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Arts education leader Christine Fisher announces retirement

Fisher led Arts in Basic Curriculum Project for 18 years


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 March 2019 [caption id="attachment_39351" align="alignright" width="225"]Christine Fisher Christine Fisher[/caption] COLUMBIA, S.C. – Christine Fisher is to retire from the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project this month after spending nearly 20 years working to provide comprehensive arts programs in schools across the state. Fisher, who lives in Florence, began her career in arts education in the classroom, teaching chorus, guitar and musical production at Dillon High School and then elementary general music, beginning band and middle school band in Florence School District One through 2001. She left that year to become executive director of the ABC Project, a partnership among the S.C. Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and S.C. Department of Education that works with schools and districts across the state to maintain and expand arts opportunities for all students. It is based at Winthrop in Rock Hill. Under Fisher’s leadership, the program grew to serve 84 schools or districts and 171,000 students this school year and played an important role in making sure the arts were included in the landmark Profile of the South Carolina Graduate in 2015, a rigorous set of standards for college and career readiness adopted by the state General Assembly in 2016. “Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. Many highlights dot the timeline of Fisher’s career. She was twice selected as a school and district Teacher of the Year, and twice selected as one of the five South Carolina honor roll teachers. Selected as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 1998, she is the only music teacher to hold the honor in the program's history. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded her state’s highest arts award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, in 2006, and she received the Winthrop University Medal of Arts in 2012. “She has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

Full Statements on Christine Fisher's retirement

MOLLY SPEARMAN S.C. Superintendent of Education

“Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly.”

KEN MAY Executive Director, S.C. Arts Commission

“The first time I ever heard Christine Fisher speak, she told the moving and powerful story of how the arts, specifically music, saved her life. As I reflect now on her retirement, I realize that all of her work, her entire amazing career, has been about paying forward—at increasing orders of magnitude—the wonderful, transformative gift that she was given. From her early days teaching in Dillon and Florence, to her ground-breaking tenure as State Teacher of the Year, to her long, outstanding service as Executive Director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, she has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making!”

JEFF BELLANTONI Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop University

“Christine has been an integral part of the arts community at Winthrop University for 18 years. We had the pleasure of recognizing the impact she has made in 2012 when she was awarded our Medal of Honor in the Arts. Her passion and commitment to integrating the arts into education throughout the state is unmatched. Christine’s steadfast support of the arts is evident through her many years of service as an educator and arts advocate, and she will be missed.”


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 services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

2019 Verner Award to honor nine South Carolinians

State's highest arts honor recognizes outstanding achievement and contributions

Awards to be presented May 1 at S.C. Arts Awards


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Nine South Carolinians are to be honored by the South Carolina Arts Commission with the 2019 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts—the state’s highest arts honor. The following recipients from their respective categories are being recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT:  Cecil Williams, Orangeburg
  • ARTIST:  Tyrone Geter, Columbia
  • INDIVIDUAL:  Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson, Hilton Head Island
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Simeon Warren, Charleston (Individual) S.C. African American Heritage Commission, Hartsville (Organization)
  • BUSINESS:  Hampton III Gallery, Taylors
  • GOVERNMENT:  Florence County Museum, Florence
  • ORGANIZATION: Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston Columbia Stage Society (Town Theatre), Columbia (Special Award)
Print and web images of recipients available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/plf40ffa55oxh5g/AAAksiSWeKNQxxytp5yBM8DQa?dl=0 “It is an honor and privilege to recognize individuals and organizations who live out the service, commitment and passion that help the arts thrive in South Carolina,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “Each of the Verner Award recipients makes a tremendous contribution not just locally, but they are honored for broad impact on the state’s arts community and beyond. These are outstanding ambassadors for our state." A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members of the South Carolina community at large, reviews all nominations and, after a rigorous process, makes recommendations to the board for final approval after a series of panel meetings produces a recommendation from each category. The 2019 Verner Awards will be presented with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards at South Carolina Arts Awards sponsored by Colonial Life on Wednesday, May 1 in a morning ceremony at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon. South Carolina artists’ work will be on sale to support the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and are to be available for purchase by mid-March. For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon, call 803.734.8696 or visit SouthCarolinaArts.com.

