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Jason Rapp

CARES Act funding announced for 7 S.C. NEA grantees

Awards total $350,000


Washington — The National Endowment for the Arts announces the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”


These awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. Overall funding is divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Seven NEA grantees in South Carolina received $50,000 grants each. They are:
  • Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) - Aiken
  • Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County - Camden
  • Spoleto Festival USA - Charleston
  • Columbia Film Society - Columbia
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawleys Island
  • Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) - Pickens
  • Hub City Writers Project - Spartanburg
  • View the full list of nationwide recipients by clicking here.

In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

From the beginning, the Arts Endowment has pursued both speed in making awards, and maintaining the agency’s reputation for organizational excellence. Just 12 days after President Trump signed the CARES Act legislation, the Arts Endowment posted guidelines for direct funding applicants. In less than three weeks, the agency had announced awards to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. This press release marks less than 14 weeks since the legislation was made into law.

Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

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Spartanburg arts orgs to share relief award

Balmer Foundation gifts $155,000


Chapman Cultural Center is pleased and honored to announce Spartanburg’s leading cultural organizations received $155,000 in emergency funding support from the Balmer Foundation.

Through this gift, $130,000 went towards funding Chapman Cultural Center’s General Operating Support Grantees and $25,000 will be designated to cost of operating Chapman Cultural Center. The Balmer Foundation trustees presented each organization with their funds at a limited-capacity ceremony on June 2 to encourage social distancing. Chapman Cultural Center, the leading local arts agency in Spartanburg County, awards General Operating Support Grants (GOS) to cultural organizations each year that have been established as a 501(c)3 for 3 years or more, and must continue working to advance the mission of the organization. Grantees for GOS Grants are evaluated on the basis of merit, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service to all of Spartanburg County. These awards support up to 20% of the grantees’ annual operating expenses. The Balmer Foundation Board of Trustees offered the following statement in regards to their gift:

“The current trustees of the Balmer Foundation, inspired by the historic and remarkable commitment of Hans and Lucia Balmer to proactively support the Spartanburg community, have chosen to assist key institutions in this unique time of stress and challenge. The Balmers loved animal education and the arts, as they did other key projects that are important to our lives (such as Spots of Pride). While the foundation does not encourage grant requests, it believes the Balmers would want the foundation to commit to this contribution and thereby encourage your good work.”

In the last 25 years, through generous donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded over $17 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way. “We are very concerned about the financial stability of the arts during these uncertain times. Our General Operating Support Grant program is critically important to our grantees because it gives them a reliable funding source which allows them to plan strategically to expand programs, reach larger and more diverse audiences, and retain creative talent. We are beyond grateful for the support of generous donors such as the Balmer Foundation, who truly see the value the arts bring to a community, especially during the most difficult times,” said President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center Jennifer Evins.
Emergency funding by The Balmer Foundation was awarded to the following organizations:
  • Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg*
  • Ballet Spartanburg*
  • Hatcher Garden
  • Hub City Writers Project*
  • Spartanburg Art Museum*
  • Spartanburg County Historical Association
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic*
  • Spartanburg Science Centre
  • Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre
* arts organizations CCC’s Board Chairman Bert Barre, stated “The cultural sector has grown since we first started providing these grants in 1995 and more demands are being placed on organizations as our community grows and prospers. We evaluate the grantees in a thorough process that includes thirteen volunteer grant reviewers representing our Board and members of the Spartanburg community. They conduct site visits, review applications and listen to presentations made by each organization. Together, these organizations serve over 143,000 people each year and the grants allow these organizations to continue to grow their collective impact.”

