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Cultural documentation workshop coming to Blackville

With Folklorist & Archivist Cathy Kerst

Registration deadline: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Ethnographic Documentation Workshop: Cultural Rights, Interviewing Skills, and General Archival Principles
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019
  • 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Blackville Senior Center
  • 59 Callahan Street
  • Blackville, SC 29817
  • FREE
Researchers and interviewers who gather and document cultural information are involved in a complex of exciting, but sometimes, confusing issues that come up in person-to-person interactions. This workshop will explore the combined practice of interviewing, basic intellectual property matters, and fundamental archival procedures, so that collected cultural materials can be made accessible to the communities who created them, as well as to researchers, in an ethical and organized manner. Drawing on her work as a Folklife Specialist and Archivist at the Library of Congress, Cathy Kerst will also provide an orientation to the American Folklife Center. The workshop will include opportunities for conversation and Q&A about participants’ specific interests and questions about becoming more involved in cultural documentation.

Who We Are 

Catherine Hiebert Kerst, a folklife specialist at the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center for 27 years, was trained as a folklorist and has significant experience in archival work and public sector cultural programming. Since leaving the American Folklife Center recently, she has done extensive research on the Sidney Robertson Cowell WPA Northern California Folk Music Collection,1938-1940. Her book focusing on the ethnomusicological fieldwork gathered by this intrepid woman collector is scheduled for publication by Dust-to-Digital in the near future. At the American Folklife Center, Kerst initiated the development of the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus and served as coordinator of several symposia. In addition, she has worked extensively with New Deal ethnographic collections in the Center’s Archive, participated in educational folklife outreach activities, and contributed to scholarly publications, public presentations and reference services offered by the Center. Ethnographic Documentation Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Program Specialist for Community Arts & Folklife at the South Carolina Arts Commission. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director, McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife field-worker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

McKissick Museum seeking folklife program director

Application deadline: Friday, Oct. 4, 2019


The University of South Carolina McKissick Museum is looking for a folklife program director to implement folklife-related public programs and research. The position is funded by a renewable folklife partnership grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). That grant enhances McKissick Museum’s ability to document for archival purposes the cultural practices of tradition bearers in South Carolina and to raise public awareness and appreciation of these practices through a variety of public program formats. The new folklife program coordinator collaborates both with McKissick’s chief curator of folklife & fieldwork and the SCAC’s program specialist in community arts & folklife to conduct fieldwork related to the SC Tradition Bearers Survey Project and SCAC’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative. The role will also involve coordinating major annual public programs, including:
  1. the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards (FHA) ceremony:
  2. a McKissick Mixer featuring Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award (FHA) recipients:
  3. FOLKFabulous, a 12-day public program series organized in partnership with the South Carolina State Fair in conjunction with the Museum’s year-long folklife exhibition(s).
The person in this position also is responsible for developing 2-3 programs annually (besides FOLKFabulous) that integrate tradition bearers statewide to enhance the impact of the year-long folklife exhibit. Conducts in-depth fieldwork with tradition bearers identified in the Tradition Bearers Survey Project, logs audio/visual materials for deposit in the Folklife Resource Center (FRC) and makes research available through Digital Traditions and other digital media Platforms. Learn more about the position by visiting the official posting here.

