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Jason Rapp

SCAC announces four 2021 fellowship recipients

Individual excellence in writing, dance honored


for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Hard work and exceptional abilities are earning fellowships for four South Carolina artists practicing in the dance and writing disciplines from the South Carolina Arts Commission for fiscal year 2021.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors approved four $5,000 fellowships among several other FY21 grant awards to be announced at a later date. The SCAC’s four fellows are:
  • Sarah Blackman of Greenville County in prose,
  • John Pursley III of Greenville County for poetry,
  • Erin Bailey of Richland County for dance choreography,
  • and Tanya Wideman-Davis of Richland County for dance performance.
Individual artists residing in South Carolina full-time whose work covers prose, poetry, dance choreography, and dance performance were invited to apply last fall for fiscal year 2021 awards. Out-of-state panelists from each discipline reviewed applications and, based solely on blind reviews of anonymous work samples, recommend recipients of each $5,000 fellowship. “Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of exceptional South Carolina individual artists. Recognition from a fellowship lends artistic prestige and can often open doors to other resources and employment opportunities,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. A diverse group of panelists judged the nominees applying to the FY21 disciplines in which they work. The poetry panelists were Joseph Bathanti, writer-in-residence at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; author Sandra Beasley, an instructor with the University of Tampa who lives in Washington; and publisher Lucinda Clark, principal with the Poetry Matters Project in Augusta, Georgia. Author/educator Catherine Reid of Burnsville, North Carolina and Charlie Vazquez, a consultant in New York City, judged the prose applicants. Panelists of the dance performance applicants were Laurel Lawson of Atlanta, Georgia with Full Radius Dance and Tamara Nadel of Minneapolis, Minnesota with Ragamala Dance Company. Maura Garcia, principal of Maura Garcia Dance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Patrick Makuakane of San Francisco, California with Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu Dance Company served as panelists of the dance choreography applicants. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual arts, craft, media: production, and media: screenwriting will be honored in fiscal year 2022. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the SCAC. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/.

About the FY21 Individual Artist Fellowship Recipients

Sarah Blackman | Prose | Greenville County Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-centered public high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her poetry and prose have been published in a number of journals, magazines, and anthologies and she has been featured on the Poetry Daily website. Blackman is the co-fiction editor of Diagram, the online journal of experimental prose, poetry and schematics; and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers she edits alongside her Fine Arts Center students. Her story collection Mother Box, published by FC2 in 2013, was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. Her novel, Hex, was published by FC2 in April 2016 and in 2018 she joined its board. John Pursley III | Poetry | Greenville County John Pursley III teaches contemporary literature and poetry at Clemson University, where he also directs the annual Clemson Literary Festival. He is the author of the poetry collection, If You Have Ghosts (Zone 3 Press), as well as the chapbooks, A Story without Poverty (South Carolina Poetry Initiative) and A Conventional Weather (New Michigan Press), among others. In addition, he works as the poetry editor of Burnside Review and is an assistant editor for the South Carolina Review. His poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, AGNI, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Erin Bailey | Dance: Choreography | Richland County Erin Bailey is a South Carolina native who discovered her passion for dance at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville. She has degrees from Columbia College (BFA) and Texas Women’s University (MFA) and has her certification and licensure in massage. She is an adjunct dance professor at Columbia and Coker colleges and the University of South Carolina. Bailey has worked and performed with Columbia area dance companies since 2004 and has performed nationally and internationally at festivals like Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston. In 2018 she founded and remains artistic director of Moving Body Dance Company. She has twice received awards for her choreography work. Photo by Jesse Scroggins. Tanya Wideman-Davis | Dance: Performance | Richland County Tanya Wideman-Davis is the co-director of Wideman Davis Dance and is on faculty as associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies. With an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, she completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012). Tanya has danced with many world-renowned companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet NY, and as guest artist with Ballet Memphis, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and Quorum Ballet (Portugal).  She received international acclaim as “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” from Dance Europe magazine. Photo by Sammy Lopez.

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.

$5,000 grants to reward literary, dance excellence in S.C.

