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Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

NEA announces grants to S.C. arts orgs

$125,000 is coming to the Palmetto State

[caption id="attachment_12544" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Hubbard St. Dance Chicago at Spoleto Festival USA[/caption] With today’s announcement of more than $27 million in grants, the National Endowment for the Arts is continuing its efforts to provide all Americans with the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts. These fiscal year 2019 grants will reach all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This is the first of two major grant announcements in fiscal year 2019 and includes three of the agency’s funding categories: Art Works and Challenge America to support projects by nonprofit organizations, and Creative Writing Fellowships. Through these grants, the National Endowment for the Arts supports local economies and preserves American heritage while embracing new forms of creative expression. “The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. In South Carolina, five groups from Aiken, Charleston, and Columbia will receive part of a total award of $125,000:

Aiken Music Festival (aka Joye in Aiken), $10,000 Challenge America Grant:  To support the Joye in Aiken Performing Arts Festival, featuring public concert performances and related educational activities provided by artists representing the Juilliard School in New York City.

College of Charleston, $30,000 Art Works — Visual Arts:  To support an exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art by interdisciplinary artist Jennifer Wen Ma (b. 1973).

Spoleto Festival USA,  $35,000 (Charleston) Art Works — Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works:  To support artist fees at the Spoleto Festival.

Columbia Film Society, $20,000 Art Works — Media Arts:  To support the Indie Grits Film Festival and associated public programming.

Columbia Museum of Art,  $30,000  Art Works — Museums:  To support Access CMA, an initiative designed to enhance the museum visitor's experience.

Read the full release here.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Tuning Up: Black History event in Anderson, call for short films, etc.

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...


  • Tonight at 6 p.m., the Anderson County Library begins the county's Black History Month celebration with an event highlighting our state's role in the civil rights movement. To wit: did you know Rosa Parks received training in Columbia? More information here. (The event is sponsored by the Arts Commission.)
  • Are you more Halloween than Valentine's Day? An Arts Commission AVI grantee has a "ghoul" project in the works that you'll be "goblin" up. (Okay, we'll stop.) Filmmakers and screenplay writers are invited to help Deathcat Entertainment with "Grave Intentions" – their pun, not ours. Go here for more information.
  • More on films: Indie Grits Festival Director Seth Gadsden chatted Indie Grits Labs on the National Endowment for the Arts' "Art Works" podcast!
  • Call for art! Visual Arts Exchange in Raleigh is calling for art from installation artists. Check out The Cube and The Lab for more. Deadline for both spaces appears to be Feb. 15.
  • And finally... why we advocate: because through public support of the arts, the S.C. Arts Commission was able to award 342 grants totaling $3.3 million in 42 counties in FY 2017. That's 73% of our state funding – more than the legislative mandate of 70%.
 

The Nick has become a cultural powerhouse in state capital

The Nickelodeon's 2017 Indie Grits festival will kick off with a keynote address by Favianna Rodriguez, a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer, who will share a message about the power of art to inspire social change. Rodriguez will speak April 19 at the Nickelodeon Theatre, 1607 Main St., Columbia. A reception will take place at 6 p.m., followed by Rodriguez’s talk and the premier of an Indie Grits film block, “El Sur.” Find the complete Indie Grits schedule online. From The Post and Courier Article and photos by Adam Parker

