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Greenville writer wins NEA fellowship

More #SCartists good news before the weekend


Thursday, the National Endowment for the Arts announced a total of $1.2 million in fellowships to creative writers and translators, supporting both the development of new works of American literature and the translation into English of literary prose, poetry, and drama from writers around the world. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support our nation’s writers and translators and their efforts to expand our literary landscape through their artistry, creativity, and dedication,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts also announced the first round of FY 2020 grants for arts projects, which included 53 grants totaling $1,150,000 for literary publishing projects. Click here for The Hub's coverage and here for the NEA's announcement

Creative Writing Fellowships

Jodi Tevis headshotThe National Endowment for the Arts will award 36 Creative Writing Fellowships of $25,000 each, for a total of $900,000. Fellowships alternate each year between poetry and prose and this year’s fellowships are to support prose—works of fiction and creative nonfiction, such as memoirs and personal essays. The Arts Endowment received nearly 1,700 eligible applications, which were reviewed anonymously by a panel solely on the artistic excellence of the writing sample submitted. These fellowships allow recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Among them is Greenville writer Dr. Joni Tevis (right), an assistant professor of English at Furman University. Her bio on the Furman website says she is a creative writer with research interests in the essay, environmental writing, and atomic literature. Her first book of nonfiction, The Wet Collection, was published by Milkweed Editions. Since 1967, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than 3,500 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $55 million. Many recipients have gone on to receive the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction, such as Anthony Doerr, Louise Erdrich, Tyehimba Jess, Jennifer Egan, and Juan Felipe Herrera.

Literature Translation Fellowships

In fiscal year 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts will award 24 Literature Translation Fellowships of $12,500 each, for a total of $300,000. These fellowships will support the English translation of works from 19 countries including Brazil, Egypt, and Japan. Most of these fellowships are to translate works of award-winning and bestselling authors, many of whom have not yet been represented in English. Supported projects include a translation by Bill Johnston of the first two books in the novel cycle Nights and Days by Polish writer Maria Dąbrowska and a translation by Nancy Naomi Carlson of two poetry collections by Congolese author Alain Mabanckou. Since 1981, the Arts Endowment has awarded 504 fellowships to 445 translators, with translations representing 70 languages and 86 countries. Past recipients include Natasha Wimmer, whose fellowship supported her translation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, and Jennifer Croft, whose fellowship supported her translation of Nobel Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. Visit the Arts Endowment’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and Literature Translation Fellows.

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.

Mark Rapp to be featured in EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week

