Rural arts and culture initiative expands to 15 counties
Addressing local issues with S.C. Arts Commission program[caption id="attachment_45057" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mavens join heads and hands to celebrate their local communities and discuss shared challenges in a January meeting in Eastover, South Carolina, hosted by Michael Dantzler. Shown l to r, mavens and their corresponding counties: Brooke Bauer, Catawba Indian Nation/York; Marquerite Palmer, Newberry; Lottie Lewis, Allendale; Betty McDaniel, Pickens; Victoria Smalls, Beaufort; Evelyn Coker, Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams, Hampton; Libby Sweatt-Lambert, Chester; Luis Rodriguez (seated), Marion; Johnny Davis, Jasper; Michael Dantzler, Richland; and Matt Mardell, Colleton. Photo credit: Sherard Duvall, OTR Media.[/caption]
For Immediate Release
Across South Carolina, an initiative called The Art of Community: Rural SC has taken root, creating new networks, community engagement, partnerships and energy to change minds and build communities together.The initiative, a program of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), poses a central question: “How can we use arts and culture as strategic tools to address local challenges we face?” “It’s growing, and it’s always a learning opportunity,” said Matt Mardell, executive director of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mardell is one of the ‘mavens’ for The Art of Community; Rural SC. He said that, as part of this network of rural leaders and their teams, he is “hearing others’ creative solutions to issues we all face.” He and his predecessor, Gary Brightwell, have participated in the initiative with five other mavens from throughout a six-county Lowcountry region since it was conceived in 2015 and launched in 2016. Mavens in other counties include: Lottie Lewis of Allendale; Dr. Yvette McDaniel representing Bamberg; Evelyn Coker of Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Hampton; and Johnny Davis representing Jasper County. The growth Mardell references is an expansion of the initiative in 2019 that includes a broader swath of rural South Carolina. Nine additional mavens represent their communities from the mountains to the sea and myriad cultures in between. They include the following community leaders and their corresponding counties: Kayla Hyatt-Hostetler of Aiken; Victoria Smalls of Beaufort; Lydia Cotton of Berkeley; Libby Sweatt-Lambert representing Chester; Luis Rodriguez representing Marion; Marquerite Palmer of Newberry; Betty McDaniel of Pickens; Michael Dantzler of Richland; and Dr. Brooke Bauer with co-maven Laney Buckley of The Catawba Indian Nation in York County. How does the initiative work? “It’s a framework built with four critical components: mavens, local teams, partners and advisors coupled with a state arts agency willing to invest in rural and tribal communities in a new way,” said Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis of the arts commission. All 15 teams, created and led by the mavens, gather locally and as a statewide network to get to know each other better, to listen, and to consider their local assets and challenges—ultimately, to learn together. "Mavens are 'the bridges' who make this initiative work," DuPlessis said. "Knowing that I have a community beyond my community has bolstered me in my local work," said maven Lottie Lewis of Allendale. As part of this initiative, Lewis led members of her local team on a fact-finding field trip to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, in 2019. They went to explore how another small, rural town had spurred connection and growth using arts and culture. They then planned to integrate some of that learning into their local project. “We learned so much from our new friends in Tamaqua,” Lewis said. “We were inspired by how they engaged their local community to share their ideas about where they live.” Allendale’s local project plan, though, along with the plans of the other 14 sites in this initiative, took an unexpected turn beginning in the spring of 2020. “We all had to shift in how we were engaging with one another and ask what our roles are in this moment of quarantine and separation,” according to DuPlessis who said many of the participating teams shifted their focuses to react to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting social justice issues. Since March 20, the arts commission has convened mavens in weekly meetings to continue the practice of sharing, listening and learning together. "That's what's been so important to me and other mavens who I now count as dear friends," Lewis said. She also notes the spirit of the initiative which, built on trust and relationships, has allowed for flexibility with grant-funded local projects in this “uncertain time.” Each of The Art of Community: Rural SC teams received a $7,500 grant award in FY20 to engage and build community in ways that use arts and culture strategically. “Project plans in January 2020 didn’t look the same three months later in March,” DuPlessis said. Some communities planning festivals and other gatherings have had to postpone those for now. In a number of cases, mavens and their teams retrofitted their projects to respond to the current context and include the following examples:
- In Aiken, in addition to getting helpful information out about the pandemic, the local project also incorporated the NextGen fight for equality, justice and respect for all people through the creation of a ‘peaceful protest’ linking them with other students around the country;
- In Allendale, the local project’s focus became community engagement through a celebration of frontline pandemic workers as ‘hometown heroes;’
- In Bamberg County, the local team developed a 'Little People's Learning Page' to accompany the local newspaper and address learning in a fun, creative way for students who are isolated from one another;
- In Barnwell County, the Town of Blackville team developed a new dance called ‘The Wagon Wheel’ to engage its residents on social media in a healthy activity during a time of isolation;
- In Beaufort County, a collective of Gullah Geechee artists used their voices and talents for public service announcements that address safety protocols for the pandemic;
- In Berkeley County, a Spanish-language video was created to remind its community of best practices for reducing infection rates; and
- In Chester County, the town of Fort Lawn team partnered with local businesses and state parks to showcase artists' and entrepreneurs' work to help generate income during this time of economic distress.
