Checking in with the Columbia Museum of Art

Columbia Museum of Art Columbia Museum of Art The Columbia Museum of Art is a cornerstone of the Midlands' cultural scene and has anchored the efforts to revitalize Columbia's Main Street since opening its current space there in 1998. It seeks to " the modern museum as the bustling social hub of our community." A multi-year renovation project that's nearing completion is going a long way to that end. The plan calls for the addition of gallery space, adapting unused space for use as high-end event space, and adding a new entrance along Main Street, among other things. This morning, The Hub takes a quick look at some of the recent progress that will be shown off at an exhibition opening later this week.


Jane Peterson, American, 1876-1965
Boats on the Nile, Dawn, 1905-1915
Oil on canvas, 19 x 24 ¾ in. (48.3 x 62.9 cm).
Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University; Morton and Marie Bradley Memorial Collection, 98.49. Photograph by: Kevin Montague. Jane Peterson is the quintessential American impressionist — well-schooled in her craft and well-traveled, open to the possibilities of a changing world. Her work reveals the vibrancy of the early 20th century and mirrors the concerns of a rapidly changing art world. "Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad" opens this week at the museum and runs through July 22. (Hours and admission available here.) Peterson explored the innovative painting techniques of her time, and her style moved from impressionist to fauvist, from realism to a modernist abstraction. The variety of works in this exhibition demonstrates Peterson’s artistic journey and offers a glimpse of her private life. Get a sense of the independent woman, artist, and traveler whose works are displayed in museums around the world. With the new exhibition as a backdrop, the museum will christen its new, second-floor event space Thursday night with an opening reception for "At Home and Abroad." ColaDaily.com got a look at the 5,500 square-foot space from Special Events Manager Mario Guevara.

Cane Bay Elementary puts SCAC grant to work

The Hub wants to let you in on a little secret: We get a tad giddy when we get to put together posts like this. Grants are one of the four ways we accomplish our mission at the South Carolina Arts Commission. Through the current fiscal year, this agency is proud to have sent a total of almost $77 million in grant money to South Carolina artists, arts organizations, and schools since 1967 to make life more enjoyable and rounded for everybody here. Everybody. So when a grantee is given the spotlight because of the way its grant is put to work, yes – we get happy. It's tangible. It shows, in plain view, the importance of public support for the arts. One such example is Cane Bay Elementary School in Summervillewhich received a $9,730 grant to become an Arts in Basic Curriculum Project site and make arts experiences more diverse and accessible to its students. Based on the story today in the Summerville Journal Scene, they've done just that:

By enhancing the hallways with display boards, collaborative art projects and sensory panels, students traveling from class to class can now interact with the arts in new ways.

Students, staff and parents have been invited to participate in a community rock garden project that will be installed in front of the school this summer.

Cane Bay Elementary has also started its own Creative Cobras Art Club for students in third and fourth grade and enhanced their choral program by utilizing props and lighting for the first time.

Read the full story here.

Aiken, Spartanburg SCAC grantees receive new NEA awards

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that a total of $30,000 is heading to two South Carolina grantees among the FY18 award recipients – both of whom the S.C. Arts Commission is happy to assist with operating support grants of its own. Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the U.S. benefit from NEA grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2018, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu (right). “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”


Grant Awards in S.C.

Aiken The Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) is the recipient of a $10,000 Challenge America grant to support the "Joye in Aiken" music festival and its related educational activities. Founded in 2008 under the name Juilliard in Aiken, Joye in Aiken is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the best in the performing arts available to our citizens, and especially our students. In 2016, Joye was recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for its educational outreach program, now being recognized by the new NEA grant. Spartanburg Hub City Writers Project is to receive a $20,000 Art Works grant for literature in support of the publication and promotion of books of fiction and poetry. Since 1995, the Hub City Writers Project has published 80 titles and 700 writers, established an independent bookstore, and provided creative writing education to thousands. Hub City Writers Project was awarded the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award in the arts organization category in 2002.

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.

Tuning Up: Black History event in Anderson, call for short films, etc.

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...


  • Tonight at 6 p.m., the Anderson County Library begins the county's Black History Month celebration with an event highlighting our state's role in the civil rights movement. To wit: did you know Rosa Parks received training in Columbia? More information here. (The event is sponsored by the Arts Commission.)
  • Are you more Halloween than Valentine's Day? An Arts Commission AVI grantee has a "ghoul" project in the works that you'll be "goblin" up. (Okay, we'll stop.) Filmmakers and screenplay writers are invited to help Deathcat Entertainment with "Grave Intentions" – their pun, not ours. Go here for more information.
  • More on films: Indie Grits Festival Director Seth Gadsden chatted Indie Grits Labs on the National Endowment for the Arts' "Art Works" podcast!
  • Call for art! Visual Arts Exchange in Raleigh is calling for art from installation artists. Check out The Cube and The Lab for more. Deadline for both spaces appears to be Feb. 15.
  • And finally... why we advocate: because through public support of the arts, the S.C. Arts Commission was able to award 342 grants totaling $3.3 million in 42 counties in FY 2017. That's 73% of our state funding – more than the legislative mandate of 70%.
 

Young Voices Build Pride in Place

Next week, the S.C. Arts Alliance presents the annual S.C. Arts Advocacy Day – with a twist: in 2018, it becomes Arts Advocacy Week. The main events are Tuesday with a State House rally and luncheon to follow. (We hope to see you there.) Here on The Hub, we're taking this week to connect the dots between public support of the arts and the net effect on society. This week's focus is on why we advocate, why support matters, and what arts support looks like on the ground, in communities around the state.


