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Anthony Quinn Foundation offers scholarships for high school students interested in the arts

  1. CONSENT FORM DEADLINE: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
  2. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, January 6, 2023

The Anthony Quinn Foundation announces the opening of the application period for the 2023 Scholarship Program.

Modeled after the personal experience of Anthony Quinn, the scholarship program distributes funds for high school students interested in the arts who wish to attend a pre-college, or summer intensive arts education program. Students from around the world are invited to apply and must be enrolled in high school or officially registered as a home-schooled high school student. Applications are reviewed by a panel of judges, all professional artists or art educators and independent of the foundation’s board of directors. Each applicant must provide a recommendation from a teacher, advisor, or other adult outside the applicant’s family, as well as a parent/guardian consent form by Wednesday, November 30, 2022. A completed application, personal statement, and work samples must be submitted by Friday, January 6, 2023. Winners are selected based on a list of criteria developed using the highest standards of excellence and integrity. The criteria incorporate elements of talent, personal dedication, and financial need. Winners will be notified by April 17, 2023. To learn more about the program and our past scholarship winners, visit https://aqfoundation.org/scholarships.

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Applications open for tuition-free, arts-immersive S.C. high school

SCGSAH also offers junior high programming

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 13, 2023 (residential high school)

The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a public, residential high school for artistically talented students, is now accepting applications for the 2023/2024 school year and arts-immersive, overnight summer programs.

All South Carolina residents in grades 6-11 are eligible to apply online at SCGSAH.org. Students who enjoy creative writing, drama, music and visual arts can explore their interests in the one-week Arts Odyssey program for current 7th and 8th graders. The Arts Odyssey music program is offering new specialty sessions including Ensemble Immersion workshops, Solo Intensives, Jazz Improvisation and Songwriting and Composition. Current ninth-grade students who desire a more intensive, pre-professional experience can attend the two-week Academy program. This summer, the Governor’s School is also offering a new two-week program, Introduction to Filmmaking, for 7th and 8th-grade students with an interest in screenwriting and film production. Students interested in dance can attend the two-week Dance Immersion program or the five-week Summer Dance intensive program. In the nationally renowned, tuition-free, Residential High School, students receive pre-professional training in creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. They explore and refine their talents in a one-of-a-kind, arts-centered community while receiving a high school education that has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Niche. The Governor’s School’s SAT and ACT scores consistently rank above state and national averages, and many students receive arts and academic scholarships to the most prestigious colleges, universities and conservatories. The reviews and rankings site, Niche.com, ranked the Governor’s School as the third “Best College Prep High School” and the fourth “Best Public High School” in South Carolina. Interested students can apply online at SCGSAH.org.
  • The priority deadline for Arts Odyssey, Dance Immersion and Introduction to Filmmaking is December 19.
  • The priority deadline for Academy, Summer Dance and the Residential High School is January 13, 2023.
Applications will still be received after these deadlines until all openings are filled. Financial assistance is available for all programs through the Governor’s School Foundation. The Governor’s School invites all interested families to come to campus in downtown Greenville for Go Govie! Day on November 5 to learn more about their programs and explore the specialized arts studios, state-of-the-art performance halls, world-class library and dedicated rehearsal spaces. Register at SCGSAH.org/go-govie-day.
Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org | Follow @SCGSAH on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Assessing arts-integrated lessons: a webinar

Tools so teaching artists don't lose sleep

So, you've done what it takes to establish yourself as a teaching artist.

