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Summer arts camp experiences for children with special needs

Arts Access SC, Aiken Center for the Arts team up

Special needs children in the CSRA will get to experience art and music this summer thanks to a partnership among Arts Access South Carolina, Aiken Performing Arts, and the Aiken Center for the Arts. 
  • June 10-14, 2019
  • 10 a.m. to noon OR 1-3 p.m.
  • Aiken Center for the Arts
[caption id="attachment_37823" align="alignright" width="150"] AASC master teaching artist Carter Boucher, working with a student from S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind.[/caption] Designed specifically to enable children living with traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, and other physical and developmental disabilities to express themselves creatively, this program is the highlight of our summer outreach. The camp offers adaptable art and music programs designed to enable campers to express their creativity. Whether they are working with clay, trying out screen printing, or experimenting with tonal and atonal musical instruments, their days will be filled with fun. Carter Boucher, an artist in residence and master arts instructor for the Arts Access South Carolina, will teach this years camp. He told WFXG FOX 54 that he urges parents to sign their children up "even if you don’t think they will participate. We have seen children who are nonverbal singing songs and others who usually don’t participate taking the lead on projects. These camps are fun but they also are helpful to these children.” Eligible campers may attend free. Enrollment is limited, so go here to apply today.

Artist believes disabilities shouldn’t hold one back from creating

From the Aiken Standard Article by Stephanie Turner

Throughout his career, artist and art educator Carter Boucher has worked with various ages with various skill levels and abilities. One demographic that he teaches comprises children, teenagers and adults with disabilities. Since his first class with this demographic, he's taught people in wheelchairs, with autism, with Alzheimer's Disease, without limbs and prone to panic attacks, to name just a handful. Boucher started this specific endeavor in the 1980s. Through certain programs, he would visit schools and noticed that students with special needs were often not invited to program's classes. "I started going to the principals and just saying, 'We ought to include those kids,'" Boucher said. "It was sort of a surprise to them that I wanted to do that. ... I feel like populations like that particularly benefit from doing things. A lot of times they get left out." Based in Anderson County, Boucher has taught students throughout South Carolina and will teach a set of classes in Aiken this summer. When he knows about his class's students, Boucher will prepare so he is best able to accommodate each person's needs. Some of his classes have consisted of students with different disabilities, and he said he tries to tune into what each student needs while the class is in session. "The more you know about who's coming and whatever their situation is then the better you can work with," he said. The art teacher has tools such as scissors for people with hand problems. He has contacted schools to see if the student needs any special equipment and if he can then borrow it. If Boucher sees a condition listed on the roster with which he hasn't encountered or has any questions, he will contact a physician for more information or reach out to someone who has worked with the student to see if there is anything which Boucher needs to be aware. One example of how he has adjusted his approach can be seen in a class of autistic children. "Sometimes, I would slow down the process," he said. "For instance, if we were doing silkscreen pencil stencils, I would let them tear or cut or whatever they want to do to make an image, and it would often draw them out. I got a lot of comments from the teachers who worked with autistic kids how much it seemed to draw them out and get them doing things." He's had a student tell him that his class was the first time they felt like they were really part of a class. "What surprises a lot of people who watch me work with the kids is how much they do on their own," Boucher said. "Whatever it is we do with them and however they accomplish it, ... they feel like they own this artwork. It wasn't something we did. It was something they did." Boucher is an Arts Access SC master artist who creates fine art or illustrations with different mediums and methods such as oil, gouache, etching, wood engraving, silk screen and airbrushing. He will be the instructor of the Aiken Center for the Arts' new creative day camp, I Spy Art & Music Camp. The camp is for ages 5 to 13 with cognitive and physical disabilities such as traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy. It will run from June 12-16 from 10 a.m. to noon or from 1 to 3 p.m. at the arts center, 122 Laurens St. S.W. The camps are free, but enrollment is limited. "(Art) builds confidence. It lowers anxiety and activates parts of the brain that help with almost every subject," Boucher said. He will have some helpers present and is planning for the students to make paper mache masks, work with screenprinting and make music with simple tonal musical instruments that anyone can use. If the young artist has any specific triggers or needs, it is recommended the parent or guardian include that information. Applications are only accepted online. For more information on the camp or Boucher, visit www.aikencenterforthearts.org or www.boucherart.com or call 803-641-9094.

