← View All Articles

Jason Rapp

Third Doko Film Fest announced

All-virtual format planned in 2021


In the second year of the Doko Film Fest, a total of 143 entrees came from across the country, as well as from Canada, India, China and the United Kingdom. This year, no matter where you are, you can join in.

“Whether you’re in Blythewood or Dhaka, Bangladesh, we’ll all be here together,” says festival creator Ray Smith. That’s because in its third year the whole event will happen virtually, streaming live over two days: March 20 and 21. There will be plenty to see and interact over. So far, submissions have been received from across the U.S., India, Canada, Oman, Iran, Poland and Mexico. The film competition for students aged 14 to 18 gives young filmmakers the chance to show their films to a live audience, attend master classes led by award-winning professional filmmakers, and have their work judged by industry professionals. It’s been held for the last two years in Blythewood, a small town north of Columbia. At the third festival, attendees will be able to view the selected films, attend virtual master classes and listen to a live panel of professional filmmakers providing feedback on each day’s films. All will all take place from 1-4:30 p.m. on March 20 and 21. New in 2021: It will all be free to attend. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-doko-virtual-film-fest-tickets-128798211919 The festival is entirely volunteer-based, so donations are requested. Any received go toward the continued mission of supporting the arts and next year’s Doko Film Fest. The climax of the event will continue to be the awards recognizing the best in each category, as judged and selected by a panel of film professionals. Those categories are:
  • short story,
  • documentary,
  • visual effects,
  • animation,
  • music video,
  • comedy,
  • and pocket video (which means a film that is made and edited completely on a smartphone).

About Doko Film Fest

Doko Film Fest gives high school-aged filmmakers from across the USA and beyond a showcase for their visual storytelling. Its mission is to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of young filmmakers and provide them an outlet for their creativity. Doko Film Fest was created by business educator and documentary filmmaker Ray Smith. To learn more about participating, attending or becoming a sponsor—and to view some of last year’s winning films and for further information—please visit https://DokoFilmFest.com.

Submitted material

Columbia dancers awarded NEA grant

Wideman Davis Dance of Columbia was approved for a $20,000 grant Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the dance company's immersive and interactive Migratuse Ataraxia.

This project will fund a three-month residency, followed by four public performative installations. Wideman Davis Dance will use the residency and performative installations to develop and test a community-oriented residency curriculum that introduces, integrates, and expands the themes of “Migratuse Ataraxia.” Wideman Davis Dance’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Wideman Davis Dance,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Wideman Davis Dance is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.” “The National Endowment for the Arts Grant not only supports a performative experience of “Migrartuse Ataraxia, but also residency activities and facilitated sessions with community groups, including students from Allen University and Benedict College and seniors from the Columbia Housing Authority residential programs. We are excited to receive NEA support to assist us in our art making and our efforts to engage the Columbia, SC community,” co-director, Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis said in a statement.

Project Description

The original performance, which was workshopped at Columbia’s Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens in April of 2019, centered on the humanity of enslaved Africans in antebellum homes despite the oppressive bondage under which they lived. In 2021 Migratuse Ataraxia intentionally shifts, exploring the journey from spaces of enslavement to those of Black liberation and empowerment through a mobile performative intervention that moves from the antebellum Hampton-Preston site to the former home of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, South Carolina’s most notable civil and human rights activist. Participants will travel a route where they will encounter the artists’ responses to historic structures through large scale projections, sonic environments, and live performances that speak to Black futurity. By focusing the energy on this temporal and physical migration, WDD reclaims the representation of Black bodies and narratives, creating new visual, emotional, and intellectual entry points in an immersive, interactive setting. In addition, the spatial shift will allow the artists to redirect the focus from the interior architecture of an antebellum site to an expanded exterior magnification of the physical labor of Black bodies – centering these performative practices on a celebration of radical Black female space. For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Submitted material

Curator job posted by Columbia Museum of Art

The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) is seeking a collaborative curatorial leader with a strong academic background, a vision for embracing new cultural trends and technologies, and who understands and embraces programming for diverse audiences.

