Submitted material

NEA offers summertime learning

Arts-centric learning opportunities abounds

The National Endowment for the Arts, a major funder of the S.C. Arts Commission, is offering an abundance of varied learning opportunities this summer. Read on to learn more!

Citizens’ institute on Rural Design: Call for Applications from Rural and Tribal Communities!

Office hours through Facebook: June 18, 6-7 p.m. ET & July 10, 1-2 p.m. ET The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that the Request for Applications from communities is open now until July 22! The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ will continue its tradition of offering local design workshops that address specific community challenges, and also create a new cohort learning program that will engage rural leaders from up to 20 additional communities. All rural communities of 50,000 or less are eligible to apply for the CIRD local workshop and learning cohort opportunities. We encourage applications from nonprofits, tribal or municipal governments, regional planning organizations, and other community partners. We hope to hear from a variety of rural communities from a wide range of backgrounds, geographies, and capacities. If you are a rural service provider, please share this opportunity widely with colleagues and community leaders in rural areas who might be interested in applying. The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Navigating Your Arts Career: Resources & Financial Tools for People with Disabilities

June 19, 2019 | Register Join the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Beyond Sight on June 19, 2019, from 3-4:15 p.m. ET, for the second in a series of six webinars promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities. This webinar series is part of a toolkit, designed to help expand employment and career development opportunities for disabled people as artists and cultural workers, which will be launched later this year. This webinar, “Navigating your Arts Career: Resources and Financial Tools for People with Disabilities”, will address some of the barriers people with disabilities find when pursuing a career in the arts. Hear a panel of experts address the burning questions people with disabilities have when seeking careers in the arts, including how to maintain crucial public benefits while working in the arts or how to transition to work. Join experts for an interactive discussion. Host: Andy Arias, actor and Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor Speakers will include:

Our Town

Deadline: Aug. 8, 2019 New guidelines now online Webinar: June 24, 2019 Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Arts Endowment staff will conduct a webinar to share tips on how to ensure an Our Town application is clear and compelling on June 24.

Creating a State Data Culture to Inform Investments in Arts Education

Tuesday, June 25, 2 p.m. EDT | Register Speakers will include:
  • Ayanna N. Hudson, director, Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Claus von Zastrow, Ph.D., principal, Education Commission of the States
Join a webinar to examine a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and Education Commission of the States to build states’ capacity to report on the arts education data they collect. The webinar will focus on the current climate for such work in states, strategies and tools for supporting state-level data efforts, and the value of incorporating arts education data into broader efforts to promote a culture of information in states.

Art Works

Deadline: July 11, 2019 (for projects beginning no earlier than June 1, 2020) Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, we support public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Take 2: Want ‘A Stronger Bottom Line’ for your org?

The S.C. Arts Alliance can help

Application deadline: Friday, June 21, 2019
Yes, we help provide arts education opportunities. Yes, we help artists make sustainable arts careers. And yes, we also serve as a resource to strengthen community arts groups: your local theatre, dance company, orchestra, and the like. To that end, the S.C. Arts Commission is partnering with the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Alliance (which advocates for all the things mentioned above, and more, in the halls of power in Columbia and Washington) to present the second iteration of "A Stronger Bottom Line," a small-group cohort of small arts organizations getting unparalleled, tailored financial management training specific to the arts. The idea is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization's financial operations. But don't take our word for it. Here's what some participants from the first cohort had to say:

“What a productive and informative program.  I learned a great deal and am extremely confident that I can now provide a more thorough and necessary financial oversight and guidance for my organization. This program is immensely insightful. I wish everyone could have this opportunity.” - Footlight Players

“The SC Arts Alliance benefited greatly from this training. Our staff and board feel more confident in our ability to tell our financial story in a way that is transparent, meaningful, and useful. We highly recommend this training.” - S.C. Arts Alliance

This training is conducted by FMA Consultants. Here's who is eligible:
  • Only nonprofit grantees of the Donnelley Foundation and/or the S.C. Arts Commission.
  • Budget size < $750k
  • Attendance by the executive director, plus lead finance staff or appropriate board member is required for each session. Commitment must be made with application.

