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Charleston Scene takes on ‘sea change’ in CHS, S.C. arts leadership

Thought-provoking piece on future of S.C. arts

In a sweeping new story, Charleston Scene interviewed several arts leaders who recently—or will—depart their posts as change comes to South Carolina's arts scene.

Picture of an iconic church steeple in downtown CharlestonWriter Maura Hogan asks, "What will the next phase look like?" after several high profile departures dating back to 2019. Among them:
  • Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina)
  • Stephen Bedard (Gaillard Management Co.)
  • Ken May (S.C. Arts Commission)
  • Valerie Morris (College of Charleston School of the Arts)
  • Nigel Redden (Spoleto Festival USA)
  • Mark Sloan (College of Charleston Halsey Institute)
  • Marjory Wentworth (former state poet laureate)
While reasons for the departures varied, nearly all involved foresee major change on the horizon in Charleston and the state, whether as a result of the pandemic, recent emphasis on diversity and inclusion, or other things. Click here to read the story from Charleston Scene (subscription possibly required).
Charleston photo by Jason Rapp/SCAC.

Jason Rapp

South Arts Awards $323,000 among three grant categories

Four S.C. arts organizations to get funding

South Arts is awarding $323,000 in Performing Arts Touring, Literary Arts Touring, and Cross-Sector Impact grants in its nine-state service region.

Four arts organizations in South Carolina are among those receiving awards. Performing Arts and Literary Arts Touring grants support the presentation of out-of-state Southern artists for public engagements and residences, and Cross-Sector Impact Grants support collaborative, community-building projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society. These three granting programs, supported by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, connect arts organizations and communities with artists across South Arts' primary nine-state region of AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN. Applicants submitted proposals for each program throughout the spring, which were then reviewed by panels of peers and respected leaders in the field. While each grant has its own criteria and purpose, they collectively build towards South Arts' mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts. These grants are part of South Arts' annual cycle of programming, and organizations are encouraged to review the current guidelines as they plan current and upcoming work.
Performing Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern performing artists with up to $7,500. Applications for this program were due March 2, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Performing Arts Touring Grant recipients. Organizations in South Carolina receiving FY21 awards are:
  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina ($7,000)
  • Newberry Opera House Foundation ($5,100)
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Arts ($2,750)
Literary Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry with up to $2,500. Applications for this program were due May 1, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Literary Arts Touring Grant recipients. One organization in South Carolina is receiving an FY21 award:
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs ($1,750)
Cross-Sector Impact Grants harness the power of collaborative, community-building "arts and..." projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society with awards up to $15,000. Letters of Interest for this program were due March 30, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients. No South Carolina arts organization is receiving one of these grants in FY21. These grant programs are supported through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jason Rapp

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina announces new leader

The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey S. Reeves to chief executive officer and president. Reeves was previously the executive vice president and chief operating officer, having joined the Arts Center in October 2001. The Arts Center’s Board Chair Robert Lee said, “Momentum is critical to the success of any organization. When an organization loses a successful leader, it is challenged with replacing that leader with a person of equal dedication, passion and skill. When Kathi Bateson approached me about her retirement, our executive committee immediately began the difficult task of finding our new president and CEO. Well it turns out that the task was not that difficult, because the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has been blessed with a CEO-in-waiting for the 18+ years. I am delighted to welcome Jeffrey as our new CEO. He has proven himself at excelling in strategic leadership and execution. He is the perfect individual to lead the Arts Center with continued distinction.” In leadership roles for more than 30 years, Reeves has demonstrated a strong track record in the finance and accounting fields, commercial construction, as well as in operations and technology management. He has worked in banking and corporate environments, as well as contributed his time extensively as a consultant and advisor for non-profit arts organizations. Some of his community service affiliations include long-term member of Theatre Communications Group National Executive Roundtable, four years as president and two years as treasurer for the Timbercrest Homeowners' Association, membership on the Community Advisory Board of Robinson Grant & Co., P.A., Blackbaud Client Advisory Board for Product Development, Hilton Head Island Rotary Club, Hilton Head Island Visitor and Convention Bureau digital marketing task force, Hilton Head Hospitality Association Island Ambassador certification, as well as Hilton Head Preparatory School Arts Guild Scholarship adjudication panel chairman. Lee also emphasized, “Jeffrey’s business acumen and integrity combined with his commitment to exemplary theater, presenting, education and outreach were vital qualities considered by our board when preparing for this transition, which so far has been seamless.” Kathi Bateson retired as president/CEO to become executive artistic producer and help with the leadership transition through June 30, 2020. She has served the Arts Center for over 22 years with passion and commitment to the Arts Center and the arts in our region, resulting in being conferred the Governor's Verner Award for Arts Individual in May 2019 as well as the naming of the Arts Center’s main stage, the Kathleen P. Bateson Stage, to honor her legacy. Reeves said, “I am both honored and energized to assume this position and have deep respect for all the work that has taken place to build the Arts Center into the organization it is today. I look forward to working closely with the board, the Arts Center staff, and our volunteers. I am committed to fully engage with all of our patrons, donors and community leaders to continue expanding our horizons and moving us forward.”

