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“The Nutcracker” Takes South Carolina Stages This Holiday Season

"The Nutcracker" ballet is a holiday tradition for many families around the world. South Carolina arts groups are producing opportunities for experiencing this classic story in all parts of the state. Ballet Spartanburg, December 11-13 at Converse College in Spartanburg Carolina Ballet Theatre, December 4-6 at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville Charleston Ballet Theatre Center for Dance Education, December 11-13 at the Sottile Theatre in Charleston Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre, December 12-13 & 19-20 at Coastal Carolina University in Conway Columbia City Ballet, December 12-13 & 19-20 at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia Columbia Classical Ballet, December 4-6 at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia Foothills Conservatory for the Performing Arts, December 12-13 at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts in Clemson Greenville Ballet, December 19 at Furman University in Greenville International Ballet, December 12-13 at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville Orangeburg Civic Ballet, December 12-13 at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg York County Ballet, December 17-20 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill

Greenville’s Metropolitan Arts Council marks new fundraising record

From The Greenville News Story by Paul Hyde

Greenville's Metropolitan Arts Council raised a record of $2 million in 2014, MAC executive director Alan Ethridge announced this week. Most of that money helps support dozens of Greenville arts groups and artists. "This allows us to provide record high grants to individuals, arts organizations and arts education programs," Ethridge said. "It's groundbreaking." At its annual meeting, MAC recognized several Greenville leaders for their support for the arts. Steve Brandt, who retired last fall after a long career as publisher of The Greenville News, received the Lifelong Support of the Arts Award. Since arriving in Greenville in 1978, Brandt has served on the boards of several Greenville arts organizations — including stints as chairman of Artisphere and the Peace Center. Brandt, as publisher of The Greenville News, supported extensive arts coverage by the newspaper. "Steve is an eloquent, wildly intelligent, thoughtful leader who is tremendously good at building consensus," said Peace Center president Megan Riegel. "He was the perfect executive to chair the Peace Center's board during its $23 million capital campaign." Thanks to increases in fundraising, MAC is providing more financial support to local arts organization than ever before, Ethridge said. Nine local arts organizations will receive $25,000 each in operating support. Those organizations are Artisphere, Carolina Ballet Theatre, Centre Stage, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Little Theatre, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the Peace Center, the South Carolina Children's Theatre and the Warehouse Theatre. Those grants were $10,000 per organization in 2006. They've steadily increased to the current $25,000 per organization, thanks to MAC's fundraising, Ethridge said. Now in its 42nd year, MAC also provided a record-high of $193,321 in project support grants for specific programs. Those grants went to 19 schools, 20 individual artists and 53 arts organizations. Ethridge announced that last year's Open Studios, a weekend MAC event that spotlights Greenville's visual arts community, involved 121 artists, generated $215,880 in sales and was attended by 44,801 people. "It was a great year," Ethridge said. Ethridge announced also that MAC's endowment had raised $768,117. MAC plans to use income from the endowment to provide additional financial support to Greenville arts organizations. The endowment made its debut last year with an eventual goal of $25 million. Such a hefty endowment could produce an income of $1 million in annual support for Greenville arts organizations. The endowment is a long-term project but MAC plans to embrace ambitious fundraising goals every year — including a goal of $1 million in 2015. Most of that is expected to come from individual and corporate sources. Only a small portion is likely to be raised from government contributions, Ethridge said. "It's going to ensure the sustainability of the artists and arts organizations that make Greenville a truly fabulous city," Ethridge said. For its general budget, MAC receives donations from a variety of sources: individuals, corporations, foundations, the city of Greenville's accommodations tax, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. MAC recognized several arts leaders at its annual meeting. Kerry Murphy, executive director of Artisphere, received the MAC Visionary Award. Shirely Sarlin, a veteran Greenville stage actress, was recognized with the Put Your Heart in the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award. The TD Bank Business and the Arts Partnership awards went to: Productions Unlimited, Inc. (businesses under 100 employees) and Greenville Heath System (businesses with 100 or more employees). The Carl R. Blair Award for Commitment to Arts Education went to Jon Jeffrey Grier, instructor of advanced placement music theory, advanced topics in music and honors music history at the Fine Arts Center, the magnet school for young students in the arts. Kacee Lominack, development assistant for the Greenville Symphony, received the Young Supporter of the Arts Award.

Carolina Ballet Theatre and Greenville Health System partnering in dancer injury research

Greenville Health System’s Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas is partnering with Carolina Ballet Theatre (CBT) to conduct innovative research that could lead to fewer injuries and enhanced performance among dancers both locally and beyond. The research is being led by Dr. Jocelyn Szeto, a primary care sports medicine fellow at Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, who is also a professionally trained dancer. Dr. Szeto is one of only a handful of sports medicine physicians in the nation who specialize in performing arts medicine, making her research and the partnership between Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas and CBT truly unique. In the first phase of her research, Dr. Szeto will conduct functional movement analysis on 33 pre-professional dancers at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and 15 professional dancers at CBT. In the second phase, she will study and compare the two groups to see how their movement relates to their injuries. If injury patterns can be found, therapies can be developed to prevent future injury and enhance performance. “Dancers are not typically thought of as athletes, but they should be. They experience just as much, if not more, stress and injuries as other athletes. I know this firsthand as a dancer and as a physician who treats all types of athletes,” said Dr. Szeto. “My goal with this research is to better understand the demands on a dancer’s body so that I can propose possible interventions or suggest modifications to training routines to reduce or prevent injury and ultimately improve overall health and well-being.” In addition to research, Dr. Szeto will provide CBT dancers with long-term health plans, nutrition education and workout routines. She also plans to offer educational seminars for student dancers and their parents. The first seminar is tentatively scheduled for March 2014. “Dr. Szeto’s research has the potential to enhance not only the health and performance of our Carolina Ballet Theatre dancers but young dancers throughout our community,” said Anita Sleeman, executive director of CBT. “We are honored to be a part of her research and to have a health and wellness partner in Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas and Greenville Health System.” About CBT Founded in 1972, Carolina Ballet Theatre (“CBT”) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Greenville’s only professional resident dance company. A resident company of Greenville, South Carolina’s Peace Center for the Performing Arts, CBT aims to engage, entertain, and educate its audiences through the dynamic medium of dance. To learn more about more about CBT and its events, visit carolinaballet.org. About Greenville Health System Greenville Health System (GHS) is committed to medical excellence through patient care, research and education. GHS offers patients a comprehensive network of expertise and technologies through its six medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout upstate South Carolina. It is also home to one of the nation’s newest medical schools – University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. For more information, visit ghs.org.