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Can arts therapies improve health for military PTSD patients?

A new study funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) reveals that art work created by military service members as part of their medical treatment for psychological health conditions conveys valuable information for doctors. NEAThis benefit is especially important for patients who struggle to express their thoughts and feelings. In another research development, the NEA is posting a framework document that maps new research priorities for the agency’s Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Both the new study and the research agenda aim to extend knowledge about how, when, and why creative arts therapies improve health for patients coping with the effects of their wartime experiences. The NEA is announcing these two resources as the nation recognizes PTSD Awareness Day on June 27. "The newly published study exemplifies the type of practical research that the Creative Forces network will pursue over the next five years," said Sunil Iyengar, director of Research & Analysis at the NEA. "The researchers will continue to examine how creative arts therapies can inform diagnoses and treatment options for the range of patients experiencing these complex psychological illnesses." [caption id="attachment_35727" align="alignright" width="250"] One of the masks included in the study that demonstrates dentification with military unit (depiction of sense of belonging to a military unit, for example, explosive ordnance disposal badge, also known as the ‘crab’).[/caption] The study, Observational study of associations between visual imagery and measures of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress among active-duty military service members with traumatic brain injury at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, examined masks created by 370 service members in creative arts therapy sessions that were part of their integrative care. Researchers identified and correlated themes observed in those masks with psychological diagnoses. The observational study was led by Girija Kaimal, EdD, of Drexel University, and Melissa Walker, of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence and is being published by the British Medical Journal, an international peer reviewed medical journal. Dr. Kaimal noted, “Few studies in art therapy have linked visual symbols with existing standardized clinical measures. This helps us see if there are patterns of visual representations that relate to psychological states.” During the creative art therapy sessions, service members are asked to embellish a blank mask of a human face using a variety of art supplies in a way that reflects how they feel. The researchers then created an inventory of themes represented in the masks and matched those themes with data collected previously in questionnaires from those patients. The questionnaires measured levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and PTSD. The study found that masks that included symbols of the patient’s identify in relation to a military unit or other social group correlated with lower levels of psychological distress. This indicates that the capacity to imagine oneself as part of something larger than one’s individual experiences is associated with lower PTSD, depression, and anxiety scores. Conversely, masks that included fragmented objects, like broken gear or faded camouflage, were tied to higher levels of anxiety, while masks that showed psychological pain matched with patients dealing with more acute PTSD. To enable more research such as this, the National Endowment for the Arts developed the Creative Forces Clinical Research: A Strategic Framework and Five Year Agenda. The research completed as a result of this framework will strengthen the Creative Forces network as well as the military medical and creative arts therapy fields, enhancing the quality of care for military patients. Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the state arts agencies that places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at 11 military medical clinics across the country. Visit the NEA’s website for more information on Creative Forces and information on additional published research and clinical practice papers associated with Creative Forces.


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. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

Tuning Up: Arts funding update + Google grants opportunity for Midlands

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...


Increases possible for federal, state arts funding. No, really. Yesterday in Washington, a Senate committee concurred with the House that the NEA should be funded at $155 million for FY19. That's a $2 million increase from FY18. The Senate Appropriations Committee should vote on the measure Thursday. Across the street from us at the State House, a conference committee is to reconvene next week to reconcile differences between House and Senate budget versions. Both bodies already approved a $350,000 funding increase for the S.C. Arts Commission, but an additional $100,000 in Education Improvement Act funds recommended by the Senate will need conference committee approval to progress to Gov. McMaster's desk. Midlands arts nonprofits: want a $50,000 grant? Four nonprofits from Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties will receive $50,000 in grant funding and training from Google thanks to Google Impact Challenge Columbia. All nonprofits are invited to submit proposals for their creative and innovative ideas to grow economic opportunity in their communities. A local panel will select four winners, and then the public votes on which of those will receive an additional $50,000. The SCAC can't urge you strongly enough to make a run at getting one of these. Be one of the... top dogs! The deadline is July 11. See a story from WIS here. Best of luck!

Expanding arts in Appalachian communities

NEA to offer new workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities

This is an opportunity for communities in the Upstate S.C. counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. Deadline to apply is May 31. Since 2007, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with The Conservation Fund, have helped Appalachian "gateway" communities – those that are entry points or adjacent to Appalachia's national and state parks and forests – expand tourism, arts, and other community and economic development opportunities. With programming that has included targeted technical assistance, community tourism assessments, tourism planning workshops, and small grants for project implementation, the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative (AGCI) has touched more than 1,000 communities and 100 counties. In August 2018, The Conservation Fund will host the inaugural Advanced Project Implementation Workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities in Shepherdstown, W.Va. This 3-day workshop is designed for teams from gateway communities that have previously participated in AGCI activities or are ready to implement new or ongoing community projects. In addition to hearing from both national and regional experts, a main feature of the workshop will be to reassess and build capacity for community projects and planning efforts, as well as receive technical assistance on various topics to develop an action-oriented roadmap for implementation. The full team application materials can be found on the Course Web Page. The team application deadline is May 31st. Please contact Katie Allen (304.876.7925, kallen@conservationfund.org) or Kendra Briechle (703.908.5817, kbriechle@conservationfund.org) to learn more about this opportunity!