Standout musician to close out celebration

Mark Rapp playing his trumpet
EngenuitySC, the local nonprofit that works with area leaders to make the Columbia, S.C., region a standout choice for top talent and competitive companies, will close out its annual Competitiveness Week 2020 with a celebration of one of the city’s greatest levers of growth—its thriving arts community. EngenuitySC has partnered with one of the prime movers of the Midlands’ music scene, Mark Rapp, to support this month’s jazz dinner series, “Mark Rapp and the ColaJazz Little Big Band.” Featured as the closing celebration for EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week 2020, the event will be held on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10, and dinner will be available for purchase. Find info here: https://www.engenuitysc.com/competitiveness-week-2020/. EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week 2020 celebrates and investigates Columbia’s ability to attract talented individuals and impactful businesses through innovation, talent development, livability, a healthy entrepreneurial environment and high-impact industry clusters. When it’s time for a major corporation, a homegrown business, or even a recent graduate to choose a place to succeed, EngenuitySC — and the leaders in business, education and government that serve on its board — want to make it easy for them to choose the Columbia, S.C., region. “Columbia’s arts scene is where we see four of the five pillars of competitiveness — innovation, talent development, entrepreneurship and livability — fold together,” says EngenuitySC Executive Director Meghan Hickman. “Right now, one of the city’s most prolific artist entrepreneurs is Mark Rapp, and we are so excited to highlight his work as our culminating event of Competitiveness Week 2020.”
Rapp’s work as a creative entrepreneur is part of what makes for such high quality of life in Columbia. Viewed as a pioneer of arts entrepreneurship in the region, Rapp returned from a successful career in New York City’s music scene and has continually made moves to advance the Columbia jazz scene. With performance degrees from Winthrop and Tulane, and with big-name mentors (you may have heard of the Marsalis family), Rapp is a welcome bandleader and collaborator across the country. He had already released two acclaimed albums when he moved to Columbia in 2012 to be near family. As he ventured into the local performance world, he was impressed with the population of talented jazz musicians living in Columbia and disappointed in the lack of recognition they received. A visit to an Asheville restaurant that co-produced a giveaway CD with their house band sparked an idea that became 2015’s “Cola Jazz Volume 1,” a compilation CD of 13 of the city’s bandleaders and their ensembles. The release, and the subsequent Volume 2, are now staples in the gift shop at the Experience Columbia SC Visitors Center — a move that supports the career of local artists and drives tourism purchases. “When visitors take home our CD and play it for friends, we build the reputation of our musicians and the reputation of Columbia as a great jazz city,” he says. The collaborative relationships built through the compilation project led to new opportunities: Rapp launched ColaJazz.com to promote the CD and its players (which has become to go-to calendar for jazz performances throughout the city), and he holds ongoing jam sessions and club gigs with rotating ensemble players. He also teaches and runs an all-ages summer jazz camp, in addition to producing the annual Cola Jazz festival. In 2014, he forged a creative partnership with Columbia-based choreographer Stephanie Wilkins. The two created Woven, an original contemporary jazz ballet, as part of Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College’s Performance Incubator; they reunited for last season’s fresh take on The Great Gatsby at Trustus Theatre (a production that also featured Rapp’s wife, Columbia City Ballet Principal Dancer Claire Richards Rapp.) “When Mark chose me to choreograph his evening-length jazz ballet, Woven, in 2015, it led to a wonderful and creative partnership which has continued to flourish more than four years later,” says Wilkins. “Mark has a gift for finding opportunities that can be lucrative for both creative and business partners. I’m always grateful and excited to work with him. He is the ultimate collaborator: open, patient, always engaged, and encouraging.” Rapp recently re-homed the majority of his projects under a new ColaJazz nonprofit organization — the aptly named ColaJazz Foundation. The organization employs between one and two dozen musicians each month in its programs, which have expanded to include concerts in the lobby of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital and after-school programming using the Jazz at Lincoln Center curriculum. While Rapp has undeniably expanded paying opportunities for jazz musicians living in the Midlands, he says there are a few substantial improvements that could be made to the local entertainment ecosystem. Namely, he advocates for restaurants and bars charging a cover in order to pay their musicians wages. The standard pay rate for musicians in Columbia lags behind the rate in Charleston and Greenville, a problem he attributes to the absence of meaningful cover charges. “This can be a win-win,” he offers, “Musicians attract customers, customers help cover the cost of paying musicians a living wage and everyone gains the joy of making and listening to great music.” When asked about his professional goals for the next few years, Rapp focuses on three areas: Expanding the education work offered by the Cola Jazz organization, expanding the Cola Jazz Festival to a multi-day event, and turning his monthly event at Main Course, a venue on Main Street, into a subscription series. It is this event, “Mark Rapp and the ColaJazz Little Big Band,” that will be highlighted during EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week on Jan. 31. Says Rapp of the event, which charges diners a $10 cover charge to enjoy a full jazz concert over dinner (available for separate purchase from the menu), “It provides opportunities for musicians in and around Columbia and, as a ‘ticketed’ event, it begins to establish a model of value for our art.” To see the complete event lineup for EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, visit https://www.engenuitysc.com/competitiveness-week-2020/.

About EngenuitySC

Governed by the highest-ranking regional leaders in education, government and business, EngenuitySC is a nonprofit that works to make the Columbia, S.C., region a standout choice for top talent and competitive companies. Structured as a neutral and independent project management team, EngenuitySC is known for achieving progress through partnerships using a unique, highly effective process. Whether it is equipping K-12 students with career-ready skills, elevating quality of life with the Midlands Business Leadership Group, or producing Competitiveness Week and the annual Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report, EngenuitySC is a trusted force, working behind the scenes to build a community cultivated for living, working, playing and learning. Learn more at www.engenuitysc.com.

Rucker, Twiggs headed to S.C. Hall of Fame

Induction ceremony is Feb. 7

[caption id="attachment_43813" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Headshots of Darius Rucker, Dr. Leo Twiggs, and Evelyn Wright, the 2020 inductees of the South Carolina Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of WPDE and the Official South Carolina Hall of Fame Board of Trustees.[/caption]
Two winners of the state's highest arts award will further live in infamy as members of South Carolina's Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach. Darius Rucker (above, left) received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts with his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates in 2016. Dr. Leo Twiggs (above, center) received it in 2017. Both awards were special awards for lifetime achievement. They will be enshrined with Evelyn Wright (above, right) on Feb. 7, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. in the ballroom of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center (2101 North Oak St.). The event is free and open to the public. Fittingly, the accomplishments of all three inductees are almost too numerous to list, and neither Rucker nor Twiggs need to be introduced to Hub readers (but we'll provide brief ones anyway):

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Martha Brim dances into new role at Richland Library

A local artist who has served as a Columbia College dance professor for nearly 35 years is ready to share her talents with Richland Library over the next four months. [caption id="attachment_43732" align="alignright" width="300"]Martha Brim performing Columbia dancer Martha Brim.[/caption] We’re excited to welcome Martha Brim as our next artist-in-residence, starting Jan. 13. With a background as choreographer, educator and arts professional, Brim has a rich legacy of creativity, mentoring multiple generations of dance students and artists across disciplines. Founder of The Power Company Collaborative in 2000, she continues to investigate large-scale performance installations that involve musicians, designers and artists as co-creators. Brim is the recipient of numerous choreographic commissions, awards and professional acknowledgements. Her work is described as “intelligently conceived… quirky with shrewd, robust humor.” During her residency, Brim plans to host weekly office hours at our Main location (1431 Assembly St.), answering questions while sharing her knowledge and experience with others. She’s coordinating with our arts librarian as well to offer an array of free programs for all ages, which focus on identity and transformation. In addition, Brim intends to work on a community performance installation that combines textiles, collage, printmaking and movement. Her residency lasts through mid-May 2020. Initially developed in September 2016, the concept behind Richland Library’s artist-in-residence is to connect the community with local, working artists and to provide creative and educational opportunities to local residents in a way that supports cultural and artistic exchange.


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.

Ranky Tanky gets Grammy Award nomination

#SCartists' album up for major award


This has been making the rounds since the announcement on Wednesday, but The Hub would be remiss not to mention the major news for South Carolina's own Ranky Tanky. The folk band's latest album Good Time was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "best regional roots music album" category. According to a release from the College of Charleston, which boast three of the band's five members as alumni, the band's second album debuted in July 2019 at No. 2 on Billboard’s Jazz Chart. The band’s self-titled initial release, which came out in 2017, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz and Contemporary Jazz charts in January 2018.

Started by alumnus Clay Ross ’98, Ranky Tanky, which is a Gullah term loosely translated as “work it” or “get funky,” takes a modern approach to the traditional sounds of Gullah music. Rooted in the cultural traditions passed down from West African slaves in the sea islands of South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, Gullah culture encompasses a rich African-American heritage expressed through arts, crafts, cuisine and the creole influenced language of Gullah.

Ranky Tanky features a quintet of musicians including Ross on vocals and guitar, Quentin Baxter ’98 on drums, Kevin Hamilton ’95 on bass, Charlton Singleton on trumpet and vocals, and Quiana Parler on vocals. Ross, Baxter and Hamilton all majored in music at the College. Baxter also previously worked as adjunct faculty at CofC, teaching jazz percussion.

Congratulations to Ranky Tanky on this accomplishment.

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Calling all South Carolina student artists

Submit your work to a premier regional competition


ArtFields Jr. is now accepting submissions for the 2020 competition! ArtFields Jr. is a statewide competition sponsored by Lake City Creative Alliance that provides the opportunity for young South Carolina artists to be recognized and rewarded for their work. Now through Feb. 13, 2020, South Carolina student-artists in grades 1-12 who are 18 years old or younger are invited to submit. Submissions are free and almost $3,000 is up for grabs in prize money. Besides the monetary awards up for grabs in four grade categories, selected ArtFields Jr. artists will also have their work on display during ArtFields for the thousands of visitors who travel to the event each year, as well as have the opportunity to win student choice awards voted by fellow students. Students can also choose to list their artwork for sale during the competition.