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural CenterOur mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

NEA awards grants to S.C. Arts Commission, others in state

$933,900 coming (back) to South Carolina

$80 million awarded across U.S. by NEA


WASHINGTON—The National Endowment for the Arts announces $80.4 million for 1,114 new awards located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four U.S. jurisdictions. This is the Art Endowment’s second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2019, and these awards continue the Arts Endowment’s commitment as the only arts funder reaching the entire country. Awards from this round of funding come from four categories: Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships and Research: Art Works, plus a renewal in NEA Research Labs. “Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The projects also illustrate the unique geographic reach of Arts Endowment funding, serving Americans in places large and small in all corners of the country.” Grants recommended in this round are listed in two ways:
  • State/jurisdiction and listed by city/town and
  • Funding category (Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships, and Research: Art Works) and then listed by artistic discipline/field.
In the first funding round of fiscal year 2019 announced on February 13, 2019 the Arts Endowment made 1,145 grants totaling $27 million. Other awards will be made in the coming months through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. All current grants can be viewed through the Arts Endowment’s grants search.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 5 awards totaling $933,900
  • Columbia Film Society, Columbia $22,500; Art Works - Media Arts
  • South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia $811,400; Partnerships (State & Regional)
  • Greenville Symphony Association/Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville $10,000; Art Works - Music
  • City of Rock Hill $75,000; Our Town - Design
  • Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg $15,000; Art Works - Literature
Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director: “At the Arts Commission, our grant will be put to use serving communities throughout the state. It will fund community arts development initiatives that seek to foster the creativity and unity needed to address the unique issues facing rural South Carolina communities. It will further our goals to provide every South Carolina child with access to an arts-inclusive education. It will also let us help our artists develop their skills to grow businesses that contribute to the state’s $9.7 billion creative economy.”
ART WORKS II: 977 awards totaling $23,983,500 Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s largest category with projects supported in 13 artistic disciplines and fields in this Art Works II group, ranging from arts education to visual arts. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with a median amount of $20,000. Examples of Art Works-supported projects in this round are:
  • A $10,000 award to the Madison Public Library Association in Madison, Wisconsin (a first-time Arts Endowment grantee) to support programming at the Wisconsin Book Festival featuring award-winning authors of genres such as literary fiction, poetry, and science.
  • A $10,000 award to Shreveport Opera in Shreveport, Louisiana to support the Shreveport Opera Xpress educational touring program, which offers performances and activities for public school students in central and south Louisiana.
  • A $15,000 award to the Pioneer School of Drama in Danville, Kentucky to support Voices Inside: The Northpoint Prison Writing and Performance Project, where theater professionals will conduct workshops for inmates at the Northpoint Training Center.
  • A $20,000 award to Cultural Resources in Rockport, Maine to support the Wabanaki Arts Mentorship Program, where accomplished Wabanaki artists will instruct youth in basket-making techniques and cultural knowledge.
  • A $30,000 award to the City of Phoenix to support a partnership with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture to provide grants for intergenerational arts projects.

OUR TOWN: 57 awards totaling $4,115,000 Our Town is the Arts Endowment’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. Two program areas are place-based projects with grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, and knowledge building projects with grant amounts ranging from $25,000-$100,000. This year’s cohort is remarkable for its diversity. Approximately a third of the recommended grantees are first-time applicants to the Arts Endowment. The types of communities vary widely with 18 recommendations for projects in rural or tribal communities. And project types range from cultural planning to festivals and cross several artistic disciplines. Examples of Our Town-supported projects are:
  • A $25,000 award to the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in Hogansburg, New York, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will undertake a project to engage local artists and designers to develop public art and architecture that reflects Akwesasne Mohawk culture.
  • A $50,000 award to the City of Granite Falls in Minnesota to establish an artist residency program within local government. The program is the first of its kind in a small, rural setting, and has the potential to serve as a national model for other small communities.
  • An $85,000 grant to the Santa Fe Art Institute to re-enliven the shuttered campus of the former Santa Fe College of Art and Design by inventorying the campus’s cultural assets and creating community arts events to build enthusiasm around the campus’s development potential and to advance community goals.
In addition to funding, the Arts Endowment advances creative placemaking through publications and resource development. Those resources are available on the creative placemaking page.
STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: 64 awards totaling $51,456,500 Through partnership agreements, the Arts Endowment translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. Every U.S. state and jurisdiction has its own state arts agency that coordinates cultural policies and invests in arts programming on behalf of, or as part of, state/jurisdiction government. The geographically-defined consortium of state arts agencies known as regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders. Together, these organizations receive 40 percent of the Arts Endowment’s grantmaking funds each year to support their activities and to leverage state and other public and private funds. Partnership Agreements help support life-long learning in schools and communities, community economic development through creative districts, and arts participation through artist tours, festivals, readings, and exhibits. Some examples of state and regional programming funded by partnership agreements are:
  • The Delaware Division of the Arts and Delaware State Parks have been working together since 2008 to offer arts-in-the-park programming that has increased the number and diversity of visitors to state parks.
  • Through its Arts and Military Initiative, the Oklahoma Arts Council works with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs and a local partner to provide arts activities to residents at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Norman.
  • Through its Launchpad initiative, South Arts is providing mentorships and other professional development services to presenting organizations beginning or expanding in the South Arts region.
RESEARCH: ART WORKS: 15 awards totaling $724,000 Research: Art Works supports research that investigates the value or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and with other domains of American life. Some examples of this year’s awardees are:
  • A $20,000 award to MINDPOP in Austin, Texas will support a study led by researchers from the Austin Independent School District and the University of Texas at Austin that examines relationships between schools and arts partners participating in a collective impact arts education project.
  • An $88,000 award to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio will support a randomized controlled trial examining the arts’ ability to improve health, resilience, and well-being in individuals with chronic health conditions.
Final reports for previously-awarded Research: Art Works grants are posted on the study findings page of the Arts Endowment website. A renewal of an NEA Research Lab to the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform for $150,000 will support research that examines the impact on social, emotional and other individual characteristics of elementary school students who participate in field trips to arts institutions.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.
Image by Kendall Hoopes/Pexels

