Charleston Scene takes on ‘sea change’ in CHS, S.C. arts leadership
Thought-provoking piece on future of S.C. arts
In a sweeping new story, Charleston Scene interviewed several arts leaders who recently—or will—depart their posts as change comes to South Carolina's arts scene.
Writer Maura Hogan asks, "What will the next phase look like?" after several high profile departures dating back to 2019. Among them:
- Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina)
- Stephen Bedard (Gaillard Management Co.)
- Ken May (S.C. Arts Commission)
- Valerie Morris (College of Charleston School of the Arts)
- Nigel Redden (Spoleto Festival USA)
- Mark Sloan (College of Charleston Halsey Institute)
- Marjory Wentworth (former state poet laureate)
While reasons for the departures varied, nearly all involved foresee major change on the horizon in Charleston and the state, whether as a result of the pandemic, recent emphasis on diversity and inclusion, or other things.
Click here to read the story from Charleston Scene
(subscription possibly required).
Charleston photo by Jason Rapp/SCAC.
Six S.C. organizations receive Arts Endowment grants
NEA releases first FY21 grantees
The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2021 totaling $27,562,040.
Supported projects span 14 artistic disciplines in communities throughout the U.S. Also included in this announcement are the recipients of NEA Literature Fellowships in creative writing and translation and support for arts research projects.
“The creativity and resilience of artists and arts organizations across the country have inspired Americans during this challenging year,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These projects represent the vitality and perseverance of arts organizations small and large to overcome significant challenges, transform to new ways of engagement, and forge new relationships that benefit the diverse populations in neighborhoods and cities throughout the United States.”
The Grants for Arts Projects (GAP)
awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and cover these artistic disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. In February 2020, the agency received 1,674 eligible GAP applications requesting more than $82.4 million in FY 2021 support. Approved for funding are 1,073 projects totaling nearly $25 million, with grants recommended to 64% of all applicants and an average grant amount of $23,190. Grant guidelines and upcoming application deadlines are now available
on the Arts Endowment website for organizations wishing to apply.
Five arts projects in South Carolina were granted in this cycle. They are:
- College of Charleston ($20,000)
- Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston ($40,000)
- Columbia Film Society ($20,000)
- Greenville Light Opera Works ($10,000)
- Hub City Writers Project ($10,000)
The Arts Endowment is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Part of this commitment includes our partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Outreach to develop relationships and help HBCUs navigate funding opportunities has led to an increased number of applications from and involving HBCUs. A few Grants for Arts Projects examples of successful applications from this round of funding include:
- A $20,000 award to National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, to support the Move/Dance! Program in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and Spelman College, which will virtually engage students in the appreciation of Black dance in America.
- A $15,000 award to Illinois State University to support outreach to HBCUs and the publication of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora. With the aim of growing its readership and cultivating new voices, Obsidian plans to offer online literary programming at HBCUs across the country.
- A $25,000 award to Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts to support a master class series for aspiring classical music singers. The project will take place at several historically Black colleges and universities such as Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia; and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.
- A $20,000 award to Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky, to support an artist residency program for visual artists and related public programming. Artists will engage local rural audiences and a partnership with Kentucky State University will enable students to engage with the residency program as interns and volunteers.
- A $100,000 award to Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to support the pARTners Project. The goal of the initiative is to increase access to arts education for students in West-Central Alabama, with a special focus on preK-12th grade students in rural areas, by creating a strategic plan, providing arts integration programs to schools, including developing curriculum and training teachers. Teaching artists will be recruited for participation from local colleges and universities such as Stillman College.
The National Endowment for the Arts will award $1.2 million in FY 2021 Literature Fellowships to creative writers and translators
. This includes 35 Creative Writing Fellowships of $25,000 each. These FY 2021 fellowships are in poetry and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. In addition, the Arts Endowment approved $325,000 in fellowships to 24 translators to translate works from 16 languages and 19 countries into English. Click here to take a more in-depth look at these fellowships and other Literary Arts grants this round.
The National Endowment for the Arts also offers two funding opportunities for research projects. This year marks the tenth anniversary of grants for arts research, a program currently known as Research Grants in the Arts
. For FY 2021, 14 organizations are recommended for Research Grants in the Arts totaling $833,000. In addition, five NEA Research Labs
are recommended for funding totaling $645,790. Transdisciplinary research partnerships grounded in the social and behavioral sciences will examine and report on the benefit of the arts in non-arts sectors. Click here to explore more about the recommended arts research awards.
A research project by Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute at Roper St. Francis Hospital
in Charleston was the recipient of an $80,000 research grant.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more
College of Charleston’s Valerie Morris announces retirement
Long-time, accomplished arts dean exiting the stage
For 22 years Valerie Morris, dean of the College of Charleston School of the Arts, has sat in the audience at music and dance performances, theater productions and art lectures and presentations.
She has served as a member of various boards and joined committees to raise funds. A perennial champion of the arts, Morris has always been there, standing off stage, determinedly cheering.
And it’s an essential role in a city where the arts often take center stage.
“I have known Dean Morris for years as a fellow Rotarian and through her leadership in Charleston’s thriving arts community,” says Charleston Mayor John T. Tecklenburg
. “Simply put, she’s been amazing in her impact on the arts scene here in Charleston, along with her personal joie de vivre
Morris’s “joie de vivre” or enthusiasm for the arts began at a young age. Growing up in Beverly, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, she first became interested in the arts at the age of six after an aunt took her to see the movie Hans Christian Anderson starring Danny Kaye. Then she became very active in the local children’s theater and “used every excuse to spend backstage” at the North Shore Music Theatre, the largest operating regional theater in New England.
“I guess from the age of 6, I always felt pushed towards the arts,” Morris said, noting that in high school her focus shifted to public speaking and promoting the arts, which won her an award for marketing her high school’s productions. “First, I wanted to perform, then I realized I wanted to be around artists of all types, and to help them achieve their goals.”
And that first meant achieving her goals. Morris received her bachelor’s degree in speech arts from American University and a master in speech with a theatre administration emphasis from the University of Michigan. Her career in the arts really picked up when she joined the faculty of American University’s Department of Performing Arts, where she became the founding director of that institution’s Arts Management program.
According to Karen Chandler
, associate professor of arts management at the College, Morris forged a path for women in the field.
“When I entered the field in the early ’80s, Valerie was one of a handful of women arts leaders who had founded and very successfully developed a program in arts management (at American University),” says Chandler, who also worked alongside Morris at American University.
Morris came to the College as dean of the School of the Arts in the fall of 1998. Since then, she has helped establish the undergraduate Arts Management Program and the Graduate Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management, as well as the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program.
Under Morris’s leadership, the School of the Arts has grown and flourished, including earning the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts, the state’s highest award in the arts. Other highlights of Morris’ tenure include helping to launch the Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts in January 2010. The $27.2 million dollar, 70,000-square-foot building is a testament to the growth of the school from a small fine arts department into a comprehensive arts school with seven academic departments and programs. Morris also expanded the School of the Arts Council and, in 2003, established the Friends of the School of the Arts, a membership program that funds scholarships, student travel for competitions and productions, visiting artists, faculty research and development, and international recruitment efforts.
And Morris’s hard work has garnered the attention and support of some of CofC’s most esteemed arts alumni, including acclaimed painter Brian Rutenberg
(Class of 1987).
“To excel as an artist, one needs to be organized, possess a clear-eyed vision and have a great sense of humor. These same qualities apply to leading an entire art school,” says Rutenberg. “Valerie has all of these attributes, plus she is a skillful communicator. Her creation is the world-class reputation that the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston enjoys today. We are all the beneficiaries of her effort.”
As for what comes next, Morris says her future will always include the arts as well as a focus on family.
“I’m keeping active on local, regional and national boards,” she says. “Eventually, my husband and I plan to spend considerable time on the West Coast, where my children and grandchildren live.”
To honor Morris’s 22 years of service to the College and the School of the Arts, longtime College of Charleston advocates, donors and volunteers Jean and Tap Johnson have established a scholarship in her name. It’s a fitting honor for someone who has done so much for CofC.
“Valerie has been a consummate mentor, advisor and colleague over the past 25 years. But more importantly, she is a trusted supporter and dear friend,” says Chandler. “She deserves to do whatever she wants now, feeling satisfied about the outstanding contributions she’s made to the arts infrastructure in so many places – and especially here at CofC.”
Halsey Institute’s Mark Sloan to retire
Director's tenure to end Dec. 31
[caption id="attachment_17308" align="aligncenter" width="532"]
Pulse Dome Project at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Dec. 2014. Hub file image.[/caption]
Long-time Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art Director and Curator Mark Sloan announced Friday he will retire from the position as of Dec. 31, 2020.
Sloan has been a member of the Halsey team since 1994. The public announcement came via email to stakeholders, excerpted here:
The time has come for me to step down as Director & Chief Curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. I have made the difficult decision to retire as of December 31, 2020.
... I am very proud of the work we have all done together—members, friends, artists, community partners, donors, staff, advisory board members, and faculty colleagues at the College of Charleston. The four words “It takes a village” come to mind. Being the director and chief curator at the Halsey has propelled me into some of the most rewarding and amazing life experiences ...
The changes that will be brought about in our culture as a result of the COVID-19 virus are only beginning to be felt. At the time of this writing, we have no sense of the scope of the virus, much less how it will impact our lives in the months and years ahead. The Halsey Institute staff and Advisory Board will endeavor to navigate these uncharted waters with aplomb, but we will need your support ... We want to keep admission free, so that our galleries remain a place where the public can have direct experience with the notion of how an artist turns a thought into a thing.
I would like to thank each of you for being in the Halsey Institute’s orbit. It has been a grand adventure so far, and a privilege to serve as the director for Charleston’s contemporary art museum and to watch the concomitant explosion of contemporary arts programming throughout the region over these last two and-a-half decades. It has been thrilling to be a part of that. My wife and I have forged many wonderful friendships here and feel incredibly grateful to have been so warmly embraced by this community..."
No details were announced about the search to replace Sloan.
College of Charleston honors Haga with art history scholarship
Michael Haga is retiring after 26 years at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. But as he steps down, a scholarship honoring him will help students step up their education in art.
Haga is the school's associate dean and a long-time friend of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Arts Alliance, and Arts Foundation (and all around good guy - Ed.). The College of Charleston is honoring him with the Michael W. Haga Endowed Art History Award, a $15,000 scholarship for art history students.
From The College Today:
Established in 2016, the award was the brainchild of Nina Liu, a renowned Charleston gallery owner, as well as a friend of Haga, who wanted to honor his contribution to the College by creating the endowed award in his name ... Working with Liu, Haga came upon the idea of directing the fund to his chosen field of art history, supporting majors in that area so that they can travel for research or engage in a formal study abroad program.
Haga taught Art History 101 for 20 years during his tenure.
“No matter how sophisticated you may be through reading and interacting with people from other parts of the world, until you physically are elsewhere yourself, you simply cannot understand what a transformative thing travel is. It changes your world,” Haga said.
S.C. Arts Commission announces 2015 Verner Award recipients
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts! The S.C. Arts Commission annually presents the awards, the highest honor the state gives in the arts, to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Columbia on Wednesday, May 13. The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala.
This year’s recipients:
"South Carolina's quality of life, education and economy are enhanced tremendously by those who dedicate their work and lives to the arts," said S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. "The Verner Awards recognize that service of commitment and passion. We are honored again this year to present the awards to a most worthy group of organizations and individuals. We are grateful for their contributions to our state."
For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Gala, call (803) 734-8696 or visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com
About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three 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 www.SouthCarolinaArts.com
or call (803) 734-8696.
Secrets to touring the world as a musician
“In the Mix: Music Industry Exchanges” is a monthly series connecting musicians and College of Charleston students to industry leaders with intimate conversations about success and experience in the music industry, moderated by Mark Bryan.
The March 31 session, “On the Road,” invites a national and local panel made up of Jerrod Wilkins (manager of Duncan Sheik and NY Dolls), Dolph Ramseur (manager of Avett Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops), and Eric Bass (bass player of Shinedown) to discuss what it takes for a musician to have a successful touring career.
The April 21 session, "Music Gone Viral," features Luke Lewis (former CEO of Universal Music Group and founder of Lost Highway Records), Mike Doernberg (CEO and co-founder of ReverbNation) and John Simson (former executive director of SoundExchange).
Presented by the Arts Management Program in the College of Charleston School of the Arts and sponsored by Borboleta Audio Mastering, the FREE series takes place Mondays, once a month, at 6:30 p.m. The series began in January and continues through April on the College’s campus at the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Very limited seating is made available to CofC students and musicians and music business professionals ONLY. You must RSVP to IntheMixCharleston@gmail.com. For more information, visit BorboletaAudio.com, Facebook/BorboletaAudioMastering or call (843) 724-0777.
Via: Borboleta Audio Mastering
In the Mix: Music Industry Exchanges
Charleston, South Carolina, is becoming a hot spot for local and national musicians to make music. To help foster this growth, “In the Mix: Music Industry Exchanges” is being presented as a monthly series connecting musicians and College of Charleston students to industry leaders. The series, moderated by Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish, features intimate conversations about success and experience in the music business. Guests Darius Rucker and Cary Ann Hearst will kick off the series Jan. 27 with a discussion about songwriting.
Presented by the Arts Management Program in the College of Charleston School of the Arts and sponsored by Borboleta Audio Mastering, this free series takes place Mondays, once a month, at 6:30 p.m., January through April in Room 309 of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St., on the college's campus. There is limited seating so an RSVP to InTheMixCharleston@gmail.com is required. For more information, visit Borboleta Audio's website, call (843) 724-0777.
Via: Borboleta Audio Mastering
Engaging Creative Minds seeks executive director
The newly launched Engaging Creative Minds program is seeking an executive director to serve as its first managing leader. The application deadline is January 21, 2013, and email applications are required.
Visit the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts' website
to read the job description, which includes background about this initiative, the priorities of the executive director for the next 12-18 months and the application process.
Engaging Creative Minds is a public/private education partnership, created through a community planning task force organized by the Charleston County School District, the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the College of Charleston School of Education, Health & Human Performance, the Youth Endowment for the Arts, the City of Charleston, City of North Charleston, the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, Berkeley County School District and Dorchester County School District Two.
The inspiration for Engaging Creative Minds came from the Dallas-based organization Big Thought,
which provides arts integration curriculum and professional development for teachers and artists and hands-on engaged learning in the core subjects -- not just the arts -- in school, after school and during the summer. Documented results for the Dallas Unified School District include increased success in raising student engagement in learning, helping young people pass standards tests to move to the next grade level and increasing academic achievement levels.
Via: Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, Engaging Creative Minds