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Jason Rapp

Artists U/South Carolina launches Big Projects Club

Free program for ambitious artists with ambitious projects

Applications deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2020 man looking at a planning board
Big Projects Club provides eight months of support, community, and accountability for South Carolina artists pursuing ambitious goals. It is for artists who want to start (or transition) a major project or venture. Times of uncertainty and instability can be powerful moments to start something new. Rather than retreating to the familiar, hoping our old ways of working will sustain us, we can be visionary builders of our practice, and our communities, and our future. Let’s walk together. Big Projects Club is a community of practice for ambitious artists and ambitious projects. We move our own projects forward, and we actively propel each other’s work with support, brainstorming, and accountability. Do it on your terms. We have no opinion on what you should do. You’re an artist; you’re a genius at envisioning and manifesting. Your ambitions and definitions of success are your own.  BPC is here to move you forward on your terms.

Enrollment

12 artists, by application (applications due October 1, 2020). Artists will be selected by a panel of AU/SC facilitators.

Schedule

Eight monthly group sessions (ninety minutes on Zoom) and up to three one-on-ones with an AU/SC facilitator. The commitment + Attend all eight sessions, no exceptions. + Share your insights and ideas to help propel other artists’ projects. + Do the work. This is for artists who can devote at least eight hours a week to manifesting their Big Projects. Read more and apply here!

Jason Rapp

Unrestricted $5,000 grants to reward eligible #SCartists

S.C. Arts Commission opens applications for FY22 Fellowships

  • Open to artists in visual arts, craft, media production & screenwriting
  • Deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

For Immediate Release COLUMBIA, S.C. – Resident South Carolina visual, craft, and media production or screenwriting artists can now apply for unrestricted, $5,000 fellowships from the South Carolina Arts Commission to recognize and reward their talents. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) will grant four awards of $5,000 each to artists whose work comes from one of those four different artistic disciplines. The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists and are made through a highly competitive process. New for the FY22 cycle, the application process is no longer anonymous and awards no longer made solely on artistic merit. Consideration will also be given to achievements and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply for more than one discipline, but must complete separate applications in full. Fellowships lend prestige to an artist’s reputation and can open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. Four per year are awarded by the SCAC to artists working in rotating disciplines. A lengthy list of accomplished fellowship recipients is available here. “The South Carolina Arts Commission wants to provide artists financial resources so that they may focus solely on their craft,” SCAC Artist Services Program Director Ce Scott-Fitts said. “These unrestricted grants enable artists to continue developing and creating art.” A diverse group of panelists from each discipline will judge the applicants. To apply, artists must:
  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application,
  • be U.S. citizens and South Carolina resident with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying,
  • not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the award period,
  • plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2021 through June 2022).
Applications may only be submitted online by midnight Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Further questions about applying can be answered by Artist Services Program Director Ce Scott-Fitts (cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8203).
About the South Carolina Arts Commission With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

Jason Rapp

FY21 S.C. Arts Commission grants to fuel state’s creative sector

$4.1 million to support arts, cultural work in at least 41 counties

[caption id="attachment_45056" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Group picture with big, colorful cutout letters spelling "thank you." The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by Maven Lottie Lewis, celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.[/caption]
For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing grants totaling $4.1 million awarded in at least 41 South Carolina counties to support arts and culture work in the new fiscal year.

The grants, approved by votes of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) board of directors on June 18, will be distributed during the July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 grant period to artists and organizations who applied for grants that support the agency’s work to further arts education, artist development, and community arts development across South Carolina. “This is a significant investment of public funds that will further the work of South Carolina’s creative sector. It will support quality arts education programming for South Carolina students. It will support many of the 115,000 jobs in and supported by our $9.7 billion arts and creative sector. It will also help make arts programming that is more representative and more accessible to all South Carolinians and our visitors,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud and excited to help provide those benefits for the people of South Carolina.”
Individual Artist Fellowship grants, announced earlier this month, and Artist Ventures Initiative grants further the agency’s artist development work by enabling creatives in South Carolina to focus on the creation of art. In the case of the Artist Ventures Initiative, those grants help an artist turn the art into sustainable income as they give artist entrepreneurs seed money to create an arts-based business or strengthen an existing one with needed materials or training. Four grants of each type, totaling just less than $37,000, were awarded. Arts education grants are heading to 76 schools and seven districts across the state, strengthening arts in school curriculum with a combined investment of $896,000. Education Pilot Project grants use $295,000 to help South Carolina organizations provide musical learning, summertime STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) camps, and professional development. Grants totaling $85,400 supporting the SCAC’s community arts development work are going to the 15 counties where The Art of Community: Rural SC is addressing local issues with arts and culture. These grants also keep unique South Carolina arts and cultural traditions alive by funding eight Folklife & Traditional Arts Apprenticeships for artists and folklife work done by four organizations. Also funded is the SCAC’s folklife partnership with the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum. Additional grants to be awarded throughout the year offer potential for impact in all counties. Among them are Arts Project Support grants, which offer funding for projects by artists and arts organizations. Both grants have rolling deadlines, and project support grants are designed to be accessible, streamlining the application process to remove barriers often faced by small organizations and individual artists.

