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Gov. McMaster to present 2018 S.C. Arts Awards on May 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19 April 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The seven individuals and three groups visiting the State House to receive the 2018 South Carolina Arts Awards Wednesday, May 2 at 10:30 a.m. will do so from a high-profile presenter: Gov. Henry McMaster. The governor’s office confirmed his third appearance at the annual awards ceremony, his second as governor. Gov. McMaster first presented the awards in 2016 as lieutenant governor in then-Gov. Nikki Haley’s stead. “Gov. McMaster making time for the arts and folklife communities of South Carolina means a lot to all of us, and we’re excited to welcome him back to the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony,” South Carolina Arts Commission Board President Henry Horowitz said. The South Carolina Arts Awards are a joint presentation by the South Carolina Arts Commission, South Carolina Arts Foundation, and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina to award the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. Five recipients from their respective categories are being recognized with Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:

  • ARTIST: Tom Stanley, Rock Hill
  • INDIVIDUAL: Alan Ethridge, Greenville
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Anne S. Richardson, Columbia
  • BUSINESS: Bank of America, Columbia
  • ORGANIZATION: Ballet Spartanburg, Spartanburg
Four artists and one advocate are being recognized with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award as practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature, and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. They are:
  • The Blackville Community Choir (Blackville): A Capella Spiritual and Gospel Singing
  • Michael King (Greenville): Piedmont blues
  • Henrietta Snype (Mount Pleasant): Sweetgrass basketry
  • Deacon James Garfield Smalls (St. Helena Island): Traditional spirituals
  • Stephen Criswell (Lancaster): Folklife & Traditional Arts Advocacy
The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). South Carolina artists’ work will be on sale from 11 a.m. to noon, supporting S.C. Arts Commission programs. For $100, guests may also participate in a “basket grab” for surprise gift baskets with items representing a county or region of the state. The luncheon program is expected to run from 12:15 to 2 p.m., with readings by South Carolina Literary Fellows and a special presentation by the Blackville Community Choir. Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and available for purchase here or by calling 803.734.8696.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696. ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS FOUNDATION The South Carolina Arts Foundation supports and raises awareness of the arts development programs for communities, schools, and artists coordinated by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The Arts Foundation pursues creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state as a non-profit, 501(c)3 that’s forged a strategic partnership with the Arts Commission to supports its work and goals. Learn more at SouthCarolinaArts.com/Foundation. ABOUT MCKISSICK MUSEUM The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information, please call at 803-777-7251 or visit http://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/artsandsciences/mckissick_museum/.

S.C. Arts Awards: Henrietta Snype

2018 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2018 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 10 days to focus on this year's 10 recipients: five receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at USC. This week, the Folk Heritage Award recipients are featured.

Henrietta Snype

Sweetgrass basketry | Artist Award

Henrietta Snype is a native of Mount Pleasant, SC and comes from a long line of Sweetgrass basket makers. Her skill and dedication to the artform have garnered her a reputation as a thoughtful, effective, and innovative artist who weaves history, culture, and love into each basket. Her work has been featured at venues in the Lowcountry and in museums throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art. Her creations have been commissioned by schools, museum shops, business owners, and private art collectors. Each year, she conducts workshops for public and private schools throughout Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and at venues such as the Preservation Society, the Charleston Area Visitors Bureau, and the annual Sweetgrass Cultural Festival in Mount Pleasant, SC.  Institutions such as The Penland School of Arts in North Carolina and The John C Campbell Folk Art School in Tennessee have invited her to demonstrate and teach. Her workshops provide instruction in the craft and its history, helping participants understand that basket making is an artform with very practical roots.


Like many from the small Gullah communities of Four Mile, Six Mile, Seven Mile, Hamlin and Phillip, Henrietta grew up making baskets. She recalls learning the tradition from her mother and grandmother and often recounts memories of watching her elders make baskets. For them, Sweetgrass basketry was both practical and artistic. Henrietta learned the various "sewing" techniques by watching, listening, and practicing. What she has learned, she has passed on to her children and grandchildren. Equally as important, she also learned about the environment – how to recognize and differentiate between grades of sweetgrass and bulrush, safe locations to harvest it, and how to adapt to a changing landscape of gentrification that limits access to the once-abundant Sweetgrass.


The Lowcountry tradition of Sweetgrass basket making was born out of a technique that has its roots Senegal and Western Africa. Basket making was long held as a utilitarian craft used in the harvesting and cultivation of rice. Today, baskets are cherished works of art that are both wearable and found decorating walls and tables in hotels, restaurants, and homes across the country. 


Henrietta sees her work as a testament to the strength and longevity of Gullah people and her African ancestors. She has a collection of pieces representing five generations of Sweetgrass basket making that includes works from her grandmother, Elizabeth C. Johnson; mother, Mary Mazyck; daughter, Latrelle Snype, grand-daughter, Kayla Snype, and herself. Thousands of youngsters and adults have benefited from her passion, vision, and commitment to the Sweetgrass basket tradition. On the importance of passing on the tradition, she says "I have to take this on a different journey, not just because I want to make a dollar here or there, I want to be able to preserve this…And if we don't teach it to our children – because I consider myself in the middle generation – then there is not another generation.” She is truly a consummate artist, storyteller, and advocate for this Lowcountry tradition.

South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Gov. Henry McMaster will present each recipient's award beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the State House. The event is open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Tuning Up: Basket maker Snype featured in DC publication + Spoleto accolade

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...