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USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center looking for next production manager

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, December 12, 2022
  • COMPENSATION INFORMATION: $35,360–$50,394 per year + benefits
Under the supervision of the executive director of the Etherredge Center, the production manager is responsible for:
  • the execution of technical elements (scenery, lighting and sound) for all Etherredge Center Events in the Etherredge Center’s performance venues,
  • coordinating with the university theatre/Etherredge Center technical director on the execution and supervision of Department of Visual and Performing Arts technical elements,
  • the timely and proper maintenance of theatrical production equipment in the Etherredge Center and the overall organization
  • and appearance of theatrical support spaces in the Etherredge Center (i.e. studios, control booths, storage areas, loading dock, etc.).
The production manager will also oversee, under the direction of the Etherredge Center executive director, budgeting and purchasing for Etherredge Center spaces and events. Minimum Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in related field and 5 years’ experience in theatrical and performing arts production or engineering; or high school diploma and nine (9) years’ experience in theatrical and performing arts productions or engineering. Preferred Requirements: Master’s degree in theatre or related field and three (3) years of related theater experience; proficiency in Vectorworks or similar software. Applicants must apply online at: https://uscjobs.sc.edu/postings/135597. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. USC Aiken is an AA/EOE.

Submitted material

Communal Pen marks in-person return next month in Aiken

[caption id="attachment_50054" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Naturalization at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, July 4, 2013; ©
Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.[/caption]

Communal Pen Voices & Votes: Aiken County

  • Saturday, Aug. 13
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Aiken County Historical Museum (433 Newberry St. SW, Aiken)
  • Lunch provided at no cost. You will make your menu selection on the registration form.
  • Local hosts:
    • Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum
    • Second Baptist Church of Aiken
  • Click here to register now!

Voting. It’s our most cherished form of civic engagement as U.S. citizens.

As the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America winds its way through South Carolina, the Communal Pen writing workshop series wants to know:
  • What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  • What does it mean to participate in the civic life of our community and nation?
  • What roles, rights, and responsibilities connect us with our fellow citizens, family, friends, and neighbors?
Come learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen. Let's celebrate and explore our connections to place and community through the lens of our experience of civic life and identity.
Communal Pen is a writing workshop presented by South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. It is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum from July 23 to Sept. 3. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, "Art of Community: Rural SC," a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from South Carolina Humanities.

Who we are

Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. She holds a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in folklore/anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, community engagement coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.

Jason Rapp

Aiken Center for the Arts to showcase ‘Creative Connectors’

Young creative network resulted from SCAC programs

[caption id="attachment_50384" align="alignright" width="200"] Artwork by creative connector Terrance Washington.[/caption]

Thursday, Aiken Center for the Arts opens a new exhibition featuring artists from the South Carolina Arts Commission's Create: Rural S.C. program.

Create: Rural S.C. is a community arts program that was launched in summer 2018 with a newly formed team of creative professionals discovered through The Art of Community: Rural S.C. program's initial work in six South Carolina counties. To fuel local connection and discovery, the SCAC enlisted the help of 12 “creative connectors” who sought creative contacts across Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties. Together, they built a network of young creatives making names for themselves in their rural communities instead of leaving for larger, urban locales. From Thursday, June 23 to July 28, 2022, five creative connectors—Ernest Lee, Rajaskeher Y “Mr. Y,” James Wilson, Robert Matheson, and Terrance Washington—will be sharing their work in this exhibition. A reception will open Creative Connectors, Create: Rural S.C. this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Aiken Center for the Arts is in downtown Aiken (122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken, 29801). Free. To learn more about the work of The Art of Community: Rural S.C. and Create: Rural S.C., use the tags associated with this post.  

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Carrie Ann Power

Governor's Award: Arts in Education 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.

Carrie Ann Power has been an arts educator and advocate in South Carolina for more 30 years.

