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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.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: COVID claims S.C. shag master + awards + more

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...


Columbia Film Society welcomes Dr. Thaddeus Jones

From a CFS email:

Meet Thaddeus Jones, our new CFS Director of Programming! Dr. Jones will direct film programming for the Nick and lead the Indie Grits Fellowship and media education programs. He has 15 years experience in filmmaking, media instruction and writing and for the last ten years, has managed his own media production company, fanatikproductions. He has been connected to CFS as a film curator and Indie Grits Fellow.

Jeppy McDowell dies at 76

Jeptha Joseph McDowell, better known as “Jeppy,” made North Myrtle Beach home and worked his way into being a legend in the local shag dancing scene. (Confused? You see, the shag is South Carolina's state dance.) The State reports "McDowell died due to complications from COVID-19 on Oct. 17. He was 76. COVID-19 is hitting the Grand Strand shag community hard. More on his passing from The State:

McDowell’s passing comes as others in the North Myrtle Beach shag community have fallen ill and died. In late September, several North Myrtle Beach clubs and restaurants participated in an unofficial Shaggin’ On Main event. In the days and weeks that followed, at least 14 people tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Two others connected to the shag community have also died, though, like McDowell, it remains unclear if their deaths are related to the events. According to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 210 people in the North Myrtle Beach zip code tested positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks following the events.

Read the full story from The State here (subscription possibly required).

Two weeks' notice

This is your two-weeks' notice that nomination time is coming to a close for the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Nominations for both are due by 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, Nov. 6.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission grants eclipsed $5.5 million in FY20

Emergency relief assisted 346 artists and arts organizations

Grants distributed in 44 counties


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In recently completed FY2020, South Carolina Arts Commission grants totaling $5.59 million went out into state communities to assist 835 artists and providers of arts and arts education.

While this represents a rise of more than $1.1 million and 377 grants over FY2019, it is important to note that extenuating circumstances render comparisons difficult. Fourth-quarter Arts Emergency Relief grants in 2020 pushed its overall numbers up. Additional funding from the state general assembly nudged the non-relief grant totals higher than FY2019 by just less than $685,000 with 489 grants awards versus 458. A new impact map available on the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of agency grants (and their related programs).

Arts Emergency Relief was a factor

Arts Emergency Relief grants, announced in April, added $506,736 to FY2020 totals. Those provided support funding to arts organizations and artists who could prove losses from shutdowns caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of CARES Act funding was granted to the National Endowment for the Arts for distribution in part to state arts agencies like the SCAC. The subgranted funding was designated solely to provide relief to arts organizations. The SCAC made 177 grants totaling $381,636 to South Carolina arts organizations as a result, helping those groups to offset losses and help keep them operating. Additional relief funding was provided by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. A separate entity that supports the SCAC, the foundation raised money through a spring fundraising drive that contributed around $50,000 of the $125,100 the SCAC spread among 168 individual artists. Both arts organizations and individual artists continue to suffer losses because of the pandemic’s prolonged effects and find themselves in need of additional relief. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated losses in South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors of $1.2 billion.

It was still a big year

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a big year. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts education, artist development, and community arts development increased to nearly $5.1 million in FY2020. Grants were made in 44 of 46 counties, and one out-of-state grant covered programmatic obligations to South Arts, a regional arts organization and frequent partner in the SCAC’s work. One big factor was the January introduction of School Art Materials grants. This new grant provided one-time money for arts teachers to purchase supplies and other needed materials to assist them in providing quality arts education. There were 63 grants awarded totaling $396,000. The largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enable arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $1.9 million was distributed among 129 such organizations. Another $112,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. While the majority of the SCAC’s funding comes from state appropriations, it is grateful for additional generous funding support from the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. Funding from those sources is applied to two SCAC grant categories: Subgranting and Arts Project Support.
  • Partnering arts agencies in South Carolina receive grants they may subgrant to artists and arts organizations in the communities they serve. CCF support helped seven awards in the category total $70,000 in FY2020.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (14) and arts organization (18) in 12 counties totaling around $30,000.
As of the start of FY2021 on July 1, 2020, the state is operating under a continuing resolution that holds its budget at FY2020 levels until January, when lawmakers expect to have a clearer picture of the effect of the pandemic on the state’s finances. The SCAC is working to ensure that state lawmakers are aware of losses suffered by arts providers and practitioners while we wait for the budget to be resolved.
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. 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 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Jason Rapp

S.C. opens CARES Act non-profit grant relief

Application period runs Oct. 19-Nov. 1


Today, the South Carolina Dept. of Administration (Admin) announces two new SC CARES Act grant programs: the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.

These programs will 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. Admin, working with Guidehouse, a professional grant management services provider, has been authorized to provide these grants from the Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to Act 154 of 2020.
  • Grant awards for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program will range from $2,500 to $50,000. To qualify for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, an organization must be designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the IRS and registered as a public charity in S.C., be physically located in South Carolina, be in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present, and have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19. Together SC will be partnering with Admin to assist South Carolina's nonprofits in receiving aid from this fund. To view more information on the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/NonprofitGrantProgramOverview.pdf.
  • Grant awards for the Minority and Small Business Grant Program will range from $2,500 to $25,000. To qualify for a grant from the Minority and Small Business Grant Program, a business must employ 25 or fewer employees, be physically located in South Carolina, be in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present, and have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19. To view more information on the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/SmallandMinorityBusinessGrantProgramOverview.pdf.
The online application process for both programs begins on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Applications must be received no later than Nov. 1, 2020. To access the online application, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/cares-act/applying-sc-cares-act-funds. During the application process, if a business or nonprofit organization needs assistance or has questions, please contact the SC CARES Call Center 803.670.5170 or SCCares@admin.sc.gov. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning Oct. 13.

Who is eligible?

Nonprofit organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Registered as a public charity with the South Carolina Secretary of State
  • Physically located and providing services in the State of South Carolina
  • In operation from October 13, 2019 - present
  • Can demonstrate a financial or operational impact due to COVID-19

What is covered?

  • Up to $25 million in grant funds are available to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or revenue loss due to COVID-19
  • Grant awards will range from $2,500 - $50,000
  • Qualifying expenditures include:
    • Organizational staffing costs (e.g. payroll and associated employee benefits, temporary and/or contract labor costs)
    • Organizational operating costs (e.g. supplies, raw materials, technology, marketing, communications)
    • Facility costs (e.g. rent, lease, or mortgage payments; equipment leases and purchases; utility costs)
    • Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. protective/sanitation supplies and equipment, installation of protective barriers, temperature detection equipment, disinfecting services)
  • Revenue loss

An important note for arts organizations

This grant program is offered and administered by the South Carolina Dept. of Administration and its designated agent(s), which do not include the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Any assistance throughout the process must be provided by Admin via the phone number or email address provided above. Priority shall be given to applications for expenditures related to: (1) food assistance, including prepared meals; (2) rent or mortgage assistance; (3) utilities assistance; (4) mental health counseling; (5) health care services, including access to health care supplies, mental health, and behavioral health; (6) criminal domestic violence and children’s advocacy services; and (7) arts and cultural items or activities.

Jason Rapp

Artist Relief announces emergency fund extension

Artist Relief approaches $20MM as need increases

Female and male musicians leaving concert stage after performance

In response to the overwhelming need for emergency financial assistance in the creative community, the coalition of organizations administering the Artist Relief fund announces it has raised nearly $20 million and will extend grantmaking through December.

The coalition—the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists—will also continue raising awareness and funds as the precarity faced by artists has only worsened with coronavirus infection rates spiking again alongside the end of nation-wide eviction moratoriums, additional unemployment benefits, and other resources. Since opening the fund for applications on April 8, Artist Relief has received over 130,000 applications from artists in all states and territories, and across ten disciplines: Craft, Dance, Design, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing. To date, Artist Relief has distributed $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals, at an average rate of 100 unrestricted $5,000 grants per week. To extend grantmaking through December, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has contributed an additional $2.5 million to the fund since its initial $5 million seed gift. Additional and recent funding also includes a $1 million gift and partnership with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, increased support from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and new funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bonnie Cashin Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Poetry Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and additional partners listed here. In addition to the continued support of foundations, Artist Relief has received generous contributions totaling almost $1 million from thousands of individuals across the country working together to provide relief to the nation’s artists. “Over the last six months, we have witnessed artists face extraordinary fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. At Mellon, we have continued to work closely with Artist Relief and many other partners across the country to support artists as they navigate this difficult time,” noted Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a poet and memoirist. “We need artists as we work to heal and recover, and we continue to call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to illuminate our path forward from this prolonged pandemic.”

 To date, Artist Relief has distributed $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals at an average rate of 100 unrestricted $5,000 grants per week.


[caption id="attachment_45561" align="alignright" width="250"]Black male musician sitting at piano and interacting with audience Booker T. Jones photographed at Hardley Stricly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA October 7, 2018©Jay Blakesberg[/caption] Due to demand, applicants demonstrating the most severe needs in four categories—rent, food, medical, and dependent care—have been prioritized. The coalition adopted an explicit equity lens in building the application and selection process to address structural access barriers to relief grants encountered by disabled artists, individuals of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Of the 2,700 grantees supported across the initial six grant cycles, artists have ranged from those early in their careers to others who are established pillars in their fields, revealing the precariousness of the arts economic ecosystem as a whole. Since April, evidence has shown that the needs of artists are becoming increasingly dire. Based on data from the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers administered by Research Partner Americans for the Arts: 62% of artists became fully unemployed because of COVID-19. 95% experienced income loss. 80% of artists do not yet have a plan to recover from the crisis. “As this public health crisis continues to rage, it has become clear that there is no real safety net for artists. As institutions reopen, they do so without their education departments, positions once filled by artists. Musicians have seen their gigs vanish, and poets and writers who lack healthcare find themselves more vulnerable than ever before. And now, as fall begins, swaths of creative practitioners nationwide might lose their adjunct positions,” says Jennifer Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets, a coalition partner. “It is imperative that we continue this fund to provide this bridge of relief for as many artists as we can.” Artist Relief was launched to provide an economic lifeline to artists and spread awareness through resources and partnerships. It was also an experiment in rethinking how nationwide grantmaking might work. Rather than relying on one organization to administer this relief effort, Artist Relief sought collaboration among existing entities, each bringing different expertise. ' “It has been deeply humbling to administer this fund and work alongside colleagues to maximize support for artists at this time,” adds Stacy Tenenbaum Stark, executive director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a coalition partner. “By working together, collectively we have assisted a larger population of artists than any of our individual organizations could have reached on our own.”
  • Artists needing support can apply online at artistrelief.org.
  • Tax-deductible donations can still be made at artistrelief.org; 100 percent of donations will be applied directly to aid and will help extend the fund for as long as possible.

About Artist Relief

Artist Relief is an initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists that have come together in this unprecedented moment guided by the understanding that the wellbeing of artists has financial, professional, social, and mental dimensions, and should be fostered with a holistic framework of support. The coalition is supported by CERF+, The Design Vanguard, and Sundance Institute as Field Partners, Americans for the Arts as Research Partner, dozens of cultural nonprofits as Review Partners, and many generous Funding Partners. All partners listed here.

Jason Rapp

Arts a priority in S.C.’s CARES Act Phase 2 funding

An alert from the S.C. Arts Alliance


Today (September 23), the Legislature adopted H.3210, the state’s CARES Act Phase 2 funding allocation.

If you’ve been following the SCAA blog, you know that while both the House and Senate versions had a “nonprofit grant program,” only the House version put the arts as a priority service area for those grants. A conference committee (3 House members and 3 Senators) was appointed to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill, and they adopted their compromise yesterday, on Sept. 22. That Conference Committee Report was then adopted by both the House and Senate today and is on the way to the governor for his signature. Where did the arts land in all of this? In the best position possible. Here's the shortlist:
  1. Arts INCLUDED as a priority nonprofit service area.
  2. Arts Commission given a seat on the grant panel.
  3. Grants of $2,500-50,000
Click here to get additional details from the S.C. Arts Alliance.
 

Jason Rapp

Midlands music school expands virtual services, offers scholarships

Freeway Music School serves Columbia area


In response to the pandemic, Columbia's Freeway Music launched new virtual and socially distanced technique lessons, showcases, recitals, studio time and music videos, along with new scholarships, positively impacting hundreds of students across the region.

A small business, Freeway Music is rooted in face-to-face interaction and in-person instruction. Once the COVID-19 pandemic limited its ability to open studio doors at its five Columbia locations, the music school brought instruction and opportunities into the homes of its students by incorporating virtual lessons, showcases and recitals in different formats. It has also introduced new technology in order to make lessons even more productive.
“Music is a vehicle for creativity, healing, emotional expression, and so much more,” says Don Russo, founder and chief operating officer of Freeway Music. “It offers hope and is vital during these isolating times. We are committed to showing our music family that they don’t need to physically be together to play together.”
Founded in 2011, Freeway Music offers student-centered music education that also benefits the broader community, making a positive impact through lessons for all skill levels and ages, as well as music therapy, theater, showcases, recitals, and partnerships with various charities, organizations and community events. Freeway Music has locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Northeast and within Sims Music. In addition to its virtual services, Freeway Music is now offering in-person, socially distanced lessons and free studio time as a new experience for its students, enabling them to take home their own recordings. The school is also using technology like Sound Slice, which allows students to see their music notated online, control tempo, and loop sections with which they may be struggling. This summer, Freeway Music students held outdoor, socially distanced concerts at Steel Hands Brewing and Market on Main in downtown Columbia, giving kids the opportunity to perform safely in public with adult supervision. “Our goal is to create opportunities for our students to continue to learn and showcase their work during this hectic time,” says Tony Lee, co-founder of Freeway Music. “Music and creative expression should be accessible to everyone, which is why we’re creating safe and innovative solutions to meet the needs of every family.”
As the pandemic began to alter lives for businesses and families alike, Freeway Music recognized a need within its own music community–families who no longer can afford lessons and instructors who have lost their jobs. As a result, Freeway Music created “Jam for the Fam,” a virtual concert benefiting those in need. Local musicians volunteered to perform, and the event provided 10 scholarships for students to continue lessons and benefitted four instructors who have recently experienced significant loss. “Freeway Music is so much more than a music school — they are our extended family,” says one scholarship recipient’s mother. “When COVID-19 hit and my family was down to one income, they stepped in to help my daughter continue her lessons with a special scholarship. With their help, my girls could continue doing what they love, making music.” Freeway Music believes that music transcends barriers of all kinds and unites people from all walks of life, and the school uses its resources to uplift and encourage the entire Columbia region and beyond. Its philanthropic support of local organizations and community outreach include the following:
  • Co-partnership of the Freeway Music Festival, which unites the music community and celebrates local and regional talent. The 2019 event raised money to help build a new greenhouse at City Roots Organic Farm.
  • Fundraising and performances for many local causes and charities including The Conner Foundation, Palmetto Children’s Hospital, Harvest Hope Food Bank, The Women’s Shelter, Pets Inc., Pawmetto Lifeline, Trustus Theatre, Girls Rock Columbia, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, among others.
  • Lesson donations and performances for local schools including Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, St. John Newman, Heathwood Hall, the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Blythewood  and Irmo high schools, St. Andrews Middle School and many more.
  • Volunteerism and support of local events including the Festival of Trees, Rooftop Rhythms, St. Pat's in Five Points Parade, Palmetto Christmas, the MG&C Long Run, the Heart and Sole Run, Get in the Pink Race, Vista Lights, First Thursdays on Main, and more.
  • Music scholarships including the Friends Grant in partnership with The Christopher Conner Foundation to help students that can’t afford music lessons, and the Davis Cripe Scholarship, which was created in loving memory of Freeway Music Irmo/Ballentine drum student Davis Cripe.

About Freeway Music

Founded in 2011, Freeway Music is the Columbia region’s premier music school with five locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, the Northeast, and within Sims Music. Freeway Music offers private lessons for all skill levels, styles, and ages on a wide range of instruments including piano, voice, ukulele, drums, bass, strings, woodwinds, horns, mandolin, banjo, and more. Freeway Music’s mission is to equip students in music and life to make a positive impact in their community. Freeway Music is the exclusive music school partner of Sims Music, a locally owned and nationally recognized music store. For more information visit www.freewaymusic.net or call 844.537.7661.
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Jason Rapp

‘The show can’t go on’

P&C  reviews hard times in the arts


Hub readers know the devastation felt in South Carolina's arts community because of the pandemic's economic effects.

Know, though, the story is reaching broader audiences. Today, the Greenville outpost of the Post & Courier published a story that paints a bleak picture throughout the state. From the story:

“You know the old adage, ‘The show must go on.’ Well, this is one of those times when the show can’t go on,” said Graham Shaffer, technical director at the Greenville Theatre. “We just have to sit here until we can.”

Some hoped for salvation via a federal coronavirus relief package that hasn’t materialized. Now, the South Carolina Arts Commission has asked the state General Assembly to approve $3.8 million in nonrecurring funds to prop up the ailing industry until it can recover. Originally, the arts commission asked for that amount to help venues make repairs to aging buildings.

Now it just hopes to keep the buildings open.

Read Nate Cary's full story here. Subscription possibly required.

Jason Rapp

Pandemic impact to S.C. arts, creative sector totals $1.2B

Devastating numbers revealed in new report


A Brookings Institution report released this month says South Carolina's arts and creative sectors lost $1.24 billion from April to July this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, "the COVID-19 crisis hits hard at arts, culture, and the creative economy" which includes industries like film, advertising, and fashion and the arts/creative sector occupations you would expect: musicians, artists, performers, and designers." From the report: We estimate losses in sales of goods and services, employment, and earnings for creative industries and creative occupations at the national, state, and metropolitan levels over the period of April 1 through July 31, 2020.
  • Based on our creative-industry analysis, we estimate losses of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries and 9% of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.
  • Based on our analysis of creative occupations, we estimate losses of more than 2.3 million jobs and $74 billion in average monthly earnings for the creative occupations. These losses represent 30% of all creative occupations and 15% of total average monthly wages. Again, creative occupations in the fine and performing arts—which include the visual arts, music, theater, and dance—will be disproportionally affected, representing roughly a third of wage employment losses.


Southern states hit hardest

“While all regions, states, and metropolitan areas of the country will be seriously impacted, the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will hit some places harder than others. The South is estimated to suffer the most losses in employment for both the creative industries and creative occupations, followed by the West and the Northeast, respectively,” Brookings said. South Carolina was 14th in percentage change in estimated cumulative losses in creative occupations, slightly above the national average of 30.3%. In all, the report says South Carolina's COVID-19 financial impact was $1.24 billion in cumulative revenues (sales) and a total loss of 32,161 jobs. Click here to read a summary and download the report from Brookings.