment and activities to downtown Blackville this weekend, May 17-19. Organizers promise a carnival, parade, car & bike show, several live performances, art displays, vendors, and live artist demonstrations by South Carolina artists Edmon Glover Richburg, Ment Nelson, and Terrance Washington. CHARLESTON Not an exhibition per se, but how about something that keeps on giving? Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is offering BOGO memberships (for all membership levels!) until May 31. It's part of their May giving campaign. Use this deal to enjoy Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light from Jennifer Wen Ma (opens Saturday).  Ma helped design the stunning opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. COLUMBIA Your last chance to see Jackson Pollock: Mural is Sunday, when the exhibit at Columbia Museum of Art closes. The museum devoted two galleries not just to the mural that launched his fame but to the techniques and creation that made it what it is. LAKE CITY Join ArtFields in Lake City for a dual gallery opening on May 18th from 6-8 p.m. at TRAX Visual Art Center and Jones-Carter Gallery. On opening night, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks while you view artwork from Beverly Buchanan, Jenny Fine, and Jerry Siegel. Additionally, Fine and Siegel will be present to talk about their work and the inspiration behind their pieces.

NEA awards grants to S.C. Arts Commission, others in state

$933,900 coming (back) to South Carolina

$80 million awarded across U.S. by NEA


WASHINGTON—The National Endowment for the Arts announces $80.4 million for 1,114 new awards located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four U.S. jurisdictions. This is the Art Endowment’s second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2019, and these awards continue the Arts Endowment’s commitment as the only arts funder reaching the entire country. Awards from this round of funding come from four categories: Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships and Research: Art Works, plus a renewal in NEA Research Labs. “Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The projects also illustrate the unique geographic reach of Arts Endowment funding, serving Americans in places large and small in all corners of the country.” Grants recommended in this round are listed in two ways:
  • State/jurisdiction and listed by city/town and
  • Funding category (Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships, and Research: Art Works) and then listed by artistic discipline/field.
In the first funding round of fiscal year 2019 announced on February 13, 2019 the Arts Endowment made 1,145 grants totaling $27 million. Other awards will be made in the coming months through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. All current grants can be viewed through the Arts Endowment’s grants search.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 5 awards totaling $933,900
  • Columbia Film Society, Columbia $22,500; Art Works - Media Arts
  • South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia $811,400; Partnerships (State & Regional)
  • Greenville Symphony Association/Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville $10,000; Art Works - Music
  • City of Rock Hill $75,000; Our Town - Design
  • Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg $15,000; Art Works - Literature
Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director: “At the Arts Commission, our grant will be put to use serving communities throughout the state. It will fund community arts development initiatives that seek to foster the creativity and unity needed to address the unique issues facing rural South Carolina communities. It will further our goals to provide every South Carolina child with access to an arts-inclusive education. It will also let us help our artists develop their skills to grow businesses that contribute to the state’s $9.7 billion creative economy.”
ART WORKS II: 977 awards totaling $23,983,500 Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s largest category with projects supported in 13 artistic disciplines and fields in this Art Works II group, ranging from arts education to visual arts. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with a median amount of $20,000. Examples of Art Works-supported projects in this round are:
  • A $10,000 award to the Madison Public Library Association in Madison, Wisconsin (a first-time Arts Endowment grantee) to support programming at the Wisconsin Book Festival featuring award-winning authors of genres such as literary fiction, poetry, and science.
  • A $10,000 award to Shreveport Opera in Shreveport, Louisiana to support the Shreveport Opera Xpress educational touring program, which offers performances and activities for public school students in central and south Louisiana.
  • A $15,000 award to the Pioneer School of Drama in Danville, Kentucky to support Voices Inside: The Northpoint Prison Writing and Performance Project, where theater professionals will conduct workshops for inmates at the Northpoint Training Center.
  • A $20,000 award to Cultural Resources in Rockport, Maine to support the Wabanaki Arts Mentorship Program, where accomplished Wabanaki artists will instruct youth in basket-making techniques and cultural knowledge.
  • A $30,000 award to the City of Phoenix to support a partnership with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture to provide grants for intergenerational arts projects.

