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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 four South Carolina artists practicing in the dance and writing disciplines fellowships 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.

Submitted material

Martha Brim dances into new role at Richland Library

A local artist who has served as a Columbia College dance professor for nearly 35 years is ready to share her talents with Richland Library over the next four months. [caption id="attachment_43732" align="alignright" width="300"]Martha Brim performing Columbia dancer Martha Brim.[/caption] We’re excited to welcome Martha Brim as our next artist-in-residence, starting Jan. 13. With a background as choreographer, educator and arts professional, Brim has a rich legacy of creativity, mentoring multiple generations of dance students and artists across disciplines. Founder of The Power Company Collaborative in 2000, she continues to investigate large-scale performance installations that involve musicians, designers and artists as co-creators. Brim is the recipient of numerous choreographic commissions, awards and professional acknowledgements. Her work is described as “intelligently conceived… quirky with shrewd, robust humor.” During her residency, Brim plans to host weekly office hours at our Main location (1431 Assembly St.), answering questions while sharing her knowledge and experience with others. She’s coordinating with our arts librarian as well to offer an array of free programs for all ages, which focus on identity and transformation. In addition, Brim intends to work on a community performance installation that combines textiles, collage, printmaking and movement. Her residency lasts through mid-May 2020. Initially developed in September 2016, the concept behind Richland Library’s artist-in-residence is to connect the community with local, working artists and to provide creative and educational opportunities to local residents in a way that supports cultural and artistic exchange.


About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Tuning Up: Writing workshops for girls + 1858 Prize + Twitter

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...


Writing workshops for girls.  Big opportunity here for high school girls (grades 9-12) who are serious about honing their sci-fi and fantasy and/or poetry-writing skills: Columbia College is to offer two workshops June 18-22 on its campus, one on each topic. We don't cross-post much, but take a quick peek at Arts Daily for more information. The poetry workshop will be taught by Dr. Ray McManus, who pitched in as one of the judges for the Poetry Out Loud state finals this past March. Good enough for government work. It's not mentioned in the story, but just so you know, an additional $100,000 appropriated to the S.C. Arts Commission's budget by the Senate is among the differences to be reconciled by a General Assembly conference committee next month. While the budget was not sent to Gov. McMaster by the legislators' self-imposed deadline, this story claims a government shutdown is unlikely. The Hub and SCAC, along with other dedicated state employees, are grateful. Follow us. Do you follow us on Twitter? We'd hate to think you'd miss such social media goodness as this (right). Social media, for all its ills, is also one incredible tool. We're hoping to improve our Twitter presence, while (clearly) not taking ourselves too seriously. Last call for 1858! Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by our friends at the Gibbes Museum will be accepted through May 31! The 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Learn more here.

Harbison Theatre offering classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum

parsonsdanceHarbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College received a South Carolina Arts Commission Accessibility grant to increase sensory-friendly access to dance. The Theatre is partnering with Parsons Dance, The S.C. Autism Society, and Columbia College to offer three dance classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum. Experienced dance educator Terrance Henderson is leading two of the fun, pressure-free workshops suitable for dancers of any experience - including no experience at all - and the final workshop will be facilitated by dancers from Parsons Dance (pictured right). The next two classes are Oct. 22 and Nov. 16. Participants in one or more of these workshops will be awarded a certificate of participation on stage at the end of the Parsons Dance Relaxed Performance on Nov. 19. Each workshop is only $5 and is open to dancers 7 years and older. Workshops take place in the Godbold Center on the campus of Columbia College. Find out more on Harbison Theatre's website. https://youtu.be/qamoKLha998   Via: Harbison Theatre

Every child is a dancer – skills and habits for teaching dancers along the autism spectrum

parsonsdanceIn collaboration with the South Carolina Autism Society and Columbia College, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College is offering a one-day workshop designed to better help dance educators serve their dancers with autism spectrum disorder. The workshop takes place Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at Harbison Theatre. Registration fee is $25 and includes lunch. The workshop will cover:

  • Sensory sensitivity in the dance studio
  • Fine and gross motor challenges
  • Behavioral expectations in the dance studio
  • Relaxed performance procedures
All participants receive a ticket to the Parsons Dance relaxed performance on November 19. Find out more and register. This seminar for teachers is part of a larger collaboration aimed at increasing and deepening the opportunities for dancers and dance fans with autism and their families to enjoy professional dance instruction and performance. These additional opportunities are available:
  • October 1 and 22 - Beginning dance workshop for dancers with autism spectrum disorder
  • November 16 - Masterclass for dancers with autism spectrum disorder taught by Parsons Dance
  • November 19 - Relaxed performance by Parsons Dance
 

New East Aiken School of the Arts teacher brings passion for the dance

From the Aiken Standard: Story and photo by Rob Novit

When she was 3, Adrienne Robinson’s mother decided her daughter walked too much like her dad. So soon, the child began ballet lessons and remains immersed in the dance. She would later graduate from the Davidson School of the Arts. Robinson recently was appointed as the new dance teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts. “Kids want to learn and get excited,” the Augusta native said. “That’s what drives me – a passion for the kids and their education. I want to share what I know and have something special.” While many people might not be familiar with Suzanne Farrell, the legendary ballerina and teacher, Robinson certainly is. While at Columbia College in 2007, she was accepted for an internship at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. “I would get to watch Mrs. Farrell and interact with her (high school) kids from all over the world,” Robinson. “I attended workshops to see how to put on a program.” After graduation, she worked in arts-related and other fields before seeking a position as a dance teacher. Robinson heard that East Aiken was seeking someone for that position and was amazed and delighted that the school is a formal arts facility – focusing in large part on arts integration with other subjects like English, science and math. Robinson’s arrival completes an arts journey for the school. She has joined Kathy Linton, physical education; Carrie Power, visual arts; Megan Jensen, the music educator; and Chrissie Sturgis, the drama teacher who arrived in August. “It’s so exciting to have new full-time theater and dance teachers,” Power said. “Now we can give every student a comprehensive arts education.” Principal Lisa Fallaw said East Aiken is fortunate to find Robinson. “She has so much energy and fantastic ideas and comes with really good experience,” Fallaw said. “Her Kennedy (internship) really stood out.” Tonya Johnson directs an after-school dance program at East Aiken and has served as substitute to help with collaborative arts programs – such as the holiday concert scheduled on Thursday. “I shadowed her in the classes and bounced ideas on how she has done things,” Robinson said. “I’ll bring in some things I can add on to that.” She plans to introduce the children to dance history, dances new to them and others they can create themselves. “We’ll do the shag, too,” Robinson said with a smile. “I had no idea it even existed at one time. I just want to expose them to different things.” Image: Adrienne Robinson, the new dance teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts, is joined by students, from left, Anna Thompson, Angellyna Ergle and Kaylin Kight.

Columbia College to host Metropolitan Opera auditions

Columbia College is one of the locations for the 60th annual Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the largest and longest running singing competition in America. Singers from across the country will come to campus to perform in front of three judges provided by the Metropolitan Opera. More than 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 will participate in the National Council Auditions in locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The public is invited to enjoy the music and hear outstanding talent. The competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the R. Wright Spears Center for the Arts. Admission is free. Three winners will be chosen from South Carolina, and each will receive $1,000 and the right to go to the Southeastern Regional Auditions in Atlanta. The Atlanta winner will compete in the Grand National Finals on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York before an audience that includes representatives of opera houses from around the world. Winners of the Grand National Finals each receive an award of $15,000 and great exposure for their operatic careers. Previous winners include Renee Flemming, Deborah Voight, Thomas Hampson, Jessye Norman and South Carolina’s own David Daniels, who is currently one of the most popular counter-tenors in the world. For more information, visit Columbia College's website. Via: Columbia College