  • S.C. Arts Commission opens applications for FY21 Fellowships
  • Deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3 September 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is accepting applications for $5,000 FY21 individual artist fellowships for South Carolina resident artists working in prose, poetry, dance performance and dance choreography. Four awards of $5,000 each will be given to one artist working in those four different artistic disciplines. The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists, according to Executive Director David Platts. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. The fellowship awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. (There is a long list of accomplished fellowship recipients here.) [caption id="attachment_41713" align="alignright" width="175"]Flyer for FY21 Individual Artist Fellowships Click to view the info flyer.[/caption] “These are unrestricted awards the Arts Commission uses to recognize artistic achievement by South Carolina’s exceptional artists,” Platts said. “Artists can use the award to invest in their work with additional learning or supplies or they can pay bills or buy groceries.” The panel of judges comes from other states, but applicants must: be 18 years of age or older, be U.S. citizens and South Carolina residents with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying, and plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2020 through June 2021). Applications may only be submitted online by midnight Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Further questions about applying can be answered by Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough (mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698).

About the S.C. 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.

Choreographer Alonzo King visits Governor’s School this week

World-renowned contemporary ballet choreographer Alonzo King will lead master classes and a free public presentation during a two-day artist residency this week at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. During his residency, King (bio) will lead master classes in dance, drama, and music with Governor’s School students and 30 strings students from Wade Hampton High School. King will also give a free public multi-media presentation about his work this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Sakas Theatre at SCGSAH (15 University St., Greenville, register here). King’s ground-breaking work has been featured in prominent ballets worldwide and has earned him inclusion on the list of America’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2015. Founder of the internationally acclaimed LINES Ballet, he has been described as a choreographer with “astonishing originality” by the New York Times, and “a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look and think about movement." King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hong Kong Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and many others. The San Francisco-based choreographer is one of two guests in SCGSAH's 2018-2019 Presidential Guest Artist Series—Connecting Lines: Dance Across the Arts.

Congratulations to the new group of South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows!

The South Carolina Arts Commission Board has awarded Individual Artist Fellowships to four South Carolina artists in the categories of prose, poetry, dance: choreography and dance: performance. Each artist receives $5,000. This year's fellows (pictured above, left to right):

Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. The fellowship awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “South Carolina's artists enhance our quality of life and are vital to the creative industries that contribute to the state's economy," said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. "It is fitting that we recognize the work of successful artists who use their talents and passion to benefit our thriving arts community and inspire others." The S.C. Arts Commission board approves fellowships based on recommendations made by out-of-state review panelists, who select fellows based solely on a review of anonymous work samples. This year's judges were Anton DiScalfani (prose), assistant professor at Auburn University and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls; Jericho Brown, (poetry), assistant professor in the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta and author of two award-winning books of poetry: Please and The New Testament; Bala Sarasvati (choreography), director of Concert Dance Company and modern dance coordinator for the University of Georgia; and Daniel Gwirtzman, (dance performance), assistant professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and director of the New York City-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. Individual artists working in visual arts, craft, media screenwriting and media production can apply for the FY2018 fellowship awards. Applications open Aug. 15, 2016, and the deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2016. For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Reminder – Artist Fellowship applications due Nov. 2

South Carolina artists working in prose, poetry, dance choreography, and dance performance may apply for a 2016-2017 Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the South Carolina Arts Commission. One fellowship of $5,000 will be awarded in each of the four categories. The deadline to apply is Nov. 2. Application guidelines are available at www.SouthCarolinaArts.com.

The Individual Artist Fellowship program encourages the pursuit of artistic excellence and provides financial support to South Carolina artists of merit. The award is unrestricted, and past fellows have used the award for professional development, projects, travel or living expenses. “As a teacher, summer is when I usually do freelance work to finance a few weeks of writing time,” said Scott Gould of Greenville, the 2014-2015 prose fellow. “Because of the fellowship, I was able to devote 100 percent of my time to working on my own creative endeavors instead of chasing magazine editors or invoices. This was huge for me.”

