← View All Articles

Tuning Up: Grantee’s dream becomes reality + writing workshop

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Today we have a couple updates from the land of Facebook:
  • Yesterday our page updated followers that 18/19 Artists' Ventures Initiatives grantee Serwah Armah-Koranteng took delivery of a dream. During the Thanksgiving holiday, her mobile boutique arrived. AfricStyle Initiative will take to the road with a sewing training center and pop-up mobile boutique just in time for the holidays.
  • ICYMI, the second "Communal Pen" writing workshop takes place this Saturday at Voorhees College in Denmark (South Carolina). Go here now for details and a link to register.

Submitted material

Wando band marches in national competition today

Sculpture and music combine for an award-winning marching band show

By Karen McDonough While most high school students probably have never heard of Alexander Calder, a group of South Carolina teen musicians have become quite familiar with the 20th century American sculptor’s work. Calder’s art work is the central theme of this year’s show by the nationally-ranked Wando High School marching band in Mt. Pleasant. The band performance – which features Calder-inspired sculptures as set props and other nods to his creative force – is a moving collaboration and celebration of sound, movement, and art. And it has catapulted the school to winning back-to-back, first-place wins this fall in regional Bands of America (BOA) competitions for the first time ever. The band performs in the BOA Grand National competition Nov. 8-10 in Indianapolis.

UPDATE, 13 Nov. 2018, 12:25: Go here for an update on how they did!

In the Calder-inspired show, some 260 students –playing everything from the piccolo to the sousaphone with a highly impressive drumline – move, dance and march across a football field, along with 38 color guard wearing bold-hued costumes during the 12-minute theatrical presentation. [caption id="attachment_37721" align="alignright" width="301"] The Wando High School color guard performs on the swing prop. (Stacey Mercorelli)[/caption] “Our show is an attempt to use the abstract use of form, color, balance and motion seen in Calder’s sculptures, to create an environment on the football field that is not unlike a modern sculpture garden,” Wando Band’s program coordinator Michael Gray told MoultrieNews.com. “Each of the Calder inspired props in our show contain elements that move throughout the show, all dependent upon the environment in which they are placed.” The students play musical selections from the classic film "To Kill A Mockingbird” by Elmer Bernstein, an original score by South Carolina composer Jay Bocook and “The Big Apple” by Johan de Meij – against a backdrop of colorful, movable props – all handmade by band parents – reminiscent of the shapes in Calder’s work. The show features recorded narration which tells Calder’s story from the words of art historians, collectors and others who best knew his work. One of the props is inspired by Calder’s famous red outdoor “Flamingo” steel and glass sculpture in downtown Chicago, which the band affectionately refers to as just “Chicago.” Other bright colored props carry the childlike and innocent feel of Calder’s work. [caption id="attachment_37720" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Band parents adjust the "Chicago" prop. (Mike Terry)[/caption] The show was titled “By a Thread” because Calder’s art seemingly hangs by a thread, Gray said, as viewers must look up to see his mobiles and large-scale sculptures. [caption id="attachment_37722" align="alignright" width="250"] Michael Gray (Margie Jackson)[/caption] Gray is a Charleston-based impressionist painter whose artwork is in several galleries around the country. He’s been a part of the Wando band creative team for 18 years and came up with the idea for a Calder-inspired show eight years ago. While it took that many years for the school to get permission to use the likeness of Calder images as set props and on the color guard flags, something else had to be present. The students had to be advanced musically enough as well to tackle a show like this, Gray said. And this season everything came together. Gray designed the color guard costumes, which were inspired by circus costumes Calder had designed for the dance company of Josephine Baker, who dominated the Parisian entertainment scene of that era. Gray also designed the band’s new uniforms this year, an upgrade from the same uniform they wore for 13 previous years. Gray’s artistic vision for the program, along with the hard work and long hours of a sizable team of pros lead by Wando Band Director Bobby Lambert and Assistant Directors Lanie Radecke and Jeff Handel, has helped raise the school’s national profile. “I love focusing our attention on a specific person because it allows us to bring that person and his art to life in a way that can only be done through music,” Lambert said. “In no other activity is a young person asked to be brilliant, athletic, sensitive, and artistic all at the same time. Bringing all of those mediums together alone is a triumph but to do it at a level commensurate with some of the best in the country is extraordinary.” Wando won two first-place titles in regional BOA competitions in October, earning Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect in each. The marching band has been a Grand National Finalist four times and the South Carolina 5-A state champions 11 times since 2005. It’s Gray’s hope to educate and entertain audiences watching this year’s show. “If one person [seeing the performance] gets on their phone and Googles ‘Alexander Calder,’ I’m at peace,” he said.
Karen McDonough is a freelance writer based in Mt. Pleasant.

