Jason Rapp

Third Doko Film Fest announced

All-virtual format planned in 2021

In the second year of the Doko Film Fest, a total of 143 entrees came from across the country, as well as from Canada, India, China and the United Kingdom. This year, no matter where you are, you can join in.

“Whether you’re in Blythewood or Dhaka, Bangladesh, we’ll all be here together,” says festival creator Ray Smith. That’s because in its third year the whole event will happen virtually, streaming live over two days: March 20 and 21. There will be plenty to see and interact over. So far, submissions have been received from across the U.S., India, Canada, Oman, Iran, Poland and Mexico. The film competition for students aged 14 to 18 gives young filmmakers the chance to show their films to a live audience, attend master classes led by award-winning professional filmmakers, and have their work judged by industry professionals. It’s been held for the last two years in Blythewood, a small town north of Columbia. At the third festival, attendees will be able to view the selected films, attend virtual master classes and listen to a live panel of professional filmmakers providing feedback on each day’s films. All will all take place from 1-4:30 p.m. on March 20 and 21. New in 2021: It will all be free to attend. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-doko-virtual-film-fest-tickets-128798211919 The festival is entirely volunteer-based, so donations are requested. Any received go toward the continued mission of supporting the arts and next year’s Doko Film Fest. The climax of the event will continue to be the awards recognizing the best in each category, as judged and selected by a panel of film professionals. Those categories are:
  • short story,
  • documentary,
  • visual effects,
  • animation,
  • music video,
  • comedy,
  • and pocket video (which means a film that is made and edited completely on a smartphone).

About Doko Film Fest

Doko Film Fest gives high school-aged filmmakers from across the USA and beyond a showcase for their visual storytelling. Its mission is to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of young filmmakers and provide them an outlet for their creativity. Doko Film Fest was created by business educator and documentary filmmaker Ray Smith. To learn more about participating, attending or becoming a sponsor—and to view some of last year’s winning films and for further information—please visit https://DokoFilmFest.com.

Jason Rapp

Artisphere, Ag + Art Tour announce spring plans

In-person opportunities continue to increase

That bright thing is back in the sky today.

One's thoughts inevitably turn to spring on days like today. The days are zipping toward March and there's a warmer weather pattern to enliven the spirit and enhance mood. With so many people yearning for some semblance of routine to return, and time drawing nearer to outdoor events being more palatable, two South Carolina (outdoor) arts festivals announced plans to come back after joining so many on an unfortunate (but understandable) one-year hiatus.

South Carolina Ag + Art Tour (weekends May 29-June 27)

This is an annual crawl across several South Carolina counties that showcases things South Carolina does well. (You probably guessed what from the event's name.) Starting the final weekend in May, and every weekend in June, explore the agriculture and artistic heritage of South Carolina through the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour.  This experience is a free, self-guided tour of designated farms in South Carolina, featuring local artisans and farmer's markets. This year you can plan to make visits in these counties: Charleston, Chester, Chesterfield, Colleton, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry and Richland + York. The festival is organized by Clemson University Cooperative Extension.

Artisphere (May 7-9)

Hailed as one of the country's top arts festivals, Artisphere announced yesterday that it's returning to Greenville's Main Street for its usual Mother's Day Weekend run. Like so many things, it won't quite be the same—at least not yet. Masks will be mandatory, attendance will be limited and everyone will be funneled through one of three entry points. And, just for this year they say, it will be confined to the West End Historic District on South Main. Reservations for 2.5-hour time slots will be available to the general public starting March 15 for a $5 fee that will be returned upon admission as a credit to buy art. Sign up for notification and learn more about Artisphere 2021 here. (Disclaimer: the S.C. Arts Commission provides operating support to Artisphere that is tangential to this newsworthy item.) The Hub will try to keep readers updated on additional festival announcements as they occur.
Image by kie-ker from Pixabay

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Announcing the Dorothea Benton Frank Writing Series

College of Charleston to offer master classes, industry talks

The MFA of Creative Writing program at the College of Charleston is pleased to announce The Dorothea Benton Frank Writing Series (DBF).

This series will offer students meaningful opportunities to engage with established writers and professionals working in the field of publishing who can diversify and extend the literary conversation on campus beyond required coursework. The DBF Writing Series will have two components that will offer a balance of artistic and professional approaches to the writer’s life and work: the Master Class and Industry Talks. Each year, the master classes will bring two established writers with a national reputation to campus to meet with graduate students from the MFA program. The visiting writer will conduct a master class session featuring a craft talk, a workshop, critiques of student works-in-progress, writing exercises, and/or focused discussions on the writer’s development and career. Industry Talks will feature industry professionals to share their expertise and advice to help students understand the publishing industry and the profession of being a writer. The inaugural event will feature author Adriana Trigiani (right). On March 4, Trigiani will virtually deliver a reading from her latest novel, Tony’s Wife. The following day (March 5), she will teach a master class to CofC students. Trigiani is a New York Times bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction; an award-winning playwright, television writer and producer, and filmmaker; and the cofounder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program for students in Appalachia.

