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SCAC to debut public art office hours

[caption id="attachment_39999" align="aligncenter" width="953"]McCormick mural Jeffrey Callaham mural in McCormick. Image by La Ruchala Murphy/SCAC.[/caption]

Public art is often one of the easiest ways to access arts experiences with one the lowest barriers for entry or enjoyment.

From watching a muralist install a painting and feeling like you are in their studio with them... ...to street furniture or cultural tourism trails that help promote a sense of local pride... ...to being able to picnic and watch a play in the park... ...to enjoying a busker perform as you stroll by... Public art ensures access to the arts for everyone while benefitting the well-being and creative nature of our communities. It connects us to our city and community with intention and promotes a sense of belonging.
In case you missed it, the SCAC introduced you to its first public art coordinator this last month. Margot Lane Strasburger, in a new role at the agency, is available to artists interested in creating work in the public realm, artists currently practicing in public spaces, private and public commissioners, developers, and anyone else looking to learn more about the ins and outs of public art and creative placemaking. Starting next week on May 16, Strasburger is initiating set office hours every Tuesday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information and best practices currently associated with public art and creative placemaking practices, you can book an in-person or virtual office hours session. Bring your questions or request professional advice. Your session can be used for things like:
  • portfolio feedback
  • help with drafting a policy or callout
  • application/proposal or letter of intent assistance
  • learning more about percent for art
  • assistance with contracts or copyright
Gather your questions and we will help address your needs! Book here: https://bit.ly/PublicArtOfficeHours Office hours are open to all constituents in South Carolina or those working on projects within the state. They could be especially relevant for artists wanting advice or public art resources, local government employees looking for best practices in the field of public art procurement or policy, and even developers or local arts councils trying to learn about the benefits of public art.

Jason Rapp

‘Arts Across the Prairie’ art call

Placemaking in rural North Dakota

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, March 27, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CT/

Arts Across the Prairie is a first of its kind, statewide creative placemaking program developed by North Dakota Council on the Arts.

This grew out of a presentation on art as a catalyst for community change at the fall 2019 Governor’s Main Street Initiative in Bismarck. The statewide participants discussed the need for artistic and cultural enrichment and access to art within their rural communities. North Dakotans expressed a concerted desire for greater cross-community collaboration and to enhance the vitality of art throughout the state. Arts Across the Prairie will create eight large-scale art installations – one in each geographic region in the state – that reflect the unique history, landscape, and cultural heritage as defined by stakeholder groups in these regions. All eight artworks will be placed in decidedly rural locations (rural = no buildings, no people!). This is a national call to established artists who can create large-scale artwork, based on the cultural heritage and land of northeast North Dakota, as determined by community stakeholders. The group has named the project Endless Sky – Dynamic Layers. The setting is exquisite, at the rural Dahlen Esker glacial remains, in the northeast region of the state.
  • The deadline for initial submissions is Monday, March 27; three finalists will be asked to submit complete project proposals. The artistic fee is $55,000, part of a $150,000 budget.
  • It is recommended that all potential applicants join an informational webinar to be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 4-5 p.m. CT (5-6 p.m. ET). Email arts@nd.gov for log-in instructions by March 7.
Learn more about this national art call here.

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Now open: serve #SCartists or place-based and rural arts

SCAC opens three director-level positions

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • COMPENSATION: Details included in postings

This morning, the South Carolina Arts Commission opened applications for three critical positions, two of which are new to the agency.

These roles serve needs that are central to the SCAC's mission to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina, leading departments to serve #SCartists, creative placemaking (new!), and rural arts (new!).


The person in this role is expected to provide leadership for activities related to building and sustaining support for individual artists through arts initiatives in South Carolina. They work with individual artists in all disciplines (literary, performing, visual, etc.) and artists who are at various stages in their career (emerging, mid-level, advanced).  They play a vital role in working with constituents, grantees, and artists and provides consulting, mentoring opportunities, and assistance to individual artists living in counties or regions of the state.