Find out more and apply by going here.

 

Tuning Up: Myriad opportunities for artists + grant writing

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...


This one's for you, #SCartists...

The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone. A spate of calls for art and/or fellowship opportunities came through in recent days, so we're letting you know what we've seen (which, dear reader, is not to be assumed is an exhaustive list of opportunities). Please visit links for deadlines and requirements/restrictions/guidelines! And now, here they are:
  • Submissions are being sought for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2019, the center's fifth survey exhibition of work by contemporary South Carolina artists. The exhibition will be held at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. The 701 CCA S.C. Biennial 2019 will be presented in two parts with openings in September and November. Artists working in all media and styles are encouraged to apply. Artists must be a current resident of South Carolina. Please visit the website for specific details regarding the submissions.
  • Greenville Center for Creative Arts announced that 2019/2020 Brandon Fellowship applications will open June 7, 2019. The Brandon Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the ages of 21-30. Brandon Fellows receive a university style studio space at GCCA, a $250 stipend for art supplies per six-month period, an artist mentor, access to one 6-week class per session, and participation in group shows & community events. Please visit the GCCA website for Brandon Fellowship information.
  • Spartanburg/Upstate musicians are encouraged to sign up for live street performances in the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District. Currently, performances are scheduled to be held near four street intersections: Liberty & East Main streets, Church & East Main streets, Magnolia & Dunbar streets, and W. Main St. Pocket Park by The Coffee Bar. The live performances will take place Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, concluding in October. You must be a Chapman Cultural Center registered musician to perform. A link to join the registry and more information is on this page.

Oh, yeah, grant writing

The Central Midlands Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Columbia, June 17-18, 2019.  This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.  Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county, and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend. Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals.  Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary. Click here for full event details.

Finale of ‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series set for Dillon

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to announce that the finale of Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop that helps participants write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community will occur in Dillon on Saturday, June 8. 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-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Dillon County Library Main Branch (600 East Main St., Dillon). 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 Dillon County Theatre Associaion in Dillon from May 18 through June 29, 2019. 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.

Summer learning for artists from Artists U

Grant writing, basic financial skills, and more


Artists U is the S.C. Arts Commission's partner to serve #SCartists in providing training to make sustainable careers out of your artistic pursuits.  A lot of times, a career as an artist requires skills that don't get covered in school: grant writing, financial basics, etc. Rather than go it alone, the SCAC/Artists U partnership provides in-depth training for no cost: Artists U teaches, and SCAC funding covers the tuition as part of ArtsGrowSC. This June, Artists U has three great workshops scheduled. The courses fill up fast, so don't hesitate—register today!
Grant Writing for Artists
  • Friday, June 14
  • 6-9 p.m.
  • Charleston
Presenting Your Art
  • Saturday, June 15
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Charleston
  • Note: Enrollment for this workshop is limited and by application!
Finances for Artists: Basics and Beyond
  • Sunday, June 16
  • 2-6 p.m.
  • Columbia
  • Note: Limited enrollment
Click here to learn more and register/apply for these workshops.

Barnwell next host of ‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to take Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, to Barnwell on Saturday, May 11 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 Barnwell County Public Library (40 Burr St., Barnwell). 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 Barnwell County Library in Barnwell from March 30 through May 12, 2019. 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.

Grow an arts-based business in the Midlands

New workshop will help you put it all together


Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your arts-based business?  Could you use a financial boost? This is a meeting you must attend! Seating is limited to 30, so register today.
  • DATE:          Saturday, May 11, 2019
  • TIME:           12-2 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m. if you want to view the facility.
  • WHERE:     Art Association of Ridge Spring (108 Maintenance Shop Circle, Ridge Spring)
  • COST:           None (That’s right. Free!)
You’ll have time to network, ask questions, and hear about resources – financial and others – that can help you grow your arts-based business. Also, you will learn about grant opportunities available to artists from the S.C. Arts Commission, and hear first-hand from an artist entrepreneur who has accessed resources for business growth. This meeting is open to artists located in the Midlands counties of: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter. Artists and creatives in Edgefield, McCormick, Greenwood, and Abbeville counties are encouraged to attend as well. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs!