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Verner Award recipient Kathleen Bateson to retire

Lowcountry arts to lose decorated leader in 2020

After leading the organization since 1998, CEO/President Kathleen Bateson has announced her retirement from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina effective June 30, 2020.  Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Reeves, who has worked with Bateson since 2001, will succeed as president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2020. Bateson will remain with Arts Center as executive artistic producer until June 30, 2020. Bateson’s executive arts consulting history and corporate management experience, particularly in financial and long-range planning strategies, corporate investor relations and international marketing/PR, preceded her current CEO leadership role. During her tenure, the Arts Center has become the state’s third largest arts organization as well as its largest professional producing theatre (110+ plays). Bateson also diversified the Presenting Artists series (270+performers) and expanded the education efforts into the four-county region (265,000+ services).  In 2019 Bateson received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts (seen above), the highest arts honor in the state, which was also awarded to the Arts Center in 2006. Bateson was also recently named to the S.C. Arts Foundation board of directors. Bob Lee, two-time Chairman of the Arts Center Board of Trustees stated, “I cannot express enough the privilege I have had working with Kathi on the Board of Trustees over the last 16 years. While her departure will certainly leave a hole in the hearts of those of us who recognize the many successes and accolades her leadership has brought to the Arts Center, we also recognize that she has assembled a skillful, capable team who will sustain the level of excellence she has created at this community jewel.”

S.C. Arts Awards: Kathleen P. Bateson

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Kathleen P. Bateson

Individual Category Kathleen P. Bateson is president/CEO and executive producer of the multi-award winning Arts Center of Coastal Carolina – a past recipient of the Verner Award in the organization category. She is past president of the SCAA board. She served as chair and founding co-chair of the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head; is the founding vice-chair of the Wexford Plantation Foundation, heading governance; as well as a founding member of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Women in Philanthropy, where she chairs the WIP Advisory Board and is immediate past chair of the grants committee. As a member of its steering committee, Bateson produced the March 2018 “Gullah Experience” for the Together SC state summit conference. Awards and recognition include the Mayoral Commendation for providing arts and arts education in the Lowcountry in 2019; the Native Island and Business Community Affairs Association Community Service Award in 2008; the Mayor Citizens Honor Award in 2007 and the Gullah Museum’s 2012 inaugural Distinguished Service Award. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership SC. She was board director of the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce, serving two terms on executive committee. She was co-chair of the chamber’s Arts & Culture Committee and was co-chair and founding member of the chamber’s May BRAVO Arts & Cultural Festival. She sat on the inaugural Southeast Advisory Council for the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts, as well as the curriculum task force for College of Charleston’s Arts Management Graduate Program. Bateson is founder and president of Management for the Arts, a firm specializing in NPO organizational restructure, institutional planning, and strategic positioning. She consulted to Dance USA, identifying trending issues and conducting workshops on “Estate Planning for Artistic Property” and “Managing an Organization Out of Crisis”. Her impressive client list boasts organizations nationwide including the Pew Charitable Trust, Cleveland Foundation and Ohio Arts Council, where she developed the agency’s strategic plan as well as its criteria for consultants, among other projects. In related activities, she has served as a cultural representative on international delegations to South Africa, China, Japan, and she was affiliated with Mossoviet Theatre as well as the Hong Kong Ballet. Ms. Bateson is a BFA goldsmith, a professional set designer, and is a certified Pennsylvania visual arts educator.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

South Arts awards $27,000 among seven S.C. arts groups

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, has awarded 68 grants totaling $276,949 to arts organization throughout the South. South ArtsThese funds, made possible through partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, support the presentation of touring performing and literary artists in public performances and readings along with educational activities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“These funds represent a major step for our organization in pursuit of our newly revised mission statement and strategic plan,” said executive director Susie Surkamer (former executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission. - Ed.) “We have refocused our grantmaking guidelines to primarily support Southern artists on tour throughout our communities. The talent and artistry created within our nine states is immense, and deserves to be shared.”

