Arts Access SC presented statewide award

United Cerebral Palsy of S.C. honors accessibility efforts

Arts Access SC Executive Director Julia M. Brown-DuBose accepts the award from UCP.
Arts Access South Carolina was named "Community Partner of the Year" by United Cerebal Palsy of South Carolina at an awards reception Monday evening in Columbia. Arts Access SC Chairman LaMondre Pough makes remarks at the awards presentation.Executive Director Julia M. Brown-DuBose accepted the award on behalf of Arts Access SC, a nonprofit organization that provides South Carolina children, youth, and adults with disabilities quality arts experiences, working with artists; educators; arts administrators; health, human, and social service professionals to establish inclusive spaces, programs, and communities dedicated to the arts and people with disabilities. (Arts Access SC is a South Carolina Arts Commission grantee.) Also present were other leaders of Arts Access SC, including Board President LaMondre Pough (at right with Brown-DuBose). This award started of a glittering week for the S.C. Arts Commission, which received a Grant Professionals of America award yesterday in Washington. UCP Director of Day Services Jocelin Jenkins (above, left) gave the following introduction in honor of Arts Access SC at the "Evening of Impact" annual awards reception:

"Arts Access South Carolina has partnered with UCP for at least five years.  However, Ms. Julia Brown developed her relationship with us prior to as a former member of the board for UCP.

As the executive director for Arts Access South Carolina, she has given us opportunities to work on various projects, lots of which the individuals had a first time experiencing. We started out with an eight-week photography class in which they had the chance to capture the beauty of Riverfront Park. Then we took a class with a florist and created our own floral arrangement at the end of the session. Following the florist was an artist who not only enhanced our painting and drawing skills, but also helped us with clay modeling and gardening.

These are a few of the many projects that have made an positive and creative impact on us at UCP. Outside of these projects, last year in 2018 Ms. Julia offered to match the donations we received from Midlands Gives for up to $1,500!  We then used that donation for more projects from Arts Access because we were so excited about the next projects to come. To this day, Ms. Julia still keeps in correspondence with us regarding new classes and furniture for the offices that she willingly donates to us. The love and support we have from Ms. Julia and the Arts Access of SC is sincere and genuine and the 'Community Partner of the Year award' is  truly deserved this evening. Congratulations."

Representatives from Arts Access SC gather for a photo at the awards reception.

S.C. Arts Commission to receive national grantmaking award

Grant Professionals Association to present award in November


OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – The Grant Professionals Association is announcing that the South Carolina Arts Commission was named its 2019 Grantmaker of the Year for the public sector. The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is a +3000-member organization dedicated to promoting professionalism and ethics in the grant industry. Formerly known as the GPA Pioneer Award, the Grantmaker of the Year Award recognizes public funders (federal, state and local agencies) and private funders (family, community and corporate foundations) that have improved the way grant professionals do their work and acknowledges outstanding contributions to the field of grantsmanship. S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) Executive Director David Platts will accept the award for the agency Nov. 7, 2019 at the GPA Annual Conference in Washington. “It is so gratifying to receive recognition of this magnitude for the work we do supporting the arts and arts education in South Carolina. Grants from the arts commission ensure artists can commit to their chosen crafts and thrive artistically and make a living here, that our students reap the benefits of a rounded education including arts and creativity, and that all our citizens have access to the many benefits of the arts,” Platts said. In her nomination of the SCAC, Alicia Kokkinis of Charleston said the agency “provides 1:1 technical support throughout the grant making and grant management process. They are readily available by phone and email, which is unusual for a government organization. They develop relationships with potential and current grantees.  has a small staff, yet still makes the time to talk to potential and current grantees often. Artists are not typically grant professionals. meets potential grantees where they are without compromising accountability.”
About Grant Professionals Association The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is an international membership association for everyone in the grants industry. GPA and its affiliates work to advance the profession, certify professionals, and fund professionalism. GPA offers continuing professional development through local chapter meetings, regular webinars, the GPA Journal, and an annual conference. The Grant Professionals Certification Institute oversees the GPC credential based on a body of knowledge for the profession. The Grant Professionals Foundation provides scholarships to individuals to advance their career. Find out more at GrantProfessionals.org. To find out more information about this award, including how to apply and information about previous winners, please visit: https://www.grantprofessionals.org/grantmakeraward
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.

