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Tuning Up: Homeless shelter artists, new book release

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...


Fundraiser features art by homeless shelter residents

From ColaDaily.com: Transitions Homeless Center, the largest homeless facility serving Midlands residents, will be holding its eighth annual Reconstructing Home fundraiser Thursday at the Columbia Museum of Art. Reconstructing Home showcases current and past residents' artwork that will be available for purchase ... This year's event will display not just 2-D paintings, but also some 3-D work. "We have some afghans this year, a couple of really cool wooden 3-dimensional large pieces, and we have a butterfly quilt that butterflies were actually painted onto the fabric," explained (Vice President of Advancement Elizabeth) Iglehart. Read the full story, and see pictures, here.

Publication announced for new Janet Kozachek book

Finishing Line Press is announcing the publication of My Women, My Monsters, a new collection of poems by Orangeburg author Janet Kozachek. “In this book, Janet Kozachek, through her evocative illustrations and often biting poems, removes the lid of the cauldron containing several familiar feminine monsters–monsters that women know from their everyday encounters with other women and also from uncomfortable glances within," writes Rutgers University Professor of Comparative Literature Janet A. Walker in her review. Kozacheck, a Helena Rubinstein Scholar, holds a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from Parsons School of Design and a certificate of graduate study from Beijing Central Art Academy where she studied Chinese poetry and painting. She received a category award in drawing at Artfields and grants from the Puffin Foundation and South Carolina Humanities.

NEA announces ‘Big Read’ community reading program grants

Additions to the NEA Big Read Library include selections in honor of 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Are you a nonprofit organization interested in increasing community engagement, creating new partnerships, and celebrating great books? The 2020/2021 guidelines for National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grants are now available. This National Endowment for the Arts initiative, in partnership with Arts Midwest, supports community reading programs across the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book. In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the 2020/2021 list of NEA Big Read books will include classic literature by four female authors: My Ántonia by Willa Cather, The Essential Emily Dickinson (a selection of poems by Dickinson, introduced by Joyce Carol Oates), Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Also new for 2020-2021 is the addition of the novel Circe by Madeline Miller, a retelling of the life of a Greek mythological goddess, and An American Sunrise, a new collection of poems by U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, which will be available in place of her book How We Became Human. In total, 32 books will be available for NEA Big Read projects taking place between September 2020 and June 2021; the full list of titles is available in the guidelines on Art Midwest’s website, where potential applicants can also find full details on eligibility, how to apply, and application advice. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 29, 2020. In addition to libraries, eligible applicants include colleges and universities, arts organizations, museums, humanities councils, school districts, historical societies, and more—read the guidelines for complete eligibility information. “Hosting an NEA Big Read program has been shown to be a powerful way to build community and encourage dialogue on a variety of pertinent topics, from taking care of elderly parents, such as in Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, to the opioid crisis in Burning Bright, to the challenges some boys face at the brink of manhood in Hustle,” said Amy Stolls, director of literary arts at the Arts Endowment. All NEA Big Read programs include a series of events, ranging from lectures and book discussions to film screenings and performances, all designed to create opportunities for conversation and engagement among a wide range of community members. Visit the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read website for more information on the program— including book and author information, podcasts, and videos—as well as to read community stories from past NEA Big Read grantees.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

Since the program began in 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,500 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $21 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 13 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local matching funds to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 92,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read and to suggest a book, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

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.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest, a nonprofit regional arts organization headquartered in Minneapolis, serves audiences, arts organizations and artists throughout the nine state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 30 years. Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people's lives. Annually, cultural programs initiated by Arts Midwest reach close to a million people, enhancing the quality of life in hundreds of cities, towns, and rural areas. Arts Midwest's high-quality cultural activities, in a spectrum of artistic genres, reach school children, university students, families, and adults of all ages.

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Jasper Project to release sixth ‘Fall Lines’

The Jasper Project, in partnership with Richland Library, Richland Library Friends and Foundation, and One Columbia for Arts and History, announces the release of Fall Lines – a literary convergence, volume V on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 from 2-3:30 p.m. at the main branch of Richland Library (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). Fall Lines – a literary convergence is a South Carolina based print literary journal that solicits submissions of poetry and prose internationally. With more than 500 submissions this year, more than 30 were selected for publication through a blind reading process. The winner of the Saluda River Prize for Poetry is Kimberly Driggers for her poem, “Imagine the Sound of Waves.” The winner of the Broad River Prize for Prose is Derek Berry for his story, “Sasquatch.” Judy Goldman served as the judge for the prose competition and Délana R. A. Dameron served as the judge for poetry.  DéLana R.A. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom and How God Ends Us. She is an arts and culture strategist who lives in Brooklyn. Goldman is the author of two award-winning poetry collections and two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, which was a finalist for SIBA's Novel of the Year and winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award and the Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction. Her memoir, Losing My Sister, was a finalist for both SIBA's Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review's Memoir of the Year. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, The Washington Post, and in many literary journals. She teaches writing workshops throughout the Southeast, and serves on the permanent faculty of Table Rock Writers Workshop. Winners are sponsored by the Richland Library Friends and Foundation. The public is invited to the free release event, readings, and awards ceremony on Sunday, August 18th from 2-3:30 p.m. at the main branch of the Richland Library. Copies of Fall Lines will be available and free.