McKissick Museum exhibit has quilting buffs covered

'Piece by Piece' showcases quilting traditions

[caption id="attachment_41358" align="aligncenter" width="600"]English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. Provided by McKissick Museum.[/caption]
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is proud to present the seventh rendition of its Diverse Voices exhibition series, “Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection.” On display through July 18, 2020 “Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past 150 years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection. Because of the fragile nature of historical textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year, according to the museum. Throughout the exhibition, panels explore the lives of these textile artists like quiltmaker Hattie Mitchell Grubbs, who was born in Barnwell and lived to be 97. Saddler Taylor, McKissick’s chief curator of folklife and fieldwork, is excited about the exhibition. “Quilts carry a strong sense of familial intimacy and human connection. It's strangely ironic that we know so little about many of the makers. This exhibition features beautiful examples of Southern quilts; but more importantly, we want to tell the story of some of the makers. Only then can the quilts be fully appreciated," Taylor said.
“Piece by Piece” is accompanied by a robust programming calendar, beginning with an opening reception with light refreshments on Sept. 12, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m. This free reception will feature a curator-led gallery talk beginning at 6 p.m. FOLKFabulous@theFair Oct. 9-20 2019 This year, our signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s rich textile arts heritage, including Native American, African American, and Mennonite quilting traditions, in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. You’re invited to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home! Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, concerts and hands-on music workshops. You won’t want to miss the chance to try your hand at making a story quilt block or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. FOLKFabulous 2019 is free with SC State Fair admission.   Lunch & Learn: “Quilts and the Stories of My Life” with Peggie Hartwell Oct. 14, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Grab your lunch and learn more about the life and work of 2017 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner Peggie Hartwell. Peggie is a fourth-generation African-American quilter and textile educator who is nationally recognized for her unique storytelling form. Lunch & Learn events are free and open to the public; space is limited.   Lunch & Learn: “Interpreting Civil War Quilts: It Gets Complicated” with Jane Pryzybysz Nov. 13, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Explore the interpretation of civil war era quilts with McKissick Museum's Executive Director, Dr. Jane Pryzybysz.   An Afternoon with Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi (Fall 2019) Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and Founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network.   The Quilt History Project – A Look Back (Fall 2019) Laurel Horton, lead scholar on McKissick Museum's Quilt History Project in 1984-1986.   Quilt Documentation Days (Spring 2020) Dr. Jane Przybysz, Executive Director, McKissick Museum.   Quilts and Wellbeing (Spring 2020) Marsha MacDowell, textile scholar and project director of The Quilt Index. Faculty, Michigan State University, Curator of Folk Arts at the Michigan State University Museum.   Lunch & Learn: “The Blythewood Survey Project” (Spring 2020) Kem Smith, project director for the Blythewood Quilt Survey Project.
McKissick’s calendar of events is updated frequently and available online. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. “Piece by Piece” and associated programming is made possible through support from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

SCAC announces $4.4 million in FY20 grants to provide arts access across the state

Funding ‘vital’ for arts experiences, arts education programs

[caption id="attachment_41221" align="aligncenter" width="600"]A summer STEAM camp in 2018. Students participate in a summer STEAM camp in 2018.[/caption]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7 August 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina communities will benefit from $4.4 million in fiscal year 2020 grants to their artists, arts organizations, and schools announced today by the South Carolina Arts Commission. As they return to classrooms this month, around 170,000 South Carolina students will have access to the educational benefits of the arts as part of the school day thanks to Arts in Basic Curriculum Project grants to 83 schools and districts. Other grants range from operating grants and project support for organizations to seed money and fellowships for individual artists, ensuring an assortment of relevant arts experiences across South Carolina. “This public funding approved by the legislature is vital to those who receive arts commission grants, but public support of the arts represents so much more than monetary support,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “To the children who attended STEAM camps this summer in Allendale, Barnwell, and Clarendon counties, it represents exposure to a new world of possibility and engagement. It represents the lights on or rent paid to the small dance company in Columbia, small choir in Pickens, and the new orchestra in Rock Hill. It represents freedom to create for four fellowship recipients, four traditional arts mentors and their apprentices, and three artist entrepreneurs,” Platts said. “Our agency is immensely proud to help make these things possible in and for South Carolina.” Additional grants to be awarded throughout the year offer potential for impact in all counties. Among them are Arts Project Support grants, which offer funding for projects by artists and arts organizations; and Teacher Standards Initiative grants, which help teachers acquire supplies, materials, and expertise to meet the 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency. Both grants have rolling deadlines, and project support grants are designed to be accessible, streamlining the application process to remove barriers often faced by small organizations and individual artists. In FY19, which ended June 30, the S.C. Arts Commission for the first time placed a grant in each of the state’s 46 counties in a single year. A total of $4,377,035 was awarded. “That is a major milestone, and is the result of listening to the community, ground-level work, and sincere relationship building on the part of our team,” Platts said.