The curator will work with CMA staff and leadership to help define and implement fresh presentations of our permanent collection, and create exhibitions and programming that inform, engage, and expand our audiences to promote the CMA as a leading fine arts museum. The curator will share management of the curatorial department including, but not limited to, oversight of staff roles and responsibilities, the museum’s annual exhibition program and collection research, writing, presentations, acquisitions, patron relations, and networking. Executive Director Della Watkins leads the museum's commitment to be welcoming, community-centered, vibrant, and inspiring. In addition to these values, the CMA staff and board eagerly embrace diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion to contribute to an open environment for the communities we serve. The person selected to fill this curatorial position will have demonstrated the capacity to promote these attributes.

Scope of Work

  • Collaboratively conceptualize and research an exhibition and collection strategy that supports the museum’s vision, mission, and core values for discussion with the executive director, director of art and learning, and presentation to the board of trustees
  • Encourage and facilitate a culture of collaboration by serving as a Lead Manager across programmatic and supporting departments to ensure effective communication, efficiencies, and accountability
  • Co-Lead the annual planning of the exhibition schedule, including those exhibitions initiated by the CMA, traveling exhibitions, artist installations, private collections, and loans
  • Initiate and manage relations with assigned institutions, collectors, and/or businesses in developing exhibition loan contracts, check lists, and schedules.
  • In concert with a curatorial team of six team members, oversee coordination of exhibition installation design, layout, graphics and shipping/handling.
  • Show commitment to the positive development of curatorial team through leadership, management, and supervisory duties, including but not limited to, annual performance appraisals and professional development.
  • Review exhibition proposals and ideas for artistic merit, mission fit, budget and scheduling factors.
  • Actively solicit, cultivate, and steward relations with colleagues, donors, members, lenders, staff and guests.
  • Champion the museum as a welcoming place by serving as a positive museum representative through participation with programs, development, and publicity marketing and networking activities.
  • Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships with members of the broader arts community including artists, curators, educators, writers, journalists, collectors, and cultural institutions both nationally and internationally
  • Provide expertise and information for collections committee meetings, collections management policy and strategy, assigned grant applications, and general fundraising activities as requested.
  • In collaboration with Development staff, help identify potential donors, collectors, and sponsors for the collection and designated exhibitions.
  • Ensure proper dissemination of exhibition schedule, visual materials, content and text for exhibition promotion, and related information to CMA departments.
  • Responsible as assigned for coordination, development, and monitoring of the curatorial departmental annual budget.
  • Serve on curatorial and cross-departmental special project teams as assigned to foster collaboration and communication.

Requirements

  • MA in art history or related field, PhD preferred
  • 8+ years of increasingly applied curatorial experience
  • 5+ years of growth in management-level museum experience
  • Demonstrated excellence in conceiving and organizing successful exhibitions for new audiences
  • Demonstrated level of knowledge in the museum’s collecting areas including American, Asian, European and Contemporary art
  • Proven ability to foster and encourage innovation around new models for partnering (both internally and externally), and for exploring new creative relationships with artists central to the CMA mission
  • Demonstrated experience developing, communicating, and managing department projects, staff, budgets, and goals
  • Effectively navigate through the complexity of key issues, challenges, and opportunities to affect actions; guide staff to proactively build and align stakeholders, capabilities, and resources to achieve institutional objectives
  • Proactively model the importance of timely collegial interaction, personal accountability, maturity, professionalism, communication, and exchange across disciplinary boundaries
  • Demonstrated experience in donor cultivation and stewardship
  • Self-directed and motivated work with curatorial team to ensure care and conservation of works
  • Mastery of English language and the ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications that make an impact, persuade, and inform their intended audiences
  • Knowledge of research tools and methodologies
  • Monthly evening and weekend time and occasional travel
  • This position requires a criminal background check
  • A considerable amount of time sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs, and reaching
  • Experience handling objects and tools
  • The ability to lift up to 30 pounds

Contact

The Columbia Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion. Confidential inquiries, applications, and recommendations are welcome. Please email cover letter and resume to Mrs. Jeanna Dixon-McCray, at JDixon-McCray@columbiamuseum.org with “Curator” in the subject line. Salary range is commensurate with experience.