Aiken Center for the Arts seeks special events & facility rentals manager

The Aiken Center for the Arts seeks a dynamic, experienced and creative special events professional to design and implement special events that support the advancement, artistic, and enterprise goals of the institution, deepen visitor loyalty and drive attendance. The ACA's facility rental program, and internally produced events are growing; the successful candidate is a goal-oriented, driven individual with a desire to optimize this growth. At the direction of the executive director, the special events & facility rentals manager will produce and manage all special events, including opening celebrations, donor cultivation events, fundraising events, special performances, community receptions, and other friend-making/brand-building opportunities, as well as manage all external facility rentals from initial engagement to post-rental follow up. The successful manager will be able to meet or exceed budget revenue goals and to ensure that the user experience is positive resulting in repeat rentals. This position requires supervision of all after hour events. Special Events/In-House Events • Conceptualize, plan, implement and manage all special events. Use creativity to execute the vision of events, while meeting attendance goals and remaining within given budget parameters. • Book talent, including musicians, performing arts groups, and speakers. • Coordinate event logistics, including registration and attendee tracking, presentation and materials support and pre- and post-event evaluations. • Collaborate with the volunteer coordinator to secure and oversee volunteer support for special events. • Assist with managing on-site production and clean up for events as necessary. Facility Rentals • Manage the ACA’s facility rental program; respond to inquiries, provide customer service, maintain rental agreements, and track payment. • Research, develop and maintain current and competitive policies, procedures and rates for the use of ACA spaces by individuals and organizations. • Achieve annual revenue targets for facility rental sales. • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with rental clients, and actively seek out new clients through participation in professional associations and tourism-focused organizations and businesses (i.e. meeting, convention and event planners), cold calls, attending trade shows and conventions, etc. • Provide facility tours and negotiate contracts with potential clients. • Serve as ACA representative and point person for all facility rentals, ensuring a positive rental experience, and increasing repeat business, and be available for client as the point of contact throughout the event. Respond to concerns and enforce space usage guidelines and policies. • Facilitate rental customer’s needs and communicate with staff and volunteers to ensure that ACA event and program set-up needs are met (AV equipment, supplies, etc.); support furnishing set-up/tear down and communicate janitorial needs to facilities technician. Administration • Ensure special events calendar is current and accurate. Coordinate with other departments to ensure that there are no schedule conflicts; site is prepared for events/rentals, etc. • Develop and maintain event and volunteer databases. • With cooperation of the executive director, create and distribute marketing materials to ensure revenue goals are met for special events and group rentals. • Develop and manage individual event budgets as well as the special events and facility rentals annual budgets, and monitor actual results against approved budget. • Report monthly goals to the executive director, including event expense projections and forecasts. • Secure all vendors, permits, insurance, contracts, process all invoices and track all expenses related to events. • Keep inventory of projectors, computers, and other display materials. • Research and analysis of past events, using them as a benchmark for recommendations and improvements for future use. • This list of essential duties, tasks and responsibilities is not all-inclusive; individual will perform other related duties as assigned. REQUIRED SKILLS/KNOWLEDGE: • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, communications, hospitality, marketing or similar discipline or related work experience, preferably with a nonprofit organization, may substitute. • Minimum of one year experience in planning special events in a business or nonprofit organization (preferably in museum, hotel or restaurant management). • Demonstrated ability to assume a leadership role and to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, colleagues, volunteers, and members of the public; to exercise tact and diplomacy at all times, and to demonstrate an understanding of protocol and sensitivity to cultural diversity issues. • The ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, with people at all levels of an organization, including board members, donors, students and staff. • Exemplary customer service skills and a strong sales focus. • Excellent negotiation skills. • Demonstrated professional and calm demeanor in high-pressure situations. • Demonstrated problem-solving ability and decision making abilities. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. • Excellent demonstrated organizational skills and attention to detail. • Proactive; Proven ability to manage multiple tasks and to prioritize while working independently. • Proficiency with MS Office Suite and ability to learn new database quickly. • Comfortable and competent working with numbers. Ability to calculate figures and amounts and the ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations. PREFERRED SKILLS/KNOWLEDGE: • Cold call sales experience and customer relationship building experience is highly desirable. • Knowledge and experience in donor management software is a plus. • Knowledge of and experience in non-profit organizations a plus. • Experience in broad range of event planning, including but not limited to museum events, corporate functions, weddings, non-profits, etc or can demonstrate equivalent experience. • Experience in training, supervising and motivating staff and/or volunteers. ENVIRONMENTAL AND WORKING CONDITIONS • Work is in a combination of office and “on the floor” environments. Will involve a combination of time behind a desk and in front of a computer and time in the front of the house with visitors and staff. • Ability to lift objects up to 30 lbs on occasion. • Must be able to set up and tear down equipment, such as tables, chairs, decorations. Physical abilities to reach, twist, bend, lift and climb stairs. • Some travel required. To apply: Submit cover letter and resume by email to Jobs@AikenCenterfortheArts.org, by fax to (803) 641-2009 or by mail to: ACA Personnel Committee Aiken Center for the Arts 122 Laurens St. SW Aiken, SC 29801 Review of applicants will begin on November 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled. Aiken Center for the Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, age, handicap or national origin. Via: Aiken Center for the Arts

