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Virginia theatre makes call for Black playwrights

Barter Theatre, in Abingdon, Virginia, is located in the southwest corner of the commonwealth, in the heart of Appalachia.

One of Barter's core beliefs is service to our audience, and to that end, back in 2000, we created the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP). The AFPP solicits plays that are either set in Appalachia, or plays from playwrights who live in Appalachia (as defined by this A.R.C. link). Over the years we have not received many plays about the Black experience in Appalachia, and in an effort to address this, we have created our Black in Appalachia Initiative - a plan to actively seek out plays by Black Appalachian playwrights. Here's the link to information about the Festival:

The AFPP Process

Plays are submitted to Barter and read blind. A panel picks the top 12, and from there another panel picks the top 6 or 7. At our festival in January, the plays are read in front of an audience by Barter's resident acting company, a panel gives feedback, the audience gives feedback, and one or two of the plays are chosen for further development - either another reading, or often a place in a future Barter season. For our Black in Appalachia Initiative, we are dedicating at LEAST one slot in the Festival to Black Appalachian playwrights, but we'd love it if there were even more.

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‘Building the Movement’ makes call for youth art submissions

First Lady Melania Trump makes a call for art

Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Submission deadline: Monday, July 6, 2020 at 5 p.m. ET

First Lady Melania Trump is excited to announce Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, an exhibit honoring the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave American women the right to vote.

The exhibit will launch this August and will showcase artwork by young Americans depicting this historic milestone. To create this exhibit, the First Lady (right) is asking students across the United States and its territories for submissions depicting individuals, objects, and events representing the women’s suffrage movement. Their artwork will appear alongside images of women’s suffrage parades, marches, and gatherings that took place at or around the White House. As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, it’s important to include our children in the conversation so they can learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement” said First Lady Melania Trump. “For decades, women leaders lobbied, marched, and protested for equality and their right to vote in the United States. It is my hope that this project will both support and expand the important conversations taking place on equality and the impact of peaceful protests, while encouraging children to engage in the history behind this consequential movement in their own home state.” The White House is encouraging submissions from students in grades 3-12, and will select one artwork to be included in the exhibit from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All applicants will receive a thank you note signed by the First Lady, thanking them for their participation in this special exhibit honoring the women's suffrage movement. Submission applications can be found here. Entries must be received by July 6, 2020 at 5 p.m. ET.
To be considered, artwork must meet the following requirements:
  1. Two-dimensional, created on an 8”x 8” piece of paper. To submit, parents and guardians are asked to upload an image of your child’s artwork which can be a simple snapshot taken with a camera or a cell phone. Winners will be asked to send their original artwork via mail at a later date.
  1. Include a statement (up to 300 characters) about the artwork and how it represents women’s suffrage.
  1. Be based on one of the following categories: Suffragists, Suffrage Symbols, or Suffrage Events.
    • Suffragists: Portray a suffragist who inspires you. Many brave individuals dedicated themselves to fighting for women’s right to vote. Depict one of the well-known woman from the national movement or someone who did work in your state/territory.
    • Suffrage Symbols: Create your own button, ribbon, or sign. Activists and supporters wore buttons with messages such as “Votes for Women” or carried signs with statements to President Wilson: “Mr. President: How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?”
    • Suffrage Events: Depict a historic march, protest, or other event related to the women’s suffrage movement. This can be a national happening or something from your state/territory.
To learn more about the women’s suffrage movement, please visit the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission website and review their state toolkits for more information on what happened in your state!
This exhibit is presented by the Office of the Curator in partnership with the Office of the First Lady.

Jason Rapp

Public art promotes mask usage in Spartanburg

Public call for art also issued

In response to increased COVID-19 cases and as part of the Bringing Back the ‘Burg initiative, Chapman Cultural Center is partnering with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on a county-wide public art campaign that promotes the use of face masks by encouraging residents and businesses to place temporary face masks on public art.

The public is encouraged to participate by placing temporary face masks on pre-identified pieces of public art. Eligible pieces of art can be found here. Businesses may also participate by placing temporary masks on privately-owned visible works of art. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” Masks are available for purchase at many local pharmacy retailers, grocery stores, box stores and boutiques.

Public call for art

In addition to placing masks on existing public art, the campaign includes a call for proposals for a new public art project that promotes the importance of wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Local artists should submit inquiries and proposals by June 26. The selected proposal will receive an award of $1,000 in addition to funding the cost of materials for the project. Artists interested in submitting a proposal, or who would like more information, should contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley at or 864.278.9685.
Chapman Cultural Center realizes that the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change as evidence from previous public art campaigns addressing serious issues in the community such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. As an extension of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light sought to improve police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie through the arts.   Chapman Cultural Center and the Spartanburg Chamber are committed to prioritizing public health and reducing the spread of COVID-19 while carrying out their respective organizational missions. "Bringing Back the 'Burg" is Spartanburg's COVID-19 recovery effort. Other initiatives include a Business Recovery Task Force, Open for Business Guidebook, Combating COVID-19 Commitment and marketing campaigns.

