S.C. Phil to party like it’s 2009

Saturday concert to feature pair of 2009 SCAC fellows


A pair of 2009 South Carolina Arts Commission music fellows will have prominent roles in the South Carolina Philharmonic's next concert this Saturday night in Columbia. The orchestra is continuing its year-long celebration of 250 years of Beethoven with his first piano concerto. Out front on the Steinway will be Phillip Bush: music professor at the University of South Carolina, frequent presenter at the Southeastern Piano Festival, well-traveled and highly regarded concert pianist, recording artist and—oh by the way—the S.C. Arts Commission's 2009 music performance fellowship recipient. The Peabody alum has taken the stage across the U.S. and Japan, where he performed some 25 concerts over a 10-year period. His repertoire includes works from the 16th century to the 21st, as he is a devoted advocate for contemporary music. And that is where John Fitz Rogers comes in. He also received an S.C. Arts Commission fellowship in 2009, his for music composition. To start the concert, the orchestra will reprise his The Passing Sun, a work commissioned by the Phil to celebrate its 50th season in 2014/2015. It is an orchestral piece, but Fitz Rogers has composed for works featuring bassoon, guitar, piano, saxophone, and vocal soloists (with orchestras, including chamber ensembles). He holds degrees from Cornell, Yale, and Oberlin and is currently professor of composition at the UofSC, where he founded and, for a time, directed the widely acclaimed Southern Exposure New Music Series. His works have been recorded and released by multiple labels. The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia). $16-$50. Click here to learn more.
Learn more about South Carolina Arts Commission fellowship recipients here.  

Trustus Theatre names Chad Henderson producing artistic director

Trustus Theatre On Monday, the Trustus Theatre board of directors voted to end the organization’s search for a managing director that began in September 2019 and named Artistic Director Chad Henderson as the producing artistic director. Henderson will now serve the organization in an executive capacity to lead artists, staff, board and the community in realizing the theatre’s mission. He is a native of Spartanburg and began working at Trustus Theatre in 2007 as the marketing director after graduating from the University of South Carolina. After an eight-year career as a professional director, he became Trustus' third artistic director at the start of the theatre’s 31st season in 2015. This is Henderson’s fifth season as the artistic leader of the organization, and the South Carolina Theatre Association recognized him with the 2019 Founders Award last season in recognition for his contributions to South Carolina theatre the previous year. The theatre intends to hire an administrative assistant of production in the coming months to assist in the management of productions, contribution programs, and communications.


Sumner Bender, president of Trustus Theatre’s board, is confident in the board’s decision to make Henderson the producing artistic director. “Over the past several years, Trustus Theatre has been in a structural transition,” said Bender. “One of the only constants during that change has been Chad Henderson. The board of directors worked diligently over the past year to assess and evaluate the responsibilities and duties for an organizational leader. Many of those duties were already being performed by Mr. Henderson. A theatre organization is mutable, just like many smaller arts organizations, and it must be able to recognize when that change is needed. Therefore, when hiring an organizational leader, you can only hope for one that understands the mission, is a champion for the vision, and willing to work hard to maintain that integrity. We’re lucky that Mr. Henderson possesses all of those qualities and will continue to serve as a leader for Trustus Theatre.” Henderson is honored by the opportunity to serve Trustus in this new capacity. “Trustus has been my artistic home for over fifteen years,” said Henderson. “Being given the chance to lead the organization in this capacity is humbling, and it is also energizing. I can’t quantify what this theatre has given me since its co-founders Jim and Kay Thigpen hired me right out of college, but I constantly endeavor to give back in whatever way I can. While our strategies may transform on occasion, the organization continues to be a vital cultural institution in South Carolina. My hope is that my service to the organization can position it for continued success in the next 35 years by celebrating artistry, community, and the power of storytelling.”
Trustus Theatre is currently in its 35th season as the Midlands’s contemporary professional theatre. Founded in 1985 by Kay and Jim Thigpen, Trustus Theatre boasts two performing venues with the Thigpen Main Stage seating 132 and the Trustus Side Door Theatre seating 50. The theatre and the Trustus Company endeavor to enrich the lives and deepen the experiences of their artists and patrons by producing works that examine humanity in the 21st century. The theatre’s goal is to select challenging scripts that will start and nurture dialogues that promote discussion within the community with productions that are brought to life through dynamic storytelling and inventive designs.