About the Museum

The CMA is the largest international art museum in the state of South Carolina, located a short distance to Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC. Columbia is the state capital and the second largest city in the state. In the heart of South Carolina at the convergence of three rivers, the area is home to thriving colleges and universities, award-winning hospital systems, and diverse and charming neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Several business and retail districts with outdoor cafés, coffee shops, art galleries, and shops present year-round opportunities for entertainment, socializing, and enjoying the outdoors. The city includes historic architecture of a bygone era while high-tech start-ups and artist venues make up Columbia’s diverse downtown areas. Established in 1950, the CMA is exceptional in its impact, attracting both national and state recognition, and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. The museum now welcomes more than 135,000 visitors annually—including more than 28,000 children—and acts as a catalyst for community creativity and serves as the cultural anchor of Columbia’s downtown district. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA recently underwent a renovation of the 1998 facility, including new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for art-making and cutting-edge program and event spaces. The newly renovated Boyd Plaza adjacent to the CMA provides an attractive outdoor art and gathering space downtown. The CMA is committed to the concept of an inclusive and participatory 21st century museum, where art is meant to be experienced, not just seen. The CMA is a collecting institution and maintains a collection numbering approximately 7,000 works of art. The CMA’s collecting emphasis is on American, Asian, European, and Contemporary art. The collection includes artists as aesthetically and stylistically varied as Sandro Botticelli, Renee Cox, Charles and Ray Eames, Sam Gilliam, Robert Henri, Claude Monet, Tintoretto, Pat Steir, and Andy Warhol. The governing Collections Committee has an eye to the future and embraces accessions of remarkable artworks that foster ideas through visual conversations. The CMA encompasses 124,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, studios, public spaces, and storage. The museum actively mounts approximately four special exhibitions per year, with a dynamic menu of related public and educational programs. The CMA operates with an approximately $4.5 million budget and a staff of 29 full-time and 27 part-time employees (including security and special event staff).

Jason Rapp

New residents introduced by Richland Library

Artist, entrepreneur selected for short-term residencies


With the New Year underway, Richland Library is thrilled to announce two new additions to the residency program: Tammaka Staley as the artist-in-residence (AiR) and Kevin Williams as the entrepreneur-in-residence (EiR).

[caption id="attachment_46248" align="aligncenter" width="584"]Headshots of Tammaka Staley (left) and Kevin Williams (right) Tammaka Staley (left) and Kevin Williams (right)[/caption] A native of Columbia, Staley runs a performance art and speaking brand called Talks with Tammaka, and she’s the founder and executive director of Youth Affirming Sex Education (YASÉ), LLC. She hosts writing workshops to teach youth and young adults how to construct poems and improve stage performance. Staley also facilitates dialogues in public and online spaces about various gender, racial and sexuality inequities. Founder of Cognizant Leadership, LLC and owner of Escapology Columbia, Williams combines visual learning tools, escape room experiences, and team retrospectives to help individuals and groups learn more about themselves and create lasting change. He has more than 25 years of business experience in a variety of technical and leadership positions both nationally and abroad. During their residencies, Staley and Williams plan to:
  • serve as liaisons to the artistic and entrepreneurial communities
  • work with our staff to offer online programs, which are free and open to the public
  • host online office hours or virtual appointments to interact with local residents and answer their questions
  • curate digital content to highlight and share their expertise
Williams’ residency extends through May 2021, and Staley’s residency continues through June 2021. The library’s residency program aims to connect the community directly with local working artists, entrepreneurs and writers. Learn more here: https://www.richlandlibrary.com/residents.

About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Submitted material

Richland Library looks for first 2021 Artist-in-Residence

Residency runs January through May

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, December 31, 2020

In an effort to showcase the talents of area artists and provide a direct connection to the local arts community, Richland Library is currently accepting applications for our next artist-in-residence.

The focus of this residency, which runs January-May 2021, is to address the needs of local professional and emerging artists who are impacted by racial, gender, and socio-economic inequities and biases. Responsibilities consist of:
  • serving as a liaison between the library and area artists
  • curating digital content, such as art-making tutorials and studio tours
  • working closely with our arts librarian to offer online programs, which are free and open to the public
  • hosting online office hours to share expertise with others and answer questions
The residency also includes an online gallery exhibit of the artist's work on the library's website as well as a monthly stipend. We encourage artists spanning all mediums (traditional/fine art; sculpture; performance; filmmaking; musical; etc.) to apply. The deadline is Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. Applications and additional information are available here: https://www.richlandlibrary.com/services/become-artist-residence Initially developed in September 2016, the concept behind Richland Library's artist-in-residence is to establish partnerships with local, working artists and to provide creative and educational opportunities to local residents in a way that supports cultural and artistic exchange. For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803.587.3637 or email estoll@richlandlibrary.com.
Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Jason Rapp

Midlands music school expands virtual services, offers scholarships

Freeway Music School serves Columbia area


In response to the pandemic, Columbia's Freeway Music launched new virtual and socially distanced technique lessons, showcases, recitals, studio time and music videos, along with new scholarships, positively impacting hundreds of students across the region.