OUR TOWN: 57 awards totaling $4,115,000 Our Town is the Arts Endowment’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. Two program areas are place-based projects with grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, and knowledge building projects with grant amounts ranging from $25,000-$100,000. This year’s cohort is remarkable for its diversity. Approximately a third of the recommended grantees are first-time applicants to the Arts Endowment. The types of communities vary widely with 18 recommendations for projects in rural or tribal communities. And project types range from cultural planning to festivals and cross several artistic disciplines. Examples of Our Town-supported projects are:
  • A $25,000 award to the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in Hogansburg, New York, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will undertake a project to engage local artists and designers to develop public art and architecture that reflects Akwesasne Mohawk culture.
  • A $50,000 award to the City of Granite Falls in Minnesota to establish an artist residency program within local government. The program is the first of its kind in a small, rural setting, and has the potential to serve as a national model for other small communities.
  • An $85,000 grant to the Santa Fe Art Institute to re-enliven the shuttered campus of the former Santa Fe College of Art and Design by inventorying the campus’s cultural assets and creating community arts events to build enthusiasm around the campus’s development potential and to advance community goals.
In addition to funding, the Arts Endowment advances creative placemaking through publications and resource development. Those resources are available on the creative placemaking page.
STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: 64 awards totaling $51,456,500 Through partnership agreements, the Arts Endowment translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. Every U.S. state and jurisdiction has its own state arts agency that coordinates cultural policies and invests in arts programming on behalf of, or as part of, state/jurisdiction government. The geographically-defined consortium of state arts agencies known as regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders. Together, these organizations receive 40 percent of the Arts Endowment’s grantmaking funds each year to support their activities and to leverage state and other public and private funds. Partnership Agreements help support life-long learning in schools and communities, community economic development through creative districts, and arts participation through artist tours, festivals, readings, and exhibits. Some examples of state and regional programming funded by partnership agreements are:
  • The Delaware Division of the Arts and Delaware State Parks have been working together since 2008 to offer arts-in-the-park programming that has increased the number and diversity of visitors to state parks.
  • Through its Arts and Military Initiative, the Oklahoma Arts Council works with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs and a local partner to provide arts activities to residents at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Norman.
  • Through its Launchpad initiative, South Arts is providing mentorships and other professional development services to presenting organizations beginning or expanding in the South Arts region.
RESEARCH: ART WORKS: 15 awards totaling $724,000 Research: Art Works supports research that investigates the value or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and with other domains of American life. Some examples of this year’s awardees are:
  • A $20,000 award to MINDPOP in Austin, Texas will support a study led by researchers from the Austin Independent School District and the University of Texas at Austin that examines relationships between schools and arts partners participating in a collective impact arts education project.
  • An $88,000 award to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio will support a randomized controlled trial examining the arts’ ability to improve health, resilience, and well-being in individuals with chronic health conditions.
Final reports for previously-awarded Research: Art Works grants are posted on the study findings page of the Arts Endowment website. A renewal of an NEA Research Lab to the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform for $150,000 will support research that examines the impact on social, emotional and other individual characteristics of elementary school students who participate in field trips to arts institutions.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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 NEA 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. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.
Image by Kendall Hoopes/Pexels

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2019 S.C. Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition and Exhibition winners

Fine craft artists and artisans from across South Carolina were invited to participate in the 18th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition, the state’s longest running juried fine craft competition and exhibition. Organized annually by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, the show was presented May 1-5 as a component of the 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest. Following an extensive pre-jury process, 53 applicants were asked to participate and 105 entries were submitted in the categories of clay, fiber, metal, glass, wood, and 3D mixed media. Cash awards totaling $6,500 were made at the sole discretion of the juror, Jim Arendt, associate professor of visual arts and gallery director at Coastal Carolina University. "The diverse works on display represent a broad set of styles and themes, but share the common element of being among the best examples of a particular material or discipline. I was excited to be able to see challenging content and exceptional craft throughout the gallery. Even more gratifying is how many artists are working to push traditional models of craft and beauty by exploring difficult techniques and non-traditional materials. Together, these works encompass the finest impulses of artists and craftspeople in command of their disciplines,” Arendt said. After awarding ribbons, Arendt also selected pieces from the show to assemble a South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Traveling Exhibition, which will be available to tour the state through the S.C. State Museum’s 2019/2020 Traveling Exhibitions Program. The program gives galleries, museums, and art centers across South Carolina the opportunity to request the exhibit to tour their facilities, thus providing additional exposure for the selected artists. In addition to awards given by the juror, three pieces were selected for City of North Charleston Purchase Awards. These selections will be added to the City of North Charleston’s permanent Public Art Collection, which is on display within North Charleston City Hall throughout most of the year. Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition:

