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NEA awards grants to S.C. Arts Commission, others in state

$933,900 coming (back) to South Carolina

$80 million awarded across U.S. by NEA


WASHINGTON—The National Endowment for the Arts announces $80.4 million for 1,114 new awards located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four U.S. jurisdictions. This is the Art Endowment’s second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2019, and these awards continue the Arts Endowment’s commitment as the only arts funder reaching the entire country. Awards from this round of funding come from four categories: Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships and Research: Art Works, plus a renewal in NEA Research Labs. “Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The projects also illustrate the unique geographic reach of Arts Endowment funding, serving Americans in places large and small in all corners of the country.” Grants recommended in this round are listed in two ways:
  • State/jurisdiction and listed by city/town and
  • Funding category (Art Works II, Our Town, state and regional partnerships, and Research: Art Works) and then listed by artistic discipline/field.
In the first funding round of fiscal year 2019 announced on February 13, 2019 the Arts Endowment made 1,145 grants totaling $27 million. Other awards will be made in the coming months through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. All current grants can be viewed through the Arts Endowment’s grants search.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 5 awards totaling $933,900
  • Columbia Film Society, Columbia $22,500; Art Works - Media Arts
  • South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia $811,400; Partnerships (State & Regional)
  • Greenville Symphony Association/Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville $10,000; Art Works - Music
  • City of Rock Hill $75,000; Our Town - Design
  • Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg $15,000; Art Works - Literature
Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director: “At the Arts Commission, our grant will be put to use serving communities throughout the state. It will fund community arts development initiatives that seek to foster the creativity and unity needed to address the unique issues facing rural South Carolina communities. It will further our goals to provide every South Carolina child with access to an arts-inclusive education. It will also let us help our artists develop their skills to grow businesses that contribute to the state’s $9.7 billion creative economy.”
ART WORKS II: 977 awards totaling $23,983,500 Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s largest category with projects supported in 13 artistic disciplines and fields in this Art Works II group, ranging from arts education to visual arts. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with a median amount of $20,000. Examples of Art Works-supported projects in this round are:
  • A $10,000 award to the Madison Public Library Association in Madison, Wisconsin (a first-time Arts Endowment grantee) to support programming at the Wisconsin Book Festival featuring award-winning authors of genres such as literary fiction, poetry, and science.
  • A $10,000 award to Shreveport Opera in Shreveport, Louisiana to support the Shreveport Opera Xpress educational touring program, which offers performances and activities for public school students in central and south Louisiana.
  • A $15,000 award to the Pioneer School of Drama in Danville, Kentucky to support Voices Inside: The Northpoint Prison Writing and Performance Project, where theater professionals will conduct workshops for inmates at the Northpoint Training Center.
  • A $20,000 award to Cultural Resources in Rockport, Maine to support the Wabanaki Arts Mentorship Program, where accomplished Wabanaki artists will instruct youth in basket-making techniques and cultural knowledge.
  • A $30,000 award to the City of Phoenix to support a partnership with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture to provide grants for intergenerational arts projects.

OUR TOWN: 57 awards totaling $4,115,000 Our Town is the Arts Endowment’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. Two program areas are place-based projects with grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, and knowledge building projects with grant amounts ranging from $25,000-$100,000. This year’s cohort is remarkable for its diversity. Approximately a third of the recommended grantees are first-time applicants to the Arts Endowment. The types of communities vary widely with 18 recommendations for projects in rural or tribal communities. And project types range from cultural planning to festivals and cross several artistic disciplines. Examples of Our Town-supported projects are:
  • A $25,000 award to the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in Hogansburg, New York, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will undertake a project to engage local artists and designers to develop public art and architecture that reflects Akwesasne Mohawk culture.
  • A $50,000 award to the City of Granite Falls in Minnesota to establish an artist residency program within local government. The program is the first of its kind in a small, rural setting, and has the potential to serve as a national model for other small communities.
  • An $85,000 grant to the Santa Fe Art Institute to re-enliven the shuttered campus of the former Santa Fe College of Art and Design by inventorying the campus’s cultural assets and creating community arts events to build enthusiasm around the campus’s development potential and to advance community goals.
In addition to funding, the Arts Endowment advances creative placemaking through publications and resource development. Those resources are available on the creative placemaking page.
STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: 64 awards totaling $51,456,500 Through partnership agreements, the Arts Endowment translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. Every U.S. state and jurisdiction has its own state arts agency that coordinates cultural policies and invests in arts programming on behalf of, or as part of, state/jurisdiction government. The geographically-defined consortium of state arts agencies known as regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders. Together, these organizations receive 40 percent of the Arts Endowment’s grantmaking funds each year to support their activities and to leverage state and other public and private funds. Partnership Agreements help support life-long learning in schools and communities, community economic development through creative districts, and arts participation through artist tours, festivals, readings, and exhibits. Some examples of state and regional programming funded by partnership agreements are:
  • The Delaware Division of the Arts and Delaware State Parks have been working together since 2008 to offer arts-in-the-park programming that has increased the number and diversity of visitors to state parks.
  • Through its Arts and Military Initiative, the Oklahoma Arts Council works with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs and a local partner to provide arts activities to residents at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Norman.
  • Through its Launchpad initiative, South Arts is providing mentorships and other professional development services to presenting organizations beginning or expanding in the South Arts region.
RESEARCH: ART WORKS: 15 awards totaling $724,000 Research: Art Works supports research that investigates the value or impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and with other domains of American life. Some examples of this year’s awardees are:
  • A $20,000 award to MINDPOP in Austin, Texas will support a study led by researchers from the Austin Independent School District and the University of Texas at Austin that examines relationships between schools and arts partners participating in a collective impact arts education project.
  • An $88,000 award to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio will support a randomized controlled trial examining the arts’ ability to improve health, resilience, and well-being in individuals with chronic health conditions.
Final reports for previously-awarded Research: Art Works grants are posted on the study findings page of the Arts Endowment website. A renewal of an NEA Research Lab to the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform for $150,000 will support research that examines the impact on social, emotional and other individual characteristics of elementary school students who participate in field trips to arts institutions.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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 NEA 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. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.
Image by Kendall Hoopes/Pexels

