Chapman Cultural Center receives $2500 grant from Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation for education
To promote academic success and innovation, the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation presented Chapman Cultural Center with a $2,500 grant in September for the Center’s award-winning STEAM Education program. The gift will support the program by providing Spartanburg County students with opportunities to engage in the arts and sciences in creative ways. "Chapman Cultural Center has provided an arts and science advantage for the nearly 80,000 Spartanburg County schoolchildren for more than 30 years," said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center. "STEAM is about finding the artist in every scientist and vice versa. With support from community STEM leaders like Piedmont Natural Gas, we can build a more creative and innovative workforce." The program fulfills its commitment through critical operating support of Spartanburg Science Center in order to connect youth to STEM, in-school performances, artist residencies, and exhibiting student artwork in the Student Galleries at Chapman Cultural Center. Every summer, the Center also hosts the STEAM Summer Institute for teachers, reaching not only students but educators across the state. The Institute, an accredited professional development institute by the S.C. Department of Education, brings nationally and internationally recognized teaching artists to Spartanburg to teach best practices for arts integration with STEM. "STEAM brings added creativity to the classroom," said Ava Hughes, education director at Chapman Cultural Center. "It develops students' abilities to adapt in a changing world, view problems from different perspectives, work in teams, and generate new ideas." According to national reports, this creativity is necessary for companies like Piedmont Natural Gas that need employees with strong STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Mathematics) education. In a 2010 IBM report, more than 1,500 CEOs noted that "creativity trumps other leadership characteristics" in forming an innovative workforce. "Piedmont Natural Gas supports organizations like Chapman Cultural Center because it's part of our commitment to growing and strengthening the communities we serve," said Mike Durham, community relations manager for Piedmont Natural Gas. "Their programming is developing the next generation of innovators, and this deserves our support." For more information on STEAM Education programs at Chapman Cultural Center, contact Education Director Ava Hughes at (864) 278-9693 or aHughes@SpartanArts.org.