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Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: ColaJazz Foundation

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

ColaJazz Foundation

Organization Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Since 2014, ColaJazz has worked tirelessly to establish Columbia as a premier jazz destination. Founder and Executive Director Mark Rapp had a desire to highlight the accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around the city. Additionally, Rapp wanted to give back to the fans, supporters, and jazz venues. His initial foray in promoting the city of Columbia was recording the ColaJazz Vol. 1 album featuring the city’s top jazz talent and a full-length album by late S.C. Jazz Ambassador Skipp Pearson both of which were featured nationally in AAA Magazine. In 2018, ColaJazz earned a coveted fiscal sponsorship with one of Columbia’s longest-standing arts nonprofits, the Columbia Music Festival Association. After five years of working with the community, creating proofs of concepts, and establishing an annual season of events, the organization became a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit jazz organization. ColaJazz has established successful and vibrant annual jazz programming including a summer jazz camp, jazz festival, countless performances, jam sessions, artist features, community highlights, and often brings international jazz stars including NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winners to Columbia. It produces an annual season including the ColaJazz Summer Camp, ColaJazz Fest, Great Day in Columbia, Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts), monthly Dinner & Jazz concerts, Jazz Appreciation Month ColaJazz Crawl and International Jazz Day concert, virtual concerts, workshops, after-school curriculum, Jazz for Young People concerts and more bringing people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the capital city. ColaJazz provides access to world class musicians, supports our own, invests in our future and does everything we can to ensure jazz has a home in Columbia. The ColaJazz community is comprised of musicians, educators, patrons, students, and anyone who desires to support jazz and develop our capital city’s cultural heritage.

Quotable

...Over the decades a handful of dedicated souls have passionately tried to keep the culture alive in our state. But more recently—and more successfully—ColaJazz has taken up the mantel. ColaJazz and its founder ... have worked tirelessly to promote the genre in a number of inventive ways. The organization has brought nationally known artists to South Carolina ... and it has instituted a number of wide-ranging educational programs...

Dick Goodwin 2001 S.C. Governor’s Award for the Arts, Individual Category Recipient Columbia


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Arts groups get CCCF grants + Poetry Out Loud finals

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...

It's been a minute since our last tune up.

So let's do some quick news... CCCF grants to benefit Midlands arts groups. We've had clustering of arts news from Spartanburg and Charleston lately, and today might be Columbia's—or at least the Midlands'—time to shine. Central Carolina Community Foundation announced "Connected Communities" grants totaling about $315,000 to 11 groups for innovative, community-based projects. Among them were two arts projects:
  • ColaJazz Foundation will host enhanced livestream concerts through “ColaJazz Presents Livestream Jazz,” offering musicians a professional virtual venue to connect with diverse communities throughout the Midlands and the state. This project aims to support musicians, provide live jazz safely throughout communities and foster an increasing audience for jazz.
  • Sumter County Cultural Center, “Creative Canvas” is an outdoor mural project meant to create vibrant and welcoming spaces, adding vitality to the city while making quality art accessible to all residents. Buildings will become giant canvases illustrating the city’s collective story—encouraging people to explore and experience Sumter’s diverse and historic communities.
Our frequent partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina is also among the grantees, but not for an arts-related project. Because they partner with us for the S.C. Arts Awards and because it is AWARDS SZN, The Hub is contractually obligated to remind you ColaJazz Foundation will receive the Governor's Award for the Arts at the upcoming S.C. Arts Awards ceremony in just about a month. Keep on making those waves, Mark Rapp and Co. And our best to Melanie Colclough making waves in Sumter. (We see you.) Poetry Out Loud semifinals begin this weekend. Greenville student Emily Allison, whom you might remember topped the field in South Carolina's Poetry Out Loud competition this academic year, represents us all Sunday at noon ET as the national semifinals begin virtually. (Children, don't let teachers tell you you can't write coherent long sentences.-Ed.) Get more information and watch here, or keep giving us clicks checking The Hub for updates on her progress toward the May 27 finals.      

