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2022 Southern Prize exhibition now open in S.C.

Opening reception tonight in Florence gallery


Compelling visual art from the nine southeastern-state fellows in the running for the 2022 South Arts Southern Prize is now on display in Florence, and an opening reception is tonight from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David T. Platts will be on hand for a greeting and remarks to attendees. Launched in 2017, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality art being created in the South. Approximately 600 artists applied for consideration in fall and winter 2021, and jurors reviewed each application to recommend the State Fellowship recipients. After review from a national panel of jurors, Louisiana mixed media artist Hannah Chalew was named winner of the $25,000 Southern Prize. [caption id="attachment_52309" align="alignright" width="300"] Click image to enlarge. Courtesy of South Arts.[/caption] The other 2022 State Fellowship recipients are:
  • Jenny Fine. Multidisciplinary. New Brockton, Alabama.
  • GeoVanna Gonzalez. Multidisciplinary. Miami, Florida.
  • Antonio Darden. Sculpture. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Crystal Gregory. Sculpture. Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Gloria Gipson Suggs. Painting. Holly Springs, Mississippi.
  • Marcus Dunn. Painting. Fayetteville, North Carolina.
  • Brittany M. Watkins. Mixed Media. Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo. Sculpture. Memphis, Tennessee.
Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. The nine fellows receive $5,000 cash awards and inclusion in this touring exhibition, which has made its way to South Carolina. The Stephen F. Gately Gallery at Francis Marion University is host of the exhibition. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships program is made possible through the generous financial support of many donors. [caption id="attachment_52307" align="aligncenter" width="950"]In a dimly-lit room, an art patron with short black hair in a black t-shirt snaps a mobile phone picture of South Carolina State Fellow Brittany M. Watkins' "Maladaptation Sits," on exhibit at the launch of the tour. An exhibition attendee snaps a picture of South Carolina State Fellow Brittany M. Watkins' "Maladaptation Sits," on exhibit at the launch of the tour. Provided photo/South Arts.[/caption]

Jason Rapp

S.C.’s original arts learning partnership turns 35

New name, new schools for FY23


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. — How do you celebrate 35 years of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project? By changing your name to Arts in Basic Curriculum Institute, a name that acknowledges your legacy and claims your unwavering commitment to your mission.

Projects come; projects go. After 35 years, ABC is not merely a project but an institution of leadership for countless educators. A first-of-its-kind national model in 1987, the South Carolina Arts Commission’s partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education and Winthrop University is no project. It is an established collaboration that has sustained numerous challenges and continues to serve as an innovative model to assist student recovery from the unprecedented crisis of a pandemic. “South Carolina turned heads in 1987. Our governing partners received a $20,000 planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to craft a plan of action based on a vision, to make comprehensive and sequential arts education accessible for all South Carolina students,” ABC Institute Director Kim Wilson, Ed.D said. “The founding steering committee dreamed big. Within a year, it had a plan in place. Within two, there was money going to 11 schools and districts to serve as models for the entire education community. From there, it just hasn’t stopped growing or changing young lives.”

RELATED CONTENT: Read the original ABC Project plan from 1988


In year 35, the original 11 grants have transformed into 69 schools across 20 districts, serving some 41,000 students.

[caption id="attachment_52049" align="alignright" width="250"] Archival image courtesy ABC Institute.[/caption] ABC Institute is proud to announce the three new schools that joined the ranks for FY23:
  • Angel Oak Elementary School |Charleston County School District | John’s Island
  • Beaufort Elementary School | Beaufort County School District | Beaufort
  • Hendrix Elementary IB World School | Spartanburg School District Two | Boiling Springs
Research conducted within ABC Schools have repeatedly provided evidence to the value of arts education in a student’s life. Data collected in 2018 from Gallup Organization research confirmed that South Carolina students who had access to the arts in their curriculum were more hopeful and more engaged than students who didn’t. “The Gallup research validated years of work by our agency and partners over the years,” said SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts, who was an administrator in an ABC school district at the time. “All of a sudden, we had proof of concept. It was, and still is, so gratifying.” However, ABC’s mission states, “all students in South Carolina,” so there was much more to be done. Demand has always exceeded available funding; and funding ebbs and flows throughout the years. Statewide advocates twice helped the SCAC secure $1 million funding increases specifically for the ABC Institute (2013 and 2016). Platts likes to echo da Vinci’s quote that art is never finished, though da Vinci goes on to say it is only abandoned. That  has never been the case for the ABC Institute. After conducting a yearlong internal evaluation, ABC Institute announced a restructure at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year that featured the development of the ABC School Certification program and the Arts in Basic Curriculum mobile app as the primary tool to serve a redefined ABC Network, and eventually its name change.  Then in 2021, the greatest challenge in recent memory became the greatest opportunity for arts learning initiatives.

