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Tuning Up: A bravura performance by Charleston youth musicians

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Start your day off inspired.

March 3 in the Sottile Theatre, the award-winning Charleston County School of the Arts Sinfonietta performed with virtuoso violinist Francisco Fullana in a program of music by Holst, Shostakovich, Montgomery, and Fritz Kreisler. The performance culminated Fullana's week-long residency with the SOA Sinfonietta, a part of Chamber Music Charleston’s Youth Chamber Music Initiative. Oh, and it was funded in part by a South Carolina Arts Commission Term Arts Education Project grant. That grant category is currently open, closing March 28, to fund like projects. (Hint, hint.) Here's a sample of the finished product, because you simply must watch:
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Jason Rapp

Orangeburg FAC hosts rural creatives exhibition

Creative Connectors: The Rural Experience

  • Wednesday March 8-April 21, 2023

Visual artists, who reside and work in places where fields and trees outnumber roads and street signs, create works that are uninfluenced by trends or movements. And, they may not have much in common with other rural creators. What they often do share is an artistic expression evolved from contemplation and observations that imagination in solitude can produce. Imagination in solitude is what the six artists whose works make up Creative Connectors: The Rural Experience have in common. Even though their styles, media and themes are vastly different, the connectors are their rural expressions. The excitement and delight these juxtaposed pieces bring to this exhibition communicates the same harmony the six artists have for each other and the work they have produced. They came together from across the state to bring their contributing collection to the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center: Terrance Washington, from Barnwell County, Ian Thomas Dillinger, from Colleton County, James E. Wilson, III, from Bamberg County, Robert Matheson, from Newberry County. Ernest Lee is from Richland County. Rajasekhar Yarraguntla teaches in Barnwell County. “Seeing the artists greet each other with such warmth, helping one another with final preparations before hanging the works, listening to their lively conversations, it quickly became obvious that the Arts Center has a very special show by these confident, energetic artists,” said Vivian Glover, director of community arts and development. “They have an air of excitement around them. Combined, they pull together something current and significant out of South Carolina. And this dynamic came from rural perspectives.” Portions of this exhibition were previously shown at the Aiken Center for the Arts. For this show, several new works were added by artists, including all the works by Robert Matheson. The invitation from the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center was summed up by Dillinger. “It was encouraging to the group. To have another opportunity to be shown. It inspired me to make new work to be seen.” The exhibition, located at 649 Riverside Drive, Orangeburg, 29115, opens on Wednesday March 8, 2023, and runs through April. 21, 2023. The Artists’ Reception is Wednesday, March 15, from 6-8 p.m., and is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 803.536.4074 or email vglover@orangeburgarts.org. Creative Connectors: The Rural Experience, as an exhibition, is supported and has been encouraged by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The program is funded in part by grants from USDA- Rural Development as well as from a Neighborworks America grant won by the Center for a Better South.
Ernest Lee is probably the best known of the artists having honed his own reputation by painting and selling his pieces in a devised “outdoor street corner gallery.” His iconic dancing chickens are popular and recognizable. For Creative Connectors, he has brought a variety of less seen themes, where his masterly use of colors and visual perspective show a greater, more reflective talent. “Most people know me as the chicken artist. This time I wanted to show my other paintings. Rainbow in the Sky and Deep in the South, two of Lee’s other works are included in the show. “Painting is a privilege and a blessing,” says Lee, who has painted all his life. James Wilson, III, has been a photographer for over 25 years capturing images in deeply rural settings that strike him as unique or as natural phenomena, which he regards as an experience akin to reverence. “I look for something different, uncommon. Something that you won’t see again.” He includes the solitary and long-deserted homes he spots while driving in Pickens County. “Back in the day most people lived in small houses alongside a road. Now they are dilapidated. Ten or twenty years from now they will be gone,” Wilson observes, adding that they are architecturally significant. “Their