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Columbia dancers awarded NEA grant

Wideman Davis Dance of Columbia was approved for a $20,000 grant Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the dance company's immersive and interactive Migratuse Ataraxia.

This project will fund a three-month residency, followed by four public performative installations. Wideman Davis Dance will use the residency and performative installations to develop and test a community-oriented residency curriculum that introduces, integrates, and expands the themes of “Migratuse Ataraxia.” Wideman Davis Dance’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Wideman Davis Dance,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Wideman Davis Dance is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.” “The National Endowment for the Arts Grant not only supports a performative experience of “Migrartuse Ataraxia, but also residency activities and facilitated sessions with community groups, including students from Allen University and Benedict College and seniors from the Columbia Housing Authority residential programs. We are excited to receive NEA support to assist us in our art making and our efforts to engage the Columbia, SC community,” co-director, Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis said in a statement.

Project Description

The original performance, which was workshopped at Columbia’s Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens in April of 2019, centered on the humanity of enslaved Africans in antebellum homes despite the oppressive bondage under which they lived. In 2021 Migratuse Ataraxia intentionally shifts, exploring the journey from spaces of enslavement to those of Black liberation and empowerment through a mobile performative intervention that moves from the antebellum Hampton-Preston site to the former home of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, South Carolina’s most notable civil and human rights activist. Participants will travel a route where they will encounter the artists’ responses to historic structures through large scale projections, sonic environments, and live performances that speak to Black futurity. By focusing the energy on this temporal and physical migration, WDD reclaims the representation of Black bodies and narratives, creating new visual, emotional, and intellectual entry points in an immersive, interactive setting. In addition, the spatial shift will allow the artists to redirect the focus from the interior architecture of an antebellum site to an expanded exterior magnification of the physical labor of Black bodies – centering these performative practices on a celebration of radical Black female space. For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: An arts media coverage update

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Arts coverage has been wonderfully prominent in South Carolina media in the past few days.

Let's take a stroll through ICYMI. Items appear in no particular order, and subscriptions could be required to read them. (Pssst: support local artists AND journalists. /soapbox)

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Virginia theatre makes call for Black playwrights

Barter Theatre, in Abingdon, Virginia, is located in the southwest corner of the commonwealth, in the heart of Appalachia.

One of Barter's core beliefs is service to our audience, and to that end, back in 2000, we created the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP). The AFPP solicits plays that are either set in Appalachia, or plays from playwrights who live in Appalachia (as defined by this A.R.C. link). Over the years we have not received many plays about the Black experience in Appalachia, and in an effort to address this, we have created our Black in Appalachia Initiative - a plan to actively seek out plays by Black Appalachian playwrights. Here's the link to information about the Festival: https://bartertheatre.com/playwriting-festivals/#AFPP

The AFPP Process

Plays are submitted to Barter and read blind. A panel picks the top 12, and from there another panel picks the top 6 or 7. At our festival in January, the plays are read in front of an audience by Barter's resident acting company, a panel gives feedback, the audience gives feedback, and one or two of the plays are chosen for further development - either another reading, or often a place in a future Barter season. For our Black in Appalachia Initiative, we are dedicating at LEAST one slot in the Festival to Black Appalachian playwrights, but we'd love it if there were even more.

The show must go on – Charleston’s Colour of Music Festival to open as scheduled

Note: The Colour of Music Festival receives a General Operating Support grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Adieu, Matthew. Charleston's five-day Colour of Music Festival will open as scheduled Oct. 19, despite Hurricane Matthew's visit and the aftermath. The 2016 festival runs through October 23 at various venues throughout historic Charleston. “This is the second year the festival has opened two weeks after a tropical storm or hurricane, and our organizers, the City of Charleston’s Office of the Mayor, Office of Cultural Affairs, Charleston Area Visitor and Convention Bureau and Gaillard Center management are notifying locals and visitors alike that Charleston is ready to welcome them – we are very appreciative of how everyone is helping us get the word out,” says Lee Pringle, festival founder and producer. Now in its fourth year, the Colour of Music Festival presents a musical kaleidoscope of black classical composers, performers, and artists from across the globe and offers symposiums, organ and piano recitals, vocal recitals, a chamber series, an evening Masterworks series and a gala. Acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists from Canada, France, Britain, Colombia, the Caribbean and other locations form the Masterwork Series’ Colour of Music Festival Orchestra. Internationally renowned conductor Marlon Daniel will again serve as festival music director with leading black maestros serving as guest conductors to lead the orchestra. The festival's motif, All Things French (Toutes Les Choses Françaises) is highlighted with the début of African-French composer Chevalier de Saint Georges’ only discovered opera, The Anonymous Lover, featuring Magali Léger, native of Saint Georges' birthplace, the Isle of Guadeloupe. Find the complete schedule and ticket information online. About the Colour of Music Festival Based in Charleston, South Carolina and organized in 2013, the Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences throughout the Lowcountry, regionally and nationally. www.colourofmusic.org