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Jason Rapp

NEA opens ARP relief funding to arts orgs

And encourages new applicants


The National Endowment for the Arts is encouraging arts organizations not previously funded by it (along with those who have) to apply for direct American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, “The Arts Endowment is committed to encouraging organizations that have not applied to the agency before to do so through ARP and other programs. We have created a new web page with more and better information about registering with [SAM.gov] and grants.gov.” The NEA received $135 million in the American Rescue Plan Act, representing a strong commitment from President Biden and Congress to the arts, and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy. On April 29th, the NEA announced that it was directing 40 percent of that allocation to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations. The NEA will award the remaining 60 percent of the funding in competitive grants to support jobs in the arts and culture sector and keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations and local arts agencies nationwide. ARP emergency relief funding is coming from many sources, and S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) constituents can count on the agency and The Hub to help you keep it straight.

ARP funding from the NEA

There are two avenues for funding from the NEA’s $135 million. The Hub can’t stress enough that reading the guidelines is critical to know for what arts organizations or individual artists are eligible. We will post those as they arrive.
  • Direct to arts organizations (60%). Not limited to previous NEA grantees! Also new is that recipients may use funding awarded to cover general operating costs, which speaks to the “tremendous need in the sector,” according to the NEA. Guidelines are live and available here.
  • Direct to state and regional organizations (40%). The SCAC is receiving an $818,700 allotment from which it will award grants. The anticipated timing of this process is mid-summer 2021. Announcements will be made via The Hub, social media, and other SCAC outlets to ensure you're informed when guidelines go live.

State-level relief funding

Details are thin right now but yes, there will be relief funding coming from the state. Most of those details are being sorted out, to include how much and from where it will me made available. Again, count on SCAC team members and The Hub to help you keep it straight in coming weeks.

Jason Rapp

Friday feel-good post: ‘Together While Apart’

Seabrook Island artist spans coasts with project


Deane Bowers set out to spread a positive message to fight prevailing "negativity, divisiveness, loss, and pessimism" running rampant with what she does best: making art.

[caption id="attachment_46949" align="alignright" width="150"]Deane Bowers, dressed in a white top with green scarf, holds a piece of art resembling the U.S. flag. Deane Bowers (provided photo)[/caption] The Seabrook Island artist (right) says it best: "I decided I needed to find a way to bring people together, even if it was only a small one. I thought that if I could gather people, even people physically separated, to work towards something bigger than ourselves, that collectively we might find joy, fellowship and fun-and we could make a difference. I wanted to be a part of the solution, to offer something positive to a hurting world." So Bowers put out an open call for art on social media and used some personal contacts. Artists of diverse backgrounds and locations, 19 in all from eight states, were culled to lend their talents to a collective large piece. Thus, Together While Apart was born, a group of artists coming together amidst pandemic conditions with the collective wish to combat isolation, loneliness, and unhappiness during an unsettled time. Health worries, economic insecurity, racial strife—we're all aware.

The creative process

Much of Bowers' art comes from repurposed items, and the only art supplies she had in abundance at the time were recycled shipping boxes: a certain sign of the times and familiar refrain from most of us in the early days of lockdowns and restrictions. "I sent each artist several 6” x 6” square pieces of cut cardboard from these recycled boxes with one simple instruction: think outside of the box! My goal was that through the creative process, each artist would find an outlet for his or her feelings and eventually these emotions would transform into joy. Ultimately, our collective joys would be multiplied and shared with many others through our artwork," she said. "As the weeks passed, and I started receiving the squares back, I was repeatedly amazed by the imagination, talent and effort that each artist put forth in their cardboard. The result was so much more than I could ever imagine. The creative energy of the group was palpable, and our pieces seem to flow together with beautiful synergy. It was my honor to be the artist who pieced the squares together ... What started as discarded cardboard boxes stacked in my garage, ended as an incredible artistic collage of many beautiful souls who poured themselves into their work..."

BONUS CONTENT: Bowers in her own words on the project, with pieces and their artists identified (YouTube)

The artists

  • Deane Bowers (Seabrook Island, South Carolina)
  • Liz Brent (Chicago)
  • Sandy Buffie (Washington)
  • Nikki Contini (San Rafael, California)
  • Will Cooke with Jennifer Mildonian and Marcelle VanYahres (Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • Lynette Driver (Brevard, North Carolina)
  • Celie Gehring (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Lynn Karegeannes (Asheville, North Carolina)
  • Cathy Kleiman (Charleston)
  • Dayo Johnson (Nashville)
  • Amy Lauria (Painesville, Ohio)
  • Rachel McLaughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • Debbie Pompano (Hanover, Virginia)
  • Rebecca Potts (Los Angeles)
  • Frankie Slaughter (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Jim Weaver (Florence, Alabama)
  • Cindy Webb (Statesville, North Carolina)

Where is it now?

"The biggest thrill is that Together While Apart is featured on the Smithsonian's "Stories of 2020" online exhibit," Bowers said. The finished work is scheduled to be reviewed by the art review boards at both Cedars- Sinai Hospital in L.A. and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. A large hospital in Richmond, Virginia is requesting to display it "for however long they can have it" and the Hickory Museum of Art has offered a six-month exhibit. And then? Bowers intends to gift to a non-profit or medical facility whose mission resonates with the group. They hope it inspires feelings of the love, warmth, and optimism that went into its creation. [caption id="attachment_46947" align="aligncenter" width="599"] Together While Apart (2020). Click image to enlarge.[/caption]

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.