Tuning Up: The Lowcountry is hopping

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...


You love to see it.

SCAC grantee Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston (FY20 General Operating Support) was the subject of the "Non-Profit Minute" from LowcountryBizSC late last week:

Verner Award recipients unite!

Verner Award recipients Nikky Finney (2016, Lifetime Achievement) and the Gibbes Museum of Art (2019, Organization) will collaborate tomorrow night, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. Finney, along with author of Charleston-based novel The Cigar Factory Michele Moore and professor and director of southern studies at the College of Charleston Julia Eichelberger join the museum to consider the literary traditions and social landscape that gave rise to voices like Eudora Welty and Zora Neale Hurston. This event is inspired by the exhibition Central to Their Lives: Women Artists in the Johnson Collection and is designed to put the stories and experiences of southern women artists in dialogue with the experiences of southern women writers. Guests will also have an exclusive opportunity to purchase copies of Finney's newest publication Love Child's Hotbead of Occasional Poetry, which will not be available to the general public until April. Finney and Moore will be signing copies of their works after the program. Learn more about the speakers and register here. (Member, non-member, and student rates apply; 135 Meeting St., Charleston)

Artist Minute, Feb. 18

The Artist Minute is up on LowcountryBiz, and you will want to make sure you listen to and watch Quiana Parler of Ranky Tanky fame.

GP McLeer

Live from an arts school

Today only!


Our future is in good hands!

Today is all about Arts Education, because the arts are alive in South Carolina schools! Hear from the students and schools benefiting from the arts. Today, the South Carolina Arts Alliance is teaming up with our friends at the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project to bring you a series of Facebook Live events held around the state by various schools who have received ABC Advancement Grants and who place value on the arts in their school day. Click here to see the schedule, and tune to each school's Facebook page to catch it all live.

About the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. ABC Grants currently provide quality arts education to 170,730 students at 84 sites throughout the state, enabled by Education Improvement Act Funds approved by the General Assembly, and administered by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Unfortunately, as demand for grants and services continues to grow, no new applications are being accepted due to insufficient funding. This year, we are requesting a $500,000 increase in EIA/SCAC funding to increase the ABC Project's impact.
GP McLeer is executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

What’s that? Accessibility Grants from the SCAC

'Trustus in the Round' a result of grant


It's a small grant category, but it helps South Carolina organizations do big things in the arts. Notice we didn't say "arts organizations" there. That's because Accessibility Grants are intended help South Carolina organizations make arts programs and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. Non-profit organizations, units of government, and designated S.C. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs boards who provide arts programming can use an Accessibility Grant to get up to $2,500 to improve access to that programming. Sounds nice, and you should definitely read more about these grants, but what does it look like in real life? Well... Trustus Theatre in Columbia wanted its audiences to experience "theater in the round" for three consecutive productions in early 2020. Extensive renovation to the main stage would be required to convert it to a round configuration. But a problem arose: even though it's temporary, the round stage would nonetheless compromise current accessibility enjoyed by Trustus' disabled patrons. The answer was to remove 88 fixed seats to integrate accessible seating into the temporary stage structure which, when complete, would be able to reintegrate some of the removed fixed seating while allowing ramp access to patrons who need it. A $2,500 Accessibility Grant from the S.C. Arts Commission made that happen. And, because partnerships are a key way SCAC accomplishes its work, it's here that we'll note Trustus partnered with ABLE SC to develop a viable solution. The round stage debuts Feb. 7 with the theater's production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Tuning Up: GCCA announces board, Baroque dancing

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...