Amounts awarded to programs in primary grant categories

Arts in Education: $1,463,832 Grants help fund curriculum planning and implementation, artist residencies, performances, professional development for teachers and summer and afterschool arts programs.
  • Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Advancement: $770,000  Awarded to 83 schools and school districts that are participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which works to ensure every child in South Carolina has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the SCAC, the S.C. Department of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
  • Education Pilot Projects: $295,000 Grants initiated by the agency for partners who carry out education initiatives.
  • Arts in Basic (ABC) Curriculum: $272,832 One grant to support management of the ABC Project partnership.
Operating Support: $2,040,978 Grants help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, other organizations and communities throughout the state.
  • General Operating Support: $1,908,066 One hundred twenty-nine grants for arts organizations.
  • Operating Support for Small Organizations: $111,972 Forty-six grants for arts organizations with annual expense budgets of less than $75,000.
  • Statewide Organizations: $20,940 Six grants for arts organizations operating statewide.
The Art of Community: Rural SC: $85,400 Using arts and culture to address issues in rural communities with the help of local partners. Folklife and Traditional Arts: $104,033 Grants support programs that promote a greater understanding and visibility of South Carolina’s many cultures through documentation and presentation of traditional art forms, their practitioners and their communities.
  • Organization grants: $23,000 Four grants to support nonprofit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state.
  • Apprenticeships: $10,000 Eight grants that support a partnership between a master artist, who will share artistic and cultural knowledge, and a qualified apprentice, who will then continue to pursue the art form.
  • Partnerships: $71,033 One grant to support management of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Partnership.
Subgranting: $69,000 Seven awards to local arts councils that distribute quarterly grants to organizations and artists in their regions. This program is funded in part by an award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. Artists Ventures Initiative: $16,700 Four grants to individual artists for projects designed to help them develop the knowledge and skills to build satisfying, sustainable careers.  Individual Artist Fellowships: $20,000 Four grants to individual artists to recognize and reward their artistic achievements. These were announced in July 2020 after approval by the SCAC Board of Directors.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

Jason Rapp

Hub follow-up: Artists U ‘shifts’ to Zoom

Free artist working groups start tomorrow

shift key on a laptop keyboard
Artists U is starting SHIFT/South Carolina to get artists talking and working together in a time of crisis so they're ready when the crisis is over. Last week The Hub promoted the informational sessions. (Miss those? Catch up with a recorded version.) With the preliminary stuff completed, Artists U is diving in, and SHIFT/South Carolina starts tomorrow at noon with "Artists in a Time of Crisis."
You can do SHIFT on your own. You can form a working group in your community. You can request to join an existing working group (there’s a place on the signup form for that.) However you choose to participate, Artists U does ask that you sign up for the community and dialogue. There is no cost to participate.
Registered participants get:
  • access to 10 weekly Zoom workshops (live and recorded) on different topics
  • the in-the-works SHIFT workbook
  • regular updates on local and national resources for artists
"I know you will get a lot from our conversations and have ideas and resources to contribute," Andrew Simonet of Artists U said. "And please spread the word. SHIFT is for all South Carolina artists, not just Artists U alums."

Session dates

All live sessions begin at noon on the following dates:
  • April 8, 2020
  • April 15, 2020
  • April 22, 2020
  • April 29, 2020
  • May 6, 2020
  • May 13, 2020
  • May 20, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • June 3, 2020
  • June 10, 2020
Did we mention it's free? Here's that sign-up link again.
The South Carolina Arts Commission partners with Artists U on its artist development work and provides operating support to it via grant funding.

Artists U offers artist learning opportunities this March

Hey there, #SCartists. Our friends and frequent collaborators at Artists U have two great FREE learning opportunities in Columbia next month. Both will take place in the centrally-located Congaree Vista in the centrally-located city. Here's info on each. - Ed.


Grant Writing For Artists (FREE workshop)

Friday, March 20, 6-9 p.m. If Art Gallery | 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia (29201)

Based on 25 years of grant writing and art making, Artists U's Andrew Simonet will introduce artists to principles for writing simple, clear grants. You'll read some short proposals and act as a panel, scoring and discussing them. No bull, no fancy powerpoints, just real-world tools for artists who write (or want to write) grants. Get more info and register for "Grant Writing for Artists" here.

Presenting Your Art

ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED AND BY APPLICATION Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If Art Gallery | 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia (29201)

In this workshop, we will take a hands-on look at each artist’s toolkit: work samples, artist statement, elevator pitch, and presentations. We will build a positive and rigorous conversation around the challenge of representing our art. In Artists U, we have sat on many panels and juries, and we will tell you: Most artists fail to convey the power of their work in their applications. Too many artists submit muddled images and convoluted writing and fail to connect the two. A huge barrier to getting new opportunities is how we represent our work in words and images.  We owe it to our work to represent it well in images and language.
  • Each artist will prepare a four-minute presentation about their work.
  • Artists in this workshop must also attend Grant Writing for Artists workshop on Friday, March 20 (see above).
Get more info and register for "Presenting Your Art" here.

