Inaugural Southern Studies fellows announced
Visual artist, writer selected
Chapman Cultural Center and Hub City Writers Project are pleased to announce the selection of writer Morgan Thomas and visual artist Ben Winans as recipients of the first Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters.
The pair will begin their nine-month residency in Spartanburg this September and will collaborate on a joint project addressing the culture of the American South.
The Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters is a three-year initiative jointly hosted by Chapman Cultural Center and Hub City Writers Project
and funded through a three-year $150,000 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation.
Morgan Thomas (they/them) is a writer from Gulf Breeze, Florida. Their work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Electric Literature, them., the Kenyon Review Online, and Storyquarterly. They’ve received support from the Bread Loaf Work-Study Program and the Fulbright Foundation. Manywhere, their debut story collection, is forthcoming from publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s MCD imprint in January 2022.
Morgan earned a bachelor's in English and a bachelor's in zoology from the University of Florida in 2014 and a master of fine arts in fiction from the University of Oregon in 2016. In addition to their work as a writer, they has advocated for Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities for three years.
Ben Winans (he/him) of Raleigh is an interdisciplinary artist who engages in old and new media to tell stories regarding his upbringing in Southern evangelical Christianity. Through his multimedia works, Ben offers a broad discussion on Christian nationalism, a mediation of cultural and national identity informed by his family’s missionary work in Africa and Japan, and the assertion that what we believe matters.
Ben has earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan in 2021. His work began in 2014 as an artist assistant for Ben Sloat and at a gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Ben is currently an exhibitions assistant for Stamps Gallery and was a graduate student instructor for several art classes at Stamps School of Art & Design. Winan’s hard work has been recognized throughout the years through the John Roos Memorial Scholarship for Artists Working in the Humanities in 2017, the Smucker-Wagstaff Grant in 2019 and 2020, and the Jean-Paul Slasser Award for recognition of excellence, M.F.A. Thesis Project.
“We are so pleased to offer this unique opportunity to Morgan and Ben,” said Hub City Writers Project Executing Director Anne Waters
. “Of all the outstanding candidates we interviewed for the Southern Studies Fellowships they were the most compelling. To have two such gifted individuals come to Spartanburg to create a project and share their talent with our community feels momentous.”
“I’m thrilled about this selection of creative minds. We had dozens of talented and passionate people apply for this opportunity and it was a long and difficult task to bring together the two creative spirits we felt were on similar wavelengths. Ben and Morgan will need to work closely together and collaborate every step of the way. It’s going to be fascinating to see what evolves with these two deep thinkers and I can’t wait to experience the finished product,” said Chapman Cultural Center Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley
The fellowship is a nine-month residency of research, creativity, teaching, and travel to collaborate on a project informed by the region. The fellows will live and have studio space in Spartanburg and are tasked with immersing themselves in the culture of the American South, along with participating in community service for educational purposes. A key component of this unique fellowship is the opportunity to interact with leading scholars, artists, and writers throughout the Southeast and to conduct research at prominent cultural and educational institutions. This research will inform their work and will be critical in the development of their collaborative project to expand their understanding of the modern South.
$20 million partnership to expand S.C. arts learning initiatives
SCAC, S.C. Dept. of Education make landmark announcement
An Arts in Basic Curriculum Project site classroom. SCAC file photo.
For Immediate Release
A $20 million partnership announced today by the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina Arts Commission will help public schools throughout the state address pandemic related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives.
The American Rescue Plan, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law March 11, 2021 by President Biden, included $121.9 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ARP ESSER), that has been administered through the U.S. Department of Education to state educational agencies.
The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is set to receive $2.1 billion in ARP ESSER funds to help South Carolina’s public schools address the impact that COVID-19 has and continues to have on students, families, educators, and school communities. Ninety percent of these funds will flow through to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in Summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The remaining funds, which amount to $211,205,148 are to be used for state-level activities to address learning loss, summer enrichment programs, and comprehensive after school programs.
The SCDE solicited public input on the use of these funds and the needs that the state should address in its ARP ESSER plan which was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on June 18, 2021. Leadership from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) proposed to SCDE a creative pathway—rooted in innovation and evidence-based practices—that the arts are equipped to provide. Funding was requested to allow the SCAC’s team of professionals and network of partners to:
- help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps in the arts,
- use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,
- and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities that leverage the arts in schools throughout the state.
The SCDE approved $20 million for the SCAC to implement its plan over the course of the next three years.
“As a longtime music teacher, I have seen firsthand the impact that arts education can have on students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman
. “The arts have a unique ability to engage students of diverse backgrounds across all subject areas which makes this initiative well suited for the receipt of these funds.”
