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Jason Rapp

COVID-19 survey reveals ‘frightening situation’ for creativity, culture

Sectors surviving on emergency funding, more needed


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A recent survey of South Carolina nonprofit organizations revealed more than half serving in the creative and cultural sector lacked the funding to continue operations—and still face potential closure—without emergency funding for a sector that adds $9.7 billion to the state economy.

Together SC, in partnership with a mix of foundations and funders from across the state, commissioned a late-winter survey of non-profit groups served by those funders to determine their financial health considering COVID-19. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and Lowcountry-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (GDDF) provided questions geared toward arts, culture, and the humanities non-profits they serve. The survey was designed, collected, analyzed, and reported by Kahle Strategic Insights Managing Director Robert W. Kahle, Ph.D. with Gloria Roderick, MPA.

Key findings

  • Statewide, the outlook is bleak, with 48% of creative and cultural (arts, culture, and humanities) survey respondents claiming they can operate for six months at most without additional revenue.
  • Job losses at responding organizations reached 16% from March 2020 to March 2021.
  • Though a slight, 6% rebound is expected by June 2021, the resulting 11% aggregate drop could grow again once funding expires with the fiscal year on June 30.
“We have known for some time that creativity and culture are being hammered by this pandemic. These survey results show that difficult times are far from over,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “As resilient as the organizations served by the arts commission and Donnelley Foundation are, they are telling us the pandemic is not over for them. These are neighbors and friends in every community who need help and their options to support themselves are simply too limited to sustain them.”
Most respondents received PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans and either federal or state CARES Act funds. However, those funds were limited and only filled the gap for a few months. The SCAC requested additional funding in its proposed FY22 state budget. Platts points out that even though data from the survey shows SCAC respondents estimate needing a total infusion of $3.2 million to operate past June, the need is far greater because response rate to the survey was 32%. “We can only guess at the actual number, but creativity and culture here are facing a frightening situation,” he said. Many barriers prevent these organizations from a near-term return to pre-pandemic operating conditions that could generate self-sustaining revenue. With many sponsors and individual donors feeling effects of the pandemic, that leaves federal and state emergency funds as critical lifelines used to close the gap. Though significant majorities of respondents reported integration of digital programming, the survey showed that it is difficult to monetize. Among SCAC respondents, 75% reported at least some digital programming and 90% of GDDF respondents reported it. However, three quarters of both group’s respondents said digital programming was only able to make up, at most, 19% of their income. Cost was identified as the most significant barrier to digital programming. “The survey points to the immediate critical need to support our arts and culture organizations. We will know the non-profit sector has recovered when the arts and culture sector has recovered,” David Farren, GDDF executive director said. “These organizations and their staffs are a vital part of the quality of life and economy in our communities.  We all need to step up to ensure they are able to return, when it is safe to do so, viable and ready to serve the community.”

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 the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina.   The Foundation supports a wide spectrum of arts groups that reflect the vitality and diversity of the Lowcountry, providing general operations grants to arts organizations, as well as other assistance to support, strengthen and connect the Lowcountry arts ecosystem. For more information on the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, visit www.gddf.org or contact Lowcountry Program Director, Kerri Forrest, at kforrest@gddf.org.

Jason Rapp

‘Holy grief’ discussion at next Artists U conversation

'Back Together, Not Back to Normal'


If we're honest, "normal" is a long way off.

Sure, we are seeing semblances of it here and there. According to Andrew Simonet from Artists U (an ongoing partner of the S.C. Arts Commission), "there is a lot up for grabs in the next 12 months." In an essay, he says:

Many of us have an understandable urge: Can’t we just go back to how things were in 2019? No, we can’t. Too much has shifted in our culture and economy and world. What comes next will be built, in part, by artists. We have sacred, essential skills for this moment: We look clear-eyed at what is and fearlessly imagine what could be.

And so "Back Together, Not Back to Normal" was born, giving artists a place to converse about the abundant twists and turns of navigating the transition away from lockdowns. [caption id="attachment_46863" align="alignright" width="200"]Devynn Emory Devynn Emory (image from LinkedIn)[/caption] #SCartists can register now for an April 22 conversation with Brooklyn-based Devynn Emory, who will lead a conversation with the thesis, "our grief can be holy if we let it." Emory is a mixed Lenape/Blackfoot transgender choreographer, dance artist, bodyworker, ceremonial guide and acute care and hospice nurse who spent the pandemic along the front lines in the later roles. Artists U invites artists to join Devynn's conversation about:
  • grief and mourning what has been lost
  • the traumas and truths of the past year, how they impact our bodies and breath
  • how artists can resist the “get back to normal” narrative, reinventing rather than rebuilding
  • how artists are useful to our communities and beloveds through these complex transitions
  • grief and mourning what has been lost
  • the traumas and truths of the past year, how they impact our bodies and breath
  • how artists can resist the "get back to normal" narrative, reinventing rather than rebuilding
  • how artists are useful to our communities and beloveds through these complex traditions.
That's Thursday, April 22 at noon ET, and you can register here.

Jason Rapp

Reopening guidance from the NEA

Webinar with Dr. Fauci is next week


How arts organizations can reopen their venues in 2021 is the topic of a webinar presented by the National Endowment for the Arts with special guest Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Fauci will provide opening remarks at this free event that will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 3-4:00 p.m. ET. Those interested in attending should register here. Acting Chairman of the Arts Endowment Ann Eilers said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to have Dr. Fauci participate in the agency’s The Art of Reopening webinar. His expertise, commitment, and compassion have been critical to the nation’s ability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. His guidance will remain of the utmost importance in our continued progress in the country and towards full reengagement with the arts and audiences." The event is based in part on the NEA’s report The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19 that was published in January 2021. The report examines reopening practices of organizations that resumed in-person programming in 2020 and presents promising tactics and nine case studies. Three of the organizations featured as case studies will be represented on a panel moderated by Sunil Iyengar, director of the Arts Endowment’s Office of Research & Analysis. The panelists are:
  • Scott Altman, president & CEO, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Chloe Cook, executive director, Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Rebecca Read Medrano, co-founder and executive director, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Washington
The webinar will highlight some of the practices of these organizations but also delve into new challenges and lessons that have emerged since data were collected for the report in the fall of 2020. The driving question will be “What is the outlook for arts organizations who seek to re-engage with live audiences and visitors in 2021?” The session will conclude with audience Q&A. An archive of the webinar will be posted to this page on the Arts Endowment website shortly afterwards. In addition to The Art of Reopening, the Arts Endowment contributed to an analysis from FEMA’s Recovery Support Function Leadership Group with COVID-19's Impacts on Arts and Culture. Information in the analysis includes an overview of the latest data on the economic impact of arts and culture developed from a partnership of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Arts Endowment, that reports recent arts worker unemployment data, and a state-of-the-field assessment based on data from November 2020. Finally, the current issue of the Arts Endowment’s magazine, Arts in the Time of COVID offers stories and insights. Each of the organizations featured in the magazine illustrates the importance of adaptation, resilience, and staying true to the values that drive each to overcome and survive. For more COVID-19 resources, visit the Arts Endowment’s collection on the website and follow the agency on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.
Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Midlands arts school chosen for COVID art project

[caption id="attachment_46656" align="aligncenter" width="487"] Rubi by 7th grader Rubi Bouknight[/caption] From ColaDaily.com:

The Midlands Arts Conservatory was chosen as one of ten schools nationwide to participate in an art project titled, “COVID-19 & Me: Changes in My World."

Students were encouraged to create artworks featuring their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative is a partnership with the World Awareness Children’s Museum of Glens Falls, New York, and is led by the museum’s executive director, Bethanie Muska Lawrence and Russell Serrianne, curator of collections & exhibitions.

Read more from Meera Bhonslé at ColaDaily.com.

Jason Rapp

New poster series promotes vaccine effort

Creativity + Public Health from the SCAC


Plan your vaccine—that’s the latest message on a series of public health posters created over the last 12 months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the cross-sector initiative of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) called The Art of Community: Rural SC, a community of artists, makers, organizations and local voices have helped support and advance what it means to be healthy and safe through quarantine, closing and opening schools, restaurants, offices and more.
  • BONUS CONTENT: Lea esta historia en español a continuación.
Working with artist Amiri Farris of Bluffton, the SCAC team has used artful and timely messaging to remind people to social distance, wash hands, cover sneezes and coughs, make self-care a priority, uplift and thank essential workers, and love community. “These posters use the full spectrum of ‘rainbow colors’ that get people’s attention,” Farris said. Having empathy for one another is something Farris stresses. “I really want to hug people but we can’t do that, so these posters are a way to reach out to people; to thank workers who are all keeping us all safe and healthy; and to remind us to maintain healthy protocols during times of crisis.” With the expansion of the vaccine eligibility to include a wider array of individuals, this latest poster is just in time. “Special thanks to our internal team who has worked behind the scenes to get these posters created and out—Laura Marcus Green, Abigail Rawl and Jason Rapp,” said Community Arts Program Director Susan DuPlessis. “And to our public health partners who value the role of arts and culture in our state—including the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, UofSC schools of public health and medicine.” “And an extra thanks to Maribel Acosta of Art Pot in Berkeley County who helped us create Spanish-language versions of these posters so they have an impact with even more people in our state,” Green said. “We know there is an intersection with the arts and everything in our lives, but it’s especially gratifying in times like these to see how arts and creativity can help our public health experts promote important messages so many people need to hear,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “Partnerships like these further the public value of arts and creativity to all South Carolinians.” The Art of Community: Rural SC is a place-based initiative working in 14 rural communities and the Catawba Indian Nation. “Using arts and culture strategically to advance local places is the essence of our approach. These posters are a great example of what it means to lift local voices and amplify creative spirits for the good of everyone,” DuPlessis said. “We are truly in this moment together.”

The latest statistics on COVID-19 in South Carolina

  • 455,495 total cases
  • 7,851 confirmed deaths
  • as of March 16, 2021
Source: South Carolina Dept. of Health & Environmental Control

Creatividad + Salud Pública del SCAC

Planifique su vacuna- Este es el mensaje más reciente de una serie de carteles de salud pública creados durante los últimos 12 meses en respuesta a la pandemia de COVID-19.

Como parte de la iniciativa intersectorial de la Comisión de Artes de Carolina del Sur llamada The Art of Community: Rural SC (El arte de la comunidad: Rural SC), una comunidad de artistas, creadores, organizaciones y voces locales han ayudado a apoyar y promover lo que significa estar sano y seguro a través de la cuarentena, con el cierre y apertura de escuelas, restaurantes, oficinas y más. En colaboración con la artista Amiri Farris de Bluffton, Carolina del Sur, el equipo de la Comisión de las Artes ha utilizado mensajes ingeniosos y oportunos para recordar a las personas la distancia social, lavarse las manos, cubrirse los estornudos y la tos, hacer del cuidado personal una prioridad, animar y agradecer a los trabajadores esenciales y el amor a la comunidad. “Estos carteles utilizan el espectro completo de los colores del arco iris que llaman la atención de la gente,” dijo Farris. Tener empatía el uno por el otro es algo que Farris enfatiza. “Tengo muchas ganas de abrazar a la gente, pero no podemos hacer eso, así que estos carteles son una forma de llegar a las personas; agradecer a los trabajadores que nos mantienen a todos seguros y saludables; y recordarnos que debemos mantener protocolos saludables en tiempos de crisis.” Con la expansión de la elegibilidad de la vacuna para incluir una gama más amplia de personas, este último cartel llega justo a tiempo. “Un agradecimiento especial a nuestro equipo interno que ha trabajado entre bastidores para crear y publicar estos carteles: Laura Marcus Green, Abigail Rawl y Jason Rapp,” dijo la directora del programa de artes comunitarias, Susan DuPlessis. “Y a nuestros socios de salud pública que valoran el papel de las artes y la cultura en nuestro estado, incluido el Departamento de Salud y Control Ambiental, la Oficina de Salud Rural de Carolina del Sur, la Escuela de Salud Pública de la Universidad de Carolina del Sur y la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Carolina del Sur.” “Y un agradecimiento adicional a Maribel Acosta de Art Pot, en el condado de Berkeley, que nos ayudó a crear una versión en español de estos carteles para que tengan un impacto a más personas en nuestro estado,” dijo Green. "Sabemos que hay una intersección con las artes y todo en nuestras vidas, pero es especialmente gratificante en tiempos como estos ver cómo las artes y la creatividad pueden ayudar a nuestros expertos en salud pública a promover mensajes importantes que muchas personas necesitan escuchar", dijo el Director Ejecutivo de SCAC, David Platts. "Asociaciones como estas mejoran aún más el valor público de las artes y la creatividad para todos los carolinos del sur." El arte de la comunidad: Rural SC es una iniciativa de educación basada en la región, que trabaja en 14 comunidades rurales y la nación indígena Catawba. “Usar el arte y la cultura de manera estratégica para promover los lugares locales es la esencia de nuestro enfoque.  Estos carteles son un gran ejemplo de lo que significa levantar las voces locales y amplificar las mentes creativas por el bien de todos,” dijo DuPlessis. "Realmente estamos juntos en este momento."
  • 455,495 casos totales
  • 7,851 muertes
  • 16 de marzo de 2021
Fuente: South Carolina Dept. of Health & Environmental Control

Jason Rapp

How are #SCartists weathering the pandemic?

Legislators, statewide partners, and funders want to know.

[caption id="attachment_46591" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Four pennies on a dark gray background Penny for your thoughts?[/caption]

TAKE THIS SURVEY NOW TO TELL THEM.

  • Did you have to take on jobs beyond your artistic practice?
  • Did you find a silver lining?
Your candid input can determine where artist resources are focused in the future. The survey closes March 26. (Artists applying for Arts Emergency Grants by March 26 will have the opportunity to take the survey with the application.)
This survey is a partnership between the South Carolina Arts Commission and Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

Jason Rapp

Applications to open for more #SCartists emergency relief

SCAC announces second round of funding

APPLICATION PERIOD: March 8-26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET  

Practicing individual artists who are South Carolina residents may apply for up to $500 of emergency relief funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission March 8 through March 26.

These emergency grants support artists who have lost income related to their artistic practice because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In order to be eligible for these no-match grants, applicants must be:
  • a practicing artist in dance, music, opera, musical theatre, theatre, visual arts, design arts, crafts, photography, media arts, literature, and/or folk & traditional arts;
  • a legal resident of the U.S. and South Carolina with a permanent residence in the state for at least one year prior to the application date and throughout the grant period; and
  • 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
Applicants may not be degree-seeking, full-time students during the grant period. Click here for complete information. The South Carolina Arts Foundation, through its S.C. Artist Relief Fund, is supporting these grants by raising funds from private corporate and individual supporters.

Correction

(2/25/21) Early versions of this story incorrectly stated that applications were now open for this second round of relief grants. They open Monday,  March 8.

A note about arts organizations

Because of limited funding, eligible South Carolina arts organizations will be invited to apply for this round of funding privately. Please review the eligibility section of the grant page for further information.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: More on ‘Save Our Stages’ relief

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...

Happy New Year from the SCAC

South Carolina Arts Alliance does deep dive on SOS

The Hub is catching up from a nice holiday break and wants to ensure readers are armed with proper information. ICYMI last week, after a delay President Trump signed an omnibus spending slash COVID-19 relief bill negotiated among Congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. The SCAA has more in a recent blog post that's worth your time. "Within the [bill] ... is $15 billion for shuttered live venues. Known first as the Save Our Stage (SOS) Act, filed this summer, this funding was folded in to the COVID relief bill after a large grassroots push across the country." Read their breakdown by clicking here.

Submitted material

Star Wars characters lend hand to Puppetry Arts videos

Force is strong with free interactive video series


"Ownership of Education" digital support videos produced by Puppetry Arts are a COVID 19-Rapid Response Arts in Education outreach program funded by the National Education Association Foundation.

The series includes 15, seven-minute videos, each with a specific topic or vocabulary word featured. They are structured in a Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) format. Infusing puppetry and animation, the videos are taught by teachers Mr. Tim, Miss Arlee, and Mr. Miles, who introduce a specific topic and talk about how they experience that topic and what we can do about it together. Finally, they empower and encourage young audiences to think about and share what they themselves can do about it. Tying into the COVID-19 pandemic, some issues touch on social distancing aiming to help young audiences better understand what is happening and why. These interactive videos are designed to be seen in order and ask for student replies (through the collaborating teacher) with the top 3 responses shared at the beginning of the next video. Adding to the fun, cameos by Star Wars characters from the 501st Garrison and Rebel Legions help reinforce the vocabulary with visits from Stormtroopers and even Darth Vader. Puppetry Arts is making these free videos available to all school and classrooms to help support virtual learning and bridge the gap between the classroom and the student. Email Puppetry Arts at info@puppetryarts.org to participate and receive links to videos unique to each school or classroom.

Jason Rapp

S.C. non-profits requested $76 million in SC CARES Act relief

Nearly 1,600 applications submitted


Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Dept. of Administration (Admin) announced late yesterday that 11,217 applications were received for the SC CARES Act grant programs for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.

These programs award grant funds to small and minority businesses and nonprofit organizations to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or for revenue loss due to COVID-19. Beginning on October 16, Governor McMaster, Admin, and other state leaders held events in Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Greer, and Myrtle Beach to raise awareness of the program and encourage business owners to apply for the program. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of our state’s economy and they were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We knew we had to quickly get them the help they need through an easily-accessible program, and I’m happy to say that the results have exceeded our expectations.” Act 154 of 2020 allocated $40 million for the Minority and Small Business Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$25,000. The total number of application submissions for the Minority and Small Business program was 9,627, with a total requested amount of $213,297,112.30. Act 154 allocated $25 million for the Nonprofit Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$50,000. The total number of application submissions for the Nonprofit program was 1,590 with a total requested amount of $75,980,037.43. In early December, applicants will receive a notification indicating grant approval and the dollar amount of the grant. Grant awards will be issued to qualifying grant recipients by mid-December. If other CARES Act funds are not utilized, both the Nonprofit and Minority and Small Business Grant funds are eligible to be replenished and additional grants may be distributed at a later date.
In accordance with Act 154, applications for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Commission for Minority Affairs, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of Commerce, or his designee; and
  • the director of the Department of Revenue, or his designee.
Act 154 further provides that priority must be given to minority businesses, to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds, to businesses with fifteen or fewer employees, and to businesses that demonstrate the greatest financial need. Applications for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Department of Social Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Mental Health, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, or her designee;
  • the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of State, or his designee;
  • the director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Archives and History, or his designee; and
  • the executive director of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, or her designee.
For the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, priority must be given to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds. Then, priority shall be given to applications for expenditures related to food assistance, including prepared meals, rent or mortgage assistance, utilities assistance, mental health counseling, health care services, including access to health care supplies, mental health, and behavioral health, criminal domestic violence and children’s advocacy services, and arts and cultural items or activities. Additionally, the panel will give consideration to the geographic distribution of services provided by the nonprofit organizations, so that grants are awarded on a statewide basis.