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Jason Rapp

$20 million partnership to expand S.C. arts learning initiatives

SCAC, S.C. Dept. of Education make landmark announcement

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="601"]Photo of elementary-aged students and their teachers doing projects in an arts classroom. An Arts in Basic Curriculum Project site classroom. SCAC file photo.[/caption]
For Immediate Release

A $20 million partnership announced today by the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina Arts Commission will help public schools throughout the state address pandemic related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives.

The American Rescue Plan, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law March 11, 2021 by President Biden, included $121.9 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ARP ESSER), that has been administered through the U.S. Department of Education to state educational agencies. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is set to receive $2.1 billion in ARP ESSER funds to help South Carolina’s public schools address the impact that COVID-19 has and continues to have on students, families, educators, and school communities. Ninety percent of these funds will flow through to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in Summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The remaining funds, which amount to $211,205,148 are to be used for state-level activities to address learning loss, summer enrichment programs, and comprehensive after school programs. The SCDE solicited public input on the use of these funds and the needs that the state should address in its ARP ESSER plan which was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on June 18, 2021. Leadership from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) proposed to SCDE a creative pathway—rooted in innovation and evidence-based practices—that the arts are equipped to provide. Funding was requested to allow the SCAC’s team of professionals and network of partners to:
  • help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps in the arts,
  • use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,
  • and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities that leverage the arts in schools throughout the state.
The SCDE approved $20 million for the SCAC to implement its plan over the course of the next three years. “As a longtime music teacher, I have seen firsthand the impact that arts education can have on students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The arts have a unique ability to engage students of diverse backgrounds across all subject areas which makes this initiative well suited for the receipt of these funds.” “The South Carolina Arts Commission is confident in its ability to put this funding to use right away to equitably impact learning using the arts,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “Our team of professionals manages existing programs, partnerships, and grant-making infrastructure for this work, which includes federal and state reporting for accountability. ARP ESSER funding from the SCDE will enable expedient and effective scaling with various arts education partners on the local, state, and national levels.” Programmatic focus areas of the SCAC’s plan include:
  • Arts integration
  • Arts in early childhood
  • Arts industry certification credentials for high school students, building on existing vocational training programs
To realize its classroom-based goals, the SCAC will rely on its partners at the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, which currently serves about 44,000 students in 74 schools and has been cooperatively led for more than 30 years by the SCAC, SCDE, and Winthrop University. The ARP ESSER funding will facilitate scaling the program to:
  • increase access to quality arts education (targeting underserved communities)
  • develop arts-rich learning environments
  • build, restore, expand, and support infrastructure for arts learning at the district level
  • research and develop new and innovative instructional practices.
“We have a couple of years’ worth of recent Gallup Organization research looking at South Carolina’s arts-rich schools. It repeatedly shows a link between arts-rich learning and student hope and engagement. We have dreamed about having the kind of funding that would enable expansion to all communities throughout the state,” SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. In addition to building on the work of the ABC Project, the Arts Commission will expand existing pilot projects with the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities in Greenville and Engaging Creative Minds in Charleston, and will offer grant and programming opportunities for arts education providers across the state. “Arts and creativity are critical to achieving the knowledge, skills, and characteristics outlined by the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. We are excited to work with grantees, statewide partners in arts education, and other arts providers to ensure equitable access to learning in and through the arts,” Platts said. “This partnership fully supports our mission to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina.” The SCAC is working now to release information on grant guidelines, research to support evidence-based practices, partnership and professional learning opportunities, and more in coming weeks. Starting in July, these resources will be available at www.abcprojectsc.com.

Jason Rapp

Arts Education Partnership report lauds ABC Project in S.C.

AEP report 'reflects back and projects forward'


Over 25 years ago, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts partnered with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Council of Chief State School Officers to create the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to ensure that all students have equitable access to an excellent arts education.​ - AEP report


A new report from AEP takes a long look at the genesis of the partnership. While it's no surprise to those involved in the work, casual readers might be surprised to know that South Carolina and a few South Carolinians at the right place at the right time figured mightily in how everything came together on a national level. In a Part 2 of the report, former SCAC Executive Director Scott Shanklin-Peterson and Dr. Terry Peterson recount work with Dick Riley in Columbia as governor and Washington as President Clinton's education secretary to get the arts included in sweeping educational reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is extremely proud of the ongoing work of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a national model for integrating the arts into K-12 curriculum discussed at length in the AEP report. Together with the South Carolina Dept. of Education and the Winthrop University College of Visual and Performing Arts, the ABC Project continues serving the Palmetto State 31 years after starting and 33 years after the SCAC received a $20,000 Arts in Schools Basic Education planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop the it. Read the full report here.

