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S.C. Farmers Market announces bluegrass festival

It's not the picking you normally associate with farming or farmers. This kind is much more festive.

In fact, it's a festival. The South Carolina State Farmers Market announced a partnership with West Columbia institution Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor to create a family-friendly bluegrass festival at the market. The inaugural festival will be held this Saturday, Oct. 30, from noon to 5 p.m. The announced featured performers are to include the following bands:
  • Willie Wells & The Blue Ridge Mountain Grass
  • Savannah River Bluegrass
  • Pinehill Ramblers;
  • Blue Faith.
Expect food trucks and, owing to its family-friendly nature, a bounce house will be on site for children. And, owing to it being fairly informal being at the farmer's market, guests should bring chairs. No coolers are allowed. Admission is $10 for those 12 and older, and $5 for those under 12. The South Carolina State Farmers Market is located at 3483 Charleston Highway in West Columbia. For more information, contact Market Manager Brad Boozer at bboozer@scda.sc.gov or 803.737.4664 or Sonia Brazell at sbrazell@scda.sc.gov or 803.737.4614. Reach Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor at 803.796.6477 or billsmusicshop.com.

Jason Rapp

2021 Folk Heritage Awards recipients announced

Proving S.C. traditions 'long-lived and ever-evolving'


COLUMBIA, S.C. – In 2021, the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards will be presented by the General Assembly to two recipients being honored for work keeping the state’s traditional art forms alive.

One practicing artist and one arts advocate are to be recognized as ambassadors of traditions significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. The 2021 recipients are:
  • Jugnu Verma (Lexington): Traditional Indian folk arts
  • Robert Hill, III (Plantersville): Advocacy, American long rifles and accoutrements
The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is named for the late State Rep. Jean Laney Harris of Cheraw, respected as an outspoken advocate and ardent supporter of the arts and cultural resources of the state. Up to four artists or organizations and one advocate may receive awards each year. The program is managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum. Community members make nominations to recognize exemplary artistic achievement/advocacy. An independent advisory panel appointed by the lieutenant governor and president of the Senate select the recipients, who must be living and practicing in the state. “From a gun-making tradition that hearkens back to colonial America, when Carolinians commonly used rifles for hunting, to the art of rangoli—a patterned ground decoration created with colored rice and flower petals that community members have more recently brought with them from India and introduced to South Carolina—the state’s folklife is both long-lived and ever-evolving,” observes McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz. “By their very definition, folk arts illustrate both the rich heritage and broad diversity of who we, as South Carolinians, are as a people,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “It is sometimes said that we are a state where change and changelessness co-exist, and this year’s award recipients reflect something of this balance between preserving South Carolina’s traditions and opening ourselves to new and exciting art forms and experiences from around the world. Both artists do exceptional work on our behalf, and we are all grateful for what they do.” The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards and South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and are presented at the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony. The pandemic forced the shift of last year’s ceremony to a virtual format in July rather than May. A virtual ceremony is planned once again for 2021, but it will revert to its normal timeframe in the spring. The SCAC and UofSC McKissick Museum will announce a date and time later.

About the 2021 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients

Jugnu Verma | Lexington | Traditional Indian Folk Arts Growing up in the Indian state of Bihar, Jugnu Verma found herself surrounded by Madhubani artists, whose painting was characterized by distinctive geometric patterns and depicted people, nature, and scenes featuring Hindu deities. An early interest led to learning the art form from neighbors in the community, as well as rangoli from the neighbor’s grandmother. From her mother, Verma learned the art of Henna, an integral part of Indian weddings and festivals where a plant-based dye is used to create temporary designs on the body. Verma is eager and enthusiastic about sharing her artistic traditions at various venues, which include her work as a Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights) Kick-off Party Organizer, workshops, and exhibitions at the Columbia Museum of Art, the rangoli educator at Overdue: Curated for the Creative, Richland Library Main Branch, and as a lead artist at Artista Vista in Columbia. She has served as Artist in Residence at Lexington District One’s New Providence Elementary, River Bluff High and White Knoll elementary school where she taught students Madhubani and other art forms. Verma feels it is important for South Carolinians to know about India and its culture and she serves as a cultural ambassador through her work throughout the state. Robert W. Hill, III | Plantersville | Advocacy: American Long Rifles and Accoutrements From Plantersville, Robert W. Hill III grew up an avid outdoorsman eager to learn the skills to support his passion for decoy carving, forging knives, and carving gun stocks. His paternal grandfather had been an accomplished blacksmith, woodcarver, and gun stocker who, unfortunately, did not live long enough to teach Hill his skills. But he was nonetheless an inspiration to Hill pursuing his passion. Hill had the opportunity to watch and learn from master engraver Jack Spain and developed a relationship with master gunsmith Frank Burton. After a year of studying and experimenting, Hill completed his first rifle. He recognized the need to preserve the craft and continued his training by studying historic firearms from the Carolinas. Today, he is recognized by gunsmiths across the region as both an exemplary artist and an advocate. In 1994, he co-founded the South Carolina Artist Blacksmith Association, later to become the Phillip Simmons Artists Blacksmith Guild of South Carolina. Through demonstrations and lectures, he has educated people about gun makers from South Carolina to recognize and preserve the artists of the state’s past. Hill passes his skills onto others, including his son and grandson, assuring a legacy of continued preservation, study, and celebration of the traditional craft of gunsmithing.

