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Jason Rapp

S.C. Governor’s School for Arts recognized for arts ed research

Link uncovered between drama curriculum and reading success


The Arts Schools Network Board of Directors has awarded the Research Initiative-Institution Award to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

The award honors an organization for its commitment to ongoing research and the dissemination of knowledge in research in arts education. The Governor's School's research initiative, implemented by the Office of Outreach in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, examines the potential impact that drama curriculum has on reading motivation and success for young children. Melissa Brookes, managing director for ASN, said, “Each year the Arts Schools Network board of directors take great pride in honoring and recognizing schools and individuals for their extraordinary efforts and impact throughout arts education. This year, we are thrilled to recognize the Governor’s School as the winner of our Research Initiative Award.” In the Spark! outreach program that this research is based on, at-risk third-grade readers attending the state mandated Read-To-Succeed summer program are exposed to drama principles in addition to their reading requirements. Now in its third year, Spark! participants are showing increased gains in creativity measures like fluency and originality, along with critical reading measures required by MAP testing, when compared to similar students not exposed to the drama component. “While we are only three years into this five-year initiative, the combination of creativity gains and reading gains together are what draws us further into this research, and we’re very excited to see these promising trends,” said Carol Baker, outreach director at the Governor’s School. “We’re grateful for this acknowledgement from the Arts Schools Network and for the ongoing support and participation of our partners, the South Carolina Arts Commission, who is funding this project, and the USC Department of Theatre and Dance, who is compiling and analyzing the data.”

About the Research

Dr. Peter Duffy, who heads the Master of Arts in Teaching program in theatre education at the University of South Carolina is leading this research which combines the qualitative measures of theatre making and creativity with quantitative methods of reading and motivation. “This research matters because it examines how story, motivation, and embodied learning through drama can impact a child’s desire to read, and how this component can affect the way young readers interact with their reading materials,” said Duffy. “We are studying how more creative teaching methods can motivate readers to really know the story inside and out. “Our research suggests that students who engage in the drama work make small but important improvements in their overall reading scores. Gathering five years of data will help us see whether these trends hold overtime, giving us a stronger impression of the real impact these programs can make.” The Spark! program was initiated at Kenneth Gardner Elementary in Williamsburg County School District, and thanks to two years of early positive findings, received increased funding to expand to Hardeeville Elementary in Jasper County School District. Both districts serve high poverty, rural, under-resourced populations and neither has a certified drama teacher at any level. Each school offers a multi-week summer remedial reading camp for rising fourth-grade students at risk of retention due to low test scores. The summer camp is part of the Read-to-Succeed program and is the last possible opportunity for these young students to increase their scores enough to move on to the next grade. How this research impacts arts education funding priorities “The Spark! outreach program’s research into the relationship between drama and reading in young, at-risk readers, provides compelling evidence of the correlation between creativity and reading retention,” said David Platts, executive director of the SCAC. “Working with Dr. Duffy and his team at the University of South Carolina and the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities has demonstrated how these types of programs, while specifically designed to help students, also provide vital information for agencies such as ours as we analyze and prioritize our programming decisions. Good decisions and responsible stewardship of public funds are possible only with the availability of solid and meaningful research and data.” Getting students back on track “Ultimately, this is about improving reading skills and reading motivation of young students in South Carolina,” said Dr. Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “We know that early reading comprehension is the key to success, and in this day and time, when we’re seeing reading regression in elementary school students due to pandemic-imposed virtual learning, we hope that programs like Spark! will be part of the solution to getting these students back on track.” “At the Governor’s School, we see first-hand how incorporating the arts into education can help improve student engagement, academic success, motivation, and hope for the future,” continued Adderley. “Now our challenge, as an arts resource and research center for teachers and students throughout the state, is to expand these proven programs to impact more students in need.”

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

About the Arts Schools Network

Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, provides arts school leaders, innovative partners and members of arts education institutions with quality resources, support and networking opportunities. Visit www.artsschoolsnetwork.org to learn more.
Image by Amberrose Nelson from Pixabay

Submitted material

McCormick school a beneficiary of new murals

MACK program completes three new murals at elementary school

[caption id="attachment_45821" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Artist Darion Johnson sits for an interview in front of his mural Artist Darion Johnson sits for an interview in front of his mural “Science Discovery: Oceans” at McCormick Elementary School.[/caption]

There are now three new murals on the McCormick Elementary School campus that provide engagement for specific educational goals: science, inquiry, and innovation.