Past fellows agree that fellowships offer endorsements that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “The fellowship was pivotal to my choosing to continue developing my art in South Carolina,” said Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton of Columbia, the 2012-2013 choreography fellow. “The honor was validating and connected me to a wonderfully diverse and supportive arts community.”

Since 1976, the Arts Commission has awarded more than 200 fellowships to actors, craftsmen, poets, screenwriters, visual artists, musicians and others in recognition of exemplary artistic talent. Fellows are recommended by out-of-state review panelists, who make selections based solely on a review of anonymous work samples. These recommendations are approved by the Arts Commission Board. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Individual Artist Fellowship applications due Nov. 2

South Carolina artists working in prose, poetry, dance choreography, and dance performance may apply for a 2016-2017 Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the South Carolina Arts Commission. One fellowship of $5,000 will be awarded in each of the four categories. The deadline to apply is Nov. 2. Application guidelines are available at www.SouthCarolinaArts.com.

The Individual Artist Fellowship program encourages the pursuit of artistic excellence and provides financial support to South Carolina artists of merit. The award is unrestricted, and past fellows have used the award for professional development, projects, travel or living expenses. "As a teacher, summer is when I usually do freelance work to finance a few weeks of writing time," said Scott Gould of Greenville, the 2014-2015 prose fellow. "Because of the fellowship, I was able to devote 100 percent of my time to working on my own creative endeavors instead of chasing magazine editors or invoices. This was huge for me."

Past fellows agree that fellowships offer endorsements that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. "The fellowship was pivotal to my choosing to continue developing my art in South Carolina," said Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton of Columbia, the 2012-2013 choreography fellow. "The honor was validating and connected me to a wonderfully diverse and supportive arts community."

Since 1976, the Arts Commission has awarded more than 200 fellowships to actors, craftsmen, poets, screenwriters, visual artists, musicians and others in recognition of exemplary artistic talent. Fellows are recommended by out-of-state review panelists, who make selections based solely on a review of anonymous work samples. These recommendations are approved by the Arts Commission Board. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

A celebration of South Carolina native Stanley Donen

From OneColumbiaSC.com:

Stanley Donen CelebrationThe Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina's only nonprofit art house film theater, will host “A Lotta Talent and a Little Luck: A Celebration of Stanley Donen,” with special events July 26 -27 and weekly Donen screenings through August 26. Donen, a native of Columbia, was born in 1924 and is a film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin’ in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with actor and dancer Gene Kelly. As Donen celebrates his 90th birthday, the Nickelodeon has put together a month-long series of films and events to honor Donen, who is arguably the greatest living director from Hollywood’s golden age. “On my first day of work at the Nickelodeon, I was give a copy of Steven Silverman’s Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and his Movies,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre. “I was shocked to learn that Stanley grew up here in Columbia. It’s made clear that much of Stanley’s film education – comprised of frequent visits to the movie theaters near his father’s shop on Main Street – took place in the very building that now houses the Nickelodeon. Columbia should take a lot of pride in Stanley and his work.” Schedule of events: Special events: Sat., July 26: - 6 & 6:30 p.m.: Meet at Hollywood Park (300 S. Gregg St.) and join Historic Columbia Foundation for free walking tours of the historic Hollywood-Rose Hill neighborhood, where Stanley Donen grew up, including a stop in front of his childhood home. - 7 p.m.: DJ Scott Padgett, bring-your-own picnic and family fun in Hollywood Park, near Stanley Donen’s childhood home. - 8 p.m. Free outdoor screening of Singin’ in the Rain. Sun., July 27: - 3 p.m.: Free reception and lecture featuring Stephen Silverman, editor at People Magazine and Donen’s biographer, at the Nickelodeon Theatre (1607 Main St.). Sat., August 9: - 10 a.m.: Screening of The Little Prince as part of Family Fun Day at the Nick. Donen screenings (Monday showings at 5:30 p.m, Tuesday showings at 3 p.m.) - July 28 and 29: On the Town - August 4 and 5: Charade - August 11 and 12: Royal Wedding - August 18 and 19: Funny Face - August 25 and 26: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. For more information on the Nickelodeon Theatre, visit www.nickelodeon.org or follow the Nick on Twitter and Facebook.