“The South Carolina Arts Commission is confident in its ability to put this funding to use right away to equitably impact learning using the arts,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts
said. “Our team of professionals manages existing programs, partnerships, and grant-making infrastructure for this work, which includes federal and state reporting for accountability. ARP ESSER funding from the SCDE will enable expedient and effective scaling with various arts education partners on the local, state, and national levels.”
Programmatic focus areas of the SCAC’s plan include:
- Arts integration
- Arts in early childhood
- Arts industry certification credentials for high school students, building on existing vocational training programs
To realize its classroom-based goals, the SCAC will rely on its partners at the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project
, which currently serves about 44,000 students in 74 schools and has been cooperatively led for more than 30 years by the SCAC, SCDE, and Winthrop University. The ARP ESSER funding will facilitate scaling the program to:
- increase access to quality arts education (targeting underserved communities)
- develop arts-rich learning environments
- build, restore, expand, and support infrastructure for arts learning at the district level
- research and develop new and innovative instructional practices.
“We have a couple of years’ worth of recent Gallup Organization research looking at South Carolina’s arts-rich schools. It repeatedly shows a link between arts-rich learning and student hope and engagement. We have dreamed about having the kind of funding that would enable expansion to all communities throughout the state,” SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford
In addition to building on the work of the ABC Project, the Arts Commission will expand existing pilot projects with the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities
in Greenville and Engaging Creative Minds
in Charleston, and will offer grant and programming opportunities for arts education providers across the state.
“Arts and creativity are critical to achieving the knowledge, skills, and characteristics outlined by the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. We are excited to work with grantees, statewide partners in arts education, and other arts providers to ensure equitable access to learning in and through the arts,” Platts said. “This partnership fully supports our mission to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina.”
The SCAC is working now to release information on grant guidelines, research to support evidence-based practices, partnership and professional learning opportunities, and more in coming weeks. Starting in July, these resources will be available at www.abcprojectsc.com
Marlanda Dekine wins 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize
SCAC earns publication, cash prize
Hub City Press just announced that Marlanda Dekine is the winner of the fifth New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.
Marlanda Dekine (she/they) is a poet obsessed with ancestry, memory, and the process of staying within one's own body. Their work manifest as books, audio projects, and workshops, leaving spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves.
The prize for Dekine's unpublished manuscript, Thresh & Hold
, is $1,000 and publication by Hub City Press in spring 2022. Their manuscript was selected as the winner of the prize by award-winning poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Dekine's work has been published or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Juke Joint Magazine, OROBORO, Screen Door Review, Root Work Journal, and elsewhere. They are the founder and former executive director of Speaking Down Barriers, Spoken Word Spartanburg, and other organizations that make space for all beings. Currently, she serves as a Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders and the 2021/2022 creative-in-residence with Castle of our Skins.
Dekine is the recipient of many awards, including a Tin House Own Path Scholarship (2021), an SC Humanities Award for Fresh Voices in Humanities (2019), Emrys' Keller Cushing Freeman Fellowship (2019), and grants from the S.C. Arts Commission, Alternate Roots, The Map Fund, and other organizations. She holds a bachelor's degree from Furman University, University of South Carolina, and is a third-year master of fine arts candidate (Poetry) at Converse College.
Of the collection, Calvocoressi wrote,
"I cannot and will not put Marlanda Dekine’s, Thresh & Hold down. The world it builds, celebrates, and reclaims is a reckoning and a symphony. From the brutality of the rice plantations of South Carolina to the specific privacy found inside one’s Saturn Vue, the breadth of human experience that unfold in these poems cover histories that, we too often forget, are all intimate stories. Dekine reminds us that every moment we read about is a moment some body has fought or celebrated or been unable to live through. The effect of this is that we are brought into the vast music of a world that is endlessly unfolding, It’s fairly common to read poems that speak about community but there are only a handful of poets alive; Nikky Finney, Destiny Hemphill, CA Conrad come to mind, whose poems truly make community as the work blooms before us. This is a poet of that order and ability. I am so blown away by the gift and the challenge of this book. A book that not for one moment looks away from the brutality and beauty of this world. A book that says, 'I am listening to Spirit. I am not dying today.'"
Calvocoressi is the author of the poetry collections Rocket Fantastic; Apocalyptic Swing
, which was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart
, which was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and winner of the Connecticut Book Award in Poetry. They are the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer's Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Calvocoressi teaches at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.
The other finalists are Reyes Ramirez
for Answers Without Questions
and Andy Young
for Museum of the Soon Departed
The biennial New Southern Voices Prize is sponsored by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. It is open to all poets who have either never published a full-length collection of poetry, or who have only published one full-length collection, and who currently reside in and have had residency in one or more of the following states for a minimum of 24 consecutive months: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The previous winner of this prize was Megan Denton Ray
for her collection, Mustard, Milk and Gin
which was released by Hub City Press in March 2020.
