conNECKtedTOO to launch app in support of tiny business
conNECKtedTOO is launching the conNECKtedTOO/TINYisPOWERFUL mobile app and a revitalized website Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Cannon Street Arts Center in Charleston from 3-6 p.m. This event celebrates the rich and remarkable legacy of Charleston’s tiny "smaller than small" business community through an interactive performance celebrating the art of barbering, films, arts, and fellowship, and will serve as the official debut of a new online creative place for tiny businesses and you. In 2018 the Charleston Rhizome Collective received the only ArtPlace America award in South Carolina in support of a project of art in/with community for economic development. The event on Dec. 8 presents the development of a "participative" online platform seen as a community lab that encourages artists, activists, young people, and business owners to exchange stories and form supportive networks. The creation and ongoing development of the mobile app addresses the lack of support for family-owned tiny businesses who are frequently passed over by typical forums for economic and social support. At the moment, 28 local businesses will have their own profiles with a variety of content, ranging from personal narratives and links to each business’s social media. “The conNECKtedTOO/TINYisPOWERFUL mobile app honors the cultural relevance of tiny business now and throughout history. It encourages patronage and is a place to explore, share resources, learn, and grow community through collaboration between artists, cultural workers, youth, activists, and tiny businesses. User experiences will vary,” says Victoria Moore of conNECKtedTOO. Join conNECKtedTOO Sunday, Dec. 8 (doors open at 3 p.m. and an interactive performance starts at 4 p.m.) in celebrating neighborhood tiny businesses whose vitality makes Charleston rich. This event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Victoria at 843.209.7902 or email conNECKtedTOO@gmail.com.
conNECKtedTOO by the Charleston Rhizome Collective is a project of art and culture in/with community for economic development supported in large part by an ArtPlace America Award with additional support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Lowcountry Quarterly Art Program and the Coastal Community Foundation. The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs serves as a civic partner.
conNECKtedTOO is on the move
Sculpture heads to North Charleston for the summer
“You Bet ‘N Me ‘N Me ‘N You,” a sculptural tiny business village of the future, has moved from the Cannon Street Arts Center in downtown Charleston to the lobby of North Charleston’s City Hall (2500 City Hall Lane) where it will remain installed through early August 2019. The sculpture was created by artists, apprentices and business owners working with conNECKtedTOO, a project of art and culture in/with community for economic development. The project supports and promotes tiny business in Charleston and beyond as a vital part of neighborhood and commerce by building a collaborative, sustainable network of business owners, artists and neighborhood youth. This network is inter-generational, interracial and grassroots by design; it reflects the importance of diversity in the building of equitable societies.
"Everybody's dream is not to become Bill Gates. Some folks want to support their families or live out something that's a passion of theirs. There's one guy that has always wanted to have a place to sell pizza. As simple as that. He doesn't want to be Pizza Hut," said conNECKtedTOO tiny business coordinator and Charleston native Theron Snype.In addition to the tiny business village installation, conNECKtedTOO has developed an Active Memory Map as one way of seeking out local narratives that are often left out of economic conversations—the stories, voices and memories of generations of Charlestonians, especially those who represent marginalized populations like minorities, women, and immigrants. The participatory map will be at the Charleston County Library Main Branch (68 Calhoun St., Charleston) through July 31.
coNECKtedTOO, as a multi-faceted experiment, is being constantly imagined, forged and promoted. Our present plan, timeline and budget are supported in large part by an ArtPlace America award. Additional support is provided by Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For more information please visit conNECKtedTOO.org or email conNECKtedTOO@gmail.com.
Charleston Rhizome Collective first SC recipient of national ArtPlace America grant
[caption id="attachment_33275" align="alignright" width="270"] Charleston Rhizome Collective leaders with City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Director Scott Watson and Mayor John Tecklenburg[/caption] A Charleston grassroots organization is the first South Carolina recipient of a highly competitive national grant from ArtPlace America. The Charleston Rhizome Collective will receive $300,000 for the conNECKtedTOO project to help address the needs of small and tiny businesses using installations, visuals, forums, a tour, an app-based interactive map and a youth entrepreneurship program. conNECKtedTOO will create a solidarity hub and network linking tiny neighborhood businesses to consolidate buying and selling power and engage residents in decisions over business ownership, loans, job training, hiring practices, wholesale prices, schooling and housing. ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund invests money in community development projects where artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity work to strengthen communities across 10 sectors of community planning and development. ArtPlace received 987 applications this year, and after narrowing the field to 70 finalists, selected conNECKtedTOO as one of only 23 projects that will receive a total of $8.7 million in funding. The 23 projects represent communities of all sizes across 18 states and one U.S. territory, with almost 52 percent of this year’s funded projects taking place in rural communities. The South Carolina Arts Commission has been actively promoting this opportunity for the past five years and working with organizations interested in applying, according to Executive Director Ken May. “The ArtPlace application is a rigorous and competitive process; many South Carolina organizations have applied and only a few have made it to the finalist level. Clearly, conNECKtedTOO had the right ingredients—authenticity, local engagement, artistic sensibility and a compelling need—to bring home this prestigious award. Congratulations to the Collective for being the first South Carolina organization to join the cadre of creative place making efforts funded by ArtPlace America.” ArtPlace Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres visited South Carolina to present workshops about the grant opportunity and conduct site visits. “This year’s investments highlight critical dimensions of creative placemaking strategy that can provide great inspiration to communities across the country," said Torres. "We are deeply excited to announce these 23 new investments as our seventh cohort of funded projects through the National Creative Placemaking Fund.” For conNECKtedTOO, the Charleston Rhizome Collective will work with partners such as Jason Gourdine of the Black Collective, the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and several tiny businesses. “All of Charleston commends the conNECKted team on their ArtPlace America award,” said Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg. “Their past projects and recent efforts build confidence that the arts can be effectively put to work in new and creative ways to sustain and strengthen our local communities.” Find out more about the 2017 funded projects here. About The Charleston Rhizome Collective Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the Charleston Rhizome Collective is an art-in/with community group, where education, art and activism intersect. By design, it is grassroots, inter-racial and inter-generational. Through the arts, the Collective aims to amplify the voices of neighborhoods absent from public and private plans: social, cultural and economic. About ArtPlace America ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic. For more information visit www.ArtPlaceAmerica.org