Pandemic-related school closures introduced unprecedented learning loss to South Carolina students over two school years.

The American Rescue Plan made funding available to all states to assist in addressing any number of crises, and the SCDE was allotted $2 billion in ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding. The SCAC approached SCDE with a radical idea: we can prove arts learning increases student engagement, it is what students needs to get through this, and we can help address learning loss with arts and creativity using the ABC Institute as a key partner. Superintendent Molly Spearman agreed, and South Carolina turned heads again in June 2021: SCDE committed $20 million over three years to help the SCAC expand ABC Institute and other initiatives using key partners on the local, state, and national levels. “Having the rich history of success with ABC made it easy to sell our idea, but it was only part of the plan for what we now call Arts Grow SC,” Platts said. “It’s after-school learning. It’s summer camps. Eventually, we hope for even more, and all of it uses arts-rich learning.”

RELATED HUB CONTENT: Arts Grow SC to expand, first executive director named


ABC Institute continues to grow and innovate thanks to unprecedented funding.

The Certification designation recognizes model practices of what arts learning can be and how it contributes to student development and achievement. As Wilson explained, “ABC Certified Schools serve as a model for others. ABC Schools commit to not only their students but sharing their work for the benefit of all SC students.” Through Arts Grow SC, ABC Schools have offered themselves as ‘learning laboratories” for others to learn how to leverage the power of learning in and through the arts for accelerated learning. Thanks to the new structure, anyone can access the Arts in Basic Curriculum mobile app and connect to the ABC network. “Our peer-to-peer networking has always been a strength, and now we are putting that in the palm of a teacher’s hand.” Wilson said. From its base at Winthrop University, a team of professionals dedicated to the erstwhile “project” with a steadfast vision of equitable access to quality arts education for all students, continues its work. To learn more about ABC Institute, its programs, and opportunity to learn from its network of leadership, visit www.abcinstitutesc.org.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

SCAC to celebrate 50 years of Governor’s Awards for the Arts

SCETV to premiere retrospective special on Jan. 5


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A retrospective broadcast commemorating 50 years of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts with the stories of nine high-profile past recipients is to premiere Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023 at 8 p.m. on South Carolina ETV.

The South Carolina Arts Commission, the sole presenter of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, initiated a film project telling the story of the awards for their 50th anniversary. The result was nine vignettes that look at South Carolina arts, culture, and history through the eyes of living, high-profile South Carolina artists who have received the award through the past 50 years:
  • John Acorn
  • Wilfred Delphin
  • Mary Jackson
  • Glenis Redmond
  • Tom Stanley
  • William Starrett
  • Leo Twiggs
  • Sam Wang
  • Cecil Williams
“The South Carolina Arts Commission is extremely proud of its role in recognizing our state’s most accomplished artists and advocates with the Governor’s Awards for the Arts each year. If the pandemic had one silver lining, it forced us to switch from an in-person format to a streaming presentation that allowed our work to continue while being accessible,” SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts said. “In 2022, our homegrown streaming presentation became a broadcast on South Carolina ETV. It has been a pleasure to partner again with them to commemorate this anniversary. Renderhouse Films did a phenomenal job telling these artists’ compelling stories, and it all came together in a special way.” A woman with long gray hair smiling and wearing a black top.Jackie Adams (right), a freelance on-camera talent based in Columbia with an extensive arts background, will be host of the hour-long broadcast. She will introduce the films that profile each artist. The filmmakers behind them, Renderhouse Films of Columbia, spent several months documenting the artists. They turned nine stories that cross diverse lines— racial, ethnic, gender, and artistic disciplines—into individual works of art themselves, notable for their high production quality. Adams’ 25 years of experience include positions in non-profit arts administration and leadership, arts education, community arts, and curatorial and studio practice with Columbia College, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Richland County School District One, Lewis and Clark, and many statewide, regional, national artists. South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the retrospective premiere through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here. Subsequent re-airings of the production will occur on other SCETV channels, including Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. on the South Carolina Channel and Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. on ETV World.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission 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 artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. 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