So, what would you say you do here?

[caption id="attachment_35603" align="aligncenter" width="600"] "The Bobs" from Office Space, 1999 by Twentieth Century Fox and Cubicle, Inc.[/caption] There's not a quick answer to that question, but let's start with this: The South Carolina Arts Commission does three things:

  • artist development,
  • community arts development,
  • and arts education
through four means:
  • direct programs,
  • staff assistance,
  • partnerships,
  • and grants.

The Hub serves as… a hub for the promotion of news items related to all those things. (The “Arts Daily” section serves as a centralized - what’s the word? - hub for promoting statewide arts events.) On a given week, you can see posts that serve to promote any number of those things. It’s critical for this outlet to do that because if you’re a tax-paying South Carolinian, your income comes to Columbia through the Department of Revenue and can return to your community from our agency by those four means. For the current fiscal year that ends in two weeks, we’ve helped provide one, some, or all the three things we do to all 46 counties. Barbara Streeter In short, we use The Hub to tell you how we’re attempting to be good stewards for your money. It’s not an election-year gimmick, but it’s here every year, on as many days as workload allows. The programs, artists, and ventures are not just lofty ones perched on the peak of Mount Olympus. No, we’re also using arts and culture to make Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties feel like they have a slice of the peak as new perspectives converge to address old problems. We help schools integrate the arts (top, right) into their curricula to foster creativity and critical thinking in new generations. We also enable artists to contribute to a $9.7 billion sector of the state economy by helping them not only further, but monetize their skills (bottom, right) to provide themselves sustainable income. That’s where your money goes, and it’s important for you to know that all the time, not just when differing opinions on funding collide - because it’s your money, entrusted to our professionals to impact all South Carolinians.
Two things you might have noticed here and/or our social media outlets lately are renewed emphasis on a) promoting what “SC Artists” are doing (spoiler alert: they are a wildly successful lot) and b) how “SCAC Grants At Work” are being put to work. Here is today’s example, which happens to encompass both. The grantee artists used an S.C. Arts Commission grant to take an art form often assumed to be reserved for Olympus right to Main Street: Here’s to seeing plenty more of this, all the time.

A look ahead at the arts in 2016 in SC

Arts Commission director talks issues in coming year From The State Article by Erin Shaw

Ken MayKen May, the executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, is dedicated to building a thriving arts environment for the benefit of all South Carolinians. The organization focuses mainly on artist development, arts education and community arts development. Here, May discusses what he expects to happen with the arts in South Carolina in the upcoming year. “I think 2016 is going to be an interesting, busy year,” he said. “There are several things that have been put into motion over the last several years that I think are going to have an impact.” POSITIVES: I’ve never before seen the broad recognition of the importance of arts education that I see now. I think everybody realizes this is an issue that we need to make progress on. It’s a good time for education and a good time for arts education. Arts education has always been a big issue for us. Our mission is to make it possible for all citizens to benefit from the arts. ON TASK: Last year we put together an arts education task force to assess the progress we’ve made so far and to identify next steps. One of the things we found – which was not surprising, but still sobering – was that quality arts education is happening in places with supplemental funding. Students in high poverty schools are therefore much less likely to have access to the arts. We really need to find new approaches to reach those high poverty areas. Last year, we requested and got $1 million from the Legislature specifically for arts education. We’re using that to really get going on the recommendations from the task force. ABBEVILLE LAWSUIT: The state Supreme Court decided the Abbeville school equity lawsuit (Abbeville County School District v. State of South Carolina) a year ago and ruled that the state had failed to provide a minimally adequate education for students in the state’s poor, rural districts. The House Education Task Force built into its recommendation a piece that relates to arts education. It includes more school day arts offerings and supporting after-school and summer programs that would be arts-related. It’s really exciting that they did that, and it will make 2016’s legislative session interesting to watch to see what actually gets done. MORE CULTURAL DISTRICTS: We’re seeing the rise of cultural districts in towns and cities across the state. There’s really a growing recognition among civic leaders that the arts are powerful drivers in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. What’s happened in the Vista and downtown Greenville are examples. A couple years ago, we got authority to officially designate cultural districts. We rolled out the program last year and to date we have five designations, with several more in the queue. And I think we’ll see that as a continuing trend. TRANSITIONS: Many arts leaders are nearing retirement, so we will be seeing leaders leaving their posts and seeking new ones to take their place. For example, Betty Plumb, the executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance and a key player in arts advocacy for the last 27 years, will be stepping down next fall. As for new hires, the Arts Commission is getting a new staff member to focus on arts education. We haven’t had any staffing in that area since 2010. We also jointly hired a new coordinator for folk and traditional arts with McKissick Museum. So, we’re excited about those incoming transitions. WISH LIST: By this time in 2016, it would be exciting if the Legislature took the first steps on the recommendations in the Abbeville case and if we were in the mix helping get started on those solutions. I would like to see several more cities with cultural districts and have us working with those cities collaboratively. I would like to see artists working together in small clusters at the community level to really begin to tackle their careers and figure out their strategies. And I hope to see our new staffers on board and doing great new stuff.