SCAC staffer named to role in Ga. + arts job opening

Change remains among life's constants*


Ask anybody who works in the arts and they'll tell you: the faces change a lot. That leads to a fair bit of upward mobility as the deck is reshuffled, and is definitely one of many benefits of working in the sector. For the second time in 2019, the South Carolina Arts Commission is losing a valued staff member to an arts leadership role in another state. Oconee (Ga.) Cultural Arts Foundation just named La Ruchala Murphy its new executive director. Murphy serves on the SCAC grants team and is a county coordinator for Abbeville, Calhoun, Cherokee, Greenwood, McCormick, and Newberry counties. She also stepped in to lead SCAC artist development initiatives earlier this year when Joy Young became executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (Fla.). The Winthrop alumna is also an artist and an absolute treat with whom to work. She is completely deserving of this promotion, will do an amazing job, and will be sorely missed. Your SCAC team is proud of and happy for you!
Application deadline: May 30, 2019 The Arts Center of Clemson (ed. note: the town, not school) is searching for its next clay technician coordinator—the person who will run its clay studio and clay programs. Please note it is a 10-hour/week position. Does this, ahem, fire you up? Read more and apply via this link.
* With full self-awareness we acknowledge this might be the SCAC's unofficial theme of 2019, but we're being up-front about it.

Governor honors Artisphere founder, SCAC board chair

Henry Horowitz receives the Order of the Palmetto

Thursday night at the gala to open the 15th Artisphere, Gov. Henry McMaster honored its founder with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor. Horowitz received the award for his contributions to the state of South Carolina through Artisphere and other statewide arts organizations, according to the Greenville Journal. He is currently chairman of the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) board of directors. "The South Carolina Arts Commission has known for a long time how much the arts in our state benefit from Henry’s dedicated leadership. He has had significant impact, both in Greenville and throughout the state. His award is well deserved, and we’re very happy for him," SCAC Executive Director Ken May said. Artisphere ran from Friday-Sunday in downtown Greenville. It is a significant point of pride for the Upstate region. The celebration of visual, performing, and culinary arts attracted visitors and artists from around the country as it does every year, making it one of the nation's top 10 arts festivals. (Small South Carolina also boasts Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston and ArtFields in Lake City, all nationally-known festivals occurring each April/May). Click here to read the rest of the story.  

Tuning Up: S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon + call for artists

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...



PS: We're hiring ICYMI! Last week SCAC posted a new job opening. You have through April 19 to apply to be the artist services program director.

ABC Project names new executive director

Dr. Kim Wilson promoted to lead Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 March 2019
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is announcing the promotion of Dr. Kim Wilson to be the program’s new executive director as of April 1, 2019. Wilson will be responsible for helping 84 schools or districts provide 170,000 South Carolina K-12 students with access to arts-rich education. The program, which is a partnership among the South Carolina Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and the S.C. Dept. of Education, provides critical training and networking for arts teachers who learn best practices from each other. Schools or districts join the program after receiving a grant from the S.C. Arts Commission to support their arts education efforts. The program’s field services coordinator for 18 months, Wilson is a Winthrop University alumna. She earned her doctorate in education this year from Walden University. Her experience in arts education began in community education teaching adult and children’s classes through the University of Vermont and Very Special Arts VT. Afterwards, she served as education director at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit and executive director for Sawtooth School for Visual Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C. Over the last 10 years, Kim has focused on public arts education. After only teaching four years, she was recognized as the 2012 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Since then, she transitioned into empowering all educators with creativity-fostering teaching practices, including arts-integration strategies through her work with Arkansas A+ Schools. She replaces Christine Fisher, who served as executive director for 18 years and announced her retirement earlier this month. “My commitment to and passion for arts education have been influenced by ABC Project’s accomplishments and the people who contributed to its history. And while my personal arts education journey has taken many forms across several states over the last three decades, all have prepared me for this unique role in my home state. I am honored and eager for the opportunity to lead ABC Project in the next chapter of its rich history,” Wilson said. “In Kim Wilson, the ABC Project has someone with demonstrated success fostering and implementing arts education. In a relatively short time, she’s immersed herself in all facets of the program and contributed to its success. But beyond that, she has incredible passion for what she does and is a natural fit to be the ABC Project’s next leader,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

