Using arts and culture to address rural community needs

Colleton MuseumArt of Community: Rural S.C. is the Arts Commission's initiative to support new leadership, generate energy, and motivate action to address the unique needs of rural communities in our state. The program empowers new local leaders who offer fresh perspectives and energy with new resources to reimagine their communities through an arts and culture lens and drive action. It received national attention last month for a success story in Walterboro (right), but the work is just getting into gear. And there's still plenty to do. South Arts, a consortium of Southern state arts agencies, is inviting arts and cultural leaders, public officials, community leaders, organizational decision-makers, and municipal and economic planners from the Southeast – and beyond –  to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the first Southeastern Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, March 15-16. Creative placemaking goes "Beyond Big Cities" with a special focus on small and rural communities in the American South. Attendees will dig into the ways arts and culture can be deployed to address the challenges of communities outside urban areas. A stellar lineup of sessions and presenters is to take on themes such as:

  • community wellness,
  • diversity and inclusion,
  • maintaining affordable places,
  • and strategies for areas of consistent poverty.
Chattanooga and its region offer a wide variety of local demonstration projects involving art in unused spaces, water features, historical spaces, sculpture parks and other public art, making it an ideal place to explore successful examples creative placemaking to inspire your work at home. Who should attend?
  • Artists
  • Arts professionals
  • Local government planners and officials
  • Community developers
  • Anyone interested in building vital communities through arts and culture
Go here for more information. You'll learn and generate the ideas that could turn your community into the next South Carolina Cultural District by using arts and culture to draw or retain talent that drives tourism and economic development in your town.

Tuning Up: Creative Placemaking, Gullah Geechee in Philadelphia, more

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...

  • You'll be hearing more from us about this, but we have to start somewhere. South Arts is presenting the "Beyond Big Cities" Southern Creative Placemaking Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. next month. This is the place to be for civic/arts leaders interesting in leveraging the creative assets in rural communities and small towns to attract and retain residents, creatives and businesses, and bring visitors to experience the unique nature of your place.
  • The Gullah Geechee remain in the spotlight, this time as Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk take the story of Gullah Geechees to the City of Brotherly Love for a free performance at Villanova University. The performance will recognize the important link between Philadelphia and the Sea Islands of S.C. during slavery and Reconstruction. Group leader Anita Singleton-Prather is a Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award winner and an acclaimed musician, storyteller, and actress.
  • Verner Award recipients Jonathan Green (2010) and William Starrett (2002) rekindle a collaboration that took Green's paintings (right) Off the Wall and Onto the Stage with Columbia City Ballet when they reprise the critically acclaimed ballet at Township Auditorium in Columbia this Friday and in Charleston Saturday, March 3.
  • And finally, a hearty congratulations to Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz for receiving the Buck Mikel Leadership Award from the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

Help guide South Arts’ Performing Arts Exchange 2017

South Arts,  consortium of nine Southern state arts agencies, is already(!) gearing up for its annual Performing Arts Exchange (1-4 Oct., Orlando, Fla.). They recently put out a call for involvement at PAE in three specific areas of need:

  • Become a Juried Showcase Panelist Who: Agents, managers, artists, presenters, and staff of arts service organizations with at least five years of experience in the performing arts industry. No need to reside in the South Arts region to participate. HowRead these guidelines and fill out a self-nomination form.
  • Become a Grants Panelist ​Who: Presenters in South Arts' nine-state region. How: Read these guidelines and fill out a self-nomination form.
  • Suggest a workshop topic for the Performing Arts Exchange Who: Anyone with a burning question or a great idea for what performing arts professionals need for professional development. How: Fill out this form to suggest a workshop and potential faculty.

Reserve your space at the Statewide Arts Conference!

Guided by the theme "No Time Like The Future," we’re gearing up for an outstanding Statewide Arts Conference September 14 and 15 at the State Museum in Columbia. The conference features two national keynote speakers and top-notch sessions, the opening reception for the new State Art Collection exhibition, Eclipsing 50, AND customized museum experiences created just for our conference. We've also added a pre-conference session that is included in your registration fee of $75 ($65 for two or more people who register at the same time.) Register today to reserve your space. Conference highlights:

  • Two national keynote speakers - we welcome two highly regarded keynote speakers, Dr. Jane Chu, (left) Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, and Elizabeth Merritt, (right) Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums and Vice President for Strategic Foresight, American Alliance of Museums. Merritt will also lead a session during the conference.
  • Opening reception for new exhibition -  Eclipsing 50: The State Art Collection 1967 - 2017 was created to celebrate the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary and includes more than 80 pieces from the collection. The exhibition focuses on the spirit of dynamism and leaps of artistic faith of our state’s changing art landscape and spans work from the last five decades. The State Art Collection was established in 1967 as one of the first programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission.
  • Pre-conference session - Join the S.C. Arts Commission staff Thursday, Sept. 14 from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the State Library, 1500 Senate St., to find out about the Arts Commission's new and updated programs, opportunities and grants, including The Art of Community:Rural SC, ArtsGrowSC (a new loan program for artists) and our new grant application platform.
  • Conference location - we're taking advantage of our unique venue by designing museum experiences for you - our conference attendees. Choose from several options created and presented by museum staff.
  • The Vista Cultural District - explore Columbia's only state-designated cultural district during lunch on your own. Numerous restaurants and arts venues are a quick walk from the State Museum.
Conference schedule overview (Except for Thursday's pre-conference, all sessions -- including registration -- take place at the State Museum.) Thursday, September 14
  • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Session (State Library)
  • 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Registration (State Museum)
  • 6:00 - 7:15 p.m.  Opening keynote address - Elizabeth Merritt
  • 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Opening Reception for the 50th Anniversary State Art Collection - Eclipsing 50
Friday, September 15
  • 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Networking & coffee
  • 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round One
  • 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions, Round Two
  • 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own in The Vista
  • 2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Keynote address - Jane Chu
  • 3:45 - 5:00 p.m. Museum experiences
A sample of sessions and speakers
  • Peering Into the Financial Future
  • South Carolina’s Creative Cluster - the Arts and Economic Development
  • Transformation: Creating Asset-Based Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
  • NASCAR, Improv and Advocacy?
  • Building Your Arts Community (for artists)
  • Combating Resistance in Your Art Practice (for artists)
  • Recycle and Renew: Hands-On Art Making
  • Moonshot! Exploring the State Art Collection in Eclipsing 50
  • Have Exhibition, Will Travel
  • Over the Moon - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Museums
  • Planetarium Potpourri
Area hotels are offering special rates  for conference attendees. Find out more and register today! Wells FargoThank you to Wells Fargo, our Statewide Arts Conference sponsor.

Register today! Statewide Arts Conference registration is $50 through July 21

Special anniversary pricing of $50 is valid through July 21. Fifty years? Where did the time go? Half a century can fly by when you’re busy making your state a thriving place for the arts. The 2017 Statewide Arts Conference will celebrate the S.C. Arts Commission’s 50th anniversary with a focus on the future. Keynote presenters include National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu and Center for the Future of Museums Founding Director Elizabeth Merritt. Sessions will cover topics of interest to artists, arts organizations, arts educators and community partners. The conference kicks off at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia September 14 with an evening plenary and the opening reception for the 50th Anniversary State Art Collection Retrospective and continues September 15 with a full day of sessions and museum experiences. Take advantage of special anniversary pricing!  Registration is only $50 through July 21. After July 21, registration is $75 per person ($65 per person for two or more participants who register at the same time.) Find out more and register today! Thank you to Wells Fargo, our Statewide Arts Conference sponsor.

Call for proposals – Statewide Arts Conference

Save the date! The South Carolina Arts Commission invites session proposals for the 2017 Statewide Arts Conference scheduled for Sept. 14 - 15 at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. The conference, a featured event on the Arts Commission's 50th Anniversary calendar, kicks off Thursday, Sept. 14 with an evening plenary and reception and continues Friday, Sept. 15 with a full day of sessions. Conference registration opens in July. Call for proposals Theme: No Time Like the Future Fifty years? Where did the time go? Half a century can fly by when you’re busy making your state a thriving place for the arts. Reminiscing upon the past can be a pleasant diversion, but preparing for the future requires action. So after celebrating our accomplishments, it’s time to move forward…focused. It’s time for our next 50 years. Do you have knowledge or expertise to share with South Carolina's network of arts leaders, educators, artists, and supporters around these broad categories?