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Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.

Union library named finalist for National Medal

Here's a belated note worth sharing with Hub readers today. – Ed. Union County Carnegie Library Earlier in March, the Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for community service. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions throughout the nation that have demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Union County Carnegie Library was named to the finalist list. Throughout March and April, IMLS will celebrate the excellent community work of these institutions through its six-week Share Your Story social media campaign, which began last week. Anyone with a story to tell about these libraries and museums is encouraged to share comments and pictures with #IMLSmedals and tag IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. "We are thrilled to be a finalist for the National Medal, and we know that this is due in large part to our facility and partnerships. We wanted to share this great news with you and tell you how much we appreciate our partnership and are thankful for your support," Executive Director Rieta Drinkwine said. The S.C. Arts Commission was one such partner, as UCCL was host of the first Communal Pen writing workshop series that has since worked its way through South Carolina since last September. National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will receive their medals at a ceremony on June 12 in Washington. Learn more about the Union County Library System here. 

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U of SC Press celebrates the life and work of Boyd Saunders

The University of South Carolina Press has recently published A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH: THE NARRATIVE ART OF BOYD SAUNDERS, by Thomas Dewey II with a Foreword by Charles R. Mack.

Event TODAY at U of S.C. Thomas Cooper Library, 4:30 p.m., Columbia


A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH is a celebration of the prolific artist's heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. It is the first comprehensive examination of the life and art of Boyd Saunders, one of America’s premier printmakers. In this celebration of an enduring and widely acclaimed career as an artist, Thomas Dewey II chronicles Saunders’s work not only as a printmaker, but also as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, author, educator, amateur musician, and sometimes horseman. With great care Dewey exposes the common thread that runs through Saunders’s visual expressions: his intriguing tales that reveal his heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. Dewey has captured Saunders’s life story through intensive research as well as via a series of interviews with the artist over several years. Details of Saunders’s early life on a West Tennessee farm and his family’s long attachment to the land document a profound influence on his life, outlook, and art. But Saunders was also moved by literature—namely that of William Faulkner, whom he met while earning a master’s of fine art at the University of Mississippi. Saunders credits Faulkner with inspiring much of his work, demonstrated in his Spotted Horses, a limited volume of lithographs illustrating Faulkner’s short story of the same name, which was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 1989. Now a distinguished professor emeritus of the University of South Carolina, Saunders founded its Art Department’s printmaking program as well as a southern printmaker’s organization called the Southern Graphics Council. In the more than forty years since its founding the organization, now called SGC International, it has grown well beyond its southern borders and now serves twenty-five hundred members worldwide. A View from the South features more than 120 color images showcasing the themes, ideas, and techniques Saunders has used in his paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. His art is exhibited throughout the world and is included in many private and public collections, including the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington, D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China. A foreword is provided by Charles R. Mack, professor emeritus of art history at the University of South Carolina. Thomas Dewey II is a faculty emeritus associate professor of art history at the University of Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dewey has published widely in professional journals and penned an entry, “Audubon in Mississippi,” in The Mississippi Encyclopedia. On March 14 Boyd Saunders will be celebrated by the University Libraries and the University South Carolinians Society in a 4:30 p.m. event at the Thomas Cooper Library, where Boyd Saunders will show a "mini-retrospective" and discuss "The Storyteller's Art."

Augusta literary competition open to S.C. writers

Porter Fleming Literary Competition awards $7,000 in cash prizes

Submission deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Porter Fleming Literary CompetitionThe Porter Fleming Literary Competition honors the memory of Porter Fleming, one of Augusta, Georgia’s leading citizens and foremost philanthropists. The competition is administered, with the support of the Porter Fleming Foundation, by the Morris Museum of Art, the first museum in the country to focus on the art and artists of the American South.

The Porter Fleming Literary Competition consists of four categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and one-act play—and awards $7,000 in cash awards.