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RFP issued for Mauldin Public Art Trail

Submission deadline: Monday, Aug. 10, 2020; 5 p.m. ET

The City of Mauldin has just opened the RFP portion of the selection process for the 2021 installation along our Mauldin Public Art Trail.

Mauldin Cultural CenterThis annual program seeks to beautify the community with public art displays created by South Carolina artists for years to come. The theme “Heroes and Leaders” was selected in the wake of COVID-19. We have seen the terms heroes and leaders be used to describe many groups of people who have not traditionally been given such a title. Across the globe, governing bodies have set forth policies to increase the safety of humankind; healthcare workers have compromised their own safety to care for and save the lives of those infected; manufacturers have grown their production efforts in an attempt to ensure there were enough supplies and medical equipment to go around; innovators and researchers have worked tirelessly to find a vaccination; and individuals have practiced social distancing and isolation to protect the immunocompromised. Artists’ submissions should reflect finding extraordinary in the ordinary and/or the work of the aforementioned during a pandemic. The RFP, application, schedule and history of the trail can be found online at The RFP and schedule are also attached. The deadline for submissions is August 10, 5 p.m.  

Jason Rapp

COVID-19 through African American eyes

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) is documenting the impact of the coronavirus through the African American perspective.

The organization has opened a portal called "Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic" and invites African American South Carolinians to chronicle the personal impact of the pandemic through stories, photography, video, art work, poetry, and other forms of expression. This an opportunity to provide future generations with knowledge as to how people persevered through a time that altered a sense of normalcy. Although contributions from all African Americans from South Carolina are welcome, the SCAAHC is particularly seeking perspectives of the pandemic from professionals in healthcare, law enforcement, tourism, faith-based organizations, tourism industries, and education (students, teachers and administrators). The Heritage Commission is also interested in how students were affected during the pandemic. Go to
Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg Artists Collective announces 2nd juried show

Call for art from artists in Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee

Submission deadline: Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

Artists Collective Spartanburg will host its second annual juried exhibition Tuesday, Sept. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 17, and invites all established visual artists in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee to apply in competition of winning cash prizes for as much as $2,500 for first place.

All work must be original and created within the past three years. The window of opportunity to enter online is Saturday, July 4, through Saturday, Aug. 1.

“At this time, mid-May, we are still planning to have this exhibition,” Collective Chairwoman Beth Regula said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are discussing accommodations that may need to be made for safely accepting and returning artists' works and deciding what the awards ceremony will look like. What we know is that artists still need to make art and continue to need affirmation of the quality of their work, and most can use the prize money. We also know there will be a new normal for a while and are committed to putting safety first as we begin to reopen our doors. We are hoping for an in-person awards ceremony with a big reception; however we will consider alternate ways to honor our winners even if changes to the ‘old normal’ must be made, perhaps with social distancing. Our first juried show was a huge success. We had nearly 250 artists to apply, and 66 of them were admitted into the show. This year, we hope to attract more artists and once again bring to Spartanburg a quality exhibition by local and regional artists.”

Last year, first place was taken by Cindy Shute of Lockhart, South Carolina, for her oil-on-linen painting Peacemaker: Hrair Balian. Second prize of $1,000 was taken by Gordon Dohm of Greenville, South Carolina, for his photograph Fungi Fantasy. Third-place 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. Seven merit awards of $100 and $250 were also given.

The 2020 prize money will total a minimum of $4,500.

Most 2-D and 3-D visual arts are acceptable to this show and include painting, pastels, drawing, sculptures, ceramics, glass, photography, fiber arts, original hand pulled prints, jewelry, weaving, basketry, wood, and mixed media. The $35 entry fee allows the artist to enter up to three pieces of art for consideration. Online registration will take place on the agency’s website: through Saturday, Aug. 1. Notification of acceptance will be via email on Saturday, Aug. 15. For complete details and a downloadable prospectus, please visit the website.

This year, the jurors for the show will be Alice Sebrell and Connie Bostic.

Sebrell is the program director for the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville. She is a native of Charlotte and earned her master’s degree in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Delaware. Sebrell has written and spoken about Black Mountain College many times and has curated many exhibitions at the museum. She is also a practicing artist whose photography and mixed media work have been exhibited internationally and are in many public and private collections.

Bostic began her art career as an adult in 1970 when she moved to Asheville and enrolled in her first drawing class. Unsure of her abilities, she did not pursue an academic degree until 1989. In 1990 she finished a master’s degree at Western Carolina University. Since then, she has had 28 solo exhibitions and work featured in 44 group shows. Active in the Asheville arts community, she has curated many exhibitions in that community. In 1991 she opened a contemporary gallery in downtown Asheville. Since 2000 she has devoted herself to painting, teaching private students, and maintaining her deep involvement in the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

Artists Collective Spartanburg provides private and affordable studios to local artists. The once-Baptist church has 32 studios, three public galleries, a ceramic studio, a printery, and two performance stages. The collective has more than 50 members and the largest collection of for-sale art in the county. Normally, it hosts three temporary exhibits each month. Slated for this fall, this juried show will take place in the 2000-square-foot Solomon Gallery within the venue.

