Free workshop in Conway – Connecting Resources for a Connected Community
The South Carolina Arts Commission is teaming up with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission to offer a free workshop in Conway: Connecting Resources for a Connected Community, Friday, October 7, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Conway Library, 801 Main Street. The workshop is open to anyone, but the content will be specific to the Conway area.
Join us to learn about resources offered by these state agencies and the kinds of services available to help make your community more livable using the arts, culture, equal opportunity and access. The workshop will also offer a forum to discuss how these resources, which include community relations workshops, anti-discrimination services, grant funding and cultural planning, are open to all community members.
The workshop is free, but you must register online to reserve your seat.
Alternate ROOTS’ Partners in Action supports cultural equity, social justice efforts
Proposals due Sept. 2.
Alternate ROOTS is accepting applications for Partners in Action, a program that supports progressive activist artists working in grassroots communities throughout ROOTS’ 14-state region. ROOTS seeks applications from artists and their community partners in urban, suburban, and rural areas who together have identified specific actions, issues, challenges, activities, or opportunities that, with more support -- both human and material -- are ready to be activated. ROOTS' interest is to partner with cultural organizing projects in order to support efforts of cultural equity and social justice. Partners in Action projects receive various kinds of support, including technical assistance. Financial support ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 may be a component; not all projects selected will receive direct financial support.
ROOTS offers several resources during the proposal development process, including conversations of intent, technical assistance calls, and proposal coaching.
Preliminary proposals, which are reviewed by proposal coaches, are optional, but highly encouraged. Preliminary proposals are due Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. Final applications are due Sept. 2 at 5 p.m.
Visit the Alternate ROOTS website for program details and information about the three-phase application process.
Related : Two Charleston organizations selected for 2015 Partners in Action cohort.
About Alternate ROOTS
Alternate ROOTS, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in community, place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression – everywhere.
Tell us what you think about the Roster of Approved Artists!
The South Carolina Roster of Approved Artists was originally created as a list of artists qualified to offer school residencies. The Roster has been around a long time, and we think it's time for a reboot. Our goal is to create an even stronger resource to help connect artists, schools and communities.
Help us revamp the Roster by taking a quick survey. We want to hear from artists, arts organizations, non-arts organizations, businesses, educators and anyone interested in an online arts directory - whether or not you've ever used the Roster.
The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. (Note: All questions are required. If you encounter a question for which you have no answer, please enter N/A or check "Never" if that's an option.)
We appreciate your feedback!
Take the Roster survey.
Image: Roster artists Patz Fowle and Mike Fowle
Converse College premiere of “Troiades” pushes boundaries of traditional opera
A Converse College School of the Arts collaboration is pushing the limits of traditional opera through the use of innovative technologies.
Converse musicology and composition professor Dr. David Berry, an accomplished composer, and co-creator Dr. Ronald Boudreaux, former director of Converse Opera Theatre, will premiere their opera-oratorio "Troiades" at Converse Jan. 23-25, 2015. For info and tickets, visit culture.converse.edu.
Scenery for the production is created with projection mapping, and performers are accompanied by digital orchestration. “These are fairly new and somewhat controversial concepts in the world of opera, but these technologies open up new possibilities for use of space and selection of venue,” said Berry. “In many ways, Troiades is like a laboratory for Converse to explore some approaches that are not being done elsewhere in our state or region.”
The setting has a graphic novel (comic book) style. While the term “projection mapping” is not widely recognized by the general public, it will be familiar from its use in such events as the Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi, and for Carrie Underwood's costume on stage at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Graphics for the opera's set and action scenes were created by Converse freshman art major Hannah Stewart, who attended the Governor's School for the Arts in Greenville, S.C. prior to coming to Converse. Stewart adapted set designs created by Converse interior design students as a class project.
Combined, these technologies push the boundaries of traditional opera and expand the limitations typically dictated by a venue. “Daniel Recital Hall is an intimate setting for an opera, and that would not be possible without the use of these technologies,” said Berry. “This is about exploring new ways to make art and impact the experience of our audiences.”