#SCartists sweep top prizes at WMAC’s first juried show

The first-place winner in West Main Artists Co-op’s first four-state juried art exhibit -- WMAC 2019 -- is Cindy Shute of Lockhart, SC, for her oil-on-linen painting Peacemaker: Hrair Balian. She receives a cash prize of $2,500 that was given in memory of Frank P. Cyrill, Jr. Second prize of $1,000 was taken by Gordon Dohm of Greenville for his photograph Fungi Fantasy. The third-place prize of $500 was won by Tracey M. Timmons of Spartanburg for Manacle of Justice, a bracelet made of vitreous enamel, copper, silver, brass, and photography. The seven merit awards of $100 and $250 went to Mark Flowers of Alexander, NC; Lee Sipe of Columbia; Sabrina Barilone of Macon, Georgia; Tom Dimond of Seneca; Christina Dixon of Roebuck; David Stuart of North Augusta; and Martha Worth of Hilton Head.


WMAC 2019 opened on Saturday, Sept. 14, and closes Saturday, Oct. 19. It was open to all adult visual artists in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Two-hundred-forty-one (241) artists from the four states applied, and 66 were admitted into the show based on the judgement of jurors Ann DerGara and  Mike Vatalaro. The winners were announced Saturday, Sept. 21, during a reception and awards ceremony. Seventy-four (74) works of art in this exhibit are on display at the Co-op, which is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There is no charge to see the exhibitions. In their jurors’ statements, DerGara said, “ I am amazed at the quality of work that was entered. I think that opening the show to additional states has made this become an important show for the region and Spartanburg. The arts are growing rapidly in the region and this show will make Spartanburg known as art venue as well as Asheville and Greenville. As the Arts grow so does the economy. WMAC produced this show and jury with professionalism and expertise.” "The very nature of a juried exhibition celebrates a broad range of medium and imagery. I enjoyed the task of identifying works that well represented the mediums chosen, techniques accomplished and the subjects investigated. The exhibition reveals a broad selection of work which I believe demonstrate an individual vision within both conventional and experimental genres. I was very impressed by the quality and richness demonstrated in all of the mediums displayed. I hope you will find each work invites close examination and has something unique to offer," Vatalaro said. A list of all accepted work can be found online at WestMainArtists.org. “We could not be happier with our first juried show,” Chairwoman Beth Regula said. “This is something we had wanted to do for several years, and it took more than a year of planning, but it was worth it. Having a show of this magnitude and with these cash prizes establishes West Main Artists Co-op as an art agency that is leading Spartanburg in its quest to be an art Mecca in South Carolina and throughout the South. It says we have the creativity, the know-how, the professionalism, the resources, and the desire to take the Co-op to the next level. Next year will be even better!”
“I’m so excited to be a part of WMAC’s world,” Shute said. “This first exhibition was as professionally conducted as I have ever seen. When I was told I was Best in Show, at the time, honestly, I was shocked. It’s not that I didn’t think my painting is good. As a professional artists mature, we know our good work from our less successful efforts—I think that’s a key part of being a professional. So I wasn’t surprised to have been included in the show. “When I arrived that evening and saw the body of work I was thrilled. Virtually every piece in the exhibition is good—very good. A couple of pieces took my breath away. So, I felt particularly honored to be included. With Peacemaker, I had pushed myself into a new space with portraiture. In my early work I tended to avoid background, contextual elements, thinking at the time that the subject should convey their story a priori—that the essence of the sitter should be codified in the presentation of their likeness, and if successful, the minimalist approach would say everything that needed to be said. So this new approach for me, including symbolic elements to tell the story, was a big leap. “I honestly feel validated,” she continued. “I wasn’t sure if the piece worked. So now I’m really charged up about this new direction, and ready to take on more portrait-stories. And I’m so very grateful to WMAC for giving me a big hug along the way!”
The Co-op is a membership-based nonprofit arts agency with more than 50 members, who are visual artists and performing artists. It is housed in a former Baptist church near downtown Spartanburg on West Main Street. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Co-op houses  31 artists studios, two stages, three galleries, a printery, a ceramics studio, and the largest collection of for-sale locally made art in Spartanburg. Each month, the Co-op normally installs three exhibits by its members and guest artists. For more, visit the Co-op's website by clicking here.