Writers ages 18 and older who reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are eligible to enter. There is a $15 entry fee. Get all the details and entry form here. Perusing the list of winners from 2017, you'll find several #SCartists. Let's do that again. [caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignnone" width="300"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption]

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Professional storyteller visits McCormick Learning Center

McCormick County children in the First Steps, Even Start child care center and the Head Start classrooms last Friday had a special visitor last week. [gallery columns="2" ids="38313,38314"]

Click on images for larger view. Submitted photos.

(Ed. note: The Hub welcomes stories from grantees about how you're using your SCAC grants. Today we offer just such a story from McCormick County. Thanks to Ruth Detrick, executive director of the county's First Steps program.) With help from S.C. Arts Commission grants to both, professional storyteller Tim Lowry was able to captivate the children, telling animal stories that got them involved by making animal sounds and making movements like the animals. The children and teachers all laughed at the story of the "Wide Mouth Frog" and the funny ending when he met up with a crocodile! They were horrified when the elephant ate the children in the story of "Unanana And The Elephant," an African Folk Tale. but were relieved when miraculously there was a happy ending. Lowry kept the children interested and engaged (which isn't always easy with pre-school children).  After several more stories, the event was over but won't be forgotten, as the children learned several new vocabulary words and experienced a professional storyteller for the first time. First Steps partnered with the McCormick Library to share the costs of bringing Tim Lowry to McCormick. He entertained the children in the morning and did a wonderful presentation of Dickens' "Christmas Carol" in the evening at the library. Both organizations received generous grants from the S.C. Arts Commission to cover all costs, which made the events possible. The S.C. Arts Commission receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Competition offers writers $7,000 in cash prizes

SCAC Fellow’s new book out Sept. 25

Charleston writer F. Rutledge Hammes, the S.C. Arts Commission's current fellowship recipient for prose, is set to release his debut novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, on Sept. 25. The book has received glowing praise from writers like New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank who writes, “F. Rutledge Hammes is that rare new voice you run across once or maybe twice in a lifetime. His spectacular debut novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, soars! It is a coming of age cautionary tale about power. It’s a mystery and a love story wrapped up in humidity and pluff mud and it is as fascinating as it is addicting.” Set for release by Atlanta-based SFK Press, Hammes’ debut novel tells the story of the Walpole family who fled their sordid past and escaped to one of the nearly 2,000 uninhabited sea islands off the South Carolina coast. The novel opens with the two Walpole boys taking their little sister out on their john boat for the first time to pirate the waterways for beer and loose change. In the process, their little sister goes overboard and appears to have drowned, until two men with gigantic wings swoop down and carry her body away into the sky. The news of her disappearance hits the family particularly hard, and the mother goes so far as to fashion herself wings and tries to fly. The Walpole boys set off in search of their little sister and, in the process, discover the truth behind the centuries-old Gullah tale of the Flying Men as well as numerous other mysteries native to the South Carolina sea islands. A book release party will be held at Blue Bicycle Books (420 King St., Charleston) on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Sue Monk Kidd, bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees, writes, “A Curious Matter of Men with Wings is where magic comes to life in a bold story that celebrates the Gullah world of the South Carolina sea islands. With lyrical prose, the novel takes us into a hidden realm where life is still enchanted and storytelling abounds. In these pages, the transfixing Walpole family grapples with loss, the madness of grief, and ultimately healing, while surrounded by a community whose only salvation lies in the ties that bind them.”


"...It’s a mystery and a love story wrapped up in humidity and pluff mud, and it is as fascinating as it is addicting.” - Dorothea Benton Frank, bestselling author


Hammes was born in South Carolina's Lowcountry, where he fell in love with the waterways, the people, and the folklore that inhabit the sea islands. His whole life, he has been writing about the Charleston area and sea island culture and, for the past decade, he has been teaching the young writers who will keep our lush storytelling tradition alive. Having grown up the oldest in a family of ten, stories of family come naturally to him. His grandparents moved out to the sea islands early in their marriage and made friends in the Gullah community, and he grew up enamored by all the stories and folklore his grandmother told him as a child. Hammes says, “I have long believed that magic is at the heart of Charleston, and so magic must be at the heart of the Charleston novel.” Through A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, Hammes hopes readers will see the redemption that comes to people who keep their promises to one another and stand together regardless of ethnicity, culture and class. Hammes earned his MFA in fiction from Old Dominion University, has had numerous short stories, essays and poems published in various journals and magazines around the country, and is a contributing writer in several books. He is also the 2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow and is presently Director of the Creative Writing program at Charleston County School of the Arts, the most awarded middle- and high-school writing program in the nation. For more information on A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, visit frutledgehammes.com.