Jason Rapp

South Arts introduces new presentation grant

Supporting Southern artist engagements

  • Informational Webinar: March 30, 2021 at 11 a.m. ET
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 3, 2021

Our partners South Arts are introducing a new grant today for presenting a Southern artist in a performing arts, literary arts, visual arts, or film engagement.

South Arts Presentation Grants provide up to $7,500 and replace the former Performing and Literary arts touring grants promoted regularly by The Hub. (For the legions who are regular watchers of The Hub's post tags, we are hereby retiring those.) The new grants are an opportunity for organizations in South Arts’ nine-state region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) to receive artist fee support of up to $7,500 to present Southern guest filmmakers, visual and performing artists, or writers from inside or outside of the presenter’s state. Projects must include both a public presentation (film screening, performance, reading or exhibition) and an educational component. Because of COVID-19, eligible projects can include virtual activities by the guest artist and/or projects that engage local artists. Projects must take place between Sept. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Want to learn more? Review the guidelines and join an informational webinar Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 11 a.m. ET. Discussion is to include the goals of the program, its guidelines and application process, and some frequently asked questions. Can't attend? Don't worry, the recorded webinar will be available on South Arts' website within 48 hours. The deadline to submit a Presentation Grants application is May 3, 2021.

Jason Rapp

#SCartists making rounds in the media

Keeping our eyes on you

Sculpture of a man peering through binoculars set in a wooded space

Listen, don't get creeped out, but we've got our eyes on #SCartists.

If the SCAC sees you getting into the news, whatever the medium, The Hub is here to amplify the message. Here is a recent story for our readers to enjoy:
  • Dr. Leo Twiggs is about as accomplished as it gets. He's a decorated artist, being awarded the Governor's Award for the Arts for  lifetime achievement (2017) and the prestigious 1858 Prize for Southern Contemporary Art (2018). He and fellow Orangeburg resident and art historian and philosopher Dr. Frank Martin recently sat for a conversation on American art and the African American aesthetic for Black Art In America.

Image by Oliver Kepka from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

2021 Folk Heritage Awards recipients announced

Proving S.C. traditions 'long-lived and ever-evolving'


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In 2021, the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards will be presented by the General Assembly to two recipients being honored for work keeping the state’s traditional art forms alive.

One practicing artist and one arts advocate are to be recognized as ambassadors of traditions significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. The 2021 recipients are:
  • Jugnu Verma (Lexington): Traditional Indian folk arts
  • Robert Hill, III (Plantersville): Advocacy, American long rifles and accoutrements
The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is named for the late State Rep. Jean Laney Harris of Cheraw, respected as an outspoken advocate and ardent supporter of the arts and cultural resources of the state. Up to four artists or organizations and one advocate may receive awards each year. The program is managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum. Community members make nominations to recognize exemplary artistic achievement/advocacy. An independent advisory panel appointed by the lieutenant governor and president of the Senate select the recipients, who must be living and practicing in the state. “From a gun-making tradition that hearkens back to colonial America, when Carolinians commonly used rifles for hunting, to the art of rangoli—a patterned ground decoration created with colored rice and flower petals that community members have more recently brought with them from India and introduced to South Carolina—the state’s folklife is both long-lived and ever-evolving,” observes McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz. “By their very definition, folk arts illustrate both the rich heritage and broad diversity of who we, as South Carolinians, are as a people,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “It is sometimes said that we are a state where change and changelessness co-exist, and this year’s award recipients reflect something of this balance between preserving South Carolina’s traditions and opening ourselves to new and exciting art forms and experiences from around the world. Both artists do exceptional work on our behalf, and we are all grateful for what they do.” The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards and South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and are presented at the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony. The pandemic forced the shift of last year’s ceremony to a virtual format in July rather than May. A virtual ceremony is planned once again for 2021, but it will revert to its normal timeframe in the spring. The SCAC and UofSC McKissick Museum will announce a date and time later.