  • FORWARD – Have you overhauled an older arts program, restructured your governance, or redesigned your website with an eye toward moving your organization forward?
  • FOCUSED – Are you focused on harnessing today’s rapid pace of technology and/or change to impact your organization or community through the arts?
  • FUTURE – Are you already out there, gearing up for the Next Big Thing in the Arts, waiting for the rest of us to arrive?
Potential audiences
  • Arts educators
  • Artists
  • Arts leaders/executives
  • Board members
  • Community members
Possible topics
  • Board development/governance
  • Communications and promotion
  • Creating a thriving arts environment
  • Creative placemaking
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Executive transition and succession planning
  • Future trends
  • New business models
  • Next generation of emerging arts leaders
  • Participation
  • Program evaluation and assessment
  • Rural arts
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology
Proposals will be evaluated according to these guidelines:
  • Proposals submitted by Friday, June 16, 2017 will be given priority consideration. Final deadline is Friday June 30, 2017.
  • Proposal reflects the theme of the conference and should serve to advance the mission of S.C. Arts Commission.
  • Proposal is fully developed with the subject, format, and substance of the discussion, workshop, or presentation.
  • Proposal offers innovative modes of thinking, diverse and broad perspectives, and a concrete demonstration of the benefits to participants.
  • Proposal is not commercial in nature.
  • Qualifications of presenter(s).
Find out more and submit your proposal online.

Making Money III: Marketing, Development, and Audience Surveying with Purpose

Making Money III is May 19 - register today!

The South Carolina Arts Commission is again partnering with USC’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management to offer Making Money III.  Effective organizations need information to make sound decisions. Designing and executing solid survey projects is just one part of a larger puzzle. This workshop will teach arts leaders how to gather and maximize information in ways that lead to making money. Participants will walk away with new approaches to this often challenging work.

This three-part seminar will featuring guest experts and hands-on learning around these topics: Part 1: Driving organizational success and financial stability. Best practices from an award-winning arts leader. Part 2: Making your social media work for you!  Strategies and tips to better engage your patrons and followers. Part 3: Surveying with purpose. This 3.5-hour session with a working lunch will help organizations to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose May 19 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Russell House University Union University of South Carolina—Columbia Campus Registration is $89 per person and includes refreshments, boxed lunch and conference materials. Space is limited – find out more and register today! Speakers: Surale Phillips, President and Lead Consultant at Decision Support Partners, Inc. surale_phillipsSurale Phillips has provided research and consulting services to the arts for 25 years. Her work has been the foundation of projects supported by the NEA, Wallace Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, and other national and local grant makers. Her more than 150 clients have included arts service organizations, municipalities, and nonprofit arts organizations of every discipline in nearly every state. She is a regular coach and presenter at the Americans for the Arts national convention and the National Arts Marketing Project conference. Her most recent workshops were hosted by Convening Culture for the State of Florida, Raleigh Office of Arts, and ArtsMemphis. Jennifer Clark Evins, President/CEO, Chapman Cultural Center, Inc., and 2007 Verner Award Winner evins_jenniferAs President/CEO, Evins heads the 4th largest and oldest local arts agency in South Carolina, leading a conglomerate of seven nonprofit collaborative partners that “co-locate” at the Chapman Cultural Center. Evins joined CCC in August 2010 as Senior Development Director and assumed the duties of the President/CEO in June 2011. Evins’ experience in the nonprofit sector was as a volunteer leader in Spartanburg for nearly 24 years. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million, and later raising $10 million for a new Spartanburg YMCA. Evins has lead numerous creative placemaking projects including winning the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Prior to joining the nonprofit field in 2010, Evins had an extensive professional career in marketing and public relations. Armen Shaomian, DMA, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sport and Entertainment Management armenDr. Shaomian is the producer and creator of the highly acclaimed Making Money series. He has an extensive background in performing arts, education and project management consulting. He is the founder and CEO of Armenize, Inc., an arts consulting agency specializing in non-profit arts management and foundational strategies. Prior work includes programs manager / associate producer for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) and its signature YoungArts program. In his role as their associate producer, Dr. Shaomian oversaw live performance logistics as well as strategic relations with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as the United States Department of Education and the United States Presidential Scholars program. His work with the NFAA included cost analysis and contract negotiations, allowing the Foundation to save fiscally while raising the quality of its programming. In 2016, he was nominated for the University of South Carolina’s Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dr. Shaomian currently serves on the board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).