Horowitz honored for dedication to Upstate arts, culture

Town Carolina Charitable Giving Award goes to SCAC commissioner


The South Carolina Arts Commission is excited to offer its congratulations to Henry Horowitz of Greenville for earning a prestigious Upstate award.

Horowitz, it was announced late last week, is the latest recipient of the Town Carolina Charitable Giving Award. From Town Carolina:

Henry Horowitz has been contributing to arts and culture in Greenville and South Carolina since arriving here three decades ago this year.

He’s still involved in all of it, including, especially, the springtime arts festival that stands as his most rewarding philanthropic effort.

Still, [John Warner] says, “Artisphere is not about Henry, it’s a whole group of people, plus their staff. It’s a whole community effort.”

"Henry Horowitz demonstrates an excellent mix of vision and service that benefit the arts in South Carolina, beyond just his beloved Upstate. He is deserving of every accolade and award he is given. The South Carolina Arts Commission is grateful for his advocacy and work on behalf of arts and creativity. We congratulate him on this latest award," SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts said. Read the Town Carolina story, with video tribute, here.

Jason Rapp

SCAC doubles grantmaking record with $11.9 million investment

FY22 grants for arts and arts learning impacted 43 counties

[caption id="attachment_50923" align="aligncenter" width="950"]Teenage females play flutes in the hallway of a school while two beaming pre-teen girls look on. Summer STEAM Institute at Northside Elementary School in Colleton County presented by Arts Grow SC partner Engaging Creative Minds. Provided photo.[/caption]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing that it more than doubled its previous grant-making record by investing $11.9 million in arts organizations, arts learning, and artists in South Carolina in FY22.

South Carolina Arts CommissionGrants from the SCAC and programs run directly by the agency or with diverse partners reached 43 counties. They assisted 550 artists and providers of arts experiences and arts learning. The SCAC’s annual grants made up $9.15 million through 447 grants. Arts Emergency Relief, made possible by CARES Act funding, made up $2.8 million through 103 grants. A new impact map available on the SCAC website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of the grants and their related programs. “The Arts Commission is committed to ensuring the people of South Carolina, wherever they might be, have access to the arts in some way. I applaud the efforts of our staff, who distribute these grants and manage programs. Our commissioners and the staff will continue working toward giving access to the arts to everyone in our state,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “We are thrilled about the impact these 550 grants made in South Carolina during the most recent fiscal year. This would not have been possible without the vision of Superintendent Molly Spearman and the South Carolina Department of Education partnering with us to start Arts Grow SC to benefit our state’s next generation,” SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts said. “We thank them, along with the General Assembly and Gov. McMaster, for investing in our vision that believes the arts move South Carolina forward in a variety of ways.”

Record year extends to annual grants

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a record year at $9.15 million, topping the previous record of $5.1 million in FY20. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts learning, artist development, and community arts. Grants were made in 42 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. Click here to see how grants were distributed in your community in FY22. One big factor in the increases was Arts Grow SC and grants associated with the new program, which was announced in 2021. The partnership between the SCAC and SCDE provides $20 million over three years to address pandemic-related learning loss in South Carolina schools with arts-rich learning. Arts learning grants rose to $5.7 million in FY22 from just $1.7 million in FY21. Funding for Arts Grow SC comes from ARP ESSER funding appropriated to SCDE. Arts Grow SC funded new arts learning projects during the school year and during the summer and allowed for increased awards in other arts learning categories. The SCAC’s largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enabled arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $2.34 million was distributed among 125 such organizations. Another $142,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. Increases in state appropriations allowed for those increases. While the majority of the SCAC’s annual funding comes from state, then federal, appropriations, additional generous FY22 funding support came from the Coastal Community Foundation and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. That funding 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 $76,577 in FY2022.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (18) and arts organization (17) in 12 counties totaling around $63,285.
As of the start of FY2023 on July 1, 2022, the SCAC was awarded further funding increases in the state budget, which means another year of record funding through June 30, 2023.

