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South Arts announces inaugural Southern Cultural Treasures cohort

The initiative funds 17 BIPOC arts organizations across the Southeastern region with $6 million

South Arts is pleased to announce the Southern Cultural Treasures: a $6,000,000, four-year initiative supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) -led and -serving arts and cultural organizations throughout the Southeast.

[caption id="attachment_45781" align="alignright" width="301"]Select works of pottery by the Catawba Nation displayed on billowy fabric Pottery from the Catawba Nation.[/caption] This initial cohort is made up of 17 organizations that represent BIPOC arts and community-driven stewardship throughout the nine-state region that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. “South Arts is honored to recognize and support these 17 organizations as Southern Cultural Treasures,” said South Arts’ President and CEO Susie Surkamer. “These groups push the boundaries of creative expression, anchor their local communities, and advance the arts in our nine state region. Our hope is that this initiative, with the help of these organizations, will foster a more equitable art community throughout the Southeastern region.” South Arts first announced the Southern Cultural Treasures program in the fall of 2021. It complements the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures initiative, which aims to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America and provide critical funding to organizations that have made a significant impact on America’s cultural landscape. "We are thrilled to partner with South Arts and honor these seventeen cultural institutions and their contributions to the regional landscape," said Lane Harwell, program officer for creativity and free expression at the Ford Foundation. "We hope this investment will inspire more funders and patrons to support the diversity of arts organizations and expressions in the American South." Organizations throughout the nine-state region were given the opportunity to submit a letter of intent in late 2021. After review, those most closely aligned with the program goals were invited to complete a full application that went through a pair of national reviews before undergoing an interview process with South Arts’ leadership. These 17 exceptional nonprofits were chosen for their vital impact on their communities and helping to both define and preserve the uniqueness of the arts ecosystem in the region. Among the 17 Southern Cultural Treasures are two South Carolina-based organizations: the Catawba Indian Nation in Rock Hill and Colour of Music, Inc. of Mount Pleasant. The remaining 15 groups are:
  • Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Inc. of Birmingham
  • Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator of Miami
  • Teatro Avante of Miami
  • Art2Action Inc. of Tampa
  • Deep Center, Inc. of Savannah
  • Otis Redding Foundation of Macon
  • True Colors Theatre Company of Atlanta
  • Ballethnic Dance Company Inc. of East Point, Georgia
  • Asia Institute, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Junebug Productions, Inc. of New Orleans
  • Efforts of Grace, Inc. of New Orleans
  • Mississippi Center for Cultural Production in Utica
  • B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center of Indianola, Mississippi
  • JazzArts Charlotte
  • Collage Dance Collective of Memphis
The 17 Southern Cultural Treasures were chosen after completing a vigorous application and interview process. “These organizations make up a dynamic representation not only of their region and their communities, but also the burgeoning desire to grow and serve the cultural landscape of the South,” said Joy Young, Ph.D., South Arts’ vice president of programs. “Our duty at South Arts is to continue advocating for this kind of instrumental support, and we are confident that this cohort of Southern Cultural Treasures will help inspire these pursuits on a national scale.” The program is expected to run through March 2025 and provide each organization with up to $300,000 of general operating grants distributed over three years, an additional project grant of up to $7,500, customized consultant services, networking, cohort building, and knowledge sharing. Southern Cultural Treasures is designed to be a measure of sustainable support. By providing BIPOC-led and -serving organizations with tools and framework to establish their own agency and institutional narratives, the initiative encourages growth throughout the South—not only in the context of the arts, but also in the impact of surrounding communities as well. “The Southern Cultural Treasures program is a testament to the creative excellence and resilience of artists and creative practitioners across the South,” said South Arts Board Chair Neil Barclay. “Through this initiative, the 17 selected organizations are not only representing their local artists and communities but also the cultural pulse of their nine states.” South Arts’ Southern Cultural Treasures is supported by the Ford Foundation, with additional support from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Infusion Fund, a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas and generous donors to support the arts and cultural sector, and the Zeist Foundation. Please contact South Arts if you would like more information about opportunities to match this investment in select communities.
South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.  