About the 2021 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients

Jugnu Verma | Lexington | Traditional Indian Folk Arts Growing up in the Indian state of Bihar, Jugnu Verma found herself surrounded by Madhubani artists, whose painting was characterized by distinctive geometric patterns and depicted people, nature, and scenes featuring Hindu deities. An early interest led to learning the art form from neighbors in the community, as well as rangoli from the neighbor’s grandmother. From her mother, Verma learned the art of Henna, an integral part of Indian weddings and festivals where a plant-based dye is used to create temporary designs on the body. Verma is eager and enthusiastic about sharing her artistic traditions at various venues, which include her work as a Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights) Kick-off Party Organizer, workshops, and exhibitions at the Columbia Museum of Art, the rangoli educator at Overdue: Curated for the Creative, Richland Library Main Branch, and as a lead artist at Artista Vista in Columbia. She has served as Artist in Residence at Lexington District One’s New Providence Elementary, River Bluff High and White Knoll elementary school where she taught students Madhubani and other art forms. Verma feels it is important for South Carolinians to know about India and its culture and she serves as a cultural ambassador through her work throughout the state. Robert W. Hill, III | Plantersville | Advocacy: American Long Rifles and Accoutrements From Plantersville, Robert W. Hill III grew up an avid outdoorsman eager to learn the skills to support his passion for decoy carving, forging knives, and carving gun stocks. His paternal grandfather had been an accomplished blacksmith, woodcarver, and gun stocker who, unfortunately, did not live long enough to teach Hill his skills. But he was nonetheless an inspiration to Hill pursuing his passion. Hill had the opportunity to watch and learn from master engraver Jack Spain and developed a relationship with master gunsmith Frank Burton. After a year of studying and experimenting, Hill completed his first rifle. He recognized the need to preserve the craft and continued his training by studying historic firearms from the Carolinas. Today, he is recognized by gunsmiths across the region as both an exemplary artist and an advocate. In 1994, he co-founded the South Carolina Artist Blacksmith Association, later to become the Phillip Simmons Artists Blacksmith Guild of South Carolina. Through demonstrations and lectures, he has educated people about gun makers from South Carolina to recognize and preserve the artists of the state’s past. Hill passes his skills onto others, including his son and grandson, assuring a legacy of continued preservation, study, and celebration of the traditional craft of gunsmithing.

About the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information, please call at 803.777.7251 or visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

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.

Jason Rapp

Applications to open for more #SCartists emergency relief

SCAC announces second round of funding

APPLICATION PERIOD: March 8-26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET  

Practicing individual artists who are South Carolina residents may apply for up to $500 of emergency relief funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission March 8 through March 26.

These emergency grants support artists who have lost income related to their artistic practice because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In order to be eligible for these no-match grants, applicants must be:
  • a practicing artist in dance, music, opera, musical theatre, theatre, visual arts, design arts, crafts, photography, media arts, literature, and/or folk & traditional arts;
  • a legal resident of the U.S. and South Carolina with a permanent residence in the state for at least one year prior to the application date and throughout the grant period; and
  • 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
Applicants may not be degree-seeking, full-time students during the grant period. Click here for complete information. The South Carolina Arts Foundation, through its S.C. Artist Relief Fund, is supporting these grants by raising funds from private corporate and individual supporters.

Correction

(2/25/21) Early versions of this story incorrectly stated that applications were now open for this second round of relief grants. They open Monday,  March 8.

A note about arts organizations

Because of limited funding, eligible South Carolina arts organizations will be invited to apply for this round of funding privately. Please review the eligibility section of the grant page for further information.

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

Jason Rapp

SCAC to honor 7 with Governor’s Awards for the Arts

Four artists, one advocate, two organizations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Today, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing seven qualified recipients of South Carolina’s highest award for high achievement in practicing or supporting the arts.

The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts are presented annually by the SCAC. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. For 2021, the following honorees from their respective categories are being recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Tom Flowers, Greenville (posthumous)
  • ARTIST: Charlton Singleton, Charleston
  • INDIVIDUAL: Jennifer Clark Evins, Spartanburg
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Tayloe Harding, Columbia
  • BUSINESS: Colonial Life, Columbia
  • ORGANIZATION: ColaJazz Foundation, Columbia
  • SPECIAL AWARD: Marjory Wentworth, Mount Pleasant
“With the Governor’s Award, we celebrate achievement and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture here in South Carolina. Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They exemplify giving of themselves to ensure everyone who wants to can benefit from access to the arts,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members community statewide, reviews all nominations. After a rigorous process and multiple meetings, the panel produces a recommendation from each category that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2021 awards were Flavia Harton (Greenville), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bob Reeder (Columbia), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Kim Wilson (Rock Hill). The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are presented to recipients at the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony, normally held in person every spring. The pandemic forced the shift of last year’s ceremony to a virtual format in July rather than May. Reaction to that was positive and it is planned once again for 2021, but instead of being held in the summer it will revert to its normal timeframe in the spring. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, will announce a date and time later.

