Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Federal ARP funding webinar + Dreskin, Flowers news

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...

Who's tuning up on a Friday? We are!

Don't miss...

The NEA and South Arts are joining forces to present a webinar on two NEA programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds (more info on those here). Join the webinar TUESDAY, JULY 13 FROM 3-4:30 P.M. to explore these new programs, learn how to register your organization to be eligible for federal funding, gain other resources, and participate in a Q&A session. First-time applicants are encouraged to apply, and this workshop will provide content for first-timers as well as previous NEA applicants.

News from State Art Collection artists!

  • Head to Hampton III Gallery for a new exhibition: Jeanet S Dreskin: 100 Years. Four of Dreskin's works are included in the State Art Collection. The exhibition began yesterday and runs through Aug. 21. Preview online here, or visit in person Tuesday-Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery received the S.C. Governor's Award for the Arts in 2019 in the organization category. 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 10 in Taylors. Free.
  • Speaking of Governor's Award recipients, Tom Flowers, a recent, posthumous lifetime achievement recipient, left behind a vast collection of artwork. Beginning tomorrow, some of it could be yours. His family is auctioning off much of it to, in part, fund the scholarship fund in his name at Furman University. Flowers taught there for three decades and was head of the art department as well, and the State Art Collection includes two of his works. The auction runs Saturday, July 10 at noon to Saturday, July 24 at noon.
 

Jason Rapp

Catch American Ballet Theatre in Charleston

ABT Across America on July 17

Presented by the Charleston Gaillard Center


American Ballet Theatre will take to the road this summer, traveling by bus and truck to just eight U.S. cities—including Charleston.

The Charleston Gaillard Center will present ABT Across America for an outdoor performance at The Citadel’s parade ground, Summerall Field. The show will be performed without an intermission. Repertory for ABT Across America will feature Lauren Lovette’s La Follia Variations, a work for eight dancers set to music by Francesco Geminiani, Jessica Lang’s Let Me Sing Forevermore, a pas deux blending ballet and jazz vocabulary set to songs sung by Tony Bennett, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Indestructible Light, a celebration of American jazz music, and a classical pas de deux from ABT’s extensive repertoire. Support for this program is made possible by generous donors who have committed time and resources to the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Dance Initiative.

Jason Rapp

Hub City to celebrate publication of S.C. Novel Prize winner

An Evening with Maris Lawyer

Join Hub City Writer's Project for a special book launch event with Hub City Press author Maris Lawyer tonight at 7 p.m.

Lawyer's debut novel, The Blue Line Down, is the winner of the 2020 South Carolina Novel Prize.  It was officially released Tuesday. Tonight's event unofficially launches the book and welcomes her to the Hub City family. Just 20 in-person seats are available for the event. If you're in or near the Spartanburg area, reserve an in-person seat for free here. For those who aren't able to attend in person, Hub City Press will also stream live on Facebook. Interested in the book? Hub City will be glad to help with that.

Jason Rapp

Communal Pen series explores ‘Musical Pathways’

Virtual summer learning with EboniRamm


Avid and savvy Hub readers like you know all about Communal Pen.

The creative writing workshop you know is presented by the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and South Carolina Humanities in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute's Museum on Main Street traveling exhibits in rural parts of South Carolina. However, you might also know that Museum on Main Street is on hiatus until 2022. It turns out the Communal Pen is full of ink and ready to roll. So... the SCAC is offering a series of one-session workshops to fill demand as we wait 'til next year!

Communal Pen: Musical Pathways

Music opens up pathways to creative thinking, sharpens our ability to listen, and helps us weave together ideas. In the Communal Pen: Musical Pathways workshop, facilitator EBONIRAMM will lead the virtual workshop through writing 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 is a one-part writing workshop offered two separate times:
  • OPTION 1: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 22
  • OPTION 2: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 26
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen: Musical Pathways No previous experience is necessary to participate. 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 South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Arts groups get CCCF grants + Poetry Out Loud finals

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...

It's been a minute since our last tune up.