Nickelodeon2AdamParkerWhen the theater opened in 1936, it was one of five on Main Street in downtown Columbia between Blanding and Gervais streets. Now the old Fox Theater is all that’s left, a reminder of the days when Hollywood made escapist entertainments for those enduring the Great Depression and, soon after, World War II. It lay dormant beginning in 1987. Then in 2012, the Nickelodeon moved in after a big renovation project was partially completed. It was a momentous occasion. In April 2015, the renovation was finished, resulting in a second theater for screenings and other events, such as music and variety shows. The team had succeeded in raising $5 million to fund the makeover. The Nickelodeon, or The Nick as locals call it, had been located in a bank building just south of the Statehouse, but now it was in the heart of things. It harks to a time in the city mostly forgotten, and it symbolizes the new Columbia. In an unlikely turn of events it has become a cultural cornerstone of the city, one that has contributed to the revitalization of Main Street as a primary commercial and civic corridor and site of cultural activities. "It's the most adventurous venture in Columbia now," said Ken May, director of the South Carolina Arts Commission. The Nick was founded in 1979 by Carl Davis and Linda O’Connor. It started out as an art house for film lovers, a bohemian space for the alternative and academic crowd. Over the course of 30 years a lot changed: The movie business went digital, its commercial aspirations grew, distributors changed their practices. It was no longer sufficient just to screen indie and foreign films, not if The Nick was to become a vital force in the community. So, in 2007 Andy Smith was hired to start a festival. The Indie Grits Festival was an experiment in multidiscipline programming, an event that combined cinema, visual art exhibitions, live music and creative technology. The experiment has been working. It has drawn increasingly large crowds and expanded its offerings. In the past couple of years, organizers have assigned a theme to the festival. In 2015, the festival explored how technology influenced art-making and culture, naming the event “Future Perfect.” Last year, the theme was water, apropos after the historic 2015 Midlands flooding. The title was “Waterlines.” This year, the theme is Latin American culture, and the title is “Visiones.” The idea first was broached in the fall of 2015, with the intention of organizing a weekend event. But some grant money, input from artists, the powerful “Waterlines” experience and, finally, the myriad ways the theme resonates politically and culturally today convinced The Nick team to go big with “Visiones.” The festival runs April 20-23.

Expanding ideas

The thematic approach was adopted when Seth Gadsden joined The Nick team four years ago. Gadsden, who was an art major at the College of Charleston and co-founded Redux Contemporary Art Center in downtown Charleston in 2003, brought a new dimension to the Columbia enterprise. He helped further integrate the visual arts, and he took the lead in educational outreach. Late last year, The Nick announced that it was expanding its media education programming. Already it was providing resources to media artists, running a filmmaker-in-residence program and working with students in Richland School District One on an art project called “Come Around My Way” that delved into social justice issues. Now it would launch Indie Grits Labs, introduce the new initiative “TakeBreakMake” that provides a safe space for up to 15 young LGBT artists, and contribute to the festival. Indie Grits Labs is no small venture. It signifies a moment of exponential growth, one that acknowledges formally that The Nick is about much more than movies. It is part of a larger reorganization. Smith was promoted to chief executive officer of the Columbia Film Society, the umbrella organization under which The Nick and Indie Grits Labs operate. A new Nick director will oversee the cinema side of things. As a result of the change, Smith, Gadsden and their colleagues, all of whom have many interests, are better able to spread their wings. “Everyone is connected to more than film,” Gadsden said. Smith said the emergence of The Nick as an arts generator and incubator coincided with market and technology forces. “At the same time as our move (to Main Street), Netflix is exploding,” he said. “We saw more interest in media education, we saw it as a way to deepen our involvement with the community. It was our chance to get into the creation of work, to help develop critical viewing skills.” Gadsden pointed out that the school-age kids enrolled in “TakeBreakMake” or “Come Around My Way” might not have normally stepped foot inside an independent theater. Now some of them are volunteers. “Kids would just show up,” he said. So the staff found them something to do. “It’s a safe place for people in a fairly conservative part of the country, where people could come together and explore ideas.”

Having 'Visiones'

If the “Future Perfect” Indie Grits theme demonstrated the great promise of the festival, it was “Waterlines” that brought The Nick to a new level. Before the terrible flooding of October 2015, the team was thinking about adopting a “river” theme. It troubled them and others in Columbia that the Congaree River was so underutilized and underappreciated. Other cities such as San Antonio, Pittsburgh and Brooklyn had redeveloped their waterfronts for public use. But not much was happening along the banks of the Congaree. After the flood, water became the inevitable theme, but now with a large dose of urgency. “How do we respond to what just happened?” the Indie Grits team asked itself. A $50,000 grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation helped them decide. A cohort of local artists was invited to a brainstorming session. “It became a group-think, collaborative project,” Gadsden said. “I learned a lot about what you can do with a group of artists if you support them and put them in a situation where (they can thrive).” “Waterlines” became a model that Amada Torruella, curator of “Visiones,” happily adopted. She identified artists in South Carolina to form the 2017 cohort, seeking not just artists, but artists who are teachers and innovators and community organizers, 11 Latinos of various backgrounds who met monthly to formulate the festival. The process began with optimism in the air: How was the Latino community changing the Southeast? After the presidential election, though, the tone darkened, for now Latinos were perceived by many as a threat, Torruella said. “We had to channel the negative energy,” she said. The cohort of artists includes a few Mexicans, two Colombians, two Ecuadorians, a Chilean and a Puerto Rican. Disciplines include photojournalism, music, filmmaking and more. “Since the project is pretty heavy on identity, one filmmaker is making an 'Identity Map' for people to follow,” Torruella said. The map will lead patrons through the outdoor showcase from one video installation to another. Screen printing workshops will be open to all in the Latino community, because “art should be as accessible as possible,” Torruella said. A puppet troupe from Mexico will perform. Food trucks will be strategically positioned downtown. And the musical headliners Lambchop and Curtis Harding will perform. For the film component of the festival, 80 movies are scheduled (from 400 entries received). About one-third of them are by Latino filmmakers or have Latino themes. The goal is to create a public space where people can share stories that humanize them.

'Very communitarian'

The Nick’s staff constantly is thinking strategically about artistic and community purpose and direction. They team up with nonprofits such as the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, which serves the Latino population, schools and government. “They’ve just become this real groundbreaking organization, not just in the city, but in the state,” said May, of the Arts Commission. “It’s quirky, interesting.” Ambitious, too, able to secure significant funding from groups like the Ford Foundation, he said. “Andy’s a very thoughtful, smart young guy who makes an impression on people like that,” he said “They’re very communitarian, but also committed to adventurous art. When you see something like that coming out of a place like South Carolina, I think it gets extra points. ... They just keep doing new things. And they’re restless.” This probably accounts for the growing popularity of The Nick and its eclectic programming. Smith said he and his colleagues always are asking questions, challenging themselves: “How can we strategically use the arts to make our community stronger, to make Columbia, to make South Carolina, a better place to live?” It’s an important consideration, especially in light of current trends. “The support structures (for the arts) in our state have really eroded,” Smith noted. Funding is always uncertain. The Richland-Lexington Cultural Council shut down a couple years ago. So the Columbia Film Society is positioning itself as a granting organization. And The Nick provides an opportunity to bring festival artists back into the fold after Indie Grits events are finished. Today, The Nick has an annual budget of $1.3 million, half of which is derived from earned income. Its membership, now at more than 3,000 individuals, keeps setting records. “We’re still scratching the surface of who we serve in the community,” Smith said. Image above: Amada Torrulla (left) is curator of "Visiones," this year's Indie Grits Festival. Seth Gadsden (center), is co-organizer of the festival and in charge of The Nickelodeon's education program. Andy Smith (right) is executive director and CEO of the Columbia Film Society, which oversees the Nick.

Columbia’s Nickelodeon Theatre seeks theatre director

nickelodeon-header-300Application deadline: December 12 The Columbia Film Society is looking for a dynamic, forward-thinking leader to join one of the most creative and hard working teams in the art house cinema sector. Created in response to the organization’s rapid growth, the Nickelodeon theatre director position will oversee the programming, marketing, operations and staff of the Nickelodeon Theatre. The primary artistic leader for the exhibition arm of the Columbia Film Society, the Nickelodeon director serves as the public face for the Nick’s retail organization. The Nickelodeon director reports to the CEO of the Columbia Film Society and serves on the senior leadership team along with the Indie Grits Labs director, the development manager and the CEO. Primary Responsibilities Programming: Shaping the artistic vision for the Nickelodeon Theatre, the Nickelodeon theatre director works with the programming staff, film buyer, and community members to program both screens of the Nick throughout the year, including:

  • Managing programming coordinators
  • With programming team, developing and maintaining five-year programming plan for special series and festivals
  • Overseeing the development of six to eight curated film series each fiscal year
  • Maintaining regular contact with film buyer to ensure high-quality first-run programming
  • With programming and marketing teams, establishing and communicating weekly screening times
  • Seeking out opportunities for special screenings of particular interest to our community
  • Ensuring programming calendar is regularly shared and understood throughout the organization
  • Staying abreast of trends in the independent cinema sector
Marketing: With two screens operating 365 days a year, the Nickelodeon theatre director will oversee efforts to effectively communicate the richness of the Nick’s programming to local, regional and national audiences, by:
  • Developing and implementing innovative and effective strategies for promoting the Nickelodeon’s programming – including first-run independent films, special series and screenings
  • Managing designer/interactive coordinator, marketing manager and other marketing support staff
  • Maintaining a yearly marketing calendar for special series, Nick Mags and special events
  • Working with the senior leadership team to implement innovative institutional marketing spikes that raise general awareness of the organization
  • Ensuring Nickelodeon messaging is effectively communicated through excellent customer service experiences online, over the phone, in-person, and in the lobby
  • Measuring and reporting outcomes of marketing efforts
Finance and Operations: Protecting and managing the physical and fiscal assets of the Nickelodeon is essential to ensuring the organization fulfills its mission. The Nickelodeon Theatre director will oversee the finances and operations of the organization, including:
  • Managing the operations manager and bookkeeper
  • Developing and managing the annual operating budget for the Nickelodeon Theatre, in coordination with the senior leadership team
  • Managing the day-to-day and long term finances of the Nickelodeon Theatre
  • Overseeing and approving quarterly finance reports for board meetings
  • Overseeing annual audit process
  • Overseeing the upkeep and maintenance of theater facilities and equipment, including work done by third party contractors
  • Ensuring the Nickelodeon is in compliance with necessary state and local licenses, taxes, and other government filings
  • Annually reviewing organization’s insurance policies to ensure sufficient coverage
Find a complete list of duties, qualifications and application instructions online. The application deadline is December 12 at 5 p.m. EST. About the organization The Columbia Film Society’s Nickelodeon Theatre serves Columbia, South Carolina, as a center for critical dialogue, anchored by the presentation of films that showcase the diversity, challenges, joy and aspiration of its community. A destination for enjoyment, enrichment, and education, the Nick provides the tools to make, interpret, appreciate, and teach the moving image in all its variety. Founded in 1979, the Nickelodeon is South Carolina’s only non-profit arthouse cinema.

Columbia’s Indie Grits Festival celebrates 10 years with free admission

Festival theme interprets historic Oct. 2015 flood Admission to the 10th annual Indie Grits Festival is free, thanks to a Connected Communities grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Indie Grits, presented by the Nickelodeon Theatre, takes place April 14-17 in several locations in Columbia, S.C. Related: Festival co-director reflects on 10 years of Indie Grits Artist collective captures flood aftermath in 'creative and human way' From The State Article by Erin Shaw

A waterline is a horizontal mark on a wall or surface that is made by water during a flood. It’s the lines drawn in a neighborhood when one house is devastated by flooding but the house across the street is not. It’s the theme of this year’s Indie Grits festival. Related: 5 films not to miss at Indie Grits In addition to the film, music and technology aspects of the four-day festival, this year includes work by a contingent of artists documenting and interpreting the impact of the October flooding in Columbia. The work from around 20 artists includes photography, performance art, sculpture and a mural that will be on display throughout Indie Grits. “We’re participating in the post-digestion of what happened,” festival co-founder Seth Gadsden said. “Our goal is to archive what happened in a very human and creative way.” Related: 5 events not to miss at Indie Grits Originally, the festival’s focus was on celebrating the Congaree River, with plans to have the entire festival at and around the river, Gadsden said. “We were working with West Columbia, Cayce, city of Columbia, all kinds of private developers. Everything was shaping up, and then the flood hit in October and kind of wrecked a lot of those plans.” Some events – the opening kickoff concert with Eighth Blackbird and the river concert with Big Freedia – will still take place on the banks of the Congaree. But the rest of Indie Grits required some rethinking, including the theme. “ ‘Waterlines’ visually and metaphorically represents what’s left behind when the water recedes,” Gadsden said. In a curatorial statement about the works, Gadsden said Waterlines “is our offering to you, an imaginative rethinking of the powerful natural symbols that have defined our community.” A few examples of the Waterlines art are: “Underbelly Up”: Nickelodeon Theatre’s filmmaker-in-residence Joshua Yates scrapped his original project for Indie Grits after the flood and is now recording an oral history of the flood. Yates’ autobiographical film, “Underbelly Up,” mixes audio-only interviews with grainy 16mm film to create an “emotional rumination on loss, trauma, and the construction of memory.” “Underbelly Up” will be donated to the South Caroliniana Library Office of Oral History after the festival, Gadsden said. “The Ark”: Photographer Michael Dantzler pairs people in his community with floodplain-beneficial plants in diptych portraits. On one side of each portrait is an individual affected by the flooding, and on the other is a plant illustrative of his or her resilience. “Water Me.” A video game created by Cecil Decker, Chris Johnson, Danny Oakes, James Owens, and Michelle Skipper. The goal of the game is to keep your house plant alive, but if you give it contaminated tap water, it will die.

