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Hub Quick Hits: Spoleto Festival USA commission awarded Pulitzer

Top honors for Omar

[caption id="attachment_53232" align="aligncenter" width="952"]A Black man with close-cropped hair and a beard, wearing a flowing orange tunic, sings on the left of a darkened stage. A white man with short dark hair and white flowing clothes points at the Black man while singing. The stage set looks like a weathered wooden-slat fence with text from the opera in white superimposed via projection. Jamez McCorkle on stage with Malcom MacKenzie. Spoleto Festival USA photo by William Struhs.[/caption]

It was announced yesterday that Omar, the opera co-commissioned by and premiered at Spoleto Festival USA in 2022, is the 2023 Pulitzer Prize winner for music.

Omar was composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels and awarded "For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year." It comes with a $15,000 prize. The 1831 autobiography of Omar ibn Said, a West African scholar uprooted and sold into slavery in Charleston, is the inspiration for Omar. Opening in Senegal, the opera’s narrative traces Said’s spiritual journey from his life in West Africa to his enslavement in the Carolinas. A Muslim African scholar, Said was 37 years old when he was captured in Futa Toro and brought to Charleston. His story is one of strength, resistance, and religious conviction, a story of truth and of faith. Upon arrival in the United States, Said was sold to a Charlestonian, but escaped and fled to North Carolina, where he was recaptured, sent to jail, and then resold to James Owen, the brother of one of the state’s governors. Said penned his autobiography in Arabic in 1831. It is considered the only surviving autobiography of an enslaved person in the United States written in Arabic and therefore unedited. According to many scholars, as many as 30 percent of the enslaved Africans who arrived in the colonies, and subsequently the United States, were Muslim, a largely unexplored truth in modern American discussions of slavery.

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Starbucks x #SCartists

If you live in Columbia, your next cup of coffee could come with a side of inspiration.

Starbucks selected two #SCartists, one from Columbia and one from Charleston, to collaborate on a mural in the chain's location at 2509 Forest Dr. According to Christina Lee Knauss at Columbia Business report, it's one of six artworks that are part of a national online publication "that tells interesting and uplifting stories related to Starbucks worldwide." This mural is featured with others in stateside Starbucks Community Stores in Brooklyn, Ft. Lauderdale, and San Antonio and internationally in Taiwan and South Korea. For more, go here to read the story on Columbia Business Report.
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

Hub Quick Hits: Upstate grants, Lowcountry festival news

Some notable items for your attention as we close out another week...

On Wednesday, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and members of city council announced Charlton Singleton as artistic director for MOJA Arts Festival at a City Hall ceremony. As artistic director, Singleton will assist with the implementation of this year’s festival and guide the artistic planning and program development for future festivals. Singleton, you might remember, is a recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts in the artist category. Read more about the Yesterday, Chapman Cultural Center announced the #SCartists who received funding as part of the second round of grants in its newest category. The Materials and Equipment Grant was created in 2022 to serve Spartanburg's creative community by providing artists with a new avenue for funding their artistic projects and initiatives. The artists are:
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

Hub Quick Hits: Immersive summer arts programs for middle school students

Offered by the Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

It's really never too soon to make those summer plans for school-aged children.

Young artists in grades 6-9 can explore and refine their artistic talents in overnight summer programs offered by the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Located in downtown Greenville, the Governor’s School’s summer programs are led by practicing artists and provide students with foundational skills in creative writing, dance, drama, film, music or visual arts. South Carolina students can apply now at SCGSAH.org. Financial assistance is available for all programs through the Governor’s School Foundation. [caption id="attachment_52784" align="aligncenter" width="949"]A mixed group of around 15 male and female teenaged students on a light gray stage floor and black background, dressed in black with arms extended or raised as part of a drama production. There are no set pieces, and microphones extend over them on booms. SCGSAH drama students. Photo provided.[/caption]
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

Hub Quick Hits: #SCartists in the news

Headlined by Ranky Tanky

A couple #SCartists were in our in-box from weekend news reports.

The Hub thought these were worth sharing to readers...
  • Grammy Award-winning Charleston band Ranky Tanky added their second such award last night! They are award in the same category as in 2020, Regional Roots Music Album, for Live at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Big congrats to the band, which features S.C. Governor's Awards recipients Quentin Baxter and Charlton Singleton. Read the Post & Courier's coverage here (subscription possibly required).
  • Aldwyth, the 87-year-old legend, is staying relevant with a new exhibition in North Carolina. The Gregg Museum of Art and design is featuring the State Art Collection artist. From TechncianOnline: "This is Not: Aldwyth in Retrospect brings together 70 years worth of mononymous artist Aldwyth’s painting, embroidery, assemblage and collage work. Exhibit curator Mark Sloan said the exhibit was something of a capstone both for Aldwyth and for himself, marking 23 years of the pair’s collaboration." The Jameson Wolf piece is a joy to read.
  • Closer to home, WLTX in Columbia profiled Orangeburg artist Floyd Gordon. His experience coming from a family of 13(!) sharecroppers informed his art, which he's been completing for 75 years.

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

Hub Quick Hits: Arts learning principals network conference next month

ArtsNOW is happy to announce an Arts Integration Principals' Network Conference, February 24, 2023, at Embassy Suites Downtown Greenville.

This will be an opportunity for principals in all stages of the arts integration journey to network with colleagues, to learn from other principals, and to hear about opportunities for your schools. It begins Thursday, Feb. 23 with a welcome reception from 4:30-6 p.m. The next day, David Dik, national executive director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning—the nation's oldest and largest arts in education learning network—will provide opening comments and help set the stage for this convening. Throughout the day, multiple sessions will be facilitated by principal leaders, along with other sessions regarding school related arts opportunities in both Georgia and South Carolina. Registration is now open using this link: https://forms.gle/4h4s5xJ4paEhDEqU6.
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

Hub Quick Hits: Much-anticipated museum opening postponed

Challenges with the International African American Museum building’s humidity and temperature controls are resulting in a delay to its planned opening, the museum announced this week.

The IAAM said the following in a statement:

Museums require extremely stringent humidity controls in order to display the most sensitive of items for extended periods of time.

This delay is necessary to ensure that the museum building achieves the conditions necessary to preserve and protect our most sensitive objects, artifacts, and art. In the meantime, we are monitoring humidity controls, which are suitable for all objects currently installed.

We are working diligently in partnership with the city of Charleston and third-party advisors to remedy the matter and expect to welcome visitors in the first half of 2023.

We regret this turn of events and any inconvenience to our loyal members, sponsors, and community. In making this decision, we foreground the responsibility to ensure the highest standard of safety and preservation for our most sensitive objects, art, and artifacts that honor the journey of our ancestors and the tell critical stories of our nation’s history.

Early in the new year, we will accelerate efforts to engage with our community, members, and partners through several vigorous efforts, including by hosting monthly webinars through the Center for Family History and hosting on-site events featuring storytelling and music in the gardens, alongside various virtual and in-person public programs. We will announce these initiatives, as well as a revised opening schedule, in early 2023.

We appreciate your understanding, value your continued support and partnership, and will persevere to ensure that this Museum upholds its mission to honor the untold stories of the African American journey, paying tribute to the African American labor, resilience, and ingenuity that shaped our country and our world.

The Hub will share news of the revised opening schedule as soon as we are aware.

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Beaufort benches, Spartanburg hotel art

Twofer Tuesday? Twofer Tuesday. Let's go.

  • BEAUFORT–The city's Cultural District Advisory Board began rolling out "art benches" throughout the district in 2019, giving good-looking places to soak in surroundings to those enjoying scenic Lowcountry charm. Just days ago, the city unveiled five more benches, bringing to 17 the number "now or soon [to] be installed." (Post & Courier Hilton Head, subscription may be required to view).
  • SPARTANBURG–In Spartanburg's cultural district, one hotel has made itself a destination for visual art lovers. Art from The Johnson Collection adorns the walls, nooks, and crannies of the AC Hotel Spartanburg, and staff receive regular training on to be ad hoc docents. Might be time for a trip to Spartanburg, dear reader. Read the story for a list of artists represented at publication time. (Greenville Journal)

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Showcasing Columbia area artisans

Columbia area makers have a new opportunity to showcase themselves according to local reports.

From Carolina News & Reporter:

"A new art market in West Columbia debuted Sunday with more than 20 local, creative vendors.

The market was held inside the New Brookland Tavern music hall and bar and featured food and shopping."

That's the "where" and "what," so visit the story by Addison Hinkle for the "who" and "why" details on this new venture at the Midlands entertainment mainstay. Also, remember to shop local and support local art this holiday season (and beyond).
Ed. note: Your friendly Hub editor served on the then Carolina Reporter in fall 2002.

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Curry receives second prestigious book award

Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr., a founder of Renaissance Publications LLC and Columbia resident, received the 2022 International African American Historical and Genealogy Society Book Award in the Regional Genealogy category.

Curry was honored for his publication titled, The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History. The award was presented during the a virtual awards ceremony during the African American Historical & Genealogical Society Conference from Oct. 12-15. The session covering the winning authors was on October 15, 2022, to honor the winners for their outstanding publications that accurately examine and portray African American history and genealogy in a wide variety of genres both fiction and non-fiction, for adults and young readers.

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