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Jason Rapp

America’s cultural agencies celebrate 35th anniversary of Arts and Humanities Month

IMLS, NEA, NEH Join Together to Showcase the Power and Positive Impact of Arts and Humanities

[caption id="attachment_48019" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Provided photo by Paula Lobo.[/caption]

In celebration of the vital roles that arts and humanities play in American society, 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 the Humanities (NEH)—have joined together to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Month in October.

During the month, IMLS, NEA, and NEH will engage communities across the country to highlight how the arts and humanities help rebuild the economy, promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities, and unite our nation. In honor of the occasion, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation on National Arts and Humanities Month, 2021 which states:

“As our nation continues to grapple with consequential crises—from combating the ongoing global pandemic and addressing cries for racial justice to tackling the existential threat that climate change poses to our planet—the arts and humanities enable us to both understand our experiences and lift our sights. During this National Arts and Humanities Month, we celebrate the power of the arts and humanities to provide solace, understanding, and healing. We recognize the ability of the arts and humanities to amplify important and diverse voices and messages. We reflect on the fact that, as we have struggled with isolation, anxiety, and the loss of loved ones, we have turned to music and dance, literature and poetry, and philosophy and history to bring us together and help us persevere through, and grapple with, our current moment.…”

IMLS, NEA, and NEH released a joint statement in honor of the occasion:

“Three and a half decades after its first official recognition, National Arts and Humanities Month takes on new relevance to American life today. Music inspires and uplifts us, poems and stories spark our imagination, and museums teach us about the world—and ourselves. The arts and humanities have the power to unite us, to heal us, to sustain us, to help us better understand each other, and to guide us through challenging times.

“Like in many communities across the nation, the pandemic deeply affected those who work in the arts. Prior to COVID, the cultural sector employed 5.2 million Americans and annually generated nearly $1 trillion, and revitalizing our workforce is vital to the economic success of our nation. We must also work together to ensure that the systemic barriers to full participation in the arts and humanities are torn down, so that all Americans—regardless of race, geography, ability, and socioeconomic status—have unrestricted and equal access. This October, we hope that organizations, communities, and people across the nation will join us in marking the myriad of ways that arts and humanities matter each and every day.”

Throughout our nation’s history, the arts and humanities have showcased the creativity of our communities, made significant contributions to the wellness of young and old alike, and helped bring people together. In addition, a thriving creative economy is essential to America’s economy. Before the pandemic, the arts and culture sector was approaching a $1 trillion industry that directly employed 5.2 million people and indirectly supported millions more. Now more than ever, our nation needs the arts and humanities to rebuild, heal, and unite. Through social media, engagement with stakeholders and partners, and events, the three agencies will show the depth and diversity of our nation’s cultural landscape. Cultural organizations, government agencies, museums, libraries, and the American public are encouraged to join in celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month using #NAHM21 and #NAHM. For more information, please visit the IMLS, NEA, and NEH websites. [caption id="attachment_48020" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Deep Center. Provided photo.[/caption]
National Endowment for the Humanities Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov. The Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov.  

Jason Rapp

NEA announces grants for military-connected individuals

Creative Forces partnership supports military, veteran communities


The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, is pleased to announce the launch of a new grant program as part of Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network.

The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants will support arts engagement programming for military and veteran populations and family members, providing opportunities for creative expression and strengthening resilience. Creative Forces is an NEA initiative in partnership with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs which seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. The deadline to apply for these new grants is December 15, 2021. “This national grant program furthers the work of the NEA Creative Forces initiative in recognizing the important role that the arts can play in supporting our nation’s military and Veteran communities,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. “I was recently able to see first-hand the benefit of creative arts therapies in a Veterans’ hospital and I look forward to seeing how artists and community arts organizations will utilize creative arts programming to contribute to the health and well-being of their local military and Veterans, as well as their families and caregivers.” The Creative Forces Community Engagement grant programs will serve a broad military-connected population, including active-duty service members, guardsmen, reservists, veterans, military and veteran families, as well as caregivers and healthcare workers providing care for military service members and veterans. The aim of these grants is to expand programming into the community and address the distinct experiences, challenges, and strengths of military and veteran families, care providers, and veteran populations. Watch a short video about the grant program. “Our military service members and their families have sacrificed to protect and defend the freedom of our nation,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The projects supported by this grant program will recognize that arts engagement can provide a powerful outlet for fostering community and personal connections. We are pleased to be working with Mid-America Arts Alliance to develop and manage this new program.” Creative Forces Community Engagement projects will require at least one partner; and be led by or include at least one organization with a history of creative or artistic programming. Partnerships among arts organizations and veteran and military service organizations are highly encouraged. Funding will support projects beginning on or after July 1, 2022. Awards of $10,000 - $50,000 will be available in two tiers:

The emerging grant tier

  • Provides support for eligible organizations to develop and implement new or emerging nonclinical arts engagement programs for military-connected populations or for small organizations
  • Matching grant amount: up to $10,000 for one-year projects

The advanced grant tier

  • Provides support for eligible organizations with established military-related non-clinical arts programming
  • Matching grant amounts: $10,000 - $25,000 for one-year projects or up to $50,000 for two-year projects
"Through projects Mid-America Arts Alliance has funded and experienced in our region, we have seen the tremendous ability for the arts to make social connections and foster resiliency with members of the armed forces, veterans, and their families, among others," said Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance. "The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants seek to promote creativity, health, and healing with military-connected populations across the country.” Mid-America Arts Alliance will host a webinar for potential applicants on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. In addition, research and resources are available in the online Creative Forces National Resource Center to support the practice of arts engagement with the military community. Resources for community arts providers include key findings on impacts and lessons learned from community arts engagement pilot projects funded by Creative Forces between 2018-2020, as well as information on serving military connected populations. For the complete guidelines and to apply for a Creative Forces Community Engagement grant, visit www.maaa.org/creativeforces.

About the Creative Forces Initiative

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The initiative seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information, including clinical-based activities and research, can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. Additional information about M-AAA is available at https://www.maaa.org/.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Federal ARP funding webinar + Dreskin, Flowers 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...

Who's tuning up on a Friday? We are!

Don't miss...

The NEA and South Arts are joining forces to present a webinar on two NEA programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds (more info on those here). Join the webinar TUESDAY, JULY 13 FROM 3-4:30 P.M. to explore these new programs, learn how to register your organization to be eligible for federal funding, gain other resources, and participate in a Q&A session. First-time applicants are encouraged to apply, and this workshop will provide content for first-timers as well as previous NEA applicants.

News from State Art Collection artists!

  • Head to Hampton III Gallery for a new exhibition: Jeanet S Dreskin: 100 Years. Four of Dreskin's works are included in the State Art Collection. The exhibition began yesterday and runs through Aug. 21. Preview online here, or visit in person Tuesday-Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery received the S.C. Governor's Award for the Arts in 2019 in the organization category. 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 10 in Taylors. Free.
  • Speaking of Governor's Award recipients, Tom Flowers, a recent, posthumous lifetime achievement recipient, left behind a vast collection of artwork. Beginning tomorrow, some of it could be yours. His family is auctioning off much of it to, in part, fund the scholarship fund in his name at Furman University. Flowers taught there for three decades and was head of the art department as well, and the State Art Collection includes two of his works. The auction runs Saturday, July 10 at noon to Saturday, July 24 at noon.
 

Jason Rapp

Is tech a creative medium for artists?

NEA + Knight, Ford foundations report says yes


The National Endowment for the Arts announces the release of the report Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium, the result of a two-year field scan, an initiative of the Arts Endowment in collaboration with the John S. and James L.  Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The field scan and report explore the multi-faceted practices of artists who engage with digital technologies in both the creative and functional aspects of their work. The report also looks at the training and exhibition infrastructure that tech-centered artists have developed to pursue their creative practices, and diagnoses a critical need for funding to advance the field. A key finding of the study is that even with the willingness of audiences to move to digital spaces for arts and cultural programming during the pandemic, many cultural organizations lack capacity and the resources to adequately support the growing needs of tech-centered artists and their audiences. At the same time, these artists have demonstrated their unique ability to respond creatively to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by engaging with audiences and responding to calls for greater equity and inclusion. “Tech-centered artists can be invaluable partners for leaders in the arts and non-arts sectors alike,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Not only are equity and inclusion increasingly embedded in their artistic practice, but they also explore ethical issues around technology, such as data privacy and artificial intelligence, presenting complex ideas through a creative and accessible lens.”