Submission Details & Timeline

A great big music update

Grab your coffee or tea for this one


Though its temperatures got cold in the past 24 hours, South Carolina's music scene is indisputably hot right now. How hot? Oxford American knows. The quarterly literary magazine focusing on Southern literature publishes an annual music issue, and this year's focus is on South Carolina's musical culture. The 21st Annual Southern Music Issue "features unforgettable songs and stories from South Carolina, the issue includes voices ranging from the Upstate to the Lowcountry, highlighting icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Eartha Kitt, as well as contemporary artists such as Shovels & Rope and Ranky Tanky." Pre-order your copy at the link above. Each issues comes with a CD compilation and digital download. But the Oxford American issue is far from being the only highlight. Sip away and enjoy some briefs.

FatRat Da Czar double album out today

You might remember reading about this a month ago. South Carolina’s godfather of hip-hop FatRat Da Czar released his double album TRIBE yesterday, with 25 tracks and nearly 40 collaborators, including 30 features and nine of the state’s most respected producers. Czar’s highly anticipated ninth studio album is now available at all digital music retailers and streaming services. As part of the album release, Czar will perform this Friday, Nov. 15 at Arts & Draughts at Columbia Museum of Art in Columbi, and Saturday, Nov. 16 at The Purple Buffalo in Charleston, bringing on stage some of South Carolina’s most elite past, present, and future hip-hop artists.

S.C. Phil re-imagines Vivaldi

Seasonal changes are top-of-mind in the Palmetto State today, and no music captures the spirit of those better than the iconic The Four Seasons, completed in 1725 by Antonio Vivaldi. In 2012, composer Max Richter (right), claiming to be one of a long list of composers who reworked pre-existing music, notably Franz Liszt, Igor Stravinsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, took on Vivaldi’s ubiquitous masterpiece. The result is a minimalist transformation that leaves only fragments of the original music. Each of the twelve movements contains at least one recognizable quotation from the original, but they vary in length and nature from the famous virtuosic riffs for the solo violin to mere ostinato accompaniments. The fragments also include new, dissonant harmonies, distorted meters, loops and repetitive phrases. The S.C. Phil presents the work this Saturday evening in Columbia. Tickets and information here.
 

World's No. 1 jazz pianist coming to Columbia

Kenny Barron playing pianoJapan. France. Spain. Italy. France again. South Carolina. That is the travel itinerary for Kenny Barron, recently ranked as the world's premier jazz pianist by the 67th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. (That puts Barron ahead of names like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.) On Nov. 23, Barron's travels bring him to South Carolina for an engagement with the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. He is also an NEA Jazz Master, and Jazz Weekly says he's "the most lyrical piano player of our time" and he's said to captivate with elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms. The SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble is comprised of 18 of the finest jazz musicians, soloists, and bandleaders from across the Carolinas with a mission to present jazz concerts at the highest artistic level. The ensemble performs big band classics, music from the Great American Songbook and modern originals by the group's members.

Local groups highlight 2020 Charleston Jazz Festival

[caption id="attachment_42702" align="alignright" width="250"] Click to enlarge.[/caption] Announced this morning! On Jan. 23, 2020, the 6th Annual Charleston Jazz Festival will open with some of Charleston’s most exciting jazz groups: Offramp The Music of Pat Metheny, Cameron & the Saltwater Brass Shake Everything You Got! and Lee Barbour’s Polyverse Art of the Modern Organ Trio featuring Justin Stanton of Snarky Puppy. Tickets are on sale now at www.charlestonjazz.com. Charleston Jazz presents the Charleston Jazz Festival every year, offering a world-class celebration of jazz by presenting timeless and creative productions that entertain audiences, stimulate arts education, foster economic growth and unite artists and audiences in Charleston. Each year, the festival line-up includes internationally acclaimed headliners, the best local jazz bands, and top youth artists performing a wide range of styles including swing, salsa, blues, Brazilian, and the American Songbook.