Tuning Up: new HCWP writer-in-residence + weekend plans

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...


Andrew Dally wants you to be his friend. He joins Hub City Writer's Project as writer-in-residence this fall September to December. Andrew Dally is a poet and programmer from Bethlehem, Penn. He received his MFA from the University of Mississippi, where he served as editor of the Yalobusha Review and a curator for the Trobar Ric reading series. He's done programming and graphic design work for The Washington Post and The Gates Foundation, and his poems can be found in The Boiler, LEVELER, and Blunderbuss Magazine. As a writer-in-residence at Hub City, he'll be working on a book of poems about McDonald's, Bashō, and artificial intelligence titled (get this!) Medium Extra Value – when he's not "going bonkers with gratitude and anticipation." And he wants you to be his friend. Here's to hoping he gets plenty of Sparkle City charm. Welcome, Andrew. Weekend plans?
  • Maybe they should involve Spartanburg Art Museum. Newsweek picked "SAM" as one of the nation's most interesting museums to visit recently. Yes, it was in conjunction with National Museum Day last week, but we're guessing the South's oldest contemporary art museum won't turn you away this weekend. Go here for hours. Free.
  • The Living Earth Show gets Southern Exposure. Bay Area-based guitar and percussion duo The Living Earth Show first came to the attention of the Columbia’s music community when they won the June 2017 SAVVY Chamber Competition, a chamber music competition that evaluates ensembles on both artistic excellence and innovative event design. They return to help Southern Exposure New Music Series opens its season of free concerts this Friday (tomorrow!). Arrive early for this popular series as seats fill to capacity. Sponsored in part by Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory, the outlandishly creative duo is working with music students and faculty in a UofSC residency this week, which culminates with the concert. Friday, 7:30 p.m. at USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly St. Columbia). Free.

Aiken, Spartanburg SCAC grantees receive new NEA awards

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that a total of $30,000 is heading to two South Carolina grantees among the FY18 award recipients – both of whom the S.C. Arts Commission is happy to assist with operating support grants of its own. Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the U.S. benefit from NEA grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2018, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu (right). “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”


Grant Awards in S.C.

Aiken The Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) is the recipient of a $10,000 Challenge America grant to support the "Joye in Aiken" music festival and its related educational activities. Founded in 2008 under the name Juilliard in Aiken, Joye in Aiken is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the best in the performing arts available to our citizens, and especially our students. In 2016, Joye was recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for its educational outreach program, now being recognized by the new NEA grant. Spartanburg Hub City Writers Project is to receive a $20,000 Art Works grant for literature in support of the publication and promotion of books of fiction and poetry. Since 1995, the Hub City Writers Project has published 80 titles and 700 writers, established an independent bookstore, and provided creative writing education to thousands. Hub City Writers Project was awarded the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award in the arts organization category in 2002.

