Jason Rapp

For your weekend: SCAC’s Emerging Artists

Multidisciplinary arts for the long weekend


Not that anybody needed to tell you, but we're entering a long weekend.

(For the record, nobody needed to tell The Hub.) The SCAC has a multidisciplinary arts fix for you from the six inaugural Emerging Artist Grant recipients announced late last year: A virtual portfolio from the artists participating in the program's first year went live today on SouthCarolinaArts.com. It's a mini-exhibition of sorts curated by Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts. The multimedia page features works from #SCartists:
  • Luke Hodges (formerly) of Columbia (photography)
  • Chrisjenkins of Irmo (performing musician)
  • Kimberly Washburn Motte of Florence (visual artist, sculpture)
  • Kela Portee of Ravenel (film photography and multimedia artist)
  • Sonny Sisan of North Charleston (craft artist, ceramics)
  • Ashlea Sovetts of Myrtle Beach (performing dance and choreographer)
Here's that link one more time. Have a great weekend!
 

Jason Rapp

Pair of #SCartists get good news

A hot summer continues for a South Carolina poet and one of the S.C. Arts Commission's inaugural Emerging Artist Grant recipients will exhibit in a prominent location this fall.

Close up facial image of Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul First, Marlanda Dekine is having quite a summer. In July, The Hub shared the news that she won the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize. We are pleased to share now that Dekine is included in the current Poetry Out Loud anthology. Whatever will the next announcement bring? Second, it's going to be an exciting fall for Kimberly Washburn Motte. You might remember her as one of the inaugural recipients of the SCAC's new Emerging Artist Grant. Because you know we love seeing #SCACGrantsAtWork, we were thrilled when she let our team know that five sculptures created as a result of her grant are going on exhibit, just down the road from her Florence home. TRAX Visual Art Center in Lake City is set to include Motte in an upcoming exhibition from Sept. 10 to Nov. 13.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: ArtFields makes 2022 call + S.C. creative placemaking

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...  

It's almost hard to believe it's time, but... 

ArtFields is making a call for submissions starting tomorrow. Adult artists working in all mediums from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to submit to ArtFields. The deadline to submit is Nov. 1, 2021. Don't delay!

SCAC's Susan DuPlessis featured by Grantmakers in the Arts

If you follow the SCAC's direct program The Art of Community: Rural SC, you know that it's led locally by a collection of mavens. Who leads the mavens? Well, the maven of mavens, of course... our own Susan DuPlessis. Grantmakers in the Arts is running a series Future of the Field: Cross-Sector Creative Placemaking Series, and hers is the latest submission. Give it a read here!

Submitted material

S.C. Phil puts SCAC grants to work

The South Carolina Philharmonic has been awarded a General Operating Support Grant of $37,013 and an Arts Education Project Grant of $10,000 from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Funds awarded from the General Operating Support grant will go to support the SC Philharmonic’s 2021/2022 season; specifically, production costs and day-to-day operations. Funds awarded from the Arts Education Project Grant will support "Phil the Music," a new education program that will debut in Richland District 1 this year. “Both the general operating support and education grants will enable us to present concerts and programs to those who might otherwise never have the chance to experience live symphonic music,” said Executive Director Rhonda Hunsinger. “We are especially thankful to the Arts Commission for their ongoing support, especially with the challenges we have faced because of the pandemic.”
The SCAC General Operating Support Grant exists to help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, communities and other organizations throughout the state. The grant provides three years of unrestricted support for basic operations for applicants ranging from emerging to established arts organizations with primary missions involving these artistic functions: producing, service, presenting and/or education. South Carolina Philharmonic’s award of $37,013 will be funded annually for the next three seasons. For 2021/2022, the South Carolina Philharmonic will produce six concerts at the Koger Center in their Masterworks Series including Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony (October 9, 2021), Mozart Symphony No. 40 (November 13, 2021), Beethoven and Blue Jeans (January 15, 2022), American Memories (February 5, 2022), Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (March 19, 2022) and Scheherazade (April 23, 2022). The SC Phil will bring back the extremely popular Halloween Spooktacular to the Koger Center (October 31, 2021), and will return to Harbison Theatre with Holiday and Broadway pops concerts.
The purpose of the SCAC Arts Education Project Grant is to fund projects and programs that use the arts to meet the educational, developmental and social needs of K-12 students. Arts Education Project grants support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and through other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in students (social service, health, community, education or other organizations). South Carolina Philharmonic’s award of $10,000 will support the SC Phil’s new education program: Phil the Music. Nakahara, wearing a neon yellow Columbia Fireflies jersey, conducts the orchestra at the Fireflies' ballpark at dusk. Nakahara and South Carolina Philharmonic musicians perform to a sold-out concert at the Columbia Fireflies' Segra Park July 3, 2021. Provided photo. Debuting in the 2021/2022 season, the SC Philharmonic’s "Phil the Music" program will partner with middle school music classes in Richland District One. Music educators will have the opportunity to expand their curriculums by offering complimentary audiovisual resources including live recordings of the SC Phil, and virtual interactions with musicians, composers and Music Director Morihiko Nakahara in an “up close and personal” experience. This program was created during the pandemic and specifically designed to offer students a unique environment in which to learn about music, while following COVID guidelines for safety. Season subscriptions are now on sale at SCPhilharmonic.com or patrons can call (803) 771-7937 for more information. Discounts are available for first-year buyers, seniors, students, active-duty and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community.
For more information about the South Carolina Philharmonic, please visit SCPhilharmonic.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jason Rapp