S.C. public school seniors can win $2,000 for in-state college tuition

Archibald Rutledge Scholarship recognizes academic, artistic excellence

Application deadline: Monday, February 3, 2020, 5 p.m. ET
The Archibald Rutledge Scholarship program, named for South Carolina’s first poet laureate, offers 12th-grade students (enrolled in a public school in South Carolina) the opportunity to compete for a $2,000 scholarship encouraging and recognizing academic and artistic excellence among South Carolina students. Students are to fill out one application as it pertains to the art form chosen for this scholarship. Chose from among:
  • creative writing
  • dance
  • music
  • theatre
  • visual arts
Five scholarships (approximately $2,000 each) will be awarded in May 2019. The South Carolina Department of Education will make the necessary arrangements to transfer the scholarship funds directly to the South Carolina college or university of the student’s choice. Students planning to attend an out-of-state college or university are ineligible to apply. The recipients may also be recognized by their local schools/school districts. The deadline to submit an entry is Monday, February 3, 2020, delivered to the South Carolina Department of Education by 5 p.m. or postmarked on or before Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. Entries will not be accepted after the deadline. Entries should have been created during the 2019/2020 school year. Eligibility criteria: 
  • Students must currently be enrolled in twelfth grade in a public school in South Carolina.
  • Students must plan to attend a South Carolina college or university.
  • Students must be a U.S. citizen and have attended public school in South Carolina for the past two years.
  • Students may only apply for one scholarship.
For additional information and to apply, click here.

Tuning Up: A new day at SCAC + Florence 3 arts grant

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...


You're forgiven if you thought this feature was lost to the sands of time. It doesn't look like we've had a "Tuning Up" since June. Time to fix that!
  • IT'S A NEW DAY. Last week brought the news that the S.C. Arts Commission wants to serve constituents now based on what you need rather than by where you're located. Today's the day the new system is in effect. Callers to the agency will get a new menu of options, and visitors to our website can solicit staff assistance in a new way too.
  • FLORENCE 3 GETS GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECT. "The Distinguished Art Program grant is for the project 'Innovate – Creative and Critical Thinking through the Arts.' More than 3,000 students and 238 teachers will benefit from this grant program." Go here for the full story on SCNow.com. The grant comes from the S.C. Dept. of Education.
  • KEEP TURNING, DORIAN. At this writing, Hurricane Dorian's track appears to be continuing its ever-so-gradual shift eastward and away from the S.C. coast. You don't need The Hub to tell you that's good news, but we can tell you word's come in that 2019 Verner Award recipients the Gibbes Museum of Art plus College of Charleston's Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art—among many others—are closed as the storm makes its way along the coast. The closings are in response to mandatory coastal evacuations. Be safe out there, and definitely be ArtsReady: visit SouthCarolinaArts.com for resources to help you do just that.
 

ABC Project names new executive director

Dr. Kim Wilson promoted to lead Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 March 2019
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project is announcing the promotion of Dr. Kim Wilson to be the program’s new executive director as of April 1, 2019. Wilson will be responsible for helping 84 schools or districts provide 170,000 South Carolina K-12 students with access to arts-rich education. The program, which is a partnership among the South Carolina Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and the S.C. Dept. of Education, provides critical training and networking for arts teachers who learn best practices from each other. Schools or districts join the program after receiving a grant from the S.C. Arts Commission to support their arts education efforts. The program’s field services coordinator for 18 months, Wilson is a Winthrop University alumna. She earned her doctorate in education this year from Walden University. Her experience in arts education began in community education teaching adult and children’s classes through the University of Vermont and Very Special Arts VT. Afterwards, she served as education director at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit and executive director for Sawtooth School for Visual Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C. Over the last 10 years, Kim has focused on public arts education. After only teaching four years, she was recognized as the 2012 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Since then, she transitioned into empowering all educators with creativity-fostering teaching practices, including arts-integration strategies through her work with Arkansas A+ Schools. She replaces Christine Fisher, who served as executive director for 18 years and announced her retirement earlier this month. “My commitment to and passion for arts education have been influenced by ABC Project’s accomplishments and the people who contributed to its history. And while my personal arts education journey has taken many forms across several states over the last three decades, all have prepared me for this unique role in my home state. I am honored and eager for the opportunity to lead ABC Project in the next chapter of its rich history,” Wilson said. “In Kim Wilson, the ABC Project has someone with demonstrated success fostering and implementing arts education. In a relatively short time, she’s immersed herself in all facets of the program and contributed to its success. But beyond that, she has incredible passion for what she does and is a natural fit to be the ABC Project’s next leader,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

About the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

For 30 years, the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. It is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. For more information, visit ABCProjectSC.com.

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 services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., 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.

