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Madden ‘beyond excited’ by new laureate fellowship

Academy of American Poets further validates Ed Madden

He's Columbia's poet laureate (since 2015) and he is a previous S.C. Arts Commission fellow for prose (2010). He is further expanding his influence with a new accolade.
[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="200"]Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] Ed Madden was just awarded the Academy of America Poets Laureate Fellowship along with 12 other poets laureate of states, cities, and counties across the U.S. receiving a combined, historic $1 million in recognition of their literary merit and to support civic programs, which will take place over the next 12 months.  (See news release here.) “Poets have an important role in our culture and in communities all across the country. By supporting Poets Laureate at the state and local level, we hope to ensure that more people become acquainted with poets and poetry where they live and have an opportunity to benefit from innovative and groundbreaking programming close to home,” said Michael Jacobs, Chairman of the Academy of American Poets. These new fellowships are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and, in total, are believed to be the largest awards provided to poets in the U.S. at any one time by a charitable organization. They are also in keeping with this spring’s national poetry programming theme of Poetry & Democracy offered by the Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Columbia's Free Times has an interview with Madden, who already has plans to put the $50,000 he received to use in Columbia. According to Free Times, they will fit in with his "other initiatives [that] have put poetry on Main Street banners and coffee sleeves. On April Fool’s Day 2017, random cars were tagged with fake parking tickets, no doubt baffling drivers who found on not an official summons but a few lines of verse. Last year, little free poetry boxes — similar to little free library kiosks — sprang up in yards throughout the city. There’s also been 'rain poetry,' where short local poems, stenciled onto sidewalks with hydrophobic paint, magically appear when it rains."

Hip-Hop event back in the capital city

World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day is tomorrow


Hip-Hop Family Day is an unforgettable day of fun with the best and brightest live performers, DJs, dance crews, hip-hop visual artists, and craft and food vendors Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The free event is presented by Love, Peace & Hip-Hop and the City of Columbia.

Big Daddy Kane is the 2019 headliner. A Grammy Award-winning artist who began his career in 1986 as a member of the rap collective the Juice Crew, Big Daddy Kane is widely considered one of the most skilled MCs in hip hop and has been ranked on several lists as one of the top 10 MCs of all time.

Kane started out as a Brooklyn battle rapper before joining Juice Crew alongside Marley Marl and Biz Markie. His 1988 debut album, Long Live the Kane, featured the hit "Ain't No Half Steppin'” and “Raw.” His LP, It’s A Big Daddy Thing, featured “Smooth Operator,” “Warm It Up,” and “I Get The Job Done.”

“Big Daddy Kane is of the most profound lyricists of all time—hard enough for the fellas and smooth enough for the ladies, with second-to-none showmanship,” says Love, Peace & Hip-Hop founder and executive director FatRat Da Czar. “We’d attempted to secure him for the festival two other times, but the third time is the charm. He will undoubtedly set the SODA on fire.”

Along with headliner Big Daddy Kane already in place, adding The Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster’s Furious Five featuring Melle Mel to the lineup allows World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day to pay homage to the earliest groundbreaking days of hip-hop.

“With ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ the Sugar Hill Gang took hip-hop music from the streets to the airwaves. Subsequently, the Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ used the airwaves to tell the full story,” said FatRat Da Czar.

Released on the iconic Sugarhill Records label, “Rapper’s Delight” was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song became an international hit and sold over eight million copies. The Sugar Hill Gang went on to release hits such as “Apache,” “8th Wonder,” and “Living in the Fast Lane.”

The Sugarhill Gang was originally comprised of Wonder Mike (Michael Wright), Master Gee (Guy O’Brien), and Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank - d. 2014). Wonder Mike and Master Gee later teamed up with Henry Williams (Hendogg) and DJ T. Dynasty, who have both performed with the group for over 20 years.

“We are very excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Rapper's Delight.’ As an iconic and global success, it stands as a true testament of the power of hip hop music," said Hendogg. "To see the crowds of people, generation after generation, sing this song and to be able to perform it all over the world is a blessing."

Through the use of turntablism, break-beat deejaying, and conscious lyricism, the Furious Five was significant in the early development of hip hop music. With their platinum-selling classic, “The Message,” the group was catapulted to international recognition and eventual induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“This is history in the making,” said Scorpio. “We've seen the evolution of hip-hop and rap go from a place where there was a lot of naysayers to it being a full-blown respected genre taking over pop culture. It's a blessing to be successful doing what we love and now joining together to continue to make history.”