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.
Marion Co. issues RFP for art at planned memorial park
Visual artist sought for Sen. Clementa Pinckney Memorial ParkSubmission deadline:
- Postmark by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
- OR Hand deliver by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
VisionClementa Carlos “Clem” Pinckney (July 30, 1973 – June 17, 2015) was a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 45th District from 2000 until his death in 2015. He was previously a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1997 through 2000. Pinckney was a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. On June 17, 2015, Pinckney was murdered in a racially motivated mass shooting at an evening Bible study at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston. This act of terrorism became the catalyst for South Carolina Legislature to enact legislation to remove the Confederate flag from flying in front of the South Carolina State House. Today the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation and The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund continue the works of “Clem” by supporting the spiritual, educational and emotional health of those in need. The Senator Clementa Pinckney Memorial Park shall serve as a memorial to the late Senator as a place of reflection, remembrance and a place of acceptance to all members of our shared society.
Design ElementsThe Marion County Administration seeks to commission a free-standing outdoor work of art or installation to add to the beautification, redevelopment, and regeneration of downtown Marion. The work selected must be completed and fully installed by mid-2020. The selected work must be site-specific and constructed of weather-resistant materials.
EligibilityThis opportunity is open to visual artists, ages 18 and older.
The SiteIn mid-2020, the planned location for the park will be constructed between the Marion County Museum and the Marion County Council on Aging. The project will be a Marion County Park with a design that calls for a ¼-mile meandering walking path/trail, an open-air picnic structure, shade trees surrounding the large open lawn space, and ample parking. This projected site is in the heart of downtown Marion SC. The residents, business owners, and customers, and tourists can use the park for community events, walking, and jogging. The Senator Clementa Pinckney Memorial Park will create opportunities to encourage new and existing small business owners and entrepreneurs to invest in the Historic Downtown Marion Area. This space will be a venue for festivals, outdoor concerts, weddings, and local activities which will create new jobs. The project will offer opportunities built on new alliances, new partnerships, and a new understanding of the intersection of culture, community, equity, and economic development. Collaborate with HMRA to bring new businesses downtown, filling empty properties and to help existing businesses grow.
The Artist Selection ProcessSemi-finalists will be selected by a panel consisting of representatives from The Arts Council of Marion County, Marion Museum, Historic Marion Revitalization Association, SC and private businesses. Semifinalists will be invited to submit more detailed applications, including scale drawings for review by the aforementioned panel. The panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors as to which proposal should be selected. Final Selection Criteria will be based on:
- Artistic merit
- Appropriateness to the site
- Durability (appropriate for heavily used, outdoor site)
- Completed and signed cover sheet/certification form
- Digital portfolio:
- A link to a professional website or a jump drive with 10 digital images and title lists.
- Artwork must be clearly labeled with the artist’s name, date of completion, materials and dimensions.
- A written description of the proposed work (no more than one page)
- Preliminary drawing of the proposed work (dimensions not to exceed 18” x 24”)
- Proposed budget
- Timeline for the project
- Current biography and curriculum vitae (CV)
- Names and contact information of two references (email and phone)
- listing of commissioned and installed work in public or private collections completed within the last 10 years.
- provide proof of insurance.
- after ten years we are not obligated to keep the artwork.
- the total cost of the project must not exceed $50,000
Budget$50,000 for the total project including the artist’s commission, design, materials, fabrication, transportation, and installation.
Deadline for Submission[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="150"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] All submissions must be postmarked on 12/20/2019 or hand-delivered by 5:30 p.m. Mail to:
Marion County Administration 2523 East Hwy 76 Marion, SC 29571Please note that applications will not be accepted by fax or email. All artists will be notified of the selection results by 1/31/2020. Installation to be completed by August 2020. Submissions can be hand-delivered to:
Marion County Administration 2523 East Hwy 76, Room 114D Marion, SC 29571 Link to image or image attached.