So let's do some quick news... CCCF grants to benefit Midlands arts groups. We've had clustering of arts news from Spartanburg and Charleston lately, and today might be Columbia's—or at least the Midlands'—time to shine. Central Carolina Community Foundation announced "Connected Communities" grants totaling about $315,000 to 11 groups for innovative, community-based projects. Among them were two arts projects:
  • ColaJazz Foundation will host enhanced livestream concerts through “ColaJazz Presents Livestream Jazz,” offering musicians a professional virtual venue to connect with diverse communities throughout the Midlands and the state. This project aims to support musicians, provide live jazz safely throughout communities and foster an increasing audience for jazz.
  • Sumter County Cultural Center, “Creative Canvas” is an outdoor mural project meant to create vibrant and welcoming spaces, adding vitality to the city while making quality art accessible to all residents. Buildings will become giant canvases illustrating the city’s collective story—encouraging people to explore and experience Sumter’s diverse and historic communities.
Our frequent partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina is also among the grantees, but not for an arts-related project. Because they partner with us for the S.C. Arts Awards and because it is AWARDS SZN, The Hub is contractually obligated to remind you ColaJazz Foundation will receive the Governor's Award for the Arts at the upcoming S.C. Arts Awards ceremony in just about a month. Keep on making those waves, Mark Rapp and Co. And our best to Melanie Colclough making waves in Sumter. (We see you.) Poetry Out Loud semifinals begin this weekend. Greenville student Emily Allison, whom you might remember topped the field in South Carolina's Poetry Out Loud competition this academic year, represents us all Sunday at noon ET as the national semifinals begin virtually. (Children, don't let teachers tell you you can't write coherent long sentences.-Ed.) Get more information and watch here, or keep giving us clicks checking The Hub for updates on her progress toward the May 27 finals.      

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg artist explores mental illness, including his own

‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’


Spartanburg artist Bailie will debut his latest body of work—In The Midst of a Trauma, an extensive collection that probes the minds of people with mental illnesses—May 4-29 at Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

Bailie | Bipolar disorder. Click image to enlarge. “After suffering through a mental block and finding help through therapy, I’ve spent the past two years working on this exhibit,” the one-name artist said. “I’m telling everyone that ‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’ That phrase or slogan is my mantra, and I want to bring mental illness out of the dark and explore it in a way that people can come to understand that we all have problems, that we all need a little help from time to time, that we can do better and even thrive.” This multifaceted exhibition includes photography, paintings, multimedia sculptures, video, and creations that defy definition. To create much of this exhibition, Bailie worked with his therapist to interview five people diagnosed with various mental health problems, such as split personalities and manic depression. From those interviews he created six encaustic wax photographs (including one of himself) that depict the person’s mental health. Also, he asked each person to describe his or her worst state of mental health, and from those descriptions, he made six sculptures, including one about his own state of mind. When the photography and sculptures are exhibited, they will be accompanied by the actual questions and answers. All but one person will use his or her real name. “It takes true bravery to put your mental health problems on display for the world to see,” Bailie said. “However, speaking from experience, it is also freeing. It’s like telling the world you are not ashamed. In most cases, people with cancer are not ashamed. Or people with diabetes. Or people with COVID-19. Mental health problems are really no different than physical health problems. If you have a problem, get help, and live your life!” In addition, Bailie will display Scribble Man, a sculpture of a man’s upper body made of wire; a video of an animated white figure crab-walking backward as the body is torn apart and blown away; and a plexiglass box full of pill bottles that represent the many type of mental illnesses and the drugs used to treat them. Bailie | Encaustic portrait | 10x10. Click image to enlarge. To give people insight into his own state of mental health, Bailie has painted several large canvases that depict times in his life that he either struggled with mental illness, looked for answers, and accepted the cards that life had dealt him. In what is probably the most telling creation, Bailie has painted a profile self-portrait that shows him in deep contemplation, emerging from darkness into light. “That painting has more story behind it than what the average patron might get to know,” Bailie said. “Originally, the painting was done about 10 years ago, right after my parents died within two weeks of each other. To say the least, that was a hard time for me. I painted a dark picture with an anguished and agonized face in the center. It was pretty disturbing. To make it even more personal, I had mixed some of my parents’ cremation ashes into the paints that I used. “After going through therapy and discovering some repressed memories about my family, I had to express myself in the most profound way I could,” Bailie continued. “So, I painted over that picture with my self-portrait, a picture that shows me finally coming to grips with why I felt so angry, so hurt, so damaged. Behind my exterior, there are some dark things. But I recognize them. I deal with them. I am passed them. I’m okay.” Establishing professional credibility for this exhibit, Bailie has received both moral and financial support, including that of Mental Health America of Spartanburg, The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, the Phifer-Johnson Foundation (a family foundation based in Spartanburg that gives primarily to the arts, education, health and human services), and various unnamed individuals.
In the Midst of a Trauma will open for public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 4. Free. A free and public reception will be held Thursday, May 20, 6-9 p.m., during Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk, now returning to its regular third Thursday schedule.

