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S.C. high schoolers reach state Poetry Out Loud finals

State finals scheduled for March 4 in Columbia


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Six South Carolina high school students earned the right to compete in March to see who’s best at the recitation and performance of poetry, then represent the state in a national competition.

The South Carolina Arts Commission coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to the state’s high school students. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance. Program Coordinator Bonita Peeples introduced a new structure to the 2022/2023 competition that blended the traditional, in-person approach with the more recent virtual competitions caused by the pandemic. Schools who registered held in-person competitions locally while individual students who registered performed virtually in front of judges who named finalists. [caption id="attachment_49532" align="alignright" width="199"] Emily Allison. Provided photo.[/caption] The finalists this year come from Charleston, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg:
  • Emily Allison, junior, Fine Arts Center (Greenville), the 2021 and 2022 state champion
  • Meenakshi Balachandran, senior, Calvary Christian School (Myrtle Beach)
  • Eve Decker, freshman, Spartanburg Day School (Spartanburg)
  • Jessie Johnson, junior, Charleston County School of the Arts (Charleston)
  • Ella McCall, sophomore, Ashley Hall (Charleston)
  • Catherine Wooten, junior, Westgate Christian School (Spartanburg)
Judging the individual student competition were Paul Kaufmann, an actor an South Carolina Arts Commission Fellow in acting who was accuracy judge; Kimberly Simms Gibbs, poet and founder of Carolina Poets and Wits’ End Poetry in Greenville; and Al Black, a poet who is also host of numerous workshops and arts events in the Midlands. Thomas Maluck, Richland Library teen services librarian, was the prompter. The next step for the six finalists is the state finals competition on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 3 p.m. The finals return to an in-person format for the first time since 2019 and will be held at the Richland Library Main Branch (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). The state finals champion will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition in Washington May 5-8, 2023 for the chance to win a $20,000 first prize. Find out more about the national competition here.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission 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 artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. 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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Tuesday was a big day for grant announcements

S.C. arts orgs, one artist benefit from NEA, South Arts funding


Within hours of each other yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts and regional arts organization South Arts made their first 2023 grant announcements that will find an artist and several arts organizations in South Carolina.

The NEA went first, announcing more than $34 million in funding to support the arts nationwide. This is the first of the NEA’s two major grant announcements each fiscal year and includes grants to organizations through the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, and Research Awards categories. This announcement also includes grants to individuals for Literature Fellowships in creative writing (poetry) and translation. Evelyn Berry, a writer from Aiken, was among those latter awards, getting a creative writing fellowship of $25,000. Additional grants awarded in South Carolina include:
  • Coker University in Hartsville (Grants for Arts Projects - Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; $10,000)
  • Colour of Music, Inc. in Mount Pleasant (Grants for Arts Projects - Music; $10,000)
  • Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg (Grants for Arts Projects - Literary Arts; $35,000)
  • Puppetry Arts Theatre in Charleston (aka Tuffy Tiger Productions) in Ravenel (Challenge America; $10,000)
  • Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston (Grants for Arts Projects - Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; $10,000)
  • Trustus, Inc. in Columbia (Grants for Arts Projects - Theatre; $10,000)
  • Warehouse Theatre (aka Greenville Community Warehouse Theatre) in Greenville (Challenge America; $10,000)
“Together, these grants show the NEA’s support nationwide for strengthening our arts and cultural ecosystems, providing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contributing to the health of our communities and our economy,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “I encourage everyone to explore these projects and the ways they help provide inspiration, understanding, and opportunities for us to live more artful lives.” The full list of recommended grants is available in a state-by-state listing and organized by grant category/discipline. Additional information about the projects can be found using the NEA’s Grant Search.
By afternoon, it was South Arts' turn, making (rightful) hay over 16 new Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients for 2023. These organizations are each receiving up to $15,000 to support "arts and..." projects developed by partners—one arts organization or artist, and one non-arts organization—harnessing the power of collaboration. Vaughn Newman Dance of Greenville is the lone South Carolina recipient. Cross-Sector Impact Grants are offered each year as part of South Arts' portfolio of programming to support artists, arts organizations, and communities across the south. These projects support collaborative efforts that connect the arts with non-arts aspects of local communities.
Got arts news? Remember to submit it to The Hub! Got arts events? Listings are free on the only statewide arts calendar—Arts Daily!

