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S.C.’s original arts learning partnership turns 35

New name, new schools for FY23


COLUMBIA, S.C. — How do you celebrate 35 years of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project? By changing your name to Arts in Basic Curriculum Institute, a name that acknowledges your legacy and claims your unwavering commitment to your mission.

Projects come; projects go. After 35 years, ABC is not merely a project but an institution of leadership for countless educators. A first-of-its-kind national model in 1987, the South Carolina Arts Commission’s partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education and Winthrop University is no project. It is an established collaboration that has sustained numerous challenges and continues to serve as an innovative model to assist student recovery from the unprecedented crisis of a pandemic. “South Carolina turned heads in 1987. Our governing partners received a $20,000 planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to craft a plan of action based on a vision, to make comprehensive and sequential arts education accessible for all South Carolina students,” ABC Institute Director Kim Wilson, Ed.D said. “The founding steering committee dreamed big. Within a year, it had a plan in place. Within two, there was money going to 11 schools and districts to serve as models for the entire education community. From there, it just hasn’t stopped growing or changing young lives.”

RELATED CONTENT: Read the original ABC Project plan from 1988

In year 35, the original 11 grants have transformed into 69 schools across 20 districts, serving some 41,000 students.

[caption id="attachment_52049" align="alignright" width="250"] Archival image courtesy ABC Institute.[/caption] ABC Institute is proud to announce the three new schools that joined the ranks for FY23:
  • Angel Oak Elementary School |Charleston County School District | John’s Island
  • Beaufort Elementary School | Beaufort County School District | Beaufort
  • Hendrix Elementary IB World School | Spartanburg School District Two | Boiling Springs
Research conducted within ABC Schools have repeatedly provided evidence to the value of arts education in a student’s life. Data collected in 2018 from Gallup Organization research confirmed that South Carolina students who had access to the arts in their curriculum were more hopeful and more engaged than students who didn’t. “The Gallup research validated years of work by our agency and partners over the years,” said SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts, who was an administrator in an ABC school district at the time. “All of a sudden, we had proof of concept. It was, and still is, so gratifying.” However, ABC’s mission states, “all students in South Carolina,” so there was much more to be done. Demand has always exceeded available funding; and funding ebbs and flows throughout the years. Statewide advocates twice helped the SCAC secure $1 million funding increases specifically for the ABC Institute (2013 and 2016). Platts likes to echo da Vinci’s quote that art is never finished, though da Vinci goes on to say it is only abandoned. That  has never been the case for the ABC Institute. After conducting a yearlong internal evaluation, ABC Institute announced a restructure at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year that featured the development of the ABC School Certification program and the Arts in Basic Curriculum mobile app as the primary tool to serve a redefined ABC Network, and eventually its name change.  Then in 2021, the greatest challenge in recent memory became the greatest opportunity for arts learning initiatives.

Pandemic-related school closures introduced unprecedented learning loss to South Carolina students over two school years.

The American Rescue Plan made funding available to all states to assist in addressing any number of crises, and the SCDE was allotted $2 billion in ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding. The SCAC approached SCDE with a radical idea: we can prove arts learning increases student engagement, it is what students needs to get through this, and we can help address learning loss with arts and creativity using the ABC Institute as a key partner. Superintendent Molly Spearman agreed, and South Carolina turned heads again in June 2021: SCDE committed $20 million over three years to help the SCAC expand ABC Institute and other initiatives using key partners on the local, state, and national levels. “Having the rich history of success with ABC made it easy to sell our idea, but it was only part of the plan for what we now call Arts Grow SC,” Platts said. “It’s after-school learning. It’s summer camps. Eventually, we hope for even more, and all of it uses arts-rich learning.”

RELATED HUB CONTENT: Arts Grow SC to expand, first executive director named

ABC Institute continues to grow and innovate thanks to unprecedented funding.