The story of "Troiades" is told through the viewpoint of women who lived through the Trojan War. The female perspective is rarely captured in accounts of early historical times, and Berry was drawn to that angle as a way to honor Converse's mission as a women's college. He blends historical accuracy of the Bronze Age with 21st century twists, like the graphic novel design and a contemporary narrator who provides commentary on the action. “Everything that is happening to the Trojans in this story is happening in our world right now – it is mirrored by today’s news headlines,” said Berry. “That is why the mix between the Bronze Age and 21st century was an important focus for me.”
Several notable Converse music alumni will perform alongside students, and the production is directed by Elizabeth Margolius, a 1990 Converse alumna and professional director from Chicago.
The production demonstrates how colleges can expand into new arts areas to meet the needs of today's students – a priority for the Converse School of the Arts. “It provides students with a broader range of experiences as they prepare to explore career paths and make their mark as artists," said Berry.
How you can save arts journalism, starting right now.
Arts administrator and marketing consultant Howard Sherman explains why arts journalism is a numbers game and what you can do to encourage more media coverage of the arts.
I am going to take it for granted that, since you’ve opted to read this article, you care about the arts. I’m also going to save time and typing by assuming that you appreciate media coverage of the arts and that you realize that without the attention of the media, it will be ever harder for the arts to share their news, their work and their value locally, nationally and internationally.
Since we are agreed, I will proceed directly to my point.
If you want to see intelligent, comprehensive coverage of the arts – features and reviews alike – then you’ve got to start clicking. Journalism is well on its way to being a numbers game for most outlets. How many people clicked on a story or video, how many times was it liked or shared, how much time was spent looking at it? We are already seeing journalism sites paying writers base salaries with bumps or bonuses based on online metrics; outlets say they are dropping certain types of coverage because it’s simply not generating enough traffic. It’s not enough to be happy that arts coverage exists, you have to actually engage with it to insure its survival and the job survival of those who create it.
Clicks mean eyes and eyes mean advertisers. As print becomes an ever-harder sell, online advertising grows ever more important to outlets. Even back in the days pre-internet, I encountered cuts in arts coverage because the arts didn’t generate enough advertising revenue (whereas advertisers loved sports sections and we get regular features about new cars because auto dealers buy big ads). Even now, arts spending online is a small sliver of online advertising, so our best means of supporting arts coverage is by actually reading it.
Let’s face it: anyone with a WordPress blog knows how many people read each piece they post (yes, I’m watching you). But that’s amateur hour compared to the realtime and cumulative algorithms and analytics applied at big media outlets. There are teams of people looking at clicks, links and likes for every story, and media empires are being built on click-bait methodology (why, hello BuzzFeed). It’s running the show in many places and it can’t be ignored.
So here’s what I propose. Every morning, when you get online, go to the arts section of your local media outlets, seek out their arts and entertainment stories, and click of them. Don’t click on each in rapid succession, but spend 30 to 45 seconds on each one (remember your multiple browser windows). You have to wait a bit because one analytic is stickiness or hang-time or whatever it’s called now, namely whether people are really engaging with coverage. A click on and immediate click off looks like you got there by mistake. And needless to say, it certainly won’t hurt in the least if you actually read a story or watch a video while you’re at it.
Read the complete article on Sherman's blog.
Via: Howard Sherman
The link between the arts and the economy: spotlight on four communities
South Carolina Arts Commission staff presented "Cultural Arts as a Tool for Community and Economic Development" at the Fall 2013 meeting of the South Carolina Community Development Association, an association of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. This article in the February issue of Uptown, the MASC's newsletter, illustrates how four communities in South Carolina have used the arts to benefit community development.
As local officials continue to work toward making their hometowns thrive, some have started looking hard at the link between culture and the economy.
Why do we live where we live and why do we stay there?
A report released by the American Planning Association in 2011 entitled, “Economic Vitality: How the arts and culture sector catalyzes economic vitality,” outlines four key points to community development through the arts. This article uses South Carolina case studies to illustrate how the arts have enhanced local communities in South Carolina.
Economic development is enhanced by concentrating creativity through both physical density and human capital. By locating firms, artists and cultural facilities together, a multiplier effect can result. Case study: The Salkahatchie Arts Initiative
This is the story of five counties that felt under-recognized: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, and Hampton. These counties make up the Salkahatchie region of the state.