Nominations open for S.C.’s top arts awards

Let's honor exceptionalism in the arts

S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster (L) and former SCAC Board Chairman Henry Horowitz (R) present the Verner and Folk Heritage awards to 2019 recipients in May 2019. S.C. First Lady Peggy McMaster (L) and former SCAC Board Chairman Henry Horowitz (R) present the Verner and Folk Heritage awards to 2019 recipients in May 2019.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 August 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, in conjunction with its partners, wants to honor the next round of exceptional arts and folklife practitioners, professionals, and advocates in the Palmetto State. Eligible persons fitting those descriptions can now be nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts or the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Both awards honor South Carolinians who create or support the arts, and both award programs use a simple, online nomination process. Nominations for both awards are due Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Both awards will be presented at the South Carolina Arts Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. An art sale and luncheon by the South Carolina Arts Foundation will follow the ceremony.

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards

Nomination letters for Verner Awards should describe the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina and should address any characteristics included in the category descriptions. The letter should answer these questions:
  • What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in the arts?
  • What exceptional achievements or contributions has the nominee made, and what has been their impact on the community, state or beyond?
  • What other information about the nominee is important to know as they are considered for the state's highest award in the arts?
Verner Award nominations can be made in the following categories:
  • Arts in Education
  • Organization
  • Government
  • Business/Foundation
  • Individual
  • Artist
For complete nomination guidelines or more information about the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, or contact Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough: mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698.

Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award

Created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. The S.C. Arts Commission partners with USC's McKissick Museum to manage the awards. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:
  • Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, fiddling, hammock making and boat building.
  • Advocates: South Carolina individuals and groups that have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.
Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact Program Specialist for Community Arts & Folklife Dr. Laura Marcus Green to determine whether your nominee is eligible: lgreen@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8764. For more information about the Folk Heritage Award, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com.

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.

Mass shooting memorial wins outdoor sculpture competition for Doster

Decorated South Carolinian wins in North Carolina

The winning sculpture by Bob Doster, A Memorial
Bob Doster is no stranger to accolades, and now he has another. The Lancaster sculptor's all-too-timely entry in the 33rd Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition won first place in the late July. A Memorial 2014-2018 "is a memorial to those lost to senseless violence for the years 2014-2018. each figure represents a lost soul rising to the heavens," according to the artist statement. The tragedies this past weekend in Texas and Ohio render the work unfortunately relevant. In the High Country Press, competition juror Bill Brown from Anvil Arts said, “This is a strong thought-provoking piece created in stainless steel that addresses senseless gun violence as it memorializes victims of mass shootings. I believe it is a must-see piece of art.” If you want to do just that, head to Boone, North Carolina and the campus of Appalachian State University. The sculptures are to be displayed until May 2020.
Bob DosterDoster is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed artist who has been creating and teaching for more than 50 years. Prestigious awards include the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in 2006. Doster has been named Keeper of Culture by the York Heritage & Cultural Commission, Hero of the Child by SC First Steps, Small Business of the Years by Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, CN2 Hometown Hero and received City of Lancaster Mayoral Proclamation. Doster has been featured in publications and broadcasts including Southern Living Magazine, Carolina Arts, Sandlapper, SCETV, Arts Hub, National Welders Magazine, and a myriad of newspapers and travel magazines. Works by Doster can be found in museums, galleries, public art, corporate and private collections worldwide.

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Fulbright grant sending Furman musicologist to Russia

Laura Kennedy, Furman University associate professor of musicology, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to conduct research in Russia during the 2019/2020 academic year. For her research project, “Ballet in a Waning Empire: Shostakovich, Lopukhov, and the Search for Soviet Dance,” Kennedy will work in music and dance archives in St. Petersburg and Moscow. She will research costumes, set designs, choreographic notes, musical scores, photographs and other materials from early Soviet ballet productions written in Leningrad in the 1920s and 1930s, a formative period of experimentation in the Russian arts. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright honor represents a national competition across the humanities, arts, sciences and education. Grantees undergo a rigorous peer-review process, in which proposals are evaluated in both the U.S. and destination countries and are finally selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity of this Fulbright and with the chance to pursue new research on Russian ballet. My goal is to author the first book ever written on the ballets of Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, The Bolt, and The Limpid Stream,” said Kennedy. “These early ballets set the direction of Soviet dance, ensuring ballet’s place as a central expression of Soviet cultural achievement and diplomacy in the 20th century.”