A virtual launch event celebrating the culmination of this work featured arts funders and artist/technologists discussing key findings of the report. Panelists for the virtual event were Refik Anadol, Amelia Winger Bearskin, Stephanie Dinkins, Ruby Lerner, Omari Rush, and Eleanor Savage with moderator Hrag Vartanian. The event will be archived and available on the Media Arts impact page.


In addition to featuring more than a hundred artists and organizations in the report, Tech as Art includes nine case studies offering a more in-depth look at leading tech-focused artists and practitioners. Case study artists are 3-Legged Dog, Refik Anadol, Design I/O, Stephanie Dinkins, Darcy Neal, Processing Foundation, Scatter/DepthKit, Lance Weiler, and Amelia Winger-Bearskin. Videos created from the case studies are in a YouTube playlist.  Finally, the recommendations in the report are expanded upon by ten commissioned essays. Key findings from the report include:
  • Code, computation, data, and tool-building are fundamental to tech-centered artists, enabling them to create works across artistic forms and contexts.
  • Because the field is so diverse and dynamic, more traditional arts organizations and funders often have trouble engaging with tech-centered artistic practicesSince these artists create projects within and between virtual and physical spaces, they require distinct approaches to presentation, public engagement, accessibility, and archiving.
  • Tech-centered artists have successfully established peer organizations, regional hubs, exhibition spaces, festivals, information networks, and academic departments across the United States. However, there are also significant resource gaps which inhibit the growth of artistic and professional development.
  • Career pathways for tech-centered artists are highly varied, though as a group these workers encounter many of the same obstacles as artists in general. Despite formal education, tech-centered artists describe themselves as largely self-taught and reliant on artist-founded organizations, community hubs, and online resources.
The report’s recommendations include:
  • Expanding technical expertise and capacity among cultural organizations working with tech-centered artists.
  • Reviewing programs and outreach plans from grant makers, arts service or presenting organizations, and traditional arts institutions to ensure that funding program guidelines and documentation requirements align with, and welcome, tech-focused artists and projects.
  • Lifting barriers to collaboration across arts and non-arts sectors to encourage relationships to exchange information, seed partnerships, and launch initiatives.
  • Embedding technology assets in the broader arts and cultural infrastructure to address the lack of funding for digital capacity-building; existing digital divides across geography, ethnicity, race, and gender; and inadequate access to high-speed internet.
  • Increasing project development, presentation, and exhibition opportunities.
  • Deepening public understanding of the value and impact of tech-focused artists by conducting further research and education that supports greater public recognition of artists’ creative approaches, innovations, and contributions.
In addition to publishing this report, the Arts Endowment has deepened its commitment to supporting activities at the intersection of arts and technology through the agency’s major funding program, Grants for Arts Projects. In the Media Arts discipline, organizations from any artistic discipline can apply for support of arts projects that use new media, creative code, and emergent forms. The Arts Endowment also provides technical assistance to prospective applicants and connects tech-centered artists with other grant makers, arts organizations, policymakers, educators, and tech companies.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit www.kf.org

Jason Rapp

NEA opens ARP relief funding to arts orgs

And encourages new applicants


The National Endowment for the Arts is encouraging arts organizations not previously funded by it (along with those who have) to apply for direct American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, “The Arts Endowment is committed to encouraging organizations that have not applied to the agency before to do so through ARP and other programs. We have created a new web page with more and better information about registering with [SAM.gov] and grants.gov.” The NEA received $135 million in the American Rescue Plan Act, representing a strong commitment from President Biden and Congress to the arts, and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy. On April 29th, the NEA announced that it was directing 40 percent of that allocation to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations. The NEA will award the remaining 60 percent of the funding in competitive grants to support jobs in the arts and culture sector and keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations and local arts agencies nationwide. ARP emergency relief funding is coming from many sources, and S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) constituents can count on the agency and The Hub to help you keep it straight.

ARP funding from the NEA

There are two avenues for funding from the NEA’s $135 million. The Hub can’t stress enough that reading the guidelines is critical to know for what arts organizations or individual artists are eligible. We will post those as they arrive.
  • Direct to arts organizations (60%). Not limited to previous NEA grantees! Also new is that recipients may use funding awarded to cover general operating costs, which speaks to the “tremendous need in the sector,” according to the NEA. Guidelines are live and available here.
  • Direct to state and regional organizations (40%). The SCAC is receiving an $818,700 allotment from which it will award grants. The anticipated timing of this process is mid-summer 2021. Announcements will be made via The Hub, social media, and other SCAC outlets to ensure you're informed when guidelines go live.

State-level relief funding

Details are thin right now but yes, there will be relief funding coming from the state. Most of those details are being sorted out, to include how much and from where it will me made available. Again, count on SCAC team members and The Hub to help you keep it straight in coming weeks.

Jason Rapp

Arts provide healing touch to war-time trauma

Join the NEA for a webinar


South Carolina's ties to the U.S. Armed Forces run deep.

Generations of airmen, Marines, sailors, and soldiers have trained or been stationed here, and a robust population on veterans of every branch calls our state home. And so The Hub happily shares this blurb from the National Endowment for the Arts knowing it's relevant to many of our constituents:

Join Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network on June 25, 2021, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET for a webinar exploring how creative arts therapies can help heal war-time trauma. The webinar will focus on the National Endowment for the Arts’ recent online exhibition Creative Forces: Healing the Invisible Wounds of War. Special guest Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, will join a discussion with retired Navy Capt. Robert Koffman, creative arts therapists, and veterans who have participated in the Creative Forces program and contributed artwork to the exhibition.

American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning will be provided. Visit the Creative Forces National Resource Center for more information and to register.

 

Jason Rapp

Western Arts Alliance calls for performing artists

2021 Performing Arts Discovery Program

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, June 25, 2021

The U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and Western Arts Alliance (WAA) are pleased to announce a virtual international showcase opportunity for performing artists.

This opportunity is part of the National Endowment for the Arts Performing Arts Discovery Program (PAD). The NEA launched the PAD program in 2015 to promote U.S. artists to international programmers, festival directors, and venue managers. In this first round, PAD will select 10 artists to showcase virtually at this year’s Western Arts Alliance and Arts Midwest Conferences. Later this year a second round will seek an additional 20 artists and ensembles for additional showcase opportunities. All 30 groups will also be featured on a dedicated platform and included in selected international online showcases. PAD encourages those who self-identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ to apply. Learn more and apply at this link.

Jason Rapp

SCAC approved for NEA Partnership Award

FY21 award means $891,400 toward agency initiatives


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced approval of an $891,400 FY21 partnership grant to the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).

The SCAC will use its funding to address priorities identified at the state level, supporting the agency’s work in community arts development, folklife and traditional arts, and arts education. “As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to fund the work of our partners,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These agreements, such as the one to the South Carolina Arts Commission, leverage federal funds for regional, state, and local impact, reinforcing the network of support that is vital for a healthy arts ecosystem.” “The South Carolina Arts Commission honors and appreciates its lengthy and vital partnership with the NEA. This generous award, when added to the investment in the arts from our state General Assembly, helps further our work in creativity and culture on behalf of all South Carolinians,” SCAC Executive David Platts said. Each year, 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies like the SCAC, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. Of the $56.7 million recommended for these partners in FY 2021, $45.7 million is designated for state arts agencies. Each matches its Arts Endowment funding on at least a 1:1 basis. Other South Carolina arts organizations were included in this major grant announcement. A breakdown of recipients by state and territory is available here.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. 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 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

Reopening guidance from the NEA

Webinar with Dr. Fauci is next week


How arts organizations can reopen their venues in 2021 is the topic of a webinar presented by the National Endowment for the Arts with special guest Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Fauci will provide opening remarks at this free event that will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 3-4:00 p.m. ET. Those interested in attending should register here. Acting Chairman of the Arts Endowment Ann Eilers said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to have Dr. Fauci participate in the agency’s The Art of Reopening webinar. His expertise, commitment, and compassion have been critical to the nation’s ability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. His guidance will remain of the utmost importance in our continued progress in the country and towards full reengagement with the arts and audiences." The event is based in part on the NEA’s report The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19 that was published in January 2021. The report examines reopening practices of organizations that resumed in-person programming in 2020 and presents promising tactics and nine case studies. Three of the organizations featured as case studies will be represented on a panel moderated by Sunil Iyengar, director of the Arts Endowment’s Office of Research & Analysis. The panelists are:
  • Scott Altman, president & CEO, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Chloe Cook, executive director, Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Rebecca Read Medrano, co-founder and executive director, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Washington
The webinar will highlight some of the practices of these organizations but also delve into new challenges and lessons that have emerged since data were collected for the report in the fall of 2020. The driving question will be “What is the outlook for arts organizations who seek to re-engage with live audiences and visitors in 2021?” The session will conclude with audience Q&A. An archive of the webinar will be posted to this page on the Arts Endowment website shortly afterwards. In addition to The Art of Reopening, the Arts Endowment contributed to an analysis from FEMA’s Recovery Support Function Leadership Group with COVID-19's Impacts on Arts and Culture. Information in the analysis includes an overview of the latest data on the economic impact of arts and culture developed from a partnership of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Arts Endowment, that reports recent arts worker unemployment data, and a state-of-the-field assessment based on data from November 2020. Finally, the current issue of the Arts Endowment’s magazine, Arts in the Time of COVID offers stories and insights. Each of the organizations featured in the magazine illustrates the importance of adaptation, resilience, and staying true to the values that drive each to overcome and survive. For more COVID-19 resources, visit the Arts Endowment’s collection on the website and follow the agency on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.
Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Greenville 9th grader is S.C. Poetry Out Loud champ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Greenville High School 9th grade student Emily Allison is the 2021 South Carolina Poetry Out Loud champion after winning the annual recitation contest’s first virtual competition. [caption id="attachment_46626" align="alignright" width="200"]Headshot of Emily Allison, blonde female student with green eyes wearing a deep magenta sleeveless top. Emily Allison[/caption] Allison’s body of work earned her first prize over seven other finalists in her first experience with the competition. In lieu of the usual in-person state final competition, each finalist was recorded reciting three poems via a video conference with Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator Bonita Peeples and prompter Thomas Maluck, teen services librarian for Richland Library. The videos were sent to the four judges and an accuracy judge. After two rounds of evaluation, the top three scorers proceeded to the final round. They were: Allison; Teagan Domm, a junior at Academy Magnet High School in Charleston; and Caleb Xiao, sophomore at Spartanburg Day School who was first runner-up. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) 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 schools. Poetry Out Loud looked different in the 2020/2021 school year out of necessity. Peeples arranged a competition with a different structure for students in grades 9-12. Participants across the state submitted videos that were judged in twin regional competitions that yielded eight finalists, one of whom was Allison. As state winner, Allison will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition for the chance to win the $20,000 first prize. The 2021 national finals will also be held virtually. A semi-final round is scheduled for Sunday, May 2 and the national finals will take place Thursday, May 27. Both will stream on arts.gov, website of the National Endowment for the Arts. Al Black, poet and arts advocate; Ray McManus, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Michele Reese, English professor at UofSC Sumter; Kimberly J. Simms, author and educator, served as judges. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. The SCAC’s Kevin Flarisee of Columbia was accuracy judge.

About Poetry Out Loud

Now in its 15th 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 in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. 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 more than 4 million students and 65,000 teachers from 16,000 schools. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

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.