Before I-95 opened up in 1968, this region had plenty of cars driving through when people were traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard. After 1968, the majority of travelers never saw those towns. A visitor driving through this part of South Carolina today may be struck by the abundance of old abandoned hotels.
“This area was particularly hit by the fact that I-95 didn’t come through their counties,” says Susan DuPlessis of the South Carolina Arts Commission.
According to DuPlessis, by creating the Salkahatchie Arts Initiative, the local communities have mined their existing cultural and natural assets instead of creating something new. The communities are making the region a destination for tourists interested in the arts, heritage and nature-based tourism.
In 2006, the Salkahatchie Arts Center was created in Allendale. At the center, local artists sell their wares. More than 100 artists have sold almost $200,000 worth of items to date.
Also, there is a storytelling element, according to DuPlessis. Local artists created “Salk Stew,” which is a play with music and stories that is updated annually.
Here is an excerpt of a review of “Salk Stew” from an issue of the Hampton County Guardian.
Sure, everybody loves a good classic community theater number like The Sound of Music, but this is a one-of-a-kind classic that you can’t get anywhere else: a play based on true stories from real people in our community, stories that are acted out on the historic planks of the Palmetto Theater by local actors. As far as community theater goes, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“These artistic endeavors resonate with local residents about who they are and what they have,” DuPlessis said. “These endeavors are part of their authenticity,” and they are improving the economy and quality of life in the Salkehatchie Region.
The recognition of a community’s arts and culture assets (and the marketing of them) is an important element of economic development. Creatively acknowledging and marketing community assets can attract a strong workforce and successful firms, as well as help sustain a positive quality of life. Case study: Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg
“Writers are very interested in a sense of place,” says Betsy Teter, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project.
In 1995, a small group of writers in Spartanburg asked themselves what they could do to improve their city.
“We created some books that celebrated what was uniquely Spartanburg. To date, we have published more than 500 writers and sold more than 100,000 books,” she says.
In 2006, Hub City created an alternative arts initiative called HUB-BUB in a partnership with the City of Spartanburg. Headquartered in a former Nash Rambler car dealership downtown, HUB-BUB offers more than 100 nights a year of art, culture and entertainment, as well as a nationally recognized artists-in-residence program. The mission of that spin-off organization is to build community through dynamic arts and ideas in downtown Spartanburg. The City of Spartanburg provides $120,000 in funding each year to HUB-BUB.
Right: HUB-BUB in Spartanburg offers more than 100 nights a year of art, culture and entertainment.
In 2010, the Hub City Writers Project converted an 83-year-old, 5,000 square-foot Masonic temple in downtown Spartanburg into an independent bookstore, coffee shop and a bakery.
“The Hub City Writers Project is at the center of our creative energy in our community in a unique and important way,” said Bill Barnet, Spartanburg mayor at the time of the project’s launch. “From the energy of that group comes a great deal of pride,” he added.
Arts and cultural activities can draw crowds from within and around the community. Increasing the number of visitors as well as enhancing resident participation helps build economic and social capital. Case study: SC Jazz Festival, Cheraw
Cheraw is an older, rural town with a population of 6,000.
Many South Carolinians don’t know that Cheraw is the birthplace of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. After a Ken Burns PBS special about Gillespie aired in 2001, town officials decided to seize the moment and create a jazz festival honoring him.
“We had already built a statue and created a park in his honor,” said Phil Powell, tourism director for the Town of Cheraw. “But we wanted to take this opportunity to educate our community about the arts.”
According to Rusty Sox at the South Carolina Arts Commission, planning for the South Carolina Jazz Festival began in 2005 with the first festival held the next year. It was and still is organized by a committee of local residents and staffed by town employees and volunteers. In the second and third years, they received a Cultural Tourism Grant from the S.C. Arts Commission to help with marketing.
Right: Beginning in 2006, the South Carolina Jazz Festival is held each year in Cheraw
Powell encourages other municipalities to not try to do too much out-of-the-gate when planning festivals for their town. “Jazz works well in hot, local, out-of-the-way places, so it worked well here,” he says.
Lindsay Bennett, who partnered with town officials on the jazz festival and is the executive director of the Cheraw Arts Commission, stressed the importance of getting community buy in. “Town of Cheraw officials view the event as a cultural tourism experience and continue to provide financial support,” she added.