Jason Rapp

2023 Changing Climate residency

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. MT View of blue planet Earth in space with her atmosphere Europe continent 3D rendering elements of this image furnished by NASA

The 2023 International Thematic Residency, Changing Climate, addresses the most critical issue of our time.

For the Changing Climate open call, Santa Fe Art Institute seeks to support artistic exploration, creative activism, and community art actions related to global warming that inspire individual transformation and inform collective action. We seek artists and activists with proposed focus on research, artworks, and creative actions that:
  1. Connect human health with environmental and planetary health, and increase emotional resilience and adaptation to a quickly changing earth;
  2. Help to imagine social, cultural, economic, and technological futures that reduce or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels and are conjoined with human rights and the rights of all species;
  3. Support Indigenous, traditional, and local land stewardship and sovereignty in solidarity with human and non-human kin, as a means toward carbon capture and community building.
Starting with the 2023 Changing Climate International Residency, SFAI seeks to better support regional BIPOC artists through our Thematic Residency Program. Through the Regional BIPOC Award program, SFAI intends to award a $500 stipend to up to 28 regional BIPOC artists who are selected for a residency. Application due April 10th at 11:59pm MT.

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Donnelley Foundation grants to help tell underrepresented stories

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (the Foundation)—which supports land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Chicago—announced the 11 recipients of the its groundbreaking “Broadening Narratives” initiative, which aims to fund specific collections projects that bring forward underrepresented stories.

This announcement represents the second round of organizations to receive the Broadening Narratives grant. The projects collectively illustrate BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ perspectives, working-class narratives, small community experiences, as well as other underrepresented groups and viewpoints.  The three Lowcountry-based projects or organizations are Clemson University, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and The Educational Foundation of the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center. The eight Chicago-based organizations are the Bronzeville Black Chicagoan Historical Society, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Art Group, Lewis University, Muslim American Leadership Alliance, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, South Side Community Art Center, and Trickster Cultural Center. Additionally, the foundation renewed its $25,000 grant to each of the five Broadening Narratives advisory groups that assisted with the formation of that funding initiative: the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library, Southeastern Museums Conference, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections Consortium, and the Chicago Cultural Alliance. “While the purpose of collections is to ensure that stories are preserved, many narratives are often overlooked because of decisions based on race, gender, sexual identity, educational background, economic or social status, or because they are perceived to be outside the conventional thinking of the day,” said David Farren, foundation executive director. “We are thrilled to announce these grant recipients and want to thank these organizations for being part of this new way forward in collections thinking that shifts focus from the processing of material objects to the telling of broader and more inclusive narratives.” The Lowcountry-based organizations and projects to be funded by Broadening Narratives:
  • Clemson University will partner with the nationally registered Seashore Farmers’ Lodge and the Sol Legare community to provide collections management training; conduct conservation assessment, treatment, and interpretation for objects in the collection; and develop manuals for ongoing care and management. The project will shed light on the site, which was once the heart and backbone of the early African-American community providing farmers aid and insurance in a time of need in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“The historic African American community of Sol Legare in the Lowcountry of South Carolina is unique in the measures that community members have taken to interpret and preserve their history in the built environment and cultural objects,” says Dr. Jon Marcoux, director of Clemson's Historic Preservation program.  “The community’s historical importance has gone unrecognized in broader narratives of the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights eras. The project has the authenticity of fourth-generation residents playing an intricate role in protecting hundreds of donated objects that represent the full 150-year-old history of Sol Legare. We are honored to partner with the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to preserve and share this significant collection.”
  • The Gibbes Museum of Art will create an exhibition drawing parallels between noted Charleston Renaissance artist Ned Jennings and British Aesthete and artist Aubrey Beardsley, re-contextualizing the Renaissance by examining the historically taboo topic of LGBTQIA+ contributions to the art world, still largely untold in the South. In particular, the exhibit will consider the role of queer artists in the Charleston arts community and the influence of queer aesthetics on the Charleston Renaissance via an exploration of Jennings’ works and life.
“By considering the impact of the British Aestheticism movement of the late 19th century on one of Charleston’s most original artistic minds, Edward “Ned” I.R. Jennings, we’re able to engage in a long overdue conversation about the LGBTQIA+ influences, histories, and kinship networks that existed between World Wars I and II when the visual arts flourished; a period that would become known as the Charleston Renaissance,” Gibbes Museum of Art Executive Director Angela Mack said. “Thanks to the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation’s commitment to telling this story, we are able to reengage with the work of an artist whose life was tragically cut short and whose originality and impact for too long has been marginalized.”
  • The Educational Foundation of the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center (NASC) will continue its study of South Carolina’s Native American peoples, their histories, and their cultures by gathering oral histories, artifacts, and conducting research related to Lowcountry tribes. The Lowcountry was a significant site for Native American tribes across the region for trade and was a nexus for interaction with European settlers and enslaved Africans.
“Very little scholarly work has been done to document and preserve the living traditions of South Carolina Native Americans, particularly in the Lowcountry. The small, often isolated but vibrant Native communities have existed largely under the radar of outside scholars. Some members of these communities were enslaved by European colonists; others found their tribal communities driven to near extinction. Some identified, at times, as white; others were labeled as African American. With the generous support of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the NASC will help document, preserve, and share these rich cultural traditions maintained by the life experiences and in the memories of the elders and leaders of these communities,” said Dr. Stephen Criswell, NASC Director. Criswell, Hub readers might remember, is a 2018 recipient of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. The Gibbes Museum is a 2019 recipient of the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Arts. Readers curious about the Chicago-based grant recipients can read more about them here.
About Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. For over five years, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has convened five advisory groups to assist with the formation and execution of the Broadening Narratives funding initiative by providing important feedback, keeping the Foundation apprised of trends in the field, and serving as valuable connectors and conveners. The groups include Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections Consortium, Chicago Cultural Alliance, College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library, and the Southeastern Museums Conference. For more information on the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, visit www.gddf.org.

