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Healing and development from… the arts

This afternoon, The Hub would like to draw your attention to the (positive) effects arts participation has on the human body. Exposure is certainly nice, but we focus specifically today on the actual doing. And before going further, these come by way of NASAA – the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


First, dance. Without being overly general, all it takes is a look at a professional dancer to know dance is, at least physically, good for you. But recent data from Australia shows that older adults who participate in dance classes see “increases in physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and as well as a general sense of achievement.” See study here. Closer to home, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can seek symptom relief through participation (there’s that word again) in dance classes from Ballet Spartanburg (right, dancer Charlotte Lanning). The company received the 2018 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts yesterday in part because of offering its community classes like this, which can also help those who have experienced a stroke or disorders like autism, dementia, or multiple sclerosis. Ballet Spartanburg offers the only course of this type in the Upstate, and it's led by Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo. Winifred Walsh, who leads a Parkinson’s support group in Spartanburg, had this to say about the course in her support letter for the company’s Verner Awards nomination:

To receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease at age 53 is a life-changer ... A friend urged me to join Spartanburg’s PD Support Group and the Dance for PD class offered by Ballet Spartanburg. I went and I was horrified at first look. I thought, ‘I am not like those people!’ But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed and have stayed for some nine years now. And guess what? I am exactly like those people, people with Parkinson’s who are not wasting time on self-pity ... Ballet Spartanburg Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo has set the bar high for our teachers who find joy in our attempts, who rejoice with us in our successes, who laugh with us often ... Outreach seems such a simple term for such complex blessings to me and to others who have movement and balance disorders. We offer gratitude to Ballet Spartanburg for improving our lives through dance, and also through love. We are not merely people with Parkinson’s. Ballet Spartanburg has made us dancers.”

Learn more about the additional benefits of this program by clicking here.
Second, music. The National Endowment for the Arts is talking music training, which is how people get ready for … participation (that’s a hat trick). Two recent articles “find that music education not only strengthens creativity but also improves brain functions related to language development, attention, visuospatial perception, planning and other executive functions, and short-term and working memory.” Music training can be found, almost literally, everywhere. But lessons can be costly, to say nothing of other potential barriers. But four of the professional orchestras the South Carolina Arts Commission helps fund offer the interactive Link Up program from Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. Link Up partners orchestras with schools (home, private, and public) or school districts to offer an interactive musical curriculum in schools that teach students lessons in theory and can teach them how to use the recorder. The program usually culminates with a trip to see the professionals perform locally, with a twist: during the Link Up concert, the students can play recorders along with the musicians on stage! The four South Carolina orchestras that offered Link Up concerts during the 2017/2018 school year are the Aiken and Charleston symphonies and South Carolina (Columbia) and Spartanburg philharmonics.

Tuning Up: the SCAC at National Press Club, more

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts where The Hub delivers 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...

(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)

National Press Club briefing to feature SCAC program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Art of Community: Rural S.C., an S.C. Arts Commission program, and one of its community representatives from Walterboro, S.C. are to receive prominent recognition at the National Press Club Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) arranged the National Press Club briefing, “The Arts and America’s Bottom Line,” to affirm the value of public investment in the arts. WATCH LIVE Tuesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. via NASAA’s Facebook feed: https://www.facebook.com/NASAA.Arts Update: the complete briefing is available here. Matt Mardell of Walterboro will join Susan DuPlessis, project director and county coordinator with the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC), to participate in a national press briefing, talking about how the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen is an award-winning example of community building, and creating jobs and connection to place using arts and culture. Mardell is the facility’s executive director. The Art of Community: Rural S.C. is a community arts development program at the SCAC and has received national recognition for its innovative and down-to-earth approach in a rural region of South Carolina. The ongoing initiative receives funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. Speakers will include Chairman Jane Chu of the National Endowment for the Arts; veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sebastian Munevar; Dr. Sara Kass (Capt.,retired) Senior Military Medical Advisor for ‘Creative Forces,’ an NEA program, and formerly with Walter Reed Medical Center; and NASAA’s chair, Ben Brown, and executive director, Pam Breaux. DuPlessis and Mardell will discuss using the arts to build key partnerships that help revitalize rural communities. They will be joined by Bob Reeder, national co-chair of The Art of Community: Rural S.C. and program director of Rural LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation). All four will attend the briefing and be available as additional resources and for questions. ABOUT THE ART OF COMMUNITY, RURAL S.C. The Art of Community: Rural S.C. initiative was created in 2015-16 as a new framework for engagement in small communities with the consideration of how arts and culture can be used strategically in community building, leadership development and engagement. Gary Brightwell, retired executive director, was tapped to serve as the ‘maven,’ or community connector, for this six-county initiative, built a local team to consider the assets of Colleton County and design a project to meet a local challenge. Over the first two years of this initiative, six local projects have been designed and implemented in each of the following counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. Mardell will use the example of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Kitchen to demonstrate the power of arts and culture to the town of Walterboro and Colleton County. Additional information on The Art of Community: Rural S.C. is available on the SCAC website: http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/artofcommunity/index.shtml. ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:

  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. ABOUT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF STATE ARTS AGENCIES NASAA is the membership organization that serves the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. We are a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan association that champions public support for the arts in America. NASAA provides advocacy, research, training and networking services to state arts agencies and their constituents. Our work is driven by a strong belief that the arts are essential to a thriving democracy and that the public, private and nonprofit sectors each have a vital role to play in achieving that vision. Learn more at NASAA-Arts.org.

S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May elected to national board

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has announced that Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, has been elected to its board of directors. May is one of five new members; each will serve a three-year term. The election took place Nov. 15 at the NASAA Assembly 2014 conference in New Orleans after a rigorous national nomination process. Ken MayMay joined the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1985 as a regional arts coordinator and served as director of planning, research and grants and assistant deputy director before being named deputy director in 1995. During his tenure at the Commission, May has played a key role in the creation of many of the agency's nationally recognized programs and partnerships in arts education, community design, public participation in the arts, rural arts development, and career development for artists. Since becoming executive director in 2010, he has gained a national reputation as a leader in the use of social media for arts advocacy, decisively overcoming serious threats to his agency during the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 legislative sessions and securing $1 million in new recurring state appropriation for arts grants in 2013. May has served as a panelist and site visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant and facilitator for national, state and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board and current treasurer of South Arts. Before beginning his career in arts administration, May held positions with ARA Services Magazine and Book Division and McGraw-Hill. Prior to his long sojourn in the realm of day jobs, he worked as a professional musician. He received undergraduate and master's degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University. Other new board members are Cyndy Andrus, chair, Montana Arts Council; Stephanie Barger Conner, board member, Tennesseans for the Arts; Nola Ruth, chair, Missouri Arts Council; and Suzanne Wise, executive director, Nebraska Arts Council. Three board members were elected to second terms: Benjamin Brown, chair, Alaska State Council on the Arts; Lewis Ricci, executive director, Indiana Arts Commission; and Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. "We are pleased to welcome Cyndy, Stephanie, Ken, Nola and Suzanne to the NASAA board, and are delighted that Ben, Lewis and Randy will continue their service," said NASAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate. "They all are skilled leaders with keen policy acumen and a genuine passion for the arts. We are excited to work with this new team and we welcome their expertise and guidance." For more information on NASAA's board members, visit NASAA 2015 Board of Directors. About the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge, and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit www.nasaa-arts.org.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies seeks manager for arts education institute

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) seeks an experienced manager to coordinate the planning and implementation of the 2014 Professional Development Institute (PDI) event. The PDI is a leadership development event for arts education managers from the nation's 50 state arts agencies. Each year these managers convene at the PDI to deepen their knowledge of effective arts education principles, practices and policies and to exchange ideas and information. The PDI is a long-standing cooperative program of NASAA and the Arts Education office of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  The 2014 PDI will take place November 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is expected to involve about 60 participants. The Professional Development Institute manager holds primary responsibility for staffing the PDI and helping NASAA, the NEA and state arts agencies attain their goals for this event. Duties include a mixture of project management, communications and logistics activities. An additional important function of this position is to facilitate the peer-to-peer networking of state arts agency arts education managers Candidates must be able to start no later than June 1, 2014—ideally earlier. Travel to New Orleans is necessary for a June 4-6 site visit and the November 11-13 PDI event. This job requires an average of 25-30 hours per week, with the flexibility to devote more hours during peak times. Candidates must be available to work full time during the site visit and the PDI meeting. Telecommuting is a possibility for candidates with a high level of prior experience and pre-existing knowledge of this field. For complete details or to apply, visit NASAA's website. Via: National Assembly of State Arts Agencies