Stay updated on rural arts in S.C.

Curious about what's been going on in South Carolina's rural arts scene? The Art of Community: Rural SC can help.

Starting with today's, the five-year-old S.C. Arts Commission program is rolling out a newsletter series highlighting successes from recently completed FY2021. It ss planned to run well into October. Want to hear the news first? Use this link to subscribe to The Art of Community: Rural SC's newsletter. You can also visit the program's comprehensive page on SouthCarolinaArts.com.  

Jason Rapp

From The State: Sweetgrass basketry fighting for survival

A tradition in peril


Sweetgrass basketry intertwines with South Carolina heritage in the same way that the grasses come together to form the renowned finished product.

But for how much longer will it be part of the present? Today, Caitlin Byrd of The State tries to get a grasp on the situation (subscription possibly required):

Also driving up the price of baskets is the increased development in the coastal region, which continues to cut off access to the very plants Black families use to make sweetgrass baskets. And then there’s the concern about time itself, as a generation of sewers worry that this craft, which can trace its origins to the 17th century, will not be carried on in the way it once was.

This traditional art form is no stranger to The Hub or the South Carolina Arts Commission.
  • Sweetgrass basketmakers have been Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients many times since the first in 1990, and the most recent was in 2018. (The Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the SCAC and its partner the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum.)
  • A basket by Mary Jackson, one of the most decorated artisans, is included in the State Art Collection and is included in The State's story.

Jason Rapp

Is tech a creative medium for artists?

NEA + Knight, Ford foundations report says yes


The National Endowment for the Arts announces the release of the report Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium, the result of a two-year field scan, an initiative of the Arts Endowment in collaboration with the John S. and James L.  Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The field scan and report explore the multi-faceted practices of artists who engage with digital technologies in both the creative and functional aspects of their work. The report also looks at the training and exhibition infrastructure that tech-centered artists have developed to pursue their creative practices, and diagnoses a critical need for funding to advance the field. A key finding of the study is that even with the willingness of audiences to move to digital spaces for arts and cultural programming during the pandemic, many cultural organizations lack capacity and the resources to adequately support the growing needs of tech-centered artists and their audiences. At the same time, these artists have demonstrated their unique ability to respond creatively to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by engaging with audiences and responding to calls for greater equity and inclusion. “Tech-centered artists can be invaluable partners for leaders in the arts and non-arts sectors alike,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Not only are equity and inclusion increasingly embedded in their artistic practice, but they also explore ethical issues around technology, such as data privacy and artificial intelligence, presenting complex ideas through a creative and accessible lens.”

A virtual launch event celebrating the culmination of this work featured arts funders and artist/technologists discussing key findings of the report. Panelists for the virtual event were Refik Anadol, Amelia Winger Bearskin, Stephanie Dinkins, Ruby Lerner, Omari Rush, and Eleanor Savage with moderator Hrag Vartanian. The event will be archived and available on the Media Arts impact page.