This latest Fulbright award marks Kennedy’s second grant to study in Russia. Her first Fulbright was awarded to conduct research in 2006/2007 on Shostakovich when she was a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. “The Fulbright Scholar award combines my expertise in Shostakovich’s music and manuscripts with my work on dance,” said Kennedy. “I’m grateful to the Department of Music, the Research & Professional Growth Committee, and the Humanities Development Fund at Furman for generously supporting the opportunities that have shaped my scholarship in music and dance. And I’m equally grateful to the Fulbright program for the unique experiences it has afforded me as a scholar,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy joined the Furman faculty in 2012. She coordinates the music history curriculum and teaches courses on music and dance history. With Patricia Sasser, director of Furman’s Maxwell Music Library, she also co-directs the department’s study away course to Paris and London: “Rites of Spring: Paris, the Ballets Russes, & the Arts of Modernism.” Her work has been published in Fontes Artis Musicae, Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, and Information Literacy in Music (A-R Editions). She holds a bachelor’s in music from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. For more information, contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864.294.3107.

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Furman music librarian Sasser honored with international award

Patricia Puckett Sasser, director of Furman’s Maxwell Music Library, has won the Vladimir Fédorov Award from the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) for her paper “A Recording Artist: Enrico Caruso and His Scrapbooks.” Presented annually, the award recognizes the best article published in peer-reviewed Fontes Artis Musicae, the quarterly membership journal of the IAML. Announced at the IAML Conference in Krákow, Poland, in July, the award is named for Fédorov (1901-1979), noted music librarian, first editor-in-chief of Fontes Artis Musicae, and Russian music scholar. An abstract of Sasser’s winning paper may be found at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/709645.


Sasser, who has served as a Furman library faculty member since 2014, said, “I was surprised and delighted to receive this award, both because it is a special honor to be recognized by my IAML colleagues and because it represents the culmination of a long-standing research project. “My work on Caruso has been generously supported by the Furman Libraries and it could not have been achieved without their help and enthusiasm–whether by locating resources or by funding research trips to New York and Italy.” As director of Maxwell Music Library, Sasser oversees music information literacy, research assistance and collection management. She is deeply embedded in the Department of Music’s four-year curricular pathway, working closely with students and faculty in first-year seminars, the music history survey sequence and upper-level independent studies. With Associate Professor of Musicology Laura Kennedy, Sasser co-teaches the department’s study away course to Paris and London: Rites of Spring: Paris, the Ballets Russes, & the Arts of Modernism. Her research focuses on musical ephemera from the late 19th and early 20th century, studying items like ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, playbills, programs and receipts–“things produced during artistic activity that aren’t intended to be preserved,” said Sasser. She is especially interested in the ways in which both amateur and professional musicians have collected and curated such material in order to shape their own identities, a fascination which spurred her research into Caruso’s scrapbooks, nine of which survive among his private papers. “His scrapbooks,” said Sasser, “are just one example of the ways in which a popular artist sought to cultivate a private identity.” Her work has been published in Music Reference Services Quarterly, Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association, and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. She has contributed to a number of large-scale collaborative digital projects, including Chronicling America and the Music Treasures Consortium, and has served the Southeastern Music Library Association and the Music Library Association in a number of roles.
Sasser earned her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s in music from the American University. For more information, contact Sasser at 864.294.2192.

On the passing of Larry Lebby

Former commissioner passed away July 21


Official Statement from the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission notes with sadness the passing this week of Larry Lebby at age 69. Lebby was a former commissioner and an artist of note in our state. Among the many accolades and achievements in his career is his being chosen to memorialize slain State Sen. Clementa Pinckney with a painting that now hangs in that body's chamber of the South Carolina State House. A portrait of President Jimmy Carter completed and presented to the president in 1977 made its way to the White House for the remainder of Carter's term. Fittingly, the State Art Collection includes one of Lebby's works. The commission board of directors and staff offer our most sincere condolences to his family during this time. An obituary for Mr. Lebby is still not available online, but The Hub recommends reading this wonderful story by Rodney Welch of Free Times.

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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.