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Explore ‘Facing Race Together’ at Richland Library

A new exhibit explores the meaning of inclusion and racial equity in our community through the eyes of local artists. Facing Race Together goes on display Thursday, March 5 in The Gallery at Richland Library. The exhibit features nine artists: JoAnn Borovicka; Charles Eady; Kanae Goji; Lori Starnes Isom; Rachelle Kobilarov; Roxana Sinex; Amanda Ladymon Stockard; Keith Tolen, and Sabrina White. Overall, there are 20 pieces, which emphasize the artists' experiences of living in the minority or facing metaphorical and literal barriers of living in the South. They range from acrylic, silkscreens and textiles to wood, mixed-media and a three-dimensional installation. Join us for an opening reception later that evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at our Main location (1431 Assembly St.) to meet and interact with the artists. The program, which is free and open to the public, includes food from A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen and live painting from two of the artists, Isom and Tolen. Facing Race Together opens in conjunction with the Together SC Summit, and the exhibit runs through Friday, May 1.


About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Phil to party like it’s 2009

Saturday concert to feature pair of 2009 SCAC fellows


A pair of 2009 South Carolina Arts Commission music fellows will have prominent roles in the South Carolina Philharmonic's next concert this Saturday night in Columbia. The orchestra is continuing its year-long celebration of 250 years of Beethoven with his first piano concerto. Out front on the Steinway will be Phillip Bush: music professor at the University of South Carolina, frequent presenter at the Southeastern Piano Festival, well-traveled and highly regarded concert pianist, recording artist and—oh by the way—the S.C. Arts Commission's 2009 music performance fellowship recipient. The Peabody alum has taken the stage across the U.S. and Japan, where he performed some 25 concerts over a 10-year period. His repertoire includes works from the 16th century to the 21st, as he is a devoted advocate for contemporary music. And that is where John Fitz Rogers comes in. He also received an S.C. Arts Commission fellowship in 2009, his for music composition. To start the concert, the orchestra will reprise his The Passing Sun, a work commissioned by the Phil to celebrate its 50th season in 2014/2015. It is an orchestral piece, but Fitz Rogers has composed for works featuring bassoon, guitar, piano, saxophone, and vocal soloists (with orchestras, including chamber ensembles). He holds degrees from Cornell, Yale, and Oberlin and is currently professor of composition at the UofSC, where he founded and, for a time, directed the widely acclaimed Southern Exposure New Music Series. His works have been recorded and released by multiple labels. The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia). $16-$50. Click here to learn more.
Learn more about South Carolina Arts Commission fellowship recipients here.  

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Trustus Theatre names Chad Henderson producing artistic director

Trustus Theatre On Monday, the Trustus Theatre board of directors voted to end the organization’s search for a managing director that began in September 2019 and named Artistic Director Chad Henderson as the producing artistic director. Henderson will now serve the organization in an executive capacity to lead artists, staff, board and the community in realizing the theatre’s mission. He is a native of Spartanburg and began working at Trustus Theatre in 2007 as the marketing director after graduating from the University of South Carolina. After an eight-year career as a professional director, he became Trustus' third artistic director at the start of the theatre’s 31st season in 2015. This is Henderson’s fifth season as the artistic leader of the organization, and the South Carolina Theatre Association recognized him with the 2019 Founders Award last season in recognition for his contributions to South Carolina theatre the previous year. The theatre intends to hire an administrative assistant of production in the coming months to assist in the management of productions, contribution programs, and communications.


Sumner Bender, president of Trustus Theatre’s board, is confident in the board’s decision to make Henderson the producing artistic director. “Over the past several years, Trustus Theatre has been in a structural transition,” said Bender. “One of the only constants during that change has been Chad Henderson. The board of directors worked diligently over the past year to assess and evaluate the responsibilities and duties for an organizational leader. Many of those duties were already being performed by Mr. Henderson. A theatre organization is mutable, just like many smaller arts organizations, and it must be able to recognize when that change is needed. Therefore, when hiring an organizational leader, you can only hope for one that understands the mission, is a champion for the vision, and willing to work hard to maintain that integrity. We’re lucky that Mr. Henderson possesses all of those qualities and will continue to serve as a leader for Trustus Theatre.” Henderson is honored by the opportunity to serve Trustus in this new capacity. “Trustus has been my artistic home for over fifteen years,” said Henderson. “Being given the chance to lead the organization in this capacity is humbling, and it is also energizing. I can’t quantify what this theatre has given me since its co-founders Jim and Kay Thigpen hired me right out of college, but I constantly endeavor to give back in whatever way I can. While our strategies may transform on occasion, the organization continues to be a vital cultural institution in South Carolina. My hope is that my service to the organization can position it for continued success in the next 35 years by celebrating artistry, community, and the power of storytelling.”
Trustus Theatre is currently in its 35th season as the Midlands’s contemporary professional theatre. Founded in 1985 by Kay and Jim Thigpen, Trustus Theatre boasts two performing venues with the Thigpen Main Stage seating 132 and the Trustus Side Door Theatre seating 50. The theatre and the Trustus Company endeavor to enrich the lives and deepen the experiences of their artists and patrons by producing works that examine humanity in the 21st century. The theatre’s goal is to select challenging scripts that will start and nurture dialogues that promote discussion within the community with productions that are brought to life through dynamic storytelling and inventive designs.

