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Jason Rapp

New ink for Communal Pen

Writing workshop returns March 21

Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities, is coming back on Saturday, March 21 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place. SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity? Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.771.2477. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, "Art of Community: Rural SC," a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the "Art of Community: Rural SC" initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. . She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.
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First South Carolina Clay Conference open to potters and clay artists

Registration due by Feb. 20. South Carolina potters and clay artists are invited to register for the first ever South Carolina Clay Conference: Moving Clay Forward. This three-day statewide conference will be held Feb.27 - March 1 at the Newberry Arts Center, 1107 College Street in Newberry, South Carolina. Conference presenters are Sue Grier from Asheville, North Carolina, and Mike Vatalaro from Greenville, South Carolina. Both artists will demonstrate their talents and techniques and have their work for sale. Modeled after well-known clay conferences in North Carolina and Alabama, the conference will allow for presenters and attendees to be immersed in conversation on all things clay. Activities include a Friday evening reception and Saturday evening barbecue. Sunday morning, the conference will close with an informative lecture on a clay-related topic. Professionals, educators, amateurs and students can all enjoy the creative atmosphere permitted by an intimate gathering. “The conference demonstrations will be broadly focused on the approach and techniques I’ve used to advance my work over the years,” explains Vatalaro. “These include throwing techniques and considerations used for generating lidded and covered vessels as well as how focusing on pottery proportions can help generate better pottery form. I also want to share how historical pottery forms have inspired my work and how these forms can uniquely inspire each individual's approach and work.” Attendees are encouraged to bring five pieces of their work to be sold or displayed at the conference. A commission of 20 percent will go back to Newberry Arts Center. Attendees may sign up for a brief critique of their work by one of the presenters at no extra charge. The deadline for registration is February 20. Registration is $225 and limited to 50 participants.  Find more information or register online. Via: Newberry Arts Center