About the 2021 S.C. Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients

Washington, D.C. native TOM FLOWERS (Lifetime Achievement) came to South Carolina for football at Furman University and left with a bachelor’s in art. After earning a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa and serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, his teaching career wound its way from Kansas and North Carolina back to Furman. He spent the next 30 years teaching arts at the school, from 1959 to 1989, and was chairman of the art department for most of his tenure. Upon completion he was named to the school’s emeritus faculty. Decorated and widely exhibited as an artist, Flowers’ works have homes in museums and collections throughout the Southeast, including the South Carolina State Art Collection. He served on several Upstate arts boards and commissions and as a state representative on the American Craft Council. Thomas Earl Flowers passed away Dec. 13, 2020 after his nomination was made in the Governor’s Award artist category. He is survived by multiple practicing artists in his family, further adding to his legacy. Over the past several years, CHARLTON SINGLETON (Artist Category) has emerged as the face of jazz performance in the Lowcountry. Because of his membership in the band Ranky Tanky, a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah culture, he can also be called a Grammy Award winner. Singleton studied organ, violin, cello, and trumpet throughout childhood and adolescence and earned a music performance degree from South Carolina State University. Since, he’s taught music at every level from elementary school through college. In addition to Ranky Tanky, he is previous artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, has his own touring ensemble, is organist and choir director of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston and was named inaugural artist-in-residence at the renovated Gaillard Center in Charleston. He is in demand as a speaker, composer, and arranger. As president and CEO, JENNIFER CLARK EVINS (Individual Category) leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center (CCC), Spartanburg city and county’s local arts agency. Along with her county-wide arts coordination, she has nearly 26 years as a visionary community and statewide arts leader to her credit. As a volunteer, Evins led the 10-year project and capital campaign that raised $42 million that built CCC, led another successful campaign to add Mayfair Art Studios to CCC, and led the charge to get Downtown Spartanburg named a South Carolina Cultural District. Evins was the author and director for the winning $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Her Culture Counts program, which started as a local asset inventory and mapping project, is now used as a South Carolina cultural tourism tool through Ten at the Top. A winner of numerous awards for service and leadership, she serves or served on prominent Upstate boards. Evins is a strong advocate for local artists, arts organizations, and arts education, and is an active board member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. TAYLOE HARDING (Arts in Education Category) has a belief in the power of music and the arts to transform communities and individuals that is evident in his work with local and state arts education and advocacy organizations. The dean of the University of South Carolina School of Music has participated in and led efforts as diverse as 12 years on the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project steering committee, consulting on the city of Columbia’s cultural plan and for its One Columbia for Arts & Culture office, frequent advocacy work on behalf of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, and on grant panels for the defunct Cultural Council of Richland/Lexington Counties. Harding has national exposure as past president of the College Music Society and past secretary of the National Association for Schools of Music. He remains active as a composer, earning commissions, performances, and recordings worldwide. COLONIAL LIFE (Business/Foundation Category) is a Columbia-based market leader of financial protection benefits offered through the workplace. For more than 80 years the company has demonstrated a commitment to the community through corporate giving, the employee matching gift programs and volunteerism. The company also has made significant investments each year to support educational, health, wellbeing, arts and culture state programs. Colonial Life’s mission to help America’s workers face unexpected events and challenging times makes it the extraordinary company it is today. Since its 2014 founding, COLAJAZZ FOUNDATION (Organization Category) has worked tirelessly to establish Columbia as a premier jazz destination by highlighting the accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around the city. Successful and vibrant programming includes bringing international jazz stars, including NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winners, to Columbia. Its annual season includes the ColaJazz Summer Camp; ColaJazz Fest; Great Day in Columbia; Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts) series; monthly Dinner & Jazz concerts; Jazz Appreciation Month; ColaJazz Crawl; live and virtual concerts, workshops, after-school curriculum for International Jazz Day; and Jazz for Young People concerts that bring people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the capital city. The erstwhile poet laureate of South Carolina, MARJORY WENTWORTH (Special Award) is its second-longest serving. She received her appointment to the position from Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 and served until 2020. Wentworth is New York Times bestselling co-author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets and author of prize-winning children’s story Shackles. Her lengthy list of published titles includes several of her own poetry books, additional co-authored titles, and she is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green. Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston and Charleston County School of the Arts.