What else?

Registration is strongly recommended and closes May 3, 2019.

Register now!

Click here to register for this meeting.

Submitted material

Charleston artists organize for professional development

New Lowcountry arts group getting off the ground

Charleston performing artists are raising the bar of excellence with the recent tourism boom. The demand for corporate and special event entertainment is on the rise. Local musicians, dancers, comedians, and even illusionists have become a powerful resource for destination management companies and event planners seeking to attract and entertain their guests with Charleston flair. With the closing of the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, musicians and entertainers have realized the need for a catalyst for professional development and networking. Local sister duo Gracie & Lacy started a Facebook group, and soon meetings were on the books to gather Charleston’s creative scene once a month—artists such as Tesoro, Irene Rose, Thomas Bailey, Russell Anderson, Mt. Pleasant Community Arts Center, Backpack Journalist, Lowcountry Pianist, Jason Thompson and many more have attended. Gatherings have been hosted at the Main Library on Calhoun St. and the new Cannon St. Arts Center. The idea is to foster a community where the artists enjoy networking, coffee, and educational sessions geared toward growing sustainable careers here in the Lowcountry. The next meeting is scheduled for April 13th at the Main Library from 10 a.m. to noon with guest speaker Adam Bradley, videographer from Fox 24, speaking on “How To Create A Powerful Demo Video.” The sessions are free and open to all. Click this link for more information.

Charleston Area Performing Artists Gathering

  • Guest Speaker: Adam Bradley, Fox 24
  • “How To Create A Powerful Video Demo”
  • April 13th - 10AM-12Noon
  • Charleston County Library Main Branch (68 Calhoun St, Charleston)
  • Free Event - Limited Space, RSVP to info@gracieandlacy.com

Tools for a successful career as an artist

Artists U to present free workshop in Anderson


The S.C. Arts Commission is dedicated to helping #SCartists thrive economically using their talents to build a sustainable career. Our partnership with Artists U helps provide tools to make that happen. This spring, the team from Artists U/South Carolina is heading to Anderson to present a free workshop.

Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Friday, April 12, 7-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Anderson Arts Center Warehouse 110 Federal Street Anderson, SC 29625
  • How much does it cost? It’s free (but the class size is limited).
  • Who is it for? Practicing South Carolina artists.
  • Do you have to attend both sessions? Yes.
  • Will there be beverages? Of course. And lunch on Saturday.
  • How do I register? Sign up here
The S.C. Arts Commission and Artists U/South Carolina work as partners to offer these programs to South Carolina artists.

What Artists Say About the Workshop

“Our local art sphere is changing with these workshops. People are talking about things differently and feeling more empowered. The impact is deep.” Visual artist "I have been working full-time as a self-supporting artist for ten years, yet there was not a single idea or observation that arose today that did not make an impact on me. I have also sat through many, many strategic planning meetings, charrettes, and professional development seminars in different fields, and this by far was the most fruitful, efficient, and enjoyable. This weekend will not only make a difference in my artistic and professional life, but also in the creative life of my beloved city." Dance artist "This intensive was exactly what I needed - concrete reminders that I use both sides of my brain; the guided direction to jump start my career goals that lay dormant; and defining motivation to move forward to accomplish those goals." Visual artist

Hopkins next host of ‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, just outside Columbia in Hopkins on Saturday, Feb. 16 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-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Historic Harriet Barber House and Grounds (116 Barberville Loop., Hopkins). 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 Southeast Rural Community Outreach in Hopkins from Feb. 9 through March 24, 2019. 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.