The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.

Jason Rapp

701 CCA seeks summer resident artists

Shelter in place + create in Columbia

For more information and to apply, click here.

Kymberly Day painting High Plain, Lo Mein, oil on canvas. Cowboy feeding a reclining horse lo mein noodles. Kymberly Day. High Plain, Lo Mein, oil on canvas. To help artists affected by the coronavirus pandemic, CCA will offer several paid residencies of four to six weeks. Artists will be invited to shelter in place at CCA’s live-work loft apartment and create art. The center's artist-in-residence for the month of May will be Greenville #SCartist Kymberly Day. Day's studio space temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Day faces loss of income due to the cancellation of several upcoming art festivals where she could have sold her work. We are excited to welcome such a talented emerging artist as our first participant in our Summer 2020 artist residency program. Day will be hosting a social media takeover on CCA accounts from May 6-13. She will share her process and progress so you can follow along during her residency.

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The 1593 Project: A Call for Art

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020

In the year 1593, bubonic plague swept through London, killing almost a third of its population. In times of plague, when deaths exceeded thirty per week, London authorities closed the theaters. As acting companies fell on hard times, Shakespeare took the forced closures as a time to create, and in the year 1593 began to compose the first of what would be a brilliant collection of 154 sonnets. Richard III, Venus and Adonis, Titus Andronicus, and the Taming of the Shrew were also thought to have been written during this dark time for the theater, and in 1606 when the plague returned to once again to ravage the city, Shakespeare persevered with the creation of many of his greatest plays of all time, including Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, and Macbeth. History has repeated itself and humanity is again facing a pandemic which has disrupted normal life and shuttered performing and visual art venues. To support creative artists during this time, the Koger Center for the Arts is launching The 1593 Project: A Call for Art. We encourage submissions from South Carolina performing and visual artists through June 30, 2020. The chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, rehearsal or gallery space, and technical support resulting in a free public performance or display in one of the areas at the Koger Center. For full details, please visit
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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100 bucks for 100 words

New contest from Sunspot Literary Journal

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020
A contribution from Sunspot Literary Journal: Microfiction, micro essay, micro memoir, short poem, micro script, micro screenplay... if it's 100 words or less, it might be worth $100. No restrictions on theme or category. In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published. Sunspot asks for first rights only; all rights revert to the contributor after publication. Works accepted for publication include bylines and biographies. These are published in the next quarterly digital edition an average of one month after contest completion. All the published pieces will be considered for inclusion in the annual fall print edition. Enter as many times as you like. One piece per submission. Pieces must be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Work can have won other awards without being disqualified.

Cash award of $100 Entry fee: $5 Open April 1, 2020 Closes June 30, 2020

Link here to submit:

Jason Rapp

Rep. Joe Wilson makes call for art from young artists

Submission deadline: Friday, May 29, 2020 (in Aiken or Columbia offices for Second District residents)

The deadline for this year's Congressional Art Competition is approaching. Rep. Wilson is encouraging all high school artists in the Second District to participate:

With most students in the Second District currently learning from home, this competition is a great use of spare time. This competition is a way to recognize the talent of young artists here in the Second District and across the nation.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students, and one winner is selected to represent each participating district. The winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol with art from other participating districts around the country. The winning artist from each district will win a trip to Washington and a $3,000 scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design. South Carolinians in other Congressional districts: find out if your district is participating by visiting your House member's website. UPDATE: The initial post listed the deadline as Friday, May 1. The deadline was changed shortly after publication and this post was updated after receiving notification.

Theme and accepted mediums for the two-dimensional artwork

Artwork must be two-dimensional and represent this year's theme, The Palmetto State: Capturing the Spirit of South Carolina. Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece it must be framed. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.
  • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (it is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages: must be two dimensional
  • Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photographs
  • Entries must be original in concept, design, and execution, and must be entered in the original medium (i.e. not a scan or copy of original work).
Find the competition rules and regulations here. Second District residents who need any additional information or have any questions about the Congressional Art Competition, please contact Sam Orr in the Midlands office at 803.939.0041 or email him at
Rep. Wilson congratulates Julia Rayfield of Dreher High School in Columbia, selected the 2019 Congressional Art Competition Winner. "Her winning piece titled “Entangled” is a remarkable and tasteful representation of the talent we have in the Second Congressional District of South Carolina. A special thank you goes to her parents, Jennifer and Patrick Rayfield, and her art teacher, Ms. Jennifer Gorlewski." Painting by Dreher High School artist Julia Rayfield, the 2019 Second District of S.C. winner "Entagled" from Julia Rayfield of Dreher High School, the Second Congressional District of South Carolina’s Congressional Art Competition Winner
The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.