Organizations applied for consideration, making cases for the artistic merit of the proposed artists and the ability to develop audiences. An external panel of arts professionals reviewed each application for funding consideration. The grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization. These grants represent multiple initiatives by South Arts. Performing Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern artists (theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, and dance) from outside of the presenter’s state. Literary Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. Launchpad grants are part of a year-long professional development program for presenters new to the field, and include the opportunity to present artists from an adjudicated roster. Dance Touring Initiative funds are part of an ongoing capacity-building program developing audiences for modern dance and contemporary ballet throughout the region. “We are so proud to support tours of diverse, talented artists representing the breadth of our region,” continued Surkamer. “Some of the highlights this year include Ranky Tanky, based in coastal South Carolina, blending their Gullah heritage with influences of jazz and funk. Rosie Herrera Dance Theater of Miami is one of the nation’s leading contemporary ballet companies, effortlessly working across genres including hip hop, dance theater, and cabaret. Poet Jericho Brown, an associate professor Emory University in Atlanta, is a leading voice with verses exploring race, masculinity, and community.” Applications for South Arts touring grants for nonprofit and governmental organizations in the nine-state region open in the fall each year with deadlines in March and May. Additional information and a full listing of grant recipients is available at www.southarts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

South Carolina's recipients

  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $2,354 Literary Arts Touring grant to present P. Scott Cunningham in October 2018.
  • Midlands Technical College (Columbia) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Southern Guitar Festival and Competition (Columbia) received a $878 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Jay Kacherski in June 2019.
  • Coker College (Hartsville) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Hilton Head) received a $5,569 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Ballet Memphis in January 2019.
  • Wits End Poetry (Greenville) received a $890 Literary Arts Touring grant to present Asia Samson & Daryl Funn in September 2018.

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TripAdvisor recognizes Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina was recently awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates hospitality excellence worldwide and is given to accommodations, restaurants and attractions listed on TripAdvisor that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on the site. When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period, as well as a business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify for the award, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. “We are delighted to receive this award, which indicates – above all – an outstanding level of customer satisfaction from our visiting patrons,” stated Kathleen Bateson, CEO/President of the Arts Center. “It underscores the value and appreciation of what we do, all year-round.” “TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travelers on the site,” said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.” Located at 14 Shelter Cove Lane on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, the Arts Center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that produces professional theater, special performances, educational programs, community festivals and more. For information, visit www.artshhi.com. Via: Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

Three S.C. organizations selected for South Arts Dance Touring Initiative

[caption id="attachment_19163" align="alignright" width="300"]RIOULT Dance NY RIOULT Dance NY is one of the companies providing residencies for the Dance Touring Initiative[/caption] The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, and Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College in Columbia have been selected for the third cohort of 10 arts presenters participating in South Arts' Dance Touring Initiative (DTI), a competitive and intensive three-year program supporting performing arts presenters throughout the South. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, venues across the South will develop a rich selection of performances, workshops, and audience engagement activities to connect local audiences with touring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies. “We are excited to begin our third DTI cycle,” said Nikki Estes, program director with South Arts. “The first two cycles have connected over 30,000 audience members throughout the South with modern dance and contemporary ballet, and we look forward to broadening that impact over the coming years. After the start of this third cycle, we will have 26 active arts presenters in the initiative as a network and learning community among dance presenters.” The third cohort of presenter participants:

  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Arts Council of Central Louisiana, Alexandria, LA
  • Bologna Performing Arts Center, Cleveland, MS
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, Charleston, SC
  • Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Duke Performances/Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, Columbia, SC
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville, KY
  • Memphis Development Foundation/The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN
  • Paramount Theatre/City of Goldsboro, Goldsboro, NC
The 26 arts presenters come from eight Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) and will receive professional development, take part in residency planning visits with artistic directors from major national dance companies, and receive financial support to provide both educational programming and public performances for their audiences. “DTI enables these organizations to expand their already solid community partnerships,” said Suzette M. Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “This training provides presenters with additional platforms to garner a larger and stronger audience base, especially around modern dance and contemporary ballet.” About South Arts South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.  