Best of Show

Kim Keats, Visceral Vessel, mixed media (Okatie) Outstanding Merit
  • Lynn Goldberg, America the Beautiful, fiber (Summerville)
  • Robb Helmkamp, Wailing Box, wood (North Charleston)
City of North Charleston Purchase Awards
  • Lynn Goldberg, America the Beautiful, fiber (Summerville)
  • Dale Fort, Wadmalaw Native, wood (Wadmalaw Island)
  • Rachel Weiss, Inca Royalty Necklace, mixed media (Charleston)
Honorable Mention
  • Tanya Craig, Oblong Platter, glass (North Charleston)
  • Flavia Lovatelli, Cocooned, mixed media, paper (Columbia)
  • Erin Ryan, Turn of the Screw, metal (Conway)
  • Dale Fort, Wadmalaw Native, wood (Wadmalaw Island)
  • Jocelyn Chateauvert, Alight, paper (Charleston)
  • Margaret Weinberg, Snowy Trio, clay (Charleston)
  • Connie Lippert, Undulating Parallelogram, fiber (Seneca)
  • Camela Guevara, Shaker Lids, fiber/mixed media (Charleston)
  • Justin Guy, Clay Menagerie, clay (Edgefield)
  • Tabitha Ott, In Time, mixed media (Cayce)
  • Annie Rhodes Lee, Cementing Our Common Ground, clay (Folly Beach)
  • Fred Prudhomme, Day & Night, clay (North Charleston)
S.C. Palmetto Hands Traveling Exhibition Selections
  • Vernon Bowen, Surface Tension, mixed media (Columbia)
  • Kim Keats, Triskele Totem, mixed media (Okatie)
  • Jacqueline Anderson, Chapter 12, mixed media (North Charleston)
  • Fred Prudhomme, Day & Night, clay (North Charleston)
  • Mary Nicholson, Slice of Life Plate, clay (Johns Island)
  • Tanya Craig, Oblong Platter, glass (North Charleston)
  • Toni Smith, Guidance, metal (Surfside Beach)
  • Kathy Oda, Here Comes the Sun, glass, Lady’s Island)
  • Robb Helmkamp, Wailing Box, wood (North Charleston)
  • Erin Ryan, Turn of the Screw, metal (Conway)
  • Nancy Warren, Oil and Water Harmonics, fiber (Mount Pleasant)
  • Margaret Weinberg, Snowy Trio, clay (Charleston)
  • Arianne King Comer, Norman’s Vision, fiber (North Charleston)
  • Camela Guevara, Shaker Lids, fiber/mixed media (Charleston)
  • Lynn Goldberg, America the Beautiful, fiber (Summerville)
  • Dale Fort, Wadmalaw Native, wood (Wadmalaw Island)

For more information about the South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition and other exhibition opportunities, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Organizations interested in hosting the traveling exhibition should contact the South Carolina State Museum Traveling Exhibits Program at 803.737.4159 or tep@scmuseum.org.

SCAC staffer named to role in Ga. + arts job opening

Change remains among life's constants*


Ask anybody who works in the arts and they'll tell you: the faces change a lot. That leads to a fair bit of upward mobility as the deck is reshuffled, and is definitely one of many benefits of working in the sector. For the second time in 2019, the South Carolina Arts Commission is losing a valued staff member to an arts leadership role in another state. Oconee (Ga.) Cultural Arts Foundation just named La Ruchala Murphy its new executive director. Murphy serves on the SCAC grants team and is a county coordinator for Abbeville, Calhoun, Cherokee, Greenwood, McCormick, and Newberry counties. She also stepped in to lead SCAC artist development initiatives earlier this year when Joy Young became executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (Fla.). The Winthrop alumna is also an artist and an absolute treat with whom to work. She is completely deserving of this promotion, will do an amazing job, and will be sorely missed. Your SCAC team is proud of and happy for you!
Application deadline: May 30, 2019 The Arts Center of Clemson (ed. note: the town, not school) is searching for its next clay technician coordinator—the person who will run its clay studio and clay programs. Please note it is a 10-hour/week position. Does this, ahem, fire you up? Read more and apply via this link.
* With full self-awareness we acknowledge this might be the SCAC's unofficial theme of 2019, but we're being up-front about it.

Governor honors Artisphere founder, SCAC board chair

Henry Horowitz receives the Order of the Palmetto

Thursday night at the gala to open the 15th Artisphere, Gov. Henry McMaster honored its founder with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor. Horowitz received the award for his contributions to the state of South Carolina through Artisphere and other statewide arts organizations, according to the Greenville Journal. He is currently chairman of the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) board of directors. "The South Carolina Arts Commission has known for a long time how much the arts in our state benefit from Henry’s dedicated leadership. He has had significant impact, both in Greenville and throughout the state. His award is well deserved, and we’re very happy for him," SCAC Executive Director Ken May said. Artisphere ran from Friday-Sunday in downtown Greenville. It is a significant point of pride for the Upstate region. The celebration of visual, performing, and culinary arts attracted visitors and artists from around the country as it does every year, making it one of the nation's top 10 arts festivals. (Small South Carolina also boasts Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston and ArtFields in Lake City, all nationally-known festivals occurring each April/May). Click here to read the rest of the story.  