Jason Rapp

Jasper Project announces call for BIPOC poets

The Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer Poetry Chapbook Prize

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, February 28, 2022

In honor of the eponymous 20th century poet, the Jasper Project is delighted to announce a new project: the Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer Poetry Chapbook Prize for South Carolina BIPOC poets.

Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer (1868-1936) was a teacher and social activist in Orangeburg. Born in Pickens, she taught at the Normal and Grammar Schools at Claflin College for 40 years. Her published anthology of poems Prejudice Unveiled and Other Poems (1907) examined the Jim Crow South’s propensity for lynching, racism, and social injustice. Moorer was also an advocate for women’s suffrage in South Carolina, especially in the Methodist Church. The purpose of the Lizelia August Jenkins Moorer Prize, affectionately called the Lizelia Prize, is to offer a first-time BIPOC poet from South Carolina a publishing contract with Muddy Ford Press to publish their debut chapbook under the guidance of an established poet. The brainchild of Dr. Len Lawson, who is a member of the Jasper Project board of directors and the author, editor, or co-editor of four books of poetry, Lawson will also serve as project manager as well as editor of the winner’s chapbook and will collaborate with the winner on the construction of the book. South Carolina BIPOC poets who have yet to publish a book of poetry are invited to submit 30-40 single spaced numbered pages in Times New Roman 12-pt. font and include a cover sheet with your name and manuscript title. Your name should not appear on the manuscript. The winning submission will receive publication via Muddy Ford Press, a cash prize of $250, and ten author copies of the book. Submissions should be in MS Word format and should be sent to lizeliapoetry@gmail.com no later than Monday, February 28, 2022.  