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Events job opening at Columbia Museum of Art

Title: Special Events Assistant Reports to: Special Events Manager Purpose: To assist in managing and selling the museum’s facilities event rental program. (Ed. note: No application deadline was given.)
Responsibilities Primarily assists with event execution and planning: to include management of assigned events, client relations, and supervision of event staff. Handles administrative tasks including event inquiries, scheduling, contracts, and billing. Provides support for the Special Events Manager. Assists with sales to meet annual revenue goals for venue rentals and corporate memberships. Supervisory Duties

Supervise part-time event staff at specific events, as directed. Primary Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Administration (40% - 16 hours a week)

    • Assist Special Events Manager daily
    • Serve as one of two special event staff who are primary contacts for all event inquiries
    • As assigned, offer facility walkthroughs to potential clients
    • Work with Special Events Manager to plan every two-week work schedule
    • Communicate with clients throughout rental timeline in advance of deadlines for contracts, payments, walkthroughs, floorplans, and insurance documents; manage records on the shareddrive
    • Assist the Special Events Manager with admin and planning for internal events, including submitting check requests, purchase orders, and RFPs
    • Manage rental information forms, prepare for walkthroughs and meetings as necessary
    • Schedule event holds on the CMA master calendar, communicate with clients and update as 2-week hold comes to an end
    • Enter rentals and payments into group sales in database and update as necessary
    • Enter interactions and contacts into database in a timely manner

Events (40% - 16 hours a week)

    • Work a varying 40-hour week to cover day, night, and weekend events
    • Use quick problem solving to address client needs
    • Offer clients excellent customer service in all communications before, during, and after event
    • Manage specific events, including setup and breakdown, coordinate event timelines, and work with vendors and facilities/maintenance staff
    • Supervise part-time event staff and vendors as directed, at specific events or as part of an event managed by the special events manager
    • Work with the special events manager to train part-time event staff as needed
    • Manage inventory (including alcohol) before and after events, and monitor stock of event supplies
    • Record attendance numbers

Promoting, Selling, and Cultivating (20% - 8 hours a week)

    • Provide consistently excellent communication and customer service to clients
    • Attend internal and external meetings as deemed necessary or as assigned, and work as a team with other museum staff
    • Identify, research, and pitch new prospects for rentals and vendor or community partnerships, participate in cultivation and solicitation
    • Consider rental contacts, both inquiries and confirmed, for membership and donor cultivation
    • Meet goals for rental sales, sponsorships and corporate memberships each fiscal year
    • Attend community and networking events as necessary to build relationships and promote the museum

Job Type

This is a full-time, non-exempt position not to exceed 40 hours per week. Schedule varies, requiring flexibility, including an average of 2-4 evenings weekly and 2-3 weekends per month. Must be able to lift up to 50lbs, move furniture and equipment, reach, stand, and walk for extended hours.

Knowledge and Experience

Knowledge of facility operations, event planning, sales management, accounting, marketing, or administration helpful. Experience working as part of a team, strong verbal and written communication and customer service skills, and strong organization required.

Skills and Abilities

Be a positive, confident employee and an advocate for the museum. Interact with people from all backgrounds in a clear, courteous, and respectful way. Be a highly motivated team player who is enthusiastic and proactive, and who thrives in a very fast-paced environment. Should have a passion for the job and the museum, and be creative, innovative, agile, and vibrant. Possess a strong sense of urgency, priority, and follow-through. Maintain a consistently professional appearance. Work independently, anticipate needs, and manage multiple tasks and assignments simultaneously. Be able to work collegially with staff across departments to achieve common objectives. Discretion and sound judgment are required. Maintain the highest professional and ethical standards.

Applicants are asked to send your resume and cover letter to jdixon-mccray@columbiamuseum.org. (Ed. note: No application deadline was given.)

What’s that? Accessibility Grants from the SCAC

'Trustus in the Round' a result of grant


It's a small grant category, but it helps South Carolina organizations do big things in the arts. Notice we didn't say "arts organizations" there. That's because Accessibility Grants are intended help South Carolina organizations make arts programs and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. Non-profit organizations, units of government, and designated S.C. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs boards who provide arts programming can use an Accessibility Grant to get up to $2,500 to improve access to that programming. Sounds nice, and you should definitely read more about these grants, but what does it look like in real life? Well... Trustus Theatre in Columbia wanted its audiences to experience "theater in the round" for three consecutive productions in early 2020. Extensive renovation to the main stage would be required to convert it to a round configuration. But a problem arose: even though it's temporary, the round stage would nonetheless compromise current accessibility enjoyed by Trustus' disabled patrons. The answer was to remove 88 fixed seats to integrate accessible seating into the temporary stage structure which, when complete, would be able to reintegrate some of the removed fixed seating while allowing ramp access to patrons who need it. A $2,500 Accessibility Grant from the S.C. Arts Commission made that happen. And, because partnerships are a key way SCAC accomplishes its work, it's here that we'll note Trustus partnered with ABLE SC to develop a viable solution. The round stage debuts Feb. 7 with the theater's production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