Amounts Awarded to Programs in Primary Grant Categories

Arts in Education: $2,074,476

Grants help fund curriculum planning and implementation, artist residencies, performances, professional development for teachers and summer and afterschool arts programs.
  • Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Advancement: $899,207  Awarded to 83 schools and school districts that are participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which works to ensure every child in South Carolina has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the Arts Commission, the S.C. Department of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
  • Arts Education Projects: $382,789 Thirty-eight grants funding projects and programs that support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in children (social service, health, community, education or other organizations).
  • Education Pilot Projects: $480,000 Ten grants initiated by the agency for partners who carry out education initiatives.
  • Arts in Basic (ABC) Curriculum: $312,480 Two grants to support management of the ABC Project partnership.

Operating Support: $2,131,603

Grants help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, other organizations and communities throughout the state.
  • General Operating Support: $1,909,307 One hundred thirty grants for arts organizations.
  • Operating Support for Small Organizations: $111,972 Forty-six grants for arts organizations with annual expense budgets of less than $75,000.
  • Statewide Organizations: $110,324 Nine grants for arts organizations operating statewide.

Folklife and Traditional Arts: $113,033

Grants support programs that promote a greater understanding and visibility of South Carolina’s many cultures through documentation and presentation of traditional art forms, their practitioners and their communities.
  • Organization grants: $32,000 Six grants to support nonprofit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state.
  • Apprenticeships: $10,000 Four grants that support a partnership between a master artist, who will share artistic and cultural knowledge, and a qualified apprentice, who will then continue to pursue the art form.
  • Partnerships: $71,033 One grant to support management of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Partnership.

Subgranting: $70,000

Seven awards to local arts councils that distribute quarterly grants to organizations and artists in their regions. This program is funded in part by an award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.

Artists Ventures Initiative: $10,000

Three grants to individual artists for projects designed to help them develop the knowledge and skills to build satisfying, sustainable careers.

Individual Artist Fellowships: $20,000

Four grants to individual artists to recognize and reward their artistic achievements. These were announced in July 2019 after approval by the SCAC Board of Directors.

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.

Finale of ‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series set for Dillon

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to announce that the finale of Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop that helps participants write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community will occur in Dillon on Saturday, June 8. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Dillon County Library Main Branch (600 East Main St., Dillon). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Dillon County Theatre Associaion in Dillon from May 18 through June 29, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dale Rosengarten

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dale Rosengarten, Ph. D.