Arts education leader Christine Fisher announces retirement

Fisher led Arts in Basic Curriculum Project for 18 years


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 March 2019 [caption id="attachment_39351" align="alignright" width="225"]Christine Fisher Christine Fisher[/caption] COLUMBIA, S.C. – Christine Fisher is to retire from the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project this month after spending nearly 20 years working to provide comprehensive arts programs in schools across the state. Fisher, who lives in Florence, began her career in arts education in the classroom, teaching chorus, guitar and musical production at Dillon High School and then elementary general music, beginning band and middle school band in Florence School District One through 2001. She left that year to become executive director of the ABC Project, a partnership among the S.C. Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and S.C. Department of Education that works with schools and districts across the state to maintain and expand arts opportunities for all students. It is based at Winthrop in Rock Hill. Under Fisher’s leadership, the program grew to serve 84 schools or districts and 171,000 students this school year and played an important role in making sure the arts were included in the landmark Profile of the South Carolina Graduate in 2015, a rigorous set of standards for college and career readiness adopted by the state General Assembly in 2016. “Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. Many highlights dot the timeline of Fisher’s career. She was twice selected as a school and district Teacher of the Year, and twice selected as one of the five South Carolina honor roll teachers. Selected as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 1998, she is the only music teacher to hold the honor in the program's history. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded her state’s highest arts award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, in 2006, and she received the Winthrop University Medal of Arts in 2012. “She has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

Full Statements on Christine Fisher's retirement

MOLLY SPEARMAN S.C. Superintendent of Education

“Christine Fisher has spent her entire career being a tireless advocate and supporter of arts based education in South Carolina. I am so appreciative of Christine’s leadership from being the only music teacher to be named our state teacher of the year to her service as the director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project where she has brought access to the arts to students across our state and shared her tremendous wealth of knowledge with countless educators. I along with South Carolina’s arts community will miss her dearly.”

KEN MAY Executive Director, S.C. Arts Commission

“The first time I ever heard Christine Fisher speak, she told the moving and powerful story of how the arts, specifically music, saved her life. As I reflect now on her retirement, I realize that all of her work, her entire amazing career, has been about paying forward—at increasing orders of magnitude—the wonderful, transformative gift that she was given. From her early days teaching in Dillon and Florence, to her ground-breaking tenure as State Teacher of the Year, to her long, outstanding service as Executive Director of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, she has changed many thousands of young lives for the better. They, and we, owe her heartfelt thanks and praise for her life of unselfish, tireless devotion to arts education for everyone. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement—and more time for music-making!”

JEFF BELLANTONI Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop University

“Christine has been an integral part of the arts community at Winthrop University for 18 years. We had the pleasure of recognizing the impact she has made in 2012 when she was awarded our Medal of Honor in the Arts. Her passion and commitment to integrating the arts into education throughout the state is unmatched. Christine’s steadfast support of the arts is evident through her many years of service as an educator and arts advocate, and she will be missed.”


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 services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., 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.

ABC Project seeks project fields services specialist

Application deadline: June 15 The Arts in Basic Curriculum Project is seeking a project field services specialist. This is a grant-funded position. Reports to: ABC Project director, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) The ABC Project field services specialist is responsible for providing educational expertise to schools and districts to help them develop and sustain quality, comprehensive, standards-based arts education, and for working extensively with Arts in Basic Curriculum Project director to coordinate all activities of the ABC Project, including ABC task forces, ABC Steering Committee meetings, workshops, presentations and other educational events provided by the ABC Project. Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Working extensively with ABC director to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Working with the SCAC, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University, and the S.C State Department of Education (SCDE), to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Facilitating arts education strategic planning for schools and districts.
  • Coordinating and documenting ABC meetings, conferences, workshops and the Summer Arts Institutes.
  • Preparing reports and collecting statistics.
  • Providing assistance to schools and districts, including arts and arts integration curriculum development, grant writing/information, etc.
  • Serving as liaison to SCAC and SCDE and notifying them of ABC Project participation in conferences, workshops, Summer Arts Institutes, school/district meetings and other ABC activities.
  • Monitoring and identifying new research, policies and initiatives in the arts or that impact the arts.
  • Assisting with Arts Education Leadership Institute (and other ABC Project activities, as needed.)
  • Attending designated conferences to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Administrative duties as designated.
Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degree and teaching or administrative experience with K-12 arts education
  • Understanding of arts integration, classroom instruction, lesson planning
  • Familiarity with National and/or SC Visual and Performing Arts Standards
  • Grant writing experience
  • Excellent time management, research and organization skills
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with teachers, parents, district staff, community, and all other groups involved in the activities of the job
  • Excellent written, oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to document meetings and events and complete, process, and maintain required records.
  • Working knowledge of computers and websites
  • Ability to identify effective arts education strategies
  • An ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, as needed
Employment conditions: This is a full-time, 12-month, grant-funded, salaried position. Salary: approx. $40K commensurate with skills and experience, plus benefits. Position availability: August 1, 2017 Application deadline: June 15, 2017 How to apply: A letter of interest; current curriculum vitae; and the names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of five professional references should be sent to: Ms. Christine Fisher 105 McLaurin Hall Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC 29733; E-mail: fisherc@winthrop.edu Winthrop University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Milly

