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“Drop-in with Drink Small” to celebrate Blues Doctor’s National Heritage Fellowship

Columbia blues musician Drink Small, recently named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts, will be honored with a drop-in July 30 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Tapp’s Art Center, 1644 Main St., Columbia. The event is free and open to the public.

The National Heritage Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and includes an award of $25,000. The National Heritage Fellows will be honored in Washington, D.C., at an awards ceremony Oct. 1, 2015, and a free concert on Friday, Oct, 2, 2015. “We wanted to have a local event to allow friends and fans to congratulate Drink on this prestigious accomplishment,” said Ken May, South Carolina Arts Commission executive director. “A National Heritage Fellowship is a big deal, and the entire state should be proud of Drink’s work and his dedication to keeping music traditions alive.” At the event, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will present Small with a proclamation declaring July 30 as “Drink Small Day,” and DJ Preach Jacobs will set the tone with the blues and related music. A cash bar will be available. The drop-in is sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the City of Columbia, Tapp’s Arts Center and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. For more information about the NEA's National Heritage Fellowships, including bios, interviews, and audio selections for the Heritage Fellows, visit arts.gov.

McKissick Museum celebrates Diverse Voices in new folklife gallery

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum has opened a new folklife gallery and exhibition, Diverse Voices: Discovering Community Through Traditional Arts. Dedicated to the late George D. Terry, McKissick's director from 1976-1988, Diverse Voices explores deeply rooted traditions that help create the cultural landscape of South Carolina and the surrounding region. Each year the exhibit will focus on a specific theme or tradition. Year One offers a comprehensive presentation of objects from the museum collection that represent the work of celebrated NEA National Heritage Fellows and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients. Year One showcases the work of artists such as Philip Simmons, Janie Hunter, Burlon Craig, Snuffy Jenkins and Gale McKinley. Simmons, Hunter and Craig are National Heritage Fellows. Simmons, Jenkins and McKinley are Folk Heritage Award recipients. The public is invited to celebrate the gallery's opening at a reception Monday, Aug. 19 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. Mac Arnold (Folk Heritage Award recipient) and Plate Full o' Blues will perform from 6 - 7:30 p.m. The current exhibition runs through July 12, 2014. “It’s very exciting and rewarding to finally have a gallery space within McKissick that is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the folklife and traditional arts of the region," said Saddler Taylor, curator of Folklife and Fieldwork. "McKissick has been passionate about documenting traditional arts for more than 30 years; it’s fitting that we set aside exhibition space to tell that story on a regular basis.” Additional programs for Diverse Voices include Mill Billy Blues, featuring Freddie Vanderford on Thursday, October 3, and Folk Time, featuring storyteller John Thomas Fowler and Native American scholar Will Moreau Goins on Saturday, November 2. Vanderford, Fowler and Goins are Folk Heritage Award recipients. Diverse Voices is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. McKissick 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 exhibits are free and open to the public. Museum hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday - Friday and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays. The museum is closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, visit McKissick's website or call Ja-Nae Epps at 803-777-2876. Via: McKissick Museum