Jason Rapp

South Arts announces $6 million for ‘Southern Cultural Treasures’

A new program with help from the Ford Foundation

Text graphic that reads "Southern Cultural Treasures: A program of South Arts"


South Arts is pleased to announce Southern Cultural Treasures: a $6,000,000, four-year initiative funding Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led and -serving arts and cultural organizations throughout the Southeast.

The application process opens today, and cohort members will be announced in May 2022.The initiative is presented in partnership with the Ford Foundation, which is supporting this project with a $3,000,000 matching gift. To maximize the impact of Southern Cultural Treasures, South Arts is currently seeking additional funding partners. Designed to foster lasting stability and resiliency of arts communities throughout the region, Southern Cultural Treasures will support a cohort of 12-15 organizations between May 2022 and March 2025 by offering:
  • general operating grants of up to $300,000;
  • project grants of up to $7,500;
  • and a variety of networking and development opportunities designed to elevate and champion arts communities throughout South Arts’ nine-state region. By providing critical funding and a roadmap for future growth, Southern Cultural Treasures is an exciting new opportunity for the arts in the region.
“Southern Cultural Treasures is a turning point for the arts in the South,” South Arts’ President and CEO Susie Surkamer said“The initiative allows for a more equitable art community throughout the nine states in which South Arts operates, and furthers our mission of advancing Southern vitality through the arts.” Southern Cultural Treasures is a complementary program to America’s Cultural Treasures, a Ford Foundation-led initiative to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America and provide critical funding to organizations that have made a significant impact on America’s cultural landscape, despite historically limited resources. As Ford’s regional partner for the U.S. South, South Arts brings five decades of arts stewardship throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. “The Ford Foundation is proud to join South Arts to honor and celebrate the rich diversity of artistic excellence across the region and advance our shared vision for a just South,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “We’re grateful for South Arts’ expertise and intimate knowledge of the Southeast and look forward to working with them over the coming years.” Southern Cultural Treasures is designed to have far-reaching, lasting benefits. By providing BIPOC-led and -serving organizations with financial resources alongside a framework that establishes long-term sustainability and institution-building, the initiative will encourage growth throughout the South—not only in arts circles, but in the surrounding communities as well. “BIPOC arts organizations are integral to communities throughout the region, no matter their size, history, or area of focus. By funding them, not only are we working to correct historic disparities, we’re empowering the next generation of singers, dancers, media artists, painters, writers—and everyone else,” South Arts Vice President of Programming Joy Young, Ph.D. said. “Only by creating a more equitable landscape can we truly unlock the potential of the arts, and the South.” Organizations throughout South Arts’ nine-state region are strongly encouraged to apply. To apply, eligible organizations should submit a Letter of Intent to participate by December 10, 2021 through the South Arts website. South Arts will hold a webinar discussing the program on November 12, 2021. After review, those most closely aligned with the program goals will be invited to submit a full application. Eligibility information, webinar registration, and application guidelines can be accessed by visiting southarts.org/sct or calling 404.874.7244.
South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

Jason Rapp

Call for Artists: WOVEN / Juneteenth Juried Show

The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, in partnership with the Chapman Cultural Center, seeks to highlight the work of outstanding BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists in the southeastern region through their upcoming juried exhibition, WOVEN.

Artists working in all mediums are invited to apply, with a special emphasis on folk art and craft. Woven is an exhibition that will highlight works of creatives such as quilters, weavers, musicians and visual artists from the southeast region. This exhibition and accompanying event seeks to celebrate and commemorate the visual storytelling and traditions in conversation with the African Diaspora. Through this presentation of visual storytelling and craft-based works we seek to broaden intergenerational narratives of BIPOC experiences and creative practices. Accepted works will be exhibited in conjunction with the Guild’s Summer Solstice Art Market and Juneteenth Festival, taking place on June 19, 2021. This exhibition will be held in the first-floor gallery space at the Chapman Cultural Center, which receives high foot traffic and is open to the public Mon-Sat.

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