  • Greenville Center for Creative Arts announces 2020 board. The board will be chaired by artist Patricia Kilburg. Yvonne Julian is vice-chair, Bill McClendon continues as treasurer, and Jim Gorman is serving as secretary. GCCA welcomes Tony Callander and Gorman as new board members. Who else is on the board? Find out here.
  • Baroque dancing is not the past tense of break dancing. (We think.) This is unique, so take heed: Baroque dancer Paige Whitley-Bauguess (below) joins Columbia Baroque Friday, Jan. 24 to present enchanting interpretive dances with music of Lully, Schmelzer, and Telemann. The next morning, she is giving a free Baroque dance class. People with New Year's Resolutions to try new things in 2020, this is calling your name. Concert and dance class details here.
Both GCCA and Columbia Baroque receive support from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Great work, grantees!  

SCAC Fellow searches for light

Linda Fantuzzo opens new exhibition


Painter Linda Fantuzzo debuts a new body of work in the solo exhibition, Linda Fantuzzo: Penumbra, opening at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston.  The landscape and interior paintings in this exhibition are rendered with a quiet, abstracted simplicity, while the inclusion of stairs, ladders, windows and doors suggest an unseen yet palpable human presence. The title Penumbra is a term referencing light’s transitions – it is the partially shaded area of the shadow cast by an object. In these works Fantuzzo connects the literal transitions of light, always changing, to the metaphorical transitions and impermanence of the human experience.

Hosted by: City of Charleston, Office of Cultural Affairs

Location: City of Charleston, Office of Cultural Affairs, 34 Prioleau St., Charleston

Linda Fantuzzo received the South Carolina Arts Commission's visual arts fellowship in 2017.

Exhibition Dates: Jan. 17-March 1, 2020

  • Tuesday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: 12-5 p.m.
  • Closed Mondays
An opening reception is Jan. 17 from 5 -7 p.m. It is free and open to all.

New faces hired at The Gibbes Museum of Art

Storied museum welcomes four

   
Katie Borges Special Events Manager Katie Borges coordinates the rentals at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Whatever the event, she will work with the clients, planners, and vendors, from the initial walk-through to the event itself, making sure that everything goes smoothly. Katie was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston, where she studied art history. After graduating, she moved to New York where she worked in public relations for a lifestyle firm. She has since moved back home to Charleston and combined her love for both art and events in her current role. Erin Nathanson Contemporary Initiatives and Visitor Engagement Consultant Erin Nathanson has expertise in the art of curating and the direction of special projects. With more than a decade of experience, Erin’s projects have actualized many artists’ work in the world and captured international media attention including Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, American Photo Mag, Artsy, Artnet News and more. She graduated from the College of Charleston with a bachelor's in arts management in 2007, coordinated the City Gallery at Waterfront Park for five years, created the foundation for ArtFields in Lake City, South Carolina, and in 2015 founded The Southern, a contemporary art gallery dealing in recent works by artists connected to the American South. Erin’s role with the Gibbes Museum of Art will focus on contemporary initiatives and visitor engagement that support artists in the Southeastern region to include the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, the visiting artist program, and product development for the museum store. Tommy Sanders Membership and Development Coordinator Tommy Sanders specializes in member relations and non-profit fundraising. He is a Charleston native and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2018 with a bachelor's in English. Prior to coming on board with the Gibbes Museum of Art, Tommy worked as a news clerk for the Post and Courier. Chase Quinn Program and Tour Coordinator A 2019 South Carolina Press Association award recipient, Chase Quinn is a writer, editor, public relations consultant and nonprofit program coordinator. Quinn will develop and support museum education, events and visitor enhancement initiatives. Before relocating to Charleston in 2016, Chase lived in New York City and worked as culture and programs associate at The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). He is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and studied at Boston University. His writing portfolio includes contributions to top literary and culture publications including Bon Appetit, Vanity Fair, HUFFPOST, Artforum, The Guardian US and Guernica.
The Gibbes Museum of Art received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in the organization category in May 2019.