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 artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. 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

SCAC names FY2023 fellowship recipients

Program changes reinforce the arts’ influence in the creative economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. –  A diverse group of four South Carolina artists working in different artistic disciplines are the latest recipients of new-look $10,000 fellowship awards from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

The SCAC Board of Directors approved four artists who exhibit hard work, exceptional ability, and dedication to their discipline for the agency’s first $10,000 fellowships. The artists receiving awards in FY23 are:
  • Eunjung Choi, DMA of Orangeburg County for performance in music,
  • Michael Smallwood of Charleston County for playwriting/screenwriting,
  • Rebecca T. Godwin of Georgetown County for prose, and
  • Marlanda Dekine of Georgetown County for spoken word/slam poetry.
Awards were $5,000 for most of the program’s history before increased funding for the SCAC allowed a jump to $8,500 in the previous fiscal year. The new $10,000 awards are a program high. “Artistic excellence of the caliber these artists demonstrate should be rewarded. Each of the four are deserving of the financial benefit and prestige that comes with a fellowship. The South Carolina Arts Commission is excited to support their creative pursuits, and we cannot wait to see what comes next from them,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The fellowship program is one of the arts commission’s signature programs. It directly impacts artist development, one of the agency’s three core functions,” SCAC Deputy Director Ce Scott-Fitts said. “Increasing the award makes the program more prestigious, but better serves the recipients. They receive financial resources so that they may focus on developing and creating art.” Last autumn, artists residing in South Carolina full-time were invited to apply for fellowships in the four disciplines represented in the current cycle. Out-of-state panelists who work in those disciplines were recruited to review applications and make recommendations to the SCAC board of directors. Applicants are not anonymous, and panelists consider work samples, artistic merit, achievements, and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply in multiple categories with separate applications. The FY23 panelists were Andrew Lindsay Cohen (Pownal, Vermont), Dennis Rubin Green (New York, New York), and Antonio Douthit-Boyd (St. Louis, Missouri) for performance (dance, music, or theatre/film acting); Amy Palmo (Woodland Hills, California) for playwriting/screenwriting; Abigail DeWitt (Burnsville, North Carolina) for prose; and Brennan DeFrisco (Beaverton, Oregon) and Wendy Jones (Durham, North Carolina) for spoken word/slam poetry. Further changes to the program include the addition of more modern, inclusive categories that increase accessibility to the awards’ benefits. The categories, being phased in over the course of four years, include:
  • spoken word and slam poetry;
  • time-based art, which includes installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-generated art, technology, or performance art;
  • choreography and directing in film, theatre, and opera;
  • and the design arts, which include architecture, fashion, graphic, industrial, or interior.
“Adding disciplines allows for more inclusion while demonstrating how many aspects of the creative economy are touched by the arts,” Scott-Fitts said. The SCAC awards four fellowships per year to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual art, craft, time-based art (installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-generated art, technology, or performance art) and music composition will be honored in fiscal year 2024. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the SCAC. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/. Correction, 8 July 2022, 11:05 ET: A previous version of this release listed Rebecca T. Godwin as a Colleton County resident. The SCAC was unaware of a recent move to Georgetown County. The Hub apologizes for the error.

About the FY23 Individual Artist Fellowship Recipients

Eunjung Choi, DMA | Performance (Dance, Music, or Theatre/Film Acting) | Orangeburg County Dr. Eunjung Choi, a native of Seoul, South Korea, currently serves as associate professor of piano and coordinator of keyboard studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, teaching applied piano, class piano, piano pedagogy and literature, and music appreciation. Dr. Choi has presented numerous performances, lectures, and workshops to international, national, and regional music audiences in the U.S. and South Korea. Her articles have been published in major national and international journals. Choi earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, Master of Music from Ball State University, Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina, and completed a management development program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Michael Smallwood | Playwriting/Screenwriting | Charleston County Michael Smallwood is an actor, writer, director, and teacher. He is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but currently resides in Charleston. A College of Charleston alumnus, Smallwood has also studied theatre, acting, and writing at the Kennedy Center in Washington and Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta. He is a core ensemble member of PURE Theatre in Charleston, having joined in 2011. His theatre credits include The AgitatorsThe RoyaleMarie Antoinette, and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, among many others. He is a two-time KCACTF award-winning playwright. His screenplays and short films have won awards from GenreBlast Film Festival, Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival, and many others. His film/television credits include the Emmy-winning CBS series “The Inspectors,” the Netflix original movie Naked, HBO's The Righteous Gemstones and Halloween Kills (2021). He is also arts editor for the Charleston City Paper and host of the podcast “Welcome to Greendale.” Rebecca T. Godwin | Prose | Colleton County Native South Carolinian Rebecca T. Godwin has published two novels, Keeper of the House (St. Martin’s, 1994) and Private Parts (Longstreet, 1992). Her stories and essays have appeared in The Paris ReviewOxford American’s Best of the South issue, The SunEpochSouth Carolina Review, and elsewhere, and she has received MacDowell and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. One of Godwin's first stories won the South Carolina Fiction Project and was included in the anthology, Inheritance (Hub City Press, 2001). For 13 years she taught literature and writing at Bennington College, during which time she conceived and was faculty editor for plain china, an online journal showcasing undergraduate writing from around the country. She has served as judge for the S.C. Fiction Project and as screening judge for the Drue Heinz Prize and The Atlantic’s Student Writing prizes. Godwin earned a bachelor’s from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English. She is currently at work on two novels and a story collection. Marlanda Dekine | Spoken Word/Slam Poetry | Georgetown County Marlanda Dekine (they/she) is a poet, a voice, and a presence. Their collection of poems, Thresh & Hold, won the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize at Hub City Press. Dekine is the creator of i am from a punch & a kiss, a multimedia book/mixtape project, and the founder of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit working towards equity and justice. They are a Castle of Our Skins' Shirley Graham Du Bois Creative-in-Residence, a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow, Tin House Own Path Scholar, Emrys Keller Cushing Freeman Scholar, Watering Hole Fellow, and the recipient of many awards, including the SC Humanities Fresh Voice Award and Say What! Queen of the South. Their work has been published in Root Work Journal, Oxford American, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Currently, Dekine serves as Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders, a transgender advocacy group in the South, and as a guest poet with the composer/performer collective, counter)induction.

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

Arts Grow SC to expand, first executive director named

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A woman is smiling, Headline reads "Breaking News"

The South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Department of Education announce the expansion of Arts Grow SC as a permanent fixture in the state’s arts learning landscape.