Correction

On Feb. 17, this copy was corrected to reflect that Charlton Singleton is a former artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. The original copy stated he is the current artistic director and conductor.

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.

Submitted material

Columbia dancers awarded NEA grant

Wideman Davis Dance of Columbia was approved for a $20,000 grant Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the dance company's immersive and interactive Migratuse Ataraxia.

This project will fund a three-month residency, followed by four public performative installations. Wideman Davis Dance will use the residency and performative installations to develop and test a community-oriented residency curriculum that introduces, integrates, and expands the themes of “Migratuse Ataraxia.” Wideman Davis Dance’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Wideman Davis Dance,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Wideman Davis Dance is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.” “The National Endowment for the Arts Grant not only supports a performative experience of “Migrartuse Ataraxia, but also residency activities and facilitated sessions with community groups, including students from Allen University and Benedict College and seniors from the Columbia Housing Authority residential programs. We are excited to receive NEA support to assist us in our art making and our efforts to engage the Columbia, SC community,” co-director, Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis said in a statement.

Project Description

The original performance, which was workshopped at Columbia’s Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens in April of 2019, centered on the humanity of enslaved Africans in antebellum homes despite the oppressive bondage under which they lived. In 2021 Migratuse Ataraxia intentionally shifts, exploring the journey from spaces of enslavement to those of Black liberation and empowerment through a mobile performative intervention that moves from the antebellum Hampton-Preston site to the former home of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, South Carolina’s most notable civil and human rights activist. Participants will travel a route where they will encounter the artists’ responses to historic structures through large scale projections, sonic environments, and live performances that speak to Black futurity. By focusing the energy on this temporal and physical migration, WDD reclaims the representation of Black bodies and narratives, creating new visual, emotional, and intellectual entry points in an immersive, interactive setting. In addition, the spatial shift will allow the artists to redirect the focus from the interior architecture of an antebellum site to an expanded exterior magnification of the physical labor of Black bodies – centering these performative practices on a celebration of radical Black female space. For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Jason Rapp

NEA taking nominations for National Medal of Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2021 National Medal of Arts are now being accepted on the Arts Endowment website. Any member of the public may submit a nomination by using this form and following the posted guidelines.

The National Medal of Arts, round and gold in color with embossed design and a purple ribbon. The National Medal of Arts The deadline for receipt of nominations is March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The National Medal of Arts is a White House program administered in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. It is awarded by the president to individuals or groups who "...are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States." “The National Medal of Arts and its award ceremony present an opportunity to celebrate Americans who have contributed to the creative life of our country through their artistic achievements,” said Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “In these very challenging pandemic times, the Arts Endowment is actively working with the Biden-Harris Administration to shape how the arts in general, and the Arts Endowment specifically, can best serve the nation’s recovery. The National Medal of Arts is a small but important part of that effort.” After the public submits nominations, the National Council on the Arts will consider nominations at a future meeting and compile a slate of recommendations to send to the president. The president makes the final decision on recipients for the award, and the agency works with the White House to hold a ceremony to award the medals. For a complete list of medal recipients, please go to https://www.arts.gov/honors/medals.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts 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 Arts Endowment 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. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jason Rapp

Be S.C.’s next poet laureate

Applications open for honorary position

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is accepting applications through Friday, March 19, 2020 to assist Gov. Henry McMaster in appointing the state’s next poet laureate.