Aiken Center for the Arts appoints education director and exhibitions coordinator

Aiken Center for the Arts has filled two new positions to assist with its mission to inspire and educate by providing unique visual and performing arts experiences for all ages. Jillian Decker joins the organization as the Aiken Center for the Arts’ first education director. She will be responsible for comprehensive development and management of all education programs at including summer art camps, workshops and annual classes for all ages. “With this new position we were looking for a candidate who had experience and knowledge of both the visual and performing arts as well as the enthusiasm and initiative to grow our education programs so they fully meet the needs of the community," said Executive Director Elizabeth Williamson. "Jillian is just that person, and students will be impressed with her commitment to their opportunity for education in the arts.” Decker earned her Master of Arts in Arts Education from The Ohio State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Pennsylvania State University. Her volunteer and work experience includes Bryce Jordan Center for Performing Arts, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Museum of Art and teaching Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. An avid artist and musician, Decker also works as a freelance graphic designer and runs a small art business in her free time. Mandy Drumming has been promoted to exhibitions coordinator. For the past year, Drumming has worked in the Gallery Store and has been responsible for the layout and installation of exhibitions. In her new role, Drumming will be the point of contact for artists from the beginning of the submission process to the removal of their exhibit. She will be a key person in the exhibition planning, curating and presentation of artworks in the Center’s five galleries. Drumming earned her Masters of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates/Corcoran College of Art + Design and her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of South Carolina Aiken. While in graduate school, she studied exhibition design with Mark Leithauser, chief of design at the National Gallery of Art. In addition, Drumming interned with Brian Lang, former curator of decorative arts at the Columbia Museum of Art. “Mandy has been an asset to the Aiken Center for the Arts and a pleasure to work with,” said Williamson. “At each gallery opening’s artist reception, I am overwhelmed with compliments from guests and artists regarding the layout of the exhibits, all of which can be attributed to Mandy’s keen eye for detail, color and design. I am very pleased to be able to promote Mandy to a position that makes full use of her talents. With Mandy as exhibitions coordinator artists can expect a pleasurable exhibition experience.” About the Aiken Center for the Arts The Aiken Center for the Arts is a 22,000 square foot facility in the heart of downtown Aiken with gallery space, classrooms, a performance space and a gift shop. Classes in the arts are taught by professional teaching artists and available year round for students of all ages. With five galleries featuring the exhibits of local, regional and national artists, rotating monthly, visual arts are a prominent part of the Center’s activities. The Aiken Center for the Arts also works with local and regional performing artists to present concerts and theatre performances in the Brown Pavilion. In addition, the Aiken Youth Orchestra performs two concerts each year.

Wildlife artists invited to submit works to Aiken Center for the Arts

Deadline: June 14 Aiken Wildlife ExhibitionAiken Center for the Arts will be all about the wildlife in October and invites wildlife artists to come along! The North American Blue Bird Society will hold their 36th annual conference in Aiken, S.C., in early October, hosted by the Aiken Center for the Arts.  Approximately six artists will be selected to exhibit their wildlife works at the Center from October 2 to November 8, 2013. Please submit up to five digital images that are representative of your wildlife works for review.  Any medium is acceptable. Key dates • Submit up to five digital images by Friday, June 14. Submit to acaexecdir@bellsouth.net • Selected artists will be notified by July 1. • Exhibit dates: October 2-November 8, 2013 • Reception October 3, 6-8 pm • Deliver artwork Saturday, September 28 between 10 a. m. and noon. • Pickup Saturday, November 9 between 10 a. m. and noon Via: Aiken Center for the Arts