Jason Rapp

‘Springing into the Arts’ in Lancaster

With mural debut, fun events


Lancaster County Council of the Arts is partnering with Lindsay Pettus Greenway and the City of Lancaster for "Spring into the Arts" celebrating public art with the reveal of the greenway's first mural as the event centerpiece.

The Saturday, April 24th event will feature art by children from each of the Lancaster County schools in a Youth Art Month outdoor exhibition on the greenway, an inclusive participatory project titled "Be the Art" for everyone who wishes to participate, a drone video project, live music and a poetry reading, a morning run, a rain barrel workshop, a bird count, arts and crafts for kids, food trucks, and the mural unveiling with an artist talk—all designed to bring attention to and support for Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway's commitment to public art in the environment. Amiri Farris Artist Amiri Farris designed the Woodland Drive underpass mural, and it will be painted under his direction by teams composed mostly of UofSC Lancaster students and other interested participants. The mural will reflect the environmental mission and beauty of the Greenway. Teams will paint throughout the week beginning on April 19 and ending with an unveiling and artist’s talk by Farris on Saturday, April 24 at noon. Anyone interested in viewing the work in progress is welcome to visit the Woodland Drive underpass during Greenway open hours from dawn to dusk and at the unveiling on Saturday April 24 at noon. "Be the Art" is an interactive “Spring into the Arts” exhibition in which anyone can participate. At 11 a.m., beginning at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street School, participants will carry umbrellas on the short, 7/10 of a mile walk from Barr Street to the Woodland Drive underpass. Anyone who wishes to "Be the Art" will walk single file, wearing masks and socially distanced, along the greenway with umbrellas open while a drone films the moving line of umbrellas. Borrowing from the New Orleans umbrella tradition, this is an interactive and visually bold art piece that highlights inclusivity, movement, color, and the beautiful setting of the greenway. The drone video of this project will be used to highlight the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway in various media and on the LCCA’s YouTube channel. Umbrellas will be given away to the first 250 people who wish to participate. “Youth Art Month,” normally displayed at the Historic Springs House Galleries, features art by Lancaster County School District K-12 students. This year the exhibit will be a one-day event on the greenway. The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. and remain on view until 2 p.m. and take place in various greenway locations between Founders Federal access at Barr Street and Constitution Park (at the intersection of Woodland Drive and Main Street). Spring into the Arts events to celebrate the mural unveiling are as follows:
  • Katawba Valley Land Trust bird count and walk (8 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Lancaster Runs (9 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Keep Lancaster Beautiful litter pick up (9:30 a.m., Founders Federal access at Barr Street)
  • Nature Crafts for Kids (1-3 p.m., Pier Overlook near Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Catawba Riverkeepers Foundation Rain Barrel Workshop (1-3 p.m., Nature Pavilion at the Comporium access on Colonial Drive. Please sign up at https://catawbariverkeeper.dm.networkforgood.com/forms/april-24-lpg-rain-barrel-workshop)
  • Lancaster County Council of the Arts Lemonade Stand (12-1 p.m., Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Poetry Reading by Lisa Hammond, USC Lancaster faculty and guest poet (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Artist Talk by Amiri Farris, guest muralist (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Music on the Greenway with guest musician Bo Beaumont (11 a.m. until noon at the Almetta Street access; 1-2 pm. at Constitution Park)
Parking for “Spring into the Arts” April 24 events is available at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street, Lancaster High School Stadium, Parking Lot at 800 North White St. (former Arras Foundation building), and First Presbyterian Church at 700 North Main St. All events are free and open to the public. Donations to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway are encouraged and welcome by both organizations. Food Trucks Kona Ice and Wilber’s Last Ride will have food available for purchase from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lancaster High School Stadium lot.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards to stream live again in 2021

