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Jason Rapp

‘Black Artists of Spartanburg’ exhibition goes live

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce the Black Artists of Spartanburg exhibition.

After conversations with our community, the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition was formed to amplify the voices of Spartanburg’s Black artists in response to the racial injustices that are taking place across the nation. The multi-media exhibition features 17 artists from across Spartanburg County and will be on display through Sept. 30. The event will feature a virtual panel discussion with select artists on Sept. 17 from 6-7 p.m. during Spartanburg Artwalk. The artwork will be on display inside the Carlos Dupre Moseley Building on the Chapman Cultural Center Campus, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p..m and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who are unable to attend the exhibit in person can view the exhibition virtually on the Chapman Cultural Center website. The artists featured in the exhibition include:
  • Kayla Cromer
  • Mylows Customs
  • James Goff
  • Spark Howard
  • Josh Jackson
  • Moses "Galaxy" Jenkins
  • Patricia Kabore
  • Chris Kelly
  • Smitha Lee
  • Quinn Long
  • Antonio Modesto Milian
  • Ariel Moore
  • Rosetta Nesbitt
  • Lady Pluuto
  • Arialle Kennedy Smith
  • THEMADDDARTIST
  • Frankie Zombie
The exhibition was juried by 2020 HUB-BUB Artists-in-Residence Masimba Hwati and Shuk Han Lui. More information about the jurors can be found here. “As a Black artist, but especially as a Black female artist, it's challenging to gain exposure and make connections in the art community. Therefore, the opportunity to be a part of this exhibition is an amazing experience and I definitely think it's a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the fact that there's a need for a larger community that supports artists of African diaspora,” Kayla Cromer said of her inclusion in the exhibition. Local artist Josh Jackson said, “I am blessed and honored to be chosen as one of the artists represented in the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition. To me, this exhibition means that my community understands what’s going on, and cares enough to support Black artists through trying times. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m inspired by how the arts are being used for positivity in our community.”
The virtual panel discussion will be moderated by Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Spartanburg School District Seven, and Chapman Cultural Center Trustee, Dr. Carlotta Redish. The panel will discuss their experiences as Black artists, their work, and the overall importance the arts play in regards to social justice issues. Participating artists include: TheMadddArtist, Lady Pluuto, Patricia Kabore, Ariel Moore, Smitha Lee, Spark Howard, Antonio Modesto Milian, James “Edras” Goff, and Arialle Kennedy Smith. The panel will be streamed live on the Chapman Cultural Center Facebook page from 6-7 p.m. “This exhibition comes in response from the recent publicity of injustices done to the Black community across the nation. Although I know that one exhibition will not solve all issues, I hope that this can help spark conversations that will create change in the community,” said Jennifer Barskdale, Outreach Coordinator for Chapman Cultural Center. Through this exhibition, Chapman Cultural Center hopes that Spartanburg County will use it as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the perspectives of our Black community while building bridges toward understanding. “Our mission is to provide cultural leadership and we have many people of color working in our organization and serving on our Board who help us make important decisions to advance equity and inclusion in the arts locally. It is during difficult times that it is most important for the arts to provide hope and healing. This can be done in so many ways and lifting up our local professional Black artists through this public exhibit is hopefully a positive step,” said Jennifer Evins, president & CEO of Chapman Cultural Center.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center provides cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Chapman Cultural Center is located on East Saint John St in downtown Spartanburg. Please visit www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org for more information.

Jason Rapp

Watson-Brown Foundation to fund new Southern studies fellowships

$150,000 grant starts three-year initiative in Spartanburg

[caption id="attachment_45345" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Downtown Spartanburg South Carolina at dusk. Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce photo.[/caption]

Chapman Cultural Center and the Hub City Writers Project have jointly received a $150,000 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation for a new, three-year initiative: the Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters.

This first-of-its-kind program will bring one early-career artist and one early-career writer to Spartanburg for a nine-month residency of research, creativity, teaching, and travel, culminating in a collaborative project informed by the region. The program, which begins in 2021, will be marketed nationally to artists and writers who are interested in immersing themselves in the culture of the American South. “By bringing dynamic creative people together with dynamic arts organizations and scholars through the region, we will set in motion new explorations of the modern South that will reverberate beyond our community,” said Jennifer Evins, Chapman Cultural Center president and CEO. “This grant is designed to create a life-changing experience for the fellows, to provide engaging intellectual opportunities for local students and citizens, and to create a model program for community cultural study through art and literature,” said Anne Waters, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project.