About the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

For 30 years, the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. It is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. For more information, visit ABCProjectSC.com.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Serve #SCartists with the S.C. Arts Commission

SCAC seeking Artist Services Program Director

Application deadline EXTENDED: Monday, April 29, 2019
The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) seeks an energetic, creative, and resourceful Artist Services Program Director/Arts Coordinator II with experience in arts administration, program development, and leadership in the arts. The ideal candidate will share our mission and values and have the ability to build and maintain relationships among a broad cross-section of local arts councils, community organizations, businesses, governments, arts organizations, artists, and school districts, as well as education and community leaders to support SCAC programs and services statewide. The person in this role:
  • works collaboratively with diverse constituency to implement SCAC programs
  • develops, manages, and oversees a portfolio of SCAC programs/projects in support of artists statewide.
  • works with artists in all disciplines throughout the state
  • coordinates agency efforts to support creative placemaking and arts-based community development statewide
  • manages projects/programs for SCAC, including the coordination of data/information gathering, analysis, synthesis, and dissemination of information
  • develops short and long-term planning goals, annual work-plan, and budget for SCAC assigned projects/programs in accordance with agency mission, values and strategic plan; assists with securing funding for future program development
  • negotiates agreements and contracts for programs/projects in accordance with established policies and procedures
  • serves as a county coordinator, which is the commission's liaison with arts and community organizations and artists in assigned counties:
    • provides technical assistance and consultative services
    • serves as a liaison and resource for agency programs
    • assists with community cultural planning, development of grant applications, budgeting, board and staff development, and program administration
  • represents the S.C. Arts Commission at local, statewide, and national cultural activities, meetings, and conferences
  • participates in strategic planning and budgeting and collaborates closely with other agency programs and departments
  • fulfills other duties consistent with supporting agency projects, programs, and events
Preferred qualifications include a bachelor's degree* in an arts discipline, arts administration, arts education, public administration, or business administration and five (5) years of professional experience in arts management and programming, community development, or related areas.

*Degree must be from an institution of higher learning recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Salary and other details may be found by visiting the link below. Punctuality, regular attendance, and adherence to daily work schedule are essential.  Responsibilities will require some additional working hours, nights, and/or weekends as well as in-state travel to several South Carolina counties. There will also be occasional out-of-state-travel for training, professional development, professional affiliation, or service opportunities. The South Carolina Arts Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer actively committed to ensuring diversity. View the complete list of requirements and job duties and find out how to apply here.

Extension announced for folklife project grants

Furthering South Carolina's living traditions

Application deadline now Friday, March 22
The S.C. Arts Commission's Folklife & Traditional Arts (FLK) Grants support non-profit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state. Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity that are learned as a part of the cultural life of a particular group. This shared identity may be rooted in family, geographic, tribal, occupational, religious, ethnic or other connections. As expressions of a living culture, traditional arts have been handed down from one generation to the next and reflect the shared experience, aesthetics and values of a group. The purpose of the FLK Grant is to ensure that South Carolina’s living traditions remain vibrant and visible parts of community life. To this end, we fund projects that may include the following:
  • Presentation of Traditional Artists through workshops, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, radio programs, recordings, etc.
  • Documentation of Traditional Arts and/or Folklife of S.C. (Such a project must result in some form of public presentation.)
  • Cultural Survey – Fieldwork done to identify traditions and traditional artists
  • Production, Documentation and/or Distribution of a traditional artist’s work; for example, the production of publicity materials
  • Acquisition of difficult-to-obtain materials or equipment needed to create traditional art
  • Conservation – Projects, such as apprenticeships, that serve to keep a traditional art form vibrant and visible
Projects can receive funding up to and including $6,000. These grants go to non-profit organizations and government entities and must be matched 1:1. Priority for funding is given to projects that provide recognition and support for South Carolina’s traditional art forms and their practitioners. Read more about FLK Grants from the S.C. Arts Commission here.
The Folklife and Traditional Arts Program is a partnership with McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. 
The main image on The Hub's home page is 2018 Folk Heritage Award recipient J. Michael King of Greenville.

