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Jason Rapp

‘Springing into the Arts’ in Lancaster

With mural debut, fun events


Lancaster County Council of the Arts is partnering with Lindsay Pettus Greenway and the City of Lancaster for "Spring into the Arts" celebrating public art with the reveal of the greenway's first mural as the event centerpiece.

The Saturday, April 24th event will feature art by children from each of the Lancaster County schools in a Youth Art Month outdoor exhibition on the greenway, an inclusive participatory project titled "Be the Art" for everyone who wishes to participate, a drone video project, live music and a poetry reading, a morning run, a rain barrel workshop, a bird count, arts and crafts for kids, food trucks, and the mural unveiling with an artist talk—all designed to bring attention to and support for Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway's commitment to public art in the environment. [caption id="attachment_43762" align="alignright" width="150"] Amiri Farris[/caption] Artist Amiri Farris designed the Woodland Drive underpass mural, and it will be painted under his direction by teams composed mostly of UofSC Lancaster students and other interested participants. The mural will reflect the environmental mission and beauty of the Greenway. Teams will paint throughout the week beginning on April 19 and ending with an unveiling and artist’s talk by Farris on Saturday, April 24 at noon. Anyone interested in viewing the work in progress is welcome to visit the Woodland Drive underpass during Greenway open hours from dawn to dusk and at the unveiling on Saturday April 24 at noon. "Be the Art" is an interactive “Spring into the Arts” exhibition in which anyone can participate. At 11 a.m., beginning at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street School, participants will carry umbrellas on the short, 7/10 of a mile walk from Barr Street to the Woodland Drive underpass. Anyone who wishes to "Be the Art" will walk single file, wearing masks and socially distanced, along the greenway with umbrellas open while a drone films the moving line of umbrellas. Borrowing from the New Orleans umbrella tradition, this is an interactive and visually bold art piece that highlights inclusivity, movement, color, and the beautiful setting of the greenway. The drone video of this project will be used to highlight the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway in various media and on the LCCA’s YouTube channel. Umbrellas will be given away to the first 250 people who wish to participate. “Youth Art Month,” normally displayed at the Historic Springs House Galleries, features art by Lancaster County School District K-12 students. This year the exhibit will be a one-day event on the greenway. The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. and remain on view until 2 p.m. and take place in various greenway locations between Founders Federal access at Barr Street and Constitution Park (at the intersection of Woodland Drive and Main Street). Spring into the Arts events to celebrate the mural unveiling are as follows:
  • Katawba Valley Land Trust bird count and walk (8 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Lancaster Runs (9 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Keep Lancaster Beautiful litter pick up (9:30 a.m., Founders Federal access at Barr Street)
  • Nature Crafts for Kids (1-3 p.m., Pier Overlook near Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Catawba Riverkeepers Foundation Rain Barrel Workshop (1-3 p.m., Nature Pavilion at the Comporium access on Colonial Drive. Please sign up at https://catawbariverkeeper.dm.networkforgood.com/forms/april-24-lpg-rain-barrel-workshop)
  • Lancaster County Council of the Arts Lemonade Stand (12-1 p.m., Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Poetry Reading by Lisa Hammond, USC Lancaster faculty and guest poet (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Artist Talk by Amiri Farris, guest muralist (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Music on the Greenway with guest musician Bo Beaumont (11 a.m. until noon at the Almetta Street access; 1-2 pm. at Constitution Park)
Parking for “Spring into the Arts” April 24 events is available at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street, Lancaster High School Stadium, Parking Lot at 800 North White St. (former Arras Foundation building), and First Presbyterian Church at 700 North Main St. All events are free and open to the public. Donations to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway are encouraged and welcome by both organizations. Food Trucks Kona Ice and Wilber’s Last Ride will have food available for purchase from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lancaster High School Stadium lot.

Jason Rapp

Fourth time a charm for new S.C. Poetry Out Loud champion

Persistence rewarded in final attempt

for immediate release 22 May 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – She earned her way to the state finals every year of her high school career and in the fourth and final attempt, the payoff finally arrived for a Lancaster student.

Judges selected Andrew Jackson High School senior Taylor Wade as state finals competition champion in the national recitation contest Poetry Out Loud, administered in South Carolina by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Seven other South Carolina high school students competed with Wade in a virtual state finals. The annual competition was scheduled to be held in Columbia on March 14, but was canceled by the SCAC to conform with guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bonita Peeples, Poetry Out Loud coordinator for the SCAC, arranged for a virtual competition. The eight finalists sent videos to be reviewed by the judges: Paul Kaufmann, Darion McCloud, Kimberly Simms, and Dr. Nancy D. Tolson. Wade recited “Dead Butterfly” by Ellen Bass and Edgar Allan Poe’s “Israfel” in preliminary rounds. She and two other students advanced to the final round, where she recited “Adam’s Curse” by William Butler Years and received the four judges’ highest score. In a typical year, Wade would have joined finalists from the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico in Washington to compete for a $20,000 cash prize at the national finals. In lieu of that competition, the champion of each state that held or will hold a state finals will receive a $1,000 prize. In states where the finals were canceled, the state arts agency will receive $1,000 to either award to a state champion named at a later date or divide among the students who advanced to the state finals.

About Poetry Out Loud

Now in its 14th year, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission 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 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.

Artist, students creating a legacy with sculpture at Indian Land school

Harrisburg Elementary School in Lancaster County received a $10,155 Arts in Basic Curriculum Advancement grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. These grants support ongoing comprehensive planning, strategic projects and implementation of standards-based arts education initiatives. Find out more about the ABC Project. From the The Fort Mill Times Article and photos by Stephanie Marks Martell

Bob Doster at Harrisburg ElementaryHarrisburg Elementary is the latest school in Lancaster County School District to create its own unique legacy sculpture with local artist Bob Doster, who has been working with schools and students since the 1970s. Approximately 150 fifth graders each drew a self portrait on steel. Doster helped them use a plasma cutter to finish the pieces. He will assemble the individual portraits into the final piece, which will be displayed in front of the school. The sculpture is designed to be cumulative, with the option for future students to add onto it in coming years. The project was funded through a state Arts in Basic Curriculum grant. This is Harrisburg Elementary’s first year receiving the grant, which will also be used for professional development for teachers and a puppet show, says Harrisburg Elementary art teacher Melissa Hinson. “All of our schools have worked with Bob,” said Hinson, who first met Doster at a pottery demonstration at Beaufort Elementary. “He does a good job. He’s always willing to be a teacher,” Hinson said. “Bob’s been around students so long now, he’s good at knowing what to say. He knows that this is new to them and it’s great to see that patience modeled.” doster_harrisburg_elem-9164Harrisburg Elementary third grade teacher Jennifer Galbraith recalls working on a project with Doster to create a bench nearly 20 years ago when she was a student at North Elementary in Lancaster. “I remember it was really cool that my bench was there when I was teaching there,” Galbraith said. “A lot of our teachers have been students under him at some point. I run into them all over the state,” Hinson said. “I just wanted the students to meet him. I’m always a big fan of children using materials they wouldn’t normally use. When again are they going to use a plasma cutter? Probably never. They were all terrified, and then they walked away saying, ‘That was great.’”