A small business, Freeway Music is rooted in face-to-face interaction and in-person instruction. Once the COVID-19 pandemic limited its ability to open studio doors at its five Columbia locations, the music school brought instruction and opportunities into the homes of its students by incorporating virtual lessons, showcases and recitals in different formats. It has also introduced new technology in order to make lessons even more productive.
“Music is a vehicle for creativity, healing, emotional expression, and so much more,” says Don Russo, founder and chief operating officer of Freeway Music. “It offers hope and is vital during these isolating times. We are committed to showing our music family that they don’t need to physically be together to play together.”
Founded in 2011, Freeway Music offers student-centered music education that also benefits the broader community, making a positive impact through lessons for all skill levels and ages, as well as music therapy, theater, showcases, recitals, and partnerships with various charities, organizations and community events. Freeway Music has locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Northeast and within Sims Music. In addition to its virtual services, Freeway Music is now offering in-person, socially distanced lessons and free studio time as a new experience for its students, enabling them to take home their own recordings. The school is also using technology like Sound Slice, which allows students to see their music notated online, control tempo, and loop sections with which they may be struggling. This summer, Freeway Music students held outdoor, socially distanced concerts at Steel Hands Brewing and Market on Main in downtown Columbia, giving kids the opportunity to perform safely in public with adult supervision. “Our goal is to create opportunities for our students to continue to learn and showcase their work during this hectic time,” says Tony Lee, co-founder of Freeway Music. “Music and creative expression should be accessible to everyone, which is why we’re creating safe and innovative solutions to meet the needs of every family.”
As the pandemic began to alter lives for businesses and families alike, Freeway Music recognized a need within its own music community–families who no longer can afford lessons and instructors who have lost their jobs. As a result, Freeway Music created “Jam for the Fam,” a virtual concert benefiting those in need. Local musicians volunteered to perform, and the event provided 10 scholarships for students to continue lessons and benefitted four instructors who have recently experienced significant loss. “Freeway Music is so much more than a music school — they are our extended family,” says one scholarship recipient’s mother. “When COVID-19 hit and my family was down to one income, they stepped in to help my daughter continue her lessons with a special scholarship. With their help, my girls could continue doing what they love, making music.” Freeway Music believes that music transcends barriers of all kinds and unites people from all walks of life, and the school uses its resources to uplift and encourage the entire Columbia region and beyond. Its philanthropic support of local organizations and community outreach include the following:
  • Co-partnership of the Freeway Music Festival, which unites the music community and celebrates local and regional talent. The 2019 event raised money to help build a new greenhouse at City Roots Organic Farm.
  • Fundraising and performances for many local causes and charities including The Conner Foundation, Palmetto Children’s Hospital, Harvest Hope Food Bank, The Women’s Shelter, Pets Inc., Pawmetto Lifeline, Trustus Theatre, Girls Rock Columbia, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, among others.
  • Lesson donations and performances for local schools including Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, St. John Newman, Heathwood Hall, the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Blythewood  and Irmo high schools, St. Andrews Middle School and many more.
  • Volunteerism and support of local events including the Festival of Trees, Rooftop Rhythms, St. Pat's in Five Points Parade, Palmetto Christmas, the MG&C Long Run, the Heart and Sole Run, Get in the Pink Race, Vista Lights, First Thursdays on Main, and more.
  • Music scholarships including the Friends Grant in partnership with The Christopher Conner Foundation to help students that can’t afford music lessons, and the Davis Cripe Scholarship, which was created in loving memory of Freeway Music Irmo/Ballentine drum student Davis Cripe.