Arts Grow SC began in July 2021 as a three-year partnership between the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Arts Commission to use ARP ESSER funds to help public schools address pandemic-related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives. This landmark investment of $20 million allows a professional team and a network of partners to help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps, use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,​ and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities.​ This newly announced expansion establishes Arts Grow SC as a permanent part of the arts learning community. It will utilize a collective impact model, with the SCAC serving as the backbone for the work. This approach brings greater sustainability: building on the strengths of the SCDE, the SCAC, partnering organizations, schools, and districts. The collective impact model will activate existing education consortiums, shared-resource school districts, and newly identified hubs in areas not currently being served. These hubs will enable statewide programs and services. The flagship physical location for a more permanent Arts Grow SC will be the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation, located in Columbia at 1026 Sumter Street. Named for former music teacher and current state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, the Spearman Center will provide:
  • direct programs
  • professional learning
  • events
  • resource distribution
  • exhibitions
SCAC Deputy Director Ashley Brown has been appointed executive director of Arts Grow SC and the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation. Brown has served throughout the Southeast as a nonprofit and higher education administrator, public school teacher, stage manager, teaching artist, and director. She received her bachelor of arts in theatre from Winthrop University and her Master of Fine Art in theatre management from Florida State University.
Current Arts Grow SC partners include:
  • the Arts in Basic Curriculum Institute;
  • Engaging Creative Minds;
  • S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities;
  • ArtsNOW;
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Crescent Region;
  • S.C. Educational Television;
  • S.C. Arts Alliance;
  • Palmetto State Arts Education;
  • Education Commission of the States/Arts Education Partnerships;
  • and the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center at the University of South Carolina. 
“In just a year we have rallied a statewide network to use the arts to address COVID-19 related learning loss. Using a collective impact model, Arts Grow SC and the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation will work to ensure every student in South Carolina has access to quality arts education and experiences," Brown said. "I can’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of Superintendent Spearman and all she has done for the arts in South Carolina.” “I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that the arts can have on student engagement and academic achievement,” Spearman remarked. “Throughout my career in public education, I have strived to bring these opportunities to all students across our state and am so honored that the South Carolina Arts Commission has chosen to name this center after me. I look forward to seeing the innovative practices and programs that this center will grow and support.” “This is an exciting time for the arts in South Carolina,” said SCAC Executive Director David Platts. “Building on the strong foundation of existing partnerships across the state, Arts Grow SC stands as a model of how we, as state agencies, can work together with local consortia, organizations and school districts to help students most directly impacted by COVID recover and position themselves for future academic success.  I can think of no more fitting tribute to Superintendent Spearman, whose life and career have been dedicated to turning challenges into opportunities in order to better serve students from all over South Carolina.”
While Arts Grow SC programs, grants, and professional learning opportunities are already taking place, the SCAC hopes to site work on the Spearman Center for Arts Innovation in the coming year. To learn more about Arts Grow SC, visit ArtsGrowSC.org.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Margot Lane Strasburger

SCAC recognized with award by Hispanic Alliance

The South Carolina Arts Commission was surprised with the Campeón Award by the Hispanic Alliance last week at its annual black-tie event, La Fiesta.

The Campeón Award recognizes organizations pioneering outreach to underserved communities. Winners of the award:
  • bring partners together around social issues,
  • affect courageous systemic change to leverage our collective ability to lift those in need,
  • and create a supportive infrastructure where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.
From Hispanic Alliance Executive Director Adela Mendoza:

As our state’s Hispanic population grows, the arts can build a powerful and effective bridge between cultures. The [South Carolina] Arts Commission established a strategic partnership with the Hispanic Alliance in 2019 to build the organization’s capacity to foster connectivity, promote dialogue, and encourage greater understanding of the unique traditions that help build the mosaic of the American experience. This investment allowed Hispanic Alliance to make Greenville the first city on the East Coast to bring the internationally acclaimed Wings of the City exhibit. This was the first monumental public installation by a Mexican artist in Falls Park.

Accepting the award on behalf of the agency were Executive Director David Platts and Artist Development Director Ce Scott-Fitts.

Jason Rapp

NEA, S.C. Arts Commission renew ties with major partnership grant

NEA funding critical to SCAC's service


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced more than $91 million in a second phase of recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions.

Grants are in three NEA funding categories: Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the recipient of a partnership grant of $953,600, which will be added to appropriations from the state general assembly to serve South Carolina citizens. "Federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is critical to the South Carolina Arts Commission's work. It allows us to fund arts projects that better serve constituents in South Carolina. We appreciate investments in our state's arts industry by the NEA and our state lawmakers," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”
State and Regional Partnerships Each year, 40 percent of the agency’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. A total of $60.58 million is recommended for these partners in FY 2022, with $49 million of that total designated for SAAs. Each SAA and RAO matches its NEA funding on at least a 1:1 basis. The Partnership Agreements for the state arts agencies extend the NEA’s reach to even more communities. Using state funds in combination with NEA Partnership funding, state arts agencies support approximately 23,000 projects and organizations in over 5,500 communities.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
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

Four South Carolina Cultural Districts earn recertification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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