In addition to featuring more than a hundred artists and organizations in the report, Tech as Art includes nine case studies offering a more in-depth look at leading tech-focused artists and practitioners. Case study artists are 3-Legged Dog, Refik Anadol, Design I/O, Stephanie Dinkins, Darcy Neal, Processing Foundation, Scatter/DepthKit, Lance Weiler, and Amelia Winger-Bearskin. Videos created from the case studies are in a YouTube playlist.  Finally, the recommendations in the report are expanded upon by ten commissioned essays. Key findings from the report include:
  • Code, computation, data, and tool-building are fundamental to tech-centered artists, enabling them to create works across artistic forms and contexts.
  • Because the field is so diverse and dynamic, more traditional arts organizations and funders often have trouble engaging with tech-centered artistic practicesSince these artists create projects within and between virtual and physical spaces, they require distinct approaches to presentation, public engagement, accessibility, and archiving.
  • Tech-centered artists have successfully established peer organizations, regional hubs, exhibition spaces, festivals, information networks, and academic departments across the United States. However, there are also significant resource gaps which inhibit the growth of artistic and professional development.
  • Career pathways for tech-centered artists are highly varied, though as a group these workers encounter many of the same obstacles as artists in general. Despite formal education, tech-centered artists describe themselves as largely self-taught and reliant on artist-founded organizations, community hubs, and online resources.
The report’s recommendations include:
  • Expanding technical expertise and capacity among cultural organizations working with tech-centered artists.
  • Reviewing programs and outreach plans from grant makers, arts service or presenting organizations, and traditional arts institutions to ensure that funding program guidelines and documentation requirements align with, and welcome, tech-focused artists and projects.
  • Lifting barriers to collaboration across arts and non-arts sectors to encourage relationships to exchange information, seed partnerships, and launch initiatives.
  • Embedding technology assets in the broader arts and cultural infrastructure to address the lack of funding for digital capacity-building; existing digital divides across geography, ethnicity, race, and gender; and inadequate access to high-speed internet.
  • Increasing project development, presentation, and exhibition opportunities.
  • Deepening public understanding of the value and impact of tech-focused artists by conducting further research and education that supports greater public recognition of artists’ creative approaches, innovations, and contributions.
In addition to publishing this report, the Arts Endowment has deepened its commitment to supporting activities at the intersection of arts and technology through the agency’s major funding program, Grants for Arts Projects. In the Media Arts discipline, organizations from any artistic discipline can apply for support of arts projects that use new media, creative code, and emergent forms. The Arts Endowment also provides technical assistance to prospective applicants and connects tech-centered artists with other grant makers, arts organizations, policymakers, educators, and tech companies.

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.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit www.kf.org

Jason Rapp

Announcing the FY22 SCAC Fellows

for immediate release


Four South Carolina artists exhibiting hard work and exceptional ability in visual art, craft, and media production and screenwriting are recipients of fiscal year 2022 South Carolina Arts Commission fellowships.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors approved four $5,000 fellowships among several other FY22 grant awards to be announced on a later date. The SCAC’s four fellows are:
  • Kristi Ryba of Charleston County in visual art,
  • Clay Burnette of Richland County for craft,
  • Sherard “Shekeese” Duvall of Richland County for media production,
  • and Triza Cox of Florence County for media screenwriting.
Individual artists residing in South Carolina full-time were invited to apply last fall for a fellowship in any of the four categories represented in this cycle. Out-of-state panelists were recruited from each of those disciplines to review applications. Starting with this cycle and going forward, applications are no longer anonymous and awards no longer made solely on artistic merit. The panelists also considered achievements and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply, which can be more than one if separate applications are submitted. Panelists then recommend recipients of each $5,000 fellowship. “Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of exceptional South Carolina individual artists. Recognition from a fellowship lends artistic prestige and can often open doors to other resources and employment opportunities,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “We will no doubt hear more from these amazing artists, and we congratulate them on this honor.”