Traditional arts funding available for artists and organizations

[caption id="attachment_18293" align="alignright" width="248"]Bobby Rutland Chair caner Bobby Rutland of Winnsboro, S.C.[/caption] South Carolina traditional artists and nonprofits working in the traditional arts are eligible to apply for the South Carolina Arts Commission's Folklife and Traditional Arts apprenticeship program (for artists) and grants (for nonprofits).

The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative assists master artists in passing their artistic and cultural knowledge to qualified apprentices, who continue to pursue the art form beyond the life of the apprenticeship. The program provides funds for a master artist's time and for the cost of travel and materials. Artists must contact Folklife and Traditional Arts Program Coordinator Doug Peach, peachd@mailbox.sc.edu, 803.734.8764, by Feb. 14, 2015, to discuss the project before applying. If your project meets the guidelines, Peach will assist in preparing the application. The apprenticeship application process must be completed by March 16, 2015. South Carolina nonprofit organizations working in the traditional arts may apply for a Folklife and Traditional Arts grant of up to $6,000 to present, produce, document or preserve the state's traditional arts. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Folklife and Traditional Arts Program Coordinator Doug Peach, peachd@mailbox.sc.edu, (803) 734-8764, before submitting an application. The application deadline is March 16, 2015. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is using a Folklife and Traditional Arts grant to help produce the 2015 Taste of Gullah Festival, according to Senior Development Director Linda Bloom. "The Festival (offers) multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts presentations by outstanding S.C. traditional Gullah artists and an exhibition of regional sweet grass baskets. This unique opportunity provides another layer of accessible arts expression, education and preservation of Gullah history, traditions and culture, and (helps fulfill) the Arts Center’s mission to enrich and benefit the community through the arts." For more information about the apprenticeship or the grant, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Consultant: Hilton Head Island should create new arts funding source, plan new venue

From the Island Packet:

Hilton Head Island residents overwhelmingly believe a vibrant arts scene and cultural life is extremely important to the island. And they're willing to pay for it. Those were among the findings of survey results presented to Town Council on Wednesday by consulting firm Cultural Planning Group. The firm was hired to suggest ways to get the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and other arts groups on solid financial footing, determine the town's role in supporting them, and suggest what should be done about the center's costly maintenance and repair needs. It conducted an online survey and community meetings in October to gauge support for the programs and the willingness to fund them. According to the results, the town should play a major role in supporting and expanding arts, culture and entertainment on the island, said firm partner Martin Cohen. Of the 2,170 responses received:
  • More than 70 percent believe the town should either "fully" support and expand arts, culture and entertainment, or play a "major" part in that effort.
  • More than 70 percent also favor paying as much as $25 per capita in annual taxes to pay for such offerings.
  • Nearly three-fourths want more, affordable options for live music, dance and theater performances.
Some, though, question the reliability of the survey results since participants were not randomly selected. When participants are "self-selected," bias can be introduced, according to experts. People who feel strongly about an issue tend to participate, while those who are lukewarm might not, Mayor Drew Laughlin said. He and other council members worried respondents might not be representative of the population as a whole. Cohen argued bias is inherent in any survey by those who choose to take it. "This should be taken as a broad indicator of the level of support in the community," he said. "We did learn there is extraordinary high interest in the arts and expectation the town participate in the arts and cultural development of the community." The firm suggested the town establish an arts commission to advise council and serve as a central cultural planning and coordinating agency. It also suggested the town establish a dedicated funding source independent of tourism -- such as property taxes -- to pay for its support of the arts . The town funds some arts and culture groups through tax collections on short-term lodging, with a focus on tourism development. However, nearly two-thirds of the arts groups on the island primarily serve residents. The island has an abundance of artistic and cultural resources with nearly 40 arts and cultural organizations, far more than would be expected in a community of 38,000 residents, Cohen said. But, while Hilton Head is relatively affluent, it does not have a base of corporate and foundational funding to support those groups. As a result, the island is "arts rich but arts facility poor," consultant Jerry Allen said. The firm recommended the town begin planning now for a new 700- to 1,000-seat performing arts venue. In the meantime, it should develop a short-term plan to maintain the Arts Center. Council directed the consultants to return in February with a detailed look at possible funding sources and short- and long-term plans to address facility needs.
Via: Island Packet