Nine students ready to compete for state Poetry Out Loud championship

Congratulations to the nine high school students advancing to the state finals in the South Carolina Arts Commission's Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The students will compete for South Carolina's spot in the Poetry Out Loud national finals and a shot at a $20,000 scholarship. State finals take place March 11, from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C. The public is invited to attend.

Finalists:

Region 1: Upstate
  • Jamie Montagne, Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg County
  • Simone Rice, Dorman High School, Spartanburg County
  • Livia Salle, NEXT High School, Greenville County
Region 2: Midlands
  • Taylor Wade, Andrew Jackson High School, Lancaster County
  • Emilie Martin, Fox Creek High School, Edgefield County
  • Alyssa Williams, Spring Valley High School, Richland County
Region 3: Lowcountry
  • Janae Claxton, First Baptist Church School, Charleston County
  • Abby Edwards, Charleston County School of the Arts, Charleston County
  • Julie Crosby, Goose Creek High School, Berkeley County
Nearly 4,000 South Carolina students participated this year, advancing from school-wide competitions to one of three regional competitions held in Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston. The state champion will compete in the national finals April 24-26 in Washington, D.C. The state champion receives $200, a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books for their school library, and an all-expense paid trip to the national finals. The runner-up receives $100 and a $200 poetry book stipend for their library. [caption id="attachment_29712" align="aligncenter" width="560"]POLcollage2017 Top row, l to r: Alyssa Williams; Region 3 participants. Bottom row, l to r: Region 2 finalists Taylor Wade, Emilie Martin, & Alyssa Williams; Region 1 finalists Jamie Montagne, Livia Salle & Simone Rice; Region 2 judges[/caption] Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed. The winner received a $20,000 scholarship. Statewide partners include the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV Radio's “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel. Regional partners include Hub City Writers Project in Region 1; One Columbia, Richland Library and S.C. Center for Oral Narrative at USC Sumter in Region 2; and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Region 3.

For more information, contact Frances Kablick Keel at FMKablick@arts.sc.gov.

Public invited to Poetry Out Loud competitions

[caption id="attachment_25675" align="alignright" width="250"]Nicole Sadek Nicole Sadek, 2016 S.C. Poetry Out Loud champion[/caption] Since school began in the fall, high school students around the state have been memorizing poetry, practicing recitation skills and polishing performances to compete in Poetry Out Loud school-level competitions. School-based winners are competing in three regional competitions taking place January 21 and 22 in Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston. Winners from each regional competition will advance to the state finals taking place March 11 in Columbia. The competitions are free and open to the public. Regional competition schedule:

  • Region 1 (Upstate) Jan. 21, from 2 - 4:30 p.m. Spartanburg Community College Downtown Campus, 220 E. Kennedy St., Spartanburg, SC 29302 (Please use entrance at back of building.) Counties: Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, York, Lancaster, Chesterfield, Anderson, Laurens, Union, Chester, Abbeville, McCormick and Greenwood Partner: Hub City Writers Project
  • Region 2 (Midlands) Jan. 21 from 2 - 4:30 p.m. Richland Library Main (second floor), 1431 Assembly St., Columbia, S.C. 29201 Counties: Edgefield, Saluda, Newberry, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Darlington, Marlboro, Aiken, Lexington, Richland, Sumter, Florence, Marion, Dillon and Calhoun Partners: One Columbia, South Carolina Center for Oral Narrative-USC Sumter and Richland Library Main
For 11 years, the South Carolina Arts Commission has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the Poetry Out Loud National Poetry Recitation Contest to South Carolina. The Arts Commission engages regional partners to promote participation and to manage regional competitions. Nearly 4,000 South Carolina students participated this year. The state champion will compete in the national finals April 24-26 in Washington, D.C. About Poetry Out Loud Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed. The national winner received a $20,000 scholarship.  

Inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival to honor traditions and forge new ground

Note: One Columbia for Arts and History received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Grant to help support the Deckle Edge Literary Festival. The inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival, taking place Feb. 19 – 21 in Columbia, S.C., features readings, book signings, panel presentations, exhibitors, writers’ workshops, activities for children and young adult readers, and a range of other literary events for many interests and all ages. Events take place in or near downtown Columbia, and many events are free. A sample of events: Friday, Feb. 19

  • 1 - 2 p.m.: Top 20 "Outside the Box" Book Marketing Ideas, Shari Stauch, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 2 - 3 p.m.: Plotting Strategies for Short Stories, Novels, and Plays, $30 per person, Paula Gail Benson, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 7 p.m.: Opening Night Celebration - Concert and Burlesque Show, Columbia Museum of Art, $10
Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 9 - 10 a.m.: S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Workshop for Kids, free, presented by The Watering Hole Poetry Organization, Tapp's Art Center
  • 11 a.m. - noon: Hub City Press Executive Director Betsy Teter moderates a panel of First Novel Prize winners Matt Matthews, James E. McTeer and Susan Tekulve, Columbia Museum of Art
  • 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Conversation with Southern Superstar Mary Alice Monroe, Columbia Museum of Art
Sunday, Feb. 21
  • 9 - 10:15 a.m.: Overcoming Creative Anxiety: 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Writing & Remain Calm, Cassie Premo-Steele, $30 per person, location TBA
  • 1 - 2:30 p.m.: Writing and Healing with Ed Madden, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Seibels House
  • 3 - 4 p.m.: IndieSC Launch - Calling all indie authors and aspiring writers in S.C! Presentation of free self-publishing platform by the South Carolina State Library, Columbia Museum of Art
View the full schedule online. Read a Free Times article about the festival. While Deckle Edge has its roots in the storied tradition of South Carolina’s literary life, festival organizers are committed to forging new ground and hope to appeal to regional and national audiences while remaining a community-focused effort. Festival partners make up an extensive network of South Carolina literary and cultural organizations, including Richland Library, the University of South Carolina PressHub City Writers Project, the S.C. Center for Children’s Books & LiteracyEd Madden and the Columbia Office of the Poet LaureateSouth Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, the Low Country Initiative for Literary ArtsJasper Magazine, Richland County schools, and others. Deckle Edge is built on the strong foundation of the South Carolina Book Festival, a project of the Humanities CouncilSC , which announced the festival’s dissolution this past summer. The Humanities CouncilSC is now actively pursuing a variety of year-round statewide literary initiatives and has been supportive of the plans for Deckle Edge as a new literary event to be hosted in Columbia. “The S.C. Book Festival was a tremendous gift to readers and writers in the South, and we’re grateful to the Humanities CouncilSC for sharing their expertise with us as we create something new,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Darien Cavanaugh. “We would not have been able to move so quickly on launching Deckle Edge without their guidance and good will.” In addition to local talent, the festival will highlight a handful of New York Times bestselling authors from the Carolinas, beloved favorites from past S.C. Book Festivals, and many voices not previously heard from at South Carolina literary events. “This is Columbia’s literary festival,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Annie Boiter-Jolley, “but it’s also joining the larger conversation about literature of and in the South. We look forward to sharing our vision with writers and readers, and to hearing from them as to what Deckle Edge might become in future years.” Via: Deckle Edge Literary Festival

Hub City Writers Project celebrates 20 years of shaping a Southern literary community

From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Story by Laura J. Perricone, photo by Tim Kimzey