These murals, painted by South Carolina artist Damion Johnson, are made possible through the McCormick Art Council (MACK) program "Painting a Brighter Future," a public art program designed to engage our community members, students, and visitors. We are able to combine the intentions of this public art program and help our schools deliver a series of engaging, rich, and vibrant paintings designed to make the student feel immersed in the learning environment. Each mural at McCormick Elementary School adheres to the curriculum standards and pacing guides for lesson plans and utilizes the arts as an important learning partner in providing a quality educational experience to our students.

BONUS CONTENT: Artist Darion Johnson discusses Science Discovery: Oceans on YouTube

This project was made possible through an Arts in Education grant provided through the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also an extension of the school district's participation in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project mission to provide students with quality art education and advance our student's educational experience by providing access to the arts for daily learning experiences. Most importantly, our students and teachers have celebrated the project and are actively enjoying and creating moments of learning engagement. The sheer scope and presence of the learning murals has transformed our school hallways with a quality project that excites, engages, and celebrates art in education. The images are truly spectacular. Our greatest accomplishment is to deliver these high-quality discovery walls for our students to enjoy. The look of awe and amazement on our littlest community members was worth every challenge this school year. We also are very encouraged by the continued greater commitment and value that art has to offer non-art curriculum. We believe these projects have accomplished achieving support and recognition for the value art has in enhancing our student's educational experiences. MACK extends its thanks to everyone involved.

Meet the Artist: Damion Johnson

“Art is the one thing that makes you enjoy the world. Art is far more important, far more than just being important to the world, it is the world. It is the world.” - Damion Johnson

Damion Johnson, a talented artist and native South Carolinian, is the featured artist for this series of educational murals. He is a regional artist, educator, and entrepreneur. His work was featured at the McCormick Arts Council (MACK) in October 2014 and again in September 2016. He is the visual arts teacher at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School and was notably selected to represent his school as Teacher of the Year for 2018/2019. He is a professional artist and small business owner who represents the Orangeburg community. Johnson’s artistic journey formally began under the watchful eye of his middle and high school art instructor and uncle John Scott, who planted the seed for developing his artistic trade. Damion continued his studies and earned his bachelor's in professional art from Claflin University and now teaches and operates a successful art studio, as well as a barbershop, to serve his community. His current work honors a process Damion uniquely coins as the ‘capturing what is felt" ideal. His artistic work transforms song lyrics, phrases, and emotions into visual statements. Damion’s art features collage-style compositions where figures often exist on different planes in very involved ways and defines the character of his unique painting style.

Jason Rapp

Bullying prevention materials available to S.C. schools

Free S.C. Children’s Theatre programming  offered to elementary, middle schools


October is PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month. This month-long event was founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, in an effort to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

For the past 12 years, South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) has delivered in-person bullying prevention programming during the month of October to Upstate South Carolina schools. The theatre-based program directly addresses the experiences of youth in their day-to-day lives, through age-appropriate terminology and visuals. For third grade students, SCCT traditionally tours a live production of The Boy Who Cried Bully, offering factual information in an engaging format that is thought-provoking and stimulates post-show open discussions. This production sets the course for the continuation of bullying-prevention efforts in the sixth grade, with SCCT’s facilitated bullying prevention workshop. In light of limitations placed on SCCT by COVID-19, the organization is offering a virtual version of their bullying prevention programming to all South Carolina elementary and middle schools in 2020. All content for both programs will be available for October and November, expiring on Nov. 21. All video links can be viewed as many times as needed, during these times, to meet varying school schedules. Educators can access the virtual content by simply clicking the appropriate link below: This offering has been generously underwritten by grant support from South Carolina Arts Commission and by the Amick Family in honor of Suzanne Amick. Special thanks to Tom Quinn for kindly allowing distribution of his work. To learn more about this programming, please visit our website at www.scchildrenstheatre.org. Direct questions to SCCT Tour Manager and School Liaison Lauren Imhoff (864.235.2885, ext. 107 or lauren@scchildrenstheatre.org).
Photo by CDC from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Artists U presents next ‘SHIFT’ session this week

Meet two artists; add to your toolkit

shift key on a laptop keyboard

Artists U/South Carolina is again offering SHIFT, monthly artist talks and conversations about sustaining through and beyond the pandemic.

On the first Wednesday of each month:

  • two artists will do short presentations about their work and process.
  • we’ll share specific Artists U tools and conversations for building sustainability.

Let’s not do this alone. Artists build amazing community, but our networks are often limited. We want to introduce you to two artists making powerful work, and we want to share real talk and real tools for sustaining through uncertainty. SHIFT/SC: First Wednesday of the month, 12-1 p.m.: 2020: Oct. 7 | Nov. 4 | Dec. 2 2021: Jan. 6 | Feb. 3 | March 3 | April 7 | May 5 | June 2

  • Do I have to attend every month? No. Register and come whenever you like.
  • Will you record the sessions in case I can’t be there? Yup.
  • How much does it cost? SHIFT is free, thanks to S.C. Arts Commission grant funding
Click here to get registered now!