About Freeway Music

Founded in 2011, Freeway Music is the Columbia region’s premier music school with five locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, the Northeast, and within Sims Music. Freeway Music offers private lessons for all skill levels, styles, and ages on a wide range of instruments including piano, voice, ukulele, drums, bass, strings, woodwinds, horns, mandolin, banjo, and more. Freeway Music’s mission is to equip students in music and life to make a positive impact in their community. Freeway Music is the exclusive music school partner of Sims Music, a locally owned and nationally recognized music store. For more information visit www.freewaymusic.net or call 844.537.7661.
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Val Dunn named 2020 winner of the Trustus Playwrights’ Festival

Get a preview with online reading event this month


Trustus Theatre has named Down in the Holler by Val Dunn the winner of the 2020 Trustus Playwrights’ Festival, an annual national new works competition that was founded by the theatre in 1988.

Trustus TheatreThe theatre will present a free, online reading reading of the winning script on its website Saturday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. Here is a synopsis:

As the play begins, audiences are transported to a holler in the Shenandoah Valley. Juniper prepares to spend a perfect life in a perfect cabin with her perfect partner, Blake. That is, until Maeve appears in the doorway. Telling tall tales and crooning high lonesomes, Maeve beguiles Juniper's return to Gin—a past self who once lived and loved in this here house. As Juniper attempts to exorcise her pursuit of passion and maintain the stable life she's created with Blake, Down in the Holler witnesses a collision of class and queerness, ultimately asking how we reconcile who we were and who we thought we would become.

Trustus Theatre received more than 800 submissions to the 2020 Trustus Playwrights’ Festival. The Festival Selection Committee, comprised of Trustus company members, selected Dunn’s work. The winning script is traditionally produced as a part of Trustus’ Main Stage subscriber season the year after it is named the winner, however Trustus leadership expects this script to be staged in Summer 2022 because of the pandemic. After the reading event on Sept. 26, the show’s production team, including director Dewey Scott-Wiley, will work with the playwright over the next two years to finalize the script for production.
Val Dunn is a writer/deviser who creates plays, performance art, and rituals. Her work possesses a strong sense of place and tackles issues of feminism and queerness while pushing against the limitations of form. She is a member playwright of Azuka’s New Pages, Writers on the Rocks, and an alumna of the Foundry @ PlayPenn. She has received developmental support from the Orchard Project (Core Company), Signal Fire, Centrum, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and SANDBOX. Val holds a bachelor's with honors in drama and English from Washington College where she received the Stewart Award for Drama, The Mary Martin Prize, The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize, The William W. Warner Prize for Writing on the Environment, The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize, and was a finalist for the Sophie Kerr prize in Literature. Val has also created zines about depression, the border crisis, and late-stage capitalism.
Directed by Trustus Company Member Dewey Scott-Wiley, Down in the Holler will feature the acting talents of Christine Hellman (Juniper), Susan Swavely (Gin), Katie Leitner (Maeve), and Tashera Pravato (Blake). Virtual scenic and lighting design will be created by Trustus staff members Curtis Smoak and Sam Hetler, editing will be done by staff member Abigail McNeely, and Producing Artistic Director Chad Henderson will be composing the additional media used to provide contextual imagery. This reading event will also feature music by Columbia folk bands The Prairie Willows and Post-Timey String Band. “We’re getting very energized about creating virtual events,” said Producing Artistic Director Chad Henderson. “This reading of Down in the Holler will allow us to share Val’s script with our fans and followers—a show we deeply believe in and look forward to producing. This event also gives us a chance to play and stir our creative impulses. Director Dewey Scott-Wiley has embraced this new format for theatrical experience, and with the addition of virtual backgrounds, sound design, music, and film—I think this reading is going to offer much more than one would expect.”

Jason Rapp

Koger Center announces 1593 Project winner

Visual artist takes inaugural award


The Koger Center for the Arts is proud to announce that artist Kimberly Case has been selected winner of the 1593 Project – A Call for Art from the Koger Center for the Arts.

An exhibition which will focus on Kimberly Case’s work and include submissions from other artists swill be held in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center for the Arts at a later date.

The 1593 Project

In the year 1593, bubonic plague swept through London, killing almost a third of the population. At that time when deaths exceeded thirty per week, London authorities closed the theaters. As acting companies fell on hard times, Shakespeare took the forced closures as a time to create, and in the year 1593 began to compose the first of what would be a brilliant collection of 154 sonnets.

With the world facing a pandemic which has disrupted normal life and shuttered performing and visual art venues, the Koger Center for the Arts, in an effort to support creative artists during this time, launched the 1593 Project – A call for Arts from the Koger Center for the Arts. More than 50 submissions were received from both performing and visual artists throughout  South Carolina and a panel of judges that represented visual and performing arts selected the winner, Kimberly Case.

Kimberly Case will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space and technical support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center for the Arts.

Ed. note: Images of Case's work were not immediately available to The Hub.

UPDATE: The winning artwork is below. (Aug. 3, 2020; 11:14 ET)


Kimberly Case

Kimberly Case photoKimberly Case is an award-winning visual artist, focusing on fine art portrait photography. Incorporating sometimes fantastical themes, wardrobe and props, her photographs are often mistaken at first for paintings, due to their tones and aura. Hallmarks of her work are richness and whimsy. “For me, storytelling is key; it’s what makes the art relevant. I seek to transport the viewer to another place and time.”

Artist’s Statement – In the Time of COVID

"In the Time of COVID is a real-time journey through the pandemic of COVID-19, through the lens of a self-portrait artist.

I wanted to have a record, something I could look back on, that would remind me of the unfolding events as well as how I was feeling on particular days. I also needed something to help keep me busy and in tune with my art and with myself.

[caption id="attachment_45106" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Kimberly Case's winning artwork The winning artwork.[/caption]

At the beginning, I had no idea I would be working on this project for several months… The first image was taken April 3; the final image was shot July 15.

The entire series is over 40 photographic self-portraits and still life works focusing on aspects of life during the pandemic such as isolation, altering of routines, search for information, tangible boredom, signals of hope, desire for normalcy.

Some images are extremely personal, such as the ones that deal with a family member’s cancer diagnosis. Many of the images address shared experiences, seemingly spanning the globe."

Submitted material

Apply to become Richland Library’s Artist-in-Residence this fall

Application deadline: Tuesday, September 1, 2020


In an effort to provide continued support to local artists and share their talents with the community, Richland Library is accepting applications for our next artist-in-residence in fall 2020, starting Saturday, August 1.

The focus on this particular residency, which runs from Sept. 20-Dec. 18, 2020, is for the artist-in-residence to serve as a liaison to the local arts community and help the library assess the needs of other artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responsibilities consist of:
  • curating digital content, such as art-making tutorials and studio tours
  • working closely with our arts librarian to offer online programs, which are free and open to the public
  • hosting online office hours to share their expertise with others and answer questions
The residency also includes an online gallery exhibit of the artist's work on the library's website as well as a monthly stipend. We encourage artists spanning all mediums (traditional/fine art; performance; filmmaking; musical; etc.) to apply. The deadline is Tuesday, September 1. Applications and additional information are available at www.richlandlibrary.com/services/become-artist-residence. Initially developed in September 2016, the concept behind Richland Library's artist-in-residence is to connect the community with local, working artists and to provide creative and educational opportunities to local residents in a way that supports cultural and artistic exchange. For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803.587.3637 or email estoll@richlandlibrary.com.
Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Susan DuPlessis

Rural arts and culture initiative expands to 15 counties

Addressing local issues with S.C. Arts Commission program

[caption id="attachment_45057" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mavens join heads and hands to celebrate their local communities and discuss shared challenges in a January meeting in Eastover, South Carolina, hosted by Michael Dantzler. Shown l to r, mavens and their corresponding counties: Brooke Bauer, Catawba Indian Nation/York; Marquerite Palmer, Newberry; Lottie Lewis, Allendale; Betty McDaniel, Pickens; Victoria Smalls, Beaufort; Evelyn Coker, Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams, Hampton; Libby Sweatt-Lambert, Chester; Luis Rodriguez (seated), Marion; Johnny Davis, Jasper; Michael Dantzler, Richland; and Matt Mardell, Colleton. Photo credit: Sherard Duvall, OTR Media.[/caption]
For Immediate Release

Across South Carolina, an initiative called The Art of Community: Rural SC has taken root, creating new networks, community engagement, partnerships and energy to change minds and build communities together.