Jason Rapp

President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities gets new leader

Tsione Wolde-Michael, most recently the founding director of the Smithsonian’s Center for Restorative History, has been named executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Under a new Executive Order issued by President Biden, PCAH has been established to engage the nation’s artists, humanities scholars, and cultural heritage practitioners on ways to promote excellence in the arts, the humanities, and museum and library services and demonstrate their relevance to the country’s health, economy, equity, and civic life. Wolde-Michael, the youngest and first Black individual to direct PCAH, will lead a high-profile committee of 25 non-federal leaders in the arts, humanities, and museum and library services, expected to be named by the White House in the coming weeks. Under her direction, the committee will advise the president on policy objectives, public/private partnerships, and programs to enhance support for the arts, humanities, and museum and library services across the country—a first, since 2017. “I’ve spent my career as a public historian launching large-scale projects from the ground up and working to transform understandings of our nation’s past,” said Wolde-Michael. “President Biden’s new executive order supports telling a fuller, more expansive American story through the arts and humanities; it recognizes that these areas are essential to the vitality of our democracy while centering equity, accessibility, and the inclusion of historically underserved communities in an unprecedented way. I look forward to applying my experience to ensure that PCAH reflects that strong vision.” Wolde-Michael will use her vast experience bringing marginalized voices into public dialogue to lead strategy and engagement for PCAH, while working with the Institute of Museum and Library and Services (IMLS) Director Crosby Kemper, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chair Shelly C. Lowe. “The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to welcome Tsione Wolde-Michael to the federal arts and humanities family,” said NEA Chair Jackson. “We look forward to working with her and PCAH to strengthen our nation’s arts and cultural ecosystems, ensuring that the arts continue to contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and communities.” Wolde-Michael began her career at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she was part of a team that produced the landmark inaugural exhibition Slavery and Freedom–the nation’s first comprehensive exhibit on the history of enslavement. Her international projects include “The Slave Wrecks Project” and working with national and local museums to reinterpret colonial collections. Most recently as the curator of African American Social Justice History, she developed a theory and method for museum practice grounded in the principles of restorative justice. This work helped the Smithsonian National Museum of American History diversify its collections and exhibitions and establish long-term community partnerships and led to the establishment of the Center for Restorative History—the Smithsonian’s first center dedicated exclusively to community-based redress work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies from Macalester College and a master’s degree in history from Harvard University. Her position will be hosted at IMLS.

Submitted material

Supporting people of color shaping arts advocacy

NALAC opens Advocacy Leadership Institute applications

Today, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures opens a call for applications for the 2023 NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute.

The NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute is a two-month virtual program that culminates with a three-day intensive held in Washington. The intensive will include sessions on Capitol Hill and with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, and various Smithsonian Institutions. Through the NALAC ALI, participants are equipped with necessary tools to communicate effectively with elected officials, lead proactive efforts in their own communities, and understand the frameworks involved in shaping cultural policy. Participation in ALI is open to U.S. and Puerto Rico-based artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the NALAC website to view the eligibility requirements and learn more about the ALI program. For more, NALAC's ALI is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, MacKenzie Scott, National Endowment for the Arts, and the San Antonio Area Foundation. Visit the ALI program page for eligibility and deadline details and to apply.
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. For more information about NALAC and its programs please visit www.nalac.org.

Jason Rapp

NEA Big Read grants support community reading programs

$5,000 to $20,000 in matching grants available

INTENT TO APPLY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Applications are now open for NEA Big Read grants to support programming in 2023/2024.

An initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each!
For their project, applicants will choose one of 15 books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. More information on the books and authors, as well as discussion questions and videos, are available at arts.gov/neabigread. The NEA Big Read welcomes applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and organizations with small, medium or large operating budgets. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:
  • Arts centers, arts councils, and arts organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Libraries and literary centers
  • Community service organizations, environmental organizations, and faith-based organizations
  • Museums and historical societies
  • School districts and local education agencies
  • Tribal governments and non-profits
Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Click here to learn more!

