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Temporary sculpture installed in Charleston

'Under Glass' conjoins natural sciences, spirituality

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is bringing public sculpture to the West Ashley Greenway with a temporary art installation by Georgia artist Mike Wsol. The piece was installed May 8 near the St. Andrew's School of Math and Science between Campbell Drive and the West Ashley Greenway. The Conservancy awarded Wsol with an exhibition prize at ArtFields in May 2018. ArtFields is an annual art exhibit and competition in Lake City showcasing the work of artists around the Southeast. Over the last year, Wsol has been planning and designing his sculpture for the West Ashley Greenway. Titled “Under Glass,” Wsol said the sculpture was “designed with the natural sciences and spirituality in mind. Its form divided in two chambers separates the viewer below from the natural light entering and reflecting within the upper chamber. Experiencing ‘Under Glass’ highlights the separation of the viewer’s physical body from the passing light nature provides.” The sculpture is made from two 325-gallon scrap propane tanks bolted to an X-shaped foundation that will be buried underground and covered with sod and soil. After the installation is complete, the sculpture will appear to balance atop the earth. It will be on display until October. In the coming months, the Conservancy will host educational events and opportunities for the public and schoolchildren to view the sculpture and interact with the artist. Wsol's recent creative work has taken the form of large experiential, interactive public sculpture, prints, and drawings. His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami, among other cities. Wsol has also been the recipient of grants and awards from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Indiana University, and the Georgia State University Center for Collaborative and International Arts to name a few. He earned a master of architecture from the University of Virginia, a master of fine art in sculpture from the University of Georgia, a master of arts in sculpture and a bachelor of arts in sculpture from Eastern Illinois University. The Charleston Parks Conservancy launched its Art in the Parks program in 2017, an effort to encourage temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including Redux Contemporary Art Center, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and ArtFields. The first art installation was in Hampton Park last year. In 2017, the Conservancy received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a planning and public engagement process to encourage creative placemaking along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. The site of Wsol’s installation was identified in the plan as location for public art that engages the community and encourages social interaction. “This installation is the first of many public art projects we’ll bring to West Ashley,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “As we work on the overall master plan for revitalizing the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, pubic art and arts programming will play an important role in how we reshape this public space and encourage resident use and engagement.” The ArtFields exhibition prize is part of the Art in the Parks program created by the Charleston Parks Conservancy in collaboration with Redux Contemporary Art Center and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

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Four S.C. musicians selected for the National Youth Orchestra (NYO2)

Students among 80 selected, will perform in Miami & NYC

Image by Jason Rapp/SCAC
Carnegie Hall this week announced the names of the 80 young musicians selected from across the country for NYO2, a three-week, intensive summer orchestral training program for outstanding American instrumentalists ages 14–17. The members of NYO2 2019—coming from 30 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as exceptionally talented musicians who not only embody a very high level of artistry, but who also come from a wide range of backgrounds, representing a future for American orchestral music that includes communities which have often been underserved by and underrepresented in the field. 20 musicians are returning to NYO2 from previous seasons. The four South Carolina students are:
  • Violinist Payton Jin-Hyun Lee, 10th grade, Duncan (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Ansley Moe, 11th grade, Spartanburg (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Jeremiah Moultrie, 12th grade, Charleston (S.C. Governors School for the Arts and Humanities)
  • Violist Hailey Xu, 12th grade, Greer (Riverside High School)
For the second consecutive year, the musicians of NYO2 will travel to Miami Beach for a week-long residency, made possible through a continued partnership with the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS). As part of their training, NYO2 players have the opportunity to work with NWS Fellows leading up to a performance at the New World Center on Saturday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m. led by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. The program includes
  • Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka,
  • selections from Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat,
  • and Gabriela Montero’s Piano Concerto No. 1, “Latin,” featuring the composer as soloist.
The New World Center concert will be made available to the community for free via WALLCAST®, with the full performance viewable outdoors in SoundScape Park on the 7,000-square-foot projection wall of the building. During their time in Miami, the NYO2 members will also have opportunities to interact with local young musicians in the South Florida area through NWS community partner organizations, playing and learning side-by-side with one another. Following their Miami residency, NYO2 returns to New York for a culminating performance at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Carnegie Hall concert, priced at $25 for adults and $10 for students, are on sale now in person and over the phone through the Carnegie Hall Box Office by calling 212.247.7800 and at CarnegieHall.org. Discounted student tickets are available online for verified Student Insiders only – all other youth tickets must be purchased at the box office or over the phone. The NYO2 program begins with an intensive training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York in mid-July. The young musicians work with NWS Fellows as well as other professional players from top orchestras, and also have opportunities to make music side-by-side with members of NYO-USA and NYO Jazz. Joseph Young, artistic director of Ensembles at the Peabody Institute, returns as NYO2’s resident conductor, and the students also have the opportunity to work with James Ross, music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Virginia. The faculty leads private lessons, master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills in preparation for the culminating concerts in Miami Beach and New York.