Janae Claxton is Poetry Out Loud national champ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 26 April 2018

  • Janae Claxton of First Baptist Church School in Charleston wins in Washington
  • State’s first back-to-back champ adds national honors, $20,000 prize
WASHINGTON – Last night in Washington, a Charleston student became the first South Carolinian to win the national finals of the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition and its $20,000 prize. [caption id="attachment_34999" align="alignright" width="250"] SCAC Executive Director Ken May and Janae Claxton celebrate her national championship after the competition. Credit James Kegley/NEA.[/caption] Janae Claxton, a senior at First Baptist Church School, made history already this year in March by becoming the state’s first back-to-back Poetry Out Loud state competition winner. On Tuesday, she added another first to her résumé as the first South Carolina student to advance out of round one of the national finals. By Wednesday night, she was winding down her high school experience as the competition’s national champion. She’ll bring the honor – and its $20,000 prize – back to the Palmetto State, which has offered the Poetry Out Loud competition since she was in first grade. Claxton recited “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams and “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General” by Jonathan Swift before clinching the top score from the judges with Sharon Olds’ “I Go Back to May 1937.” “[Poetry Out Loud] really does change your life. It really does have that power. For me, it changed my identity, made me see myself differently [and realize] I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I can do this,” Claxton said. “We are so proud of Janae and her historic win—our first national finalist and first national champion. She was absolutely amazing! We are also proud of South Carolina’s Poetry Out Loud program, which involves 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties. We hope that this exciting win will encourage even greater statewide participation,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. Nicholas Amador of Hawaii was first runner-up and Hope Stratman of Nebraska was second runner-up. Photos and videos of the nine finalists who competed in the April 25 finals are available here. Students and schools received $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals, including $20,000 for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion, and $10,000 and $5,000 for the second- and third-place finalists. The fourth- to ninth-place finalists each received $1,000. The schools of the top nine finalists received $500 for the purchase of poetry books. Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and the state arts agencies. Its national finals took place at George Washington University Lisner Auditorium in Washington. The event host was poet and author Elizabeth Acevedo. Guest judges included Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress; Lavina Jadhwani, Chicago-based theater director; Robin Coste Lewis, poet and National Book Award winner; Dawn Lundy Martin, poet and professor at the University of Pittsburgh; and Virgil Suárez, poet and professor of at Florida State University. The featured performer was musician Kaia Kater.
JANAE CLAXTON, 2018 POETRY OUT LOUD NATIONAL CHAMPION “[Poetry Out Loud] really does change your life. It really does have that power. For me, it changed my identity, made me see myself differently [and realize] I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I can do this.” KEN MAY, SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR “We are so proud of Janae and her historic win—our first national finalist and first national champion. She was absolutely amazing! We are also proud of South Carolina’s Poetry Out Loud program, which involves 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties. We hope that this exciting win will encourage even greater statewide participation.” ROBIN GRAMLING, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER “When you enter the world of poetry, dream big!! Janae Claxton showed us last night a grace and elegance that was transcendent. When she spoke, the hush in the room was palpable. Janae proved the truth of the poet. A word is indeed not dead when it is said ...but begins to live in unimaginable ways. Thank you Poetry Out Loud for helping resurrect the world with words!” ZURI WILSON-SEYMORE, SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISION POETRY OUR LOUD PROGRAM COORDINATOR “I'm overjoyed with excitement for Janae Claxton and this historic moment for poetry in South Carolina.”
ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org. For information about Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, visit 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.   ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. Visit Arts.gov for additional information.   ABOUT THE POETRY FOUNDATION The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the best poetry before the largest possible audiences. Visit PoetryFoundation.org for more information.

History-making Claxton nears Poetry Out Loud national title

Clemson football. Coastal Carolina baseball. USC women's basketball. Can Janae Claxton join the list of recent South Carolina national champions? The senior at First Baptist School in Charleston made history in March by becoming South Carolina’s first back-to-back Poetry Out Loud state champion. Yesterday she made more, becoming the first from the Palmetto State to advance from the regional competition at national finals. Will she make even more tonight when the nine national finalists compete to be national champion and win $20,000? It won't be much longer until that question is answered, and you can follow along tonight during the live webcast from the National Endowment for the arts. The competition runs from 7 to 9:15 p.m. The finals host is poet and author Elizabeth Acevedo. Guest judges include Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress; Lavina Jadhwani, Chicago-based theater director; Robin Coste Lewis, poet and National Book Award winner; Dawn Lundy Martin, poet and professor at the University of Pittsburgh; and Virgil Suárez, poet and professor of at Florida State University. The featured performer is musician Kaia Kater. Nine student finalists representing high schools from Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Vermont match their skills in reciting classic and contemporary poetry in a contest for the title of 2018 Poetry Out Loud National Champion and a $20,000 award. Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and the state arts agencies. More information about the 2018 National Finals is available here. Poetry Out Loud is on Twitter at @PoetryOutLoud and @NEAarts, #POL18.