Appalachian gateway communities workshop to offer cultural heritage tourism assistance

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Conservation Fund, are offering a technical assistance workshop in Ringgold, Ga., May 9–11 on creating sustainable natural and cultural heritage tourism development in Appalachian "gateway" communities—those that are entry points to Appalachia's national and state parks and forests. Teams will learn how to jump start economic growth in their communities through public arts promotion, cultural heritage and natural resource tourism, and preservation and stewardship of community character. Applicants or their gateway communities must be located in an Appalachian county designated by ARC as economically distressed, transitional, or at-risk. Eligible South Carolina counties are Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. (Maps and lists of Appalachian counties' economic status for FY 2017 are available on the ARC website.) Participating communities must send a team of four to seven key members, including at least one member from the arts. Experts will assist each team in developing an action plan for capitalizing on their community's unique natural and cultural heritage resources and the arts. Participating teams will also be eligible to apply for seed grant funding to help them implement the action plan they develop at the workshop. The workshop registration fee is $550 per team; limited travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis. Applications are due March 24. More information and registration details are available online.

South Arts hosting 2016 Performing Arts Exchange in Orlando, Fla.

Early bird registration ends July 29. The Performing Arts Exchange, hosted by South Arts, is the primary marketplace and forum for performing arts presenting and touring – artists and work, ideas, learning and information – in the eastern US. This year's PAE takes place Sept. 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. Conference activities include live performances, professional development workshops, networking and hospitality events. The purpose of PAE is to connect artists with audiences by fostering excellence in all aspects of presenting and touring the performing arts. Registration fees vary for presenters, supporters, artists and students. Early bird registration ends July 29. Find out more on the PAE website. Via: South Arts

All levels of ability and experience welcome at 2016 S.C. Clay Conference

Registration deadline is Feb. 5. SC Clay ConferenceMaking Clay Personal is the theme of the second annual South Carolina Clay Conference, taking place Feb, 26-28, 2016, at the Newberry Firehouse Conference Center in Newberry, S.C. Presenters Michael Sherrill, Glenda E. Guion and Bill Griffith will take attendees through the journey of creating objects in clay that are uniquely personal and expressive of the individual artist. All levels of ability and experience are invited to attend. “I hope that the topic of making clay personal will open a dialogue about sorting out what is important to the clay artist when, at times, the choices seem endless,” says Guion. “We are bombarded with visual images and fragmented thoughts on a daily basis, either through our physical experiences or the new 'virtual realities.' Regardless of the clay material resources or the artist experience, trusting your gut instincts to develop a personal visual language for your work can be the most challenging part of creating the work.” Sherrill and Guion will take the stage on Friday and Saturday to demonstrate their work while interacting with attendees, answering questions and offering inspiration for finding a personal clay voice. On Sunday, Griffith will introduce attendees to the personal journeys of many well-known clay artists. “As makers, we often can reach a point when we become disengaged with our work and feel a need to change technically or aesthetically using new materials, forms and or content,” says Griffith. “Why and when does this occur and how and where do we find inspiration and motivation to make this meaningful shift? My lecture will include images and testimonials from several well-known ceramic artists who have experienced this transition, along with their personal thoughts and perhaps some helpful suggestions." The conference is presented by the Newberry Arts Center, which is a part of the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. “Our goal in having a yearly conference is to bring together clay artists and potters from across South Carolina in an effort to build a stronger clay community," says conference organizer Marquerite Palmer. "By joining together once a year, we gain knowledge from collaborative conversations, share upcoming workshop information statewide, and discuss individual challenges and successes. Through interaction, communication and education, we hope to move clay forward for the benefit of all S.C. clay artists and potters.” All conference attendees, amateur and professional, are encouraged to bring pottery and sculpture to sell at the 2016 S.C. Clay Conference Pottery Sale. The sale is open to the public and advertised throughout the state. A small percentage of sales is used to support the Newberry Arts Center and the conference. Art work from this year’s presenters will also be available for sale. Some of Newberry’s top restaurants will provide food for meals, the reception and the Saturday night barbecue. Coffee, drinks, snacks and more are also included in the registration fee. Several vendors will be displaying their pottery-related items as well as offering demonstrations and information. Registration is $225 for attendees and $125 for students. For more information and or to register, visit or contact Marquerite Palmer,, (803) 321-1015. The South Carolina Clay Conference’s purpose is to assist in the growth and direction of South Carolina potters through presentation, demonstration, and networking opportunities. Conference organziers seek to create a flourishing clay community in the state of South Carolina, with the aspiration to move clay forward. Via: S.C. Clay Conference