S.C. Arts Awards: Cecil Williams
2019 Recipient Feature Series
As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.
Cecil Williams is a professional photographer, videographer, publisher, inventor, and author.
Born and raised in Orangeburg, his extraordinary life and career were shaped by the personal, economic, and political boundaries of segregated life during the Jim Crow Era South. He is perhaps best known for using his penetrating lens to document the struggle to achieve freedom, justice, and equality during the civil rights movement.
By the age of 9, he had already begun his career in photography and by 15 was working professionally. From a childhood darkroom in Orangeburg to New York hotels with heads of state to the frontlines of protests and mass meetings around South Carolina, Williams has recorded remarkable moments from the past. He worked as a freelancer for JET magazine, the Baltimore Afro-Americana and the Pittsburgh Courier and as a stringer for the Associated Press. As a young journalist, Williams developed close associations with key Civil Rights figures who provided him unique access to events around South Carolina that were closed to outsiders and the mainstream press.
The teenaged Williams documented the Clarendon County movement that led to Briggs v. Elliott, an important legal precedent for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated public schools. He also captured the bravery of student protesters at South Carolina State College, desegregation at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, the quiet heroism of teachers at the Elloree Training School who resigned from their jobs rather than renounce their affiliation with the NAACP and then and was there for the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968. When Lennie Glover, a Benedict College student, returned to the protest lines after a near-fatal stabbing, Williams was there, his camera focused on Glover’s determined steps down Columbia’s Main Street as he challenged segregation.
An accomplished architect, he designed six residences that served as his home and art studio. He became an author in May 2006, publishing Out of the Box in Dixie
, a photo-documentary. That publication’s sequel, Unforgettable
, was released February 2018. Williams earned a degree in art from Claflin University and was recently appointed by Claflin as its historic preservationist.
Williams is recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest award to an individual, and last fall received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities from SC Humanities. He owns Cecil Williams Photography, LLC in Orangeburg, and his new creation, the Cecil Williams Museum in Orangeburg, is slated to debut May 17, 2019.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.
Meet the Recipients
Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.
SCAC grant supports Claflin campers’ ‘Aladdin Jr.’ performance
Here's a brief grantee spotlight from The Times & Democrat:
Claflin University is hosting an intensive residential camp designed to provide high-level artistic instruction to youth entering grades six through 10 in a college environment. It is funded through a S.C. Arts Commission arts education grant.
The camp will conclude on Saturday, June 16 with a musical theater production of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.”
Claflin University Intensive (CUSAI) Residential Camp participants are taking classes led by college professors in acting, art (graphic design and jewelry making), dance, music and video production while preparing for the culminating musical theatre production featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin, and book by Chad Beguelin.
Participants are also mentored by college students majoring in one of the artistic disciplines.
Go here to read the full story
Orangeburg contest brings children’s artwork to store windows
From the Orangeburg Times and Democrat
Article by Gene Zaleski, photos by Larry Hardy
Edisto High School junior Hannah Fanning, 17, has loved art for a long time.
"I don't know where it came from," Fanning said. "I remember myself in kindergarten begging for more painting materials. Art and drawing have always been a passion."
Her love propelled Fanning to submit an entry into the Paint A Good Word project.
Paint A Good Word is an art contest for children in grades K-12. Area children were asked to paint their interpretation of “good words,” including many of the Orangeburg County Community of Character traits as well words such as peace, joy, family, love, laugh and more.
The Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center, which helped initiate the program, received 326 entries. Of those, 50 were selected and posted in windows of downtown merchants the first week in April. Some art is also displayed in vacant buildings. (Visit http://www.ocfac.net/ for a list of selected artists and locations.)
For her piece, Fanning chose the word “dance.”
"I chose it because when you dance, you move and it is all emotional,” Fanning said. “I move and put my emotions into my artwork."
Fanning's art is located in Orangeburg Furniture Exchange on Middleton Street. It consists of silhouettes of a man and woman dancing over the letters of the word dance.
About 18 schools are represented among the top 50.
Fifth-grade Holly Hill Elementary School student Cierra Randolph drew about the word “inspire.” The 11-year-old’s artwork is in Smoak's Hardware on the 1100 block of Russell Street.
"My grandmother always tells me she wants me to inspire people,” Randolph said.
Randolph used colored pencils, markers, highlighters and a “little bit of crayon” to create her work over a five-day period.
Holly Hill fifth-grader Cumauri Boyd chose the word “freedom.” The 11-year-old’s artwork is displayed at the Chamber of Commerce office on Riverside Drive.
"In school I learned a lot about slavery and I started to think about slavery and how they got treated," Boyd said. "I thought how the Civil War ended slavery and they then had their freedom."
Boyd's artwork shows a person's hand wrapped with broken chains.
"I have been drawing for a long while," Boyd said. "The thing I like most about drawing is showing everyone what you have accomplished."
Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association Executive Director Jennifer Hoesing said merchants report that people are coming in to vote for their favorites.
"Part of the purpose of the program is to get more people downtown, and into businesses where they haven't been in a while,” she said.
Orangeburg Furniture Exchange President Sandy Bryant said the program has been positive.
"We have had several people come in and sign up," Bryant said.
When asked if the program has increased foot traffic in the store, Bryant said many people have come in strictly for the Paint a Good Word project.
But anything organizers can do to help is good, he said.
The Paint A Good Word project was created to showcase the talents of Orangeburg's children and youth, Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center Executive Director Beth Thomas said. All the entries submitted will be on display at the center for the entire month of November.
"It is also to bring attention to the Fine Arts Center, DORA and the Chamber that really exist for the betterment of the community," Thomas said. "it is about creating an awareness and getting children, teachers and parents involved in the same project."
The Fine Arts Center, DORA, Chamber of Commerce, Community of Character, Orangeburg County Development Commission, city of Orangeburg and The Times and Democrat worked together on the project. Organizers also thanked Williamson Printing, Office Max Orangeburg, Emery Marketing, WORG-FM, Major Graphics and Sun Printing.
The public is asked to vote for their favorite in each grade category by visiting participating merchants. The winners in each category will receive a new iPad Mini 2. The categories are from kindergarten to 5th grade, 6th grade to 8th grade and 9th grade to 12th grade.
Ballots are available at all participating Paint A Good Word merchants. A complete list of the merchants and artists can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website at orangeburgchamber.com, DORA's website at orangeburgdora.com and the Fine Arts Center website at ocfac.net.
To be counted, a ballot must include the voter’s name and contact information. A person may vote more than once but can only vote one time at each participating location.
The artwork will be on display through June 1 with the final vote occurring shortly after that date.
Star of Jackie Robinson film is a graduate of S.C. arts education programs
In an opinion piece for The Times & Democrat, Dr. Leo Twiggs, board member for the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, discusses the success of one student who was the product of South Carolina's public school arts in education programs.
Local woman takes advantage of opportunities
April 29, 2013 2:45 am • By DR. LEO TWIGGS
The number one movie in the box office showcases the talents of two South Carolina actors. One of whom is a graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH).
SCGSAH alumnae Nicole Brown Beharie graduated from the school’s Drama program in 2003. An AP student at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, Nicole wasn’t initially encouraged to SCGSAH to continue her studies. Her mother had the tenacity to contact me, a board member for the school, to find out more about the program. Thankfully, I was able to give her the information she needed for the application, and Nicole was accepted.
Attending the school afforded Nicole, as it does all students, opportunities not otherwise provided in a traditional school setting. After two years of intense study in academics and drama, her chosen artistic discipline, she was the first SCGSAH student to be accepted and attend one of the most prestigious performing arts institutions in the world, the Juilliard School for Drama. It felt fortuitous that I was on campus the day she received her acceptance letter. I knew nothing but good things would come from this amazing actress.
And I was right.
She was the first student to receive the prestigious Robin Williams Scholarship by unanimous vote of the Juilliard drama division faculty. Now she is playing a starring role in the country’s top ranked movie, “42.” Handpicked for the role of Jackie Robinson’s wife by Rachel Robinson herself, Nicole shines as she embodies the small-statured but strong companion to the baseball legend.
Nicole’s story is one of many to come from the state-supported public arts high school. The South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities fosters artistically talented South Carolina students, no matter their race, gender or economic station in life. And it fosters growth into amazing things.
So when Nicole gets her first Oscar nomination, be it for “42” or another role, she will have done so with the foundation of a South Carolina public school. A school that historically attains the third highest SAT scores in the state, without selecting its students by academic standards, and has received more than $120 million in scholarship offers since the inaugural graduating class in 2001. A school that succeeds because it provides a life-changing opportunity for every one of the students that attends.
South Carolina is full of students just like Nicole, and it is our job to reach them and let them know of the opportunities provided by this great state. By supporting SCGSAH and arts education, you give a voice to these talented students and help change lives.
— Dr. Leo Twiggs
Board Member, SCGSAH
Board of Trustees Chairman, South Carolina Hall of Fame
[caption id="attachment_5642" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson in "42"[/caption]
Via: The Times & Democrat
Editor's note: Beharie is paired with another South Carolinian in "42;" Jackie Robinson is played by Anderson native Chadwick Boseman.
[caption id="attachment_5668" align="alignleft" width="600"]
South Carolinians Nicole Beharie and Chadwick Boseman star as Rachel and Jackie Robinson in "42."
Image source: http://42movie.warnerbros.com[/caption]
Philanthropist Darla Moore endows $1 million for Claflin University Department of Music
Claflin University received a major gift from one of South Carolina’s most prominent philanthropists and business leaders when Darla Moore committed $1 million to the institution’s Department of Music.
Two years ago, Moore stood in awe as she listened to the Claflin University Concert Choir perform at the opening of the Dr. Ronald McNair Life History Center in her home town of Lake City. She was struck by the choir’s expansive repertoire, its high energy, and captivating musical presence.
That performance and those that followed made a lasting impression on Moore, herself an accomplished musician. It also inspired an amicable relationship with the choir and its director, Dr. Isaiah McGee. “Following our performance at the Ronald McNair Life History Center, Ms. Moore invited us back to Lake City to perform at the opening of the Bean Market. Then we were invited to the city again to perform Handel’s Messiah during a Christmas concert,” said McGee.
Read the rest of the story.
Via: Claflin University
Four artists included in 2013 S.C. African-American history calendar
Four artists with S.C. connections are included in the just-released 2013 South Carolina African-American history calendar sponsored by AT&T South Carolina. These native South Carolinians have gained national and international acclaim for their work:
- Opera singer Gwendolyn Bradley of Bishopville made her debut at the MET in 1981 and has achieved international fame.
- Marie Brailey (deceased) and her son Willie Van Brailey, natives of Orangeburg, each worked at the art of chair caning for 50 years. Mrs. Brailey received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1997, and Mr. Brailey received the award in 2011.
- Celebrated poet Nikky Finney was born in Conway. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split, was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.
- Painter, sculptor and printmaker Otto Neals was born in Lake City. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Read more about these artists by visiting the calendar website
and clicking "Download the 2013 calendar." More information is also available in this article
from The State.
Via: AT&T South Carolina, The State
Midlands writers! Deadline extended for anthology submissions
Muddy Ford Press is looking for a few more poems, essays or short fiction to finish up the anthology, A Sense of the Midlands. The deadline has been extended -- you now have until Oct. 15 at midnight.
Call for submissions details
Muddy Ford Press is accepting submissions of poetry, essays, and short fiction exploring the sensory world of the South Carolina Midlands for an anthology titled A Sense of the Midlands. Submissions should deal with how the sensory experiences (taste, touch, sight, sound and smell) of living in the South Carolina Midlands grounds, changes, challenges and enriches us.
Submission is open to residents of Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield, Calhoun, Saluda, Orangeburg, and Kershaw counties.
- Short fiction – no more than 2,500 words
- Essays – no more than 1,200 words
- Poetry – no more than 5 pages
Submit in a standard 12 pt. Word document to Publisher@MuddyFordPress.com
and include a cover sheet with your name, address, email, phone and the title of your work.
A little more information is available on the Jasper Magazine website
. Questions? Contact editor@JasperMagazine.com
Via: Jasper Magazine