For more information
Willena Rembert Project Manager 2523 East Hwy 76 Marion, SC 29571 843.275.6072 email@example.com
Theatre thriving in South Carolina
Theatre seems to be jumping across The Hub's radar this week, and for good reason: it's thriving in South Carolina. We thought it was due for a spotlight piece, so take your seats as we begin.
Act I: PURE TheatreCo-founder and Artistic Director Sharon Graci (right) is featured here in a brief video from LowcountryBizSC this morning. PURE, a professional contemporary theatre group, set records for new and returning audiences during its 15th anniversary last season, and this year gets a new venue: the Cannon Street Arts Center, where they will be anchor tenant. Graci was the S.C. Arts Commission's acting fellow in 2010/2011 and Rodney Lee Rogers, PURE's other co-founder, was the playwriting fellow the same year. (Coincidentally, the two are married. - Ed.) PURE receives an operating support grant from SCAC, and Rogers helps the commission administer Artists U in South Carolina – a training resource that facilitates artist development.
Act II: Screenwriting fellow bringing play to ColumbiaLeasharn Hopkins, who received the SCAC screenwriting fellowship for 2017/2018, will bring a play she wrote and directs to Columbia. Love Me or Leave Me focuses on the effects of drug addiction, mental abuse, and domestic violence in three couples' romantic relationships. Look for it Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Tapp's Arts Center. Go here for ticket information.
Act III: Drama Lady Theatre GroupBased in the rural Pee Dee region of South Carolina (Marion County, to be exact), the Drama Lady Theatre Group premieres Ntozake Shange’s award winning play: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf at the FMU Performing Arts Center in Downtown Florence on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Drama Lady Theatre Group is the brainchild of a collective of artists striving to use live theatrical performances to educate and promote wellness across diverse communities. The group received an FY19 Arts Education Project grant from SCAC.
Lights, camera, action in Marion County as filmmakers work on two movies
From WBTW News 13:
MARION, S.C. - Marion is getting the red carpet treatment, as Hollywood opens its door to a bit of southern hospitality. "In California people are not grateful that you are here to film. They’re like oh, are you going to clean-up? It’s such an inconvenience. Around here they appreciate it,” said actor Vincent Giovagnoli. Which is why for filmmakers, Marion was the obvious choice. "Our executive producer is actually from South Carolina and we had been talking about making movies here for a little while. There are some great locations here. It’s a really beautiful old town, very lush, very green,” mentioned Jake Helgren, producer and screenwriter for two of the movies filmed in the area. G It's Entertainment has used Marion as its backdrop for two of its films, “Wishing Out Loud”, which wrapped this past weekend and their current project “The 12 Dog Days of Christmas.” While the movies showcases some household names. Some of the area’s very own are stepping in front of the camera. "It’s a little crazy actually because I’m from here, I grew up here. So it's kind of funny posting things on Facebook about this production...and having people saying oh I’ve heard about that. It’s so cool that you're doing that,” said actor Lexi Giovagnoli, who is from Murrells Inlets and in both movies. "We’re so grateful just being on the set and what not. It’s a great turnout and we appreciate it like big time,” added her brother Vincent. It’s been sort of an adjustment for Marion, but for the most part it's been easy sailing. "Anytime you have a movie shooting in small town. Some people are going to be inconvenienced and I think some people are not used to that. But for the most part everyone has been real welcoming and we're happy to be here,” explained Helgren. Filming for the "12 Dog Days of Christmas" wraps in two weeks and it has a projected release date of around Thanksgiving. "Wishing Out Loud" should hit the screens in January.Via: WBTW News 13
Young violinists! Apply for Florence Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition
Talented violinists enrolled in grades 9-12 who love performing are encouraged to enter the third annual Florence Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition. The competition is open to young violinists with home addresses in Darlington, Dillion, Florence, Lee, Marion or Marlboro counties. Applications, along with a performance CD, must be received by January 3, 2014. Finalists will be notified immediately and assigned a time to perform before a panel of judges on January 25, 2014, at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. Prizewinners will be invited to perform their audition composition accompanied by the Florence Symphony Orchestra at the March 31, 2014, concert. Find more information and apply online. Via: Florence Symphony Orchestra
Gullah Geechee artists and residents invited to community meetings
Gullah Geechee artists, residents and organization representatives are invited to a series of networking meetings hosted by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. The goals of the meetings are to identify Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the expressions outlined in the Corridor’s management plan (music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development) and to gather ideas for developing awareness of the Gullah Geechee culture. The Arts Commission and the Corridor are partnering to create networks and resource opportunities.To RSVP for either meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 734-8687. Be sure to indicate which meeting you will attend:
- Nov. 19, The Frissell House at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, Beaufort County. View the Nov. 19 invitation (pdf).