The initiative, a program of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), poses a central question: “How can we use arts and culture as strategic tools to address local challenges we face?” “It’s growing, and it’s always a learning opportunity,” said Matt Mardell, executive director of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mardell is one of the ‘mavens’ for The Art of Community; Rural SC. He said that, as part of this network of rural leaders and their teams, he is “hearing others’ creative solutions to issues we all face.” He and his predecessor, Gary Brightwell, have participated in the initiative with five other mavens from throughout a six-county Lowcountry region since it was conceived in 2015 and launched in 2016. Mavens in other counties include: Lottie Lewis of Allendale; Dr. Yvette McDaniel representing Bamberg; Evelyn Coker of Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Hampton; and Johnny Davis representing Jasper County. The growth Mardell references is an expansion of the initiative in 2019 that includes a broader swath of rural South Carolina. Nine additional mavens represent their communities from the mountains to the sea and myriad cultures in between. They include the following community leaders and their corresponding counties: Kayla Hyatt-Hostetler of Aiken; Victoria Smalls of Beaufort; Lydia Cotton of Berkeley; Libby Sweatt-Lambert representing Chester; Luis Rodriguez representing Marion; Marquerite Palmer of Newberry; Betty McDaniel of Pickens; Michael Dantzler of Richland; and Dr. Brooke Bauer with co-maven Laney Buckley of The Catawba Indian Nation in York County. How does the initiative work? “It’s a framework built with four critical components:  mavens, local teams, partners and advisors coupled with a state arts agency willing to invest in rural and tribal communities in a new way,” said Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis of the arts commission. All 15 teams, created and led by the mavens, gather locally and as a statewide network to get to know each other better, to listen, and to consider their local assets and challenges—ultimately, to learn together. "Mavens are 'the bridges' who make this initiative work," DuPlessis said. "Knowing that I have a community beyond my community has bolstered me in my local work," said maven Lottie Lewis of Allendale. As part of this initiative, Lewis led members of her local team on a fact-finding field trip to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, in 2019. They went to explore how another small, rural town had spurred connection and growth using arts and culture. They then planned to integrate some of that learning into their local project. “We learned so much from our new friends in Tamaqua,” Lewis said. “We were inspired by how they engaged their local community to share their ideas about where they live.” Allendale’s local project plan, though, along with the plans of the other 14 sites in this initiative, took an unexpected turn beginning in the spring of 2020. “We all had to shift in how we were engaging with one another and ask what our roles are in this moment of quarantine and separation,” according to DuPlessis who said many of the participating teams shifted their focuses to react to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting social justice issues. Since March 20, the arts commission has convened mavens in weekly meetings to continue the practice of sharing, listening and learning together. "That's what's been so important to me and other mavens who I now count as dear friends," Lewis said. She also notes the spirit of the initiative which, built on trust and relationships, has allowed for flexibility with grant-funded local projects in this “uncertain time.” Each of The Art of Community: Rural SC teams received a $7,500 grant award in FY20 to engage and build community in ways that use arts and culture strategically. “Project plans in January 2020 didn’t look the same three months later in March,” DuPlessis said. Some communities planning festivals and other gatherings have had to postpone those for now. In a number of cases, mavens and their teams retrofitted their projects to respond to the current context and include the following examples:
  • In Aiken, in addition to getting helpful information out about the pandemic, the local project also incorporated the NextGen fight for equality, justice and respect for all people through the creation of a ‘peaceful protest’ linking them with other students around the country;
  • In Allendale, the local project’s focus became community engagement through a celebration of frontline pandemic workers as ‘hometown heroes;’
  • In Bamberg County, the local team developed a 'Little People's Learning Page' to accompany the local newspaper and address learning in a fun, creative way for students who are isolated from one another;
  • In Barnwell County, the Town of Blackville team developed a new dance called ‘The Wagon Wheel’ to engage its residents on social media in a healthy activity during a time of isolation;
  • In Beaufort County, a collective of Gullah Geechee artists used their voices and talents for public service announcements that address safety protocols for the pandemic;
  • In Berkeley County, a Spanish-language video was created to remind its community of best practices for reducing infection rates; and
  • In Chester County, the town of Fort Lawn team partnered with local businesses and state parks to showcase artists' and entrepreneurs' work to help generate income during this time of economic distress.