[caption id="attachment_50351" align="alignright" width="350"] Carrie Ann Power (center) receives her Governor's Award from SCAC Executive Director David Platts and Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford on May 18, 2022. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo.[/caption] Her arts education career began in 2004 as the fine arts department chair, grant manager, and visual arts teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts (EASOA) until 2015. During that time, she wrote and received arts grants on behalf of the school totaling more than $320,000 to transform EASOA by adding full-time dance and theatre programs. She managed South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) Distinguished Arts Program and Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project grants for 10 years. Power developed and implemented all aspects of the EASOA after-school arts program and obtained community donations to fund scholarships that awarded access to low-income families. During her tenure she was also coordinator of Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts, which improves and enhances pedagogy of arts lesson plans based on the 2010 S.C. Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards with week-long summer sessions for teachers. The SCDE was Power’s next stop, and she served as the education associate for visual and performing arts from 2015 until 2019. She oversaw the development of K-12 Design Standards for visual and performing arts and later coordinated their revisions. She also managed the Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program, in which 12th-grade students vie for a scholarship in creative writing, dance, music, theatre, or visual arts. She served an active role on notable state arts or arts education boards, including: the S.C. Art Education Association (elementary division coordinator), S.C. Music Educators Association, Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (designee of the state superintendent of education), Palmetto State Arts Education, South Carolina Arts Alliance, and Aiken Performing Arts Board. She also served the ABC Project on the coordinators committee and continues to serve on the ABC advisory committee. In her community, she supports educational outreach programs that bring professional artists into schools and works on the board for Joye in Aiken, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the best in the performing arts available to its citizens, and especially for students. Power received a bachelor’s degree in art education from Mansfield University in 1990 and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Leslie University in 2007.
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.

Jason Rapp

Local author brings historical exhibition to Aiken middle school

During March 2022 and beyond, Aiken Center for the Arts connects students at Schofield Middle School with local author Dr. Walter Curry through an author in residence program to enrich the study of South Carolina and African American history as it is depicted in his books.

Curry’s work brings Aiken County’s African American history to life through the narratives of his own family. Discussions of the narratives in his books initiate conversation about the past to help students shape the narratives of their future. Combining education, creativity, and passion into student engagements, Dr. Curry shares real life ancestral stories in his books, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) and The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History, which connect to the 8th grade South Carolina Social Studies Standards. [caption id="attachment_50193" align="alignright" width="450"]Dr. Curry speaks to students from the floor of the school gymnasium as they look on from bleachers. Dr. Curry speaks to students from the floor of the school gymnasium as they look on from bleachers. Provided photo. Click to enlarge.[/caption] Schofield students are reading Curry's second book The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History, and discussions focus on the sharecropping experiences of Dr. Curry’s ancestors who lived in Barnwell and Aiken counties. Curry points out that “this book is pertinent to Schofield students as it also incorporates Schofield Normal and Industrial Institute history with the story of Schofield graduate Floster L. Ellison Jr. who was a World War II veteran and co-founded the Palmetto State Barbers Association during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960.” Dr. Curry talks about these narratives that are in the book and engages students by leading them through an exhibition of artifacts and images exploring sharecropping life of his ancestors in the book, showing that history is alive and an important source of connection to our communities. Mrs. Whetstone, who teaches South Carolina history and African American History to 8th graders at Schofield, speaks to the project's relevance. “When you teach history, you teach a lot of dates and sometimes we don’t make the connections. Dr. Curry’s work is the connection. It shows that this happened to Dr. Curry’s family it happened to your family. It happened to all of us. We study the diaspora of African American culture starting from slavery. When you get to reconstruction you understand that we already had those civil rights but had to work through it. Society is not going to be able to move ahead unless we can have these kinds of discussions,” she said. Aiken Center for the Arts believes in the importance of this Author in Residence program because it uniquely delivers our mission by sharing a local voice of untold stories from Aiken County’s African American history, by inspiring area youth through the personal story Curry shares of his journey to authorship alongside the educational enrichment Curry’s books provide as those narratives give real life examples of the concepts taught in the standards. Supporting local artists and authors through the Author in Residence program celebrates rich human resources that are among us while opening opportunities for deeper understanding of the human experience. This project is funded in part by SC Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The South Carolina Cotton Museum and Jerry Morris, author of the book Barnwell County, are also contributors to this engagement.
For more information contact Caroline Gwinn, executive director of Aiken Center for the Arts: execdir@aikencenterforthearts.org or call the Arts Center at 803.641.9094.

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Tuning Up: One year of ARP funding, Art Walk returns to Aiken

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...