Jason Rapp

U.S. celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month

White House announces new executive order

Welcome to October, which is National Arts and Humanities Month!

Late last week, President Biden issued a proclamation designating October 2022 as National Arts and Humanities Month in celebration of the significance of the arts, humanities, and museum and library services to our nation. The Proclamation includes the announcement of a new Executive Order which seeks to integrate the arts, humanities, and museum and library services into policies, programs, and partnerships throughout the Federal government to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. It also includes a directive to reestablish the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, which is planned for the coming months. This year the nation’s cultural agencies—the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH)—are joining to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. "We take inspiration from the contributions of artists, historians, authors, entertainers, designers, philosophers, curators, scholars, filmmakers, archivists, librarians, administrators, and others who make up our creative sector and document and preserve our history. Their efforts help lift up new voices and shine a light on previously untold stories," the three agencies' leaders said in a joint statement. "Artists and thinkers enrich our experiences by encouraging us to live artful lives, find and create pathways to connection and empathy, improve our well-being, and create and maintain the balance and beauty of the world around us."
For more updates, please follow along on social platforms for the three cultural agencies above, and share your contributions using the hashtag #NAHM22.
Image by Paul Stachowiak from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

One ‘Big Read’ grant from NEA awarded to S.C. community

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, announced support yesterday for 62 nonprofit organizations to hold NEA Big Read programming in 2022/2023.

In total, the NEA is investing $1,071,140 to support programming centered around one of 15 different contemporary books, with the aim of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities. MOJA Arts Festival in Charleston will receive a $17,500 grant to bring the book Homegoing to its community. Homegoing is a "novel about the legacy of chattel slavery by African-born writer Yaa Gyasi spanning eight generations." It shows the parallel lives of two 18th-century Ghana-born half-sisters and follows their descendants through historical periods such as the American Civil War and the great Harlem Jazz Age. “It is inspiring to see how NEA Big Read grantees utilize these books as launchpads for their own programming, often creating opportunities for community conversations, new partnerships, and encouraging participants to incorporate art into their daily lives,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “All across America, in communities small and large, the NEA Big Read connects neighbors and inspires creativity,” said Torrie Allen, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “We're excited to support this year’s grantees as they bring the pages of these wonderful books to life through inventive programming.” Each NEA Big Read grantee is receiving a matching grant ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to support programming around one of 15 contemporary books, 12 of which are new for the 2022/2023 NEA Big Read. Examples of 2022/2023 grantee programming include:
  • Arts Connection’s (San Bernardino, California) programming around Tommy Orange’s There, There will include guided tours hosted by the Native American Land Conservancy of the Oasis of Maará, first settled by the Serrano people and later the Chemehuevi. Cultural resource tribal representatives will share the historical significance of the site and discuss its present-day and continued vibrancy and relevance.
  • Delta State University’s (Cleveland, Mississippi) programming around Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing will include a scheduled presentation by culinary historian Adrian Miller about Black culinary history and a conversation about the culinary traditions, knowledge, and goods enslaved Africans brought to the United States and their rich culinary contributions.
  • Eastern Connecticut State University’s (Willimantic, Connecticut) programming around Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown will include an online virtual exhibition with creative responses (visual arts, graphic design, new media, and literary texts) to the book’s study of stereotypes.
  • Maryland Public Television’s (Owings Mills, Maryland) programming around Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, will hold a ten-day challenge of gratitude. Participants will be encouraged to reflect and look for elements of challenging experiences that will help them experience gratitude.
  • Quincy Public Library’s (Quincy, Illinois) programming around Rebecca Taussig’s Sitting Pretty will include events for patrons to learn more about and participate in adaptive sports and learn conversational/basic American Sign Language. Library programming will be adapted to meet a wider range of our communities' needs through sensory-friendly story times and resource kits to provide additional support to community members who would like to experience the library and the NEA Big Read.
  • Wichita Public Library Foundation (Wichita, Kansas) will kick off its programming around Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? with a community event featuring a photo slideshow, The Beauty of Aging, with images submitted by community members depicting their family and friends in the later stages of life.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $24 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 16 years, grantees have leveraged more than $56 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 97,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. Visit arts.gov/neabigread for more information about the NEA Big Read. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information.
  • Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the U.S. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
  • Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.
 

