Jason Rapp

Nature to inspire next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' Congaree National Park

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 THIS SATURDAY 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, Congaree National Park and Friends of Congaree Swamp are co-hosts 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, Dec. 5
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
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 South Carolina Maritime Museum from Nov. 13 through Jan. 13, 2021.
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

Tuning Up: Student art call + Carter Boucher, Adrian Rhodes 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...
The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.

ArtFields Jr. is looking for student art

Submission deadline: February 12, 2021 The ArtFields Jr. Art Competition is open to South Carolina students in grades 1 through 12. All artwork submitted is considered by their review panel. Select pieces will be displayed during the month of April and final judging takes place during ArtFields. Schools and families are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony to support their student artists and developing artists throughout the community. Submissions for the 2021 competition are open through February 12, 2021. For complete details of the ArtFields Jr. competition, click here.

2020 is stopping neither Carter Boucher...

(Submitted material) Clarence Carter Boucher, Arts Access South Carolina master teaching artist, is continuing a very successful year. The website/blog https://www.detour-ahead.org/ is featuring three of his paintings and information about his art career, live now here. Plus:
  • "Art from the Heart," a hardback book about art, is going to include his oil portrait, Jesse James, composer.
  • Hip Pocket Press is publishing a piece of his flash fiction, Postcard to a Train Conductor.

... nor Adrian Rhodes

The 2020 SCAC visual arts fellow made a book of recent drawings, currently on view at 701 CCA as part of the 701 Prize Finalists exhibition. She is taking preorders for the book on her website through December 3rd.

Jason Rapp

Charleston arts community loses ‘Big Buddha’

Don Cantwell passes away at 85


The week is closing on a somber note in the Lowcountry.

Don CantwellThe Post & Courier is reporting this morning that Don Cantwell, Charleston Ballet Theatre's longtime artistic director, passed away from complications of cancer. From Maura Hogan:

Acclaimed for raising the bar of dance throughout his native Charleston and beyond, Cantwell for decades served as the visionary, yet strikingly unassuming leader of Charleston Ballet Theatre, working alongside his wife, dancer and dance instructor Patricia Cantwell, and the company’s choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr.

Known for both his quiet nature and outsize imagination, Cantwell is remembered for cutting a towering, elegant figure. However, even with such stature and presence, the lifelong disciple of dance was said to possess a humility that at times belied the magnitude of his artistry. Those attributes, as well as his twinkling humor, compelled many who knew him to refer to him as “Big Buddha.” 

Read Hogan's full report on the Post & Courier website here. (Subscription might be required.)

Submitted material

Star Wars characters lend hand to Puppetry Arts videos

Force is strong with free interactive video series


"Ownership of Education" digital support videos produced by Puppetry Arts are a COVID 19-Rapid Response Arts in Education outreach program funded by the National Education Association Foundation.

The series includes 15, seven-minute videos, each with a specific topic or vocabulary word featured. They are structured in a Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) format. Infusing puppetry and animation, the videos are taught by teachers Mr. Tim, Miss Arlee, and Mr. Miles, who introduce a specific topic and talk about how they experience that topic and what we can do about it together. Finally, they empower and encourage young audiences to think about and share what they themselves can do about it. Tying into the COVID-19 pandemic, some issues touch on social distancing aiming to help young audiences better understand what is happening and why. These interactive videos are designed to be seen in order and ask for student replies (through the collaborating teacher) with the top 3 responses shared at the beginning of the next video. Adding to the fun, cameos by Star Wars characters from the 501st Garrison and Rebel Legions help reinforce the vocabulary with visits from Stormtroopers and even Darth Vader. Puppetry Arts is making these free videos available to all school and classrooms to help support virtual learning and bridge the gap between the classroom and the student. Email Puppetry Arts at info@puppetryarts.org to participate and receive links to videos unique to each school or classroom.

Jason Rapp

Southern Prize & State Fellowships applications now open

Apply today for South Arts' big prize

Application deadline: MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET

South Arts' Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work created across our region.

Nine artists, one each living in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will share $80,000 in cash awards:
  • One artist per state will receive a State Fellowship of $5,000.
  • Two State Fellows will receive the Southern Prize awards, with one Southern Prize finalist receiving an additional $10,000,
  • and one Southern Prize winner receiving an additional $25,000.
Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency with The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. All nine artists will be featured in a touring exhibition in 2021, with dates/locations TBD depending on the state of the pandemic. This year, Kristi Ryba was selected the 2020 South Carolina State Fellow. She is shown in her studio above. Here is some of her work. Chapel Of Perpetual Adoration II ; 2018 ; Egg Tempera & 22k Gold leaf on panel ; 3 panels each 18.75 x 15.25. Click to see larger image.

New in 2021

In the past, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships held an anonymous application process, referred to as “blind.” Blind panels were initially developed to prevent jurors from selecting artists they knew or playing favorites due to familiarity and unintentional biases toward the known. It has come to our attention that blind panels now may perpetuate a fall-back to familiarity and assumptions, removing the ability of the panelist to deliberate about inclusion and diversity in all aspects of the works. Taking this into consideration, South Arts has made the decision to remove the anonymity requirement from the Southern Prize and State Fellowships to create a more inclusive and equitable process.