Jason Rapp

Coming next week: Arts Advocacy Week in S.C.!

Join the South Carolina Arts Alliance Feb. 15-19 for virtual Arts Advocacy Week!

All events/webinars are free (some require pre-registration) and will feature in-depth legislative briefings, arts education highlights from across the state, student performances, and some great fun extras. Highlights from our full schedule are below.
  • Monday, Feb. 15: Advocacy Trainings + Virtual Gallery Tour
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16: Arts Education + Performance from Governor’s School
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17: Legislative Briefings + Carolina Pints & Politics
  • Thursday, Feb. 18: Legislative Email Campaign + Town Hall
  • Friday, Feb. 19: Creative Impact Craft Beer Release
See the full schedule and register for events here.

Jason Rapp

McKissick Museum announces reopening date

Museum resumes telling story of Southern life next week

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is excited to announce that it will reopen to the public on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

The museum is set to debut two new exhibits, Child’s Play, and the final iteration of the popular exhibit, Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. Visitors will be able to enjoy the entire museum—including A Laughing Matter? Political Humor Through the Years and the Museum’s permanent exhibition, Natural Curiosity with new safety measures in place. Protective measures will include timed admission tickets, limited gallery capacity, an increased cleaning schedule, and the required use of face coverings and physical distancing. McKissick will continue to be free and offer a robust digital events calendar for 2021. Timed admission tickets will be available by the hour and up to two months in advance via Eventbrite or by calling 803.777.7251. Guided tours are available by request and are capped at 8 participants.

Reopening event

Guests are invited to celebrate McKissick’s reopening on February 11th for an evening of curator-led tours of our newest exhibitions. Guests will take a trip down memory lane with Curator of Exhibitions Giordano Angeletti and explore the messages we send and receive from toys in Child’s Play, and explore the final iteration of the ever-popular exhibition, Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection, with Chief Curator of Folklife and Fieldwork Saddler Taylor. Free timed tickets are available on the half-hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with quantities limited. Guests can reserve reopening reception tickets online or by calling 803.777.7251. Use of face coverings and physical distancing will be enforced.

Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ returns to Lowcountry in February

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' McClellanville

Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for starting Saturday, Feb. 20 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? 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!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit Water/Ways, McClellanville Arts Council is co-host of this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27
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. No previous experience necessary! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the McClellanville Arts Council from Jan. 18 through March 1.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 Eboni Ramm 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. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" 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

Get ready to disrupt, generate, and innovate

Annual creative placemaking summit to go virtual in '21

  • SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: Friday, January 15, 2021, 5 p.m. ET
  • EARLY-BIRD DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
Group picture with big, colorful cutout letters spelling "thank you." The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by Maven Lottie Lewis, celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.

The Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit is an annual gathering of arts workers, community leaders, and other stakeholders exploring how the arts can make Southern communities more inclusive, connected, and resilient.

Co-presented by South Arts,  a key partner of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), and the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP), the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit: South is an annual gathering that explores how arts and cultural programming can be forces for connection and community resilience throughout the southeastern United States. In the image above, Lottie Lewis and her team show creative placemaking in action as part of the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative of the SCAC. Next year's conference will be all-virtual from Feb. 23-24, with outstanding content and some great digital features for networking, breakout sessions and workshops on the following topics:
  • Access and support for rural and under-resourced communities
  • Addressing systemic and personal racism
  • Equitable procurement practices for artists and arts organizations
  • Funding and financial sustainability of creative placemaking initiatives
  • Helping communities recover economically
  • Improving mental or physical health in communities
  • Surfacing and empowering creativity in communities
  • Supporting artists and other creative professionals
  • And more
More about the 2021 event: As our communities become more diverse, they may also become more divided. Creative placemaking provides ways to build bridges across these differences in hopes of more inclusive, connected, and resilient places. Join us as we explore how arts and cultural programming can bring people closer togetherLearn more about it all right here. Get early-bird pricing of $150/person until Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Afterward, the price goes to $200/person.

Limited scholarships available

South Arts is once again offering scholarships which will cover the full cost of registration, and we encourage teams of two or more creative placemakers from each community. Find out about scholarships and apply for them here. The deadline to apply for scholarships is 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. If you have attended this conference before, you know how valuable and inspiring it can be.  