UofSC SVAD extends residency deadline

Application deadline: January 5, 2020 January 31, 2020


The School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD) at the University of South Carolina is accepting applications for its 2020 Artist Residency Program at Stormwater Studios in Columbia. SVAD hosts an Artist Residency Program through its studio space inside of Stormwater Studios, providing essential studio space for students, faculty members, and visiting artists and community members to develop new work, lead workshops, give educational talks, and host exhibitions. We’ve designed our studio to be an ideal working environment for visual artists to test new ideas and experiment with materials. The program is designed to provide a local or regional artist with the time and space to create new works within an established artist community, and the opportunity to engage with SVAD students, faculty, and staff, as well as the greater Columbia community. The participating artist-in-residence will be provided an honorarium of $1,000 to support their work and activity, but housing and transportation are not provided. Participation in Third Thursday Open Studios (March 19, 2020) and with the SVAD and Columbia communities is strongly encouraged. Dates of residency: March 2, 2020 – April 3, 2020

How to apply

Please send the following by email, as one PDF, to svadstrm@mailbox.sc.edu:
  • Digital portfolio (10–20 images)
  • Resume
  • Artist Statement describing the following:
    •  current work
    • proposed project while in residence
    •  how you will engage with SVAD’s students and the local community (workshop, presentation, etc.), a requirement of the residency
SVAD is accepting applications through Jan. 31, 2020. One artist will be chosen by a selection committee and contacted by Feb. 15, 2020. The full details can be found on their website. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Community Programs Coordinator Anna Toptchi, at toptchi@mailbox.sc.edu or 803.777.4184.

Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

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.

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Travel abroad through the eyes of a local artist

As we prepare to travel into a new decade, experience a new exhibit that paints the journey of a local artist's travel abroad. Bitácora/Travelogue goes on display today in The Gallery at Richland Library. The exhibit features 40 pieces, which encompass watercolor paintings, high-resolution reproductions and personal travel journals of Alejandro García Lemos. It documents the process of change through travel and movement, offering his impressions of each destination. Lemos is the founder of Palmetto & LUNA, a non-profit organization that promotes Latino arts and cultures in South Carolina. He says, "Traveling becomes a way (if not the best way) of learning, of self-awareness and of internal questioning, and drawing becomes the means to express those feelings of constant flux and change." Join us for an opening reception later that evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at our Main location (1431 Assembly St., Columbia) to meet and interact with the artist. The after-hours event is free and open to the public, and it includes a musical performance by Son del Sur. Bitácora/Travelogue runs through Feb. 28, 2020. For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803-587-3637 or email estoll@richlandlibrary.com.


About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 12 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Really? Vandal or vandals damage mural in Columbia park

Juveniles suspected by police


From The State this morning: [caption id="attachment_43362" align="alignright" width="150"]confused man Yeah, we don't get it.[/caption]

“The mural was apparently damaged Sunday night. Columbia police have watched surveillance video from the parking lot, but so far no arrests have been made.

Park workers removed the graffiti Monday and Tuesday. However, the chemicals used also marred parts of the painting.

“'They did a decent job of getting the tag (graffiti) off, but it did some damage to the paint on the mural,' said Lee Snelgrove, executive director of One Columbia for Arts and Culture. 'It will require (the artist) to come back and touch up the areas.'”

Read the full story here. (Subscription might be required.) The mural in question is in Riverfront Park along the flood-damaged Columbia Canal.

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Midlands Arts Conservatory receives $10,000 grant

Lipscomb Family Foundation grant supports pianos

black and white piano keyboard
The Lipscomb Family Foundation just awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) to help fund the purchase of a piano lab for the school. The total cost for the piano lab, which includes one teacher piano and 15 electronic student pianos, is $34,882. Rice Music House has already donated $7,681 towards the project and has also loaned MAC the Lab for this academic year. In order to fully fund the Lab, MAC still needs to raise about $17,000 from local donors and other foundations. The Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) is a free public charter school in Columbia with a focus on visual arts, theater, dance, and music. The mission is to prepare students for academic and personal success in an environment that promotes intellectual curiosity, cultural literacy, and a deep appreciation of the arts. MAC currently consists of students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades, and it will continue to add one new grade every year until it is a full 6-12th grade school. Students at MAC receive three hours of academic instruction each day and three hours of instruction in their art area. Daily music instruction at MAC includes Suzuki strings (violin, viola, cello), as well as music theory, ear training, music history, piano and choir. For more information, contact Head of Schools Brad Tillman at brad.tillman@midlandsartsconservatory.org or visit the MAC website at http://midlandsartsconservatory.org. MAC is located at 3806 North Main St. in Columbia.
Photo by Daniel Spase from Pexels