S.C. Phil renews Morihiko Nakahara
Contract extension runs through 2025
Nakahara and South Carolina Philharmonic musicians perform to a sold-out concert at the Columbia Fireflies' Segra Park July 3, 2021. Provided photo.
South Carolina Philharmonic Music Director Morihiko Nakahara has renewed his contract with the organization through the 2024/2025 season.
Nakahara joined the S.C. Philharmonic as conductor and music director in 2008.
“I am thrilled to continue making music with our committed and talented musicians and sharing that music with listeners throughout the Midlands and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic of the last 15 months cemented my belief that the Philharmonic is a special organization. Our musicians, staff and board members have navigated these challenging times with innovation, determination and an open mind. Music connects us and brings us together, and I look forward to playing my part to connect our orchestra with more South Carolinians over the next few years,” Nakahara said.
"We are so pleased and privileged to have Morihiko Nakahara continue as our Maestro for the South Carolina Philharmonic. His leadership is an unequivocal success,” said Concertmaster Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian
“His work, along that of our wonderful executive director, Rhonda Hunsinger
, has put us into a whole new sphere of musical achievements."
Immediate Past Board President Lynn Hodge
“We are very excited to announce Morihiko Nakahara’s contract renewal. His charismatic personality, imaginative programming and dynamic performances have earned him widespread acclaim and a loyal following in the Midlands. The Philharmonic Board greatly values Nakahara’s artistic vision and commitment to ongoing excellence. We look forward to his continued leadership in taking the Philharmonic to new heights,” Hodge said.
A passionate baseball fan, he and the orchestra recently played to a sold-out crowd of around 5,000 at the Columbia Fireflies' Segra Park. The patriotic and Americana-themed concert was performed on the ballpark's infield and concluded with a large fireworks display set to music. Today's news coincides with the recent announcement of the orchestra’s 58th season
to begin this fall. The opening Masterworks concert is Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at the Koger Center for the Arts.
Wallace Foundation announces investment in arts orgs of color
$53 million over five years to address relevance, resiliency
The Wallace Foundation today announced a five-year, $53 million initiative focusing on arts organizations of color*, and invited eligible arts organizations to apply.
At the same time, Wallace invited researchers to respond to a request for proposals for the first of several studies associated withthe initiative. All submissions are due August 13, 2021.
The initiative will focus on this guiding question: How can and do arts organizations of color, facing strategic challenges, leverage their experience and histories of community orientation to increase their resilience, while sustaining their relevance?
There will be two cohorts of grantees; Wallace currently seeks applications from eligible arts organizations of color that would like to be considered for the first cohort.
This project is part of the foundation’s efforts to foster equitable improvements in the arts, recognizing that many leaders of arts organizations of color report their contributions are often overlooked and underfunded. The initiative draws on emerging evidence that community orientation—which is central to the approach taken by many arts organizations of color—may contribute to relevance and resilience. By ‘relevance’ we mean that organizations matter to their communities; ‘resilience’ means the organizations’ ability to adapt and thrive. Finally, the initiative builds on Wallace’s history in the 1990s and 2000s of supporting efforts by non-profit arts organizations to more deeply engage the communities of which they are part.
“Equity has long been a central value at Wallace, and we hope this initiative advances that commitment,” said Bahia Ramos, director of arts at The Wallace Foundation. “By listening to and partnering with arts organizations of color, and documenting and studying their work, we hope to highlight their important contributions and better understand the practices that make them matter so deeply to their communities.”
Grantees will take community-oriented approaches as they develop individual projects of their choosing, while learning with and from the rest of the cohort.
The initiative will incorporate a strong research focus intended to support grantees in their work by providing them with insights into their efforts as they implement their projects; contribute to the research base on cultural institutions, specifically arts organizations of color; and develop evidence-based, practical guidance.
“Our goal is to benefit not only organizations that are selected to be part of the initiative,” Ramos said, “but also other arts organizations of color and the broader field of the non-profit arts.”
To select the first cohort, Wallace will consider organizations with annual budgets between $500,000 and $5 million. Drawing from the initial round of applications, Wallace expects to invite approximately 50 organizations to submit proposals. From those, the foundation will select a cohort of 10 to 12 organizations across the visual and performing arts fields, literary and media arts, as well as community-based organizations focused on artistic practice. Heritage museums of color that include contemporary artists are also eligible.
Each selected organization will receive five years of funding totaling approximately $2 million to $3 million to develop projects that use community-oriented approaches to meet strategic challenges.
In partnership with Wallace, grantees will embark on a planning year for their project—whether it is in progress or something new—and identify any technical supports they might need before beginning four years of project implementation. The grantees will also decide on a name for the initiative—one that captures their collective aspirations and endeavors.
Throughout the initiative, grantees will participate in a peer learning community and in research to advance knowledge in the field. Research questions may be refined as projects become clearer after the planning year. Ethnographic researchers will also work closely with each organization to document its history, practices and organizational culture, providing important archival accounts both for the organization and for the field.
