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Pew talks ‘Art of Community: Rural SC’

New story takes look at SCAC program


The S.C. Arts Commission pilot program "Art of Community: Rural SC" is turning heads across the U.S. for its success in bringing new voices to the table to address long-standing problems in rural communities through an arts lens. [caption id="attachment_29097" align="alignright" width="251"]Hampton County (Estill) maven Audrey Hopkins Williams (left) and SCAC Community Arts Development Directory Susan DuPlessis (right). Hampton County (Estill) maven Audrey Hopkins Williams (left) and SCAC Community Arts Development Directory Susan DuPlessis (right).[/caption] Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis, who is also the program's director, regularly presents at national and regional conferences, and the program has key figures from around the country on its board (to include Pam Breaux, the executive director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies). Pew Charitable Trusts released a story on their website today discussing the Smithsonian Institution's "Museum on Main Street" program, with which the SCAC and SC Humanities are partners to bring its traveling exhibition on rural American to small South Carolina towns. The story features DuPlessis and extensive discussion of "Art of Community: Rural SC." To wit:

With the support of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding, the South Carolina Arts Commission identified six leaders, whom they call mavens, in each county to build local teams of residents who were passionate about the community, but weren’t always in positions of power.

“Some of the rural communities we work with are really tired of organizations coming in with solutions, dropping money on a place, nothing significant happening, and then that organization is gone,” DuPlessis said. “Part of what we’re doing is creating pride of place and creating opportunities for people to own their community and see themselves differently.”

Click here to read the full story.

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series heads to Newberry

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Newberry on Saturday, Jan. 19 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Newberry Opera House through Feb. 3, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.  

SC Humanities invites applications to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America

Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. SC Humanities announces a special South Carolina tour of Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small cultural organizations and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations. The exhibit will tour six South Carolina communities from September 2018 – June 2019. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. Applications are due by September 1, 2017. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development, and more. Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to envision their futures by exploring the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition will prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred. Dr. Randy Akers, executive director of SC Humanities, is pleased to be bringing Crossroads to South Carolina: “SC Humanities is one of the first three states to host this new Smithsonian exhibit, joining Illinois and Florida.  I grew up in a farming village of 600 people in rural Illinois and have seen the devastating changes as small farms collapse, industry moves out, young people move to the city, and schools close. South Carolina is such a rural state, and its numerous small communities have suffered the past decades. Yet there are people, values, and cultural and historical assets that offer hope.  The exhibit and programs which accompany it will challenge us to think about the future. What can we do to bring new life to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in our state? This is a timely and extremely important exhibit addressing one of the most pressing social issues of this century.” Crossroads: Change in Rural America has been made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. Crossroads is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Find the application online. For more information about Crossroads: Change in Rural America in South Carolina, contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or tjwallace@schumanities.org.

Smithsonian exhibition of S.C. native’s work now in Lake City

A new Smithsonian Institution exhibition featuring rare paintings by Florence, South Carolina, native William H. Johnson makes its only S.C. stop in Lake City at the Jones-Carter Gallery. William H. Johnson: An American Modern runs through Dec. 29. Read more about Johnson and how the gallery landed the exhibition in this article from SCNow:

More than 80 years after his first showing in the Pee Dee, artist and Florence native William H. Johnson is being remembered in style with a Smithsonian Institute traveling art exhibit of his work at the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City. The $24 million art installation will be on display at the gallery, a 1920s converted hay and seed store, through Dec. 29, and gallery manager Hannah Davis said she couldn’t be more thrilled to play host to the Smithsonian exhibit. “For us to be able to bring this,” Davis asked. “I mean, come on. It’s just been really great.” For the Lake City gallery, meeting the guidelines to host Johnson’s work was no small feat. In order to comply with the Smithsonian’s extensive requirements for display, Davis had to complete a 40-page application and submit temperature and humidity readings for the gallery for the last several months. But that wasn’t all. At a cost of $200,000, donated by the Lake City Partnership Council, the gallery had to complete updates to the building that had only just been renovated in preparation for ArtFields earlier in the year, installing both a fire suppression system and a backup generator that can run the entire building in case of an electrical outage. The effort was well worth the end result, according to Darla Moore with the Lake City Partnership Council. “He (Johnson) was an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance and early 20th century American art, and we believe he is also going to be an integral part of the renaissance of the Pee Dee area,” Moore said. “We’re especially excited that Lake City has the privilege of having this exhibition. When you look at other locations this exhibit has been, like Philadelphia and Phoenix, it’s truly heartwarming to have Lake City in that mix.” Sadly, Johnson, who is still growing in popularity around the world as a top African-American artist 43 years after his death, never lived to see his home state recognize his talent. The only time Johnson ever saw his paintings recognized in South Carolina was in 1930 at a three-hour art show held at the Florence YMCA. No work was sold. Not a very welcoming atmosphere for a hometown boy who was popularly received throughout the Northeast and Europe at the time, even earning a gold medallion from the Harmon Foundation in New York City for distinguished achievement among African-Americans in that same year. All that has changed now, however. This collection of Johnson’s work has traveled to five other locations around the nation, but for Smithsonian project director Marquette Folley, who works with the institute’s traveling exhibition service, bringing the artist back to the Pee Dee has been the most meaningful. “It is our pleasure to be here,” Folley said. “It’s (the exhibit) been to five other locations, and I do declare that I think Lake City is one of the most exquisite of all the installations. It is the rare moment when we can join hands nationally and regionally and speak the truth. This American artist, who understood the truth, who understood that the African American ideal is American, that from it you can carve truth and inspiration about our identity and our significance. The fact that this man was born here, in Florence, he was cutting edge.” The exhibit is open to the public through Dec. 29 at the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City with free admission.
Via: SCNow