Tuning Up: Tom Stanley exhibition + repurposed harbor trash

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Looking for a little structure? Hampton III Gallery delivers. Tom Stanley: Structures begins a week from tonight with a reception from 7-9 p.m. The Winthrop/Rock Hill artist received a Verner Award this past spring for his body of work. He'll also be present for "coffee and conversation" Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to noon. 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Taylors. Free. Many people's trash is a few people's art. Plastic scraps from Charleston Harbor made for trashy art in a Lowcountry contest (Post & Courier).

Governor’s School senior among world’s top young poets

The Poetry Society announces The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 winners


When The Poetry Society announced the top 15 winners and 85 commended poets of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 at a prize-giving ceremony at the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall in London, a young South Carolinian found her name on the list. S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities senior creative writing student Maggie Olszewski from Columbia was named a 2018 Foyle Young Poet by The Poetry Society.  She is one of 15 selected from 6,000 contenders worldwide and her poem was chosen from 11,000 submissions. She is the only American winner. She fell in love with poetry in the second grade, when she first read Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. She loves walking around in the woods, doodling, and having intense discussions about superheroes. She has won regional awards for her poetry from Scholastics and has had two poems published in Jasper magazine. Organised by The Poetry Society and generously supported by the Foyle Foundation, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Held annually since 1998, the Foyle Awards is one of the largest literary competitions in the world and a defining award for young poets, in some cases kick-starting the career of some of today’s most exciting voices in poetry. The 2018 competition attracted nearly 11,000 poems from nearly 6,000 poets from around the world, including all postcode areas of the UK. Writers from 83 countries entered the competition, including Armenia, Botswana, Cambodia, Eritrea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and for the very first time, Uruguay.
From the thousands of poems entered, this year’s judges Caroline Bird (a Foyle winner in 1999 & 2000) and Daljit Nagra (BBC Radio 4’s Poet in Residence and also a Foyle judge in 2008) selected 100 winners, made up of 15 top poets and 85 commended poets. Caroline spoke of the way the winning poems came alive on the page:

“The poems that embedded themselves in my mind were those with a strong, original idea. They jumped out because they felt new and vivid; cinematic and alive, like they weren’t documented on the page they were occurring on the page.

“I can still see the images in my head... You instantly feel like you’ve been ushered into an original world – the poet’s world. Or sometimes it was about the way they looked at a situation, with x-ray eyes... that gazed under the surface of the ordinary.”

Daljit was impressed by the maturity of thought and writing from the younger winners:

“I was pleased to read so many outstanding poems by children under 15 years of age. This shows the excellent health of poetry across the ages; the last time I judged, a decade ago, nearly all the winners were late teens. Our young poets forced their way into the final 100 through the sheer vigour of the voice.

“I was also impressed by the maturity of the work we read; so many of our young poets showed a keen awareness of serious issues such as identity politics, environment issues and the global tensions currently between nation states. I really felt our young poets were keen to explore the perilous state of our world through poetry; they seem to regard verse as a valid form of expression for serious ideas.

“Our young poets seemed keen to pay respect to traditional forms, good lineation and stanza forms as a way of developing their imaginative arguments. This was highly impressive.”


Winners of the award receive a fantastic range of prizes to help develop their writing. The top 15 poets (age dependent) are invited to attend a residential writing course where they spend a week with experienced tutors focusing on improving their poetry, or receive poetry workshops at their school. All 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award receive a year's membership of the Poetry Society and a goody bag stuffed full of books donated by our generous sponsors. The Poetry Society continues to support winners throughout their careers providing publication, performance and development opportunities, and access to a paid internship program. The top 15 poems will be published in a printed winners' anthology (also available online) from March 2019. The 85 commended poems will appear in an online anthology. Both anthologies are distributed free to thousands of schools, libraries, reading groups and poetry lovers across the UK and the world. The Top 15 Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018 are:
  • Suzanne Antelme, 16, Surrey
  • Mathilda Armiger, 16, Norfolk
  • Caitlin Catheld Pyper, 13, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Maiya Dambawinna, 17, Leeds
  • Suki Datar Jones, 17, London
  • Olivia Hu, 17, British Columbia, Canada
  • Angela King, 15, London
  • Sammy Loehnis, 12, Oxfordshire
  • Cia Mangat, 16, London
  • Maggie Olszewski, 17, South Carolina, USA
  • Em Power, 15, London
  • Elizabeth Thatcher, 16, London
  • Lucy Thynne, 17, London
  • Sophie Thynne, 15, London
  • Georgie Woodhead, 15, Sheffield