Tuning Up: Busking is back in Spartanburg + NEA Jazz Masters concert

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series 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...


Not to go all meta on you, but today we bring a "Tuning Up" solely about... music. These entries are longer than normal "Tuning Up" entries, but we really, really felt like it was the perfect deployment of the feature. Enjoy! -Ed.

Busking returns to downtown Spartanburg

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series is returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District starting this week! The CCC special events coordinator describes the program like this: "Street Music, or busking, is meant to be an intimate experience, not a large event. They are like micro, pop-up performances that are meant to enhance your experience downtown and encourage you to stay longer. You will be able to walk from one end of East Main Street at Liberty all the way to The Grain District and hear a variety of musical instruments, genres, and styles." The Street Music Series launched in August 2017 and ran for 13 weeks. In that time, the Cultural District was host of  145 gigs featuring nine genres of music that more than 1,800 people stopped to enjoy along Main Street.  

Free events celebrate masters in jazz

The National Endowment for the Arts is paying tribute to the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters – Todd Barkan, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, and Dianne Reeves – with a free, Kennedy Center concert in Washington on Monday, April 16. The concert, which will also be webcast live, will bring together many stars of the jazz world in performances that will highlight the NEA Jazz Masters’ careers. The concert will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for jazz, and include remarks by the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, as well as Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center. The concert will include performances by:
  • Terri Lyne Carrington,
  • Nir Felder,
  • Sullivan Fortner,
  • James Francies,
  • Pasquale Grasso,
  • Gilad Hekselman,
  • Angelique Kidjo,
  • Christian McBride,
  • Camila Meza,
  • NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet,
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant,
  • Antonio Sanchez,
  • Helen Sung,
  • and Dan Wilson.
And oh, by the way, you're invited. Up to four (4) tickets per household may be reserved for this free concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by dialing 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home (note: these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 7:45 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018. Print-at-home tickets are unavailable for this concert. Those with ticket reservations should bring their printed reservation confirmations to the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office on Monday, April 16, 2018, between 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to receive their tickets with seating locations. All reserved tickets not picked up by 7:45 p.m. on April 16 will be released and distributed to a ticket giveaway line. If you're not up for a trip to D.C. (those cherry blossoms, though!), the concert will be video-streamed live on the NEA and Kennedy Center websites, among others. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov. In addition, SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz will audio broadcast the concert live.

Six students readying for ‘Poetry Out Loud’ state finals Saturday

Six South Carolina high school students will compete in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – this Saturday, March 10, 3 p.m. at the Richland Library Main Branch (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). Janae ClaxtonThe S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the competition to state high schools for 12 years running. In 2017, around 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties participated. School competition winners competed against students in their district to move on and compete in January’s regional finals. The following six state regional winners, three from each of two regions, compete Saturday for the opportunity to be the South Carolina representative in the national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.:

  • Grant Butler (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Janae Claxton (pictured - First Baptist Church High School in Charleston)
  • Sha’Kaila Stewart (Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook)
  • Alyssa Stone (Wando High School in Mount Pleasant)
  • Alexia Story (Buford High School in Lancaster)
  • Taylor Elisse Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize. Contestant Janae Claxton is the 2017 S.C. Poetry Out Loud winner. Update, 12:25 p.m. March 8: First alternate Alyssa Stone will replace Keegan Dustin, who is unable to perform, on the program.

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

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.

Six students advance to state ‘Poetry Out Loud’ finals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 24 January 2018

  • Regional competitions yield six finalists
  • State finals to be held March 10 in Columbia
  • Winner advances to national competition in Washington, D.C.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Six South Carolina high school students reached the state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – after regional competitions in Charleston and Spartanburg this past weekend. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the competition to state high schools for 12 years running. In 2017, around 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties participated. School competition winners compete against students in their district to move on to compete in the state finals.  
(l-r: Keegan Dustin, Janae Claxton, Sha'Kaila Stewart, Taylor Elisse Wade, Alexia Story, and Grant Butler)
  The following six state regional winners, three from each of two regions, will compete Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Richland Library Main Branch in Columbia for the opportunity to be the South Carolina representative in the national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.:
  • Grant Butler (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Janae Claxton (First Baptist Church High School in Charleston)
  • Keegan Dustin (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
  • Sha’Kaila Stewart (Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook)
  • Alexia Story (Buford High School in Lancaster)
  • Taylor Elisse Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.
ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.
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.

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.