[caption id="attachment_18710" align="alignright" width="285"]Hub City Writers Project anniversary At top, front row from left to right, John Lane and Betsy Teter; back row, Meg Reid, Anne Waters, Michel Stone and Rachel Richardson.[/caption] Spartanburg was on the threshold of an artistic renaissance when a small group of writers launched a plan for a literary awakening that would preserve the essence of a town poised for creative growth. The year was 1995, and the movement was so successful that eventually anything involving homespun writers, artists and even musicians became synonymous with a single brand name — The Hub City Writers Project.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the three friends who had a hand in the inception of Hub City Writers Project said they never imagined the independent publisher would grow into a nationally recognized literary enterprise. But with 70 books and 700 writers published under its name (a few having cut their teeth on its label), even bestselling authors are lining up to share in the success of this former dream-child of visionaries. Betsy Teter, executive director of Hub City Writers Project, and her husband John Lane, Wofford poet and author of a dozen books, are two of the early founders of the nonprofit group located in the historic Masonic Temple building in downtown Spartanburg. For them, the 20-year mark is a huge accomplishment given that few organizations of this type exist in the country. The literary model they adopted has three components: Publishing, programs and an independent bookstore, with proceeds going right back into the organization. As simple as it seems, Teter said the only way it works is with the backing of the community. “Literary groups in other places have tried to follow our model, but they don't have the community support,” Teter said. “I'm very proud this happened in Spartanburg. I tell people this is a very unlikely story in a very unlikely place.” The early days The idea for Hub City was conceived in a coffee shop just a stone's throw away from the organization's current downtown site. It was there Lane met up with Teter, a former business writer for the Herald-Journal, and journalist Gary Henderson to discuss ways of turning Spartanburg into a center for literary arts while preserving the town's rich history through “place-based” writing. Lane, himself, had recently moved back to the area to teach at Wofford, but his travels made him yearn for a literary community, a stomping ground where like-minded people could exchange ideas. Back then, that stomping ground was this coffee shop where all three writers laid out their ideas on a single napkin. “We were sitting there talking and Betsy reached over and picked up a napkin and wrote down how to structure Hub City and what to call it,” Henderson said from his home in Costa Rica. “It's really a legend how it started.” The brainstorming resulted in what Lane called the “first wave of public creativity,” which resulted in the publication of Hub City Anthology in April 1996. The book was a resounding success not just for its literary content, but for the foresight the group had to resurrect the town's old nickname. Back then, the Hub City moniker that once alluded to Spartanburg's history as a crossroad for trains, was nearly extinct. Lane's vision for a literary arts community enticed the group to join the name with the Depression era Federal Writers Project. Thus, Hub City Writers Project was born as a nod to both historic references. On the day of the book release, which was held at the train depot, more than 600 books were sold. Henderson said people were lined up to get their copy and meet the band of authors that contributed to the book. “There were people everywhere. There must have been 1,500 people there. It was just amazing,” Henderson said. Initially, there was never a discussion of putting out another book after Hub City Anthology, but the swell of public interest changed all that. Soon more place-based books were being pumped out by Hub City and met with as much fanfare as the first. There were books written on peaches, textiles, music and military training camps, and the pool seemed endless. “In the early days, we didn't know how many books (we would publish),” Lane said. “We were working in a literary vacuum and had a complete history to draw from.” It became obvious at the train station that the small independent publisher was headed for more than a single book release. No place like home Teter's house was where much of Hub City's business took place initially. Her dining room table was a makeshift desk and the fax machine, which ran day and night, sat beside her bed. Five years later, Hub City Writers Project moved into a single room in a slowly deteriorating Montgomery Building and then into a former car dealership on South Daniel Morgan Avenue, now known as the Hub Bub Showroom. In 2006, the City of Spartanburg allocated $500,000 to open The Showroom Gallery and Performance Hall, where musicians, artists and writers shared a single venue. Teter suddenly found herself at the center of the arts and entertainment business. Through her efforts, Hub Bub was pushed into the limelight, generating another creative movement in the community. With two successful entities vying for her attention, Teter longed to concentrate on developing the literary community she, Lane and Henderson had hoped for. At this point, Teter said, Hub City was still in want of an independent bookstore, which was vital to the organization's survival. The sale of books was the only way Hub City could continue offering creative writing programs and place-based publications. That would happen in 2010, when Hub City received enough donations and financial assistance to renovate the ground floor of the historic Masonic Temple for The Hub City Bookshop. The store is now the face of Hub City and is stocked with more than 5,000 titles that Teter said appeal to serious readers. Little River Coffee Shop and Cakehead Bakeshop are located in the same space, increasing the foot traffic for both locations. Hub City has moved beyond concentrating on local writers, though that is still the heart and soul of the organization. Anne Waters, manager of the Hub City Bookshop, said the store attracts authors of national appeal like Dorothea Benton Frank and Ron Rash, who are frequent visitors to the area. Often, she said, visiting authors end up participating in future programs. And in recent years, Hub City has published top writers from Richmond and Charlottesville in Virginia, Greensboro and Wilmington in North Carolina, Atlanta, and Montgomery, Alabama. “Each thing builds upon the other,” she said. “The momentum is so strong and the notoriety keeps increasing.” Planting the seed One of Hub City's biggest success stories took place in 2012 with the publication of Michel Stone's debut book, “The Iguana Tree.” Today, Stone is a nationally acclaimed novelist who credits Teter for helping the novel sell all over the United States and become Hub City's best-seller. “I could not have had a better experience. Betsy is so unique and wonderful, and she is so good about supporting her authors,” Stone said. “Hub City Press publishes six books a year and because of that they are so invested in each book. I'm sure the great reviews “The Iguana Tree” got was in part because Betsy was so good in pounding the pavement in getting the book out there.” Stone, a Spartanburg resident, said it was actually Hub City who inspired her to write a novel in the first place. Her introduction to Hub City began years ago when she entered the group's annual short story competition and won. Her prize was a free admission to the Hub City's Writing In Place workshop held at Wofford College. While there, the instructor asked participants to think of an object and describe it. Stone said she immediately thought about a rocking chair in her daughter's room, and she started writing about it. As the lessons continued and the subject matter grew more intense, Stone ended up describing a scene that she would later use in “The Iguana Tree.” “So, Hub City was instrumental in the very first sentence of my novel,” she said. Having received excellent reviews for her book, Stone found herself traveling across the country to give talks and sign books. Stone said “The Iguana Tree” was selected to be used by four colleges in their curriculum and as a community read in a small town called Hermiston, Oregon. “They flew me out there and treated me so kindly. All the kids in the high school ... all read the book and they had my name on the marquee welcoming me to Oregon. It was the most incredible experience in my life.” Now, Stone, who has completed a second novel, serves as chairperson on Hub City's 15-member board. She has also taught youth writing groups for the organization and is hands-on with other Hub City writing programs. “Hub City is very important to Spartanburg,” she said. “It's my favorite thing about Spartanburg.” The small publisher/bookstore is also catching the attention of other nationally recognized names. Just recently, the prolific bestseller James Patterson gave Hub City Bookshop a $6,000 grant in his efforts to support independent bookstores. It was just another shot in the arm for Hub City and another example of how authors have become the organization's advocate. Programs for writers Hub City also prides itself on introducing young writers to the area. Meg Reid, assistant director of Hub City, said the organization receives 100 applications from across the nation each year for its writers-in-residency program, which is housed in a bungalow on Spring Street in Hampton Heights. Only three candidates are selected for the year. Reid, who moved from Wilmington, N.C. to work for Hub City, said she is amazed at how the community has rallied around the Hub City Writers Project and is in awe of the continued growth of a program that focuses on authors, writers and readers. “People here care and are working hard (to keep it going),” she said. “This shouldn't work but it does ... it's difficult to say how because nothing like this ever existed before.” Teter agreed, saying no one could have predicted Hub City would have grown from an idea on a napkin to a nationally recognized literary center. “If someone told me 10 years ago that we would have a storefront on Main Street, I'd say they were insane. But now people say they move here because of Hub City Writers Project.” 20-year celebration To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Hub City is planning a street party for the public and a weekend of literary activities May 8-10. For Spartanburg natives and friends Teter, Lane and Henderson, it seemed like a good way to honor their Southern roots, even if one of them moved on. “I have left Spartanburg but part of me is still there,” said Henderson. “Hub City was the best thing that happened to me. If nothing else, Hub City Writers Project gave Spartanburg a new identity and put back energy into the town.” Friday, May 8 Lit Crawl, 5–7 p.m. (Growler Haus, Delaneys, and Hub City Bookshop) Book release event for “Minnow” by James McTeer, 7:30 p.m., Hub City Bookshop Saturday, May 9 Anniversary Street Party 5–8 p.m., West Main Street in front of Hub City Bookshop Music, Kids events (free books for children), Author signing tent, silent auction Sunday, May 10 Benefit Brunch for The Writers House Residency Program, 10:30 a.m. Indigo Hall Tickets: 864-577-9349