A sad note on the passing of Julian A. Prosser

2019 Folk Heritage Award recipient passed away May 6


Official Statement from the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission is expressing its sadness on learning that Julian A. Prosser, a 2019 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient for his work in bluegrass music, passed away last week at 93. Prosser was honored at South Carolina Arts Awards Day on Wednesday, May 1. He was unable to attend the festivities because of an illness, and his son David Prosser accepted his award from S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster on his behalf. David Prosser left word that he upon leaving the festivities he was going straight to his father to present him his award. Julian Prosser passed away Monday, May 6. The S.C. Arts Commission extends its warmest condolences to the surviving members of Prosser's family with gratitude for his deep accomplishments and excellence as a practitioner of one of the state's traditional art forms. The state and its people are better for his commitment to keeping the tradition alive. The obituary for Julian Prosser is available by clicking here.
David Prosser, center, receives his father Julian's 2019 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award from S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster and SCAC Board Chairman Henry Horowitz Wednesday, May 1. (Image by Michael Dantzler)

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New book takes dogs in literature for a walk

Furman librarian Jeffrey Makala co-edits anthology

Jeffrey Makala, Furman University special collections librarian and university archivist at the James B. Duke Library, has co-edited a new book about dogs in literature. The book, “In Dogs We Trust: An Anthology of American Dog Literature,” is co-edited by Jacob F. Rivers III and published by the University of South Carolina Press. A book signing event is set for Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-noon at M. Judson Booksellers in downtown Greenville. University of South Carolina Press offers this description of “In Dogs We Trust”:

“‘In Dogs We Trust’ is a grand anthology that celebrates the many sterling virtues of the canine species. Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years as working partners. By the 19th century, their role expanded to companions. American dog literature reflects this gradual but dramatic shift that continues even today. Our household dogs are quite literally closer than ever to us: sleeping in our beds, getting dressed in Halloween costumes, and serving as emotional support companions.

“The first comprehensive anthology of American dog literature, ‘In Dogs We Trust’ features stories, anecdotes and poetry from periodicals dating from the 19th to the early 20th century. By mining the vast American literary archive of this time, Rivers and Makala reveal the mystique and magic of the human-canine relationship and what they believe is one of the best connections humans have to the mysteries of the natural world.”

Rivers is the director for the Office of Veterans Services at the University of South Carolina and a teacher in the Department of English. He is the author of “Cultural Values in the Southern Sporting Narrative” and “Early Southern Sports and Sportsmen: 1830-1910.” Apart from his roles as special collections librarian and university archivist at Furman, Makala is owner of Two Terriers Press. He has written about 19th century American literature and book history in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America; Literature & History; Printing History; and The Oxford Companion to the Book. He is also an editor for The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP News).

Ken May becomes surprise recipient at S.C. Arts Awards

Receives McNair Award from S.C. Arts Foundation

Ken May making keynote address at 2019 S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon As he’d done at nine previous South Carolina Arts Awards ceremonies, Wednesday morning Ken May read the names and brief details of recipients as their awards were handed out—then it was happening to him. May was called to the stage to deliver the keynote address at the luncheon following the public ceremony when Flavia Harton of Greenville, president of the South Carolina Arts Foundation (SCAF), turned the tables. She began describing the Gov. Robert E. McNair Award, which the foundation presents to honor outstanding leaders who have built on the legacy of the award's namesake by working diligently to make South Carolina a place where the arts thrive for the benefit of all South Carolinians. “That sounds like a description of Ken May, and that’s why it is my privilege on behalf of the South Carolina Arts Foundation to present the seventh Robert E. McNair Award to Ken,” Harton said, after she and S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) Board Chairman Henry Horowitz alternated extolling May’s leadership on the national and regional levels, advocacy, and "for leading the agency through turbulent times to flourish afterward." May, visibly moved by the presentation, expressed his gratitude and launched into a "state of the arts" keynote address. Gov. McNair was the first recipient of his namesake award when it was created in 2007 and awarded to him posthumously. Subsequent recipients include Gov. Richard Riley (2010), former State Sen. Wes Hayes (2015), and erstwhile Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley (2017) from the political field and Susie Surkamer (2011), previous executive director of the SCAC, and Patrick VanHuss (2013) who served in leadership roles for the SCAC and SCAF boards of directors. In January, May announced that he will retire from the SCAC after nine years as its executive director and 33 years in total. A search committee is currently reviewing applicants to be the next executive director.
Image by Lee Ann Kornegay