Small museums, libraries and cultural venues — apply to host a Smithsonian exhibition

Applications are due by October 1, 2013. The Humanities CouncilSC is pleased to announce a special South Carolina tour of Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MOMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small museums and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations. The exhibit will tour six South Carolina communities from February - December 2015. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. Applications are due by October 1, 2013. Host sites receive free exhibit rental, a grant to support local community programming, opportunities for professional development and more. Hometown Teams provides a look at something that has become an indelible part of our culture and community. For well over 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape our national character. Whether it’s professional sports, or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, the plain fact is sports are everywhere in America. Our love of sports begins in our hometowns--on the sandlot, at the local ball field, even in the street. Americans play sports everywhere. We play pick-up games and organized league games. Each weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans participate in some sport, on some level. We win and we lose, and we yearn to play another day. Dr. Randy Akers, executive director of The Humanities CouncilSC, feels that sports will be a very popular theme in our state: "Sports have truly captured the hearts of Americans, including South Carolinians. We seem to live or die each Friday night or Saturday afternoon as a favorite high school or college football team swings into action. It is hard to go anywhere in South Carolina and not find a fabulous golf course that challenges the local player or tourist. Baseball has been important to our communities from the former textile leagues to American Legion summer ball. Sports legends like Althea Gibson (pictured above) and Joe Frazier hailed from South Carolina. Sports are an indelible part of South Carolina history—we look forward to telling that story.” Hometown Teams has been made possible in South Carolina by The Humanities CouncilSC. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. For more information or to apply, visit the website of The Humanities CouncilSC or contact T.J. Wallace at (803) 771-2477. Photos: Banner - Wick Narrow Fabric Company ad, ca. 1910. Althea Gibson - the Library of Congress Via: The Humanities CouncilSC

Milly

New Harmonies exhibition explores the roots of American music

[gallery link="file"] Hartsville and Walterboro are the last South Carolina stops on the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition, "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music." New Harmonies explores Americans' creative expression through music -- music known by names such as the blues, country western, folk ballads and gospel. The instruments vary from fiddle to banjo to accordion to guitar to drum, but a drum in the hands of an African sounds different than one in the hands of a European or an American Indian. Yet all the rhythms merge, as do the melodies and harmonies, producing completely new sounds -- new music. Through photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, the exhibition explores the distinct cultural identities of music that shaped America and made this country the birthplace of more music than any place on earth. The story is full of surprises about familiar songs, histories of instruments, the roles of religion and technology, and the continuity of musical roots from "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to the latest hip hop CD. New Harmonies is on exhibition at the Black Creek Arts Council in Hartsville until Nov. 11. The exhibition then moves to the Colleton County Museum and Farmers Market in Walterboro from Nov. 17 - Jan.5.  Marlena Smalls and the Hallelujah Singers will perform at the opening Nov. 17. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street program, New Harmonies is designed especially for small museums and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions. New Harmonies is sponsored in South Carolina by the Humanities CouncilSC. Photos (top, left to right): Blues "harpist" James Cotton. Spanish American musicians in Taos, New Mexico, 1940. American Indian Powwow, 2006. (bottom, left to right): Folk musicians, New York City, 1960s. Nathan Williams and his Zydeco Chas Chas, Louisiana. Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry, 1939. Via: Humanities CouncilSC, Museum on Main Street