Information for arts organizations
Details on the application and selection process, and what participation in the initiative entails, are available at Wallace’s information hub, www.wallacefoundation.org/ArtsOpenCall
. A brief application form is due by August 13, 2021.
The initiative will include a second, larger cohort that will focus on organizations with budgets below $500,000. This phase of the initiative is anticipated to begin in late 2022.
Information for arts researchers
The first research component of the new initiative is an up to $3.2 million study of community orientation. Wallace seeks researchers with a deep understanding of arts organizations of color and their relationships with the communities they serve, across a diversity of communities and arts disciplines.
The study will focus on the organizations’ activities, the context for those activities, and how they contribute to relevance and resilience. The research will result in a set of public-facing reports and academic papers. The request for research proposals is available at Wallace's information hub, www.wallacefoundation.org/ArtsOpenCall
. Letters of intent are due by August 13, 2021.
About the Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation’s mission is to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. Wallace works nationally, with a focus on the arts, K-12 education leadership and youth development. In all of its work, Wallace seeks to benefit both its direct grantees as well as the fields in which it works by developing and broadly sharing relevant, useful knowledge that can improve practice and policy. For more information, please visit the foundation’s Knowledge Center at wallacefoundation.org
*For the purposes of this open call, an inclusive process for inviting submissions, The Wallace Foundation uses the term “arts organizations of color” to describe organizations that have been founded by (in either artistic or administrative leadership) and for communities of color. Wallace recognizes that no one umbrella term can accurately represent the plurality and diversity of arts organizations that serve communities of color including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Arab American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander.
Rock Hill teen named youth poet laureate
It's a South Carolina first
Rock Hill was recently the host city for the “One Word Poetry Festival,” a creation of Rock Hill Poet Laureate Angelo Geter.
This three-day festival attracted a large crowd for a first-time event. Many of the events were free, open to the public and well attended. One of the major events was the selection of a youth poet laureate.
Thirteen young poets submitted their work and 17-year-old Alexandra Aradas
was named the winner. Not only is this distinction an honor for her personally, but also for Rock Hill and South Carolina; she is the city's and state's first youth poet laureate.
Aradas is a rising senior at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville. While her concentration is creative writing, she hopes to have a career in politics.
The Rock Hill Youth Poet Laureate Program celebrates and honors teen poets who exhibit a commitment to not just artistic excellence, but also civic engagement, youth leadership and social justice. The position has a one-year term.
Aradas will be celebrated Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts/Arts Council of York County (121 East Main St., Rock Hill).
Spartanburg artist, arts org receive community grants
Chapman Cultural Center awards two
Chapman Cultural Center is committed to broadening and strengthening Spartanburg's Cultural community.
Because of this commitment, a major part of the work we do is centered around funding Spartanburg's arts and cultural community.
One of Chapman Cultural Center's major funding opportunities comes in the form of our quarterly Community Grants Program. The Community Grants Program awards up to $5,000 per application and is open to both individual artists
and non-profits/government agencies
We're proud to announce we've awarded the following artists and organizations a Community Grant for our Q1 2021-2022 grants cycle! Learn more about their projects and programs below.
Speaking Down Barriers
Speaking Down Barriers
was awarded a Community Grant for their event "An Evening of Transformation." An Evening of Transformation will feature 8 artists: culinary artists, visual artists, spoken word artists, and musicians. Each will create art for the event that will examine our mission "Equity for all." The artists will present their art and the participants will engage the artist and each other around themes that emerge from each piece. All of the artists will be representing marginalized communities and perspectives. (The tentative date is November 13, 2021, 5:30-8:30 at the United Universalist Church of Spartanburg.)
Local artist Quinn Long was awarded a Community Grant to help with purchasing a high-end printer to produce copies of her art from home, which will enable her to sell high-quality prints of her original artwork.
Chapman Cultural Center receives general financial support for cultural projects impacting Spartanburg County, funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
The full version of this story appears on the CCC website here.
Spoleto Festival USA announces new general director
Beginning October 2021, Mena Mark Hanna will become the Festival’s new leader, taking over from current General Director Nigel Redden, who will be retiring after 35 years.
Hanna (right) comes to Spoleto from Berlin’s Barenboim-Said Akademie, where he was Founding Dean. Prior to his tenure in Berlin, he was Assistant Artistic Director at the Houston Grand Opera.
“Mena possesses a depth of knowledge and experience across artistic genres, and also—essential for Spoleto and Charleston—understands and is passionate about the power of artistic expression to bridge differences and bring people together,” said Alicia Gregory, President of the Board of Spoleto Festival USA. “The board is unanimous in Mena’s appointment.”
Tuning Up: Federal ARP funding webinar + Dreskin, Flowers news
"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!
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.