Applications opened Monday, Feb. 8 on the SCAC website. To be eligible for the honorary position, applicants must be 18 or more years old, U.S. citizens, and residents of South Carolina for at least a year among other requirements. Anyone who wishes to be considered must apply by the deadline. “South Carolina has a long, storied history of gifted poets and writers,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “I have no doubt the next poet laureate will continue this tradition of excellence and will serve as an inspiration to our next generation of artists. I look forward to reviewing the candidates and making my selection.” “The South Carolina Arts Commission is both pleased and honored to be a part of naming the state’s next poet laureate,” said David T. Platts, SCAC executive director. “Words are powerful, with the ability to tear down walls and to build bridges.  The poet laureate’s role as artistic and cultural ambassador, representing both the voice and even the conscience of the state, provides a unique opportunity and platform to inspire and unite all South Carolinians.” In FY2018, legislation passed by the General Assembly directed the SCAC to recommend poet laureate candidates to the governor. After a panel reviews the applications submitted to the SCAC, it will make recommendations from among those to the governor for consideration. He will then “name and appoint an outstanding and distinguished person of letters as poet laureate for the state of South Carolina” who will serve a four-year term. The named poet laureate will be eligible for one re-appointment. That person will be the sixth poet laureate since the first was named in 1934. The most recent was Marjory Wentworth of Mount Pleasant, who was appointed by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 until she stepped down this past December. Poetry is enjoying the spotlight after National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman captured the country’s attention with her high-profile appearances at the inauguration of President Joe Biden last month and the Super Bowl just days ago. She infused those moments with powerful commentary on society and culture using the power of poetry. “Artistically speaking, there is an immediacy to poetry that can offer insight, hope, and encouragement,” SCAC Program Director for Artist Services Ce Scott-Fitts said.
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.

Jason Rapp

Chapman Cultural Center, Hub City Writers Project announce initiative

$150,000 helps create three-year partnership project


Chapman Cultural Center and the Hub City Writers Project have jointly received a $150,000 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation for a new, three-year initiative, the Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters.

This first-of-its-kind program will bring one early-career artist and one early career-writer to Spartanburg for a nine-month residency of research, creativity, teaching, and travel, culminating in a collaborative project informed by the region. The program, which will begin accepting applications this month, will be marketed nationally to artists and writers who are interested in immersing themselves in the culture of the American South. Creatives interested in the program can learn more and apply at www.southernstudiesfellowship.org. “By bringing dynamic creative people together with dynamic arts organizations and scholars through the region, we will set in motion new explorations of the modern South that will reverberate beyond our community,” said Jennifer Evins, Chapman Cultural Center president and CEO. “This grant is designed to create a life-changing experience for the fellows, to provide engaging intellectual opportunities for local students and citizens, and to create a model program for community cultural study through art and literature,” said Anne Waters, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project. Over the three-year period of the grant, each Southern Studies Fellow will be provided with a furnished apartment with paid utilities in downtown Spartanburg and a monthly stipend. Applications for the program will be available online in early 2021, and the first fellows will come to Spartanburg from September 2021 to May 2022. It is open to residents of the United States. The initiative replaces existing residency programs by Chapman and Hub City. In addition to focusing on their own creative projects, the Southern Studies Fellows will have opportunities and requirements for educational community service in Spartanburg County; these will include regular college and high school classroom visits/lectures, readings, open studios, workshops, and projects affiliated with the host organizations. The fellows will be expected to contribute up to 20 hours per week in the following areas: community service, artist-writer collaboration, and out-of-town travel for project research. A key component of this unique fellowship is the opportunity to interact with leading scholars, artists, and writers throughout the South. Each fellow will have opportunities to travel in the Southern region to conduct research at cultural and educational institutions, which will inform their work and will be critical in the development of their ideas for a collaborative project that expands the understanding of the modern South.
Named for Thomas E. Watson and J.J. Brown, the Watson Brown Foundation invests in education and historical preservation, annually awarding more than $2.4 million in merit and need-based college scholarships to students from an eighteen-county region of Georgia and South Carolina. The foundation, based in Thomson, Georgia, also operates a grant program that encourages responsible scholarship on the South and supports historic preservation. Additionally, it owns and operates three historic sites in Georgia. With roots that stretch back more than 50 years, the Chapman Cultural Center’s mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. It serves as the official South Carolina Arts Commission-designated arts agency of Spartanburg County. Chapman provides general operating support for nine cornerstone cultural institutions, including the Hub City Writers Project, through its United Arts Fund and provides project grants to local artists and organizations. The Hub City Writers Project, founded in 1995, serves its mission to cultivate readers and nurture writers through its independent press, community bookshop, and diverse literary programming. Its flagship program, Hub City Press, is one of only three Southern book publishers funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

About Hub City Writers Project

The Hub City Writers Project is a non-profit organization in Spartanburg dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent small press, community bookstore, and diverse literary programming that serves our community and beyond. For more information please visit www.hubcity.org.