[caption id="attachment_45056" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by maven Lottie Lewis,  celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.[/caption] Other participating communities in the initiative bolstered their local project planning by addressing infrastructure and equipment needs as they anticipate future community gatherings, festivals and local engagement as part of their community building strategies. For instance, in Walterboro where the WHAM Festival, originally set for March 27-29, was cancelled, Matt Mardell re-examined the needs for this inaugural event by purchasing displays for exhibits and creating a website for the festival--WHAMfestival.org. The festival is now tentatively set for Oct. 23-25, 2020. Set within the framework of “arts plus economic development,” Mardell said, “I know when the festival does happen, we will be ready and even better prepared for it.” In addition to implementing local projects, all participants are invited to join additional activities and programs to build their own toolkits for considering the importance of ‘place’ in South Carolina and in their personal lives. They include a community writing workshop series; a field school offering instruction in documentary skills; and asset mapping workshops. These offerings are all coordinated by the arts commission’s Folklife & Traditional Arts Program. In addition to these activities, a rural networking program called CREATE: Rural SC engages rural creative professionals who serve as conduits between the mavens, the local creative economies and the arts commission. "These new networks and learning opportunities are bridging gaps and connecting us in ways we need to be connected in rural communities and across the state," Hampton County Maven Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Estill said. All 15 communities, along with the arts commission, partners and advisors constitute a ‘learning community’ that spans the state and the nation. Its story has been shared in national and state conferences from South Carolina to Iowa and Colorado; and from Detroit to Washington, D.C. using the voices and stories of mavens, advisors and emerging creative leaders. Also, with more than 25 partners in its national Advisory Council, this learning community has access to a wide range of sectors, insights, geographies and resources for community building using arts and culture. Co-chairs for the advisory council are Pam Breaux, president and CEO for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), headquartered in Washington; and Bob Reeder, program director for Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), headquartered in New York City. Looking at the value of community engagement in rural America, Co-Chair Pam Breaux cites The Art of Community: Rural SC as an exemplar for state arts agencies across the country. "This work has become a leading example of ingenuity in funding, partnership and framework creation for state arts agencies across the country," she said. Art of Community: Rural SC Director Susan DuPlessis was invited to share the initiative at a National Press Club briefing in Washington in January 2018; Mardell of Colleton County joined her as the local voice and example of growth and development through arts and culture as demonstrated through the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen. More than 25,000 'views' resulted on social media from that presentation. The South Carolina initiative was also included within a rural action guide on developing prosperity, produced by the National Governors Association, the National Endowment for the Arts and NASAA. “This initiative is about re-imagining 'place' in terms of assets, not deficits,” said Co-Chair Bob Reeder whose professional work in the field of community development crosses the nation. “We're building on the strengths of local communities and the power of a network that connects to state and national resources,” he said. “Ultimately, this work is about changing minds.” Concurring with Reeder, Advisor Dixie Goswami of Clemson, South Carolina noted that the initiative makes visible local people, including young people, as "assets with wisdom and knowledge, not as deficient and needing outside help." Goswami is director of the Write to Change Foundation and director emerita of Middlebury Bread Loaf NextGen Network. "We're a state rich in creativity and ingenuity—and this initiative showcases some of that in our smallest communities" said SCAC Executive Director David Platts. "We are grateful to USDA-Rural Development for first believing in and funding this initiative in 2015. We've built a case for creative placemaking—the strategic use of arts and culture to address community issues—and this platform is being showcased nationally. The arts commission has also garnered more support for this approach from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation as well as funding from the South Carolina General Assembly. The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative is part of the Community Arts Development program of the arts commission and is one of three program areas that also include artist services and arts education. “Through this program, we continue to strive to meet our mission-‘to develop a thriving arts environment’ for the people and places in our South Carolina,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Dee Crawford of Aiken, South Carolina. “The arts are invaluable to our communities, both big and small. They are tools for growth, development and social cohesion in each and every county in our state.” Crawford also serves on the Advisory Council for Art of Community: Rural SC. The South Carolina Arts Commission is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and collaborates in its work with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and South Arts. It received funding from USDA-Rural Development to launch this program in 2015; and additional USDA-RD funding from 2017 to 2019. It also has received support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation for this initiative since 2018. More information about The Art of Community: Rural SC can be found at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/community-development/programs/art-of-community-rural-sc/, including a recently produced film called Meet the Mavens and a brochure featuring all mavens representing 14 South Carolina counties and the Catawba Indian Nation in York County.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission 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, the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.