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards to stream live again in 2021

Virtual presentation planned for May 24


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Awards will honor South Carolinians for their exceptional achievements in, support of, or advocacy for the arts during a professionally produced online streaming presentation planned for Monday, May 24, 2020 at 6 p.m. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina look forward to honoring the seven recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and two recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards in a special online presentation on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Lead host and SCAC Executive Director David Platts will be joined again by South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster as co-host from the Governor’s Mansion. UofSC McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz will join Platts and McMaster to announce the Folk Heritage Award recipients. Platts will announce the Governor’s Award recipients. Before the pandemic, the South Carolina Arts Awards were presented at an in-person ceremony. Rather than cancel in 2020, the ceremony was shifted to a virtual format that was successful for its extended reach and production quality. After overwhelmingly positive feedback—and with lingering COVID-19 transmission concerns—the ceremony will again be presented online, at no cost to viewers anywhere. Surprise guests will join to help introduce each recipient. Mini-films by South Carolina filmmakers Drew Baron, Lynn Cornfoot, Abe Duenas, Patrick Hayes, Roni Henderson, Lee Ann Kornegay, and Ebony Wilson will debut, telling each recipient’s story. The filmmakers worked under the direction of producer Betsy Newman. Location shooting for the ceremony and production of the stream are being provided by Midlands-based iSite Multimedia and Fisher Films. The Governor’s Award recipients were announced in February. The recipients are:
  • Tom Flowers (posthumous, Greenville): Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Charlton Singleton (Charleston): Artist Category
  • Jennifer Clark Evins (Spartanburg): Individual Category
  • Tayloe Harding (Columbia): Arts in Education Category
  • Colonial Life (Columbia): Business/Foundation Category
  • ColaJazz Foundation (Columbia): Organization Category
  • Marjory Wentworth (Mount Pleasant): Special Award
The Folk Heritage Award recipients were also announced in February. Being honored are:
  • Jugnu Verma (Lexington): Traditional Indian folk arts
  • Robert W. Hill, III (Plantersville): Advocacy, American long rifles and accoutrements

 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. About McKissick Museum The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

Jason Rapp

Governor’s Award recipient lands new radio gig

ColaJazz to entertain on S.C. Public Radio


South Carolina Public Radio (SC Public Radio) announced a collaboration with The ColaJazz Foundation to produce and broadcast a new, weekly limited series focused on South Carolina’s jazz community.

Titled "ColaJazz Presents," the series will air Sundays at 8 p.m. on all eight SC Public Radio stations, with the first episode slated to debut on April 4 – a fitting premiere date as April is recognized as National Jazz Appreciation Month. The first episode will spotlight the Columbia-based ensemble Les Flat Out Strangers. Host Mark Rapp (right), executive director of The ColaJazz Foundation, will feature performances from a diverse group of South Carolina’s top jazz musicians, as well as interviews with those musicians offering an intimate glimpse into their lives, communities and passion for music. Consisting of 13 episodes, with the last one slated for broadcast on June 27, the series will utilize The ColaJazz Foundation’s ever-growing library of concerts, many of which were recorded over the last year in socially distanced recording sessions where COVID-19 safety precautions were followed. Ed. note: Rapp is no relation to the author of this article. “South Carolina is home to a growing jazz community consisting of some incredibly talented musicians and charming venues that provide a home to their performances. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with The ColaJazz Foundation to launch this new series and shine a spotlight on this burgeoning community,” said SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett.
This project is the result of SC Public Radio’s ongoing strategy to ramp up local programming. Now in its 48th year of broadcasting, the SC Public Radio network covers not only most of the Palmetto State, but also communities that border South Carolina, including Charlotte, Augusta and Savannah. This broad coverage area allows the network to reach an average weekly listenership of approximately 300,000 individuals. “It is with great honor and excitement for The ColaJazz Foundation to partner with and to be supported by SC Public Radio. The weekly Sunday night ‘ColaJazz Presents’ radio show expands our ongoing mission in style, and we can’t wait to share the incredible jazz music being made in South Carolina by South Carolina jazz artists,” Rapp said. Established in 2014, The ColaJazz Foundation is a community-minded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused on growing, supporting and promoting jazz in the Midlands through events, education, recordings, resources and advocacy. The ColaJazz Foundation is a recipient of the 2021 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the state’s highest award for achievements in practicing or supporting the arts. For more information on ColaJazz Presents, click here.

Jason Rapp

SCAC to honor 7 with Governor’s Awards for the Arts

Four artists, one advocate, two organizations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Today, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing seven qualified recipients of South Carolina’s highest award for high achievement in practicing or supporting the arts.

The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts are presented annually by the SCAC. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. For 2021, the following honorees from their respective categories are being recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Tom Flowers, Greenville (posthumous)
  • ARTIST: Charlton Singleton, Charleston
  • INDIVIDUAL: Jennifer Clark Evins, Spartanburg
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Tayloe Harding, Columbia
  • BUSINESS: Colonial Life, Columbia
  • ORGANIZATION: ColaJazz Foundation, Columbia
  • SPECIAL AWARD: Marjory Wentworth, Mount Pleasant
“With the Governor’s Award, we celebrate achievement and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture here in South Carolina. Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They exemplify giving of themselves to ensure everyone who wants to can benefit from access to the arts,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. 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 that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2021 awards were Flavia Harton (Greenville), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bob Reeder (Columbia), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Kim Wilson (Rock Hill). The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are presented to recipients at the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony, normally held in person every spring. The pandemic forced the shift of last year’s ceremony to a virtual format in July rather than May. Reaction to that was positive and it is planned once again for 2021, but instead of being held in the summer it will revert to its normal timeframe in the spring. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, will announce a date and time later.

About the 2021 S.C. Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients

Washington, D.C. native TOM FLOWERS (Lifetime Achievement) came to South Carolina for football at Furman University and left with a bachelor’s in art. After earning a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa and serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, his teaching career wound its way from Kansas and North Carolina back to Furman. He spent the next 30 years teaching arts at the school, from 1959 to 1989, and was chairman of the art department for most of his tenure. Upon completion he was named to the school’s emeritus faculty. Decorated and widely exhibited as an artist, Flowers’ works have homes in museums and collections throughout the Southeast, including the South Carolina State Art Collection. He served on several Upstate arts boards and commissions and as a state representative on the American Craft Council. Thomas Earl Flowers passed away Dec. 13, 2020 after his nomination was made in the Governor’s Award artist category. He is survived by multiple practicing artists in his family, further adding to his legacy. Over the past several years, CHARLTON SINGLETON (Artist Category) has emerged as the face of jazz performance in the Lowcountry. Because of his membership in the band Ranky Tanky, a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah culture, he can also be called a Grammy Award winner. Singleton studied organ, violin, cello, and trumpet throughout childhood and adolescence and earned a music performance degree from South Carolina State University. Since, he’s taught music at every level from elementary school through college. In addition to Ranky Tanky, he is previous artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, has his own touring ensemble, is organist and choir director of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston and was named inaugural artist-in-residence at the renovated Gaillard Center in Charleston. He is in demand as a speaker, composer, and arranger. As president and CEO, JENNIFER CLARK EVINS (Individual Category) leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center (CCC), Spartanburg city and county’s local arts agency. Along with her county-wide arts coordination, she has nearly 26 years as a visionary community and statewide arts leader to her credit. As a volunteer, Evins led the 10-year project and capital campaign that raised $42 million that built CCC, led another successful campaign to add Mayfair Art Studios to CCC, and led the charge to get Downtown Spartanburg named a South Carolina Cultural District. Evins was the author and director for the winning $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Her Culture Counts program, which started as a local asset inventory and mapping project, is now used as a South Carolina cultural tourism tool through Ten at the Top. A winner of numerous awards for service and leadership, she serves or served on prominent Upstate boards. Evins is a strong advocate for local artists, arts organizations, and arts education, and is an active board member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. TAYLOE HARDING (Arts in Education Category) has a belief in the power of music and the arts to transform communities and individuals that is evident in his work with local and state arts education and advocacy organizations. The dean of the University of South Carolina School of Music has participated in and led efforts as diverse as 12 years on the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project steering committee, consulting on the city of Columbia’s cultural plan and for its One Columbia for Arts & Culture office, frequent advocacy work on behalf of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, and on grant panels for the defunct Cultural Council of Richland/Lexington Counties. Harding has national exposure as past president of the College Music Society and past secretary of the National Association for Schools of Music. He remains active as a composer, earning commissions, performances, and recordings worldwide. COLONIAL LIFE (Business/Foundation Category) is a Columbia-based market leader of financial protection benefits offered through the workplace. For more than 80 years the company has demonstrated a commitment to the community through corporate giving, the employee matching gift programs and volunteerism. The company also has made significant investments each year to support educational, health, wellbeing, arts and culture state programs. Colonial Life’s mission to help America’s workers face unexpected events and challenging times makes it the extraordinary company it is today. Since its 2014 founding, COLAJAZZ FOUNDATION (Organization Category) has worked tirelessly to establish Columbia as a premier jazz destination by highlighting the accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around the city. Successful and vibrant programming includes bringing international jazz stars, including NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winners, to Columbia. Its annual season includes the ColaJazz Summer Camp; ColaJazz Fest; Great Day in Columbia; Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts) series; monthly Dinner & Jazz concerts; Jazz Appreciation Month; ColaJazz Crawl; live and virtual concerts, workshops, after-school curriculum for International Jazz Day; and Jazz for Young People concerts that bring people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the capital city. The erstwhile poet laureate of South Carolina, MARJORY WENTWORTH (Special Award) is its second-longest serving. She received her appointment to the position from Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 and served until 2020. Wentworth is New York Times bestselling co-author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets and author of prize-winning children’s story Shackles. Her lengthy list of published titles includes several of her own poetry books, additional co-authored titles, and she is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green. Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston and Charleston County School of the Arts.

Correction

On Feb. 17, this copy was corrected to reflect that Charlton Singleton is a former artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. The original copy stated he is the current artistic director and conductor.

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

Hub E-vents: S.C. Jazz Festival starts Sunday

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

Sunday-Saturday

South Carolina Jazz Festival Celebrate Dizzy Gillespie’s 103rd birthday and enjoy a world-class jazz festival wherever you are on your favorite streaming devices. The 2020 South Carolina Jazz Festival features regional to international jazz stars from South Carolina, New York, Brazil and more. The Town of Cheraw did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop their annual jazz festival. They turned to ColaJazz Foundation Executive Director Mark Rapp to create an online jazz festival experience. “Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented actions and teamwork,” Rapp said. “The timeline is extraordinarily aggressive and most would say impossible; however, the town of Cheraw, the festival’s supporting sponsors, and ColaJazz were up for the challenge. I believe we have a festival that is incredible in its lineup and a powerful testament to overcoming obstacles. Overcoming is what jazz does!” The 2020 SC Jazz Festival features a wide range of jazz talent including: Grammy Award nominated artists Tia Fuller, Don Braden, Delfeayo Marsalis; New York jazz stars Alexa Tarantino and Steven Feifke; recent Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Eric Jones; pianist Kevin Bales and his octet; Gino Castillo and Cuban trumpeter Julito Padron; artists from the Greenville Jazz Collective; the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; Columbia’s own “Little Big Band: the band that could!”; Brazilian vocalist Liz Rosa; Brazilian pianist Serge Frasunkiewicz; and more. All shows and information can be found on the festival’s website: https://scjazzfestival.com

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: April 30

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

So this is it for April.

The Hub doesn't know about you, but it felt only about half as long as March's approximately 250 days. Progress! (Right?) Let's dance into a new month, and get closer to returning to the people, places, and things we miss.

Here are some events for today. (Or anytime.)

Your event not here? Here's a little more on how Hub E-vents works.