Keypoint #4: Planners can make deliberate connections between the arts and culture sector and other sectors, such as tourism and manufacturing, to improve economic outcomes by capitalizing on local assets. Case study: Emerald Triangle, Greenwood
“We think we’re the perfect example of how investing in the arts brings about community development,” explained Anne Craig, executive director of the Arts Center of Greenwood. According to Craig, the Emerald Triangle in Greenwood came to fruition by having all the pieces fall into place.
As with many South Carolina cities, Greenwood’s downtown was saturated with office space causing many people to feel like the sidewalks rolled up at 5 p.m.
In 2003, two important things happened. Greenwood officials drafted a master plan for a “clearly defined city center and outdoor gathering space.” A major aspect of the plan was to enhance the city’s cultural assets to bring people back downtown.
From the plan, a vision for the Emerald Triangle emerged involving three major cultural institutions in downtown Greenwood: the Arts Council of Greenwood County, the Greenwood Community Theatre and the Greenwood Museum. Today, the Emerald Triangle has become a nine-acre triangular shaped area in the heart of Greenwood’s downtown business district.
The second important thing that happened in 2003 was the closing of a 30,000 square-foot historic federal building, which housed an old courthouse and post office. A public/private partnership, created by the Greenwood Partnership Alliance, the Self Family Foundation, the Arts Council of Greenwood County and the Greenwood City Council, purchased and renovated the historic federal building.
Greenwood Federal Building
Over the years, the three cultural institutions have experienced a huge increase in tourists. In 2010, the groups attracted about 8,000 tourists. In 2012, the figure rose to more than 18,000.
Greenwood Tourism Report
“We had a beautiful building, an excellent leadership team, and a city government with a vision,” concluded Craig. “We had the right people at the right time.”
Via: Municipal Association of South Carolina
Hatchfund offers artists free way to raise funds
The South Carolina Arts Commission has partnered with Hatchfund (formerly USA Projects) to help spread the word about this nonprofit, crowdfunding site dedicated to supporting artists. Hatchfund is a micro-philanthropy platform and online community where artists can post projects for funding. The Hatchfund team provides educational services, from fundraising 101 to case studies and best practices for project development and outreach support. There is also a matching fund program, which leverages contributions to help artists succeed faster.
Why fundraise on Hatchfund?
- Hatchfund is 100 percent FREE for artists
- Artists receive personalized project development and fundraising support from your assigned Program Officer.
- Tax deductibility for every donor, which means larger donations on average ($124) for your project.
- Hatchfund has a 75 percent success rate, with more than $5 million raised as of August 2013.
Find out more or enroll now at www.hatchfund.org
Find out how to benefit from a design arts grant or program
This conference call was postponed in October and has now been rescheduled.
The South Carolina Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Columbia Design League, will offer South Carolina artists, arts organizations, designers, cities and communities an overview of design arts programs and grants available from the National Endowment for the Arts via conference call on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m.
Join us to learn more about the variety of design programs offered by the NEA and how your community can benefit from a range of opportunities, including rural design workshops, design project grants, community development through the arts and creative placemaking initiatives.
To date, three South Carolina communities have received Our Town grants: City of Charleston, Town of Pendleton and City of Spartanburg
(Related: City of Spartanburg awarded $25,000 Our Town grant. Also, read how Spartanburg plans to use this grant: Emphasizing the arts during a neighborhood revitalization.)
WHAT: Conference call with Jason Schupbach, Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Ken May, Executive Director, South Carolina Arts Commission (pictured left to right).
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 21, 10 - 11 a.m
WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE: Artists, designers, and representatives of arts organizations, cities, communities, local government and other institutions interested in funding and program opportunities for design projects.
PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE CALL
RSVP to Shawna Bauer at email@example.com or (803) 734-8687. Please indicate whether you wish to participate by phone or in person.
PREPARATION FOR THE CALL
- By phone: Shawna will send instructions for connecting to the call
- In person: Up to 20 seats are available at the South Carolina Arts Commission on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your space with your RSVP
Review the online guidelines for any of the following design arts programs and grants to determine if the opportunities fit your organization or community: