← View All Articles

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Tom Flowers

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Tom Flowers

Lifetime Achievement (Posthumous) | Governor's Awards for the Arts

A native of Washington, Flowers was born in 1928. He attended Mount Vernon High School and Furman University on a football scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art. He went on to the University of Iowa for his master’s of fine arts. After a short stay in the U.S. Air Force he was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He taught at Furman University for 30 years, from 1959 to 1989 when he joined the emeritus faculty. Tom was chairman of the art department for most of his tenure at Furman. Prior to that he taught at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. Flowers exhibited widely as an artist, winning many awards including Springs Mills best-in-show, Art in Architecture Award from the South Carolina American Institutes of Greenville for a carved/painted constructed mural for the Greenville City Hall. He was selected as one of the 100 Artists/100 Years exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. He has had many shows in the Midwest, South, and Southeast. Many of his works are in permanent and private collections including the (South Carolina) State Art Collection, Springs Mills, Greenville County Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, Florence County Museum, Citizens and Southern Bank, South Carolina National Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Virginia, and Bank of America (née NationsBank). He was one of 12 artists from South Carolina whose works were presented in the South Carolina National Bank exhibit, The Bicentennial, An Interpretive Approach. His work was also included in the Portrait of the South exhibition in Rome, Italy. He served as president of the Greenville Artist Guild and a board member of the Guild of South Carolina Artists. He was a former member of the board of trustees of the Greenville County Museum of Art, a state representative of the American Craft Council, a member of the Guild of S.C. Artists advisory board, and a Pickens County arts commissioner. Thomas Earl Flowers passed away Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, after his nomination was made in the artist category.

Quotable

Mr. Flowers worked with college students and influenced generations of students throughout his career. He had a way of bringing people together and supported many artists. His impact on the Greenville community and beyond is seen through the work of his students who later became artists, teachers, business leaders, and other professional careers.

Donna Shank Instructor Fine Arts Center Greenville

tom flowers' governor's award statue on statehouse grounds in columbia
The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Marjory Wentworth

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Marjory Wentworth

Special Award | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Marjory Wentworth, erstwhile poet laureate of the state of South Carolina, is the New York Times bestselling author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley). She is the co-writer of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, with Juan E. Mendez. She is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. Her poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize six times. Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston in addition to instructing courses through Roper Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina. Her career in education began with teaching creative writing at the Charleston County School of the Arts. Since 2012 she serves as an artist in residence with Engaging Creative Minds.

Quotable

...Marjory has been an indefatigable champion for the arts across the state. The office was not ceremonial for her: it was a calling. For 17 years she has followed that calling all over the state, from library to library and school to school, tirelessly (and usually without compensation) promoting the arts, literacy, and creativity to thousands of students, elementary school to college, and teaching us all how writing can help us to understand our world...

Dr. Ed Madden Professor of English University of South Carolina Columbia


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Charlton Singleton

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Charlton Singleton

Artist Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

A native of Awendaw, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of 3 on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a bachelor of arts in music performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. Currently, he is the previous artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18-piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston. In November of 2015 he was named the inaugural artist in residence at the recently renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the U.S. He is a member of Grammy Award-winning band Ranky Tanky, a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast coast of the U.S. In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few. Over the past several years, Charlton has emerged as the face of jazz performance in the Lowcountry. With his touring ensemble he models the classic quintet formats of jazz greats Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, and Clark Terry with his unique brand of southern charm and Lowcountry inspired composition.

Quotable

Charlton Singleton consistently impacts our state; the culture, the music and the people. As a mentioned in the opening of this letter, Charlton is a light in the community and is a luminary for us all. He is an outstanding person and defines the criteria of this recognition.

Sterling DeVries Director of Education Charleston Gaillard Center Charleston


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Colonial Life

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Colonial Life

Business/Foundation Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Colonial Life’s mission of finding ways to help America’s workers when they face unexpected events and challenging times has made it the extraordinary company we know today. Founded in 1939, it is considered a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness, and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. Colonial Life has demonstrated a strong commitment to the community through corporate giving for more than 80 years. Annually, the company has made significant investments to improve communities through public education, health and well-being, and arts and culture. Their support extends beyond corporate giving. The company leadership encourages employee philanthropy through its matching gift programs and volunteerism. In 2021, Colonial Life will unveil a refreshed corporate social responsibility strategy that builds on their established strong foundation of helping communities thrive. This strategy comprises four programs within a portfolio of work:
  • Equitable Pathways,
  • Healthier Communities,
  • A Caring Spirit
  • and Ready Response.
Through this portfolio approach, the new strategy is more intentional in supporting social justice causes and key societal issues for positive impact on global, national and local levels. These programs will provide opportunities for the arts to intersect with Colonial Life’s social responsibility initiatives in urban and rural communities throughout the state.

Quotable

...Colonial Life has positioned itself as a progressive and collaborative company committed to the communities it calls home. In addition to the CMA, countless other arts organizations and initiatives across South Carolina have received their support—including the South Carolina Arts Awards. As an exemplary corporate citizen, deeply committed to the arts, Colonial Life is most deserving of this award...

Della Watkins Executive Director Columbia Museum of Art Columbia


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Jennifer Clark Evins

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer Clark Evins

Individual Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

As president and CEO, Jennifer Evins heads South Carolina’s oldest arts agency, formed by Nita Milliken and other visionary leaders in the late 50’s and early 60’s after visiting the Winston-Salem Arts Council in 1958. Evins leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center—Spartanburg County’s local arts agency—and Mayfair Art Studios. She supervises a staff of 15 full time employees and oversees a $2.5 million annual operating budget with assets exceeding $36 million. Along with county-wide arts coordination, Evins provides visionary leadership for the arts and engages multiple stakeholders on a regular basis. Evins has been heavily involved with the arts in Spartanburg for nearly 22 years. Under her leadership, CCC has partnered with cross-sector agencies including the city and county of Spartanburg on multiple successful public art projects involving coordination among multiple stakeholders. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital fundraising campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million. Her volunteer leadership of this project spanned ten years of service. Evins authored and lead the winning Bloomberg Philanthropies $1 million Public Art Challenge “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” and helped the city of Spartanburg earn the South Carolina Cultural District designation for Downtown Spartanburg—the second in the state and the only official S.C. Cultural District in the Upstate. Most recently, Evins led the successful fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Chapman Cultural Center brand through its newest arts incubator, Mayfair Art Studios. Through her visionary leadership, Mayfair open in 2020 and is a space designed to make the arts accessible to all by providing studio spaces for both professional and amateur artists in a range of artistic and creative disciplines. In volunteer service, Evins is chairwoman of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, serves on the OneSpartanburg Inc. Vision Advisory Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Board of SC Arts Alliance. She serves on the Noble Tree Foundation Board and the President’s Advisory Board for Wofford College and the USC Upstate Johnson College of Business and Economics. Evins is a retired Trustee and past Chairwoman of the Spartanburg County Foundation. Jennifer is a Diversity Leadership Fellow of the Riley Institute and a Hull Fellow of the Southeastern Council on Foundations. Evins has received numerous awards including The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award by Wofford College; Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce; South Carolina Woman of Achievement by the South Carolina Business and Professional Woman; Leadership Spartanburg Alumnus of the Year; Duke Energy Service to the Community Award; Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities; and the Leadership Honoree of the Mary L .Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change by Spartanburg County Foundation. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Evins had a 15-year professional career in marketing and public relations.  Her last assignment was as public affairs director at WSPA-TV.

Quotable

...Jennifer has helped shape the future of our statewide organization and help set the tone for many of the statewide trends in the arts now in play. She asks the hard questions, helps develop appropriate solutions to issues, and celebrates accomplishments with true joy. Jennifer’s active participation in our work has made our organization stronger, and continues to make our state more creative...

GP McLeer Executive Director South Carolina Arts Alliance Fountain Inn


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Dr. Tayloe Harding

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Tayloe Harding

Arts in Education Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Tayloe Harding is a composer and music administrator, serves as the dean of the School of Music, and in the 2019/2020 academic year served as interim provost of the University of South Carolina. A passionate advocate for advancing the impact of higher education music study and experience on American communities and national society, Harding is devoted to an array of organizations whose missions are consistent with this advocacy. As president of the College Music Society (CMS) from 2005-2006, he led the creation of the Engagement and Outreach Initiative where the efforts of the music professoriate are articulated with a variety of national constituencies, including other higher education disciplines and populations, music businesses and industries, and general audiences in an effort to meet common musical and civic goals. He also served as national secretary of the National Association for Schools of Music, the accreditation, advocacy, and professional development association for collegiate music schools. Tayloe Harding’s interest in the power of music and the arts to transform communities’ and individual’s lives by contributing to the health, happiness, safety, fulfillment, and hopefulness has been evident in his work with both local and state arts education and advocacy organizations. In addition to keynote speeches on this subject at each of the international summits he has produced at UofSC, he has participated in and led efforts locally and statewide as diverse as invited membership on the S.C. Arts in Basic Curriculum Steering Committee (2006-2018); consultant for the city of Columbia’s One Columbia initiative/office and the recent Amplify Columbia cultural plan for the city; service on the board and arts granting panels of the Richland/Lexington County Cultural Council (2008-2014); and in his regular engagement with the South Carolin Arts Alliance for Arts Advocacy Week (2007-2015). He teaches a unique course for young musicians, Introduction to Music and Arts Advocacy: Understanding the Power of Your Music and Art, to approximately 100 freshman arts majors at UofSC each year—an outcome of this course has been table tents and broader participation at the Arts Advocacy Week events for state legislators each February. An active consultant for many organizations regarding music and arts education policy, and advocacy, he is a frequent presenter on issues facing the future of university music units and their leadership, and remains active as a composer earning commissions, performances, and recordings for his works around the world.

Quotable

As an advocate of the arts, Dr. Harding has provided meaningful advice and support to many local, state and national arts councils. He has been an outstanding community advocate, promoting diversity and access to a wide range of performances and performers. He has worked tirelessly to promote music appreciation and education across our state at the elementary and high school levels, as well as through undergraduate and graduate education.

Harris Pastides, Ph.D. Distinguished President Emeritus University of South Carolina Columbia


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: ColaJazz Foundation

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

ColaJazz Foundation

Organization Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Since 2014, ColaJazz has worked tirelessly to establish Columbia as a premier jazz destination. Founder and Executive Director Mark Rapp had a desire to highlight the accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around the city. Additionally, Rapp wanted to give back to the fans, supporters, and jazz venues. His initial foray in promoting the city of Columbia was recording the ColaJazz Vol. 1 album featuring the city’s top jazz talent and a full-length album by late S.C. Jazz Ambassador Skipp Pearson both of which were featured nationally in AAA Magazine. In 2018, ColaJazz earned a coveted fiscal sponsorship with one of Columbia’s longest-standing arts nonprofits, the Columbia Music Festival Association. After five years of working with the community, creating proofs of concepts, and establishing an annual season of events, the organization became a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit jazz organization. ColaJazz has established successful and vibrant annual jazz programming including a summer jazz camp, jazz festival, countless performances, jam sessions, artist features, community highlights, and often brings international jazz stars including NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winners to Columbia. It produces an annual season including the ColaJazz Summer Camp, ColaJazz Fest, Great Day in Columbia, Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts), monthly Dinner & Jazz concerts, Jazz Appreciation Month ColaJazz Crawl and International Jazz Day concert, virtual concerts, workshops, after-school curriculum, Jazz for Young People concerts and more bringing people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the capital city. ColaJazz provides access to world class musicians, supports our own, invests in our future and does everything we can to ensure jazz has a home in Columbia. The ColaJazz community is comprised of musicians, educators, patrons, students, and anyone who desires to support jazz and develop our capital city’s cultural heritage.

Quotable

...Over the decades a handful of dedicated souls have passionately tried to keep the culture alive in our state. But more recently—and more successfully—ColaJazz has taken up the mantel. ColaJazz and its founder ... have worked tirelessly to promote the genre in a number of inventive ways. The organization has brought nationally known artists to South Carolina ... and it has instituted a number of wide-ranging educational programs...

Dick Goodwin 2001 S.C. Governor’s Award for the Arts, Individual Category Recipient Columbia


The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards to stream live again in 2021

Virtual presentation planned for May 24


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Awards will honor South Carolinians for their exceptional achievements in, support of, or advocacy for the arts during a professionally produced online streaming presentation planned for Monday, May 24, 2020 at 6 p.m. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and partner McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina look forward to honoring the seven recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and two recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards in a special online presentation on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Lead host and SCAC Executive Director David Platts will be joined again by South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster as co-host from the Governor’s Mansion. UofSC McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz will join Platts and McMaster to announce the Folk Heritage Award recipients. Platts will announce the Governor’s Award recipients. Before the pandemic, the South Carolina Arts Awards were presented at an in-person ceremony. Rather than cancel in 2020, the ceremony was shifted to a virtual format that was successful for its extended reach and production quality. After overwhelmingly positive feedback—and with lingering COVID-19 transmission concerns—the ceremony will again be presented online, at no cost to viewers anywhere. Surprise guests will join to help introduce each recipient. Mini-films by South Carolina filmmakers Drew Baron, Lynn Cornfoot, Abe Duenas, Patrick Hayes, Roni Henderson, Lee Ann Kornegay, and Ebony Wilson will debut, telling each recipient’s story. The filmmakers worked under the direction of producer Betsy Newman. Location shooting for the ceremony and production of the stream are being provided by Midlands-based iSite Multimedia and Fisher Films. The Governor’s Award recipients were announced in February. The recipients are:
  • Tom Flowers (posthumous, Greenville): Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Charlton Singleton (Charleston): Artist Category
  • Jennifer Clark Evins (Spartanburg): Individual Category
  • Tayloe Harding (Columbia): Arts in Education Category
  • Colonial Life (Columbia): Business/Foundation Category
  • ColaJazz Foundation (Columbia): Organization Category
  • Marjory Wentworth (Mount Pleasant): Special Award
The Folk Heritage Award recipients were also announced in February. Being honored are:
  • Jugnu Verma (Lexington): Traditional Indian folk arts
  • Robert W. Hill, III (Plantersville): Advocacy, American long rifles and accoutrements

 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 McKissick Museum The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

Jason Rapp

#SCartists making rounds in the media

Keeping our eyes on you

Sculpture of a man peering through binoculars set in a wooded space

Listen, don't get creeped out, but we've got our eyes on #SCartists.

If the SCAC sees you getting into the news, whatever the medium, The Hub is here to amplify the message. Here is a recent story for our readers to enjoy:
  • Dr. Leo Twiggs is about as accomplished as it gets. He's a decorated artist, being awarded the Governor's Award for the Arts for  lifetime achievement (2017) and the prestigious 1858 Prize for Southern Contemporary Art (2018). He and fellow Orangeburg resident and art historian and philosopher Dr. Frank Martin recently sat for a conversation on American art and the African American aesthetic for Black Art In America.

Image by Oliver Kepka from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

SCAC to honor 7 with Governor’s Awards for the Arts

Four artists, one advocate, two organizations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Today, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing seven qualified recipients of South Carolina’s highest award for high achievement in practicing or supporting the arts.

The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts are presented annually by the SCAC. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. For 2021, the following honorees from their respective categories are being recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Tom Flowers, Greenville (posthumous)
  • ARTIST: Charlton Singleton, Charleston
  • INDIVIDUAL: Jennifer Clark Evins, Spartanburg
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Tayloe Harding, Columbia
  • BUSINESS: Colonial Life, Columbia
  • ORGANIZATION: ColaJazz Foundation, Columbia
  • SPECIAL AWARD: Marjory Wentworth, Mount Pleasant
“With the Governor’s Award, we celebrate achievement and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture here in South Carolina. Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They exemplify giving of themselves to ensure everyone who wants to can benefit from access to the arts,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. 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 that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2021 awards were Flavia Harton (Greenville), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bob Reeder (Columbia), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Kim Wilson (Rock Hill). The South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are presented to recipients at the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony, normally held in person every spring. The pandemic forced the shift of last year’s ceremony to a virtual format in July rather than May. Reaction to that was positive and it is planned once again for 2021, but instead of being held in the summer it will revert to its normal timeframe in the spring. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, will announce a date and time later.

