Jason Rapp

‘Holy grief’ discussion at next Artists U conversation

'Back Together, Not Back to Normal'


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

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

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

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

Jason Rapp

Get ready to disrupt, generate, and innovate

Annual creative placemaking summit to go virtual in '21

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

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

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

Limited scholarships available

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

Jason Rapp

Wednesday’s SHIFT/SC features artist Sherae Rimpsey

Artists U SHIFT Wednesday at noon


JUST IN: The Hub got a quick dispatch from Andrew Simonet at Artists U South Carolina this morning.

Multidisciplinary artist Sherae Rimpsey will share her work and process at a Wednesday lunch Zoom session. We'll talk about her art, working across disciplines and boundaries, and doing it all during lockdown. You can see some of her video work here and her most recent film here. SHIFT/SC
This is part of a recurring series you've read here before about artists helping artists through the pandemic.

Jason Rapp

Artists U presents next ‘SHIFT’ session this week

Meet two artists; add to your toolkit

shift key on a laptop keyboard

Artists U/South Carolina is again offering SHIFT, monthly artist talks and conversations about sustaining through and beyond the pandemic.

On the first Wednesday of each month:

  • two artists will do short presentations about their work and process.
  • we’ll share specific Artists U tools and conversations for building sustainability.

Let’s not do this alone. Artists build amazing community, but our networks are often limited. We want to introduce you to two artists making powerful work, and we want to share real talk and real tools for sustaining through uncertainty. SHIFT/SC: First Wednesday of the month, 12-1 p.m.: 2020: Oct. 7 | Nov. 4 | Dec. 2 2021: Jan. 6 | Feb. 3 | March 3 | April 7 | May 5 | June 2

  • Do I have to attend every month? No. Register and come whenever you like.
  • Will you record the sessions in case I can’t be there? Yup.
  • How much does it cost? SHIFT is free, thanks to S.C. Arts Commission grant funding
Click here to get registered now!

Jason Rapp

Hub follow-up: Artists U ‘shifts’ to Zoom

Free artist working groups start tomorrow

shift key on a laptop keyboard
Artists U is starting SHIFT/South Carolina to get artists talking and working together in a time of crisis so they're ready when the crisis is over. Last week The Hub promoted the informational sessions. (Miss those? Catch up with a recorded version.) With the preliminary stuff completed, Artists U is diving in, and SHIFT/South Carolina starts tomorrow at noon with "Artists in a Time of Crisis."
You can do SHIFT on your own. You can form a working group in your community. You can request to join an existing working group (there’s a place on the signup form for that.) However you choose to participate, Artists U does ask that you sign up for the community and dialogue. There is no cost to participate.
Registered participants get:
  • access to 10 weekly Zoom workshops (live and recorded) on different topics
  • the in-the-works SHIFT workbook
  • regular updates on local and national resources for artists
"I know you will get a lot from our conversations and have ideas and resources to contribute," Andrew Simonet of Artists U said. "And please spread the word. SHIFT is for all South Carolina artists, not just Artists U alums."

Session dates

All live sessions begin at noon on the following dates:
  • April 8, 2020
  • April 15, 2020
  • April 22, 2020
  • April 29, 2020
  • May 6, 2020
  • May 13, 2020
  • May 20, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • June 3, 2020
  • June 10, 2020
Did we mention it's free? Here's that sign-up link again.
The South Carolina Arts Commission partners with Artists U on its artist development work and provides operating support to it via grant funding.

Submitted material

Fellowship offers natural disaster relief for visual artists

Four-week Byrdcliffe Artist Residency in Woodstock, New York

Application deadline: Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
The Byrdcliffe Art Community has received a generous grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for visual artists living/working in North America (including Mexico and Puerto Rico) who have been displaced or otherwise affected by a natural disaster. The Pollock-Krasner grant will offer a full fellowship and stipends to attend the four-week residency in Woodstock, New York in Summer 2020 for up to 4 selected visual artists. The grant will cover all fees plus provide a stipend up to $500 to assist with travel to and from the residency and an additional materials reimbursement up to $500 to help compensate for lost and damaged materials. Eligible disciplines include painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, weaving, ceramics, and other visual media.

2020 Session Dates

  • Session 1: Thurs, May 28 to Mon, June 22
  • Session 2: Thurs, June 25 to Mon, July 20
  • Session 3: Thurs, Aug. 6 to Mon, Aug. 31
  • Session 4: Thurs, Sept. 3 to Mon, Sept. 29
Deadline: Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET. However, if extensions are needed due to travel, limited internet access, etc. please let us know. Extensions can be provided on a case-by-case basis. Visit http://bit.ly/relief-byrd for more info and to apply. Please email us at air@woodstockguild.org with any questions or concerns.

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series heads to Newberry

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Newberry on Saturday, Jan. 19 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. 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! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the 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. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. 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! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. 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 the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Newberry Opera House through Feb. 3, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. 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 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 the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Pro bono strategic planning for rural arts organizations

Application deadline: Friday, Dec. 14, 2018


The S.C. Arts Commission received word today of a new resource for rural arts organizations. The timing dovetails nicely as the advisory committee for the S.C. Arts Commission program Art of Community: Rural SC gathers for its annual meeting this week. That program has of course been documented here from time to time. Despite only being a pilot program at this stage, rural revitalization through arts, culture, and cultivation of pride of place is an important part of the S.C. Arts Commission's work. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management is pleased to offer pro bono strategic planning services for up to five arts or cultural organizations based in rural, semi-rural, micropolitan, or similar communities across the U.S. The Institute seeks five partners with whom it will work to develop a long-term strategic plan that celebrates the unique assets of their organization, community, cultural history, and environment. The planning process will be fully underwritten by University of Maryland. Interested organizations are invited to apply through Dec. 14, 2018. A brochure describing the opportunity is available here. Full information and the application can be found here: http://devosinstitute.umd.edu/ruralcommunities Interested organizations are invited to address questions directly to segunning@devosinstitute.net or 301-314-0958.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. 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! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the 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. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. 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! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. 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 the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. 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 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 the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.  

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop coming to Union

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to debut Communal Pen, a writing workshop in Union on Saturday, Oct. 6 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. And they have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. 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! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the 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. This three-hour writing workshop (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union County Carnegie Library, 300 E. South St.) draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. 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! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. 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 the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Union County Carnegie Library through Oct. 21, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. 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 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 the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.