Now, it's time to apply

First, know that you must be 18 or older, and you can't be a full-time student at the high school or undergraduate level. Grad student? You're good to go. The program is open to #SCartists living in our state (and the others, but this is The Hub and we're here for #SCartists) for at least two years before  the Jan. 21, 2021 application deadline and working in craft, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary artforms. The jurors will make their selections based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region, as you read above. The deadline to apply, once again, is 11:59 p.m. ET on January 11, 2021. And now it's time to do the thing. Best of luck!

Jason Rapp

First Jazz Road Tours grants awarded for 2020

South Arts announces the first series of artists to receive Jazz Road Tours grants since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jazz Road Tours grant program offers up to $15,000 directly to artists so they can develop tours into communities across the country. The newest Jazz Road Tours grant recipients are:
  • Svetlana / New York Collective from Pound Ridge, New York received $14,946 to tour the Southeastern U.S. from Feb. 9-19, 2021.
  • Philippe Lemm Trio from New York City received $6,250 to tour from upstate New York through Florida from Feb. 11-21, 2021.
  • Allan Harris: Kate’s Soulfood from New York City received $15,000 to tour through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida from Feb. 13-20, 2021.
  • Oscar Peñas from New York City received $15,000 to tour through California, Arizona, and New Mexico from March 3-6, 2021.
  • Lucy Yeghiazaryan from The Bronx, New York received $8,400 to tour from Pennsylvania through Massachusetts from March 5-13, 2021.
  • Brenda Nicole Moorer from Atlanta received $14,480 to tour from Louisiana through New York from March 20-28, 2021.
  • The Jon Irabagon Quartet from Brooklyn, New York received $14,200 to tour through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts from April 7-18, 2021.
“The past eight months have been exceptionally challenging for jazz artists,” said Sara Donnelly, program director for Jazz Road at South Arts. “We are optimistic that some artists are proactively laying the groundwork to share their work with audiences in-person soon.” While the dates and details of the funded tours are subject to change, they represent a solid commitment and dedicated plan between the artists and venues to bring jazz to their communities. “We are hopeful that the proposed dates will occur,” continued Donnelly, “but it is vital that the health, safety, and well-being of everyone involved is front-and-center. The artists and venues have communicated terms if dates need to be postponed.”

Applications are open

Jazz Road Tours, launched in 2018, is accepting applications on a rolling basis from artists across the country interested in taking their work on the road. “Artists, as soon as you are able to safely begin planning tours, we are here to support your work and help make your gigs financially feasible,” continued Donnelly. “There is no need to rush applications for this program, and submissions will be open until at least 2022.” Jazz Road, a national program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is led by South Arts in partnership with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/WESTAF). Through Jazz Road and the flagship Jazz Road Tours grant program, artists can apply for support to build small tours and further explore their work while receiving equitable fees. Artists may apply on a rolling basis for up to $15,000 to tour their work through Jazz Road Tours. Additionally, a Creative Residency program will launch later this year. Further details about South Arts and Jazz Road are available by visiting www.southarts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

Jason Rapp

S.C. non-profits requested $76 million in SC CARES Act relief

Nearly 1,600 applications submitted


Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Dept. of Administration (Admin) announced late yesterday that 11,217 applications were received for the SC CARES Act grant programs for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.

These programs award grant funds to small and minority businesses and nonprofit organizations to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or for revenue loss due to COVID-19. Beginning on October 16, Governor McMaster, Admin, and other state leaders held events in Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Greer, and Myrtle Beach to raise awareness of the program and encourage business owners to apply for the program. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of our state’s economy and they were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We knew we had to quickly get them the help they need through an easily-accessible program, and I’m happy to say that the results have exceeded our expectations.” Act 154 of 2020 allocated $40 million for the Minority and Small Business Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$25,000. The total number of application submissions for the Minority and Small Business program was 9,627, with a total requested amount of $213,297,112.30. Act 154 allocated $25 million for the Nonprofit Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$50,000. The total number of application submissions for the Nonprofit program was 1,590 with a total requested amount of $75,980,037.43. In early December, applicants will receive a notification indicating grant approval and the dollar amount of the grant. Grant awards will be issued to qualifying grant recipients by mid-December. If other CARES Act funds are not utilized, both the Nonprofit and Minority and Small Business Grant funds are eligible to be replenished and additional grants may be distributed at a later date.
In accordance with Act 154, applications for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Commission for Minority Affairs, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of Commerce, or his designee; and
  • the director of the Department of Revenue, or his designee.
Act 154 further provides that priority must be given to minority businesses, to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds, to businesses with fifteen or fewer employees, and to businesses that demonstrate the greatest financial need. Applications for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Department of Social Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Mental Health, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, or her designee;
  • the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of State, or his designee;
  • the director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Archives and History, or his designee; and
  • the executive director of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, or her designee.
For the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, priority must be given to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds. Then, priority shall be given to applications for expenditures related to food assistance, including prepared meals, rent or mortgage assistance, utilities assistance, mental health counseling, health care services, including access to health care supplies, mental health, and behavioral health, criminal domestic violence and children’s advocacy services, and arts and cultural items or activities. Additionally, the panel will give consideration to the geographic distribution of services provided by the nonprofit organizations, so that grants are awarded on a statewide basis.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Arts people news + down to the wire

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...


