Pro bono strategic planning for rural arts organizations

Application deadline: Friday, Dec. 14, 2018


The S.C. Arts Commission received word today of a new resource for rural arts organizations. The timing dovetails nicely as the advisory committee for the S.C. Arts Commission program Art of Community: Rural SC gathers for its annual meeting this week. That program has of course been documented here from time to time. Despite only being a pilot program at this stage, rural revitalization through arts, culture, and cultivation of pride of place is an important part of the S.C. Arts Commission's work. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management is pleased to offer pro bono strategic planning services for up to five arts or cultural organizations based in rural, semi-rural, micropolitan, or similar communities across the U.S. The Institute seeks five partners with whom it will work to develop a long-term strategic plan that celebrates the unique assets of their organization, community, cultural history, and environment. The planning process will be fully underwritten by University of Maryland. Interested organizations are invited to apply through Dec. 14, 2018. A brochure describing the opportunity is available here. Full information and the application can be found here: http://devosinstitute.umd.edu/ruralcommunities Interested organizations are invited to address questions directly to segunning@devosinstitute.net or 301-314-0958.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.  

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop coming to Union

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to debut Communal Pen, a writing workshop in Union on Saturday, Oct. 6 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. And they have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union County Carnegie Library, 300 E. South St.) draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Union County Carnegie Library through Oct. 21, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Tuning Up: Theatre company grants + call for potters + PAE

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Theatre company grant opportunities. Southeastern Theatre Conference is offering two grants for non-academic professional theatre companies – one for current SETC organizational members and one for non-member organizations. Applications for 2018/2019 grants are being accepted from now through Aug. 3, 2018. Click here for more information. The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone. Calling all potters! The Macon (Ga.) Arts Alliance would like to share with you Fired Works 2019 Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale featuring 60 potters from Georgia and the Southeast to be held April 5-14, 2019 in ... Macon, Georgia. The entry fee and exhibition are free to the exhibitors. Get, ahem, fired up! Hard details here. Let's show them what #SCArtists can do! (The deadline is Dec. 1, so we'll remind you once or twice between now and then.) Performing Arts Exchange. The early-bird registration deadline for South Arts' Performing Arts Exchange (Oct. 1-4, Orlando, Fla.) is a week away. They've got a solid Juried Showcase lineup, and are adding a folk and traditional arts American Sounds showcase. Don't miss out!

Expanding arts in Appalachian communities

NEA to offer new workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities

This is an opportunity for communities in the Upstate S.C. counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. Deadline to apply is May 31. Since 2007, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with The Conservation Fund, have helped Appalachian "gateway" communities – those that are entry points or adjacent to Appalachia's national and state parks and forests – expand tourism, arts, and other community and economic development opportunities. With programming that has included targeted technical assistance, community tourism assessments, tourism planning workshops, and small grants for project implementation, the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative (AGCI) has touched more than 1,000 communities and 100 counties. In August 2018, The Conservation Fund will host the inaugural Advanced Project Implementation Workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities in Shepherdstown, W.Va. This 3-day workshop is designed for teams from gateway communities that have previously participated in AGCI activities or are ready to implement new or ongoing community projects. In addition to hearing from both national and regional experts, a main feature of the workshop will be to reassess and build capacity for community projects and planning efforts, as well as receive technical assistance on various topics to develop an action-oriented roadmap for implementation. The full team application materials can be found on the Course Web Page. The team application deadline is May 31st. Please contact Katie Allen (304.876.7925, kallen@conservationfund.org) or Kendra Briechle (703.908.5817, kbriechle@conservationfund.org) to learn more about this opportunity!

Tuning Up: Calls for Art! + STEAM workshop

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...


Calls. For. Art.

We have a couple calls for art this morning, which can only mean one thing: it's time to fire up the ol' calls for art megaphone:
  • Okay, so the first is an RFQ, but it counts, right? (Right?) City of Mauldin and the Mauldin Cultural Council in ... Mauldin ... invite all South Carolina based visual artists – working solo or as a team – to submit qualifications for the Mauldin Public Art Trail. The selected artist/team will create work in any medium that reflects the specific theme “Industry of the Upstate.” The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 16, 2018 at 5 p.m. The selected artist(s) can create a work in any medium as long as it reflects the stated theme. A minimum of two artists/teams will be selected as “finalists” by April 24, 2018.
  • There is still time to apply to participate in STYLE '18! Now in its 12th year, STYLE is a show, sale and benefit celebrating independent contemporary design. This is a curated event focused on the highest quality fashion, jewelry and accessories. STYLE '18 will take place over two days on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. Jurors will hand-select 36 national and international designers to participate in the 2018 event. Submit your application today to participate.

STEAM Workshop

SC Afterschool Alliance invites you to spend a "Morning with STEM" (just wait...): workshops that will provide valuable resources that can be used with your students immediately and designed to promote engagement, creativity and success. Over the next few months, they plan to present sessions to help you learn to integrate technology with literacy, math, art and science to expand your STEM offerings. Included in April's session is "STEM is Gaining STEAM." The workshop is Thursday morning, April 10 in Columbia at SCETV. Register for the free workshop here.

Free workshop, lunch coming soon for coastal S.C. artisans

Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your business? Is your business in the creative or cultural heritage industries? Are you an entrepreneur whose business intersects with, or has the potential to intersect with the tourism industry? Are you an artist looking to start a business? This is the meeting you must attend…lunch is included! Seating is limited to 40, so register today.

  • DATE:            Saturday, April 14, 2018
  • TIME:            9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • WHERE:      901-905 Front Street, Georgetown, SC 29440
  • COST:            None. (That’s right. Free!)
Meet representatives from the Arts Commission, City of Georgetown Economic Development, CommunityWorks, Conway Innovation Center, Georgetown Innovation Center, and SCORE, along with other organizations that provide resources for small business and entrepreneurs. Network! Ask questions, provide input, and participate in planning to access business resources that can help your business grow. Click here to take a business / entrepreneur needs assessment survey that will help us help you before, during and after the meeting. This meeting is open to entrepreneurs located in Georgetown and Horry counties, but also includes the contiguous counties of Berkeley, Charleston, Dillon, Marion, and Williamsburg. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs!

What else?

Registration is required; walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Limit 2 registrants per business/organization. A registration-ticket will be sent 3 days prior to the meeting via the e-mail address you provide. Register now: Click here to register for this meeting. Registration closes April 9, 2018. This meeting is being facilitated by the SC Arts Commission. Sponsors of the meeting include the SC African American Heritage Commission, creator of the Greenbook of SC; Georgetown Innovation Center; Cultural Council of Georgetown County; Coastal Carolina University; and the City of Georgetown Economic Development Office.
For more information contact Joy Young, SCAC program director for Artists Ventures Initiative and ArtsGrowSC, at jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

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.