- Dec. 10, Georgetown County Library Auditorium, 405 Cleland St., Georgetown. View the Dec. 10 invitation (pdf)
The first meeting, held in Mt. Pleasant on Oct. 29, attracted a variety of community members.
“Our ultimate goal is to make new relationships that bring new resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond,” said Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director. “We were pleased to have such a good turnout for the first meeting."Those attending the meetings are encourage to share a "chatta" -- a seven-word essay describing a Gullah Geechee sentiment. Examples include: "Just the way we live. Embrace it!" and "Gullah Geechee wisdom. Listen to our ancestors." For additional information about the partnership, contact Arts Participation Program Director Susan DuPlessis, email@example.com or (803) 734-8693. About the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was designated a national heritage area by Congress on Oct. 12, 2006. The Corridor was created to recognize contributions made to American culture and history by African Americans known as Gullah Geechee, who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida; to assist organizations in the four states in interpreting and preserving Gullah Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music; and to assist in identifying and preserving Gullah Geechee sites, historical data and artifacts for the benefit and education of the public. South Carolina counties in the Gullah Geechee Corridor are Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Marion and Williamsburg. For more information, visit www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org.
Gullah Geechee residents invited to meetings celebrating culture
The South Carolina Arts Commission is pleased to partner with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission to help connect Gullah Geechee artists, residents and organizations to resources and promote the state’s Gullah Geechee culture.“Our goal is to identify Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the expressions outlined in the Corridor’s management plan,” said Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director. “Those areas include music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development. We want to build relationships with Gullah Geechee artists and those who advocate for the preservation of Gullah Geechee culture and traditions. Our ultimate goal is to make new relationships that bring new resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond.” Gullah Geechee artists, residents and organization representatives are invited to learn more during a series of networking meetings that will be hosted by both the S.C. Arts Commission and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission:
- Oct. 29, Mt. Pleasant Waterworks Community Room, 1619 Rifle Range Road, Mt. Pleasant
- Nov. 19, The Frissell House at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, Beaufort County
- Nov. 21, Georgetown County Library Auditorium, 405 Cleland St., Georgetown
Downtown Florence seeks outdoor work of art
The Florence Downtown Development Corporation seeks to commission a free-standing or wall-mounted outdoor work of art to add to the beautification, redevelopment and regeneration of downtown Florence. The artwork chosen for 2013 will be the first piece in what will become the Florence Downtown Sculpture Garden/Courtyard. This opportunity is open to visual artists, ages 18 and older. Proposals from all geographic areas of the United States are welcome, however, preference will be given to artists who live, work or create in the Pee Dee (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg counties). Submissions must be postmarked by October 31, 2012, or hand-delivered by 5:30 p.m. to the Florence Downtown Development Offices at 218 West Evans, Florence, S.C. Applications will not be accepted by fax or email. All artists will be notified of the selection results by November 30, 2012. Selected work must be installed by April 30, 2013. Read the request for proposals for complete details and contact information: Outdoor Work of Art RFP-Florence 2012 (PDF) Note: The RFP refers to an Oct. 19 deadline for materials. Oct. 31 is the correct deadline. Via: Florence Downtown Development Corporation
Florence Museum invites entries to Pee Dee Regional Art Competition
The 59th annual Pee Dee Regional is the oldest continuing art competition in South Carolina, according to the folks at the Florence Museum. Entries for the 2012 competition will be accepted Sept. 20-22, and the exhibition will be presented by the museum's board of trustees Oct. 5 through Dec. 16. Artists who are natives or residents of these counties are eligible to enter: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg. This year's competition judge is artist Jane Allen Nodine, professor of art and director of the Curtis R. Harley Gallery at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg. Visit the Florence Museum's website for more information and to download a prospectus and registration form. [caption id="attachment_682" align="aligncenter" width="545"] Jim Boden's Interrogate 33 received top honors at the 2011 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition[/caption] via: Florence Museum