Make it happen: act now for artist business training

Registration deadline: This Friday, Jan. 11


New Year’s resolutions come. Weigh less, read more, get organized,etc. Then, often, they go. But what about a real change? What about making a positive change to your career or livelihood? For Midlands artists resolving to take a bold leap in 2019, there’s a new opportunity that can help. But you need to act fast. The City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunity is collaborating with the S.C. Arts Commission’s ArtsGrow SC Program to help artists who reside in the Midlands attend NxLevel Micro Entrepreneur Training – a $200 value – for only $50.
What is the NxLevel Micro Entrepreneur Training? The NxLeveL Micro Entrepreneurs module focuses on teaching “self-sufficiency through self-employment.” Participants will learn how to choose a business idea, develop a marketing plan, explore financing options, develop a customer service philosophy, as well as other relevant entrepreneurial skills.   When will it take place? NxLevel Micro entrepreneur candidates will commitment to attend all sessions (approximately 45 classroom hours) and complete prep work beginning Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 through March 28, 2019. Class will meet on Thursdays for three hours, from 6-9 p.m.   Where will classes be held? 1509 Lady Street Columbia, SC 29201   What do I do to register if I am an artist? Artists have a three-step process.
  1. Complete this Arts Commission artist application. This is how you will identify yourself as an artist to be considered for the discounted rate. Artists will be asked to use their email address as the username and to create a password. The application includes contact information and space to 5 upload samples of work, bio/resume, and an artist statement. You will be contacted by e-mail if you are accepted to receive the discounted rate.
  2. Complete the NxLeveL Micro Entrepreneur Application
  3. Complete the NxLeveL Micro Entrepreneur Registration
Contact Program Director Joy Young (jyoung@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8696) with questions.
Main image by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Tuning Up: Where arts and infrastructure intersect

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...


She thought she had it all figured out. Columbia high school student Hanah Watts thought she was captivated by some new modern art. Oops. You'll enjoy her take on infrastructure through an arts lens in the Columbia Star – it's a nice, light-hearted read for the first Friday of the New Year. (And let's not pile on Columbia. Does anybody like the roads where they live?)

Jason Rapp

Six findings from Amplify Columbia

From ColaToday (10/1/2018):

Back in January, the City + One Columbia announced that they were enacting a cultural arts planning process called Amplify in Columbia: an 18-month project that would kick off with focus groups + surveys to discover how the arts could better serve our city – and vice versa – and end with a formalized draft of a cultural section of the City Planning Department’s Comprehensive Plan in-the-making, Columbia Compass: Envision 2036.

...

Now, Amplify is in its tenth month of its 18-month planning process. So – what has the Amplify team found out about cultural needs, wants, barriers + opportunities in Columbia? And how can that be written into Columbia Compass as future public policy for our city?


Data collected from 70 public meetings in 59 places across Columbia has uncovered a few things, and identified six themes that have come from people who attended. (The S.C. Arts Commission was the site of one such meeting, and Amplify's lead consultant served on the panel that reviewed applicants to our biggest grant program: General Operating Support for Organizations.)
  • 96% of survey-takers feel Columbia needs more arts activities and events
  • 50% feel that increasing public space for interactive experiences is a top priority
  • Other top priorities included focusing on the preservation and support of Columbia history and continuing to add more public art 
  • Columbia has artists who are willing to teach in their communities
  • Columbia's citizens define culture + art beyond visual creationsincluding food, festivals and more
Additionally, six themes emerged from the public hearings, discussions + forums:
  • Leadership
  • Investment
  • Spaces
  • Valuing Artists
  • Art Learning and Mastery
  • History
Head over to ColaToday to read more about the process and the findings to this point.  

“Network & (L)earn” event coming for Midlands artist/entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your arts-based business?  Could you use a financial boost? This is a meeting you must attend! 

  • DATE:            Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
  • TIME:            6-8 p.m.
  • WHERE:       1013 Duke Ave., Columbia (29205)
  • COST:            None (That’s right. Free!)
Seating is limited to 50, so register today! You’ll have time to network, ask questions, and hear about resources – financial and others – that can help you grow your arts-based business. Also, you will learn about the resources at Indie Grits Labs, meet a representative from the City of Columbia Office of Business Development, and hear first-hand from an artist entrepreneur who has accessed resources for business growth. This meeting is open to artists located in the Midlands region, which consists of: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs! WHAT ELSE: Registration is required and closes MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2018. Click here to register for this meeting, or use the QR Code at right. This meeting is being facilitated by the S.C. Arts Commission. Special thanks to Indie Grits Labs for hosting the meeting and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, our Midlands ArtsGrowSC funding partner. For more information contact Program Director Joy Young: jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Columbia holds free teaching artist workshop next week

From Amplify Columbia: Teaching artists, also known as artist educators or community artists, are professional artists who teach and integrate their art form, perspectives, and skills into a wide range of settings. Teaching artists work with schools, after school programs, community organizations, and social service agencies to encourage increased public participation in the arts for residents of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Join us Monday, Aug. 27 from 6-8:30 p.m. (Eau Claire Print Building, 3907 Ensor Ave, Columbia, SC 29203) for a free professional development workshop for teaching artists. Participants will be given structure, guidance, and tools to implement clear goals in their residencies and lessons and to improve their work. For both emerging and master teaching artists, this workshop is open to faculty of midlands universities, classroom teachers, artists, staff working with any area arts organization, museum docents and parks and recreation staff who work directly with young people. This session is free however preregistration is required. Register by emailing your name and a contact number to hello@amplifycolumbia.com.


About Amplify

Amplify is the capital city's new long-range cultural plan: a community conversation that identifies opportunities for broadening public participation in arts and cultural activities. The City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History are collaborating to oversee the cultural planning process. Facilitated community conversations involving a  broad cross sector of our community will focus on four core areas:
  1. Economic prosperity for the Columbia region
  2. Cultural vitality
  3. Social and cultural equity
  4. Ways to embed arts and culture across the city’s Comprehensive Plan
AMPLIFY is the name given to the planning process and helps make visible its progress. As the name implies, the planning process will highlight existing arts, cultural and heritage resources of Columbia and recommend ways to strengthen these valuable assets in our community. The leader or Amplify's consulting team is Margie Johnson Reese, who served on the SCAC's panel that reviewed General Operating Support grant applications this past May. Go here for more information about Amplify.

Tuning Up: Unique new exhibition + financial management training

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...


A thin blue line ... on canvas? Columbia Police Department employees are showing off their artistic talents in a new exhibition at the Columbia City Hall Art Gallery (from Cola Daily). Work from 15 employees is on display Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1737 Main St. in Columbia through Sept. 26. Free. ICYMI: A Stronger Bottom Line. The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available for just $200. (Not a typo; we checked. - Ed.) All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now!
Arts funding clarification. You might have noticed that on Friday The Hub and SCAC social media outlets ran posts thanking Gov. McMaster and the S.C. General Assembly for the former not issuing vetoes to the latter's increased funding for SCAC grants and arts education initiatives. It was a welcome and energizing, if not pleasantly surprising, break from the norm. You might also have noticed the governor did issue a veto to $500,000 "for" the SCAC that was actually for the S.C. Children's Theatre in Greenville. So how do we reconcile saying we're grateful to have been spared by the veto pen while that $500,000 was vetoed? Because the money in question, which originated in the House, was requested by a legislator on behalf of the theatre. Our agency was simply to be what's known as a "pass-through." House rules allow for legislators to request funds on behalf of private entities. If included in the budget and approved by the Senate and governor, the funds must be sent through a relevant state agency which did not request the funding before being disbursed to the recipient.

New FastTrac course open to artist entrepreneurs

fastraclogoThe city of Columbia is accepting applications for the FastTrac Growth Venture 2016 class, a course that provides hands-on, intensive instruction to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to manage and grow a successful business. The class meets on Tuesdays Jan. 12 through March 15, 2016, from 6 - 9 p.m at the Midlands Techinical College Northeast Campus, located at 151 Powell Road, Columbia. Class size is limited to 15 participants. FastTrac Growth Venture helps existing entrepreneurs:

  • Make critical decisions about the business vision and strategy;
  • Investigate next-stage growth and opportunity;
  • Plan for strategic growth;
  • Build and maintain a competitive advantage;
  • Lead with clarity; and
  • Maximize cash flow for future profitability.
The cost is $825, however, the city of Columbia will pay $500 of each participant's fee. The $325 paid by participants covers registration, books, networking, and lifetime access to resources available from the Kauffman Foundation.  Participants will also receive a free membership to the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, valued at $500. (Note: Artists may be eligible for a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Grant to help pay for the FastTrac course. The next Quarterly Grant deadline is Nov. 15, 2015 for projects or professional development beginning after Jan. 1, 2016. Contact your discipline coordinator for assistance before applying for a grant.) Find out more about FastTrac, and reserve your seat by contacting Angelo McBride at aamcbride@columbiasc.net as soon as possible. The city of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities has partnered with Midlands Technical College for more than six years to provide FastTrac Growth Venture to Columbia businesses.

“Drop-in with Drink Small” to celebrate Blues Doctor’s National Heritage Fellowship

Columbia blues musician Drink Small, recently named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts, will be honored with a drop-in July 30 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Tapp’s Art Center, 1644 Main St., Columbia. The event is free and open to the public.

The National Heritage Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and includes an award of $25,000. The National Heritage Fellows will be honored in Washington, D.C., at an awards ceremony Oct. 1, 2015, and a free concert on Friday, Oct, 2, 2015. “We wanted to have a local event to allow friends and fans to congratulate Drink on this prestigious accomplishment,” said Ken May, South Carolina Arts Commission executive director. “A National Heritage Fellowship is a big deal, and the entire state should be proud of Drink’s work and his dedication to keeping music traditions alive.” At the event, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will present Small with a proclamation declaring July 30 as “Drink Small Day,” and DJ Preach Jacobs will set the tone with the blues and related music. A cash bar will be available. The drop-in is sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the City of Columbia, Tapp’s Arts Center and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. For more information about the NEA's National Heritage Fellowships, including bios, interviews, and audio selections for the Heritage Fellows, visit arts.gov.