About the Verner Award Recipients

Cecil Williams (Lifetime Achievement), an Orangeburg native, is a professional photographer, videographer, publisher, inventor, author, and architect best known for his photographic documentation of the struggle to achieve freedom, justice, and equality during the Civil Rights struggle. By the age of 9, he had already begun his career in photography and by 15 was working professionally as a freelancer for such publications as JET and the Afro-American, and as an Associated Press stringer. The teenaged Williams documented segregated life in the Jim Crow era and the Clarendon movement that led to Briggs v. Elliott in the 1950s, countless protests and then desegregation at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina and was there for the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968. Williams, who received an art degree from Claflin University, owns Cecil Williams Photography, LLC and was recently appointed by Claflin as its historic preservationist. Williams is also recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest award to an individual, and Governor’s Award in the Humanities from SC Humanities. In a career that spreads across continents, Tyrone Geter (Artist Category) has built an international reputation as a world-class artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and teacher. Recently retired associate professor of art at Benedict College in Columbia, Geter received his Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University in 1978 with an emphasis on painting and drawing. In 1979, he relocated to Africa, living, drawing, and painting among the Fulani and local peoples of Northern Nigeria, “a lesson in the creative process that no art school would ever teach me.” Since, he has illustrated 30 children’s books, exhibited on four continents, and after relocating to South Carolina, until recently taught painting and drawing at Benedict and curated its Ponder Fine Arts Gallery. Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson (Individual Category) is president/CEO and executive producer of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina – a past Verner Award recipient in the organization category. She is past president of the S.C. Arts Alliance board, served as chair and founding co-chair of the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head; and was a founding member and is chair of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry’s Women in Philanthropy. Bateson is founder and president of Management for the Arts, a national firm specializing in NPO organizational restructure, institutional planning, strategic positioning and new business ventures. She has served as a cultural representative on international delegations to South Africa, China and Japan, and is herself a goldsmith and professional set designer. Simeon A. Warren (Arts in Education Individual Category) is a cathedral-trained stone carver, sculptor, and conservator. He holds a degree from the Glasgow (Scotland) School of the Arts, and his career has led to stone work at or on some of England’s major cathedrals (and even Buckingham Palace). In 2001 he emigrated to Charleston, where he was a founding faculty member at what became the American College of Building Arts in 2004. He developed college-level courses for professors, delivered the college’s licenses to recruit and to teach, hired the college’s faculty, and served as dean from 2006 to 2013. Warren owns a private architectural stone practice and is developing The Stone People Project, among other public art projects. The S.C. African American Heritage Commission (Arts in Education Organization Category) identifies and promotes the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina, and assists and enhances the efforts of the S.C. Department of Archives and History. SCAAHC is a leader in integrating the arts into education resources, publishing the “Supplement to the Teacher’s Guide Integrating Art into Classroom Instruction” in 2016 and a subsequent revision last year. Since 1970, Hampton III Gallery (Business Category) has supported professional living artists and the estates of professional artists in or from South Carolina ranging from post WWII to the present. Hampton III Gallery’s vision of supporting artists and educating the public to the rich heritage of South Carolina artists continues into 2019. South Carolina’s oldest gallery has more than 500 paintings, sculptures and original prints in inventory. Changing exhibitions, artists’ talks, and special events provide educational opportunities for all. Consultation is available for private and corporate collections. Exhibitions change every 6-8 weeks. The public is invited to all events. The Florence County Museum (FCM) (Government Category) reflects the region’s rich artistic, cultural and historic heritage. Its permanent collection currently includes eight works by celebrated 20th century African American artist and Florence native, William H. Johnson and it is home to The Wright Collection of Southern Art, a volume of over 140 works representing some of the finest in 20th century Southern art (including some by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner). The FCM provides a platform for contemporary artists as host of the Pee Dee Regional Art Competition, South Carolina’s oldest juried art competition, since 1954. Since 1905, the Gibbes Museum of Art (Organization Category) has been a center for creativity for the visual arts. It provides more than 100 educational programs and events. Nine galleries spanning 300 years of art history are showcased to 60,000 visitors a year who discover, enjoy, and are inspired by the creative process. The museum loans 50 objects a year to the major U.S. art museums. Dynamic year-round programming engages, and the Gibbes continually develops new multi-dimensional education and outreach programs that expand the museum experience while offering exhibitions that stay relevant to current topics. Celebrating its 100th season in 2018/2019, Columbia Stage Society’s Town Theatre (Organization Category Special Award) provides quality, live, family-oriented community theatre and entry-level experience for those who wish to participate on or off stage. Every performance has open auditions, with all community members being encouraged to attend. On stage, Town Theatre’s current and alumni performers have appeared on Broadway, network television and in major feature films. Off stage, ample opportunity exists for community members to get involved as costumers, as set and backstage crew, by helping in the box office, or as ushers and house managers.