structures say something about the people who lived there. I try to imagine those lives were during their time, to appreciate how people used their homes.” From a child, Wilson was entranced by clouds and skies. Many of his images illustrate his awe for the changing formations and colors. “I’ve never seen anything as rare as the shifting shapes and colors found in the sky.” His collection consists of images capturing light and hues in the heavens not only in rural environments, but anywhere he travels. Travel is what Rajasekhar Yarraguntla did leaving India in 2014 for the United States finding himself an educator in the most rural sections of Mississippi and Louisiana, before accepting a teaching position in Barnwell County. Still teaching in a remote area, where the nearest stores and businesses are miles away, he is as unique as his art, with his use of flower patterns and colors. Yarraguntla began teaching himself art during his own school days. “I like to experiment with natural materials and to represent nature in my work,” he says of his art, which was recognized by India’s Ministry of Education. “I apply different materials like dried grass sticks and magazines upon acrylics.” Elegant Beauty on hardboard showing an Indian woman styling her hair, uses natural grass culms collected in India, with different precision cuts and colors to form her image. Coming from a culture with thousands of years cultivating the arts in paintings, sculptors, pottery, and textiles, Yarraguntla, is self-assured experimenting with modern, abstract compositions including those of Hindu gods like “Ganesha” and “OM.” He is intertwining traditional and sacred art, from his perspective of the past and present now influenced by his years in the rural South. Terrance Washington, also an educator, has roots entrenched in Blackville. His paintings are a tribute to his affection and devoted appreciation of the artistic beauty his sees. That same sensitivity takes measure of the world from his homebase, especially these parts of the world that can be perilous for a young Black man. Living in rural domesticity doesn’t divert his attention from watchfulness nor the urge to articulate the continued struggle for justice. His works managed to convey aesthetic messaging using rich colors and defining lines. “I see myself as a modern-day Impressionist illustrating what is going on in the world around me.” Washington says he wants to create works that evoke conversations, that prompt people to think especially about the role of art in his time. His colors are bold and alive, and subtle and intimate at the same time. Love 44, Grove Like That, and Woman in Thought, who figure is mother, grandmother, sister, wife, proud but contemplating, draws the viewer into the past and present themes in his work. Robert Matheson digital images celebrate the present but with a broad historical premise that has captured his imagination since moving to Newberry from Utah, via California, becoming engrossed in the history of South Carolina. He agrees that South Carolina, as a state, may have the most significant places and fascinating people of the 50 states. His current focus is the Revolutionary War battles and in particular a battle in Orangeburg. “Fortunately, there were no causalities, but it was a significant battle,” observes Matheson a digital artist. Digitizing prints for his contribution to the exhibition “really pushed the limits of my digital art skills while telling the story of the Surrender of Orangeburg, which to my knowledge has never been illustrated before.” He is excited about introducing a key element of the war for independence to the area. “I hope the community enjoys it and learn a bit about Orangeburg from interpretation. I know I did.” Matheson, who describes his work as “using technology as the paintbrush” noted that the title of the series is Re-Imagining the Surrender of Orangeburg. “I trained an Ai to blend a sketch in my style with descriptions of the American Revolution battle that took place on May 10 and 11, 1781, in Orangeburg.” Ian Thomas Dillinger from Colleton County creates and actively lives the life of an outdoorsman residing in a rural South Carolina setting. Dillinger makes his home beside the Edisto River in Walterboro. A former educator, Ian now farms, does carpentry, and paints inspired by the rural decay and natural beauty of the river and its inhabitants. He is known for his reuse of natural and man-made materials in the creation of his work. Stop Y’all,” a graphic representation of the reappropriation of cast away materials and common place signage in the rural South. “I hope visitors to the Arts Center are intrigued by the experimental techniques I use to demonstrate how art and nature can ingeniously and harmoniously make a statement.”  

Submitted material

S.C. museum hires first arts ed director

With funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum is announcing Valencia M. Goodwin as its first arts in education director.

Using the extensive collection of the museum, the director will work with middle and high schools and community organizations to explore the South Carolina history that shaped America. Goodwin, a native of Hopkins, believes that "like life, in art, there are no mistakes, only magic." This is the motto she lives by as a mother, creative visual artist, art instructor, model and owner of her own creative arts company, SoulSweet Avenue. Since the age of 3, Goodwin has been drawing. She can recall in elementary school completing a "When I Grow Up" form. Her top five options were to be the most famous artist in the world, become a fashion model, have her own art school, make art for the rest of her life, and have lots of children. It was during her years as a student at Lower Richland High School, under the instruction of Mr. John Johnson Jr., that she realized the uniqueness of her gift. He influenced her to further her education and pursue a career in the arts. In 2001 she won a Black history poster contest with an illustration titled, "My History," which is one of her most popular pieces to this day. Once her name was called as the winner she knew what was her life's purpose: to tell her truth, her history, our story, share our beauty and culture with the world and leave a legacy.
Located in Orangeburg, the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum honors a generation of people throughout the Palmetto State, who deserve to be remembered for their unselfish commitments and sacrifices. Together, they destroyed Jim Crow, demanded dignity and justice for all people, changed the Constitution, and inspired mankind. The museum is open for visits by appointment. Now through the latest technology, virtual reality tours also allow an extremely immersive experience for everyone. You may tour the museum virtually at https://www.cecilwilliams.com/virtual-tour.

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Artist entrepreneurs receive support from SCAC grants

Support arts businesses on Small Business Saturday, 11/26

for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two South Carolina artists (#SCartists) are recipients of FY23 South Carolina Arts Commission Artists’ Business Initiative grants, which provide career satisfaction and sustainability for artists making a living off their craft.

The Artists’ Business Initiative is a grant and program from the SCAC that offers financial support for arts-based entrepreneurial initiatives and professional training for the artists who are grantees. Grants can support start-up costs, taking an existing business in a new direction, or executing a temporary initiative (like a single business purchase) that will improve sustainability. A one-time purchase may be awarded up to $3,500, and an ongoing business initiative may be awarded up to $5,000. New grantee Talin Keyfer is an Anderson County artist who works in enamels and metals to create contemporary jewelry. Her works are available at various shows and through her website, talinkeyferjewelry.com. “In 2020, after some difficult transitions, I decided to commit to my love of art full time,” Keyfer said. She was accepted as an emerging artist at significant arts festivals and plans to use her grant on marketing, hoping to increase effectiveness through a marketing plan and growing a customer base. Eric Schultz, assistant professor of music at Coastal Carolina University, is a prize-winning clarinetist who performs as a soloist and in chamber and orchestra settings. His grant will enable him to record and release a debut solo album, “Storytelling.” “The album will feature several new pieces written by diverse composers, for me,” Schultz said. The central theme of the album will be identities, including the LGBT community and a Caribbean religion from a Puerto Rican composer, another’s Afro-Latina perspective, and “melding traditions from the eastern and western sound worlds” created by a Taiwanese composer, among others. As the annual Small Business Saturday approaches on Saturday, Nov. 26, the SCAC encourages South Carolinians to support local artists and arts-based businesses as they shop for unique, considered holiday gifts now and for any reason throughout the year. The latest data from the SCAC showed that South Carolina’s creative economy supports 115,000 jobs and generates tax revenues of $269 million. Artists’ Business Initiative grants, intended for professional caliber working artists in South Carolina, open for letters of intent to apply in late summer each year. More information is available at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/abi/.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Mushrooms to take over Charleston’s Hampton Park

Illuminated site-based installation coming in November

You've been warned: More than 100 (illuminated) mushrooms will take over an area of Hampton Park in Charleston from Nov. 5 through Dec. 11.