Arts Access SC presented statewide award

United Cerebral Palsy of S.C. honors accessibility efforts

Arts Access SC Executive Director Julia M. Brown-DuBose accepts the award from UCP.
Arts Access South Carolina was named "Community Partner of the Year" by United Cerebal Palsy of South Carolina at an awards reception Monday evening in Columbia. Arts Access SC Chairman LaMondre Pough makes remarks at the awards presentation.Executive Director Julia M. Brown-DuBose accepted the award on behalf of Arts Access SC, a nonprofit organization that provides South Carolina children, youth, and adults with disabilities quality arts experiences, working with artists; educators; arts administrators; health, human, and social service professionals to establish inclusive spaces, programs, and communities dedicated to the arts and people with disabilities. (Arts Access SC is a South Carolina Arts Commission grantee.) Also present were other leaders of Arts Access SC, including Board President LaMondre Pough (at right with Brown-DuBose). This award started of a glittering week for the S.C. Arts Commission, which received a Grant Professionals of America award yesterday in Washington. UCP Director of Day Services Jocelin Jenkins (above, left) gave the following introduction in honor of Arts Access SC at the "Evening of Impact" annual awards reception:

"Arts Access South Carolina has partnered with UCP for at least five years.  However, Ms. Julia Brown developed her relationship with us prior to as a former member of the board for UCP.

As the executive director for Arts Access South Carolina, she has given us opportunities to work on various projects, lots of which the individuals had a first time experiencing. We started out with an eight-week photography class in which they had the chance to capture the beauty of Riverfront Park. Then we took a class with a florist and created our own floral arrangement at the end of the session. Following the florist was an artist who not only enhanced our painting and drawing skills, but also helped us with clay modeling and gardening.

These are a few of the many projects that have made an positive and creative impact on us at UCP. Outside of these projects, last year in 2018 Ms. Julia offered to match the donations we received from Midlands Gives for up to $1,500!  We then used that donation for more projects from Arts Access because we were so excited about the next projects to come. To this day, Ms. Julia still keeps in correspondence with us regarding new classes and furniture for the offices that she willingly donates to us. The love and support we have from Ms. Julia and the Arts Access of SC is sincere and genuine and the 'Community Partner of the Year award' is  truly deserved this evening. Congratulations."

Representatives from Arts Access SC gather for a photo at the awards reception.

Columbia Children’s Theatre names first executive director

Two additional staff added


Columbia Children’s Theatre (CCT) board of directors named Larry Hembree as the theatre’s first executive director. Hembree (right), who has been on the leadership staff for several other local arts organizations including Nickelodeon Theatre, S.C. Arts Commission, Arts Center of Kershaw County, and Trustus Theatre, assumed his new responsibilities Oct. 1. Hembree oversees administrative staff, strategic planning, board engagement, development and community outreach. He previously served as the theatre’s development director since January 2017. The board has also created two other new positions, hiring Ginny Herring as director of finance and Sean Taylor as director of marketing. “I am excited to help give our area’s youth a voice through their participation in the arts,” Hembree said. “Columbia Children’s Theatre has done a phenomenal job both producing a five-show season for youth and families by an adult professional theatre company (the only company of its kind in South Carolina) and, at the same time, creating opportunities to showcase youth in theatre productions." “This is an incredibly exciting time for CCT. This theatre plays a critically important part in the lives of so many young people and having someone with Larry’s stature as executive director will help CCT and its drive to give a voice to those young people through the arts,” CCT Board Chairmain Frank Braddock said. Founded in 2005, CCT first operated out of the former Sara Nance School (now the Katheryn M. Bellfield Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center), an arts incubator run by the City of Columbia. Initial programming included professional theatre for youth and families, touring shows across the city and providing residencies and workshops in schools and parks. In 2009, the theatre expanded programming to include classes for youth and added a five-production season of shows featuring youth. Co-founders Jerry Stevenson and Jim Litzinger serve as artistic and technical directors, respectively. CCT has grown to support four administrative and eight artistic staff positions along with many volunteers and other contracted employees. CCT currently presents out of Richland Mall, next door to Barnes & Noble, in Forest Acres. The next production, Oct. 18-20, is “Les Misérables: School Edition,” featuring over 60 teens from across the Midlands. For more information on the theatre, visit columbiachildrenstheatre.com.