About the University of South Carolina 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 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information, please call at 803.777.7251 or visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

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.

Jason Rapp

Midlands school’s dance team receives honors

Brings home 8 awards from international competition

From ColaDaily.com:

Dancers from East Point Academy competed in the virtual Taoli World Dance Competition in December, earning a total of eight awards. East Point competed against more than 600 nationwide performers in the competition.

“I feel their performances were outstanding," said dance teacher, Yihao Chen. "I am proud to teach them.”

In addition to winning eight awards, the team also earned the opportunity to compete in the final round of the competition in California in the upcoming summer.

Read more and see a list of dancers receiving awards in Meera Bohnslé's ColaDaily.com story here.

Jason Rapp

New entertainment venue planned for Midlands

Concerts announced today include Ranky Tanky

Announced yesterday, Innovation Arts & Entertainment (IAE) and The Roberts Group have partnered to launch Cola Concerts presents Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center.

The new partnership will bring major touring artists and well-known comedians to the Soda City providing the live entertainment experience people have been missing. Cola Concerts will build a new venue from the ground up at historic Columbia Speedway (2001 Charleston Highway, Cayce). An initial artist lineup for Cola Concerts presents Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center was just announced and includes Charleston-based Grammy Award winners Ranky Tanky on Nov. 22, 2020. Live concerts are set to begin this Nov. 14. Fans will be able to get early access to tickets by signing up for the Cola Concerts Speedway Club at ColaConcerts.com. The Cola Concert Series at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center will feature a pair of 40-foot state-of-the-art digital screens allowing for picture-perfect viewing even during daylight hours. With a capacity of 3500, the site will be one of the largest entertainment experiences operating in South Carolina. Fans will be able to safely experience live music, comedy and live broadcasts of professional and collegiate sports from special coves, which are 12’x12’ areas enclosed by posts and ornamental rope. The coves will be big enough for up to four fans to safely socially distance from others.

A proven model

IAE is a boutique live entertainment company known for national and international theatrical tours, as well as live music events including the Beach Road Weekend Music Festival on Martha’s Vineyard and the Yarmouth Drive-in on Cape Cod in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Launched in June 2020, the Yarmouth Drive-in has hosted more than 50 live music and comedy shows this summer including performances by Marcus King Trio, Chase Rice, The Disco Biscuits, Goose, and comedians Bert Kreischer, Nikki Glaser and Iliza Shlesinger. Employing more than 100 people, the venue provided a boost to the area economy during the pandemic. The Yarmouth Drive-in has become the blueprint for the return of the fan and band interactive experience at live entertainment venues. “We are excited to take what we learned at the drive-in this summer and use it to create the best live entertainment venue in South Carolina,” said Adam Epstein, founder and CEO of IAE. “We have had an overwhelming response from artists that are ready to bring music back to Columbia.” The Roberts Group is a national live entertainment promotion company. They have a deep connection to Columbia, having brought more than 100 theatrical performances to the city through their Broadway in Columbia series, which launched in 2003 at the Koger Center for the Arts. “When we began talking with Adam and IAE about launching a live entertainment series, the first place we thought of was Columbia,” Managing Director of The Roberts Group Daniel Hampel said. “Every time we bring a show to Columbia the fans are so warm and kind. We couldn’t be happier about bringing live entertainment back to the Soda City.”