About the FY22 Individual Artist Fellowship Recipients

Kristi Ryba | Visual Arts | Charleston County Winner of the 2020 South Arts State Fellowship for South Carolina and a 2018 ArtFields second place award, Ryba’s work has been touring the Southeast in painting and printmaking exhibitions since 1990.  A Magna cum laude graduate of the College of Charleston, Ryba also studied at Vermont Studio School and Studio Camnitzer in Valdotavvo, Lucca, Italy, and has her Master of Fine Arts from Union Institute and University, Vermont College. She has won various awards and scholarships. A founding organizer of Print Studio South, Inc., she served as its president and on its board and has taught locally in both adult and children's programs. Ryba was one of 10 artists featured in a 2002 Piccolo Spoleto exhibit and was invited to exhibit in Contemporary Charleston 2004 and in Helping Hands: an artist's debut among friends in 2005. Her work was featured in the 2018 Biennial in Columbia. Ryba also exhibited at Silo in New York City and her work was in the 2007 SOHO20 Chelsea show honoring The Feminist ART Project. Clay Burnette | Craft | Richland County Clay Burnette is a self-taught pine needle basketmaker who has been coiling longleaf pine needles with waxed linen thread since 1977. Burnette’s work is included in numerous public and private collections—including the State Art Collection—and has been included in more than 250 exhibition venues throughout the U.S. and abroad for 40-plus years. He has also been published in numerous international, national, and regional magazines, catalogs, and fine craft publications. Burnette has taught at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee since 2015. Images of his work are available at www.clayburnette.com. Sherard Duvall | Media: Production | Richland County Sherard “Shekeese” Duvall is a film and messaging professional from Columbia, S.C. He specializes in visual storytelling, film education, media strategy, diversity consulting and is an advocate of Hip-Hop culture. He’s produced commercial and documentary projects for VH1, Oxygen, and more. A 2021 Liberty Fellow, a 2016 Riley Fellow, a Leo Twiggs Arts Leadership Scholar and one of the founders of Columbia’s Hip-Hop Family Day: Love Peace & Hip-Hop. A 2001 University of South Carolina grad, Sherard is a product of Richland District One schools. Sherard is the Founder and Executive Producer at OTR Media Group, and the proud dad of his son, Cairo. Triza Cox | Media: Screenwriting | Florence County Triza Cox is a playwright, screenwriter, and theatre artist. She is currently the South Carolina Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild and is an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Her research and creative work center on playmaking using Jungian archetypes, motifs, and symbols of the collective unconscious. Triza holds an MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Louisville and has trained with Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and the Mandala Center for Change as a Theatre of the Oppressed Facilitator. Her original plays include A Last Supper; The Willing, which recently received a staged reading with Triad Stage in Greensboro, North Carolina; God in the Midst of it All; and Lil’ Bard which was a semi-finalist in NYU’s New Plays for Young Audience 2018 and premiered at Charlotte’s Children Theatre in a staged reading. Triza has received a Kentucky New Voices grant for her playwriting.
A diverse group of panelists reviewed applications from the discipline in which they work. The visual art and craft panelists were Kesha Bruce, a curator and artist programs manager for the Arizona Commission on the Arts; arts consultant and curator Mark Leach based in St. Louis; and Holly Blake, residency manager for Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California. Reviewing media production applications were panelists Eleanor Savage, activist and program director with the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Jerome Foundation; and Bill Gaskins, (re)director of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s photographic and electronic media graduate program. Writer and producer April Turner of Charlotte was the media screenwriting panelist.
Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: prose, poetry, and theatre acting and playwriting will be honored in fiscal year 2023. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the SCAC. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/.
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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Jason Rapp

Tell your rural innovation story

South Carolina's rural and small communities have countless stories of innovation.

As it creates a new exhibit called "Spark! Places of Innovation," the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street program is gathering technology, culture and heritage, social, economic and business innovation stories (and more).

The SCAC's Community Arts Development team partners with Museum on Main Street, and is encouraging YOU to submit South Carolina stories, particularly if they involve:
  • creativity,
  • makers,
  • the arts,
  • folklife,
  • or a community/placemaking aspect!
If you have one (and we know you do!), visit this link to pitch in.

Jason Rapp

Meet the SCAC’s Catherine Ntube

Specialist for Arts Organizations and Education


2020. What a time to start a new job.

In the midst of the pandemic, Catherine Ntube joined the South Carolina Arts Commission as its specialist for arts organizations and education. Those are big pieces of the SCAC pie, so there's sure to be a learning curve as you acclimate. Except pandemic. Except the entirety of your new team is working virtually as a result of said pandemic. Except the people you were hired to serve were mostly (at the time) doing likewise. Except... it didn't matter. Ntube (that's EN-too-bay) hit the ground running anyway and has been ably serving in any way she's needed. She's instituted new Think Tank conversations for S.C. arts organizations and pitches in often to advise current and potential grantees working in arts ed or community-based arts. Now that state agencies are back in the office, she is finally in hers and finally getting (distanced) face-time with her new colleagues. Need her help? Try reaching her via cntube@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8694.

About Catherine Ntube

Catherine Ntube comes to the SCAC from eight years in the classroom, where she taught 4th grade general ed, 6th grade writing, and college-level English. While teaching, she maintained a writing practice and passion for the literary arts, serving as poetry editor of Yemassee Journal, receiving fellowships from The Watering Hole and Cave Canem, and serving as a contracted grant writer for small arts organizations with Red Olive Creative Consulting. She earned an master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of South Carolina, an master of arts in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor's in history & literature from Harvard University.