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Dorothy Allison to address Deckle Edge festival this weekend

Author will also receive festival's Southern Truth Award


In its 4th year as the grassroots answer to the S.C. Book Festival, Deckle Edge Literary Festival announces South Carolina author Dorothy Allison as the keynote speaker for the 2019 festival and the recipient of the second annual Deckle Edge Literary Festival Southern Truth Award. Author Dorothy Alliison Author Dorothy Alliison Allison will speak at the Booker T. Washington auditorium at the University of South Carolina on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in an engagement sponsored by the USC Women’s and Gender Studies Program. On Saturday, March 23rd at 10 a.m., Allison will address the Deckle Edge Literary Festival in a conversation with Bren McClain, author of One Good Momma Bone (2017, USC Press) at the Richland Library on Assembly Street in downtown Columbia. (McClain is also a 2005 prose fellowship recipient from the S.C. Arts Commission). Allison is the author of Trash (1988), a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories, the multi-award winning Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), Cavedweller (1998), which became a New York Times bestseller, and more. She has written for the Village Voice, Conditions, and New York Native and won several Lambda Awards. Bastard Out of Carolina was a finalist for the National Book Award, the winner of the Ferro Grumley Prize, was translated into more than a dozen languages and became a bestseller and award winning film directed by Anjelica Huston. Allison is a recent inductee into the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Read more about her here. A native of Greenville, Allison’s writings frequently reference the class struggles and social alienation she experienced as a child growing up gay, impoverished, and the first child of a 15-year-old unwed mother in the conservative South Carolina upstate. Bastard Out of Carolina also details the sexual abuse she endured throughout childhood at the hands of her step-father. The New York Times Book Review calls the book, “As close to flawless as a reader could ask for.” Allison will be awarded the Deckle Edge Literary Festival Southern Truth Award on Friday evening, March 22nd. The Southern Truth award, whose first recipient in 2018 was Nikky Finney, is awarded to a Southern author whose body of work exemplifies the complexity of the South’s history, celebrates the gifts of the South’s diverse peoples, and enhances the narrative of the South by focusing on the progress we make and the continued work before us. The 2019 Deckle Edge Literary Festival includes an exciting roster of authors, panels, and interviews including, among others, printmaker Boyd Saunders (2002 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts); Chieftess Queen Quet who is an elder of the Gullah/Geechee Nation; Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Kathleen Parker and more. For more information please visit www.DeckleEdgeSC.org.
Deckle Edge Literary Festival receives funding support from the S.C. Arts Commission.