Venue will create jobs

The Cola Concert Series is expected to hire more than 100 local employees to handle everything from ticketing to security. Additionally, there will be space for 10 local food vendors at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center, providing concessions to 3,000+ fans at every show. A schedule of initial shows is available now at ColaConcerts.com. While at the website, fans are encouraged to sign up for Cola Concerts Speedway Club to get all show announcements and early access to ticket presales, and they can follow them on Instagram and Twitter using @ColaConcerts and "Cola Concerts" on Facebook.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: CAE lands call for art; Carter Boucher, GCCA news

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...

CAE: S.C.'s newest arts hotspot taking off?

(Sorry, we couldn't resist. The pilot has illuminated the fasten seat belts sign, because it gets worse.) Columbia Metropolitan Airport (Lexington County) has been active on the arts scene in the past week. Consider:
  • Midlands artists, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Last week CAE announced a call for Midlands artists to exhibit their artwork at the airport's new rotating exhibition. That is cleared for takeoff October 2020 into 2021. A new program, Art in the Airport is also intended to enhance travelers’ experience while “creating a sense of place” within the airport. Upon landing, travelers will see the art "which showcases the life and culture of the Midlands." Artists accepted may sell their work(s), and CAE will not be taking any commissions. That's more than ... fare; it's an upgrade! This link will route you to your final destination for more information from ColaDaily.com.
  • Yesterday, a partnership with Transitions Homeless Shelter continued as 18 works of art by past and present residents of the shelter were displayed. These works, too, are available for purchase. Residents keep their commissions as well. Read more about the new exhibition from (again) ColaDaily.com.

Carter Boucher news

Works by #SCArtists Carter Boucher is being noticed. To wit:
  • Another of his Enigma series paintings accepted in a juried show. This time, his painting "Pandemic Engulfment" (acrylic on canvas) was accepted in the Mid-Atlantic Juried Art Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • Further, his poem, "A Love Letter To Covid 19," was accepted for publication in Constellations. Boucher has had four creative pieces, three poems and one creative non-fiction piece, accepted so far this year. He also published his book, How to Be an Artist in Residence (And Excel at It!) on Amazon.

GCCA honors founder

[caption id="attachment_45309" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Linda Furman surrounded by family and friends in front of new building signage bearing her name. GCCA photo.[/caption] Greenville Center for Creative Arts has completed a $1 million fundraising campaign to sustain operations and expand its impact—all in the name of a beloved member of the Greenville arts community. GCCA’s historic Cloth Building at 101 Abney St. will now be named the Linda Quinn Furman Building in honor of one of its founders, a dynamic artist and philanthropist. Family and friends surprised her with the announcement yesterday when they stopped by GCCA to view the newly installed signage (above).

Jason Rapp

Lexington County joins 2020 Ag + Art Tour

On June 13-14, 2020, Lexington County will join 10 other counties in South Carolina for the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour. This is a free tour for visitors and residents to tour farms and farmers markets featuring local artisans at every stop. During the tour, visitors get to see firsthand where food comes from, watch artists an action and purchase their works, maybe dance to a few melodies of Bluegrass and folk songs and basically learn more about rural life in South Carolina. The Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism office is supporting the Ag + Arts tour in Lexington County.  And, a committee has been formed to help recruit farms and artisans for the weekend event. The committee members are Julie Colson, Jayne Baker, Kari Pepper McKeone, Jennifer Williams and Shannon Mercer (see attached photo). “Our regional tourism office is excited to help with the Lexington County Ag + Arts event. We know that visitors are drawn to a unique experience and  agri-tourism is a growing market in the tourism industry,” said Miriam Atria, President/CEO of Capital City/Lake Murray Country. Visit AgandArtTour.com/farms to apply to be a tour site and to get more information. For information specific to Lexington County Ag + Arts, call 803.781.5940 or email julie@lakemurraycountry.com.

2020 Ag + Arts Tour Schedule

  • May 30-31st: Colleton County
  • June 6-7th: Kershaw County, Newberry County, Richland County, York County (East)
  • June 13-14th: Chester County, Chesterfield County, Lexington County, York County (West)
  • June 20-21st: Fairfield County, Lancaster County
  • June 27-28th: Union County

Swansea High cuts ribbon on new performing arts center

Hundreds of community members gathered at Swansea High School Sunday for an open house and ribbon cutting to represent the completion of Swansea Performing Arts Center and athletics renovations at the school. The celebration was held in the new 1,200-seat auditorium. Read more from Karamie Hallman at ColaDaily.com here.