The person in this new role plays a vital role in working with constituents, grantees, artists, and organizations throughout the state.  They provide leadership for activities related to building participation in the arts and strengthening communities through arts initiatives in South Carolina.  They provide consulting and assistance to counties or regions of the state. Here are just a few things they'll be doing:
  • build and maintain/relationships with a broad cross-section of business, government, arts, education, and community leaders to engage them in best practices to build public participation in the arts in South Carolina
  • manage a grant portfolio:
    • development of grant guidelines, application, and selection process
    • provide feedback, serves as primary contact, and gives pre and post award assistance for grantees
  • develop partnerships and assists with communication between participating organizations and entities
  • elevate key community assets and issues, voices of residents, local history, or cultural infrastructure through programing
  • implement new/or additional initiatives, resources, or activities for a community
  • connect communities, people, places and economic opportunities via physical spaces or new relationships


Are you a connector? The person in this new role provides leadership for activities related to building participation in the arts and strengthening rural communities through arts initiatives in South Carolina. They play a vital role in working with rural constituents, grantees, and organizations and provide consulting and assistance to counties or regions of the state. A few things they can expect to do include:
  • create programming to serve rural communities and local rural arts organizations statewide
  • advise, and facilitate, community meetings with stakeholders
  • Coordinates agency efforts to support arts-based, rural community development statewide
  • serve as the SCAC's liaison with the rural arts community, rural organizations, and artists
  • provide consultative services for rural arts constituents and serve as a resource and advisor for rural agency programs
  • assist with rural cultural planning, development of grant applications, budgeting, and program administration
  • connect rural communities, people, places and economic opportunities via physical spaces or new relationships
Learn more about these positions and apply from the jobs page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. The application deadline for all three is 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.

Jason Rapp

Four South Carolina Cultural Districts earn recertification


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The first four South Carolina Cultural Districts designated in 2015 after the program’s launch earned recertification based on FY2020 data gathered by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).

The districts recertified are: the Congaree Vista (Columbia), Lancaster, Rock Hill and Spartanburg Downtown, all designated in 2015. Their recertification is effective July 1, 2022 and will be run through FY2027. SCAC Executive Director David Platts approved recertification at the recommendation of reviewer Jason Rapp, the South Carolina Cultural Districts program director. The SCAC reviews annual reports and action plans submitted by the cultural districts and, every five years after designation, is to evaluate the districts eligible for recertification. Though delayed because of the pandemic, FY2020 data was collected and reviewed for these original four districts. “The South Carolina Arts Commission commends these districts for many things, but top-of-mind right now is the way they didn’t allow the upside-down pandemic world of lockdowns and restrictions to take their focus off arts and creativity. The reports showed each district managed to find its way in the face of major challenges. They are poised for big things as the world returns to normal, and we congratulate them on their significant achievements,” Platts said. Legislation ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014 authorizes the SCAC to grant official state designation to cultural districts. The legislation specifies the following goals of this program:
  • attract artists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural enterprises to communities
  • encourage economic development
  • foster local cultural development
  • provide a focal point for celebrating and strengthening local cultural identity
“A district is designated after a rigorous application and review process that determines the extent to which they use arts and creativity to build community and encourage economic growth,” Platts said. Cultural districts are defined by the SCAC as walkable geographic areas with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. They are easily identifiable and serve as centers of cultural, artistic, and economic activity. They frequently have galleries and artist studios, theaters and other live performance venues, public art, museums and arts centers, and arts schools in addition to non-cultural attractions like parks, restaurants and bars, and other commercial activity. Additional South Carolina Cultural Districts are designated in Beaufort, Bluffton, Camden, Florence, and Greenwood.

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 four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. 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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Federal resources for creative community development

You're invited to a free webinar Feb. 9

Are you looking for funding to support a community development or creative placekeeping initiative in your neighborhood?

If so, tune in on Tuesday, February 9, to Federal Resources for Creative Community Development—a free web seminar designed to help you access federal funds and harness the power of the arts and culture for community development. This seminar features a new Creative Placemaking Public Resources Guide that offers:
  • a curated selection of federal funding sources that you can use to advance equitable community development,
  • examples of initiatives that have transformed community development through creative partnerships, and
  • practical tips on accessing federal grant programs.
A live demonstration of the guide's powerful search functions will reveal often-overlooked federal resources for equitable community development, creative placemaking and the arts. You’ll also hear from practitioners who have successfully leveraged public funding opportunities for creative placemaking. Complete session details and registration information are available at http://bit.ly/2LdRvDc. This one-hour session is designed for arts nonprofits, community development groups, state and local government agencies, arts advocates, cultural district managers, and creative placemaking practitioners. All organizations that are pursuing arts based community development initiatives are welcome to participate. This one-time event is offered through a partnership between the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations and Metris Arts Consulting.