Tuning Up: Homeless shelter artists, new book release

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...


Fundraiser features art by homeless shelter residents

From ColaDaily.com: Transitions Homeless Center, the largest homeless facility serving Midlands residents, will be holding its eighth annual Reconstructing Home fundraiser Thursday at the Columbia Museum of Art. Reconstructing Home showcases current and past residents' artwork that will be available for purchase ... This year's event will display not just 2-D paintings, but also some 3-D work. "We have some afghans this year, a couple of really cool wooden 3-dimensional large pieces, and we have a butterfly quilt that butterflies were actually painted onto the fabric," explained (Vice President of Advancement Elizabeth) Iglehart. Read the full story, and see pictures, here.

Publication announced for new Janet Kozachek book

Finishing Line Press is announcing the publication of My Women, My Monsters, a new collection of poems by Orangeburg author Janet Kozachek. “In this book, Janet Kozachek, through her evocative illustrations and often biting poems, removes the lid of the cauldron containing several familiar feminine monsters–monsters that women know from their everyday encounters with other women and also from uncomfortable glances within," writes Rutgers University Professor of Comparative Literature Janet A. Walker in her review. Kozacheck, a Helena Rubinstein Scholar, holds a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from Parsons School of Design and a certificate of graduate study from Beijing Central Art Academy where she studied Chinese poetry and painting. She received a category award in drawing at Artfields and grants from the Puffin Foundation and South Carolina Humanities.

2nd Act Film Project returns Oct. 30 in Columbia

Two screenings at Trustus Theatre


The 2nd Act Film Project, an endeavor of the Jasper Project, will premier its 6th season of short films on October 30 at Trustus Theater in Columbia’s historic Vista. There will be two screenings, at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $15-20 and are available via Eventbrite.com. Ten filmmaking teams, selected from an open call for entries, will each debut an original short film having been provided with the 1st and 3rd acts of a screenplay and tasked with writing the 2nd act and creating the film in its entirety. Teams are provided a small stipend to fund their projects. The 2019 2nd Act Film Project teams are led this year by David Axe, Ian O’Briant, Amy Brower, William Woody, Jennifer Baxley, Sean Parsons, Silas Rowland, Henry Coonrod, Taiyen Stevenson, and Daniel Colella. Wade Sellers is the project director. For more information on the 2nd Act Film Project, go to www.secondactfilmafestival.com.

About the 2nd Act Film Project

The 2nd Act Film Project is a unique take on the film project concept. The goal of the 2nd Act Film Project is to promote the growth of independent filmmaking in Columbia and grow the network of independent filmmakers throughout South Carolina. Founded in 2013, the project has already produced 50 films. The 2nd Act Film Project Is presented by the Jasper Project - a non-profit arts organization based in Columbia (www.JasperProject.org).

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CoroArt contest encourages experimentation

The COROART contest in the U.S. is underway


Coroplast Tape Corporation has delivered a variety of technical adhesive tapes to Winthrop University where visual art students of Shaun Cassidy, professor of fine arts, were invited to reinvent the materials in innovative ways. While there is no specific thematic content or subject direction given, the concept of COROART is focused on experimenting with modern and technical materials. The completed works of art will be displayed first at Coroplast Tape Corporation’s U.S. headquarters in Rock Hill. Select pieces will then be moved to the Arts Council of York County’s Center for the Arts where they will be on display from Nov. 20-24, 2019. A public reception and the COROART Awards presentation will be held at the Center for the Arts on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 from 5-7:30 p.m. The students are contending for the COROART Award presented by the Coroplast Tape Corporation. These awards are accompanied by cash prizes funded by Coroplast, and include 1st Prize ($1,000), 2nd Prize ($500), and 3rd Prize ($250). The 2019 COROART Awards jury includes a panel of three judges: Ashley Beard (Arts Council of York County Board member, art teacher), Harriet Goode (artist, owner: Gallery 5), and Tom Stanley (artist, Winthrop University [retired]). For more information about Coroplast’s commitment to the arts and COROART, visit https://www.coroplast-tapes.com/en/company/coroart-usa/.