City of Cayce makes massive call for art

Submission deadline: Friday, Dec. 6 at noon EST (details below)

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="150"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] The City of Cayce is issuing a Call for Artists for various Art District (district) improvements. We would like to commission the following:
  • Murals
  • Sculptures
  • Artistic seating element
  • Other improvements for the city’s Arts District
Responding artists do not have to respond to each and every aspect of this call.


The city is in the process of developing its historical downtown (near the intersection of State and Frink streets) into an Arts District, to build upon the momentum of our “previtalization” success and nurture the city’s vibrant arts community. This call builds upon existing investment in arts and revitalization in this area. City council recently approved amending the city’s zoning ordinance to create an Arts Design Overlay District, which allows, among other things, artists and business owners the flexibility to live and work in the same building. In addition to the zoning action described above, the city is in the process of developing an Art Lot in the center of the proposed Arts District, which also provides a parking location for visitors of the Cayce Riverwalk entering at the Lyles Street trailhead and visiting the nearby businesses. The Art Lot, funded by a general Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF), is an initiative to develop an empty lot, previously purchased and cleared by the city, into a free public parking lot with art and recreation amenities. The Art Lot will have eight parking spaces and will include covered picnic tables, benches, various displays for art and a K-9 memorial. Public art is essential to the vision for the Arts District. Thus, the city is commissioning artists to design and create various works of public art and other improvements that will be visible to the public as they are walking and driving along State and Frink streets and that will enhance the District. This call for artists is being supported by a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, through CCCF. It is the city’s second Call for Artists; a prior call for artists to design two murals was issued in August 2019. For various reasons, including the award of the Knight Foundation grant, the city felt it was in their best interest to reissue the call and include the additional improvements requested herein.

Murals Project Description

We believe that art can be transformative and the impact of murals has value beyond the art on the walls. It is a form of expression that gives voice to what is important in our community. The aim of this project is to bring art to public spaces by transforming empty walls into energetic and engaging spaces for the community to participate with and/or enjoy. The exact size of the mural/s will be determined in collaboration with city staff, the property owner and the artist. The property owner at any point can decide to not proceed with the mural and at all times has final approval of the design of the mural/s. The following sites have been chosen to receive murals; however, the locations are subject to change.
  1. 1804 State St. (the wall is north facing)
  2. 2010 State St. (the wall is south facing)
The overall budget for both murals is $20,000. This amount includes all costs related to the artists’ design and project management fees, subcontract and consultant costs, overhead costs, fabrication and installation of the art mural, liability and insurance costs as required, and all other costs associated with the mural project.

Sculpture Project Description

The city desires to install two (2) sculptures throughout the district. A sculpture is defined as a visual work or art in two- or three-dimensions, which can be viewed from multiple sides. All entries must be of safe design and construction and aesthetically appropriate for display in public spaces. Non-traditional designs and materials are welcome for consideration. We encourage use of local materials such as Guignard Brick, Cayce granite, Congaree river rocks, and CMC Steel. All designs should include how the artwork (including its base) would relate to the location. The overall budget for both sculptures is $20,000. This amount includes all costs related to the artist’s design and project management fees, subcontract and consultant costs, overhead costs, fabrication and installation of the sculptures, liability and insurance costs as required, and all other costs associated with the project.

Seating Element Project Description

The city would also like to include an iconic, functional seating element in the district. Non-traditional designs and materials are welcome for consideration. Once again we encourage use of local materials such as Guignard brick, Cayce granite, Congaree River rocks, and CMC steel. The art pieces will have to be appropriate for public use and require minimum maintenance. The chosen pieces will be for exterior installation and requires durability and characteristics to withstand the environmental elements in the Southeast. The overall budget for the seating element is $10,000. This amount includes all costs related to the artist’s design and project management fees, subcontract and consultant costs, overhead costs, fabrication and installation of the seating element, liability and insurance costs as required, and all other costs associated with the project.

Other Improvements for the Arts District Project Description

We welcome submissions from artists to propose other ideas for improving the Arts District.