This art display relaunches Art in the Park, a public art initiative organized by the nonprofit Charleston Parks Conservancy. North Carolina artist Meredith Connelly, who encases lighting in industrial materials to reveal their organic qualities, has created more than 100 hand-sculpted illuminated mushrooms using a heavy-duty thermoplastic. The installation components range in height from 8 to 12 inches and will be integrated into the natural setting of the popular Charleston park resulting in an immersive and interactive experience for all ages. Several of Connelly’s past installations have welcomed more than 250,000 visitors, and her work has been shown at various museums and venues throughout the Southeast. Connelly is excited to bring her work to the Charleston community, she said. Connelly has been conceptually exploring fungal formations for the past three years and has used light as a material for over a decade. As part of her creative process, she hikes and “photographically forages” for inspiration, she explained. She then examines the diverse blooms, colors, and spaces that fungal specimens inhabit. “Neither plant nor animal, fungus has incredible and dynamic characteristics. The function and role of mushrooms across the globe are incomparable,” Connelly said. “They are an interconnected network, and research shows they communicate using electrical impulses through their mycelium, much like neurotransmitters within the human mind. They have the capability to heal the environment, the body, and activate dormant areas of the brain.” “We’re thrilled to relaunch our Art in the Parks program with this incredible piece by Meredith Connelly,” said Natalie Jones, director of programs for the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “Meredith’s nature-inspired art ties so well into our organization’s dedication to building stunning public spaces and encouraging people to connect to their parks.” The Conservancy has organized other public art installations in city parks, but the Art in the Park program has been on hiatus since the pandemic. For more than 15 years, the Conservancy -- through public-private partnerships -- has had a hand in renovating and beautifying more than 20 parks in the City of Charleston. “Mushrooms is a temporary installation that will be configured and installed directly on the grounds of the park. Through this process, I fall into collaboration with nature, light, and the environment, and a visual conversation is formed,” Connelly said. “I use placement and cast light from the installation components to create focal points or highlight the architectural elements in the natural setting, and those elements then relate back to the work and the viewer. “I love bringing the forms back to the spaces that inspired them, and to me, it then feels complete; similar to a life cycle,” she added. “At the core, my work is about connectivity. The light connects the viewers, the natural environment, and the installation components in a way that molds and drives an authentic and approachable experience.” When Connelly is not installing glowing forms outdoors, she also creates hand-cut paper works reflective of the microscopic world and presses them in transparent materials that parallel microscope slides. The artwork will be installed in Hampton Park, 30 May Murray Drive, near the Rose Pavilion and on display through Dec. 11. As part of the Art in the Park program, the Conservancy is hosting a hands-on art workshop on lantern making at 4 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Rose Pavilion in Hampton Park. For registration details, visit charlestonparksconservancy.org. This project was funded in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Program through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Art and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
Learn more about the Conservancy and other upcoming programs at charlestonparksconservancy.org.

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Mural unveiling set for Freetown community in Greenville

Greenville Center for Creative Arts and Blank Canvas Mural Company will unveil a new mural at Freetown Community Center with an event on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, from 4-7 p.m.

The unveiling event will feature fun activities for the whole family, including live music with Fine Arts Center Jazz Studies students and food from Time to Taste Catering featuring chef Daniel López. GCCA contracted with Blank Canvas Mural Company and artist Adam Schrimmer for the mural design and implementation. Schrimmer facilitated conversations at Freetown Community Center with neighborhood residents to determine meaningful content and messaging for the artwork and to ensure the design captures the unique spirit and legacy of the Freetown community. The mural will be painted by Schrimmer and students from GCCA’s Aspiring Artists after-school art program, which takes place monthly at Freetown Community Center. The mural project is produced in collaboration with Greenville County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, with support from ScanSource Charitable Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and is supported by funding provided to the South Carolina Arts Commission from a partnership with the S.C. Department of Education from American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds.
Greenville Center for Creative Arts is a non-profit organization that aims to enrich the cultural fabric of the community through visual arts promotion, education, and inspiration. For more information, visit www.artcentergreenville.org, call 864-735-3948, or check out GCCA on Facebook (Greenville Center for Creative Arts) & Instagram (@artcentergvl).

Jason Rapp

Summerville Orchestra sees momentum with new staff, partnership

Education and outreach programming see boost

Summerville Orchestra is having itself a month.