The Certification designation recognizes model practices of what arts learning can be and how it contributes to student development and achievement. As Wilson explained, “ABC Certified Schools serve as a model for others. ABC Schools commit to not only their students but sharing their work for the benefit of all SC students.” Through Arts Grow SC, ABC Schools have offered themselves as ‘learning laboratories” for others to learn how to leverage the power of learning in and through the arts for accelerated learning. Thanks to the new structure, anyone can access the Arts in Basic Curriculum mobile app and connect to the ABC network. “Our peer-to-peer networking has always been a strength, and now we are putting that in the palm of a teacher’s hand.” Wilson said. From its base at Winthrop University, a team of professionals dedicated to the erstwhile “project” with a steadfast vision of equitable access to quality arts education for all students, continues its work. To learn more about ABC Institute, its programs, and opportunity to learn from its network of leadership, visit www.abcinstitutesc.org.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Arts learning job opportunities available

Arts learning is having a day in South Carolina.

Two new positions, which are at different South Carolina universities but yet related, are open and seeking qualified applicants.

CARE Project Program Manager

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 17, 2022 Back in the fall, The Hub covered the formation of a five-year case study working to improve arts learning in rural counties. Today, on behalf of the ABC Project, we share that the case study is looking for its program manager. The Community Access to the Arts in Rural Education (CARE) Project Program Manager (PM) is responsible for coordinating all CARE Project activities, documentation and grant reporting. The objective of the CARE Project, which is funded by the USDE Assistance in Arts Education grant, is to develop an arts-rich education in Allendale County School District (ACSD) schools. Toward that end, the program manager also will serve as ACSD’s Director of Visual and Performing Arts and will oversee administration of the district’s visual and performing arts programs in alignment with its mission, vision and beliefs.
Coordinates and implements all CARE Project initiatives and deliverables, including the following:
  • recruits steering committee members and potential partners for the ACSD Rural Network;
  • facilitates the strategic planning process for ACSD and its schools and assists with implementation of program initiatives;
  • contracts and secures logistics for residencies, professional development and research services; and
  • trains ACSD personnel to sustain practices beyond the CARE Project.
Additionally, the program manager is to serve as director of visual and performing arts for the ACSD in accordance with suggested responsibilities and requirements as outlined by PSAE. They will also:
  • Work extensively with the ABC Director and CARE Advisory Council to administer the CARE Project throughout ACSD.
  • Work closely with the ABC Director and Business Operations Manager to accurately report all activities and associated expenditures of the CARE Project.
The full posting for program manager is available here.

UofSC REM Center Research Associate

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 18, 2022 Interested in a higher-level view of the CARE Project and Arts Grow SC, South Carolina's landmark $20 million arts learning partnership? Check out this posting for a research associate from the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center at the University of South Carolina College of Education. The research associate will manage the evaluations of Arts Grow SC and the CARE Project. A background in the arts is a bonus but not a requirement. As the CARE Project is a deep dive mixed methods case study, researchers/evaluators with a strong capacity for understanding and responding to culture, context, and community are needed, according to a REM Center professor. Here's a little more: This Research Associate will coordinate and manage projects evaluating education initiatives in arts education, with an emphasis on rural settings. The Research Associate will plan and conduct a variety of research tasks associated with the evaluation plans, including data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Research Associate will coordinate the writing of evaluation summaries and annual reports based on mixed methods data collection and analysis. In addition, the Research Associate will assist faculty members in organizing, managing, and developing the work of graduate students. Inclusiveness and diversity are integral to the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center’s commitment to excellence. We encourage applications from candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through their work in research and evaluation. Job responsibilities include:
  • Contributes to project teams on the design and development of methods used to evaluate programs, conduct research studies, and/or support assessment projects. Participates in meetings of research teams and clients and consults with project faculty.
  • Provides leadership in the development and selection of instruments and tools for analysis of educational data. This includes developing survey items, interview and focus group protocols, and rubrics and other measures of implementation and program quality.
  • Performs and organizes data analyses including data entry, data management, statistical analysis, and qualitative coding. Uses appropriate software such as SPSSSAS, Excel, and qualitative analysis software for analyzing data. Maintains documentation of data files and analyses.
  • Responsible for data integrity and executing extensive quality assurance and confidentiality procedures. Maintains appropriate documentation.
  • Communicates with external clients regarding data collection activities. This includes scheduling meetings and planning data collection events (e.g., interviews, focus groups, site visits); collecting feedback on data collection instruments in development (e.g., surveys, implementation rubrics); obtaining data needed from clients (e.g., student assessment data, other school data); disseminating and collecting data from online systems (e.g., surveys, rubrics); and other relevant data collection.
  • Collects data in a variety of formats, including surveys (both in-person and online), web-based document sharing, focus groups, interviews, and other applicable data collection methods. Responsible for data integrity and executing extensive quality assurance and confidentiality procedures. Maintains appropriate documentation.
  • Assists one or more faculty members in organizing and managing the work of graduate students employed as Research Assistants. This includes project coordination and management, delegation of tasks to Research Assistants, review of Research Assistants’ work and providing feedback on their work, and offering professional support to develop students’ skills.
  • Writes evaluation and technical reports to summarize methods and results. Also prepares research briefs accessible to a non-technical audience. Uses MS Word, MS Excel, and other software to prepare reports, including creating tables and graphs as well as formatting reports.
  • Reviews narrative written by other team members and provides timely feedback. Schedules timelines for drafting narrative that includes appropriate time for supervisors’ review. Presents reports to clients and key stakeholders as requested.
The full posting for research associate is available here.
Image by Tracy Lundgren from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