Sometimes, those communities have deep, historic problems. Oftentimes, those problems persist when one-size-fits-all solutions ... just aren't. Enter the Art of Community: Rural S.C. to foster creative, grassroots efforts to address problems through arts, culture, and creative placemaking. This program addresses the unique needs of rural South Carolina by taking what makes a community unique and building pride around that through creative partnerships with people previously not engaged to address those issues. An eclectic mix of young minds are rethinking the ways their rural communities are perceived to create a new framework for action. Please take a few moments to hear them tell their stories in the video below, which shows how arts and culture merge to face challenges where other attempts have fallen short. This is what arts support looks like on the ground. This is why we advocate: YOUNG VOICES VIDEO 5 MINUTES from Cook Productions on Vimeo.
The Art of Community: Rural S.C. advances the S.C. Arts Commission’s commitment to rural development through arts, culture and creative placemaking, creating a way to support new leadership, generate energy, and motivate action in a rural region of South Carolina. It is supported by the S.C. Arts Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. Read more about it here.

Tuning Up: The arts and rural health, SC flag call for art?

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts 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...

(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)

  • Rural health: The Art of Community: Rural S.C. was in the national spotlight yesterday for work in Walterboro, but the program extends well beyond that. In Hampton County, the focus is on merging the arts with public health to address those needs with creative initiatives. (Courtesy of the Times & Democrat.)
  • Call for art? The South Carolina State Flag does not have an official design. Nobody's looking for a redesign; some want it standardized. (Courtesy of The State.)

National Press Club briefing to feature SCAC program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Art of Community: Rural S.C., an S.C. Arts Commission program, and one of its community representatives from Walterboro, S.C. are to receive prominent recognition at the National Press Club Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) arranged the National Press Club briefing, “The Arts and America’s Bottom Line,” to affirm the value of public investment in the arts. WATCH LIVE Tuesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. via NASAA’s Facebook feed: https://www.facebook.com/NASAA.Arts Update: the complete briefing is available here. Matt Mardell of Walterboro will join Susan DuPlessis, project director and county coordinator with the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC), to participate in a national press briefing, talking about how the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen is an award-winning example of community building, and creating jobs and connection to place using arts and culture. Mardell is the facility’s executive director. The Art of Community: Rural S.C. is a community arts development program at the SCAC and has received national recognition for its innovative and down-to-earth approach in a rural region of South Carolina. The ongoing initiative receives funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. Speakers will include Chairman Jane Chu of the National Endowment for the Arts; veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sebastian Munevar; Dr. Sara Kass (Capt.,retired) Senior Military Medical Advisor for ‘Creative Forces,’ an NEA program, and formerly with Walter Reed Medical Center; and NASAA’s chair, Ben Brown, and executive director, Pam Breaux. DuPlessis and Mardell will discuss using the arts to build key partnerships that help revitalize rural communities. They will be joined by Bob Reeder, national co-chair of The Art of Community: Rural S.C. and program director of Rural LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation). All four will attend the briefing and be available as additional resources and for questions. ABOUT THE ART OF COMMUNITY, RURAL S.C. The Art of Community: Rural S.C. initiative was created in 2015-16 as a new framework for engagement in small communities with the consideration of how arts and culture can be used strategically in community building, leadership development and engagement. Gary Brightwell, retired executive director, was tapped to serve as the ‘maven,’ or community connector, for this six-county initiative, built a local team to consider the assets of Colleton County and design a project to meet a local challenge. Over the first two years of this initiative, six local projects have been designed and implemented in each of the following counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. Mardell will use the example of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Kitchen to demonstrate the power of arts and culture to the town of Walterboro and Colleton County. Additional information on The Art of Community: Rural S.C. is available on the SCAC website: http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/artofcommunity/index.shtml. ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:

  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. ABOUT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF STATE ARTS AGENCIES NASAA is the membership organization that serves the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. We are a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan association that champions public support for the arts in America. NASAA provides advocacy, research, training and networking services to state arts agencies and their constituents. Our work is driven by a strong belief that the arts are essential to a thriving democracy and that the public, private and nonprofit sectors each have a vital role to play in achieving that vision. Learn more at NASAA-Arts.org.

Arts Funding at Work: Five awarded sub-grants in Spartanburg

How Chapman Cultural Center puts SCAC funding to work Recently, Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center announced that five non-profits in their service area are recipients of community grants that are funded in part by grant funding from SCAC to the center:

  • Spartanburg Community College
  • Spartanburg Earth Day Festival (shown at right)
  • Spartanburg Repertory Opera
  • Speaking Down Barriers
  • Treefalls
The grants can be up to $5,000. With their grant, Spartanburg Earth Day Festival is incorporating music, poetry reading, and art contests into an "interactive, multi-generational festival." Read more from the Chapman Cultural Center here.

Tuning Up: Youth poetry contest, SCAC Fellow exhibition

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts 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...


  • Young Minds Dreaming: The South Carolina State Library is encouraging young writers from grades 3-12 to capture the power of their words and experience the freedom of original literary expressions. (Maybe the snow could be an inspiration for Upstate students.) Check out more info on the Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest.
  • SCAC Fellow exhibition opening: Arts Commission Fellow Robert Lyon has  an exhibition opening at the Arts & Heritage Center in North Augusta. More details via The Augusta Chronicle here.
  • Person of the Year: The Orangeburg Times & Democrat named Dr. Leo Twiggs, 2017 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Lifetime Achievement Award winner and recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, its Person of the Year.
  • Caldera Arts seeks AiR applications: Now through March 15, apply for a 3.5-week residency in the foothills of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. (You don't have to tell us twice...) Open to all U.S. artists in any discipline.
  • AVI Grants Deadline tonight: Letters of Intent to pursue an AVI (Artists' Ventures Initiative) grant from SCAC are due by 11:59 p.m. ET tonight!
(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)