Aiken Elementary students work up a STEAM through dance, movement

From The Aiken Standard Article and photo by Larry Wood
Math plus movement equaled a fun way for Aiken Elementary students to learn about fractions. Working with Gail Glover Faust for two weeks, the students used dance and movement to explore math and science concepts. Fifth-graders learned about force and motion, and third- and fourth-graders focused on fractions, incorporating the arts with science, technology, engineering and math, or STEAM. “For the fifth-graders, I used the elements of dance – walk, run, hop, skip, jump – to teach force and motion,” said Faust, who is an Artist in Residence with the S.C. Arts Commission in Columbia. “With the fourth-graders, we compared fractions, and with the third graders, I introduced them to fractions: how to add them, how to compare them, how to subtract them.” To teach students the difference between numerators and denominators, Faust created a special fraction dance. “When I say numerator, you go high,” Faust said, and the students jumped as high as they could. “When I say denominator, you go low,” Faust said, and the students knelt down close to the floor. “And in the middle, the dividing line, the dividing line,” Faust sang, and the students swayed side to side with their arms stretched out to make the line between numerator and denominator. “They loved that one,” Faust said. “They had fun. They’re engaged. They’re remembering. Through dance and movement, it’s being imprinted upon them what a numerator is and what a denominator is.” Faust also had the third- and fourth-graders form human fraction strips, with half the students sitting down and the other half standing, to learn how different fractions – one-half or three-sixths, for example – can look the same. “The students become the tools for learning,” Faust said. “When our bodies become the tools, then it’s so much easier to translate the math and the science. You can actually act it out and make it come to life.”
Annie Laurie Matson, Aiken Elementary’s music teacher, said the dance project allowed students to have fun and learn about science and math while meeting state requirements for dance in elementary schools.
“We did a study that showed that dance was not being addressed in our school, and there are standards in South Carolina for dance education,” said Matson who applied for an Innovative Arts Works Grant from the S.C. Department of Education to bring Faust to Aiken Elementary. “Kids need to move, and it’s also another way for kids to think creatively and outside the box.” Matson, a member of the Standards Writing Committee for South Carolina, said the committee’s members are working to address how students learn in all areas of the arts and how they can be incorporated into a STEAM education. “The skills for the 21st century will require kids to work together collaboratively and to use lots of different skills creatively. Most of theses kids will have jobs that don’t even exist right now and we can’t even imagine,” Matson said. “While our students might not be dancers and we’re not trying to make everybody a dancer or a musician or an artist, we want them to have those skills, appreciate them and have them in their lives.”

ABC Project website gets a makeover

ABC-Logo-r2The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project website (ABCProjectSC.com) has been transformed with a new design and streamlined content and will now serve as a digital hub for arts education in South Carolina. The new site includes an arts education calendar, a news portal, and resources for current and future ABC sites – schools and districts that receive ABC Advancement grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission. The website also features a directory of all ABC sites that can be sorted by county, district, or grade level. “Schools and districts become ABC sites by going through a rigorous arts strategic planning process to implement standards-based arts curriculum and integrate the arts into daily classroom instruction,” said ABC Project Director Christine Fisher. “The new website will support the work of arts educators and make it easier for parents, business leaders and community members to learn about arts education and ABC sites in their communities.” S.C. Arts Commission Arts Education Director Ashley Brown says the new website will also enhance the ABC Project’s national profile. “South Carolina moved to the frontlines of the national arts education movement by launching the ABC Project in 1987,” says Brown. “We’ve made great strides in 30 years, and now we are focused on the next level of arts education reform. Our goal is to activate the arts to ensure all students gain the vital skills needed for the 21st century, including critical thinking, creativity, and communication. This website will support that goal with quality arts lesson plans, a blog featuring national arts education experts, grants and resources, and professional development videos for educators. The site will serve as a national model for the intersection of arts and technology.” The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (which includes creative writing, dance, design, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts) for all students in South Carolina. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. For more information about the ABC Project, visit www.ABCProjectSC.com. For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.  

Public invited to comment on new visual and performing arts standards

Arts educators and administrators (or anyone interested): help direct the future of arts education. The South Carolina Department of Education invites public comment on the draft S.C. College- and Career-Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency. Feedback will be reviewed by the Writing Committee, and necessary revisions will be made to the draft standards. Public comment must be submitted via online survey forms. The public review period will end January 16, 2017, at 5 p.m. Find out more and comment here. Via: South Carolina Department of Education