Congratulations to Chris Boutwell of Lexington and Anita Singleton-Prather of Beaufort, who have been named the 2014 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients! The S.C. State Legislature will present the awards upon adjournment in the House Chamber, midday on May 8 at the Statehouse.
Boutwell, of Lexington, is being honored as a bluegrass musician. Since the 1960s, he has performed with numerous bands and mentored generations of bluegrass musicians. He shares the history of the music by telling stories about the songs he plays and is considered a “walking encyclopedia” of bluegrass knowledge.
Singleton-Prather, of Beaufort, is an entrepreneur, Gullah advocate, entertainer and master storyteller. She brings Gullah culture to countless people through “Aunt Pearlie Sue,” a character inspired by her grandmother. She is also the founder of the musical performance group The Gullah Kinfolk.
Following the Statehouse ceremony, a reception will be held at the Capstone House on the campus of the University of South Carolina. This informal event gives supporters and the general public the opportunity to celebrate the recipients’ artistic skills and lifetime commitment to the preservation and promotion of traditions rooted in place and community. The reception will take place in the Capstone Campus Room on the first floor.
The Folk Heritage Award is named for the late Jean Laney Harris, an ardent supporter of the state’s cultural heritage. The award was created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the folk arts. The artistic traditions represented by the award are significant because they have endured, often for hundreds of years. The South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina jointly manage the awards program.
For more information about the awards ceremony or reception, contact Saddler Taylor, McKissick Museum, at (803) 777-7251 or Doug Peach, S.C. Arts Commission, at (803) 734-8764. Also visit the McKissick website at www.cas.sc.edu/mcks/, or the S.C. Arts Commission website at SouthCarolinaArts.com.