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Anderson students paint mural to decorate garden

From the Anderson Independent Mail Article by Charmaine Smith-Miles

[caption id="attachment_26618" align="alignleft" width="300"]Southwood Academy of the Arts Southwood Academy of the Arts middle school student Jessica Webb helps paint a mural on a building with teacher Joshua Powell and volunteer Marci Sloan at G Street Community Park in Anderson.[/caption] After hours of painting, a group of eighth-grade students admired the progress they made on a mural that will serve as a backdrop for a community garden on an empty lot on G Street in Anderson. "I thought it would be a tough process," said one of the painters, 14-year-old Jessica Webb. "But it has actually been a lot of fun. It feels good to brighten up the community and to shine a little light on it." The students who painted the mural are part of the Arts in Basic Curriculum offered at Southwood Academy of the Arts. They have spent three years attending art classes every day of the week. And as they prepare to finish their middle school careers, they tackle a "legacy" project that becomes a piece of art that they leave behind for their school or their community, their teacher, Joshua Powell said. The school's last two projects were wood sculptures that were completed and made part of the school's campus. This time, they decided to tackle a project off campus. So, they spent an hour Sunday, about six hours Monday and will spend another four hours on Tuesday painting a 5 feet high by 30 feet long mural at the G Street Community Garden. "I offered the students this chance to give back," Powell said. Powell also said the project cost about $1,000 and was paid for using part of a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. The mural is painted on the side of a cement-block building which is located on the lot directly behind the garden. Members of Artisan Church, many of whom live on the city's "alphabet streets," planted the G Street Community Garden in June 2015, and have now expanded the garden from four raised beds to eight. The 28 residents who live along the street are encouraged to pick the produce grown in the garden, said Marci Sloan, who is the garden's manager. Sloan's husband, Jay, is the pastor at the Artisan Church, which meets on Market Street in Anderson. In March 2015, the Sloans bought the empty lot at 319 G Street and started recruiting help from the congregation in clearing the lot and planting the garden. Now, the lot, which was once an acre of overgrown weeds and brush, is decorated with tables and benches and a bed of flowers. One of the raised beds is full of almost-ready-to-pick carrots, and others are planted with tomatoes, herbs and different kinds of peas. And the mural behind it all depicts a scene of city and rural life — meant to show the character of the Anderson community. The design for the mural was completed by the students, Powell said. He said the students were divided up into eight groups and then Marci Sloan selected the design she liked best. "We want this mural and the garden to be a focal point for the community," she said. "The whole city is something for residents to be proud of. We want to make others aware of something good going on in the community here." Alex Irby, Ashley Kozikowski, Garrett Patterson, Rylyn Wood and Jessica Webb put together the design that was selected. "It's cool that our design was chosen," said Irby, 14. "We want this to be a peaceful place." Image above: Southwood Academy of the Arts middle school students look at a partially painted mural on a building with teacher Joshua Powell (right) at G Street Community Park in Anderson.

Conductor sought for new series: YOU

SC PhilharmonicAir conductors of all skill and experience levels are hereby on notice. From this September through next spring, the South Carolina Philharmonic is rehearsing, then heading off the stage and into the community with the interactive and engaging new “Conduct the Phil” program, funded by a grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Music moves many to start conducting spontaneously in the car or office, but have you ever thought you’d like a chance to conduct a professional orchestra? If you said “yes,” start practicing. “Conduct the Phil” improves the popular flash mob experience by making it interactive. In the process, it will connect around 100,000 people in the region with the S.C. Phil and each other by virtue of a unique shared experience at six free concerts in vibrant social settings where the Midlands gathers: the S.C. State Fair, Orangeburg’s Festival of Roses, Irmo’s Okra Strut, the Kershaw County Farmers Market, and Soda City Market twice. The first concert is at the Irmo Okra Strut, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, from 7 to 8 p.m, kicking off the largest-scale audience/community-engagement initiative in the S.C. Phil’s 52-season history. As passersby enjoy these festivals, they’ll encounter around 20 S.C. Phil musicians set up as if on stage, with music stands, chairs, and a podium and baton for the conductor – who will be conspicuously absent. On Music Director Morihiko Nakahara’s music stand will be a sign that reads, “Conduct us!” As brave volunteers take turns picking up the baton, the assembled orchestra will begin playing a surprise tune to whatever tempo the volunteer conductor sets. Music will include patriotic works and popular classical repertoire such as Mozart’s Eine kleine nachtmusik, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and the opening of Beethoven’s famed Fifth Symphony. The orchestra will perform at each location for an hour as members of the public take turns at the podium. The Central Carolina Community Foundation’s generous, $24,000 grant funds most of the new program’s $30,000 cost, with the S.C. Phil covering the rest.


From MORIHIKO NAKAHARA, S.C. Philharmonic Music Director “What we've experienced from adapting the ‘Link Up’ concerts in the recent years is the power of audience participation and audience/performer interaction. ‘Conduct the Phil’ is a fun way for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience what I am fortunate to experience every time I step in front of an ensemble. You are placed right in the middle of all the musical action, perhaps similar to being right on the sidelines during a football game as opposed to watching it from the stands or on TV. If you are adventurous, feel free to experiment – make the orchestra go faster, slower, louder, softer, etc.” From JOANN TURNQUIST, President and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation “Central Carolina Community Foundation is proud to support the South Carolina Philharmonic with an inaugural Connected Communities grant. The grant we’ve awarded will help this organization promote a more welcoming and vibrant community by engaging our community in the music making process. We are delighted to provide funding for the ‘Phil’s’ unique concert series.”

About the S.C. Philharmonic

An independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1964, the South Carolina Philharmonic entertains, educates, enriches and excites diverse audiences through live symphonic music. The introduction of Music Director Morihiko Nakahara in 2008/2009 ushered in a New Era of Artistic Excellence that is allowing the orchestra to move forward and become the Midlands pre-eminent performing arts group. Image credit: Improv Everywhere Via: S.C. Philharmonic

National Endowment for the Arts releases 2015 funding guidelines

Grant programs have February, April, and July 2015 deadlines; webinars offered to potential applicants. Guidelines and application materials for two National Endowment for the Arts funding categories have been posted on the NEA's website. The 2015 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2016. Any nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community with at least a three-year programming history is eligible to apply for project-based support through these two programs. Together, Art Works and Challenge America constitute approximately 75 percent of the NEA's annual direct grantmaking (exclusive of state and regional partnership agreements). Category descriptions Art Works is the NEA's largest funding category, supporting the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. In fiscal year 2014, the NEA supported 1799 grants totaling $49.4 million through Art Works. The deadlines for Art Works applications are February 19 and July 23, 2015, depending on the artistic discipline and/or type of project for which an organization seeks support. Challenge America offers support primarily to small- and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. In fiscal year 2014, Challenge America funded 147 grants totaling $1.47 million. The deadline for Challenge America is April 16, 2015. Guidelines and application materials for both categories are in the Apply for a Grant section of the NEA website. To see the kinds of projects supported through these two categories, go to the Recent Grants section of the NEA website. Webinars In order to offer potential applicants the highest level of technical assistance, the NEA has scheduled webinars covering the basics of the Art Works and Challenge America funding categories, including how to apply to the NEA, how to select work samples, and how to prepare a strong application. After each presentation, there will be time for Q and A with NEA staff. The Art Works webinar is scheduled for January 21, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET. The Challenge America session will be on March 11, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET. To sign up for either or both webinars, go to the webinar section of the NEA website. Both webinars will be archived shortly after each event and posted on the NEA website in the webinar section. About the National Endowment for the Arts The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.

New Wofford College class connects students to community arts organizations

From Wofford College's The Old Gold and Black (student-run newspaper) Story by Sarah Madden

What do six seniors, a junior, six freshmen and community arts professionals have in common? The newest art history course, Community Engagement in the Arts seminar class, draws these people together to provide students with hands-on experience and changed perspectives on the arts community and its organizations. The class meets once a week for discussions with guest speakers from Spartanburg arts organizations, but the core of the course is centered around 40-50 hour practicums, which are similar to internships. In a practicum, students are “working on an individual mission related to the organization’s mission,” says Dr. Karen Goodchild, associate professor of art history. According to Goodchild, the class focuses on exploring how and why arts organizations are founded, funded, programmed and maintained. First-year student Michal Busbee says that this course has encouraged her dream of becoming a museum curator. “The course, while enabling me to see the practical side of art and get hands-on experience in my dream career, is also pushing me to go outside my comfort zone and get involved with the community outside of Wofford,” she says. Senior Sarah Baldwin finds this class, with its mixture of discussion, guest speakers and hands-on experience, to be her most applicable course taken at Wofford. “It bridges my educational experience and future career plans,” she says. “I have not just learned the material, I have also acquired experience working independently with an organization on a project that allows me to practice and apply what I have learned in class in a ‘real-world’ setting.” These individualized practicums range from working with Wofford’s archivist cataloging art pieces to helping Hub City Writer’s Project interview artists for a soon-to-be-published book on regional public art to collecting and transcribing oral histories of Northside residents for the Northside Initiative’s “Porch Stories” project. Senior art history major Sari Imber has been working with Hub City Press in downtown Spartanburg. “The experience has been incredibly eye-opening in terms of my career search this year, and I have learned a lot about the many aspects of the art industry…that I otherwise would have never been exposed to in a traditional lecture-based setting.” While the seniors tend to point to the applicability of the class to the real world, the younger students attest to a new perspective on Sparkle City. First-year student Julie Woodson, for example, says that before taking this class she had no idea how much there was to do in Spartanburg. “[The city] really has a lot to offer. There are so many arts organizations in Spartanburg, and they are always hosting gallery openings, art shows or other events (which usually offer free food).” The long-term benefit is clear to Woodson. “We have all gained a ton of experience, contacts and skills that will most definitely be beneficial when we graduate. I would love to see more classes and areas of study that encourage students to get involved in Spartanburg,” she says. This class also has been well received in the community, says Jennifer Evins, CEO and president of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg. “One of the greatest benefits came from dialogue with students about how the local arts community could engage college students more. Some very good ideas resulted, and we hope to implement them with their assistance,” she says. “I believe that this new engagement seminar will continue to help develop a closer relationship with the Wofford College community, and it will give students practical experience in arts administration and arts program development.” “Community Engagement in the Arts has undoubtedly been the most useful, meaningful and challenging class I have had the opportunity to take at Wofford,” says Imber. Baldwin agrees. “Not only that, but it has allowed me to network and establish myself in a work environment, an experience I would have lacked if I had not been given the opportunity to leave the classroom." Image: "The value of the arts on communities is immense,” says former Spartanburg mayor Bill Barnett, one of the many guest speakers.