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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.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: April 30

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

So this is it for April.

The Hub doesn't know about you, but it felt only about half as long as March's approximately 250 days. Progress! (Right?) Let's dance into a new month, and get closer to returning to the people, places, and things we miss.

Here are some events for today. (Or anytime.)

Your event not here? Here's a little more on how Hub E-vents works.

Tuning Up: From ABT to ACSD + ArtFields volunteers sought

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...


This is not your average news item. We confess to doing a double-take upon reading the Charlotte Observer headline "Former world-class ballet dancer now a South Carolina deputy." We're so glad we did, because the non-traditional path one of Abbeville County Sheriff's Department's finest took to the force is worth our attention and yours. (Subscription might be required.) Pee Dee friends! Volunteer at ArtFields! Your smiling face can be put to great use in Lake City this April... lead student tours, staff venues, direct traffic, or serve one one of the other awaiting opportunities. A Volunteer Kick-Off Dinner is coming March 5, so click here to get more info and to register for your ArtFields volunteering. Midlands friends! "Canvass of the People" in Columbia tomorrow! 

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.

$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.

New Governor’s School event to cultivate S.C.’s young dancers

Master classes, cash prizes part of student ballet competition

Ballet students ages 10-19 are invited to participate in master classes and compete for cash prizes in the inaugural "Grand Jeté" student dance competition, hosted by the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. The competition will be held at the Governor’s School in Greenville on March 2, 2019, and students can now register online to participate at www.scgsah.org/grand-jete. The deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 1. “We are thrilled to offer an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge South Carolina’s young dancers, and we want to applaud them for their hard work as they pursue and study this beautiful, yet demanding, art form,” said Josée Garant, Governor’s School Dance Department chair. “Grand Jeté is a venue for dance students from across the state to get to know each other and share their common passion for dance. It is a venue where, in its competitive environment, they can take the stage, support each other, learn and grow, while receiving feedback from out-of-state, internationally-recognized dance professionals.” Approximately 60 students will have the opportunity to attend master classes taught by S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ dance faculty and compete, by division, for the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling $7,500. They may also qualify for scholarships and opportunities such as summer dance intensives and college dance programs. Grand Jeté will be adjudicated by out-of-state, world-renowned dance professionals Lorna Feijóo, Francie Huber, and Olivier Pardina. For more information about Grand Jeté and to register, visit www.scgsah.org/grand-jete. The registration deadline is February 1, 2019. However, registration may close early if the maximum number of 60 solos is reached prior to this date. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the S.C Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation at 864.282.1570 for more details.

About SCGSAH

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org
All photos provided.

Tuning Up: Nutcracker season returns

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...


Welcome to Nutcracker season. When you think of the holidays through the lens of the performing arts, two things immediately cross your mind: Handel's Messiah (perhaps with audience participation), and... The Nutcracker. Some have come and gone, but the "granddaddy of them all" in South Carolina (if The Rose Bowl Game™ will pardon our use of the parlance...) is the one staged by SCAC General Operating Support (GOS) grantees Columbia City Ballet and Executive Director William Starrett. This year, the production winds its way through central and eastern South Carolina and even took a dip into Savannah, Ga. on Thanksgiving weekend. It begins a two-weekend run in Columbia this Friday night. From the story:

"Diversity has played a major role in the 2018 performance, from the dancers to the costumes and production design. 'There’s all different kinds of snowflakes and flowers and different kinds of human beings,' said Starrett. The creative minds at Columbia City Ballet crafted the performance to represent the diversity of modern life."

The Hub can get behind that. Read more: Excitement builds as Columbia City Ballet’s The Nutcracker premieres this weekend (ColaDaily.com)

South Arts’ Dance Touring Initiative gains ‘Momentum’

Momentum is a new opportunity open to modern dance and contemporary ballet companies based in the South. South ArtsAn expansion of South Arts’ Dance Touring Initiative (DTI), Momentum is a new, three-year intensive professional development program for a group of five Southern dance companies. The program will include mentorship, networking, conference showcasing and exhibiting, on-site planning meetings with presenters, tour-prep residencies, and touring. South Arts will convene the group for in-person meetings, webinars, and conference calls throughout the program’s duration and provide funds to support touring engagements in at least five Southern communities. For each touring engagement, the dance companies will provide multi-day community residencies to include educational activities and public performances. Technical assistance and professional development will be designed to complement the tours and enhance companies’ organizational and touring capacity. Each participant must commit to the three-year program running from spring 2019 to spring 2022. If you are a modern dance or contemporary ballet company based in the South with touring aspirations but limited previous success, Momentum is an opportunity to build both your artistic and technical capacity. Only professional modern dance and contemporary ballet companies located in South Arts’ nine-state region are eligible to apply. (South Arts’ region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.) Applications are due January 18, 2019. Read Momentum's full guidelines and application. Want to learn more about this new initiative? Join South Arts for an informational webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, 11a a.m. to noon (Eastern). Participate in the webinar. Questions? Contact Nikki Estes, Program Director, at 404.874.7244 ext. 16.

Front-page image: Ballet Spartanburg, dancer Charlotte Lanning Story main image: Pexels.com

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North Charleston seeks teaching artists for elementary after-school program

Application deadline: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 Thanks to the dedication of Mayor Summey and city council, North Charleston has been committed to providing after school programs in public elementary schools within city limits since 2008. One component of these programs is to provide arts enrichment classes through the city’s cultural arts department. The department provides a multi-disciplined roster of artists to teach these classes and is currently seeking artists to offer instruction in the program for the 2018/19 school year. Local artists in all disciplines with a willingness to share their talents and an ability to instruct elementary age students are invited to apply for the part-time, contracted positions by Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. There is a particular need for teaching artists in dance, music, theatre, and creative writing. The parameters for the After School Arts Enrichment Program are as follows:

1) Time Commitment: Program dates are Sept. 4, 2018, through June 6, 2019. Teaching artists offer instruction at their assigned site twice a week for two months, which equals 16 days of class activities. Instruction takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Timeframe includes one (1) hour for class activity and 30 minutes prep/clean-up time for a total of 1.5 hours each visit (3 hours total each week). Cultural Arts requests a minimum two-month commitment from participating artists. Artists able to serve longer are rotated to a new site after each two-month term and may serve up to two sites each term, depending on need/availability.

2) Site Details: Eleven elementary schools in North Charleston are identified program sites. Class size will vary at each site. Teaching artists should anticipate working with an average of 30 students at a time. Each site has at least one staff member in the class to assist with the children.

3) Rate of Pay: $20/hour. Cultural Arts provides materials. A limited supply budget is available depending on the needs of the arts discipline. All disciplines are approved for 1.5 hours per day for a total of 3 hours per week.

To ensure the safety of the children, background checks are required for all teaching artists selected to participate in the program. Interested artists should submit samples of their work (images, sound clips, videos, etc.) along with a current résumé or CV by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Application materials may be emailed to kyeadon@northcharleston.org or mailed to the attention of Krystal Yeadon at City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. For more information about the After School Arts Enrichment program, or the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website or call 843-740-5854.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Simmons, Deputy Director City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department 843.740,5854 | culturalarts@northcharleston.org

Healing and development from… the arts

This afternoon, The Hub would like to draw your attention to the (positive) effects arts participation has on the human body. Exposure is certainly nice, but we focus specifically today on the actual doing. And before going further, these come by way of NASAA – the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


First, dance. Without being overly general, all it takes is a look at a professional dancer to know dance is, at least physically, good for you. But recent data from Australia shows that older adults who participate in dance classes see “increases in physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and as well as a general sense of achievement.” See study here. Closer to home, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can seek symptom relief through participation (there’s that word again) in dance classes from Ballet Spartanburg (right, dancer Charlotte Lanning). The company received the 2018 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts yesterday in part because of offering its community classes like this, which can also help those who have experienced a stroke or disorders like autism, dementia, or multiple sclerosis. Ballet Spartanburg offers the only course of this type in the Upstate, and it's led by Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo. Winifred Walsh, who leads a Parkinson’s support group in Spartanburg, had this to say about the course in her support letter for the company’s Verner Awards nomination:

To receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease at age 53 is a life-changer ... A friend urged me to join Spartanburg’s PD Support Group and the Dance for PD class offered by Ballet Spartanburg. I went and I was horrified at first look. I thought, ‘I am not like those people!’ But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed and have stayed for some nine years now. And guess what? I am exactly like those people, people with Parkinson’s who are not wasting time on self-pity ... Ballet Spartanburg Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo has set the bar high for our teachers who find joy in our attempts, who rejoice with us in our successes, who laugh with us often ... Outreach seems such a simple term for such complex blessings to me and to others who have movement and balance disorders. We offer gratitude to Ballet Spartanburg for improving our lives through dance, and also through love. We are not merely people with Parkinson’s. Ballet Spartanburg has made us dancers.”

Learn more about the additional benefits of this program by clicking here.
Second, music. The National Endowment for the Arts is talking music training, which is how people get ready for … participation (that’s a hat trick). Two recent articles “find that music education not only strengthens creativity but also improves brain functions related to language development, attention, visuospatial perception, planning and other executive functions, and short-term and working memory.” Music training can be found, almost literally, everywhere. But lessons can be costly, to say nothing of other potential barriers. But four of the professional orchestras the South Carolina Arts Commission helps fund offer the interactive Link Up program from Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. Link Up partners orchestras with schools (home, private, and public) or school districts to offer an interactive musical curriculum in schools that teach students lessons in theory and can teach them how to use the recorder. The program usually culminates with a trip to see the professionals perform locally, with a twist: during the Link Up concert, the students can play recorders along with the musicians on stage! The four South Carolina orchestras that offered Link Up concerts during the 2017/2018 school year are the Aiken and Charleston symphonies and South Carolina (Columbia) and Spartanburg philharmonics.