[caption id="attachment_49234" align="alignright" width="175"]Promo photo of Jef Lambdin juggling and wearing a red clown nose. Jef Lambdin, photo by George Loudon.[/caption] Through the Art Grow SC webinar series...
  • You got the nuts and bolts of it.
  • You drilled down on the 2017 South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards in Teaching Artistry.
  • You marketed yourself.
  • You landed a residency or other engagement.
How do you know it's all working?  Authentically assessing an integrated lesson can be a challenge to teaching artists. How do you know when your students know, or can do, what you taught them? Don't lose sleep. Round 4 of the #ArtsGrowSC webinar series “Being a Teaching Artist” can help. During this afternoon webinar, we will examine the very best assessment resources for you as a teaching artist: from rubrics to checklists to ideas and more in order to implement authentic arts integration assessments with ease. Facilitator and teaching artist Jef Lambdin returns to walk you through it.
  • Webinar 4: Assessing Arts-Integrated Lessons Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022: 4-5:30 p.m.
Further topics include how to persist through roadblocks and how to make sure your message is consistent, a critical brand element. Click here to register now via Zoom. | Connect with this event on Facebook.
The "Being a Teaching Artist" series is a free resource from the South Carolina Arts Commission and Arts Grow SC.

Jason Rapp

Arts Grow SC partner uses drama techniques to motivate young readers

Spark is presented by the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities

Elementary school students struggling to meet reading benchmarks in will now have additional support thanks to a three-year, Arts Grow SC grant of $3.7 million to expand an arts education program called Spark.

Administered by the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, this regional outreach program uses drama strategies to improve reading engagement and motivation, as well as creative and divergent thinking among students. Spark’s teaching artists will work with students in Calhoun, Florence, Richland, and Williamsburg counties throughout the school year. Additional schools will be added over the next two years as the program progresses. “Hundreds of third grade students are identified through Read to Succeed each year as being in need of additional support,” said Carol Baker, director of outreach and community engagement at the Governor’s School. “We know that meaningful connections are made for children when they learn through the arts, and the unique relationship between drama, storytelling and reading is showing promising trends in our research.” In 2018, the school partnered with the South Carolina Arts Commission and University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance to examine the potential impact that the Spark drama curriculum had on reading motivation and success for young children. The program was piloted in Williamsburg County as a summer camp for at-risk readers through the state-mandated Read to Succeed Act. Based on encouraging early trends, within three years Spark had expanded into Jasper County and received national recognition with the Research Initiative-Institution Award from Arts Schools Network. Through Spark, actor-teachers empower students to bring stories and characters to life using basic acting tools. “When students can use their imaginations to create movements, gestures, voices and settings, books become more than just words and images on a page. They become a lived experience that students can connect with on a personal and emotional level,” explained Baker. The Governor’s School hired multiple theatre teaching artists to coordinate curriculum and provide long term drama residencies in select schools throughout South Carolina. These actor-teachers will provide partnering schools with classroom and group drama services that include co-teaching and arts integration experiences. Spark will also provide guest artist visits, performances, and professional learning opportunities for teachers, along with continued support for summer Read to Succeed camps. There are no costs to partnering schools or school districts for participating in Spark. With this recent grant, Spark is now supported by Arts Grow SC, which is funded by the SCAC and the South Carolina Department of Education through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. “While I am not surprised by the positive impact Spark is having on students, I am overjoyed to see the support and acknowledgement that this program has received from participating school districts, the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Arts Commission, and we are very grateful for that,” said Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “It is through these kinds of strategic funding partnerships that we have the best chance to reach students in a meaningful way.” According to Baker, “With these funds Spark will evolve and grow exponentially—from serving only summer camp students to serving students year-round, expanding over three years to reach up to 30 schools. We will also have an opportunity to work with younger students to intervene at an earlier age, which is important for long term success. We are incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity through Arts Grow SC.” Learn more about the Spark program and employment opportunities at https://www.scgsah.org/spark.
About South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

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Marketing your teaching artist business

Building a business by marketing your teaching artistry

[caption id="attachment_49234" align="alignright" width="175"]Promo photo of Jef Lambdin juggling and wearing a red clown nose. Jef Lambdin, photo by George Loudon.[/caption]

If you are or want to be a teaching artist, how do you get the word out and get residencies at schools?