South Arts names two from S.C. to Emerging Leaders of Color program

The Hub helped promote South Arts' Emerging Leaders of Color opportunity once, twice, or three times, so it's only right that we let you know how it all shook out. Two leaders from South Carolina were named to the cohort: Melanie Colclough of Sumter (executive director of Patriot Hall/Sumter County Cultural Center) and Jemimah Ekeh of Columbia (freelance designer + administrator with One Columbia for Arts & Culture). There is more about the program and see who was accepted from other states right here.

State's arts community loses two beacons

We pause to note with sadness the passing of two members of South Carolina's tight-knit arts community:

It's down to the wire

No. Not that. This is your two-weeks' two-day notice that nomination time is coming to a close for the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Nominations for both are due by 11:59 p.m. ET THIS FRIDAY, Nov. 6.

Submitted material

Furman alumni donate $6.1 million to music department

Gordon Herring and Sarah Herring, Furman classes of 1965 and 1966, respectively, have pledged a gift of $6.1 million to the Furman Department of Music.

The donation established the Herring Music Chair Endowment and the Herring Music Fellowship Fund. The couple’s gift continues a decades-long tradition of generosity to the department in terms of time, guidance and financial support. “We hope our gift will attract exceptional students who can be magnets to draw other talented musicians to Furman’s music programs,” Sarah Herring said. Both Sarah, a German major, and Gordon, a history major, were members of the Furman Singers when they were students, an experience that fostered a special bond with Furman’s music department. “Furman is exceptional for providing students with a rigorous liberal arts education,” Gordon Herring said. “We believe the other liberal arts are enhanced by music. Because we weren’t music majors, our experience with Furman Singers served to complete our liberal arts education.” Gordon was a telecommunications executive who helped launch The Weather Channel in 1982, while Sarah’s career was in senior management for telephone company operations.
The Herrings’ legacy of generosity to Furman includes a $1.8 million gift that led to the construction of the Herring Center for Lifelong Learning, and a $1.25 million donation that served as the lead investment for the Nan Trammell Herring Music Pavilion. Since the mid-1990s, the Herrings have provided Partner Scholarships, which support multiple music students each year. Gordon, an emeritus trustee, believes music speaks to the soul of the individual and thereby enriches the soul of the university, especially in these challenging times. Bingham Vick Jr., professor of music emeritus and director of the Furman Singers from 1970 to 2010, emphasizes the importance of the Herrings’ gift to the university in attracting gifted music students. “In recent years, rising costs of Furman, increased competition for musical talent with other quality collegiate music programs, and knowing the value and the importance of the cultural experience that a strong music department could offer to students and to the community, the Herrings have taken a bold and important step and investment in the Furman musical program,” Vick said. “I can attest to the importance and benefit Furman’s strong music program has had on the lives thousands of students. The Herring Fellowships now lead the way toward an even brighter future for the enrichment of the Furman experience.”

Jason Rapp

Applications open at S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities

Young artists invited to apply


Artistically talented students in grades 6-11 can now apply to the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ summer programs and tuition-free, residential high school for the 2021-2022 school year.

All South Carolina residents are eligible and can apply online at SCGSAH.org. “We want every parent who has an artistic child to know about the transformative opportunities that the Governor’s School offers them,” said Cedric Adderley, school president. “We’re hosting numerous virtual events throughout the fall for families to learn more about our programs and the life-long benefits of our pre-professional training.” The Governor’s School is hosting a continuous series of virtual information sessions each week and a virtual open house, First Look, on Saturday, Nov. 7. They have also teamed up with the S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics and the new Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe for several Endless Opportunities events for those who wish to learn about the offerings from all three Governor’s Schools. Located in downtown Greenville, SCGSAH offers pre-professional training in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Students attend from all over the state to learn from established, practicing artists in an environment that provides the resources needed to hone their artistic abilities including specialized arts studios, state-of-the-art performance halls, a world-class library and dedicated rehearsal spaces. Governor’s School graduates attend the nation’s top colleges, universities and conservatories, and many students receive arts and academic scholarships. The Residential High School program has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Niche. The Palmetto Gold award-winning high school consistently ranks above state and national averages for SAT and ACT scores and had a 99 percent graduation and college acceptance rate for the 2019-2020 school year. The reviews and rankings site Niche.com ranked the Governor’s School the third “Best College Prep High School” and the fourth “Best Public High School” in South Carolina. “About half of our graduates continue to pursue their arts discipline in college and as a career,” said Adderley. “The other half choose collegiate studies in education, business, medicine, technology and other fields where they are very successful because of the discipline and life skills they learned from their experience at the Governor’s School,” said Adderley. The Governor’s School also offers summer programs that provide younger students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their artistic passion while learning from practicing artists. Interested individuals can learn more about the upcoming admissions events, arts programs, and application process at www.SCGSAH.org.

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org