Advocacy – African-American Lowcountry Basketry & Southern Jewish Heritage Dale Rosengarten has been researching the African American tradition of coiled basketry for more than thirty years. In 1984, McKissick Museum hired her to interview basket makers in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, purchase baskets, and curate an exhibition about the iconic Lowcountry craft. Rosengarten spent the next two years conducting fieldwork with basket makers and pursuing archival research on the evolution of the basket from a humble agricultural tool to a world renown art form. Her work resulted in the exhibition Row Upon Row: Sea Grass Baskets of the South Carolina Lowcountry, which traveled for two decades across the United States and introduced thousands of people to this important tradition. In 1988, Rosengarten helped coordinate a conference on sweetgrass basketry at The Charleston Museum. The gathering marked a turning point in the relationship among public officials, land managers, and basket sewers. Participants addressed the challenges facing the makers and reached consensus about the need to ensure access to sweetgrass and protect the basket stands along Highway 17 from rampant development. The Sweetgrass Conference also created alliances with property owners willing to allow basket makers to gather grass on private land and inspired several horticultural projects aimed at cultivating the plant. Rosengarten’s doctoral dissertation (Harvard University, 1997) placed the Lowcountry basket in a global setting and led to a partnership with the Museum for African Art in New York. With co-curator Enid Schildkrout, she developed the exhibition and book Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art, highlighting the connection between African and Lowcountry baskets and their use in rice production on both continents. The exhibit opened at Charleston’s Gibbes Museum of Art in 2008—where scores of basket makers and their families attended the inaugural gala, and ended its coast-to-coast tour in 2010 with a six-month run at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. Grass Roots generated a number of educational tools, including a documentary film and a curricular guide, casting basket makers as tradition bearers and teachers. The exhibit catalog remains the comprehensive resource on the African roots of the Lowcountry basket but has not eclipsed Row Upon Row, which still sells steadily. Rosengarten continues to study, support, and promote Lowcountry baskets and their makers. Her knowledge and connections to the basket making community have benefitted cultural institutions across the country, including the Smithsonian, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and diverse museums seeking to mount exhibits or to build their permanent collections. A researcher and advocate, Rosengarten has authored numerous articles and book chapters and presented dozens of slide lectures on sweetgrass baskets and their history. One constant has been her spirit of volunteerism—her unflagging willingness to assist artists and arts organizations, basket enthusiasts and collectors, writers and film makers, and her desire to give people opportunities to tell their own stories. Since 1995, Rosengarten has also pursued a second scholarly interest: Jewish history and culture in the American South. Working as a curator in Special Collections at the College of Charleston, she has traversed the state recording oral histories (now numbering upwards of 500) and gathering archival materials that document South Carolina’s Jewish heritage. Again in partnership with McKissick Museum, she developed a landmark exhibition and book called A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life. After opening in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2002, the exhibit traveled for two years, spending six months at Yeshiva University Museum, where New Yorkers marveled at the longevity and abundance of southern Jewry. More recently, for Princeton University Art Museum, Rosengarten co-curated By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War, which had an unexpected second life at the New-York Historical Society under the title The First Jewish Americans. For the catalog Rosengarten contributed an essay on Charleston-born artists Theodore Sidney Moïse and Solomon Nunes Carvalho. She currently serves as editor of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina’s bi-annual magazine and as associate director of the College’s Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Voices of Gullah Singers

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

The Voices of Gullah Singers

Gullah Singing The Voices of Gullah Singers—Gracie Gadson and Rosa and Joseph Murray—have performed as an ensemble for five years. Each of these singers has a long and distinguished performing career.
  • Gracie “Minnie” Gadson (right) first learned Gullah songs from her grandmother Queen Singleton, who was a member of the Hopes and John Fripp Praise Houses on St. Helena Island. These praise houses were maintained by Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Gracie has been a member since 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s, Gadson sang with local groups the Soul Survivors and the Praise House Shouters. Her early exposure to the old spirituals and experience singing in performing groups has resulted in a large repertoire of songs, including the shouting song “Adam in the Garden Pickun’ Up Leaves” and the mournful song “Remember Me, Lord,” which date back to the mid-19th century.
  • Rosa Mae Chisolm Murray (center) is one of the few living islanders who attended the famed Penn School. Murray gained early exposure to Gullah songs as a member of the Mary Jenkins Praise House, which still holds Sunday evening services on the island. She later joined the group Gospel Four and the Adam’s Street Gospel Singers in the 1980s. These groups sang gospel songs but also performed reenactments of the slave songs first recorded on St. Helena Island. Murray continues to sing songs such as “Till We Meet Again” and the haunting “Lord Do Something for Me” at festivals on the island. Murray first joined Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1952 and continues to serve as president of the Senior and Adult Choir, thus ensuring the survival of the Gullah spiritual tradition.
  • Joseph Murray’s (left) first experiences with Gullah songs came as he watched his mother Helen Murray dance the ring shout at the praise house in Big Estate, South Carolina. He later sang for many decades with choirs in Huspah Baptist Church in Beaufort. Murray currently serves as a deacon in Ebenezer Baptist Church, one of the few churches on St. Helena Island where the congregation still sings the old Gullah songs. Visitors to Penn Center’s annual Heritage Days Festival are often directed to Ebenezer during the prayer meeting services to hear the old slave songs. Murray’s extensive knowledge of Gullah songs and language has been a critical part of maintaining the tradition within the church.
As the Voices of Gullah Singers Gadson and the Murrays have performed at many events including Heritage Days, The Original Gullah Festival, and local praise house services. Voices of Gullah Singers also features 2018 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient Deacon James Garfield Smalls. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has presented the trio to seven schools in Beaufort and Jasper Counties as part of their program, Reach: A Gullah Musical Journey. The singers truly enjoy singing for students and teaching the next generation their rich legacy of Gullah-Geechee spirituals.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Julian A. Prosser