Round 3 of the new #ArtsGrowSC webinar series “Being a Teaching Artist” can help. During this afternoon webinar, you'll learn to craft your message to get noticed by the right people. Facilitator and teaching artist Jef Lambdin will examine how to communicate your talents, identify target audiences, set achievable business goals and more.
  • Webinar 3: Marketing Your Teaching Artistry Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022: 4-5:30 p.m.
Further topics include how to persist through roadblocks and how to make sure your message is consistent, a critical brand element. Click here to register now via Zoom. | Connect with this event on Facebook here.
The "Being a Teaching Artist" series is a free resource from the South Carolina Arts Commission and Arts Grow SC.

Jason Rapp

Summerville Orchestra seeks leader for new education initiative

S.O. Youth Orchestra Conductor/Education Coordinator

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The Summerville Orchestra announced efforts to collaborate with the education community, specifically through the creation of a brand-new, youth string orchestra program, music advocacy initiatives, and mentorship opportunities.

In line with the S.O.’s strategic goals to promote and enhance music education in our area, the Summerville Orchestra seeks a dynamic, energetic, passionate, and dedicated musician/educator/conductor to lead this new education initiative. A priority on the S.O. 's strategic plan is to create a youth string orchestra to enhance our young citizens’ love of music, while also promoting their musical growth and development. This new ensemble will be composed of students from grades 6-10 from the surrounding areas outlined below. It will directly strengthen, reinforce, and enhance the string pedagogy of our local school districts and teachers from the private, public-school districts, and home-school communities of the Summerville area. These include, but are not limited to, Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties. The opportunity to participate in the ensemble will be offered at no cost to students or their families. The ideal candidate will be a passionate self-starter with a demonstrated record of success leading youth ensemble(s). The director will be directly responsible for the growth of this ensemble, including all recruitment and retention of young musicians, and leading them in weekly rehearsals in preparation for the ensemble’s three yearly concerts. In addition, the S.O. aims to engage 3rd-5th grade students directly in the classroom to help them get into their middle school and high school music classes. The ideal candidate will be able to craft fun and engaging 30-45-minute music lessons for students. We envision the ideal candidate working closely with the surrounding school districts and homeschool communities to create opportunities to get students in front of music. Finally, the S.O. wishes to enhance the community by creating opportunities for high school students who wish to pursue music post K-12 education. The ideal candidate will work with the student’s music teacher as well as local colleges to enhance and broaden the musical opportunities students have access to.

Salary

  • Part-time employment equal to: .5 time (or, 20 hours per week)
  • Compensation: $20,000/yr.
Candidates are encouraged to expand their work as necessary to meet the needs of their lifestyle, but not to exceed their abilities within the orchestra. Summerville has a vibrant cultural and music scene, and is located just outside of Charleston, a music hub of the southeast. Opportunities such as private lessons, wedding performances, additional orchestral performances, and summer camps are very easy to take hold of to provide additional necessary means. As part of a compensation package, candidates will also be eligible to apply for professional development through the Summerville Orchestra and Dorchester District 2, and interested candidates may seek private conducting lessons and training with Music Director Wojciech Milewski. The Summerville Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws.

Qualifications

  • Youth orchestra directorship experience strongly preferred
  • Orchestral, instrumental or string ensemble conducting, and rehearsal experience required
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree (or higher) preferred
  • Vast experience with string instruments and pedagogy, including a successful performance history
  • A proven record of success with ensembles and orchestra
  • All candidates will have a background check passed through SLED for both the orchestra and the school districts.
  • Note: A teaching certification in South Carolina is NOT required

Responsibilities

Youth Orchestra

  • Create a positive, welcoming, and inviting atmosphere in all youth orchestra events, such as rehearsals and performances, to foster camaraderie and love of music
  • Programming appropriate repertoire for the group based on instrumentation, level, size of group, etc.
  • Recruit, retain and grow string orchestra through network of Dorchester, Berkeley, Charleston County school districts, home-school communities, private and religious school districts, and more
  • Hold auditions and create appropriate seating charts
  • Lead weekly ensemble rehearsals
  • Lead the youth orchestra in 3 yearly performances to coincide with the school year and SO season.
  • Report directly to S.O. Music Director Wojciech Milewski

