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Who’s-who of female #SCartists headline new project

Home-grown historic women to be honored by home-grown talent

[caption id="attachment_40815" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt for The Supper Table.[/caption]
The Jasper Project announced its most ambitious multidisciplinary arts project to date – The Supper Table – enlisting the talents of more than 50 of South Carolina’s most outstanding women artists from the fields of visual, literary, theatrical arts, and film. An homage to Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist art installation, The Dinner Party, and using Chicago’s project as a loose model, Jasper Project Executive Director Cindi Boiter conceived of The Supper Table as an innovative way of honoring some of South Carolina's largely un-celebrated, yet groundbreaking women in history. After consulting with experts like Marjorie Spruill, professor emeritus in women’s history at the University of South Carolina, Boiter selected 12 historic South Carolina women who, via their work in the arts, medicine, law, business, athletics, entertainment, and more, changed the course of human history. Using the model created by Chicago, Boiter commissioned Richland Library Maker Coordinator Jordan Morris to create a 12’ x 12’ x 12’ wooden table at which visual artists would create place-settings inspired by and honoring the historic women. In addition to the 12 visual artists, a dozen artists each from the literary, theatrical arts, and film were also invited to participate. The result is a multidisciplinary arts installation and performance which will premiere in September along with the release of:
  • a book Setting The Supper Table,
  • the premiere of a series of 12 looped 90-second films,
  • a staged oration by 12 women actors based on essays written by 12 literary artists,
  • and, of course, the installation of the table itself, complete with 12 place-settings.
Funded in part by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation, The Supper Table premiere begins Friday, Sept. 6 at Trustus Theatre with a celebration, performance, and panel presentation before moving Sunday, Sept. 8 to Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College for another premiere celebration and the installation of The Supper Table, complete with films and a collection of 12 original portraits of the honored women created by Artfields People’s Choice winner Kirkland Smith. After, it will travel to other venues in the state throughout 2020. In addition to the hand-crafted table with artisanal place-settings, the books, looped films, and portraits, the installation will also include three walls comprised of 120 hand-embossed tiles, each celebrating an additional history-making woman from South Carolina, some living and some deceased, called an "Array of Remarkable SC Women." These tiles were hand-painted this past spring by women and girls from the state's Midlands region. The women honored at The Supper Table range from indigo entrepreneur Eliza Lucas Pinckney to college founders Mary McLeod Bethune and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright to ground-breaking law professor Sarah Leverette, who died last August. The honored subjects also include Alice Childress, Septima Clark, Matilda Evans, Althea Gibson, Angeline and Sarah Grimke, Eartha Kitt, Julia Peterkin, and Modjeska Monteith Simkins. Eight of the 12 place-settings are devoted to women of color. Visual artists involved include Michaela Pilar Brown, Mana Hewitt, Eileen Blyth, Laurie Brownell McIntosh, Olga Yukhno, Flavia Lovatelli, Bohumila Augustinova, Lori Isom, Renee Roullier, Tonya Gregg, B. A. Hohman, and Heidi Darr-Hope. Jordan Morris created the actual table and Kathryn Van Aernum is the official photographer. The city of Columbia’s Brenda Oliver assisted with tiles along with Diane Hare. Literary artists include South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, Eva Moore, Claudia Smith Brinson, Carla Damron, Candace Wiley, Christina Xan, Qiana Whitted, Meeghan Kane, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Jennifer Bartell. Boiter is also writing an introductory essay for the book. Film artists include Emmy award-winning filmmaker Betsy Newman, Laura Kissel, Roni Nicole, Faye Riley, Katly Hong, Ebony Wilson, Jordan Mullen, Steffi Brink, Carleen Maur, Lee Ann Kornegay, Lillian Burke, and Tamara Finkbeiner with Josetra Robinson. Kornegay is also creating The Making of the Supper Table, a full-length film that will premiere in spring 2020. Indie Grits Lab’s Mahkia Greene is overseeing the filmmakers. Vicky Saye Henderson is overseeing the casting and directing of the theatrical artists.
For more information about The Supper Table,visit its Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thejasperproject/the-supper-table.

SC Arts Commissioner receives Governor’s Award in the Humanities

South Carolina Arts Commissioner, activist and filmmaker Charles T. "Bud" Ferillo Jr. was honored Oct. 20 by South Carolina Humanities with a Governor's Award in the Humanities. ferillobudFerillo's leadership on behalf of public education and civil rights make him one of South Carolina’s top advocates for social justice. In 1970, at age 24, he managed Congressman Jim Clyburn’s first political campaign and, the same year, led the floor fight to delete a school segregation plank from the State Democratic Party’s Platform at its state convention, which historian Jack Bass called the “high water mark of segregationist politics in the South Carolina Democratic Party.” Ferillo served as Chief of Staff to two Speakers of the House and Deputy Lieutenant Governor in Governor Dick Riley’s second Administration, helping to draft and pass the 1984 Education Improvement Act. Ferillo’s 2005 documentary, Corridor of Shame, won six national awards for documentary filmmaking and drew international media attention to the problems of education among our poorest school districts. A Vietnam veteran, senior member of the S.C. Arts Commission, and filmmaker, he now coordinates the South Carolina Collaborative for Race and Reconciliation at the University of South Carolina. Bud Ferillo is never on the sidelines, but can always be found in the front ranks of civic engagement and visionary leadership in South Carolina. Also receiving awards were Betsy Newman, an award-winning documentary and web content producer for South Carolina ETV, and the late John Stringer Rainey, (posthumous award) an attorney and political and philanthropic fundraiser from Camden. newmanbetsy Newman is a documentary producer and web content developer for South Carolina ETV, specializing in making programs on the history and culture of South Carolina. To date she has produced 12 documentaries about the Palmetto State. A South Carolina native, Newman worked for many years in New York City as an independent producer and media educator. She is currently the project director of Between the Waters, a virtual tour/interactive website about Hobcaw Barony, funded by NEH and South Carolina Humanities. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and is the recipient of a CINE Golden Eagle. Her documentary, “The Education of Harvey Gantt,” screened in July 2016 at the March on Washington Film Festival at the National Museum of American History. raineyjohnRainey (1941-2015), late of Camden, S.C. but a native of Anderson, S.C., was a practicing attorney who also served as chairman of the board of Greenville-based Easlan Capital, Inc., a real estate development firm. He was also active in other business and in civic and political affairs. He served on and chaired a variety of boards, including the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors, the Palmetto Economic Development Corporation, National Wildlife Federation Endowment, Brookgreen Gardens, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, among many others. He was a trustee of the ETV Endowment of South Carolina for more than 20 years and served as both President and Chairman. Rainey was the executive producer of several documentary films, including Corridor of Shame and South Carolinians in WWII. He has received many honors and awards, such as The Order of the Palmetto and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Conservationist of the Year. By Presidential appointment, he was a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point. A 1962 graduate of the University of Virginia, (BA in History), where he also was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Army ROTC, he also held law degrees from the University of South Carolina (JD, 1965) and Georgetown University (LLM in Taxation, 1969). Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in community-based programs that promote public understanding of ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs. From 1991-2015, 71 awards have been presented. S.C. Humanities is completing its 43rd year as the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more about the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities and to see a list of the previous 71 recipients, visit South Carolina Humanities website.