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Poetry Society of S.C. turns 100

Join us for our centennial year

The Poetry Society of South Carolina turns 100 years old this coming January.

Since 1921 the Society has sponsored readings, lectures, and other events featuring the likes of Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Harriet Monroe, Archibald Rutledge, and legions of other renowned and emerging poets. If you write poetry or enjoy it as a reader or hearing it in recitation, we invite you to become a member and join us this spring as we launch our centennial year. Beginning in January, we have monthly readings and writing workshops scheduled for broadcast over Zoom and hopefully in-person, should pandemic protocols allow. All readings are open to the public and free. In addition to a Poetry Showcase, our January reading at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 will feature a brief history by President Jim Lundy, who has written a book, due out soon, about the society’s first 100 years. We’re also pleased to announce that thanks to generous support from South Carolina Humanities, writing workshops—which are normally for a fee—will be free this spring as well. Registration through our website is required to receive the Zoom link for each event. You can become a Poetry Society member at our website (www.poetrysocietysc.org) or by sending a check to The Poetry Society of SC, P.O. Box 1090, Charleston, SC 29402. An individual membership is $30 ($15/student). Benefits include:
  1. monthly newsletters with member news along with dates, times, and locations for each month’s readings and writing workshops;
  2. online access to readings and writing workshops;
  3. eligibility for spring and fall poetry contests with cash prizes and winners published online and in the Yearbook.
To be eligible for our spring contests, you must join before the February 15 contest deadline. Consult Arts Daily for details regarding monthly events.

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2021 North Charleston Arts Fest is a ‘go’

Artists of all disciplines sought to perform or present

Application deadline: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is seeking artists in music, theatre, dance, visual art, media art, and literature to participate in the 2021 North Charleston Arts Fest to be held April 28-May 2 at various venues throughout North Charleston.

Click to enlarge. Regional and local artists and community organizations are welcome to submit an application to perform on stage or present their talents through programs such as exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and more.
  • The application can be accessed at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply.
  • There is NO fee to apply.
  • Agents submitting applications on behalf of two or more acts should contact the Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854 or culturalarts@northcharleston.org for special application instructions.
  • Applications will be accepted through the online submission platform until midnight on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
  • Artists in need of assistance with any part of the application process may contact the Cultural Arts Department to schedule a one-on-one meeting, which can be conducted over the phone, virtually, or in person.
The Arts Fest review panel will select applicants from all art disciplines to create a mix of free and ticketed events that will work well in the available venues and are geared to meet the interests of a cross-section of ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Proposals for new concepts or programs are encouraged.
The North Charleston Arts Fest is an annual five-day celebration of the arts, offering an array of events and activities such as concerts, theatre presentations, exhibitions and installations, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, and more, throughout the City of North Charleston. The festival was cancelled in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so will once again be presented as the 38th annual event in 2021. All programs and activities will be presented with COVID-19 safety measures in place (face coverings, social distancing, etc.). Because of restrictions on large gatherings, the World Art Expo at Riverfront Park and Children's Festival will not be part of the festival schedule in 2021.
For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest and other participation opportunities visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com or contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 843.740.5854 or culturalarts@northcharleston.org.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: S.C. Jazz Festival starts Sunday

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)


South Carolina Jazz Festival Celebrate Dizzy Gillespie’s 103rd birthday and enjoy a world-class jazz festival wherever you are on your favorite streaming devices. The 2020 South Carolina Jazz Festival features regional to international jazz stars from South Carolina, New York, Brazil and more. The Town of Cheraw did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop their annual jazz festival. They turned to ColaJazz Foundation Executive Director Mark Rapp to create an online jazz festival experience. “Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented actions and teamwork,” Rapp said. “The timeline is extraordinarily aggressive and most would say impossible; however, the town of Cheraw, the festival’s supporting sponsors, and ColaJazz were up for the challenge. I believe we have a festival that is incredible in its lineup and a powerful testament to overcoming obstacles. Overcoming is what jazz does!” The 2020 SC Jazz Festival features a wide range of jazz talent including: Grammy Award nominated artists Tia Fuller, Don Braden, Delfeayo Marsalis; New York jazz stars Alexa Tarantino and Steven Feifke; recent Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Eric Jones; pianist Kevin Bales and his octet; Gino Castillo and Cuban trumpeter Julito Padron; artists from the Greenville Jazz Collective; the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; Columbia’s own “Little Big Band: the band that could!”; Brazilian vocalist Liz Rosa; Brazilian pianist Serge Frasunkiewicz; and more. All shows and information can be found on the festival’s website: https://scjazzfestival.com