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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.

S.C. Arts Awards: Ballet Spartanburg

2018 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2018 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 10 days to focus on this year's 10 recipients: five receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at USC. This week, the Verner Awards recipients are featured.
[caption id="attachment_34827" align="alignright" width="205"] Dancer Charlotte Lanning[/caption]

Ballet Spartanburg

Organization Category Ballet Spartanburg’s mission is to promote dance and dance appreciation in Spartanburg County and surrounding areas by providing the highest quality dance training, education, performance and outreach. In 1966, a group of 85 ballet enthusiasts and visionaries under the leadership of the late Majorie Riggs, met at Converse College and decided that Spartanburg needed to have the opportunity to enjoy live classical ballet. They began working as a group to create a charter named The Ballet Guild of Spartanburg. Memberships were $5 for an Active Member, $15 for a Patron, and $25 for a Sponsor membership. Today, Ballet Spartanburg is recognized as a regional dance company with an exceptional commitment to education and outreach activities in the Upstate. Ballet Spartanburg has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, the Koger Center in Columbia, at the Peace Center in Greenville, TEDxTryon and in Houston and Forest City. For the past five years, Ballet Spartanburg has retained the only resident professional company in the Upstate, one of only four in the state of South Carolina. The Company has performed in Houston, Texas, and North and South Carolina. The Center for Dance Education began in 1967 under the direction of the late Barbara Ferguson. The Center now instructs 350 students from over 30 ZIP codes, all under the direction on Ballet Mistress Lona Gomez. With an ever-growing outreach program, Ballet Spartanburg offers lecture/ demonstrations in partnership with Spartanburg school districts with after school programs, in-school performances, artists in residence, and free performances of Peter & the Wolf. Ballet Spartanburg also partners with the City of Spartanburg to offer summer programs for at-risk youth and the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate and offers performances at nursing homes, hospitals, and community events. Celebrating 51 years embedded in the Spartanburg community, Ballet Spartanburg’s programming continues to evolve with the dance needs of the community and its students, adding new variations of dance classes with opportunities to extend dance knowledge, technique and new performances to new audiences. For more, visit BalletSpartanburg.org.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Gov. Henry McMaster will present each recipient's award beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the State House. The event is open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dr. Anne S. Richardson

2018 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2018 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 10 days to focus on this year's 10 recipients: five receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at USC. This week, the Verner Awards recipients are featured.

Dr. Anne S. Richardson

Arts in Education Category Dr. Anne S. Richardson attended Point Park College (now University) in Pittsburgh for a bachelor’s in dance performance and graduated in 1978. She danced professionally with the Pittsburgh Opera Ballet and South Carolina Ballet Theatre and apprenticed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Dance companies at the time weren’t geared to shorter dancers, and it was difficult to get auditions at only five feet tall. She studied jazz dance as well as ballet in college and began to consider teaching, starting off with jazz at Calvert-Brodie School of Dance when she returned to Columbia. “I was fortunate to have wonderful teachers in Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, and Columbia and will be forever grateful. Because of what so many of my gifted teachers did for me, it is my dearest wish that I inspire at least one student and support that student’s belief in him or herself,” Richardson said. She started a jazz company, Dansework-Jazz, in 1987 and continued to perform until 1995. At the same time, she began teaching ballet at Hand, and later Crayton, middle schools, and then finally Dreher High School. The demands of being a teacher and performer were tough, and when she added graduate school to her schedule in 1992, she realized she had to stop performing to focus on teaching and pursuit of a master’s in theatre at USC, which she earned in 1997. A master’s in educational administration from USC was added in 2001, and she earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2008. In 2001, Richardson began the dance program with Palmetto Center for the Arts, housed at Richland Northeast High School. Creating a fine arts magnet dance program and working with the faculty and students was gratifying, and it was there that she honed her skills in developing arts-integrated lessons and performances. She found that her varied educational background fit into the arts integration teaching model. When Richardson arrived at Westwood High School five and a half years ago, she worked with the arts faculty and administration to provide students with extraordinary experiences integrating the arts with their subject classes. Richardson successfully wrote the Distinguished Arts Program grant for Westwood beginning in 2014, and in 2015, Westwood became an Arts In Basic Curriculum (ABC) Site. Also in 2015, under Richardson’s leadership, Westwood became the only arts-integrated high school in Richland 2. Affecting the lives of regular students has confirmed to Richardson the importance of the arts to all students—not just those who are gifted and talented. She began the Renaissance Faire at Westwood inspired by the castle-like architecture of the school. Working with other teachers, she created this yearly event that involves students in performances, projects, and presentations about the Renaissance that are presented to the school, Richland 2 students, and the community. In addition, her students write an original production each summer to present in the fall. They research the topic and write a play to tell stories and create characters that they themselves portray. Her students have created the following original performances: Mostly Coastal Ghosts, The Cherokee Project, Gullah Gumbo, Strange Warfare: The Christmas Truce of World War 1, The Secret Room: Tales of the Underground Railroad, and 9/11: The Story of US. In all of these performances, students created characters based on real events and came as close to living the characters’ lives as is possible. The insight into these situations will stay with these students for a lifetime. Providing these experiences is important to Richardson as a teacher. “It is not about my success but rather that of my students,” she said. Richardson believes that her greatest contribution to education is helping students to believe in themselves by first believing in the students. “I know what it is to have doubt as a young dancer and recognize the wonderful transformation that takes place when a teacher takes the time to encourage and inspire a student. My aspiration is to foster original thinking in my students through arts integration, challenging them to create unique performances so that they have to dig deep within to tell stories and affect their audience. They learn to work with others, bringing disparate ideas and untold stories together to make a new whole and inspire the world around them,” she said.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Gov. Henry McMaster will present each recipient's award beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the State House. The event is open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

On your toes: Ballet Spartanburg celebrating 50th anniversary

Ballet Spartanburg receives a General Operating Support grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Article by Dan Armonaitis; photo by Tim Kimzey

(Image: Spartanburg Ballet dance company principal dancers, from left, Nichola Montt, Will Scott, Analay Saiz, Will Robichaud, and Meghan Loman, rehearse at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg) When a group of 85 ballet enthusiasts and visionaries, led by the late Majorie Riggs, got together in 1966 to form what would later become known as Ballet Spartanburg, few could have imagined the tremendous growth the organization would experience over the next half-century. But as it celebrates its 50th anniversary during the 2016-17 season, Ballet Spartanburg has cemented its role as a key member of the city's thriving arts community. The nonprofit organization now has its own professional ballet company and a highly-regarded dance education program. It has also expanded its public outreach and continues to present multiple performances each year. "When it was chartered as the Ballet Guild of Spartanburg, the concept was basically just to be a presenting organization," Ballet Spartanburg executive director Teresa Hough said. "But over the years we've offered so much more." The 50th anniversary season kicked off with a family-friendly ballet, "The Little Mermaid," in October, and Ballet Spartanburg is gearing up now for its annual production of the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker," which will be performed Friday, Saturday and Dec. 11. The 2016-17 season will continue in February with an intimate performance, "Fire & Passion," which is part of Ballet Spartanburg's Studio Series. DanSynergy 9, with a theme of "Celebrating the Power of Women," will be presented in March, followed by "An American in Paris" in April. "Education certainly is a very important part of our mission and so is the outreach, but the high quality of the performances that we present to the audiences is also very important," said Carlos Agudelo, who has served as Ballet Spartanburg's artistic director since 1991. "We see the growing enthusiasm of the people who come to the performances — the standing ovations and just a lot of compliments — and it encourages us. "The thing we want to do with ballet is to explore social themes and other things that are relevant to our society, so, in general, we have to be creative, we have to be open to change and we have to be willing to develop new experiences." In its first few decades, Ballet Spartanburg presented performances by some of the most notable ballet companies in the world, including the National Ballet of Washington, D.C., Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. It also hosted a 1988 performance by international ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev, who substituted for an injured Mikhail Baryshnikov. "I sat in the third row and I remember looking up at (Nureyev) and being like, 'I cannot believe this is happening,'" Hough said. "That was a major fundraiser, and it was just great." Since 2013, Ballet Spartanburg has had its own professional dance company, which has added a new dynamic to the performances and to the educational and public outreach aspects of the organization. The only professional dance company in the Upstate and one of only three in South Carolina, Ballet Spartanburg hires top-notch dancers from around the world to showcase their respective talents. "It's amazing that (Ballet Spartanburg) has been around for 50 years and that it's been so successful," said Nichola Montt, a Boston native and member of Ballet Spartanburg's professional company. "They've got a really great community here, and I think a lot of it has to do with the hard work that Carlos and (ballet mistress) Lona (Gomez) put into it." Having its own professional company allows Ballet Spartanburg to present high-quality performances without having to hire outside professionals as it did previously. Now, the students at the Center for Dance Education have an opportunity to work with professional dancers on a regular basis as opposed to only a few days before a public performance as had been the case. "The fact that my 6- and 4-year-old daughters, Wallace and Harriet, get to work with professional ballet dancers in Spartanburg is a huge deal," said Griffin Lynch, who served as president of Ballet Spartanburg from 2012-2014 and took classes with the Dance Center as a youth. Referring to one of Ballet Spartanburg's professional dancers, Lynch added, "Miss Analay (Saiz), who played 'The Little Mermaid,' is both girls' teacher, and for them to be able to sit in the audience and watch their teacher on stage in that role is really inspiring." Will Robichaud, who grew up in Woodruff and took classes at the Dance Center for much of his youth, was recently added to Ballet Spartanburg's roster of professional dancers. He initially got into dance by following in the footsteps of his older sister, Natalie, who is now a business professional in Brooklyn, N.Y. "The discipline that they taught us when we were really young has definitely stuck with us," Robichaud said. Robichaud's mother, Amy, said the lessons her children learned from Ballet Spartanburg can be carried throughout life. "When our daughter, Natalie, started an entry-level job, she said she remembered Carlos saying, 'there is no small part, everybody has to do their own part,'" Amy Robichaud recalled. "And when Will went to study with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, he had not only very sound technical training but he also had an appreciation for the hard work you have to put into it." The vision for the Center for Dance Education started in 1967 when the late Barbara Ferguson began teaching ballet classes. The actual dance school opened in 1976. Now, nearly 400 students, from toddlers to senior citizens, study dance through programs offered by the Center for Dance Education. Gomez said one of the reasons for the school's success is its emphasis on teaching dance in a non-competitive environment. "In this day and age, children are used to very quick rewards," said Gomez, who is in her 22nd season with Ballet Spartanburg. "Here, we want them to understand that it's a journey. Not everybody advances at the same pace. "It's about learning things slowly and mastering them, and then when you have mastered them, you go on to the next level. You're not supposed to compare yourself to the person next to you. We try to celebrate their individuality." The classroom methods used by Gomez and Agudelo seem to be effective, given the success of many of the Center for Dance Education's alumni. Among those who have gone on to pursue ballet as a career are McGee Maddox, now a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, and Chase Brock, now a prolific choreographer whose credits include the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark." "Our goal is to develop the students' full potential and give them opportunities to perform," Agudelo said, "but we also want to develop their kinesthetic intelligence, which facilitates other academic forms of learning and teaches life skills." Throughout the years, Ballet Spartanburg has continued to increase its public outreach. The organization works with area schools, offering ballet demonstrations and a free annual performance of "Peter and the Wolf" while also providing summer programs for at-risk youths in inner-city housing projects and at the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate. Ballet Spartanburg gives performances at nursing homes, hospitals, and various community events while also offering classes for students with special needs, including Parkinson's disease patients. And three years ago, it began presenting a sensory-sensitive production of "The Nutcracker," geared primarily to students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind. "My wife Roberta and I are in health care, and their Parkinson's class is something that's truly amazing," said Tom Jennings, who served as president of Ballet Spartanburg from 1996-1998. "They're one of the few ballet companies in the United States that do these classes, and that's probably one of the things I'm most delighted about." Ballet Spartanburg is housed in the Chapman Cultural Center. "We are not a huge metropolis where you'd normally find a ballet company, so it's really special what we have here," said Chapman Cultural Center president and CEO Jennifer Evins, who was a Ballet Spartanburg board member in the mid-1990s. "It's pretty rare to have dance presented four or five times a year in a city our size, but I think it's a reflection of our entire community and how we value the arts." Hough said Ballet Spartanburg, as a nonprofit, would not have endured for the past 50 years without the support of corporate sponsors and individual donors. "We're extremely fortunate to have so many people who believe in what we're trying to accomplish," she said. "We're all about culture, we're about diversity, we're about collaborations, and we're about creativity. We're not about just being a teeny, tiny little school that's just for the served; we're for the underserved and for bringing in those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to dance." For more information about Ballet Spartanburg, the Center for Dance Education, and upcoming performances visit www.balletspartanburg.org.

Spartanburg School District One offers dance for the first time

Spartanburg One's New Prospect Elementary and Holly Springs Motlow Elementary are Arts in the Basic Curriculum sites. ABC sites receive South Carolina Arts Commission grants to help integrate the arts into basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction. From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Second grade students at New Prospect Elementary School (pictured above) are dancing their way through the water cycle during a Science lesson, as a part of the newly implemented Dance pilot program in Spartanburg School District One. All District One elementary students in grades 2-5 now have the opportunity to participate in the first ever Dance program offered by the district. Mrs. Kellianne Floyd, who has taught dance in school at all levels over the last 12 years, will rotate between each elementary school in the district throughout the year, allowing students the opportunity to audition for Dance. Mrs. Floyd sees her auditioned groups every day during their Academic Arts time, and finds creative ways to integrate arts into the core curriculum through STEAM activities. In addition to working with her audition groups, Mrs. Floyd also works with entire grade levels teaching arts integration lessons, such as how to use poetry to choreograph a dance in AB form and using opposite words to create a dance sequence. Social Studies lessons have been transformed as students have had the opportunity to experience Native American dances, African folk dances, and even the Carolina Shag! Through this program, students have the ability to learn critical thinking skills by observing each other's performances and analyzing the skills implemented in each piece of choreography. Students can make connections between dance and academic subjects such as English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, and have the opportunity to learn in a completely new way. All students who participate in the Dance program will have the opportunity to choreograph and perform dances in their schools and community. In April, a group of Dance students have been invited to perform at Operation: Stand Down, an organization for homeless veterans. Mrs. Floyd received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from Winthrop University in 2003 and holds a Masters of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis on Recreational Therapy from Clemson University. In addition, Mrs. Floyd holds an Ed. S. in School Administration from Converse College. She has had opportunities to study with master teachers from around the world including Savion Glover, Frank Hatchett, Radio City Rockettes alumnae, So You Think You Can Dance alumnae Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan, and has also performed as a dancer in the 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Atlanta, GA.

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
 

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.

Wando High School instructor named SC Dance Educator of the Year

From LowcountryBiz.com:

Jessica-CrumCHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Dance Association announced that for the second year in a row, a Charleston County School District (CCSD) teacher has been named the 2015 SC Dance Educator of the Year. This year’s winner is Jessica Crum, dance instructor at Wando High School. “It is an honor to be given this recognition considering how many great dance educators there are throughout the state,” said Jessica. “Dance education is important in the public school system because it teaches critical and creative thinking skills, which are crucial for a student’s success after they leave high school. The true thanks go to my talented students who make my job a pleasure each day.” Jessica has been teaching at Wando for seven years. Unlike most dancers, she did not start training until joining her high school’s dance team at the age of 14. At 16, she walked into her first ballet class not knowing what a dégagé was. Her dance teacher, Ivy Hale, took an interest in her natural talent and taught her classical styles along with dance choreography and composition. Her training continued at the College of Charleston studying Theatre Performance and Dance under the direction of Robert Ivey, intensively training and choreographed works for the Robert Ivey Ballet Company. Her performances have been reviewed by the Post and Courier and described as “insightful” and “inventively choreographed.” Jessica’s work at Wando speaks for itself. After one semester, the dance department grew from 18 students to over 120 students. She always tells her students to dream big and that it is never too late to have a career in dance. Her life is living proof of that. “There is nothing more rewarding than being able to share your life’s passion with those that are eager to learn,” said Gerrita Postlewait, CCSD Superintendent. Jessica is also the founder of the Wando Dance Company, which provides students with a pre-professional dance experience focusing on technical training and choreography. She currently serves as co-director of All County Dance in Charleston County. In 2013, she traveled to Shekou International School located in Shenzhen, China to gain a deeper understanding of fine arts instruction and teaching practices. Jessica will be recognized at the South Carolina Dance Association’s award ceremony on Friday, November 13, at the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC.

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.