Jason Rapp

NEA, S.C. Arts Commission renew ties with major partnership grant

NEA funding critical to SCAC's service


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced more than $91 million in a second phase of recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions.

Grants are in three NEA funding categories: Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the recipient of a partnership grant of $953,600, which will be added to appropriations from the state general assembly to serve South Carolina citizens. "Federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is critical to the South Carolina Arts Commission's work. It allows us to fund arts projects that better serve constituents in South Carolina. We appreciate investments in our state's arts industry by the NEA and our state lawmakers," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”
State and Regional Partnerships Each year, 40 percent of the agency’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. A total of $60.58 million is recommended for these partners in FY 2022, with $49 million of that total designated for SAAs. Each SAA and RAO matches its NEA funding on at least a 1:1 basis. The Partnership Agreements for the state arts agencies extend the NEA’s reach to even more communities. Using state funds in combination with NEA Partnership funding, state arts agencies support approximately 23,000 projects and organizations in over 5,500 communities.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
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 four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. 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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

NEA announces 2022 ‘Poetry Ourselves’ winners

Top prize-winner a familiar name

The various winners of the Poetry Out Loud competitions held in U.S. states and jurisdictions reach their status by reciting the works of others. But you might not know that there's plenty of original content coming from them.

[caption id="attachment_49532" align="alignright" width="250"] Emily Allison. Provided photo.[/caption] Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2022 winners of  Poetry Ourselves, a companion competition open to the Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions that highlights their original poetry. South Carolina is represented by our back-to-back Poetry Out Loud champion, Emily Allison of Greenville. The 2022 Poetry Ourselves winners are: Student participants of the Poetry Out Loud program memorize and recite works of classic and contemporary poetry. Recognizing that many Poetry Out Loud participants also create their own work, Poetry Ourselves was launched in 2016 as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary as a way to encourage student creativity. Each champion had the opportunity to submit an original work of poetry in one of two categories—written or spoken—which were judged by poet Chen Chen. “By exploring a wide range of poetry through Poetry Out Loud, students can find inspiration to express themselves creatively in other ways,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts. “Thank you to this year’s Poetry Ourselves winners for sharing their own poetry with us.” Winning poems are shared through the National Endowment for the Arts’ website at the links above.

Poetry Out Loud national semifinals this weekend!

All 55 Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions will compete in the Poetry Out Loud national semifinals, webcast this Sunday, May 1, 2022 beginning at 12 p.m. ET at Arts.gov/Poetry-Out-Loud. The top nine students will move on to the national finals, which will be webcast on Sunday, June 5, 2022, and include the announcement of the 2022 national champion, who will receive a grand prize of $20,000. Visit Arts.gov for full details.

About Poetry Out Loud

A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. Students memorize and recite poems they select from an anthology of more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in Poetry Out Loud. For more information about Poetry Out Loud and how to participate in the 2022-2023 program, visit PoetryOutLoud.org

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: One year of ARP funding, Art Walk returns to Aiken

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...

NEA marks one year of ARP relief

It is almost hard to believe, but it has been one year since President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan to assist recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts released an informative fact sheet about how it put its $135 million to work through three phases. It's worth noting that the SCAC received almost $819,000 in ARP funding from the NEA to grant to arts organizations. ARP ESSER funding provided the funding for the SCAC and South Carolina Department of Education to initiate the partnership now known as Arts Grow SC to address pandemic-related learning loss.

Aiken announces 11th annual Art Walk

Friday trivia! What event brings together emerging and established visual and performing artists, farmers and artisans, arts organizations, locals, and tourists during one of professional golf's holiest weeks? Nothing gets by you, dear reader. The city of Aiken announced last week that its Art Walk will return Tuesday, April 5 in the run-up to The Masters at nearby Augusta National Golf Club April 7-10.
[caption id="attachment_48939" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Promo graphic of oranges cut horizontally, arranged on an orange background. It reads, "New Year, Fresh Start. Arts Project Support Grants." Artist or arts org in South Carolina? There is very likely arts project support available for YOU. Click graphic to learn more.[/caption]

Jason Rapp