NEA marks one year of ARP relief

It is almost hard to believe, but it has been one year since President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan to assist recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts released an informative fact sheet about how it put its $135 million to work through three phases. It's worth noting that the SCAC received almost $819,000 in ARP funding from the NEA to grant to arts organizations. ARP ESSER funding provided the funding for the SCAC and South Carolina Department of Education to initiate the partnership now known as Arts Grow SC to address pandemic-related learning loss.

Aiken announces 11th annual Art Walk

Friday trivia! What event brings together emerging and established visual and performing artists, farmers and artisans, arts organizations, locals, and tourists during one of professional golf's holiest weeks? Nothing gets by you, dear reader. The city of Aiken announced last week that its Art Walk will return Tuesday, April 5 in the run-up to The Masters at nearby Augusta National Golf Club April 7-10.
[caption id="attachment_48939" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Promo graphic of oranges cut horizontally, arranged on an orange background. It reads, "New Year, Fresh Start. Arts Project Support Grants." Artist or arts org in South Carolina? There is very likely arts project support available for YOU. Click graphic to learn more.[/caption]

Jason Rapp

Rural arts and culture initiative expands to 15 counties

Addressing local issues with S.C. Arts Commission program

[caption id="attachment_45057" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mavens join heads and hands to celebrate their local communities and discuss shared challenges in a January meeting in Eastover, South Carolina, hosted by Michael Dantzler. Shown l to r, mavens and their corresponding counties: Brooke Bauer, Catawba Indian Nation/York; Marquerite Palmer, Newberry; Lottie Lewis, Allendale; Betty McDaniel, Pickens; Victoria Smalls, Beaufort; Evelyn Coker, Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams, Hampton; Libby Sweatt-Lambert, Chester; Luis Rodriguez (seated), Marion; Johnny Davis, Jasper; Michael Dantzler, Richland; and Matt Mardell, Colleton. Photo credit: Sherard Duvall, OTR Media.[/caption]
For Immediate Release

Across South Carolina, an initiative called The Art of Community: Rural SC has taken root, creating new networks, community engagement, partnerships and energy to change minds and build communities together.

The initiative, a program of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), poses a central question: “How can we use arts and culture as strategic tools to address local challenges we face?” “It’s growing, and it’s always a learning opportunity,” said Matt Mardell, executive director of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mardell is one of the ‘mavens’ for The Art of Community; Rural SC. He said that, as part of this network of rural leaders and their teams, he is “hearing others’ creative solutions to issues we all face.” He and his predecessor, Gary Brightwell, have participated in the initiative with five other mavens from throughout a six-county Lowcountry region since it was conceived in 2015 and launched in 2016. Mavens in other counties include: Lottie Lewis of Allendale; Dr. Yvette McDaniel representing Bamberg; Evelyn Coker of Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Hampton; and Johnny Davis representing Jasper County. The growth Mardell references is an expansion of the initiative in 2019 that includes a broader swath of rural South Carolina. Nine additional mavens represent their communities from the mountains to the sea and myriad cultures in between. They include the following community leaders and their corresponding counties: Kayla Hyatt-Hostetler of Aiken; Victoria Smalls of Beaufort; Lydia Cotton of Berkeley; Libby Sweatt-Lambert representing Chester; Luis Rodriguez representing Marion; Marquerite Palmer of Newberry; Betty McDaniel of Pickens; Michael Dantzler of Richland; and Dr. Brooke Bauer with co-maven Laney Buckley of The Catawba Indian Nation in York County. How does the initiative work? “It’s a framework built with four critical components:  mavens, local teams, partners and advisors coupled with a state arts agency willing to invest in rural and tribal communities in a new way,” said Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis of the arts commission. All 15 teams, created and led by the mavens, gather locally and as a statewide network to get to know each other better, to listen, and to consider their local assets and challenges—ultimately, to learn together. "Mavens are 'the bridges' who make this initiative work," DuPlessis said. "Knowing that I have a community beyond my community has bolstered me in my local work," said maven Lottie Lewis of Allendale. As part of this initiative, Lewis led members of her local team on a fact-finding field trip to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, in 2019. They went to explore how another small, rural town had spurred connection and growth using arts and culture. They then planned to integrate some of that learning into their local project. “We learned so much from our new friends in Tamaqua,” Lewis said. “We were inspired by how they engaged their local community to share their ideas about where they live.” Allendale’s local project plan, though, along with the plans of the other 14 sites in this initiative, took an unexpected turn beginning in the spring of 2020. “We all had to shift in how we were engaging with one another and ask what our roles are in this moment of quarantine and separation,” according to DuPlessis who said many of the participating teams shifted their focuses to react to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting social justice issues. Since March 20, the arts commission has convened mavens in weekly meetings to continue the practice of sharing, listening and learning together. "That's what's been so important to me and other mavens who I now count as dear friends," Lewis said. She also notes the spirit of the initiative which, built on trust and relationships, has allowed for flexibility with grant-funded local projects in this “uncertain time.” Each of The Art of Community: Rural SC teams received a $7,500 grant award in FY20 to engage and build community in ways that use arts and culture strategically. “Project plans in January 2020 didn’t look the same three months later in March,” DuPlessis said. Some communities planning festivals and other gatherings have had to postpone those for now. In a number of cases, mavens and their teams retrofitted their projects to respond to the current context and include the following examples:
  • In Aiken, in addition to getting helpful information out about the pandemic, the local project also incorporated the NextGen fight for equality, justice and respect for all people through the creation of a ‘peaceful protest’ linking them with other students around the country;
  • In Allendale, the local project’s focus became community engagement through a celebration of frontline pandemic workers as ‘hometown heroes;’
  • In Bamberg County, the local team developed a 'Little People's Learning Page' to accompany the local newspaper and address learning in a fun, creative way for students who are isolated from one another;
  • In Barnwell County, the Town of Blackville team developed a new dance called ‘The Wagon Wheel’ to engage its residents on social media in a healthy activity during a time of isolation;
  • In Beaufort County, a collective of Gullah Geechee artists used their voices and talents for public service announcements that address safety protocols for the pandemic;
  • In Berkeley County, a Spanish-language video was created to remind its community of best practices for reducing infection rates; and
  • In Chester County, the town of Fort Lawn team partnered with local businesses and state parks to showcase artists' and entrepreneurs' work to help generate income during this time of economic distress.
[caption id="attachment_45056" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by maven Lottie Lewis,  celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.[/caption] Other participating communities in the initiative bolstered their local project planning by addressing infrastructure and equipment needs as they anticipate future community gatherings, festivals and local engagement as part of their community building strategies. For instance, in Walterboro where the WHAM Festival, originally set for March 27-29, was cancelled, Matt Mardell re-examined the needs for this inaugural event by purchasing displays for exhibits and creating a website for the festival--WHAMfestival.org. The festival is now tentatively set for Oct. 23-25, 2020. Set within the framework of “arts plus economic development,” Mardell said, “I know when the festival does happen, we will be ready and even better prepared for it.” In addition to implementing local projects, all participants are invited to join additional activities and programs to build their own toolkits for considering the importance of ‘place’ in South Carolina and in their personal lives. They include a community writing workshop series; a field school offering instruction in documentary skills; and asset mapping workshops. These offerings are all coordinated by the arts commission’s Folklife & Traditional Arts Program. In addition to these activities, a rural networking program called CREATE: Rural SC engages rural creative professionals who serve as conduits between the mavens, the local creative economies and the arts commission. "These new networks and learning opportunities are bridging gaps and connecting us in ways we need to be connected in rural communities and across the state," Hampton County Maven Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Estill said. All 15 communities, along with the arts commission, partners and advisors constitute a ‘learning community’ that spans the state and the nation. Its story has been shared in national and state conferences from South Carolina to Iowa and Colorado; and from Detroit to Washington, D.C. using the voices and stories of mavens, advisors and emerging creative leaders. Also, with more than 25 partners in its national Advisory Council, this learning community has access to a wide range of sectors, insights, geographies and resources for community building using arts and culture. Co-chairs for the advisory council are Pam Breaux, president and CEO for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), headquartered in Washington; and Bob Reeder, program director for Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), headquartered in New York City. Looking at the value of community engagement in rural America, Co-Chair Pam Breaux cites The Art of Community: Rural SC as an exemplar for state arts agencies across the country. "This work has become a leading example of ingenuity in funding, partnership and framework creation for state arts agencies across the country," she said. Art of Community: Rural SC Director Susan DuPlessis was invited to share the initiative at a National Press Club briefing in Washington in January 2018; Mardell of Colleton County joined her as the local voice and example of growth and development through arts and culture as demonstrated through the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen. More than 25,000 'views' resulted on social media from that presentation. The South Carolina initiative was also included within a rural action guide on developing prosperity, produced by the National Governors Association, the National Endowment for the Arts and NASAA. “This initiative is about re-imagining 'place' in terms of assets, not deficits,” said Co-Chair Bob Reeder whose professional work in the field of community development crosses the nation. “We're building on the strengths of local communities and the power of a network that connects to state and national resources,” he said. “Ultimately, this work is about changing minds.” Concurring with Reeder, Advisor Dixie Goswami of Clemson, South Carolina noted that the initiative makes visible local people, including young people, as "assets with wisdom and knowledge, not as deficient and needing outside help." Goswami is director of the Write to Change Foundation and director emerita of Middlebury Bread Loaf NextGen Network. "We're a state rich in creativity and ingenuity—and this initiative showcases some of that in our smallest communities" said SCAC Executive Director David Platts. "We are grateful to USDA-Rural Development for first believing in and funding this initiative in 2015. We've built a case for creative placemaking—the strategic use of arts and culture to address community issues—and this platform is being showcased nationally. The arts commission has also garnered more support for this approach from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation as well as funding from the South Carolina General Assembly. The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative is part of the Community Arts Development program of the arts commission and is one of three program areas that also include artist services and arts education. “Through this program, we continue to strive to meet our mission-‘to develop a thriving arts environment’ for the people and places in our South Carolina,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Dee Crawford of Aiken, South Carolina. “The arts are invaluable to our communities, both big and small. They are tools for growth, development and social cohesion in each and every county in our state.” Crawford also serves on the Advisory Council for Art of Community: Rural SC. The South Carolina Arts Commission is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and collaborates in its work with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and South Arts. It received funding from USDA-Rural Development to launch this program in 2015; and additional USDA-RD funding from 2017 to 2019. It also has received support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation for this initiative since 2018. More information about The Art of Community: Rural SC can be found at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/community-development/programs/art-of-community-rural-sc/, including a recently produced film called Meet the Mavens and a brochure featuring all mavens representing 14 South Carolina counties and the Catawba Indian Nation in York County.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission 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, the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Susan DuPlessis

Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

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.

Juilliard students help high school singers give voice to their art

[caption id="attachment_39376" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Students practices singing in vocal masterclass. Aiken Standard photo.[/caption] From reporting by the Aiken Standard:

High school students gave youthful voices Wednesday to an early art form that dates back to Italy in the late 1500s.

As part of Joye in Aiken's educational outreach program, students from the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville sang works from early Baroque opera during a master class conducted by students from The Juilliard School's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute of Vocal Arts.

Joye in Aiken receives grant support from the S.C. Arts Commission. Read the full story from the Aiken Standard here.

Six students advance to state ‘Poetry Out Loud’ finals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 24 January 2018

  • Regional competitions yield six finalists
  • State finals to be held March 10 in Columbia
  • Winner advances to national competition in Washington, D.C.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Six South Carolina high school students reached the state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – after regional competitions in Charleston and Spartanburg this past weekend. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the competition to state high schools for 12 years running. In 2017, around 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties participated. School competition winners compete against students in their district to move on to compete in the state finals.  
(l-r: Keegan Dustin, Janae Claxton, Sha'Kaila Stewart, Taylor Elisse Wade, Alexia Story, and Grant Butler)
  The following six state regional winners, three from each of two regions, will compete Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Richland Library Main Branch in Columbia for the opportunity to be the South Carolina representative in the national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.:
  • Grant Butler (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Janae Claxton (First Baptist Church High School in Charleston)
  • Keegan Dustin (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
  • Sha’Kaila Stewart (Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook)
  • Alexia Story (Buford High School in Lancaster)
  • Taylor Elisse Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.
ABOUT POETRY OUT LOUD Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.