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S.C. Arts Commission to present four Governor’s Awards for the Arts in 2022

for immediate release COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is happy to announce four recipients who are to be honored in 2022 with South Carolina’s highest award for exceptional achievement in practicing or supporting the arts. The SCAC presents the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts annually each spring. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. In 2022, the SCAC board approved the recommendations of the following honorees from their respective categories to be recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:

  • ARTIST: Darion McCloud, Columbia
  • INDIVIDUAL: Ed Madden, Columbia
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Carrie Ann Power, Aiken
  • ORGANIZATION: One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia

BONUS CONTENT: 2022 Governor's Awards for the Arts recipient reveal video


"Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They give of themselves to ensure access to the arts for all,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “By presenting them the Governor’s Award, we celebrate their achievements and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture throughout South Carolina.” “This class of Governor’s Award recipients is notable for the ways it improves access to the arts across the spectrum,” elaborates SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts. “Making the arts more representative is central to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s mission. All four of these recipients demonstrate tireless efforts to help the arts be more inclusive and accessible.” A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members community statewide, reviews all nominations. After a rigorous process and multiple meetings, the panel produces a recommendation from each category with a nomination that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2022 awards were Shani Blann (Lexington), Dr. Philip Mullen (Columbia), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Bradley Wingate (Greenville). Recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are honored during a video presentation of the South Carolina Arts Awards. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, are working to finalize plans for the 2022 awards and announce details on a later date.
About the 2022 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients DARION MCCLOUD (Artist Category) is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia. He is also the founder and creative director both of NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. McCloud is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the Theatre Artist of the Year Award from The Jasper Project. A formally trained visual artist with a bachelor’s in art studio from the University of South Carolina, he found his way to the stage via telling stories and stayed, acting and teaching there for more than 20 years. He enjoys crafting theatre, storytelling, and art experiences for old and young and the initiated and the un-initiated in environments as varied as classrooms, corporate settings, libraries, campfires and, of course, theatres; he is a company member for Columbia-based Trustus Theatre and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. McCloud has numerous statewide partnerships to his credit in higher education, the humanities, and the arts. He considers himself as having committed his life to the transforming power of art. ED MADDEN (Individual Category) is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina. There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. His numerous publishing and editing credits include four of his own: NestArk, Prodigal: Variations, and Signals, and his chapbook So They Can Sing won the 2016 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Photo by Forrest Clonts. CARRIE ANN POWER (Arts in Education Category) has been an arts educator and advocate in South Carolina for more 30 years. Beginning in 2004 she was 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 transformed EASOA by adding full-time dance and theatre programs, developed and implemented all aspects of the EASOA after-school arts program, and secured donations to fund scholarships providing low-income families access to programs. During that tenure she coordinated the Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts, which improves and enhances arts lesson plans based on the 2010 S.C. Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. She then served as the education associate for visual and performing arts at the South Carolina Department of Education from 2015 until 2019, where she oversaw the development of K-12 Design Standards for visual and performing arts and later coordinated their revisions. Power served an active role on notable state arts or arts education boards and, in her community, supports educational outreach programs that bring professional artists into schools. Founded as a non-profit in January 2012, ONE COLUMBIA FOR ARTS AND CULTURE (OC) (Organization Category) served as de facto office of cultural affairs for Columbia until being officially named as such earlier this year. Its mission is to “advise, amplify and advocate for strengthening and unifying the cultural community of Columbia” and does so by promoting cultural activities taking place in the city through various means. In 2014, OC facilitated the formalization of Columbia’s public art program, which has resulted in the creation of more than 60 public artworks and an online directory of public art throughout the city of Columbia. The organization facilitates other projects related to tactical urbanism, creative placemaking and enhancing public space. When Columbia established the honorary position of city poet laureate in 2015, it tasked OC with creating the selection committee that resulted in Dr. Ed Madden being awarded the title. OC is responsible for Amplify, a comprehensive cultural plan approved by city council in 2020. In recent years, it undertook the lengthy process of developing of a modern flag for the city adopted by city council in 2020.
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 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.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

New leadership in place at S.C. Arts Commission

  • New fiscal year brings new board, staff leadership
  • Two new board members welcomed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) welcomed a new board chairwoman, new executive director, and two new board members at the start of fiscal year 2020 on July 1. [caption id="attachment_40818" align="alignright" width="250"]SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019. SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford works her way through some paperwork for Executive Director David Platts at a visit to the arts commission July 11, 2019.[/caption] At their last meeting in June, the SCAC Board of Commissioners elected Delores “Dee” Crawford of Aiken as its chairwoman. Crawford is a former award-winning owner and operator of seven McDonald’s restaurants employing more than 400 people. She holds a mathematics degree from Fisk University in Nashville, and previously worked for IBM in the Washington, D.C. area. Crawford is a community leader, serving on numerous boards in and around Aiken and is a fellow of the Riley Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University. She was most recently serving as a vice chair of SCAC and was chair of the search committee that reviewed and interviewed candidates to be the agency’s new executive director. That committee’s work resulted in the hiring of David Platts of Lancaster as executive director, which was also effective July 1. Platts holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. He has broad experience in education, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in schools across the state. He joins SCAC from Lancaster County School District, where he served as arts and science coordinator for 15 years. In June, the state senate approved two gubernatorial appointees to the SCAC Board of Directors.
  • Bhavna Vasudeva of Columbia is a licensed real estate agent and owner and manager of several rental properties. She has deep community ties, as indicated by her service on high-profile local boards of the American Red Cross, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, and South Carolina Arts Foundation, among others. The UofSC graduate has previously served as a commissioner of the state governor’s mansion.
  • Linda Stern of Columbia returned as a commissioner. Stern, a previous chairwoman of the SCAC Board of Directors, is also a UofSC alumna and is a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts from SCAC and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. Active in her synagogue, Stern maintains her own deep community ties with service on multiple boards, including Columbia City Ballet, McKissick Museum, the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion, EdVenture Children’s Museum, and more.
“We’re delighted to welcome two new commissioners, along with a new executive director, during this time of transition. The new members will contribute greatly, and all of us are ready to begin working to serve South Carolinians and ensure everyone has access to the benefits of the arts in their lives,” Crawford said.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission 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 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.