Aiken Center for the Arts seeks executive director

Application deadline: April 5 The organization: The mission of Aiken Center for the Arts is to foster partnerships for the growth of an arts community and to provide arts education, cultural activities, and art opportunities that enrich the quality of life in Aiken. The Aiken Center for the Arts hosts 23,000 visitors annually offering a multitude of outreach and awareness programs including opportunities for children and adults; juried shows and competitions, lectures and instruction, and a variety of concert events; music, dance, film and other performing arts; as well as a gallery store where local artisans offer their original works for sale. Year-round exhibits in our five exhibition galleries feature artists from around the world, with an emphasis on local and regional talent of the South. The Center has a flexible floor plan to maximize its learning programs, and provides 82 free scholarships for children and seniors annually. Its Brown Pavilion is a state-of- the-art visual facility. All of this is accomplished with a staff consisting of two full-time and six part-time employees and many dedicated volunteers. A 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation, the Center follows sound financial practices. The building is debt free, and we follow a pay as you go philosophy which has resulted in a balanced budget for the past nine years. Its $500,000 per-year budget is 98 percent earned through memberships, fund-raisers, facility rentals, classes, grants and art sales commissions. A $400,000 endowment fund helps ensure the long-term financial viability of the Center. The position: The executive director is responsible for the management and oversight of all aspects of the organization, reports directly to the board of directors, and represents the Arts Center in the community and in the state. Job responsibilities:

  1. Increase the Center’s visibility, image and role in the community, and strengthen community support by developing strong relationships with key individuals and organizations.
  2. Active involvement in income-producing activities: finding ways to increase membership income, taking an active role in fundraising activities, and overseeing the grant application process.
  3. Ensure the Center has a balanced operating budget by working with the operations manager and finance committee to maximize revenues and control expenses so the Center breaks even.
  4. All aspects of personnel management, including maintaining job descriptions, hiring, coaching, conducting annual performance reviews and staff scheduling to ensure the Center’s needs are met, and disciplinary action in consultation with the human resources committee of the board.
  5. Lead the strategic planning process with participation from the board of directors.
  6. Ensure a successful gallery exhibition program by leading an exhibit selection team.
  7. Oversight of a robust learning program, working with the programming manager and program committee to determine community needs and provide the resources to meet those needs each year.
  8. Oversight of the gallery store, working closely with the store manager to establish sales goals, a marketing plan and store policies.
  9. Oversee the maintenance of the Center’s 22,000 sq. ft. facility by working with the operations manager, building committee, and contractors to ensure the facility is properly maintained.
  10. Effectively work with the board of directors to ensure that key goals are met.
Visit the website for the full list of qualifications, other requirements, salary offered and application instructions. All applications must be received by 5 p. m. April 5, 2013. Via: Aiken Center for the Arts  


Aiken Center for the Arts presents several artists for October

The Aiken Center for the Arts has multiple artists on exhibition in October, including the first formal showing of The Artisans of the South Carolina Cotton Trail outside of the Pee Dee area of South Carolina. The group includes painters, photographers, jewelers, potters, glass artists, a weaver and a topiary artist. Other artists exhibiting in October: Atlanta native Lila Campbell has had a lifelong fascination with capturing unexpected perspectives of life on film. Campbell’s work has been in various publications as well as in galleries in Atlanta and the Southeast. Campbell recently launched a documentary project called “Day in the Life” which involves spending a day with an individual, family or business and photographically documenting a typical day or unique occasion. Joseph Bradley is a full-time artist in Greenville, S.C. He attended Bob Jones University and studied under Carl Blair and Emory Bopp. Bradley has received numerous awards and has had dozens of exhibitions across the South. His recent work is very process-oriented. “It is meant to depict our emotional connections to certain imagery,” states Bradley, who employs experimentation, layering, multiple washes and intuition to his works. Local artist Bill Updegraff began his painting career more than 30 years ago.  His works are in private and corporate collections and in the permanent collection of the Sheldon Swope Gallery in Terre Haute, Ind. Updegraff has been involved in several exhibitions, both juried and non-juried, throughout the Midwest and South. He has taught watercolor classes and workshops for the past 20 years and currently teaches classes in Greenwood, Anderson and McCormick. Updegraff's exhibition runs through Oct. 31. All other exhibitions run through Nov. 9. Find out more about these exhibitions on the Aiken Center for the Arts' website. Via: Aiken Center for the Arts Photo above: Example of work from The Artisans of the S.C. Cotton Trail Visit Arts Daily to find other events in Aiken and around the state. [caption id="attachment_1464" align="aligncenter" width="307"]Joseph Bradley Blue Chair Joseph Bradley, Blue Chair[/caption]