The program, which begins in 2021, will be marketed nationally to artists and writers who are interested in immersing themselves in the culture of the American South.


Over the three-year period of the grant, each Southern Studies Fellow will be provided with a furnished apartment with paid utilities in downtown Spartanburg and a monthly stipend. Applications for the program will be available online in early 2021, and the first fellows will come to Spartanburg from September 2021 to May 2022. It is open to residents of the United States. The initiative replaces existing residency programs by Chapman and Hub City. In addition to focusing on their own creative projects, the Southern Studies Fellows will have opportunities and requirements for educational community service in Spartanburg County; these will include regular college and high school classroom visits/lectures, readings, open studios, workshops, and projects affiliated with the host organizations. The fellows will be expected to contribute up to 20 hours per week in the following areas: community service, artist-writer collaboration, and out-of-town travel for project research. A key component of this unique fellowship is the opportunity to interact with leading scholars, artists, and writers throughout the South. Each fellow will have opportunities to travel in the Southern region to conduct research at cultural and educational institutions, which will inform their work and will be critical in the development of their ideas for a collaborative project that expands the understanding of the modern South.
The Watson-Brown Foundation invests in higher education through grants and its scholarship program, which annually awards nearly $5 million in merit- and need-based college scholarships to students from an 18-county region of Georgia and South Carolina. Based in Thomson, Georgia, the foundation also operates a grant program that encourages responsible scholarship on the South and supports historic preservation. Additionally, it owns and operates three historic house museums in Georgia. With roots that stretch back more than 50 years, the Chapman Cultural Center’s mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities, and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. It serves as the official South Carolina Arts Commission-designated arts agency of Spartanburg County. Chapman provides general operating support for nine cornerstone cultural institutions, including the Hub City Writers Project, through its United Arts Fund and provides project grants to local artists and organizations. The Hub City Writers Project, founded in 1995, serves its mission to cultivate readers and nurture writers through its independent press, community bookshop, and diverse literary programming. Its flagship program, Hub City Press, is one of only three Southern book publishers funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South.

Chapman Cultural CenterAbout Chapman Cultural Center

Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit their website to learn more.

About Hub City Writers Project

The Hub City Writers Project is a non-profit organization in Spartanburg dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent small press, community bookstore, and diverse literary programming that serves our community and beyond. For more information please visit www.hubcity.org.

Making Money III: Marketing, Development, and Audience Surveying with Purpose

Making Money III is May 19 - register today!

The South Carolina Arts Commission is again partnering with USC’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management to offer Making Money III.  Effective organizations need information to make sound decisions. Designing and executing solid survey projects is just one part of a larger puzzle. This workshop will teach arts leaders how to gather and maximize information in ways that lead to making money. Participants will walk away with new approaches to this often challenging work.

This three-part seminar will featuring guest experts and hands-on learning around these topics: Part 1: Driving organizational success and financial stability. Best practices from an award-winning arts leader. Part 2: Making your social media work for you!  Strategies and tips to better engage your patrons and followers. Part 3: Surveying with purpose. This 3.5-hour session with a working lunch will help organizations to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose May 19 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Russell House University Union University of South Carolina—Columbia Campus Registration is $89 per person and includes refreshments, boxed lunch and conference materials. Space is limited – find out more and register today! Speakers: Surale Phillips, President and Lead Consultant at Decision Support Partners, Inc. surale_phillipsSurale Phillips has provided research and consulting services to the arts for 25 years. Her work has been the foundation of projects supported by the NEA, Wallace Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, and other national and local grant makers. Her more than 150 clients have included arts service organizations, municipalities, and nonprofit arts organizations of every discipline in nearly every state. She is a regular coach and presenter at the Americans for the Arts national convention and the National Arts Marketing Project conference. Her most recent workshops were hosted by Convening Culture for the State of Florida, Raleigh Office of Arts, and ArtsMemphis. Jennifer Clark Evins, President/CEO, Chapman Cultural Center, Inc., and 2007 Verner Award Winner evins_jenniferAs President/CEO, Evins heads the 4th largest and oldest local arts agency in South Carolina, leading a conglomerate of seven nonprofit collaborative partners that “co-locate” at the Chapman Cultural Center. Evins joined CCC in August 2010 as Senior Development Director and assumed the duties of the President/CEO in June 2011. Evins’ experience in the nonprofit sector was as a volunteer leader in Spartanburg for nearly 24 years. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million, and later raising $10 million for a new Spartanburg YMCA. Evins has lead numerous creative placemaking projects including winning the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Prior to joining the nonprofit field in 2010, Evins had an extensive professional career in marketing and public relations. Armen Shaomian, DMA, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sport and Entertainment Management armenDr. Shaomian is the producer and creator of the highly acclaimed Making Money series. He has an extensive background in performing arts, education and project management consulting. He is the founder and CEO of Armenize, Inc., an arts consulting agency specializing in non-profit arts management and foundational strategies. Prior work includes programs manager / associate producer for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) and its signature YoungArts program. In his role as their associate producer, Dr. Shaomian oversaw live performance logistics as well as strategic relations with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as the United States Department of Education and the United States Presidential Scholars program. His work with the NFAA included cost analysis and contract negotiations, allowing the Foundation to save fiscally while raising the quality of its programming. In 2016, he was nominated for the University of South Carolina’s Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dr. Shaomian currently serves on the board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).

Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose

Early Bird registration extended to April 24. The South Carolina Arts Commission is again partnering with USC's Department of Sport and Entertainment Management to offer Making Money III.  This workshop will help arts organizations of any size to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. A working lunch will give participants a chance to practice what they learn. The session will conclude with report outs and group Q&A about the lunchtime exercise. Featured speaker and national arts consultant Surale Phillips will present a session geared toward South Carolina arts leaders. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Making Money III: Audience Surveying with Purpose May 19 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Russell House University Union University of South Carolina—Columbia Campus Early Bird registration: $79 - ends April 24. Two or more from same organization: $69. Space is limited - find out more and register today! Session Descriptions This three-part seminar will include the following topics, featuring guest experts and hands-on learning. Part 1: The key to organizational success and financial stability. Part 2: Make your social media work for you!  Learn about strategies and tips to better engage your patrons and followers. Part 3: This 3.5-hour session with working lunch will help organizations to design and execute solid survey projects. Participants will learn simple ways to approach this often challenging work in order to design surveys that result in useful information. Who should attend? Making Money III is designed for non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment executive directors, board members, and marketing and development staff. Speakers: Surale Phillips, President and Lead Consultant at Decision Support Partners, Inc. surale_phillipsSurale Phillips has provided research and consulting services to the arts for 25 years. Her work has been the foundation of projects supported by the NEA, Wallace Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, and other national and local grant makers. Her more than 150 clients have included arts service organizations, municipalities, and nonprofit arts organizations of every discipline in nearly every state. She is a regular coach and presenter at the Americans for the Arts national convention and the National Arts Marketing Project conference. Her most recent workshops were hosted by Convening Culture for the State of Florida, Raleigh Office of Arts, and ArtsMemphis. Jennifer Clark Evins, President/CEO, Chapman Cultural Center, Inc., and 2007 Verner Award Winner evins_jenniferAs President/CEO, Evins heads the 4th largest and oldest local arts agency in South Carolina, leading a conglomerate of seven nonprofit collaborative partners that “co-locate” at the Chapman Cultural Center. Evins joined CCC in August 2010 as Senior Development Director and assumed the duties of the President/CEO in June 2011. Evins’ experience in the nonprofit sector was as a volunteer leader in Spartanburg for nearly 24 years. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million, and later raising $10 million for a new Spartanburg YMCA. Evins has lead numerous creative placemaking projects including winning the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Prior to joining the nonprofit field in 2010, Evins had an extensive professional career in marketing and public relations. Armen Shaomian, DMA, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sport and Entertainment Management armenDr. Shaomian is the producer and creator of the highly acclaimed Making Money series. He has an extensive background in performing arts, education and project management consulting. He is the founder and CEO of Armenize, Inc., an arts consulting agency specializing in non-profit arts management and foundational strategies. Prior work includes programs manager / associate producer for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) and its signature YoungArts program. In his role as their associate producer, Dr. Shaomian oversaw live performance logistics as well as strategic relations with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as the United States Department of Education and the United States Presidential Scholars program. His work with the NFAA included cost analysis and contract negotiations, allowing the Foundation to save fiscally while raising the quality of its programming. In 2016, he was nominated for the University of South Carolina’s Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dr. Shaomian currently serves on the board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).