Music Advocate/School Specialist

  • Work with local elementary school music teachers/ homeschool communities to create a fun engaging seminar for students to want to join orchestra in middle school
  • Work with local middle school orchestra teachers and provide help with sectionals, additional help, or as a step-in/guest conductor.
  • Mentor local high school orchestra teachers to create a plan for students who wish to major or minor in music.
  • Assisting as needed with S.O. music director (not to exceed maximum work time)
  • Act as cover conductor for all S.O. performances, in collaboration with Music Director Wojciech Milewski
  • Assisting with set up and tear down for S.O. rehearsals and performances when necessary

S.O. Logistical Support

To aid in the success of the program, the Summerville Orchestra will be responsible for:
  • securing venues for performances and rehearsals, including chairs, stands.
  • providing sheet music as requested by Youth Orchestra Conductor/Education Coordinator
  • support committee of teachers from private, home-school and public sectors to aid in recruitment, mentorship, and strategy
  • providing clinician support for coaching, sectionals, and more to enhance offerings for students.

Application Process

Please submit the following materials to the Summerville Orchestra at apply@summervilleorchestra.org no later than 11:59 p.m. ET, Sunday, August 7, 2022. In the subject line, please be sure to include “SOYSO Conductor/Education Coordinator Application – Your Name” Resumé or CV, specifically outlining previous teaching and performance experience
  • Cover letter expressing your desire to lead and grow this pilot program As part of your cover letter, please include a one-two paragraph view point on your pedagogical ideas
  • 2-4 conducting clips; at least 1 clip to show teaching and/or rehearsal technique with string students
    • Clips not to exceed 3 minutes in length; do not include more than 4 clips
    • Clips can be uploaded either via email or through YouTube links
  • 3-5 references
Finalists will be notified no later than EOB Monday, Aug. 8,  2022. Final interviews will be conducted Aug. 15, 2022 (preferably in-person, in Summerville, South Carolina). Start date for this position is Sept. 1, 2022.

About the Summerville Orchestra

Made up of musicians from Summerville and surrounding communities, the Summerville Orchestra was founded by a small group of musicians to play orchestral music for the pure joy of it. Some were professionals, others were amateurs; all were volunteers, including the director, George Frink, of Charleston. In 2005, Alexander Agrest was named music director, a position he held until 2015. After an international search, Wojciech Milewski was chosen as music director in July 2016. Today, the Summerville Orchestra is a thriving orchestra, playing to sold out houses at the Summers Corner Performing Arts Center, offering diverse and innovative programming options, and continuously cultivating community relations. The orchestra offers several outreach series in the Summerville area and maintains strong relationships with several community partners.

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Partnership allows S.C. summer camps to engage with the arts

[caption id="attachment_50611" align="aligncenter" width="799"]Children seated at a low table painting landscapes in a classroom. Florence County students paint landscapes thanks to the Ignite program.[/caption]

Students in summer camps across South Carolina are engaging with the arts thanks to a partnership between the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance.

These arts experiences, offered through the Governor’s School’s Ignite program, are designed to “fire up a passion for the arts” and encourage students to think like artists. [caption id="attachment_50612" align="alignright" width="300"] Paper weaving in Clarendon County.[/caption] In the Ignite program, students participate in a variety of hands-on music and visual arts activities, ranging from beat-making using simple music production software to paper weaving and bookmaking. Teaching artists guide them as they explore capacities, processes, questions, and themes through multiple art forms. “Through this partnership with the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, we are able to bring arts experiences to thousands of students attending these essential summer programs that keep students engaged in learning beyond the school year,” said Carol Baker, director of outreach at the Governor’s School. “We are confident Ignite will enrich children’s lives and spark their creativity through this unique arts programming this summer, which is what the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance is all about,” said Zelda Waymer, president and CEO of SCAA. “We’re proud to support it and look forward to witnessing the impact it will have for many South Carolina students.” Through the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance’s vast network, students in Charleston, Chester, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Hampton, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Richland, and Spartanburg County will have to opportunity to participate in the Ignite program.

About the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

About the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance

South Carolina Afterschool Alliance (SCAA) is a partnership among state government agencies, municipal leaders, foundations, higher education, business leaders, the arts community, local school districts, after school program providers and other critical stakeholders joining together to form a supportive statewide network for after-school and summer learning programs. SCAA works with its partners to raise awareness, increase sustainability, and promote the importance of quality afterschool programs. For more information, please visit http://scafterschool.com/. To learn how your program or summer camp can join the S.C. Afterschool Alliance network, visit http://www.scafterschool.com/join-today.

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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

Arts Grow SC to expand, first executive director named

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A woman is smiling, Headline reads "Breaking News"

The South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Department of Education announce the expansion of Arts Grow SC as a permanent fixture in the state’s arts learning landscape.

Arts Grow SC began in July 2021 as a three-year partnership between the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Arts Commission to use ARP ESSER funds to help public schools address pandemic-related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives. This landmark investment of $20 million allows a professional team and a network of partners to help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps, use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,​ and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities.​ This newly announced expansion establishes Arts Grow SC as a permanent part of the arts learning community. It will utilize a collective impact model, with the SCAC serving as the backbone for the work. This approach brings greater sustainability: building on the strengths of the SCDE, the SCAC, partnering organizations, schools, and districts. The collective impact model will activate existing education consortiums, shared-resource school districts, and newly identified hubs in areas not currently being served. These hubs will enable statewide programs and services. The flagship physical location for a more permanent Arts Grow SC will be the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation, located in Columbia at 1026 Sumter Street. Named for former music teacher and current state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, the Spearman Center will provide:
  • direct programs
  • professional learning
  • events
  • resource distribution
  • exhibitions
SCAC Deputy Director Ashley Brown has been appointed executive director of Arts Grow SC and the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation. Brown has served throughout the Southeast as a nonprofit and higher education administrator, public school teacher, stage manager, teaching artist, and director. She received her bachelor of arts in theatre from Winthrop University and her Master of Fine Art in theatre management from Florida State University.
Current Arts Grow SC partners include:
  • the Arts in Basic Curriculum Institute;
  • Engaging Creative Minds;
  • S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities;
  • ArtsNOW;
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Crescent Region;
  • S.C. Educational Television;
  • S.C. Arts Alliance;
  • Palmetto State Arts Education;
  • Education Commission of the States/Arts Education Partnerships;
  • and the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center at the University of South Carolina. 
“In just a year we have rallied a statewide network to use the arts to address COVID-19 related learning loss. Using a collective impact model, Arts Grow SC and the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation will work to ensure every student in South Carolina has access to quality arts education and experiences," Brown said. "I can’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of Superintendent Spearman and all she has done for the arts in South Carolina.” “I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that the arts can have on student engagement and academic achievement,” Spearman remarked. “Throughout my career in public education, I have strived to bring these opportunities to all students across our state and am so honored that the South Carolina Arts Commission has chosen to name this center after me. I look forward to seeing the innovative practices and programs that this center will grow and support.” “This is an exciting time for the arts in South Carolina,” said SCAC Executive Director David Platts. “Building on the strong foundation of existing partnerships across the state, Arts Grow SC stands as a model of how we, as state agencies, can work together with local consortia, organizations and school districts to help students most directly impacted by COVID recover and position themselves for future academic success.  I can think of no more fitting tribute to Superintendent Spearman, whose life and career have been dedicated to turning challenges into opportunities in order to better serve students from all over South Carolina.”
While Arts Grow SC programs, grants, and professional learning opportunities are already taking place, the SCAC hopes to site work on the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation in the coming year. To learn more about Arts Grow SC, visit ArtsGrowSC.org.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Margot Lane Strasburger

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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