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Get ready to disrupt, generate, and innovate

Annual creative placemaking summit to go virtual in '21

  • SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: Friday, January 15, 2021, 5 p.m. ET
  • EARLY-BIRD DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
[caption id="attachment_45056" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Group picture with big, colorful cutout letters spelling "thank you." The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by Maven Lottie Lewis, celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.[/caption]

The Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit is an annual gathering of arts workers, community leaders, and other stakeholders exploring how the arts can make Southern communities more inclusive, connected, and resilient.

Co-presented by South Arts,  a key partner of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), and the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP), the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit: South is an annual gathering that explores how arts and cultural programming can be forces for connection and community resilience throughout the southeastern United States. In the image above, Lottie Lewis and her team show creative placemaking in action as part of the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative of the SCAC. Next year's conference will be all-virtual from Feb. 23-24, with outstanding content and some great digital features for networking, breakout sessions and workshops on the following topics:
  • Access and support for rural and under-resourced communities
  • Addressing systemic and personal racism
  • Equitable procurement practices for artists and arts organizations
  • Funding and financial sustainability of creative placemaking initiatives
  • Helping communities recover economically
  • Improving mental or physical health in communities
  • Surfacing and empowering creativity in communities
  • Supporting artists and other creative professionals
  • And more
More about the 2021 event: As our communities become more diverse, they may also become more divided. Creative placemaking provides ways to build bridges across these differences in hopes of more inclusive, connected, and resilient places. Join us as we explore how arts and cultural programming can bring people closer togetherLearn more about it all right here. Get early-bird pricing of $150/person until Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Afterward, the price goes to $200/person.

Limited scholarships available

South Arts is once again offering scholarships which will cover the full cost of registration, and we encourage teams of two or more creative placemakers from each community. Find out about scholarships and apply for them here. The deadline to apply for scholarships is 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. If you have attended this conference before, you know how valuable and inspiring it can be.  

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: On place… who’s here and why

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...

With art and advocacy, Native American women in SC are saying, 'We are still here' "Its goal, said commission CEO Terence Lilly Little Water, was to show people that Native American women exist here in South Carolina. And — like other indigenous women around the country — they’re fighting to raise awareness of issues that disproportionately affect their communities.

'We have some extraordinarily talented artists who deserve to have their voices heard,” she said. “Art is a form of using your voice.'" (Read Emily Williams' full story in the Charleston Post & Courier here.)

Along the same lines, "Tuning Up" also presents this story about Americans thriving where they are and not moving all over like we did in the 1980's and 1990's:

Americans have stopped moving, and it could dramatically affect society

"This narrative that Americans are constantly moving within the country is no longer true.

Over the last 35 years, the number of Americans who have moved—within their county, state, or out of state—has steadily declined to nearly half of their previous levels... Rootedness has many positive outcomes, such as greater attachment to place and more meaningful social and community connections. These connections to place may then serve to provide social and economic support during periods of economic uncertainty." (Read Thomas Cooke's full story in Quartz here.)

Not to add to Cooke's report, but the S.C. Arts Commission's program Art of Community: Rural SC is showing that rural communities, often the biggest victims of migration to larger towns and (usually) cities (and their suburbs and exurbs) are rallying. Leading the charge are often artists, who are proving more and more by the day that they can remain in place and be successful themselves while helping lead revitalization.

NEA offers summertime learning

Arts-centric learning opportunities abounds

The National Endowment for the Arts, a major funder of the S.C. Arts Commission, is offering an abundance of varied learning opportunities this summer. Read on to learn more!

Citizens’ institute on Rural Design: Call for Applications from Rural and Tribal Communities!

Office hours through Facebook: June 18, 6-7 p.m. ET & July 10, 1-2 p.m. ET The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that the Request for Applications from communities is open now until July 22! The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ will continue its tradition of offering local design workshops that address specific community challenges, and also create a new cohort learning program that will engage rural leaders from up to 20 additional communities. All rural communities of 50,000 or less are eligible to apply for the CIRD local workshop and learning cohort opportunities. We encourage applications from nonprofits, tribal or municipal governments, regional planning organizations, and other community partners. We hope to hear from a variety of rural communities from a wide range of backgrounds, geographies, and capacities. If you are a rural service provider, please share this opportunity widely with colleagues and community leaders in rural areas who might be interested in applying. The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Navigating Your Arts Career: Resources & Financial Tools for People with Disabilities

June 19, 2019 | Register Join the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Beyond Sight on June 19, 2019, from 3-4:15 p.m. ET, for the second in a series of six webinars promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities. This webinar series is part of a toolkit, designed to help expand employment and career development opportunities for disabled people as artists and cultural workers, which will be launched later this year. This webinar, “Navigating your Arts Career: Resources and Financial Tools for People with Disabilities”, will address some of the barriers people with disabilities find when pursuing a career in the arts. Hear a panel of experts address the burning questions people with disabilities have when seeking careers in the arts, including how to maintain crucial public benefits while working in the arts or how to transition to work. Join experts for an interactive discussion. Host: Andy Arias, actor and Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor Speakers will include:

Our Town

Deadline: Aug. 8, 2019 New guidelines now online Webinar: June 24, 2019 Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Arts Endowment staff will conduct a webinar to share tips on how to ensure an Our Town application is clear and compelling on June 24.