Last week, it announced DeAnndra Glenn as the inaugural director and education coordinator for the new Summerville Orchestra Youth Philharmonic (S.O. Youth Philharmonic) and education program, bringing "a wealth of teaching and performing experience to the position," according to a news release. Glenn (right) has taught strings students of all ages in the Charleston area since 2005 and has performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the North Charleston POPS! and with Mannheim Steamroller, Michael Bublé and Michael W. Smith among many others. She was conductor of the Charleston County School District Honors Orchestra from 2005 to 2010, and served for seven years as a strings instructor for both the Charleston County School district summer SMAART (Students Mastering the Academic Arts) program and the West Ashley middle and high schools. Glenn founded Charleston Violin Studio, and many of her violin and viola students have gained admission to the Charleston County School District School of the Arts, Rollings School of the Arts, the Lowcountry Region and South Carolina All-State Orchestras and the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra. She holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Montana and a South Carolina teaching certification in instrumental music. She received her training in the Suzuki method and “Every Child Can!” from East Carolina University. She studied locally under the College of Charleston’s Lee-Chin Siow. Glenn and S.O. staff will work with area school music instructors to identify and audition students for participation. Auditions will be held on Monday, Sept. 19, 6-7 p.m., at Alston Middle School, 500 Bryan St., Summerville. Additional information is available at www.summervilleorchestra.org/youth. The S.O. Youth Philharmonic is being made possible through a $10,000 Term Arts Education Project grant from the SCAC. The mission of the Youth Philharmonic program is to provide an affordable youth orchestra experience to public, private and charter school students as well as home-schooled students in the tri-county. The Youth Philharmonic is scheduled to perform three concerts this year and will also conduct workshops and summer programs that engage students throughout the year.
[caption id="attachment_51010" align="alignright" width="350"]A Summerville Orchestra string quarter performs on an indoor stage. A Summerville Orchestra string quarter performs. Provided photo.[/caption] Additionally, a new partnership the orchestra announced will bring music and art together in a new series featuring the Summerville Orchestra (S.O.) String Quartet at the Public Works Arts Center (PWAC). Titled “A Musical SPARK,” the first of four free Saturday concert/art experiences, or PWAC Strolls, will be held on Sept. 24 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the PWAC at 135 W. Richardson Ave. This performance will include selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Children’s Album,” the music of PIXAR and more – music inspired by and about our youth – to highlight the featured SPARK exhibition concurrently on display at PWAC. Registration for the launch event is required and is open here on a first-come, first-served basis. S.O.’s PWAC Stroll events will also be held in December, February and May. “Following the overwhelming community support for our Encore Series, we have sought ways to expand the reach of our free performances,” said Andrew Price, S.O.’s executive director. “This collaboration with the Public Works Arts Center allows us to not only increase the number of free concerts, but to expand our offerings to include an interactive, multi-sensory arts experience for attendees.” Reservations will be available on the S.O.’s website beginning approximately two weeks before each PWAC Stroll event. To maximize the number of participants who can participate in this immersive arts experience, there will be three 30-minute attendance slots for this first PWAC Stroll, and registrants will be invited to select one 30-minute window for participation. There will be a cash- or check-only bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase for $5 – state-issued ID required. Additional PWAC Series dates and programs for the 2022/2023 season include the following:
  • Sat., Dec. 17: Strings for the Season. A selection of holiday works by American composers will be paired with the work of artist Kent Ambler, the featured PWAC artist on exhibition.
  • Sat., Feb. 25: Water in Color. This performance will feature works by composers from around the world exploring themes of water, color palettes and the portrayal of daily life, to be paired with the work of featured PWAC artist Andrea Hazel.
  •  Sat., May 6: Abstract Chaos. Ensemble members will perform works by minimalist and Impressionist composers, exploring themes of layer, chaos, order, collage and color palettes to highlight the work of featured studio artists Anna Dean and Kate Ritchie.
All performances will run from 6:30-8 p.m. Registration for PWAC Stroll #1: A Musical SPARK is now open at https://summervilleorchestra.org/pwac-announcement/. To learn about the current gallery exhibits, visit https://www.publicworksartcenter.org/.
The Summerville Orchestra seeks to share its love of music by engaging and enriching the community through the orchestral art form. The 75-member orchestra performs an annual subscription series of five concerts at the Summers Corner Performing Arts Center, along with many free concerts and events during the year including an Encore Series of four chamber music concerts (held at Coastal Coffee Roasters), nine Music Chats with Wojciech (held at the Dorchester County Library), and other free concerts and events throughout the greater Summerville area. For more information about the S.O. or the S.O. Youth Symphony and Education Program, contact office@summervilleorchestra.org or call 843.873.5339.