ABC Project certifies two new schools

[caption id="attachment_48762" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A student completes a STEAM project at an ABC-certified school.[/caption]

The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is growing by two schools.

This week, Midlands Arts Conservatory and Fort Dorchester High School received ABC School Certification for exemplary efforts to provide quality, comprehensive arts education to all students. Designation as an ABC School is achieved through a rigorous certification process. “Being certified as an ABC School means your school is ready and willing to serve as a model for others across the state and across the nation,” said ABC Project Director Dr. Kim Wilson. “ABC Schools know the ‘why’ to their often unconventional and courageous choices. They can provide the pedagogical rationale, evidence and data to support those choices, and models of practice to clearly communicate the benefits of the arts to others.”
  • Midlands Arts Conservatory is Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) is a free, public charter school located in downtown Columbia. MAC students spend approximately half of the school day studying core academic courses and half their day in their chosen core fine arts course of study: dance, music (strings), theatre, or visual arts. Midlands Arts Conservatory prepares students for arts-related careers, a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and for high quality postsecondary studies. The school provides an arts-enriched personalized learning environment, integrating academic rigor and quality arts instruction for all students.
  • Fort Dorchester High School, located in North Charleston, is one of three high schools in Dorchester District Two. The high school serves a diverse student population of multicultural ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is the vision of Fort Dorchester High School is to prepare students for college and career readiness and make meaningful connections. Fort offers many programs that provide hands-on, real-world experiences: CATE (Career and Technology Education), culinary, visual arts, media arts, theatre, instrumental music, choral music, photography, and more. The Fort Dorchester High School vision is driven by these real-world experiences and the desire to foster awareness and advocacy for the arts.
All ABC Schools must have an approved three to five-year arts education strategic plan. Such commitments require grant-writing, creative partnerships, and specialized professional development. “ABC-certified schools believe that the arts are an essential component in the basic curriculum and are central to student development. Each school is unique, but all understand how to make meaningful connections to art in all aspects of life and learning, understand how an arts-rich environment inspires creativity, and the role the arts play in defining our students’ diverse cultures but defining a schools’ inclusive culture,” Wilson (right) said. The South Carolina Arts Commission makes ABC Advancement Grants available to ABC-certified schools who apply for support as they work to implement standards-based art curricula and to make the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction. This commitment is achieved through partnerships with several neighboring companies, organizations, and/or individuals to help the schools meet their vision of being an ABC Certified School. For a complete list of ABC-certified schools across the state and or to learn more about ABC Project, visit ABCProjectSC.com.
ABOUT THE ARTS IN BASIC CURRICULUM PROJECT Established in 1987, founded by the belief that all students deserve equal access to quality arts education as an essential educational promise, the ABC Project is cooperatively governed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education, and Winthrop University. ABC Project fulfills its mission through three strategic goals focused on best practices, research, and policy. Visit ABCProjectSC.com or call 803.323.2451, and follow @abcprojectsc on social media. ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.  

Jason Rapp

Arts learning partnership announces name, website


for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – “Arts Grow SC” is the name of the three-year, $20 million partnership to address pandemic-related learning loss announced in June by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE).

Arts Grow SC was established to help public schools throughout the state address pandemic related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives. Though managed by the SCAC, the program has its own logo and this week officially launched its website: https://artsgrowsc.org/. There, interested educators, parents, and other stakeholders can subscribe to its newsletter. “The South Carolina Arts Commission is extremely proud to take this next step in the life of arts education in South Carolina. ArtsGrowSC is uniting dedicated partners who have a wealth of experience in arts instruction and in integrating the arts across other instructional areas” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “Generous funding from the South Carolina Department of Education is allowing more teachers, administrators, districts, artists, and community partners to plug in to this unprecedented work than ever before.” This past spring, leadership from the SCAC proposed to assist SCDE in addressing pandemic-related learning loss with a creative pathway—rooted in innovation and evidence-based practices—that the arts are equipped to provide. Funding was requested to allow the SCAC’s team of professionals and network of partners to:
  • help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps in the arts,
  • use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,
  • and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities that leverage the arts in schools throughout the state.
The SCDE approved $20 million for the SCAC to implement its plan, now known as Arts Grow SC, over the course of the next three years. To realize its classroom-based goals, the SCAC will rely on its partners at the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, which currently serves about 44,000 students in 74 schools and has been cooperatively led for more than 30 years by the SCAC, SCDE, and Winthrop University. In addition, the SCAC will expand existing pilot projects with the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities in Greenville and Engaging Creative Minds in Charleston and will offer grant and programming opportunities for arts education providers across the state. Further information is available on ArtsGrowSC.org and by emailing info@artsgrowsc.org.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC 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, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.

Jason Rapp

Five-year case study to seek improvements in rural arts ed

The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project announced it will conduct an intensive five-year case study with the Allendale County School District to discover solutions in how to improve rural communities’ arts education offerings.

The Community Access to the Arts in Rural Education (CARE) Project, its study and resulting guidebook will be accomplished with a $2.58 million Assistance in Arts Education grant funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Set to begin in 2021, the CARE Project will include multiple strategic state and local partnerships with the goal to develop sustainable approaches that will continue beyond the 2026 grant completion date. “Rural communities require a rural network of partnerships because of their lack of resources, and the CARE Project will align, strengthen and expand community partnerships among the Allendale schools with state and local partners,” ABC Project Director Kim Wilson said. Initial commitments to the CARE Project were received from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), South Carolina Department of Education, Arts Access SC and South Carolina Educational Television. Additional state and national partners will develop based on the needs and areas of growth identified throughout the CARE Project. Margaret Gilmore, superintendent of Allendale County School District, said her district is truly excited and grateful to have been awarded the arts grant for the amazing scholars of Allendale County School District. “This funding opportunity will certainly provide access to a sustainable arts-rich learning environment for the entire school community,” she said.
Arts advocates also are pleased with this opportunity. “After many years of working in Allendale County, it’s clear that there are many people who love and care about their community and the next generation,” said Susan DuPlessis, SCAC director of community arts development.  “We are excited about ways to engage the community as this study and new practices are developed.” DuPlessis runs the SCAC's "The Art of Community: Rural SC" initiative, which works in partnership with Allendale Rural Arts Team, which is led by Lottie Lewis. “There is momentum in Allendale for building community, addressing issues and identifying assets like never before,” she said. “This new emphasis on learning through the arts within the school system will have a reciprocal effect, I believe, on the whole community—and that’s exciting for young and old.” In communities with high rates of poverty, access to the arts can be difficult, Wilson added. It takes money for art, music or dance lessons, and all too often, rural schools don’t prioritize arts education due to financial constraints. Access to the arts, however, has been found to influence student engagement and there is hope in South Carolina that the arts can be nurtured in every community.
The CARE Project’s goal is to create and share a resource guidebook based on Allendale’s experiences to empower other rural communities of persistent poverty to increase access to arts education for its students. “One of the most important outcomes will be to explore how to develop and maintain arts-rich learning environments as a pathway to equitable education,” Wilson said. “There is an urgent need to research and serve these communities, which have been continually absent from research and policy discussions, yet represent the most extreme gaps in equitable education,” she added. To communicate the grant’s significance, Wilson noted that the Palmetto state has a higher percentage of schools in rural communities than the national average and 12 of the state's 46 counties suffer from persistent poverty, meaning poverty rates have exceeded 20 percent of the population for more than 30 years. The CARE Project will provide direct arts education programs and professional development for arts educators, teachers and principals in practices that support arts-rich learning. “An arts-rich learning environment includes a combination of direct arts instruction, arts integration with other non-arts curriculum and arts experiences provided by visiting artists or cultural and community organizations,” said Wilson. The guidebook will contain instructional materials, arts-based lesson plans and other resources to engage stakeholder groups in other rural communities to replicate the promising aspects of the process developed during the CARE Project in Allendale. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said that, growing up and teaching in a rural community, she has seen firsthand the disparities that still exist in South Carolina. “Students in rural schools deserve the same opportunities afforded to their peers in more affluent areas,” Spearman said. “I commend the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project for its pursuit and receipt of this funding that will help us establish innovative solutions for bringing access to arts-based education to all students in South Carolina. I look forward to seeing this work in Allendale and learning how we may replicate their successes across our state.”

Jason Rapp

Arts-forward school district superintendent honored

Green earns Superintendent of the Year title

The South Carolina Arts Commission congratulates Dr. J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County School district, for being named the 2021 South Carolina School Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Dr. J.R. Green headshotHis district is one of seven to receive the new, $18,000 District Arts Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Within the district are two schools that are Arts in Basic Curriculum Project sites: Fairfield Central High School and Kelly Miller Elementary School. ABC Project sites first apply for the Arts in Basic Curriculum grant from the SCAC. If approved, they receive the grant and acceptance into the program, which is a partnership among the SCAC, South Carolina Dept. of Education, and Winthrop University.

Bonus #content: A list of FY21 grant award recipients is available here.

ALL4SC (website) has more on Green here:

Dr. J.R. Green understands more than most the need to transform education outside of schoolhouse walls. As the superintendent of the Fairfield County School District, Green’s mission is to work with and inspire young people while providing them with an education that forms the foundation of their future.

In recognition of his leadership, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators  recently named Green the 2021 South Carolina School Superintendent of the Year. SCASA gives the award annually to a district superintendent as a component of the National Superintendent of the Year program of the American Association of School Administrators.

William Frick, chair of the Fairfield County School Board, has had the opportunity to observe Green’s leadership as an educator and community builder. “Dr. Green talked about having a ‘culture change’ in the Fairfield County School District,” said Frick. “Our students graduate with two years of college as they graduate from high school, overall test scores are improving, and financially we are operating with a balanced budget.”

ALL4SC is partnering with the Fairfield County School District in a pilot project to begin prototyping a model for the transformation of education in South Carolina and the nation.

“J.R. is the quintessential exemplary school superintendent — leading with his values what matters most for children as well as leading by listening to and learning from others,” notes Barnett Berry, research professor and founding director of ALL4SC at the UofSC.

Green works closely with many education leaders, like ALL4SC, to increase academic and economic opportunity for his students and the overall community. “If we are really being forward thinking, we recognize that in order to change the trajectory of young people’s lives, we have to address more than what happens within the schoolhouse walls,” noted Green when asked about the need to address out-of-school factors in South Carolina. These opportunities are significant in accelerating advancement in his school community, as 90 percent of Fairfield County School District students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

A product of two parents who instilled the value of education in him, Green spent several years in education administration before becoming FCSD superintendent in 2012. He received his doctorate degree, two master's degrees and a bachelor’s degree from the UofSC. He currently serves on the State Board of Education and is a member of the Providence Health Board of Trustees and a director for the Midlands Education and Business Alliance.

Jason Rapp

Arts Education Partnership report lauds ABC Project in S.C.

