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Verner Award highlights: Joye in Aiken and Phifer-Johnson Foundation/The Johnson Collection

Joye in Aiken and the Phifer-Johnson Foundation/The Johnson Collection of Spartanburg are excellent examples of organizations maximizing their roles as innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts for their local communities and beyond. Read more about these recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts below, and find out more about all of the activities taking place as part of the South Carolina Arts Awards on May 11. Joye in Aiken - Arts in Education

Joye in AikenSince its founding in 2009, Joye in Aiken (originally Juilliard in Aiken) has leveraged its one-of-a-kind partnership with the Juilliard School in New York to bring more than 200 Juilliard students, faculty and alumni to present arts education programs and events for South Carolina children in Aiken and surrounding counties, typically reaching between 3,000 and 4,000 students per year. While serving a cross-section of children from all backgrounds, the outreach program pays particular attention to underserved neighborhoods, selecting schools on the basis of need. All outreach activities are provided free of charge, including transporting groups of students from their schools to centralized events. Although the centerpiece of Joye in Aiken’s education outreach is its annual weeklong music festival that incorporates in-school performances, centralized programs and master classes for area students, its education programs continue throughout the year to include extended artist residencies and summer camps. It has formed a partnership with the Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville to provide individual instruction for its students in master classes with Juilliard artists. It has a long-standing partnership with East Aiken School of the Arts, Aiken County’s only Arts in Basic Curriculum School, where Joye in Aiken has contributed to that school’s successful integration of the arts across all areas of instruction, and where arts integration is proving to produce impressive outcomes in student achievement. In all of its activities, Joye in Aiken continues to uphold the standards of excellence established by The Juilliard School, as well as Juilliard’s commitment to public service.
The Phifer-Johnson Foundation/The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg - Business/Foundation
Phifer-Johnson FoundationWhen Susu and George Johnson’s personal art collection outgrew their home and office space, they decided to share it. What began as an interest in paintings by Carolina artists in 2002 has grown to encompass over 1,200 objects that chronicle the cultural evolution of the American South. Three scholarly books have been published around the Johnson Collection’s holdings. Each of the books is accompanied by a touring exhibition that travels to leading museums in South Carolina and across the South for two to four years. In contrast to most touring shows, the Johnsons share these exhibitions with all participating museums at no cost. These efforts to provide broad access to the arts for free have attracted national attention from such prominent publications asAmerican Art Review, The Magazine Antiques and Garden & Gun. A website for the collection features images and notes on hundreds of Southern artists and a searchable catalog of the collection’s library of over 4,000 volumes. The collection’s curator serves as a visiting scholar and lecturer at local colleges, and students are invited to apply for curatorial internships. A gallery in downtown Spartanburg presents regular exhibitions from the collection and loans artwork to a variety of public and educational institutions, making the collection highly accessible to the public. The Johnsons’ philanthropic commitment to community, arts and culture extends beyond the Johnson Collection to support local and statewide arts programs and initiatives. The Phifer-Johnson Foundation is a major benefactor of the South Carolina First Novel Prize, which is establishing a national profile for South Carolina’s most promising writers. They have been important to the success of Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center, a centerpiece in Spartanburg’s active cultural scene. They are key supporters of arts organizations and activities that add vibrancy and attract youth and talent to their community, including the Hub-Bub Artist in Residence Program, Ballet Spartanburg, the Music Foundation of Spartanburg, Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Brookgreen Gardens, and more. Equally dedicated to arts advancement and arts accessibility, the Johnsons generously share their vision, energy, passion and resources to benefit the arts in South Carolina.

2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award recipients announced

vernerstatuescolorCongratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts! The S.C. Arts Commission annually presents the awards, the highest honor the state gives in the arts, to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. Awards will be presented May 11 at 11 a.m. during a ceremony at the Statehouse. This year’s recipients:

"Each of these Verner Award recipients has attracted positive national attention for the Palmetto State," said S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. "Their dedication to the arts greatly benefits South Carolinians and materially enhances our state’s economic vitality. Their contributions regionally and nationally are a source of pride for South Carolinians living anywhere. The Verner Awards recognize service, commitment and passion, and we are honored to have these individuals and organizations working to enhance our state's reputation as a leader in the arts." Also on May 11, the S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala, a fundraiser supporting the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. The gala begins at 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Hall, 701 Whaley St. in Columbia. Gala tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online. The 2016 Verner Awards are sponsored by Colonial Life. For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Gala, call (803) 734-8696 or visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com. About the South Carolina Arts Commission The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Joye in Aiken festival receives SC Arts Commission grant

From the Aiken Standard

Article by Stephanie Turner; photo by Cindy Kubovic

The nonprofit that has been bringing acclaimed Juilliard School performers to Aiken for almost a decade has been awarded a grant to help continue its mission.

The South Carolina Arts Commission awarded Joye in Aiken, formerly known as Juilliard in Aiken, $9,612 toward the its 2015-16 fiscal year, according to a press release.

“Joye in Aiken is entirely funded by grants, individual donations and corporate sponsorships,” Dr. Sandra Field, Joye in Aiken board president and festival co-founder, said in a press release. “While we have wonderful community support, we’re also grateful for this funding from the state level. We think it shows that the commissioners recognize the unique role we play in the economic and cultural life, not only of Aiken, but of the surrounding region.”

The money will be used for the organization’s educational outreach, which has impacted around 24,000 students, and presentation of “public performances by world-class students and alumnae from the renowned Juilliard School and other famous performing arts conservatories,” according to a press release.

The main performing arts festival and outreach program will be held from March 5 to 12, with the Allant Trio, a Juilliard-trained chamber ensemble, doing a week-long educational outreach at Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School before its performance at 4 p.m. Oct. 18 at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St. N.W.

For more information, visit www.joyeinaiken.com.

Image: Part of the $9,612 grant Joye in Aiken (formerly known as Juilliard in Aiken) received from the South Carolina Arts Commission will go toward its educational outreach. Pictured are East Aiken School of the Arts students watching a performance during this past year’s festival.