Jason Rapp

Arts Grow SC partner uses drama techniques to motivate young readers

Spark is presented by the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities

Elementary school students struggling to meet reading benchmarks in will now have additional support thanks to a three-year, Arts Grow SC grant of $3.7 million to expand an arts education program called Spark.

Administered by the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, this regional outreach program uses drama strategies to improve reading engagement and motivation, as well as creative and divergent thinking among students. Spark’s teaching artists will work with students in Calhoun, Florence, Richland, and Williamsburg counties throughout the school year. Additional schools will be added over the next two years as the program progresses. “Hundreds of third grade students are identified through Read to Succeed each year as being in need of additional support,” said Carol Baker, director of outreach and community engagement at the Governor’s School. “We know that meaningful connections are made for children when they learn through the arts, and the unique relationship between drama, storytelling and reading is showing promising trends in our research.” In 2018, the school partnered with the South Carolina Arts Commission and University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance to examine the potential impact that the Spark drama curriculum had on reading motivation and success for young children. The program was piloted in Williamsburg County as a summer camp for at-risk readers through the state-mandated Read to Succeed Act. Based on encouraging early trends, within three years Spark had expanded into Jasper County and received national recognition with the Research Initiative-Institution Award from Arts Schools Network. Through Spark, actor-teachers empower students to bring stories and characters to life using basic acting tools. “When students can use their imaginations to create movements, gestures, voices and settings, books become more than just words and images on a page. They become a lived experience that students can connect with on a personal and emotional level,” explained Baker. The Governor’s School hired multiple theatre teaching artists to coordinate curriculum and provide long term drama residencies in select schools throughout South Carolina. These actor-teachers will provide partnering schools with classroom and group drama services that include co-teaching and arts integration experiences. Spark will also provide guest artist visits, performances, and professional learning opportunities for teachers, along with continued support for summer Read to Succeed camps. There are no costs to partnering schools or school districts for participating in Spark. With this recent grant, Spark is now supported by Arts Grow SC, which is funded by the SCAC and the South Carolina Department of Education through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. “While I am not surprised by the positive impact Spark is having on students, I am overjoyed to see the support and acknowledgement that this program has received from participating school districts, the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Arts Commission, and we are very grateful for that,” said Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “It is through these kinds of strategic funding partnerships that we have the best chance to reach students in a meaningful way.” According to Baker, “With these funds Spark will evolve and grow exponentially—from serving only summer camp students to serving students year-round, expanding over three years to reach up to 30 schools. We will also have an opportunity to work with younger students to intervene at an earlier age, which is important for long term success. We are incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity through Arts Grow SC.” Learn more about the Spark program and employment opportunities at https://www.scgsah.org/spark.
About South Carolina 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

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SCAC doubles grantmaking record with $11.9 million investment

FY22 grants for arts and arts learning impacted 43 counties

[caption id="attachment_50923" align="aligncenter" width="950"]Teenage females play flutes in the hallway of a school while two beaming pre-teen girls look on. Summer STEAM Institute at Northside Elementary School in Colleton County presented by Arts Grow SC partner Engaging Creative Minds. Provided photo.[/caption]

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing that it more than doubled its previous grant-making record by investing $11.9 million in arts organizations, arts learning, and artists in South Carolina in FY22.

South Carolina Arts CommissionGrants from the SCAC and programs run directly by the agency or with diverse partners reached 43 counties. They assisted 550 artists and providers of arts experiences and arts learning. The SCAC’s annual grants made up $9.15 million through 447 grants. Arts Emergency Relief, made possible by CARES Act funding, made up $2.8 million through 103 grants. A new impact map available on the SCAC website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of the grants and their related programs. “The Arts Commission is committed to ensuring the people of South Carolina, wherever they might be, have access to the arts in some way. I applaud the efforts of our staff, who distribute these grants and manage programs. Our commissioners and the staff will continue working toward giving access to the arts to everyone in our state,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “We are thrilled about the impact these 550 grants made in South Carolina during the most recent fiscal year. This would not have been possible without the vision of Superintendent Molly Spearman and the South Carolina Department of Education partnering with us to start Arts Grow SC to benefit our state’s next generation,” SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts said. “We thank them, along with the General Assembly and Gov. McMaster, for investing in our vision that believes the arts move South Carolina forward in a variety of ways.”

