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S.C. Arts Commission to present four Governor’s Awards for the Arts in 2022

for immediate release COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is happy to announce four recipients who are to be honored in 2022 with South Carolina’s highest award for exceptional achievement in practicing or supporting the arts. The SCAC presents the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts annually each spring. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. In 2022, the SCAC board approved the recommendations of the following honorees from their respective categories to be recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:

  • ARTIST: Darion McCloud, Columbia
  • INDIVIDUAL: Ed Madden, Columbia
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Carrie Ann Power, Aiken
  • ORGANIZATION: One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia

BONUS CONTENT: 2022 Governor's Awards for the Arts recipient reveal video


"Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They give of themselves to ensure access to the arts for all,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “By presenting them the Governor’s Award, we celebrate their achievements and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture throughout South Carolina.” “This class of Governor’s Award recipients is notable for the ways it improves access to the arts across the spectrum,” elaborates SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts. “Making the arts more representative is central to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s mission. All four of these recipients demonstrate tireless efforts to help the arts be more inclusive and accessible.” A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members community statewide, reviews all nominations. After a rigorous process and multiple meetings, the panel produces a recommendation from each category with a nomination that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2022 awards were Shani Blann (Lexington), Dr. Philip Mullen (Columbia), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Bradley Wingate (Greenville). Recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are honored during a video presentation of the South Carolina Arts Awards. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, are working to finalize plans for the 2022 awards and announce details on a later date.
About the 2022 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients DARION MCCLOUD (Artist Category) is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia. He is also the founder and creative director both of NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. McCloud is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the Theatre Artist of the Year Award from The Jasper Project. A formally trained visual artist with a bachelor’s in art studio from the University of South Carolina, he found his way to the stage via telling stories and stayed, acting and teaching there for more than 20 years. He enjoys crafting theatre, storytelling, and art experiences for old and young and the initiated and the un-initiated in environments as varied as classrooms, corporate settings, libraries, campfires and, of course, theatres; he is a company member for Columbia-based Trustus Theatre and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. McCloud has numerous statewide partnerships to his credit in higher education, the humanities, and the arts. He considers himself as having committed his life to the transforming power of art. ED MADDEN (Individual Category) is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina. There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. His numerous publishing and editing credits include four of his own: NestArk, Prodigal: Variations, and Signals, and his chapbook So They Can Sing won the 2016 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Photo by Forrest Clonts. CARRIE ANN POWER (Arts in Education Category) has been an arts educator and advocate in South Carolina for more 30 years. Beginning in 2004 she was the fine arts department chair, grant manager, and visual arts teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts (EASOA) until 2015. During that time, she transformed EASOA by adding full-time dance and theatre programs, developed and implemented all aspects of the EASOA after-school arts program, and secured donations to fund scholarships providing low-income families access to programs. During that tenure she coordinated the Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts, which improves and enhances arts lesson plans based on the 2010 S.C. Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. She then served as the education associate for visual and performing arts at the South Carolina Department of Education from 2015 until 2019, where she oversaw the development of K-12 Design Standards for visual and performing arts and later coordinated their revisions. Power served an active role on notable state arts or arts education boards and, in her community, supports educational outreach programs that bring professional artists into schools. Founded as a non-profit in January 2012, ONE COLUMBIA FOR ARTS AND CULTURE (OC) (Organization Category) served as de facto office of cultural affairs for Columbia until being officially named as such earlier this year. Its mission is to “advise, amplify and advocate for strengthening and unifying the cultural community of Columbia” and does so by promoting cultural activities taking place in the city through various means. In 2014, OC facilitated the formalization of Columbia’s public art program, which has resulted in the creation of more than 60 public artworks and an online directory of public art throughout the city of Columbia. The organization facilitates other projects related to tactical urbanism, creative placemaking and enhancing public space. When Columbia established the honorary position of city poet laureate in 2015, it tasked OC with creating the selection committee that resulted in Dr. Ed Madden being awarded the title. OC is responsible for Amplify, a comprehensive cultural plan approved by city council in 2020. In recent years, it undertook the lengthy process of developing of a modern flag for the city adopted by city council in 2020.
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

Harbison Theatre offers sensory-friendly performance of Story Squad

Harbison Theatre will reprise Story Squad for a sensory-friendly performance designed to engage all audiences, particularly those along the autism spectrum and others who live with sensory sensitivity. This sensory-friendly performance will be the first produced by a professional company in the Midlands and will be performed on May 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Sensory-friendly performances are productions slightly modified to create a more comfortable, enjoyable experience for audience members along the autism spectrum and for those who experience other sensory sensitivity. Loud sounds are quieter, surprising elements are not as surprising, the lights over the audience are not as dark, and ushers are trained to unobtrusively alert parents and other audience members to upcoming mood, music or lighting changes. Sensory-friendly performances are also accompanied by social stories that help prepare audience members for the experience. Visit the performance web page to read the social story and to buy tickets. The cast of Story Squad and the technical staff of Harbison Theatre worked with Jessie Baughman, lead case manager for Palmetto Autism Interventions, and with Susanna Fomby, former Columbia resident and consultant to the sensory-friendly performance of The Lion King on Broadway, to tailor this performance for the audience.  Says Baughman, “Sensory disorders, common but not limited to individuals with autism, can make attending some events and outings challenging for families. By offering sensory-friendly performances, Harbison Theatre provides an inclusive and judgment-free environment in which Midland's children and their families can have an opportunity to experience the arts. Fostering programs for children to learn and share experiences together, despite disability, is essential to the community, and my hope is that more organizations in the Midlands follow the example of Harbison Theatre." About Story Squad Story Squad celebrates the myriad ways that humans communicate our stories – through spoken words, song, lights, music and more. The show is the first production born of the Harbison Theatre at MTC Incubator for New Artistic Work. The Incubator invited Darion McCloud, renowned and beloved storyteller, actor, and director based in Columbia, to create a new production that would be suitable for touring to other communities. McCloud assembled his squad of musicians, actors and storytellers and together they created Story Squad.  The show will tour both its original and its sensory-friendly performances. About Harbison Theatre Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College presents high-quality performances and events that strengthen the education of our students, deepen our relationship with the community, and make the Midlands a region where people love to learn, work, play and prosper. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets and pursue volunteer opportunities, visit the Harbison Theatre website. Story Squad Via: Harbison Theatre