AEP report 'reflects back and projects forward'

Over 25 years ago, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts partnered with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Council of Chief State School Officers to create the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to ensure that all students have equitable access to an excellent arts education.​ - AEP report

A new report from AEP takes a long look at the genesis of the partnership. While it's no surprise to those involved in the work, casual readers might be surprised to know that South Carolina and a few South Carolinians at the right place at the right time figured mightily in how everything came together on a national level. In a Part 2 of the report, former SCAC Executive Director Scott Shanklin-Peterson and Dr. Terry Peterson recount work with Dick Riley in Columbia as governor and Washington as President Clinton's education secretary to get the arts included in sweeping educational reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is extremely proud of the ongoing work of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a national model for integrating the arts into K-12 curriculum discussed at length in the AEP report. Together with the South Carolina Dept. of Education and the Winthrop University College of Visual and Performing Arts, the ABC Project continues serving the Palmetto State 31 years after starting and 33 years after the SCAC received a $20,000 Arts in Schools Basic Education planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop the it. Read the full report here.

Jason Rapp

‘Learning Why’ provides S.C. quality arts ed lessons

Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, SCETV partner for students

A collaboration between the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project (ABC) Project and SCETV is thrilled to highlight great teachers through the in-state television network's "LearningWhy." 

The partnership stems from a singular belief: all students in South Carolina deserve a quality arts education. Through the generosity of great teachers like Elise Helms sharing great lessons, that goal is possible. ABC Project’s mission is to provide leadership to achieve quality arts education for all students. For the past 32 years, ABC Project has worked with schools and districts across the state to invest resources in teacher professionalism to design and create standards-based, quality arts and arts-integrated lessons. As a part of this investment and mission, ABC Project has aimed to collect and publish exemplary lessons that can be shared across the state. Through the partnership with SCETV "LearningWhy," lesson plans are reviewed by content specialists within ABC's network, and then vetted by SCETV for publication. The lessons submitted are from South Carolina Arts Commission ABC Advancement grant applicants who received a top score on a submitted lesson. This year, ABC Project had one teacher who was published. Veteran music teacher Elise Helms’ music lesson, "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," is the culminating lesson on how music can help tell a story. This 2nd-grade lesson asks students to contemplate the question, “how can we use instrument sounds to enhance our storytelling?” Helms’ lesson skillfully combines the use of various classroom percussion instruments along with The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen to guide students as they explore both storytelling and instrumental music. To check out "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," along with other great one-to-one lessons, you can visit www.learningwhy.org. The ABC Project is a long-standing partnership among the South Carolina Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Dept. of Education.
Helms, a 33-year veteran elementary music educator who has made music education her life's work, feels passionately about the arts being a part of every child's elementary school experience and beyond. Currently, at AC Moore Elementary School in Columbia (Richland One School District), she taught at Irmo Elementary (District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties), where she was chosen Teacher of the Year in 2003. Among her many leadership contributions, she served as lead teacher for District 5 Elementary Music teachers, president of the Elementary Division of South Carolina Music Educators Association, and coach for the Curriculum Leadership Institute for the Arts. She is the co-founder of the District 5 Elementary Honor Choir which was chosen to participate in the Celebration of States in Washington for two different years. Helms earned a bachelor's of music education from Newberry College and a master's in education in administration from the UofSC.

Jason Rapp

Live from an arts school

Today only!

Our future is in good hands!

Today is all about Arts Education, because the arts are alive in South Carolina schools! Hear from the students and schools benefiting from the arts. Today, the South Carolina Arts Alliance is teaming up with our friends at the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project to bring you a series of Facebook Live events held around the state by various schools who have received ABC Advancement Grants and who place value on the arts in their school day. Click here to see the schedule, and tune to each school's Facebook page to catch it all live.

About the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. ABC Grants currently provide quality arts education to 170,730 students at 84 sites throughout the state, enabled by Education Improvement Act Funds approved by the General Assembly, and administered by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Unfortunately, as demand for grants and services continues to grow, no new applications are being accepted due to insufficient funding. This year, we are requesting a $500,000 increase in EIA/SCAC funding to increase the ABC Project's impact.
GP McLeer is executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

GP McLeer

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Jan. 13

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. Because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) grant!"

We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.

This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

Next week

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes