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Get your community on the same page! NEA Big Read grants available

Application deadline: January 27, 2016 Libraries, museums, colleges and arts groups take note: the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations (and divisions of state, local, or tribal government) to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2016 and June 2017. NEA Big Read is a national program that broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Two new titles have been added to the Big Read list this year: Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan and Tayari Jones’s Silver Sparrow. Organizations selected to participate in the program receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. Funding ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. Applicant organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include organizations such as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, arts centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, humanities councils, literary festivals, and arts organizations. Note: K–12 schools, school districts, boards of education, or other school governing bodies, whether public or private, are not eligible applicants, but may partner with eligible applicants. The Beaufort County Library is South Carolina's only current Big Read grantee. Check out the library's upcoming Big Read programs for more information about the types of activities your organization could offer. Visit the Big Read website for more information. Questions? Call Arts Midwest at (612) 238.8010 or email neabigread@artsmidwest.org.

Beaufort Gullah Geechee artist workshop postponed

The "Promoting Your Gullah Geechee Art Form" workshop scheduled for Nov. 17 at the St. Helena Library has been canceled. The meeting will be rescheduled after the holidays. The December 8 workshop in Georgetown is still on. Read more about it here.

DATE CHANGE: Gullah Geechee artists free marketing workshop

The “Promoting your Gullah Geechee Art Form” originally scheduled for Nov. 10 in Georgetown has been changed to Dec. 8 at the same time and location. Read the original post about the workshops here.  

DATE CHANGE: Gullah Geechee artists invited to free marketing workshop

PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE: The meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 10 has been rescheduled for Dec. 8 at the same time and location. The South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with  local libraries, will present the second and third of three professional development workshops, Promoting your Gullah Geechee Art Form. The workshops will help Gullah Geechee artists create support materials necessary to promote their art work.

Dates and locations:

Both workshops run from 6 – 9 p.m. and are offered free of charge. Space for each workshop is limited to the first 30 registrants. To register for either workshop, artists should call (803) 734-8693 or email sduplessis@arts.sc.gov  and provide workshop location, name, phone number and email address.

"The workshops are especially designed for Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the cultural expressions outlined in the Gullah Geechee Corridor’s management plan,” said Ken May, South Carolina Arts Commission executive director. Those areas include music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development. The development of these workshops began after a series of community arts meetings in 2013, where the Arts Commission, in partnership with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, heard from more than 80 artists and community residents in the Corridor. “Our ongoing goal is to make new relationships that bring new resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond,” May said. “This series of workshops for Gullah Geechee artists will hopefully provide a template for replication in the four-state corridor.” The other states in the Corridor are North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. “We are also pleased to present these workshops in partnership with local libraries, which serve as essential community resources,” May said. The first workshop was held Sept. 30 at the Mt. Pleasant Branch of the Charleston County Library. All three workshops will be led by Charleston native Kerri Forrest, award-winning journalist and owner of Social Creative Media Consulting. Active in the Charleston region since her return from a distinguished career in Washington, D.C., in 2010, Forrest currently is director of Institutional Advancement for the American College of the Building Arts. She also chairs the speaker selection committee for TEDx Charleston. Other artists and local arts leaders will also participate. For additional information about the program and future meetings, contact Arts Participation Program Director Susan DuPlessis, sduplessis@arts.sc.gov or (803) 734-8693. Images, left to right: cane maker Thomas Williams (photo by Randall Hill); ironworker Carlton Simmons About the South Carolina Arts Commission The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. About the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was designated a national heritage area by Congress on Oct. 12, 2006. The Corridor was created to recognize contributions made to American culture and history by African Americans known as Gullah Geechee, who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida; to assist organizations in the four states in interpreting and preserving Gullah Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music; and to assist in identifying and preserving Gullah Geechee sites, historical data and artifacts for the benefit and education of the public. South Carolina’s Gullah Geechee Corridor includes the eight coastal counties of Horry, Georgetown, Berkeley, Charleston , Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper, as well as parts of three inland counties: Marion, Williamsburg, and Hampton. For more information, visit www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org.