Creating a State Data Culture to Inform Investments in Arts Education

Tuesday, June 25, 2 p.m. EDT | Register Speakers will include:
  • Ayanna N. Hudson, director, Arts Education for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Claus von Zastrow, Ph.D., principal, Education Commission of the States
Join a webinar to examine a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and Education Commission of the States to build states’ capacity to report on the arts education data they collect. The webinar will focus on the current climate for such work in states, strategies and tools for supporting state-level data efforts, and the value of incorporating arts education data into broader efforts to promote a culture of information in states.

Art Works

Deadline: July 11, 2019 (for projects beginning no earlier than June 1, 2020) Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, we support public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

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Strengthening Southern communities with the arts

Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit coming to S.C.

As our communities become more diverse, they may also become more divided. Creative placemaking provides ways to build bridges across these differences in hopes of more inclusive, connected, and resilient places.
Join South Arts, the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, and ArtPlace America in Columbia April 16-18, 2019 to explore how arts and cultural programming can bring people closer together! How can creative placemaking foster public-private partnerships that magnify positive impact in communities? Among the variety of types of partnerships, we would be particularly interested in examples of public/private partnerships that include visionary involvement by mayors or city leadership. This theme encompasses case studies from the region and practical skills that can be applied to build productive alliances.

Scholarships are available

Application deadline: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 South ArtsSouth Arts is offering a limited number of scholarships up to $500.00 to organizations within the Southern region to offset registration fees and travel/lodging costs associated with conference attendance. South Arts encourages organizations to send teams of two or more to the conference, including representatives of arts/culture organizations and others (city government, Main Street, community development agencies, higher education, etc.) who may be likely partners in creative placemaking efforts. Awards are limited to one scholarship per organization. Preference will be given to attendees from small and rural communities.

Note: Population of 50,000 or below is one standard definition of rural. For this program, South Arts will use this as a guidepost only; applicants may describe why their community should be considered small or rural.

South Carolinians can apply for these scholarships directly through South Arts.

AMP [Your City] … with a grant for free concerts

The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is an exciting matching grant program bringing the joy of free, live music to small and mid-sized towns and cities across the country to revitalize public spaces and bring people together.

  • Grants will be awarded to up to 15 U.S.-based nonprofit organizations serving towns and cities with populations of up to 400,000.
  • Each grantee will receive $25K in matching funds to present the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series, a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 to 12 consecutive weeks during 2019.
  • Each Levitt AMP Music Series will feature a musically diverse lineup of high caliber entertainment, in keeping with the permanent Levitt venue program.
  • To ensure each grantee is positioned for success, grantees will receive a Levitt AMP Toolkit containing valuable resources, such as: sample artist contract; sample press release; hosted series pages on the Levitt AMP website; eblast and social media templates; list of talent managers and music agents from across the country; sample sponsorship packet; and consultation with national staff at the Levitt Foundation.
Go here to learn more about how to win a $25k matching grant. Or, watch this video:  

Sign up to vote

Reflecting our mission that all Levitt projects be community-driven, we're once again opening the grant selection process to YOU! So spread the word and rally your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors to vote for your favorite 2019 Levitt AMP proposals.An online public voting process in November will determine the Top 25 finalists. The Levitt Foundation will review the Top 25 proposals and up to 15 selected winners will be announced on Dec. 18, 2018. Sign up to vote here.


The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is dedicated to reinvigorating America’s public spaces through creative placemaking and creating opportunities for everyone to experience the performing arts. The need for more third places—those informal gathering spots outside the realms of home and the workplace—has become increasingly clear in today’s world and guides us in our community-driven efforts. Our goal is to reflect the best of American city life by creating community and social interaction among people of all ages and backgrounds; empowering cities across America to reclaim green spaces and reinvigorate public spaces; and ensuring the performing arts are accessible to all through high quality, free concerts.