Indie Grits Film Festival announces theme, dates and call for visual artists

Indie Grits Film Festival, the Southeast’s premier film and culture festival in Columbia, S.C. for DIY media-makers, will take place April 15-19, 2015, and for the first time, the festival will have a theme: “Future Perfect.” Additionally, 2015’s Indie Grits is calling for visual artists whose work will enhance Columbia’s public spaces during the festival for a multi-faceted exhibit, thanks to funding by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The ninth annual Indie Grits, hosted by the Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina’s oldest art-house cinema located on Main Street in South Carolina’s capital city, will feature five full days of the best DIY short, experimental, animated and student film, music, food and outside-the-box artistic performances from South Carolina and the Southeast. Indie Grits has twice been named one of MovieMaker magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. “Forty percent of attendees from last year’s Indie Grits lived outside of Columbia, and we want to do more to attract even more out-of-town participants,” said Seth Gadsden, co-director of Indie Grits Film Festival. “Our participant and attendance numbers are growing each year, but folks tell us again and again that they want to be able to attend more Indie Grits events while they’re in town. So a five-day format will concentrate all the events you’ve come to love about Indie Grits, plus some events we’re adding, like our brand-new call for artists. We’re hoping a jam-packed festival will mean that more people will bring a critical mass to downtown Columbia during Indie Grits.” Indie Grits Calls for Visual Artists Indie Grits 2015 will build on the artist-in-residence program sponsored by One Columbia for Arts and History, which began at 2014’s Indie Grits and brought artist Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell and her installation art to the festival. The artist-in-residence program will return to Indie Grits 2015, and thanks to an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the festival seeks proposals from artists inspired by the Future Perfect theme for the festival. Indie Grits seeks installations, sculpture, video, photography, mixed media and any kind of art that speaks to the theme of the festival. Indie Grits will accept 15 – 25 artist applicants for exhibition at the festival. Indie Grits will provide accepted artists and collaborations with modest financial support to facilitate materials, shipping, installation and some other incurred costs, and projects will receive up to $1,000. Projects will be displayed throughout the 2015 festival in various locations downtown Columbia, including Tapp’s Center for the Arts. For more information and the application, visit indiegrits.com/submit/art. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 5, 2014. As always, Indie Grits Film Festival will continue to focus on offering audiences opportunities to see the best new films coming from independent Southern filmmakers with a far-reaching, experimental scope during the festival. Additionally, festivalgoers will enjoy other favorite events like the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam, a concert at the Columbia Museum of Art and the Slow Food at Indie Grits Sustainable Chefs Showcase. For more information on Indie Grits, visit www.indiegrits.com or contact Seth Gadsden, festival co-director at Seth@IndieGrits.com, (803) 254-8324. Follow @IndieGrits on Twitter and Facebook.

Indie Grits Film Festival features unique films, concerts, food and more

The eighth annual Indie Grits Film Festival, the Southeast’s premier film and culture festival for DIY media-makers, features 10 days of the best short, experimental, animated and student film, music, food and outside-the-box artistic performances to engage a variety of audiences. The festival takes place April 11-20 in Columbia, S.C. Hosted by the Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina’s oldest art-house cinema, Indie Grits has been named one of MovieMaker magazine’s Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World for the second time. Organizers received a 30 percent increase in filmmaker submissions for the 2014 festival, resulting in a better-than-ever film lineup. Noteworthy films: • Big Significant Things, which will premiere at SXSW 2014, is a narrative feature directed by Bryan Reisberg and produced by Andrew D. Corkin. At 26 years old, Craig seems to be doing pretty well for himself. He has job stability and a supportive family, and is about to start a wonderful new chapter with his girlfriend. With big life changes on the horizon, what better time to lie to your girlfriend so you can go on a road trip by yourself to the South? • As it is In Heaven is a narrative feature directed by Joshua Overbay. After the death of the Prophet, a man is called to lead his small religious sect as they anxiously await the end of the world they were promised. As It Is In Heaven is a beautifully filmed portrayal of a cult leader’s struggle with faith and keeping his community together after his end-of-days prophecy does not come to pass. Other highlights:

  • of Montreal will headline the festival with a concert on Thursday, April 17 at 8 p.m. at the Columbia Museum of Art.
  • Opening Night Party: A free party from 6-11 p.m. for all ages in the parking lot behind the Nickelodeon Theatre at 1607 Main Street on Friday, April 11. The party will feature Rachel Kate of Nashville and Shantih Shantih of Atlanta. Girls Rock Columbia will host the event and bring a surprise local act as well as live screen printing.
  • Indie Bits, a new video game showcase, takes place Tuesday, April 15. This event will feature films, workshops and speakers that explore ties between gaming and filmmaking and is in collaboration with the USC Center for Digital Humanities.
  • The Weekly Revue a new event, is hosted by the actor, comedian, and master of ceremonies, Toby David. The Weekly Revue exploded onto the Philadelphia scene in 2008 where it dazzled, educated, and entertained its followers for close to 5 years.
  • Indie Camp Remixed, a brand new weeklong workshop for high schoolers, will allow students to mix it up with visiting filmmakers and make some movies.
  • Kindie Grits, presented by the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts, is back with workshops on Saturday, April 12 and Saturday, April 19.
  • Hip Hop Family Day - after 2013’s Hip Hop Family Day, which drew thousands for family fun, music and more, Indie Grits is proud to have the festival back on Main Street on Saturday, April 12.
  • Slow Food at Indie Grits Sustainable Chefs Showcase on Sunday, April 13, features hors d’oeuvres by the Midlands’ most sustainable, talented chefs and potluck dishes by attendees.
For more information and a complete lineup of Indie Grits events, parties, concerts and competition films, visit IndieGrits.com. Festival passes and individual event tickets are available. Via: Indie Grits Festival

Fostering a film culture

The Nickelodeon Theatre's Indie Grits Film Festival continues through April 21 in Columbia. The State's Otis Taylor interviewed the Nickelodeon's executive director, Andy Smith, about the festival's expansion into new demographics and what's in store for the future. __________________ In its seventh year, the festival presented by Nickelodeon Theatre has expanded beyond film to include food, theater art and music. Love, Peace and Hip Hop: Columbia Hip Hop Family Day, the festival held last Saturday on Main Street, undoubtedly introduced Indie Grits brand to a new demographic. In January, Andy Smith, the Nick’s executive director, sat on a panel about race and cinema at Art House Convergence, the annual conference of independent art house theaters. It’s already difficult to have success in the independent film world because theaters are dependent on distributors for content. Now consider if distributors ignored certain films. "Film distributors aren’t very supportive of black filmmakers,'"Smith said. Ava DuVernay, who in 2012 became the first black woman to win the best director award at the Sundance Film Festival, was on the panel at the conference in Utah. Her film, “Middle of Nowhere,” screened at the Nick earlier this year. DuVernay is the founder of a boutique distribution company that supports independent black filmmakers. There’s a ripe market for growth — in viewers and filmmakers — in Columbia, and that is a goal the Nick in seeking to achieve, in part, through the work of Sherard Duvall, the theater’s new media education director. "We’re going to be working a lot with African-American males and some of the underserved communities here" Smith said. “We see the Nickelodeon making a long term investment, from education to exhibition. Because we have those tools, and then we’ve got the skills of Sherard as somebody who is going to be able to pull that off." Read the rest of the interview. Via: The State

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/18/2728745/fostering-a-film-culture.html#storylink=cpy

Charleston Film Festival now open for submissions

Submissions are open for the 4th annual Charleston Film Festival, to take place at the Terrace Theater on March 7-11, 2013. Filmmakers from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia are encouraged to submit shorts and feature-length films. There is no submission fee. The submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2013. Cash prizes of $2,500 will be awarded for best regional films. The Grand Prize includes a one-week exhibition at Terrace Theater with your film and name on the marquee! Charleston Film Festival Works must have been produced in the last 18 months. In line with a strong belief that festivals are a chance for local audiences to see a locally made film, works are allowed to have been shown at other events and fests. Content submitted for the Lowcountry Indie Shorts Festival can be automatically considered for submission to Charleston Film Festival. In keeping with its strong tradition of local and state ties, the Festival is pleased to announce its continuing relationship with the Greater Park Circle Film Society, the Indie Grits Festival in Columbia, the Art Institute of Charleston, the Charleston Jewish Federation and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Download the application form here: http://parkcirclefilms.org/sites/parkcirclefilms.org/files/2013-Charleston-Film-Festival-Application-Form.docx More information is available on Terrace Theater's website. Please send inquiries to Nicholai Burton at nicholai@parkcirclefilms.org. Via: Charleston Film Festival