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: Oct. 2

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

Friday

Totally Telemann | Columbia Baroque Soloists On Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. ET, Columbia Baroque Soloists presents its first online concert. The free program will begin with a 15-minute talk by Peter Hoyt followed by about 35 minutes of music. featuring five solo Fantasias performed by Gail Ann Schroeder, viola da gamba; Mary Hostetler Hoyt, baroque violin; Erika Cutler, baroque violin; and Jean Hein, baroque recorder. The concert is part of their series, "Music for the Comforts of Home." The concert will be streamed on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/ColumbiaBaroque. The S.C. Arts Commission provides operating support to Columbia Baroque Soloists.

Submitted material

Award-winning S.C. poet to lead workshops in Georgetown Co.

Award-winning poet Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul, will lead a series of poetry writing workshops this October and November in her native Georgetown County.

[caption id="attachment_45489" align="alignright" width="251"]Close up facial image of Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul Marlanda Dekine, Sapient Soul[/caption] The workshops are scheduled for Wednesdays in October and November 2020 from 10-11:30 a.m. for the Georgetown County Library System (GCLS). Due to COVID-19, all sessions will be conducted online with the video-conferencing program, BlueJeans. The program is free and open to the public. However, space in the workshop is limited in order to give proper attention to all participants. To register, please contact, Dr. Dan Turner at 843.545.3363 or dturner@gtcounty.org. If you’re interested, don’t let technology stand in your way. GCLS has laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots available for patrons to check out.
The overall theme for the sessions is “Writing Wherever You Are” and offers a unique approach to writing poetry, one that can be of equal value for beginning and experienced poets. Dekine will bring in a selection of poems by accomplished and emerging South Carolina poets and then guide participants through key elements of these works. She will then discuss ways participants can incorporate these techniques into their own writing. Each individual session of the overall “Writing Wherever You Are” series has a distinct focus to provide participants with a diverse range of approaches and tools for creating poems. Individual session topics are listed below:
  • October 7: “The Blank Page”: Techniques to start writing
  • October 14: “Healing through Writing”: Cathartic approaches to generating individuality
  • October 21: “Voice & Tone”: Immersion in literature to speak truthfully and well
  • October 28: “Sound & Noise”: Consideration of the musicality of words
  • November 4: “Before We Wrote, We Spoke”: Vocal ways to recall oral traditions
The workshop series is funded by a Fast-Track Literary Grant from SC Humanities and the SCAC. The sessions are supported by the Friends of the Library groups at each of the four GCLS libraries: Georgetown, Waccamaw, Andrews, and Carvers Bay.
Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul is a poet and author from Plantersville. Her work has appeared in Emergence Magazine, Screen Door Review, Flycatcher Journal, Spark & Echo Arts, TEDxGreenville, and elsewhere. Previously, Marlanda studied in Paris with NYU’s Low-Residency MFA program and was a 2019 Fresh Voice of the Year, awarded by SC Humanities. Currently, she is an MFA candidate at Converse College. Marlanda believes in the power of being with poetry for collective healing and liberation.

Jason Rapp

SCAC program helps lead to debut album

Colleton singer goes country

[caption id="attachment_45014" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Promo photo of singer Jason Lee Cook standing in a field of high grass Jason Lee Cook, Colleton County artist.[/caption]
From Walterboro Live/Cindy Crosby:

"Local Jason Lee Cook will debut his country music album, “My Kind of Country,” Friday July 18 at 7 p.m. during an online CD release party.

A press release from Southern Roots Management of Nashville said Cook’s album will soon be available for purchase on all major distribution outlets including, Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, along with over a hundred major retailers, as well as at the recommended site, www.jasonleecook.com.

The release said, “This is Jason’s debut country music album, with the first two releases “Country To The Bone” and “The Song” already rising on independent country music charts. Jason’s debut single “Country to the Bone” has been named one of the finalists for Best Traditional Country Song at the Word Songwriting Awards. Jason is a member of BMI of Nashville, where he is a singer/songwriter, ISSA, International singer-songwriters Association, and the North Carolina singer/songwriters Association."

...

"According to Cook, he was connected through a mutual friend to BMI of Nashville. “It was there I was able to start a songwriting relationship,” said Cook. “My next step was someone to help with the recording process which led me to Southern Roots Management, with some extra help from the South Carolina Arts Commission. We recorded the album in December and January.”