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

Foyle Young Poets of the Year is the largest and most prestigious award for young poets aged 11-17 writing original works in Egnlish. The competition is free to enter and poems can be on any theme, and of any length. Winners are published in an anthology, and benefit from a range of professional development opportunities offered by The Poetry Society. Foyle winners are also offered paid internships, and editorial opportunities via The Poetry Society’s online platform the Young Poets Network, www.youngpoetsnetwork.org.uk. To read profiles of former winners, read the full rules, download lesson plans and enter online, visit foyleyoungpoets.org.

The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust supporting UK charities which, since its formation in 2001, has become a major funder of the arts and learning. The Foyle Foundation has invested in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award since 2001, one of its longest partnerships. During this time it has trebled its support and enabled the competition to develop and grow to become one of the premier literary awards in the country. Online: foylefoundation.org.uk

The Poetry Society

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote a “more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has over 4,000 members worldwide and publishes Britain’s leading poetry magazine,The Poetry Review.  With innovative education and commissioning programs, and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all. Online: poetrysociety.org.uk

Theatre thriving in South Carolina

Theatre seems to be jumping across The Hub's radar this week, and for good reason: it's thriving in South Carolina. We thought it was due for a spotlight piece, so take your seats as we begin.


Act I: PURE Theatre

Co-founder and Artistic Director Sharon Graci (right) is featured here in a brief video from LowcountryBizSC this morning. PURE, a professional contemporary theatre group, set records for new and returning audiences during its 15th anniversary last season, and this year gets a new venue: the Cannon Street Arts Center, where they will be anchor tenant. Graci was the S.C. Arts Commission's acting fellow in 2010/2011 and Rodney Lee Rogers, PURE's other co-founder, was the playwriting fellow the same year. (Coincidentally, the two are married. - Ed.) PURE receives an operating support grant from SCAC, and Rogers helps the commission administer Artists U in South Carolina – a training resource that facilitates artist development.

Act II: Screenwriting fellow bringing play to Columbia

Leasharn Hopkins, who received the SCAC screenwriting fellowship for 2017/2018, will bring a play she wrote and directs to Columbia. Love Me or Leave Me focuses on the effects of drug addiction, mental abuse, and domestic violence in three couples' romantic relationships. Look for it Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Tapp's Arts Center. Go here for ticket information.

Act III: Drama Lady Theatre Group

Based in the rural Pee Dee region of South Carolina (Marion County, to be exact), the Drama Lady Theatre Group premieres Ntozake Shange’s award winning play: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf at the FMU Performing Arts Center in Downtown Florence on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Drama Lady Theatre Group is the brainchild of a collective of artists striving to use live theatrical performances to educate and promote wellness across diverse communities. The group received an FY19 Arts Education Project grant from SCAC.

Tuning Up: Music, money, and more

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


An exhibition for the birds. "If you're gonna do it, do it right," notable bird sculptor and South Carolina artist Grainger McKoy told the Wilmington Star News ahead of his new solo retrospective at the city's Cameron Art Museum. (You won't believe to what he was referring. - Ed.) Recovery in Flight runs through Feb. 17, 2019. Hours and admission vary. Florence Symphony goes platinum. The orchestra's 70th season begins tonight at the FMU Performing Arts Center. Barber, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and (Johann) Strauss (II) are on the program. 7:30 p.m. $25-$42. Get jazzed for the weekend. Staying with the music in the Pee Dee theme, more than 20 regional musical artists from the Carolinas will perform in an eclectic collection of venues during the South Carolina Jazz Festival in Cheraw this coming weekend. (Yes, we are gazing ahead longingly.) Dizzy Gillespie's hometown invites you to enjoy a multitude of things, including a parade, 5K, golf tournament, and lots and lots of jazz. Oct. 19-21. Weekend passes for $50. A NASAA nod to the SCAC. And staying with the blowing of horns theme (RIP, Dizzy), the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, gave a shoutout to a new partnership program from the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, S.C. Arts Alliance, and the S.C. Arts Commission you might remember us mentioning this summer: A Stronger Bottom Line. If you don't remember, the first cohort of nonprofit arts organizations from around the state is receiving financial management training as a result of the partnership.

Verner Award recipients promote arts education with grants

Hootie and the Blowfish with Gov.Haley If you don't have a "Cracked Rear View," you might recall that South Carolina band Hootie & The Blowfish received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement in 2016. The iconic quartet is still giving back to its home state. The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation announced its second annual multi-year grant cycle donations, granting a total of $90,000 over three years to three South Carolina charities that benefit child welfare and youth arts programs within the state. The youth arts programs are:

  • Abbeville County School District: Putting Students First, One Beat at a Time. This program will assist the district’s schools with purchasing musical instruments for students who have an interest in band.
  • Dillon School District Four: Stayin’ the Chorus. This program will send choral students to regional performances and competitions and help purchase music classroom materials.
Epworth Children's Home in Columbia received the other grant. These projects join the inaugural projects from the 2017 Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation grant cycle, which are entering their second year of funding: Carolina Youth Development Center, Growing Home Southeast, and Long Bay Symphonic Society. Darius Rucker, Jim Sonefeld, Dean Felber, and Mark Bryan embraced their fortuitous career with the communities that support them. To this end, the band members created an endowment that ensures their foundation will last into perpetuity providing financial support to charitable initiatives throughout South Carolina and beyond. Since the endowment’s creation in 2000, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation has awarded more than $2.9 million in grants. These grants have impacted thousands of citizens by supporting the ongoing fight for an even playing field in educational funding and lending an encouraging hand to all those in need. Hootie & the Blowfish established their donor-advised fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ center for philanthropy, to strengthen the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation’s philanthropic efforts.  The Community Foundation acts as a centralized point of contact for all grant requests and manages its grant administration, evaluation, outreach and distribution.

About Central Carolina Community Foundation

Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ center for philanthropy, is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the Midlands Gives online giving challenge, Connected Communities grants, On the Table, Powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation, the One SC Fund, the Best of Philanthropy Awards, annual scholarships, and more. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.yourfoundation.org or call803.254.5601.
 

Mary Jackson honored by American Craft Council

Mary Jackson is among the foremost of #SCartists, and late last week in Minneapolis the American Craft Council added to her impressive resume by inducting her to its College of Fellows – placing her firmly at the top of her field. [caption id="attachment_16665" align="alignright" width="230"]Mary Jackson, Two Lips Mary Jackson, Two Lips[/caption] Candidates for this prestigious honor are nominated and elected by their peers. To be eligible, individuals must demonstrate extraordinary ability and must have worked for 25 years or more in the discipline or career in which they are recognized. The Charleston-based basketmaker uses sweetgrass in the West African (and later, Gullah) tradition for her art, which had already garnered her exclusive recognition. In 2008 she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," and in 2011 the S.C. Arts Commission presented her with the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement. In 2016, the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston named a gallery for her. Jackson began making baskets under her grandmother’s tutelage at age 4, working alongside other members of her family to uphold a multi-generational tradition that extends back to their ancestral heritage in West Africa. “The results of a basket are the thing that keeps you coming back again,” she said. “You’ve created something so beautiful, then the whole world loves what you’re doing … that’s the inspiration.” Read more here and here from American Craft Council, whose work contributed to this post.

We’re looking for some jolly good fellows

Submitted material

PalmettoPride wants #SCArtists to win $500

Submission deadline: Oct. 31, 2018


PalmettoPride is looking to install five public art projects in a new Public Art for Litter Prevention contest. [caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="295"] The world-famous Hub "Calls for Art" megaphone.[/caption] Five #SCArtists will be selected to create a spot of pride in their communities and receive $500 for their efforts. The contest is open now and will accept art submissions until the end of October.

“We have seen public art projects go up all over the state, with sculptures and murals and even decorating electric boxes in our business districts,” Sarah Lyles, executive director of PalmettoPride, said. “Beautification is a tactic of litter prevention and art can change a community in a positive way.” (Ed. note: Sarah gets it!)

Submit a sketch of a mural or an art installation concept design for consideration to PalmettoPride by contacting info@palmettopride.org. The potential artwork location must be a public space in each artist's community. The artwork can be completed in any medium, a mural sketch, an art installation concept or rough sculpture design. In addition to the $500 prize, PalmettoPride can assist the artists with the steps for approval if needed for installation and will provide all the supplies necessary for the art. Timeline for completion of the five new art projects will be decided once art work is finalized. For more information on this new contest, please email info@palmettopride.org. You can apply here: https://palmettopride.submittable.com/submit/121909/public-art-for-litter-prevention-application