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Tuning Up: Where arts and infrastructure intersect

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...


She thought she had it all figured out. Columbia high school student Hanah Watts thought she was captivated by some new modern art. Oops. You'll enjoy her take on infrastructure through an arts lens in the Columbia Star – it's a nice, light-hearted read for the first Friday of the New Year. (And let's not pile on Columbia. Does anybody like the roads where they live?)

Tuning Up: S.C. Humanities honors Goldstein, others

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...


Governor's Awards in the Humanities. Yesterday, S.C. Humanities held a luncheon in honor of four distinguished new recipients of the Governor's Awards for the Humanities:
  • Anne Cleveland, director of the Charleston Library Society;
  • Bobby Donaldson, historian and educator;
  • Cecil Williams, celebrated South Carolina photographer;
  • and Sara June Goldstein, literary arts advocate and member of our team at the S.C. Arts Commission.
We're so proud of Sara June's exceptional work and that she received this honor. Here she is with Kim Shealy Jeffcoat (left), chairwoman of the S.C. Humanities Council; and Tommy Windsor (right), director of boards and commissions in the governor's office. We're down for this always. Just gonna leave this right here.

Evergreen (for now): Time is running out!

  • Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts (right) are due Thursday, Nov. 8. All it takes to start the process of awarding an artist, arts organization, business or foundation, government entity, individual, or arts educator/institution one of these prestigious awards for significant contributions to the arts in South Carolina is one letter. Don't wait. Find out more now! (Noms for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are due at the same time. Here's info on those.)
  • Applications for $5,000 individual artist fellowships are also due Thursday, Nov. 8. Unrestricted awards will honor achievement in visual arts, craft, music composition, and music performance. Don't miss out!

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‘Chicken Man’ loves what he does

“You gotta love it, you gotta love what you do.” That from renowned Columbia artist Ernest Lee, known to most as the "Chicken Man" for his iconic artwork featuring ... well, you know. He's going strong 51 years into his art career. “When I was five, I started drawing. And I told my mom if there was anything in the world I wanted to be, I wanted to be an artist,” he said. “I just picked up the pencil and kept playing with it.” When he got older, Lee began painting the interior and exterior of houses, until someone suggested he start doing “something he could call his own.” We posit that he did. Read more on Lee's story on ColaDaily.com.  

Tuning Up: A two-act play about arts funding and bookkeeping

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...


ACT ONE: Arts Funding Update

NEWSREADER (downstage, alone, follow spot only - no stage/house lighting) (serious)

We're getting late word of an arts funding update. (Beat. Touches earpiece as if listening to producer). YES! Yesterday, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a state budget on recommendation from the conference committee. The House voted 84-28 in favor, and the Senate 30-9. The adopted budget includes an additional $350,000 the House included in March and $100,000 the Senate added for arts education. The budget has gone to Governor McMaster to sign, veto, or use his line-item veto power to strike portions he doesn't like.

AUDIENCE, off-stage (gasps)

But his vetoes!

NEWSREADER (reassuring)

Arts leaders are cautiously optimistic that the funding will remain as passed. A decision by the governor is expected next week. He has five business days, excluding Sunday and the July Fourth holiday to respond. (Follow spot fades. Newsreader exits. A spontaneous candlelight vigil begins in audience.)

(Intermission)

ACT TWO: ICYMI: A Stronger Bottom Line.

GP MCLEER (in toga, enthusiastically - a soliloquy)

OYEZ! OYEZ! The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available (lean in, with emphasis) for just $200. All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now!

Tuning Up: Writing workshops for girls + 1858 Prize + Twitter

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...


Writing workshops for girls.  Big opportunity here for high school girls (grades 9-12) who are serious about honing their sci-fi and fantasy and/or poetry-writing skills: Columbia College is to offer two workshops June 18-22 on its campus, one on each topic. We don't cross-post much, but take a quick peek at Arts Daily for more information. The poetry workshop will be taught by Dr. Ray McManus, who pitched in as one of the judges for the Poetry Out Loud state finals this past March. Good enough for government work. It's not mentioned in the story, but just so you know, an additional $100,000 appropriated to the S.C. Arts Commission's budget by the Senate is among the differences to be reconciled by a General Assembly conference committee next month. While the budget was not sent to Gov. McMaster by the legislators' self-imposed deadline, this story claims a government shutdown is unlikely. The Hub and SCAC, along with other dedicated state employees, are grateful. Follow us. Do you follow us on Twitter? We'd hate to think you'd miss such social media goodness as this (right). Social media, for all its ills, is also one incredible tool. We're hoping to improve our Twitter presence, while (clearly) not taking ourselves too seriously. Last call for 1858! Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by our friends at the Gibbes Museum will be accepted through May 31! The 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Learn more here.

Behind the Scenes: Verner Statue unpacking day

Today is a special day at the South Carolina Arts Commission, one that comes around every year about this time. Verner Award statue unpacking day. They were delivered earlier in the week, but this... this is a Friday kind of job. The boxes should come with a label that says, "Do Not Open 'Til X-mas Friday." So this morning, Arts Commission staff members (and devoted Verner Award statue caretakers) Kevin Flarisee and Victoria McCurry broke away from the ongoing Janae Claxton victory party long enough to carry out this task reserved only for a privileged few. Fortunately for you, The Hub – relentless in its pursuit of the best possible Hub-erage of South Carolina Arts Awards Day – was there to chronicle everything. Let's peek behind the curtain and see how it went.


Click on each image to enlarge. [gallery ids="35015,35016,35017,35012,35013"]
The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts will be presented to their five recipients Wednesday, May 2 at a 10:30 a.m. State House ceremony. It is open to the public. You can also still get last-minute tickets to the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon that follows the ceremony at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., $50). The luncheon includes an art sale from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., three-course meal, special recognition of the award recipients, and a unique fundraiser featuring the table centerpieces – one of which you can purchase the opportunity to take home. As you can see above, we have plenty of packing peanuts.

Tuning Up: The arts and rural health, SC flag call for art?

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts where The Hub delivers 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...

(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)

  • Rural health: The Art of Community: Rural S.C. was in the national spotlight yesterday for work in Walterboro, but the program extends well beyond that. In Hampton County, the focus is on merging the arts with public health to address those needs with creative initiatives. (Courtesy of the Times & Democrat.)
  • Call for art? The South Carolina State Flag does not have an official design. Nobody's looking for a redesign; some want it standardized. (Courtesy of The State.)

Tuning Up: Poetry Out Loud regional competitions this weekend

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a new, morning series of posts where The Hub delivers 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...

(Image credit: South Carolina Philharmonic/Michael Dantzler)

  • Stand tall, stand proud... it's Poetry Out Loud: South Carolina students participate in the state regional finals of this annual, nationwide competition this weekend! Students from regions 1 and 2 meet up in Spartanburg, and region 3 students in Charleston. Winners from each regional compete in the state finals in Columbia in March.
  • Ten at the Top: Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg is to be host of TATT's "Culture Counts" forum next week, on Wednesday, Jan. 24. It will include the unveiling of the Upstate Arts & Culture Interactive Assets Maps as well as a keynote presentation by Anthony Radich, executive director of the Western States Arts Federation. A panel discussion to follow includes SCAC Executive Director Ken May. More information here, and event registration is here. (Information courtesy of Greenville Business Monthly.)
  • ICYMI: We couldn't help having a little weather-related fun on Facebook this week. (If you don't already, give us a like why don't ya?)