Virtual presentation planned for May 24


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Awards will honor South Carolinians for their exceptional achievements in, support of, or advocacy for the arts during a professionally produced online streaming presentation planned for Monday, May 24, 2020 at 6 p.m. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina look forward to honoring the seven recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and two recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards in a special online presentation on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Lead host and SCAC Executive Director David Platts will be joined again by South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster as co-host from the Governor’s Mansion. UofSC McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz will join Platts and McMaster to announce the Folk Heritage Award recipients. Platts will announce the Governor’s Award recipients. Before the pandemic, the South Carolina Arts Awards were presented at an in-person ceremony. Rather than cancel in 2020, the ceremony was shifted to a virtual format that was successful for its extended reach and production quality. After overwhelmingly positive feedback—and with lingering COVID-19 transmission concerns—the ceremony will again be presented online, at no cost to viewers anywhere. Surprise guests will join to help introduce each recipient. Mini-films by South Carolina filmmakers Drew Baron, Lynn Cornfoot, Abe Duenas, Patrick Hayes, Roni Henderson, Lee Ann Kornegay, and Ebony Wilson will debut, telling each recipient’s story. The filmmakers worked under the direction of producer Betsy Newman. Location shooting for the ceremony and production of the stream are being provided by Midlands-based iSite Multimedia and Fisher Films. The Governor’s Award recipients were announced in February. The recipients are:
  • Tom Flowers (posthumous, Greenville): Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Charlton Singleton (Charleston): Artist Category
  • Jennifer Clark Evins (Spartanburg): Individual Category
  • Tayloe Harding (Columbia): Arts in Education Category
  • Colonial Life (Columbia): Business/Foundation Category
  • ColaJazz Foundation (Columbia): Organization Category
  • Marjory Wentworth (Mount Pleasant): Special Award
The Folk Heritage Award recipients were also announced in February. Being honored are:
  • Jugnu Verma (Lexington): Traditional Indian folk arts
  • Robert W. Hill, III (Plantersville): Advocacy, American long rifles and accoutrements

 About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on social media. About McKissick Museum The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

Jason Rapp

‘Holy grief’ discussion at next Artists U conversation

'Back Together, Not Back to Normal'


If we're honest, "normal" is a long way off.

Sure, we are seeing semblances of it here and there. According to Andrew Simonet from Artists U (an ongoing partner of the S.C. Arts Commission), "there is a lot up for grabs in the next 12 months." In an essay, he says:

Many of us have an understandable urge: Can’t we just go back to how things were in 2019? No, we can’t. Too much has shifted in our culture and economy and world. What comes next will be built, in part, by artists. We have sacred, essential skills for this moment: We look clear-eyed at what is and fearlessly imagine what could be.

And so "Back Together, Not Back to Normal" was born, giving artists a place to converse about the abundant twists and turns of navigating the transition away from lockdowns. Devynn Emory Devynn Emory (image from LinkedIn) #SCartists can register now for an April 22 conversation with Brooklyn-based Devynn Emory, who will lead a conversation with the thesis, "our grief can be holy if we let it." Emory is a mixed Lenape/Blackfoot transgender choreographer, dance artist, bodyworker, ceremonial guide and acute care and hospice nurse who spent the pandemic along the front lines in the later roles. Artists U invites artists to join Devynn's conversation about:
  • grief and mourning what has been lost
  • the traumas and truths of the past year, how they impact our bodies and breath
  • how artists can resist the “get back to normal” narrative, reinventing rather than rebuilding
  • how artists are useful to our communities and beloveds through these complex transitions
  • grief and mourning what has been lost
  • the traumas and truths of the past year, how they impact our bodies and breath
  • how artists can resist the "get back to normal" narrative, reinventing rather than rebuilding
  • how artists are useful to our communities and beloveds through these complex traditions.
That's Thursday, April 22 at noon ET, and you can register here.

Jason Rapp

The latest from #SCartists

Established, emerging artists featured


Painter Brian Rutenberg is no stranger to those familiar with the State Art Collection, which houses a 1997 work of his. The College of Charleston alum and current New Yorker opens a new show Friday, April 30 at the Jerald Melburg Gallery in Charlotte, running until June 12. Brian Rutenberg | Point of Pine | 2021 | 48 x 72 in. |
Oil on linen
Among the inaugural class of Emerging Artist Grant recipients from the SCAC is dancer Ashlea Sovetts. She and collaborator Alexandria Nunweiler are presenting a workshop on the creative process at the World Dance Alliance Americas 2021 Virtual Conference & Festival Assembly at the end of the month: