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Jason Rapp

Fellowships lead revitalized artist development efforts

Apps open for new-look fellowships, emerging artist program


for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is unveiling a modernized fellowship program as it announces the opening of career advancement opportunities for established and emerging South Carolina artists.

Applications are being accepted for two grants available to artists who call South Carolina home. Individual Artist Fellowship Grants of $8,500 will be awarded next July for FY23. Artists who work in these four artistic disciplines are eligible to apply in this cycle:
  • Prose
  • Spoken Word/Slam Poetry
  • Performance (dance, music, or film or theatre acting)
  • Playwriting/Screenwriting
The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The first change to the fellowship program is the increasing of the award to $8,500 from $5,000 as of FY22. The second is the addition of more modern, inclusive disciplines to its established rotation over the course of four years: spoken word and slam poetry; time-based art, which includes installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-based technology or performance); choreography and directing in film, theatre, and opera; and the design arts, which include architecture, fashion, graphic, industrial, or interior. “The fellowship program is one of the arts commission’s signature programs. It directly impacts artist development, one of the agency’s three core functions,” Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts (right) said. “Increasing the award makes the program more prestigious, but better serves the recipients. They receive financial resources so that they may focus on developing and creating art. Adding disciplines allows for more inclusion while demonstrating how many aspects of the creative economy are touched by the arts.” Fellowships are made through a highly competitive process and recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists. The application process is no longer anonymous, and awards are no longer made solely on artistic merit. Consideration is given to achievements and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply for more than one discipline but must complete separate applications in full. Fellowships lend prestige to an artist’s reputation and can open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. A list of accomplished fellowship recipients is available here. A diverse group of panelists from each discipline will judge applicants. To apply, artists must:
  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application,
  • be U.S. citizens and South Carolina resident with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying,
  • not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the award period,
  • plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2022 through June 2023).
Applications may only be submitted online by Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com.
The second open opportunity is the Emerging Artist Grant, which enters its second year of existence. For the purpose of the grant, emerging artists are defined as being at an early stage in their artistic career development with no basis in age. A grant of up to $1,500 is only one component of the program for qualifying and accepted artists. In addition to financial support, the artists will benefit from mentorship and professional support facilitated by the SCAC and Scott-Fitts. The combined benefits are intended to deepen artistic practice and foster artistic excellence; encourage career growth, advancement, and sustainability; and provide professional development and opportunities for collaboration. The SCAC unveiled an online exhibition of works by the inaugural emerging artist grantees on its website recently for the public to enjoy. The deadline to apply for an Emerging Artist Grant is Monday, Oct. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Further questions about applying for either grant can be answered by Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts (cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8203).
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 three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. 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.

Jason Rapp

For your weekend: SCAC’s Emerging Artists

Multidisciplinary arts for the long weekend


Not that anybody needed to tell you, but we're entering a long weekend.

(For the record, nobody needed to tell The Hub.) The SCAC has a multidisciplinary arts fix for you from the six inaugural Emerging Artist Grant recipients announced late last year: A virtual portfolio from the artists participating in the program's first year went live today on SouthCarolinaArts.com. It's a mini-exhibition of sorts curated by Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts. The multimedia page features works from #SCartists:
  • Luke Hodges (formerly) of Columbia (photography)
  • Chrisjenkins of Irmo (performing musician)
  • Kimberly Washburn Motte of Florence (visual artist, sculpture)
  • Kela Portee of Ravenel (film photography and multimedia artist)
  • Sonny Sisan of North Charleston (craft artist, ceramics)
  • Ashlea Sovetts of Myrtle Beach (performing dance and choreographer)
Here's that link one more time. Have a great weekend!
 

Jason Rapp

Creative entrepreneurship Q&A

Are you an artist yearning to create full time?

Have questions about grant opportunities, taxes, licensing, and marketing yourself? Local artists and art professionals like the SCAC's Ce Scott-Fitts are available to answer your questions at Richland Library Main Branch in a Q&A session! Register here: https://www.richlandlibrary.com/event/2021-07-08/creative-entrepreneurship-questions-answered
Ed. note: An earlier version of this post ran an incorrect event description. The Hub regrets the error.

Jason Rapp

Be S.C.’s next poet laureate

Applications open for honorary position

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is accepting applications through Friday, March 19, 2020 to assist Gov. Henry McMaster in appointing the state’s next poet laureate.

Applications opened Monday, Feb. 8 on the SCAC website. To be eligible for the honorary position, applicants must be 18 or more years old, U.S. citizens, and residents of South Carolina for at least a year among other requirements. Anyone who wishes to be considered must apply by the deadline. “South Carolina has a long, storied history of gifted poets and writers,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “I have no doubt the next poet laureate will continue this tradition of excellence and will serve as an inspiration to our next generation of artists. I look forward to reviewing the candidates and making my selection.” “The South Carolina Arts Commission is both pleased and honored to be a part of naming the state’s next poet laureate,” said David T. Platts, SCAC executive director. “Words are powerful, with the ability to tear down walls and to build bridges.  The poet laureate’s role as artistic and cultural ambassador, representing both the voice and even the conscience of the state, provides a unique opportunity and platform to inspire and unite all South Carolinians.” In FY2018, legislation passed by the General Assembly directed the SCAC to recommend poet laureate candidates to the governor. After a panel reviews the applications submitted to the SCAC, it will make recommendations from among those to the governor for consideration. He will then “name and appoint an outstanding and distinguished person of letters as poet laureate for the state of South Carolina” who will serve a four-year term. The named poet laureate will be eligible for one re-appointment. That person will be the sixth poet laureate since the first was named in 1934. The most recent was Marjory Wentworth of Mount Pleasant, who was appointed by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 until she stepped down this past December. Poetry is enjoying the spotlight after National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman captured the country’s attention with her high-profile appearances at the inauguration of President Joe Biden last month and the Super Bowl just days ago. She infused those moments with powerful commentary on society and culture using the power of poetry. “Artistically speaking, there is an immediacy to poetry that can offer insight, hope, and encouragement,” SCAC Program Director for Artist Services Ce Scott-Fitts said.
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 three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. 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 social media.

Jason Rapp

Six emerging artists to receive inaugural SCAC grant

Up to $1,500 grant includes mentorship, more


Visual artists working in ceramics, sculpture, and photography and performing artists working in dance and music are inaugural recipients of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s new Emerging Artist Grant.

For the purpose of the grant, emerging artists were defined as being at an early stage in their artistic career development with no basis in age. The six South Carolina artists each receive an up to $1,500 Emerging Artist grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) in the current fiscal year (2021). They are:
  • Luke Hodges of Columbia (photography)
  • Chris Jenkins of Irmo (performing musician)
  • Kimberly Washburn Motte of Florence (visual artist, sculpture)
  • Kela Portee of Ravenel (film photography and multimedia artist)
  • Sonny Sisan of North Charleston (craft artist, ceramics)
  • Ashlea Sovetts of Myrtle Beach (performing dance and choreographer)
[gallery link="none" ids="46041,46038,46040,46039,46042,46037"]
In addition to financial support, the artists will benefit from mentorship and professional support facilitated by the SCAC and Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts. The combined benefits are intended to deepen artistic practice and foster artistic excellence; encourage career growth, advancement, and sustainability; and provide professional development and opportunities for collaboration. “It means a lot to be recognized as an artist in your state. Programs like this will not only propel our next generation of artists, but also provide the fuel for them to keep the legacy alive for years to come,” Jenkins said. “As a full-time professional and mother of two children, my own art making is often pushed to the back burner. To have the opportunity to build community with a group of talented artists and to meet regularly with a mentor allows me to prioritize my own artistic process,” Motte said. While the mentorship and networking components of the program begin next month and run through June 2021, several of the artists expect the benefits to last well beyond that. Sovetts is eager for the additional insight from the group to help her grow, and Hodges points to the validation the program provides. “This opportunity is so much more than a confidence booster—it's an affirmation that my creative work matters,” he said. Portee foresees the opportunity to be challenged, while Jenkins added that he hopes other South Carolina artists will see they no longer have to travel or leave altogether for the knowledge he hopes to gain. The application period for the next round of the Emerging Artist Grant is to begin in Fall 2021. The SCAC will announce it here on The Hub, on its social media at @scartscomm (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and other channels.
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. 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 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.

Jason Rapp

SCAC rolls out new open call sessions for #SCartists

Expert knowledge from our in-house experts


The South Carolina Arts Commission is serious about supporting #SCartists.

This month week, we will begin rolling out open coaching calls on artist development grants. Presented by Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts and the SCAC's Grants Team, they will better enable artists to make competitive applications for our competitive grants. The sessions are free, but you must register in advance.   
Sept. 24 | Individual Artist Fellowships | 11 a.m.

Zoom session open to artists interested in learning more about fellowships. Information on the difference between fellowships and grants, how to select work samples, the reviews process and the criteria panelists consider when evaluating applications will be discussed.

Register for this session here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrcuugrjssG9XcaO0hhNdtfVRMMCMgPnO6

Oct. 15 | Artists' Ventures Initiatives | 3 p.m.

Zoom session on how AVI grants can be used to support an artistic business venture. Topics include how to determine if the AVI grant supports the goals of the artist, purpose of intent to apply letter, and what to include in the application. Mark Batory, current AVI grantee, will join the conversation to provide additional insight.

Register for this session here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYude-vqT0rGdPeUlnA_DE9Vxgy7HmKTen5


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Unrestricted $5,000 grants to reward eligible #SCartists

S.C. Arts Commission opens applications for FY22 Fellowships

  • Open to artists in visual arts, craft, media production & screenwriting
  • Deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

For Immediate Release COLUMBIA, S.C. – Resident South Carolina visual, craft, and media production or screenwriting artists can now apply for unrestricted, $5,000 fellowships from the South Carolina Arts Commission to recognize and reward their talents. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) will grant four awards of $5,000 each to artists whose work comes from one of those four different artistic disciplines. The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists and are made through a highly competitive process. New for the FY22 cycle, the application process is no longer anonymous and awards no longer made solely on artistic merit. Consideration will also be given to achievements and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply for more than one discipline, but must complete separate applications in full. Fellowships lend prestige to an artist’s reputation and can open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. Four per year are awarded by the SCAC to artists working in rotating disciplines. A lengthy list of accomplished fellowship recipients is available here. “The South Carolina Arts Commission wants to provide artists financial resources so that they may focus solely on their craft,” SCAC Artist Services Program Director Ce Scott-Fitts said. “These unrestricted grants enable artists to continue developing and creating art.” A diverse group of panelists from each discipline will judge the applicants. To apply, artists must:
  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application,
  • be U.S. citizens and South Carolina resident with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying,
  • not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the award period,
  • plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2021 through June 2022).
Applications may only be submitted online by midnight Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Further questions about applying can be answered by Artist Services Program Director Ce Scott-Fitts (cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8203).
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.

Team additions, senior staff changes to improve SCAC service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14 August 2019


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing additions to the agency’s team of arts professionals and changes to senior staff designed to improve and streamline the constituent service experience. New Executive Director David Platts is making these changes as part of plans being implemented to improve responsiveness to increasing demand for the agency’s services. The changes begin with two full-time staff additions that will provide constituents program-specific access points to arts professionals who can best serve their needs. Ce Scott-Fitts is to join the SCAC Monday, Aug. 19 as artist services program director. Scott-Fitts comes from Charlotte, where she was creative director and founding staff of McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She established an international residency program for North Carolina artists, curated exhibitions, developed the artist-in-residence program, and built the education/outreach and artist services programs. In addition, Scott-Fitts partnered with colleges and universities in both Carolinas, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and others to develop and fund residencies and public art commissions. She taught at Central Piedmont Community College and served on selection panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. An artist herself, she has exhibited throughout the Southeast and her work is held in public and private collections in the U.S., Japan, and the U.K. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D. joined SCAC on a full-time basis in late July. She previously split time between the agency and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum as a result of a folklife and traditional arts partnership between the two. In her new role, she is serving as program specialist for community arts and folklife. She holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University and a master’s in folklore/anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include community engagement coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, SCAC, Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.
Further changes include the promotion of Arts Education Director Ashley Brown to senior staff in a new role as deputy director. In addition to continuing as arts education director, Brown will also direct the short and long-term work of the grants, community arts, artist services, and visual art departments. Deputy Director Milly Hough is being promoted to senior deputy director. She will direct the short and long-term administrative, communications, finance, human resources, and operations departments’ work. “Having come to the arts commission from the role of a grantee lets me see some ways we can position ourselves to provide better constituent service. These changes are the start of a process that should ultimately make us even more responsive and efficient,” Platts said. “It is exciting for our team to be fully staffed again. Ce and Laura have the qualifications and experience to benefit the people they serve at a high level, and the expertise Ashley and Milly provide should dramatically enhance internal organization and processes.”

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.