  1. A narrative and drawing illustrating the concept, including supplemental information such as medium to be used.
  2. An itemized budget to include the cost of all materials and supplies, design, overhead costs, fabrication and installation, liability and insurance costs, and artist stipend.
  3. A timetable.
  4. A maintenance plan and projected cost. The maintenance plan should provide recommendations for upkeep, specifically detailing the necessary steps for maintaining the piece and/or touch ups for 10 years after completion.
  5. A resume and artist’s statement.
  6. Supporting material such as examples of other works and/or reviews of similar work. Examples should describe size, materials, and location of other public works.

Responding artists must agree to the following:

  • Artists authorize the use of their renderings, sketches and photographs submitted with their proposal and photographs of the finished projects in publications about the project.
  • Burdens related to copyright shall be the full responsibility of artist(s).
  • Submission of your work is your acknowledgement that the work represented is original; that you hold harmless the City of Cayce, sponsoring and participating organizations, their directors, officers, employees, agents, and volunteers from any responsibility, personal liability, claims, loss or damage arising out of or in conjunction with participation.

Deadline and Submissions

Proposals are due Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 at noon (EST) via email to Mendy Corder, mcorder@caycesc.gov and the selected artist/s will be notified by Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Evaluation and Award Process

Each proposal will be reviewed by city staff and the President of the Cayce Arts Guild. Selected artists will be notified by Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. Artists do not have to respond to every aspect of this call. All of this work may be commissioned to one or multiple artists. Issuance of this RFP and receipt of proposals does not commit the city to award a contract. The city reserves the right to postpone receipt date, accept or reject any or all proposals received in response to this RFP, or to negotiate with any of the artists submitting an RFP, or to cancel all or part of this RFP.

Panel Selection Criteria

The review panel will consider the following factors for each proposal:
  • Ability to meet the project’s artistic goals
  • Ability to collaborate with clients
  • Ability to meet the project timeline
  • The proposed budget for the work


 Contact Mendy Corder at mcorder@caycesc.gov or 803.550.9557.

Submitted material

Get ready for Columbia Open Studios

Self-led artists tour at 701 CCA

701 Center for Contemporary Art presents the ninth annual Columbia Open Studios, a free, self-led tour of artists’ studios spanning the City of Columbia and Richland and Lexington Counties.

  • Sat., April 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sun., April 7, 12-6 p.m.

Columbia Open Studios allows the public to explore nearly 70 artists' working spaces for a behind-the-scenes look at the materials, techniques and creation of local artwork. Guests can immerse themselves in the Midlands' vibrant arts scene + chat one-on-one with artists about their background and inspirations.

Artist studios range from lively community spaces to backyard sculpture gardens to galleries in Columbia’s vibrant, downtown districts.

All work is for sale, and artists keep 100% of his or her sales.

Check out the event's website for more:https://www.columbiaopenstudios.org/

City Hall Exhibition

In partnership with One Columbia for Arts & History, 701 CCA has installed a Columbia Open Studios Exhibition at Columbia City Hall. Select Open Studios participants' work will be on view through March.

Preview Party

Meet and mingle with the artists at the Columbia Open Studios ticketed Preview Party on Thursday, April 4, 7-9 p.m. The party will be held in the second floor Olympia room of 701 Whaley. Complimentary hors-d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available for attendees. Stay tuned for ticket sales on our website at https://www.columbiaopenstudios.org/preview-party/.

Follow along on social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/701CCA/?ref=br_rs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/701CCA?lang=en
Instagram: @701CCA
Hashtag: #ColaOpenStudios

Tuning Up: In with the “new new”

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...

Arts-related construction projects are apparently the rage in South Carolina. Here are a couple new ones The Hub learned about this week. - Ed. SPARTANBURG By developing the Mayfair Art Studios (above), Chapman Cultural Center (CCC) will establish a new cultural destination on the Westside that creates a unique space for creative exchange and grassroots entrepreneurship. The desire is to engage both amateur and professional artists in a holistic experience of creativity within a neighborhood setting. "Our hope is the studios will be a dynamic arts incubator in the Arcadia village, that will bring together a diverse constituency to learn about and make art," according to the CCC "Connect" email. Go here to learn more. WEST COLUMBIA Much is made about Columbia's gradual reinvention, but a quick glance across the Congaree River is all you need to know it's spreading into Lexington County too, with construction projects obvious on the river's opposite banks in Cayce and West Columbia. The latter broke ground Tuesday on an interactive art park:

The park is billed as one-of-a-kind that will feature musical events, art displays, artists booths and a farmer’s market. It also offers parking space for patrons of the area’s restaurants and users of Riverwalk.

The park is expected to open in April.