Tuning Up: Arts job at SCAC, arts ed, 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...


We're hiring... but not for long! The deadline to apply for the SCAC's community arts coordinator position is coming to a close soon. The deadline is Tuesday, March 19. Cool story, Spartan-bros. Chapman Cultural Center is celebrating Youth Art Month. There's a reception TODAY at CCC from 4-7 p.m. To highlight the importance of arts education, they put a local spin on the research results from the Gallup Student Poll (conducted in arts-rich South Carolina schools) that the SCAC released last month. Johnsons donate to IAAM Susu and George Dean Johnson, Jr. of the Johnson Collection Gallery in Spartanburg are helping to create additional cultural offerings in South Carolina by pledging a $1 million gift toward the creation of the International African American Museum in Charleston. Governor's School announces 'Grand Jete' winners The first annual Grand Jeté student dance competition, hosted by the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, featured 47 dancers, ages 10-19, from eight dance schools across the state, including one independent dancer. Here's who came away with prizes.

Arts education leader Christine Fisher announces retirement

Fisher led Arts in Basic Curriculum Project for 18 years


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 March 2019 [caption id="attachment_39351" align="alignright" width="225"]Christine Fisher Christine Fisher[/caption] COLUMBIA, S.C. – Christine Fisher is to retire from the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project this month after spending nearly 20 years working to provide comprehensive arts programs in schools across the state. Fisher, who lives in Florence, began her career in arts education in the classroom, teaching chorus, guitar and musical production at Dillon High School and then elementary general music, beginning band and middle school band in Florence School District One through 2001. She left that year to become executive director of the ABC Project, a partnership among the S.C. Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and S.C. Department of Education that works with schools and districts across the state to maintain and expand arts opportunities for all students. It is based at Winthrop in Rock Hill. Under Fisher’s leadership, the program grew to serve 84 schools or districts and 171,000 students this school year and played an important role in making sure the arts were included in the landmark Profile of the South Carolina Graduate in 2015, a rigorous set of standards for college and career readiness adopted by the state General Assembly in 2016. “Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. Many highlights dot the timeline of Fisher’s career. She was twice selected as a school and district Teacher of the Year, and twice selected as one of the five South Carolina honor roll teachers. Selected as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 1998, she is the only music teacher to hold the honor in the program's history. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded her state’s highest arts award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, in 2006, and she received the Winthrop University Medal of Arts in 2012. “She has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

Full Statements on Christine Fisher's retirement

MOLLY SPEARMAN S.C. Superintendent of Education

“Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly.”

KEN MAY Executive Director, S.C. Arts Commission

“The first time I ever heard Christine Fisher speak, she told the moving and powerful story of how the arts, specifically music, saved her life. As I reflect now on her retirement, I realize that all of her work, her entire amazing career, has been about paying forward—at increasing orders of magnitude—the wonderful, transformative gift that she was given. From her early days teaching in Dillon and Florence, to her ground-breaking tenure as State Teacher of the Year, to her long, outstanding service as Executive Director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, she has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making!”

JEFF BELLANTONI Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop University

“Christine has been an integral part of the arts community at Winthrop University for 18 years. We had the pleasure of recognizing the impact she has made in 2012 when she was awarded our Medal of Honor in the Arts. Her passion and commitment to integrating the arts into education throughout the state is unmatched. Christine’s steadfast support of the arts is evident through her many years of service as an educator and arts advocate, and she will be missed.”


About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Introducing Arts Project Support Grants

Quarterly project grants get makeover

Artists and organizations like grants. The South Carolina Arts Commission likes to give them. Artists and organizations are happy when grants are easy to get. The South Carolina Arts Commission likes happy artists and arts organizations. And everyone is going to like the new structure for what were Quarterly Project Support Grants for artists and organizations, rebooted and now known as Arts Project Support Grants.

So, what’s new? Here are some highlights:

  • MATCHING: Organizations match the grant 1:1 now instead of 2:1
  • DEADLINES: Instead of four quarterly deadlines, how about a rolling deadline? Just apply by at least six weeks before your project begins. And summertime projects can be supported by May 15 instead of Feb. 15.
  • LIMITS: Applications can be submitted simultaneously, for separate projects. (The limit is still two awards per year.)
  • REPORTING: Final report deadlines are individualized for each grantee based on project timeline, one month after end of project but not later than June 1st.
  • TURNAROUND: Technology streamlines the standard timeline to four weeks from submission to notification.
Funding remains up to $1,000 based on project budget and applicant’s ability to match, but these changes are designed to make the grants easier to get and reduce the burden on artists and organizations. Applications will be accepted beginning March 15! If you have a project that will occur between June 1st and July 1st, you must contact the Grants Office for access to apply. Learn more by going here.