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 services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

ONE WEEK left for award noms and SCAC fellowship apps

Time is nearly out! One week from today, the window closes for two important S.C. Arts Commission programs. #SCartists to apply for $5,000 individual artist fellowships, which are grants honoring achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out! “These are unrestricted awards the Arts Commission uses to recognize artistic achievement by South Carolina’s exceptional artists,” SCAC Deputy Director Milly Hough said. That means artists can use the award to invest in their work with additional learning or supplies or use it to pay bills or buy groceries. The process is competitive, but completely anonymous, Hough said. The panel of judges comes from other states, but applicants must be U.S. and South Carolina residents with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying and plans to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2019 through June 2020). Get more information and apply by clicking on our ad below.


Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (right) are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes is one letter to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina . Don't wait. Find out more now! Hey, folk artists and advocates: Noms for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are due at the same time. Here's info on those.)
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Tuning Up: New Doster sculpture + arts teacher honored

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...


Spartanburg spreads the love. There's some new public art in Spartanburg with an unmistakable message. I Love You was unveiled yesterday in the city's Morgan Square. Students from the S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind spent a bit more than a year working with teaching artist Bob Doster, a metal sculptor and 2006 recipient of the Verner Award in the artist category, on the work – the American Sign Language signal for "I love you." An Arts in Basic Curriculum Project grant from SCAC helped make the collaboration possible. Speaking of the Verner Award, please see below. Florence One arts teacher takes home title. Another week, another big win for arts education in the school district: Moore Intermediate School arts teacher Sharri Duncan was named the district's 2018/2019 teacher of the year. (Last week, the district announced a massive investment in arts education, though the two news items are not related. - Ed.) When presented with her financial prize, Duncan – whose parents were both teachers – pledged to spend it on her students. Congratulations, Sharri!

Evergreen (for now): Time is running out!

  • Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (right) are due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina is one letter. Don't wait. Find out more now! (Noms for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are due at the same time. Here's info on those.)
  • Applications for $5,000 individual artist fellowships are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. Unrestricted awards will honor achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out!

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Tuning Up: Calling all S.C. high school filmmakers

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...


Doko Film Fest showcases high school filmmakers. Doko Film Fest, a competitive showcase event featuring the work of student filmmakers ages 15 to 18, announced Monday that entries are officially being accepted for its inaugural event. The festival gives high school aged filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films to a live audience and have their work judged by industry professionals. The filmmakers and others attending will be able to attend master classes led by professional filmmakers. Categories include: short story, documentary, music video, comedy, animation and pocket studio (made entirely on smart phone). Films should be between five and ten minutes in length, except for animation which should be between one and three minutes in length and music video which should be no shorter than three minutes. The deadline to submit entries is January 7, 2019.

Evergreen (for now): Time is running out!

  • Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (right) are due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina is one letter. Don't wait. Find out more now! (Noms for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are due at the same time. Here's info on those.)
  • Applications for $5,000 individual artist fellowships are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. Unrestricted awards will honor achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out!

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Tuning Up: Summerton street painting + big arts ed news

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...


Makeover planned for Summerton streets. The SCAC tries to demonstrate that the arts are alive everywhere in South Carolina. Here's a great snippet from a part of the rural, I-95 corridor. The Town of Summerton 4 MAIN, in collaboration with South Carolina State University Art Department, invites the residents of Summerton and greater Clarendon County to come downtown and help paint the street! This community public arts project is open to all ages and abilities, and you don’t have to be a professional artist or know how to paint either. Just get together with friends and family and help transform one of Summerton’s downtown intersections into an eye-catching, colorful, one-of-a-kind pedestrian walkway. All ages. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Florence 1 plans massive investment in "arts ed." If you're connected with us on Facebook, you might be among the legions who saw our Friday post about Florence District One planning to spend $3 million on arts education initiatives over the next year. Not connected? Give us a like! (And here's to news like this becoming much more common.)

Time is running out

Part I. Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the arts are due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina is one letter. Don't wait. Find out more now! Part II. Did you see this week's Grants Roundup this morning? Those who did already know that applications for $5,000 individual artist fellowships are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. Unrestricted awards will honor achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out!
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Verner Award recipients promote arts education with grants

Hootie and the Blowfish with Gov.Haley If you don't have a "Cracked Rear View," you might recall that South Carolina band Hootie & The Blowfish received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement in 2016. The iconic quartet is still giving back to its home state. The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation announced its second annual multi-year grant cycle donations, granting a total of $90,000 over three years to three South Carolina charities that benefit child welfare and youth arts programs within the state. The youth arts programs are:

  • Abbeville County School District: Putting Students First, One Beat at a Time. This program will assist the district’s schools with purchasing musical instruments for students who have an interest in band.
  • Dillon School District Four: Stayin’ the Chorus. This program will send choral students to regional performances and competitions and help purchase music classroom materials.
Epworth Children's Home in Columbia received the other grant. These projects join the inaugural projects from the 2017 Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation grant cycle, which are entering their second year of funding: Carolina Youth Development Center, Growing Home Southeast, and Long Bay Symphonic Society. Darius Rucker, Jim Sonefeld, Dean Felber, and Mark Bryan embraced their fortuitous career with the communities that support them. To this end, the band members created an endowment that ensures their foundation will last into perpetuity providing financial support to charitable initiatives throughout South Carolina and beyond. Since the endowment’s creation in 2000, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation has awarded more than $2.9 million in grants. These grants have impacted thousands of citizens by supporting the ongoing fight for an even playing field in educational funding and lending an encouraging hand to all those in need. Hootie & the Blowfish established their donor-advised fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ center for philanthropy, to strengthen the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation’s philanthropic efforts.  The Community Foundation acts as a centralized point of contact for all grant requests and manages its grant administration, evaluation, outreach and distribution.

About Central Carolina Community Foundation

Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ center for philanthropy, is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the Midlands Gives online giving challenge, Connected Communities grants, On the Table, Powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation, the One SC Fund, the Best of Philanthropy Awards, annual scholarships, and more. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.yourfoundation.org or call803.254.5601.
 

Tuning Up: Fellowship opportunities + S.C. Arts Awards

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...


Forgive us if this is a little self-indulgent, but we have some reminders for you today.

We're looking for some jolly good fellows.

Individual Artist Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards of $5,000 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.) Applications are now open for FY2020. The disciplines in the rotation are:
  • Visual Arts
  • Craft
  • Music: Composition
  • Music: Performance
Each category will have one recipient if enough applications are received.

Recognize outstanding achievement in the arts

Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts These annual awards honor South Carolina arts organizations, patrons, artists, members of the business community, and government entities who maximize their roles as innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts. Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards Also presented annually, these awards honor practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. These awards are in partnership with the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum.

Recognize a local arts hero with an S.C. arts award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 August 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – Not all heroes wear capes, goes the internet meme. Indeed, you can find some in tutus, smocks, business attire, concert black, stage makeup, or even a t-shirt and jeans. And your local arts hero can now be nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts or the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Both awards honor South Carolinians who create or support the arts, and both award programs use a simple, online nomination process. Nominations for both awards are due Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Awards will be presented in the spring.


Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards

Nomination letters for Verner Awards should describe the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina and should address any characteristics included in the category descriptions. The letter should answer these questions:
  • What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in the arts?
  • What exceptional achievements or contributions has the nominee made, and what has been their impact on the community, state or beyond?
  • What other information about the nominee is important to know as they are considered for the state's highest award in the arts?
Verner Award nominations can be made in the following categories:
  • Arts in Education
  • Organization
  • Government
  • Business/Foundation
  • Individual
  • Artist
For complete nomination guidelines or more information about the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/verner, or contact Deputy Director Milly Hough: mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698.

 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award

Created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. The S. C. Arts Commission partners with USC's McKissick Museum to manage the awards. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:
  • Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, fiddling, hammock making and boat building.
  • Advocates: South Carolina individuals and groups that have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.
Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director Laura Marcus Green to determine whether your nominee is eligible: lgreen@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8764. For more information about the Folk Heritage Award, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/folkheritage.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

SCAC calls ‘open season’ on fellowships, awards

We at the S.C. Arts Commission play nice with, if not actually like, all our fellow state agencies. But with all due respect to our S.C. Department of Natural Resources friends across the street in the Dennis Building, today we're calling "open season." That's because Aug. 8 marks the opening up of applications for individual artist fellowship grants and nominations for South Carolina's top arts awards: the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. You might ask, "Why today?" to which we'll reply, "Shhh, we're hunting wabbit"  "it just happened that way." Regardless, read below for information on what's open – and when it closes.


Awards

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts These annual awards honor South Carolina arts organizations, patrons, artists, members of the business community, and government entities who maximize their roles as innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts. Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards Also presented annually, these awards honor practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. These awards are in partnership with the University of South Carolina's McKissick Museum.

Fellowships

Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. Fellowship awards of $5,000 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.) Applications are now open for FY2020. The disciplines in the rotation are:
  • Visual Arts
  • Craft
  • Music: Composition
  • Music: Performance
Each category will have one recipient if enough applications are received. Please contact the appropriate S.C. Arts Commission discipline coordinator for guidance regarding eligibility and restrictions:
  • Visual Arts and Craft: Harriett Green (email | 803.734.8762)
  • Music: Compostion and Performance: Joy Young (email | 803.734.8203)
Only online applications will be accepted. For additional information and/or assistance, please contact LaRuchala Murphy at the SCAC via email or by calling 803.734.8680.
Image is © Warner Brothers