About the 2021 S.C. Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients

Washington, D.C. native TOM FLOWERS (Lifetime Achievement) came to South Carolina for football at Furman University and left with a bachelor’s in art. After earning a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa and serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, his teaching career wound its way from Kansas and North Carolina back to Furman. He spent the next 30 years teaching arts at the school, from 1959 to 1989, and was chairman of the art department for most of his tenure. Upon completion he was named to the school’s emeritus faculty. Decorated and widely exhibited as an artist, Flowers’ works have homes in museums and collections throughout the Southeast, including the South Carolina State Art Collection. He served on several Upstate arts boards and commissions and as a state representative on the American Craft Council. Thomas Earl Flowers passed away Dec. 13, 2020 after his nomination was made in the Governor’s Award artist category. He is survived by multiple practicing artists in his family, further adding to his legacy. Over the past several years, CHARLTON SINGLETON (Artist Category) has emerged as the face of jazz performance in the Lowcountry. Because of his membership in the band Ranky Tanky, a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah culture, he can also be called a Grammy Award winner. Singleton studied organ, violin, cello, and trumpet throughout childhood and adolescence and earned a music performance degree from South Carolina State University. Since, he’s taught music at every level from elementary school through college. In addition to Ranky Tanky, he is previous artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, has his own touring ensemble, is organist and choir director of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston and was named inaugural artist-in-residence at the renovated Gaillard Center in Charleston. He is in demand as a speaker, composer, and arranger. As president and CEO, JENNIFER CLARK EVINS (Individual Category) leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center (CCC), Spartanburg city and county’s local arts agency. Along with her county-wide arts coordination, she has nearly 26 years as a visionary community and statewide arts leader to her credit. As a volunteer, Evins led the 10-year project and capital campaign that raised $42 million that built CCC, led another successful campaign to add Mayfair Art Studios to CCC, and led the charge to get Downtown Spartanburg named a South Carolina Cultural District. Evins was the author and director for the winning $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Her Culture Counts program, which started as a local asset inventory and mapping project, is now used as a South Carolina cultural tourism tool through Ten at the Top. A winner of numerous awards for service and leadership, she serves or served on prominent Upstate boards. Evins is a strong advocate for local artists, arts organizations, and arts education, and is an active board member of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. TAYLOE HARDING (Arts in Education Category) has a belief in the power of music and the arts to transform communities and individuals that is evident in his work with local and state arts education and advocacy organizations. The dean of the University of South Carolina School of Music has participated in and led efforts as diverse as 12 years on the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project steering committee, consulting on the city of Columbia’s cultural plan and for its One Columbia for Arts & Culture office, frequent advocacy work on behalf of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, and on grant panels for the defunct Cultural Council of Richland/Lexington Counties. Harding has national exposure as past president of the College Music Society and past secretary of the National Association for Schools of Music. He remains active as a composer, earning commissions, performances, and recordings worldwide. COLONIAL LIFE (Business/Foundation Category) is a Columbia-based market leader of financial protection benefits offered through the workplace. For more than 80 years the company has demonstrated a commitment to the community through corporate giving, the employee matching gift programs and volunteerism. The company also has made significant investments each year to support educational, health, wellbeing, arts and culture state programs. Colonial Life’s mission to help America’s workers face unexpected events and challenging times makes it the extraordinary company it is today. Since its 2014 founding, COLAJAZZ FOUNDATION (Organization Category) has worked tirelessly to establish Columbia as a premier jazz destination by highlighting the accomplished jazz artists and educators active in and around the city. Successful and vibrant programming includes bringing international jazz stars, including NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winners, to Columbia. Its annual season includes the ColaJazz Summer Camp; ColaJazz Fest; Great Day in Columbia; Live in the Lobby (Koger Center for the Arts) series; monthly Dinner & Jazz concerts; Jazz Appreciation Month; ColaJazz Crawl; live and virtual concerts, workshops, after-school curriculum for International Jazz Day; and Jazz for Young People concerts that bring people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the capital city. The erstwhile poet laureate of South Carolina, MARJORY WENTWORTH (Special Award) is its second-longest serving. She received her appointment to the position from Gov. Mark Sanford in 2003 and served until 2020. Wentworth is New York Times bestselling co-author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets and author of prize-winning children’s story Shackles. Her lengthy list of published titles includes several of her own poetry books, additional co-authored titles, and she is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green. Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston and Charleston County School of the Arts.

Correction

On Feb. 17, this copy was corrected to reflect that Charlton Singleton is a former artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. The original copy stated he is the current artistic director and conductor.

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.