Record year extends to annual grants

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a record year at $9.15 million, topping the previous record of $5.1 million in FY20. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts learning, artist development, and community arts. Grants were made in 42 of 46 counties, and one out-of-state grant covered programmatic obligations to South Arts, a regional arts organization and frequent partner in the SCAC’s work. Click here to see how grants were distributed in your community in FY22. One big factor in the increases was Arts Grow SC and grants associated with the new program, which was announced in 2021. The partnership between the SCAC and SCDE provides $20 million over three years to address pandemic-related learning loss in South Carolina schools with arts-rich learning. Arts learning grants rose to $5.7 million in FY22 from just $1.7 million in FY21. Funding for Arts Grow SC comes from ARP ESSER funding appropriated to SCDE. Arts Grow SC funded new arts learning projects during the school year and during the summer and allowed for increased awards in other arts learning categories. The SCAC’s largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enabled arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $2.34 million was distributed among 125 such organizations. Another $142,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. Increases in state appropriations allowed for those increases. While the majority of the SCAC’s annual funding comes from state, then federal, appropriations, additional generous FY22 funding support came from the Coastal Community Foundation and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. That funding is applied to two SCAC grant categories: Subgranting and Arts Project Support.
  • Partnering arts agencies in South Carolina receive grants they may subgrant to artists and arts organizations in the communities they serve. CCF support helped seven awards in the category total $76,577 in FY2022.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (18) and arts organization (17) in 12 counties totaling around $63,285.
As of the start of FY2023 on July 1, 2022, the SCAC was awarded further funding increases in the state budget, which means another year of record funding through June 30, 2023.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

2022 S.C. Watermedia Society Annual Juried Exhibition announced

The South Carolina Watermedia Society announced that the S.C. State Museum in Columbia is to be host venue for the 2022 version of its Annual Juried Exhibition.

The exhibit will be on display from Aug. 27 through Jan. 8, 2023. SCWS President Renea Eshleman claims the show is set to be the best yet. "It features work from artists as far away as Wisconsin, although 45 of the 70 featured works are from South Carolina artists. This is a testament of the deeply talented artists who call South Carolina home. We are grateful to the State Museum for hosting the show in the Lipscomb Gallery, especially since Guy Lipscomb was a founding member of the society," Eshleman said. The opening reception and award ceremony is Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. The public is invited; light refreshments will be served. Juror Linda Daly Baker, a Charleston-based artists, choose 70 pieces from 157 entries by 95 artists located throughout the U.S. Awards for 30 of the 70 will be announced at the awards ceremony. The 30 awarded pieces will become part of a state-wide traveling show coordinated by the State Museum and displayed at locations in South Carolina. The exhibition is made possible by The Lipscomb Family Foundation, and the project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to judging the show, Daly Baker will teach a three-day workshop at the museum from Aug. 25-27. More information is available at https://scwatermedia.com/workshop/. Recent top award winners of SCWS juried shows are Anne Hightower of Columbia (Best of Show, 2022 Digital Show); Dong Feng Li of San Francisco (Best of Show, 2021); Stacy Lund Levy of Owings Mill, Maryland (Best of Show, 2020); Ashley Arakas of Myrtle Beach  (Best of Show, 2019); and Lynda English of Florence (Best of Show, 2018). The South Carolina State Museum is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia.
Established in 1977, SCWS is an incorporated, non-profit organization. The mission of the SCWS is to promote the aesthetic and professional interests of its members, provide the public with artistic opportunities through watermedia painting, elevate the stature of watermedia, and educate the public to its significance as an important painting medium. More information on SCWS can be found at its website: www.scwatermedia.com.
Front page image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

Jason Rapp