S.C. Arts Awards: Jennifer Clark Evins

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year’s recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer Clark Evins

Individual Category | Governor’s Awards for the Arts

As president and CEO, Jennifer Evins heads South Carolina’s oldest arts agency, formed by Nita Milliken and other visionary leaders in the late 50’s and early 60’s after visiting the Winston-Salem Arts Council in 1958. Evins leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center—Spartanburg County’s local arts agency—and Mayfair Art Studios. She supervises a staff of 15 full time employees and oversees a $2.5 million annual operating budget with assets exceeding $36 million. Along with county-wide arts coordination, Evins provides visionary leadership for the arts and engages multiple stakeholders on a regular basis.

Evins has been heavily involved with the arts in Spartanburg for nearly 22 years. Under her leadership, CCC has partnered with cross-sector agencies including the city and county of Spartanburg on multiple successful public art projects involving coordination among multiple stakeholders. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital fundraising campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million. Her volunteer leadership of this project spanned ten years of service. Evins authored and lead the winning Bloomberg Philanthropies $1 million Public Art Challenge “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” and helped the city of Spartanburg earn the South Carolina Cultural District designation for Downtown Spartanburg—the second in the state and the only official S.C. Cultural District in the Upstate. Most recently, Evins led the successful fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Chapman Cultural Center brand through its newest arts incubator, Mayfair Art Studios. Through her visionary leadership, Mayfair open in 2020 and is a space designed to make the arts accessible to all by providing studio spaces for both professional and amateur artists in a range of artistic and creative disciplines.

In volunteer service, Evins is chairwoman of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, serves on the OneSpartanburg Inc. Vision Advisory Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Board of SC Arts Alliance. She serves on the Noble Tree Foundation Board and the President’s Advisory Board for Wofford College and the USC Upstate Johnson College of Business and Economics. Evins is a retired Trustee and past Chairwoman of the Spartanburg County Foundation.

Jennifer is a Diversity Leadership Fellow of the Riley Institute and a Hull Fellow of the Southeastern Council on Foundations. Evins has received numerous awards including The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award by Wofford College; Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce; South Carolina Woman of Achievement by the South Carolina Business and Professional Woman; Leadership Spartanburg Alumnus of the Year; Duke Energy Service to the Community Award; Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities; and the Leadership Honoree of the Mary L .Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change by Spartanburg County Foundation.

Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Evins had a 15-year professional career in marketing and public relations.  Her last assignment was as public affairs director at WSPA-TV.


…Jennifer has helped shape the future of our statewide organization and help set the tone for many of the statewide trends in the arts now in play. She asks the hard questions, helps develop appropriate solutions to issues, and celebrates accomplishments with true joy. Jennifer’s active participation in our work has made our organization stronger, and continues to make our state more creative…

GP McLeer
Executive Director
South Carolina Arts Alliance
Fountain Inn

The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.