Arts-rich S.C. schools score above national mean in hope, engagement

Gallup research in 2018 shows arts’ impact on key indicators

This morning at the South Carolina Arts Advocacy Day breakfast, S.C. Arts Commission Education Director Ashley Brown released exciting new findings from a 2018 study that found high levels of engagement and hope in arts-rich South Carolina schools. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and Palmetto State Arts Education (PSAE) partnered with internationally recognized analytics firm Gallup to participate in the annual Gallup Student Poll. It measures student engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspirations, and career and financial literacy and, in the past 10 years, surveyed more than 6 million students. According to Gallup data from 2016, engaged and hopeful students are more than twice as likely to report they get excellent grades and are twice less likely to report they missed a lot of school than their actively disengaged peers. In each of the four indicators on the poll, the students in South Carolina’s arts-rich schools outperformed the national mean. The research also showed a direct correlation between a school’s length of time as a arts-rich and an increase in student engagement and hope. And most importantly, students surveyed in arts-rich schools with free/reduced lunch program participation of 75% or greater scored higher than the state and national mean. Brown said schools are considered arts-rich when they are “committed to the arts at the cellular level.” She said both Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project and Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) sites are required to have an arts strategic plan and, in both, the arts “are simply part of the fabric of the school.” SCAC and PSAE conducted the Gallup Student poll in arts-rich schools throughout South Carolina at a mixture of ABC Project and DAP sites. “This is the first time in its history the Gallup student poll has been used to look specifically at arts-rich environments, and it is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the connection between the arts and engagement,” Brown said.
The items on the Gallup Student Poll where students from S.C. arts-rich schools scored the highest above the national mean are:
  • The adults at my school care about me
  • I have at least one teacher who makes me feel excited about the future
  • I have a great future ahead of me
  • I know I will find a good job in the future
  • I will invent something that changes the world
  • I plan to start my own business
The arts are integral to a well-rounded education that allows students to achieve the knowledge, skills, and life and career characteristics outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. From creativity to problem solving, perseverance to critical thinking, learning in and through the arts is proven to equip students with the skills necessary to be engaged citizens. ABC Project and SC Arts Alliance submitted amendments and adjustments to H.3759, proposed by House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) and currently working its way through the S.C. House committee on education and public works, to ensure the arts are embraced and advanced to help every student achieve the standards set in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.
The findings from the Gallup Student Poll reinforce what those in the arts already know: From creativity to problem solving, critical thinking to perseverance, learning in and through the arts supports students as engaged and hopeful citizens of the world. This information will inform requests for additional funding in the arts, arts advocacy, and the role of the arts in education reform. This PDF of the findings from the Gallup Student Poll can be shared with community and education leaders, legislators, and educators. To learn more about this important research, visit https://www.palmettoartsed.org/gallup.html.

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Catching up with Arts Access South Carolina

Spring residencies, conferences, and more

2019 marks 33 years of ARTS ACCESS South Carolina (AASC) providing vibrant cultural access for artists statewide! 2018 was a year full of wonder and satisfying collaborations between educators, teaching artists and students across the state! We want to start the year as strong as we finished it, providing opportunities for empowerment and enrichment through the arts.
AASC December 2018 Residency with Master Teaching Artist
Arianne King-Comer at Stall High School in North Charleston.
  • AASC is currently accepting requests for spring 2019 residencies. Please contact AASC Executive Director Julia Brown-DuBose by email at jbrown@arts.sc.gov for more information.
  • Are you invested in equitable access to arts learning for students with disabilities? If so, VSA Intersections: Regional Arts & Special Education Conference is for you! VSA Intersections convenes everyone involved in this venture: general and special educators, arts specialists, teaching artists, principals, nonprofit administrators, education program managers, university professors, policy makers, researchers, school administrators, and more. You will find this conference invaluable to your work supporting students with disabilities! There's a national conference this October in California, and a regional conference in New Orleans this March.
  • We are proud to announce that Arts Access South Carolina received a grant from the S.C. Department of Education to serve as fiscal agent for Curriculum Leadership Institute for the Arts (CLIA) in 2019! This is our second year partnering with CLIA and this grant will allow AASC to administer a summer arts institutes to provide professional development in arts content to South Carolina arts teachers, classroom teachers, and arts administrators. We are excited about our continued partnership with CLIA and the opportunities it will provide for teachers and students alike!
For more information about opportunities to support or participate with AASC, visit ArtsAccessSC.org.

Atlantic Stage premieres SCAC playwriting fellow’s production

Maggie has a big decision to make

World Premiere Jan. 31 through Feb. 17 in Myrtle Beach
Last June, the S.C. Arts Commission awarded Kevin D. Ferguson an individual artist fellowship for theatre (playwriting). Fellowships are unrestricted awards that reward artistic merit and provide a financial boost that helps free up creators to create. Ferguson did just that. Early next week, Atlantic Stage in Horry County is giving the world premiere of his The Other Side of The Sky. It features Maggie, a protagonist with some decisions to make, and we're not talking about the yogurt or oatmeal debate at breakfast:

Maggie struggles to deal with love and loss while she searches for her purpose in life. She’s graduating from college and figuring out what comes next. Will she stick with her boyfriend Troy? Will she go to grad school? Will she join the Peace Corps? Or does she hear a higher call? With boyfriend Troy, best friend Adam, and perhaps a heavenly advisor all weighing in, Maggie has a big decision to make.