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Julian A. Prosser

Bluegrass Music Julian A. Prosser was born in the small farming community of Hanna, South Carolina. One of four brothers, Prosser worked on the family farm. Growing up, he loved the sound of music played by his grandfather and uncles. When he was 11, Prosser earned the money to buy his first guitar. “Hillbilly” or bluegrass music was popular in South Carolina at that time. Prosser became a strong musician and entertainer with his own unique style. His guitar playing was clean, with an almost jazzy quality, which added to the hard driving sound of bluegrass. He would later apply that technique to his mandolin playing. By 1938, Prosser and several of his friends had put together The Carolina Hillbillies. The band played regularly on the radio in Florence. With the onset of World War II, the band broke up as its members joined the military. Prosser served in the U.S. Navy, driving a landing craft—or Higgins boat—at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Several of his bandmates gave their all in the war, and The Carolina Hillbillies never reformed. After the war, Prosser returned to the farm but soon took his father’s advice and moved to Columbia to earn a degree. Prosser played music occasionally, but when his son David and friend Donald Ashley became interested in learning to play Bluegrass, he was encouraged to play more often and share his knowledge and love of the music. In 1978, they formed The Carolina Rebels bluegrass band and they have been playing ever since. The Rebels crafted a unique sound that combined the early traditional Bluegrass familiar to Prosser with more modern sounds. By the 1980s they were playing throughout the region and had gained a following at the University of South Carolina, The State Museum, Riverbanks Zoo and along the Southern bluegrass circuit. Their USofC connection led to performances for the Conference of Caribbean Nations, and for such notables as the former Prime Minister of Australia, Malcom Frazier, and former Vice President George H.W. Bush. Prosser served as the band manager and guided the direction and sound of the group. His high tenor vocals and talent on the mandolin provided a hard-driving edge that set the band apart. The Rebels are known for their entertaining stage presence, in which Hank is the straight man for jokes. The most stalwart band member, Hank has missed only five shows in almost 35 years. The Rebels have performed far and wide, from Texas to Nebraska, New York and Canada. They have shared the stage with Bluegrass legends Chubby Wise and Carl Story. Over the years, Prosser has mentored many younger local musicians, including fellow Jean Laney Harris Award recipients Ashley Carder, Chris Boutwell, and Larry Klein. Prosser continued to travel with the band until an accident at age 91 prevented him from standing for long periods of time. He remains a passionate advocate for bluegrass music and is recognized as both a pioneer and master of his craft by many local bluegrass performers. At 93, Prosser continues to be a driving force, keeping local bluegrass alive and well in the Palmetto State.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dorothy Brown Glover

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dorothy Brown Glover

Quilting Dorothy Glover is well-known for her distinctive use of traditional quilt design elements and patterns from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1925, she was the child of farmers Essie and William Glover creates exquisite quilt tops incorporating improvisational design methods that were popular among quilters whose social and economic status did not allow for the purchase of store-bought fabric for use in quilt making. Like most farm girls of her time, Glover was introduced to quilting by watching her mother make the quilts beneath which she slept as a child. These family treasures were created from strips and blocks of fabric salvaged from various articles of family clothing that were worn out and no longer wearable. The quilt backings were made from feed sacks and other pieces of old cloth from around the household. As a young adult, Glover took up the tradition and in time, through her patient and persistent devotion, she became a master of the art form. After marrying, Glover and her husband, Curtis, made their home in Lincolnville, where they raised their children. Continuing the family tradition, all three children slept each night beneath the quilts made by their talented mother. Lincolnville Town Hall, across the street from Glovers’ home, became an important artistic oasis. It was there that Ms. Glover embraced a community of women who organized an ongoing quilting bee, via which they shared an infinitude of creative ideas and tales of town history. This unique quilting bee, among other significant achievements, pieced together a group quilt to provide an historical timeline of Lincolnville—a place that had been founded by freed African-Americans following the Civil War. The women’s powerful history quilt paid homage to the days of the Reconstruction era, when Lincolnville became a haven to which formerly enslaved families came for a better life and community support. This special bee came, in time, to capture the hearts (and hands!) of many of the women of Lincolnville. For decades, Glover has inspired countless quilters, young and old, to join her in her artistic journey. Glover’s quilt reputation does not stop at Lincolnville. Quilters from throughout the state come to seek out her impressive quilting knowledge. Interested quilters watch her work painstakingly on intricate patterns like the “The Cathedral Window,” a quilt design known for the artist’s use of “invisible hand” applique stitches and precision piecing. Glover gracefully transforms thoughts and visions onto fabric and encourages other quilters, regardless of skill level, to experiment with patterns, colors, and designs. She generously shares her knowledge with all who want to learn and makes herself available to younger artists who seek out her experience and guidance.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Andy Brooks

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

John Andrew "Andy" Brooks

Old-Time Music Andy Brooks first plucked the strings of a banjo when he was four years old. He fondly remembers holding his great uncle Sammy Lee Stephens’ banjo at the home of his great grandmother, on the Alice Mill Hill in Easley. Stephens taught Brooks everything he knew on the banjo and lent him his fiddle to try. Stephens’ enthusiasm motivated Brooks to keep practicing. Brooks’ musical journey is inspired by multiple traditions, yielding a collection of hundreds of tunes that he knows and plays by heart. Early on, Stephens taught him tunes like “Under the Double Eagle,” from the textile mill brass band tradition. Brooks discovered the music of Pete and Mike Seeger, and by 17 was fascinated by the flashy performances of bluegrass pioneers Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. Brooks’ love of the fiddle led him far and wide, seeking out albums, festivals and fiddlers to expand his repertoire and learn a variety of styles. When he heard Roger Howell play old-time fiddle at the 1991 Galax, Virginia Fiddler’s Convention, he felt he had found the real sound of Southern music. Other influences include Al Osteen of 5th String Bluegrass Band and Bill Lowe of Cripple Creek. Old-time music combines diverse cultural sources. The fiddle and the banjo—which is African in origin—were popular instruments among traveling musicians. Immigrants from the British Isles brought their musical traditions to the U.S. and melded them with those of enslaved Africans. Melodies of immigrant tunes fused with the driving rhythms of African music. Old-time music encompasses both secular and sacred songs. In South Carolina’s Upstate region, the sounds of textile mill weave rooms shared the rhythm of many old-time songs played on the mill hills. Brooks’ dedication and talent has earned him recognition, including winning the 2016 South Carolina State Fiddle Championship at Hagood Mill in Pickens, where he also placed second in banjo. He also accompanied fellow musician John Thomas Fowler at the SC State House when Fowler received the 2013 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award and played with The Carolina Relics at the Carolina Music Museum at the 2018 Heritage Green Music Festival in Greenville. A tireless old-time music ambassador, Brooks strives to keep old-time music dynamic and relevant. To him, old-time music is a community-based, rather than performance-based, tradition, in which everyone contributes to the music by dancing, playing or singing. Brooks plays for dances and hosts jams where musicians of different skill levels and repertoires share and learn from one another. In 2016, Brooks co-founded the Old Keowee Contra Dance to benefit the Oconee Heritage Center’s music program. An avid educator, Brooks has taught in the Young Appalachian Musicians After School Program and the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla. This summer, he will teach Appalachian banjo at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. When he plays for dances, he encourages students to join him onstage, and is always eager to talk about their musical ambitions. Brooks and his students often play at nursing homes, churches, and charity events. Passionate about sharing his knowledge of the history, songs, and spirit of old-time music, Brooks is keeping the tradition alive.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.