S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Darion McCloud

Governor’s Award: Artist Category

As the day nears for the 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year’s recipients: four receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and three 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.


Darion McCloud is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia.

Darion McCloud (left) received his Governor’s Award from SCAC Executive Director David Platts on May 19, 2022. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo.

He is also the founder and creative director both of NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. McCloud is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the Theatre Artist of the Year Award from The Jasper Project. Awards from the University of South Carolina include the Andrew Billingsley Award and the Literacy Leader Award – further recognitions of his work.

McCloud is a formally trained visual artist with a bachelor’s in art studio from the University of South Carolina. He found his way to the stage via telling stories and stayed, acting and teaching there for more than 20 years. He enjoys crafting theatre, storytelling, and art experiences for the old and young, the initiated and the un-initiated in environments as varied as classrooms, corporate settings, libraries, and even campfires. Theatres, certainly, are places where McCloud makes art; he is a company member for Columbia-based Trustus Theatre and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company.

He collaborated in projects with Benedict College, Francis Marion University, the University of South Carolina, and school districts in Kershaw and Richland counties in the education space. Work in the humanities has taken him to the Charleston Public, Richland, and South Carolina State libraries as well as Historic Columbia. He has further arts sector work with the Mint Museum in Charlotte, Piccolo Spoleto and with the Columbia Museum of Art, Kershaw County Fine Arts Center, and South Carolina Philharmonic closer to home. He even fit in work with the UofSC athletics department’s “Pigskin Poets” initiative.

McCloud considers himself as having committed his life to the transforming power of art.


The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET.

South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.


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