How do you know what you’re supposed to do?

"The Other Side of the Sky explores faith, friendship, and relationships in the modern world with four young people  asking themselves 'what comes next?'" Ferguson said. That's certainly a relatable theme to many.

‘Stories connect us all’

Orangeburg writer participates in 'Communal Pen' series

Writer Connie Johnson from the Orangeburg Times & Democrat participated in the second "Communal Pen" workshop, which was Dec. 1 at Voorhees College in Denmark. Appropriately for her profession, she wrote about the experience for the paper. If you're considering making it to the next workshop, in Newberry, you'll want to check out her story.

The Communal Pen workshop reminded Aiken resident Chris Hall that “stories connect us all. Our stories remind us that we have more in common than we differ."

“Although I’m not a native of this area, I have grown to love this place. I want to use my art to help bring it up out of the ashes,” said Ashley Jordan, a 2012 graduate and current employee of Denmark Technical College.

Read the full story here. "Communal Pen" is presented by the S.C. Arts Commission/Art of Community: Rural S.C. and South Carolina Humanities and is held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit "Crossroads: Change in Rural America."  

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Professional storyteller visits McCormick Learning Center

McCormick County children in the First Steps, Even Start child care center and the Head Start classrooms last Friday had a special visitor last week.

Click on images for larger view. Submitted photos.

(Ed. note: The Hub welcomes stories from grantees about how you're using your SCAC grants. Today we offer just such a story from McCormick County. Thanks to Ruth Detrick, executive director of the county's First Steps program.) With help from S.C. Arts Commission grants to both, professional storyteller Tim Lowry was able to captivate the children, telling animal stories that got them involved by making animal sounds and making movements like the animals. The children and teachers all laughed at the story of the "Wide Mouth Frog" and the funny ending when he met up with a crocodile! They were horrified when the elephant ate the children in the story of "Unanana And The Elephant," an African Folk Tale. but were relieved when miraculously there was a happy ending. Lowry kept the children interested and engaged (which isn't always easy with pre-school children).  After several more stories, the event was over but won't be forgotten, as the children learned several new vocabulary words and experienced a professional storyteller for the first time. First Steps partnered with the McCormick Library to share the costs of bringing Tim Lowry to McCormick. He entertained the children in the morning and did a wonderful presentation of Dickens' "Christmas Carol" in the evening at the library. Both organizations received generous grants from the S.C. Arts Commission to cover all costs, which made the events possible. The S.C. Arts Commission receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Greenville (S.C.) aims to be the next Portland (Ore.)

Thriving cultural scene rejuvenates Greenville

Everybody who's been there in the last 10 years knows that, but the rest of the U.S. is catching on. None other than the Wall Street Journal checked in last week with a glowing report on Greenville. The city that shares a name with so many others across the nation is aiming to become the East Coast's Portland ... a city that shares its name with so many others across the nation. The WSJ's conclusion is that artists, arts, and culture are the driving factors of the Greenville boom. (Again, you knew that.) From the story:

All of these artists—and hundreds of others—have chosen to live in Greenville, S.C., a Southern city of about 68,000 people that once called itself the Textile Capital of the World. Today, the vibrant arts scene is revitalizing the city itself, attracting other artists, young professionals and families wanting a fun, affordable place to live.

“We came looking for artists,” says Mr. Ambler, who is 47. He and his wife wanted to live somewhere warm, but California was too expensive and they didn’t think Florida was a good fit for his artwork. When a teaching job opened, they moved in 2000 to Seneca, S.C., about 30 miles west of Greenville, and bought a 1,800-square-foot studio for $88,000, selling it seven years later for $210,000.

Go here to read the full story. (Subscription not required.)

Tuning Up: Grantee’s dream becomes reality + writing workshop

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...


Today we have a couple updates from the land of Facebook:
  • Yesterday our page updated followers that 18/19 Artists' Ventures Initiatives grantee Serwah Armah-Koranteng took delivery of a dream. During the Thanksgiving holiday, her mobile boutique arrived. AfricStyle Initiative will take to the road with a sewing training center and pop-up mobile boutique just in time for the holidays.
  • ICYMI, the second "Communal Pen" writing workshop takes place this Saturday at Voorhees College in Denmark (South Carolina). Go here now for details and a link to register.