Cook has been involved in the South Carolina Arts Commission program Art of Community: Rural SC for some time as a young creative in one of the six counties where the program first began. It now reaches rural communities in 15 South Carolina counties. Read Cindy Crosby's full story from Walterboro Live here.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-vents: McKissick Museum ‘Quarantunes’ adds performances

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

TONIGHT: Ron & Natalie Daise

Quarantunes, the popular virtual music series from the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is adding several new performances in the last two weeks of June. Fans of the Facebook Live series will be thrilled to see additional performances by Queen Quet, Sol Sabor and the J’s Family, The Edisto River Singers, and Charlton Singleton. The entire list of performances include:
  • Friday, June 19thRon & Natalie Daise
  • Saturday, June 20thQueen Quet
  • Thursday, June 25thSol Sabor and the J’s Family
  • Friday, June 26thSeitu Solomon
  • Saturday, June 27thThe Edisto River Singers
  • Sunday, June 28thCharlton Singleton
Tune into Facebook Live to hear these sounds of the south from the comfort of your own home. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. EDT and will be posted on McKissick Museum’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of each individual Facebook event. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to the McKissick Museum YouTube page. This celebration of the south’s traditional artists will mark the end of the Quarantunes series, which has been going strong since April. Quarantunes is made possible with generous support from the South Carolina Arts Commission.
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

Jason Rapp

Marketing arts orgs through, beyond COVID

Best practices webinars start next week


Along the lines of its concurrent webinar series on organizational fiscal sustainability, the South Carolina Arts Alliance has another lined up to benefit groups it serves.

In partnership with Greenville marketing and web firm Engenius, yesterday they announced another free webinar series for arts organizations focused on marketing best practices as arts organizations move through and beyond the pandemic. The webinars are useful for arts organizations of all sizes, but the SCAA says on its website that small to medium organizations might find the most benefit. Details and registration links are below for each webinar. Like the financial webinar series, the marketing series is free thanks to funding from S.C. Arts Alliance partners the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and S.C. Arts Commission.

Session topics and dates

  1. Marketing When Closed: How to Keep Attendees Engaged
    • Thursday, May 14
    • 2 p.m.
  2. Communicating Once You’re Open: How to Speak to Different Audience Groups
    • Thursday, May 21
    • 2 p.m.
Details on these topics and registration are available by clicking here.

David Platts

Announcing SCAC Arts Emergency Relief grants

Applications open, April 29

Application deadline: Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET


This is a critical update with vital information on assisting South Carolina arts and culture organizations and individual artists during, and as we emerge from, this time of crisis. First, I am happy to announce that as a result of tireless work by our team, South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Emergency Relief grants for organizations and individual artists will launch next week. The guidelines are available for review on our website now. Simply click here to access them. The application to apply for the Arts Emergency Relief grant will be open from Wednesday, April 29 through Friday, May 15. There will be a single user-friendly application which will ask which of the three eligible categories applies to you:
  • Arts organizations who ARE current (FY20) operating support grantees (General Operating Support, Operating Support for Small Organizations, and Statewide Operating Support)
  • Arts organizations who are NOT current (FY20) operating support grantees
  • Individual artists
Funding for organizations will be determined by their budget size. Individual artists are eligible to receive up to $1,000. I would like to express thanks to the South Carolina Arts Foundation and the donors to its South Carolina Artist Relief Fund campaign, which is helping to support the grants to artists. The recently-passed CARES Act provides funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and supports aid to arts and culture organizations nationwide. This relief may support salaries and administrative costs to the nonprofit arts sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes salary/fringe, rent/mortgage, and other operating expenses, but you may not duplicate emergency funds (for example, if you have received other emergency funds to cover rent, you may not also use this grant to cover rent). Again, I invite you to review the guidelines for our new Arts Emergency Relief grants here.
Second, the result of work with our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is a free webinar series for South Carolina arts and culture organizations focused on financial best practices for moving beyond COVID-19. Thanks to our funding partners, leading nonprofit financial consulting firm FMA Consultants will lead these webinars beginning next week. Each 90-minute webinar will be hosted twice, with space limited to allow for manageable groups and Q&A. Session topics and dates:
  1. Understanding Financial Heath & Planning Ahead in a Time of Uncertainty Wednesday, April 29 (2:30 p.m.) OR Tuesday, May 5 (2 p.m.)
  2. Scenario Building & Contingency Planning Tuesday, May 12 (1 p.m.) OR Friday, May 15 (1 p.m.)
Learn more and register for these wonderful opportunities on the South Carolina Arts Alliance website by clicking here.
Today’s update marks significant progress toward helping practitioners of arts and culture find themselves as strong as possible when we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. We at the S.C. Arts Commission have been strongly encouraged by your determination and innovation in finding ways to share through technology.  As always, we stand ready to assist you as we can.