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2023 S.C. Arts Awards: Carlos Agudelo

Governor's Award: Individual Category

Graphic with white copy on a dark blue background overlaid on granite blocks. The white text reads South Carolina Arts Awards 2023. As the day nears for the 2023 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: five receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts from the South Carolina Arts Commission and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, managed jointly by the SCAC and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Carlos Agudelo has been Ballet Spartanburg’s artistic director since 1991.

Among his choreography are classic and contemporary favorites, from The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Carmina Burana to The Hobbit, West Side Story, The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, and An American in Paris. Some of these have been performed at Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Columbia, Greenville, Greenwood, and Rutherford County, North Carolina. Under Agudelo’s direction in 2012, Ballet Spartanburg formed a resident professional company comprised of a diverse group of dancers from across the world. For 10 years, it has performed from Spartanburg to North Carolina, Texas, and Las Vegas, in the process staging more than 85 presentations of his choreography. A native of Colombia, Agudelo began his training with the Atlantic Foundation for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale under the direction of Ruth Petrinovic. He received a scholarship to study at the Harkness Ballet School in New York City and danced with the Israel Classic Ballet in Tel Aviv. He toured the world dancing with the International Ballet de Caracas under the direction of former Harkness Ballet dancer Vicente Nebrada. Alvin Ailey coached him in Ailey’s ballet, The River. He also danced with Ballet Hispanico of New York under the direction of Tina Ramirez. Mr. Agudelo received the 2021 Civitan Servant’s Heart Award for the community of Spartanburg and the 2022 Spartanburg Citizen of the Year awarded by the Spartanburg Kiwanis Club. In 2018, Ballet Spartanburg was awarded the S.C. Governor’s Award for the Arts in the organization category.
The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 8 p.m. ET. South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Upstate grants, Lowcountry festival news

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

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

Jason Rapp

Hub City Writers’ Project announces new leadership

Hub City Writers Project will undergo a leadership change beginning April 1 when as current Executive Director Anne Waters moves on to new opportunities after six years heading the nonprofit literary organization.

Hub City Press Director Meg Reid will assume the role of executive director and publisher. Reid joined Hub City Writers Project in 2013 as assistant director, and in 2017 became director of Hub City Press and programs amid the press’s move to a national distributor. Reid has been an integral part of Hub City Press’s rise as a nationally significant publisher. Since 2017, Hub City Press books have made regular appearances in national newspapers, including at least eight mentions in the New York Times Book Review, as well as the Wall Street Journal, magazines like the New Yorker, and on NPR and Good Morning America. Books have won many awards and been longlisted for awards like the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The Story Prize and have been translated into German, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean and many other languages. Reid was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree in 2021. “I've watched Meg absolutely find her niche at Hub City over the last decade, and I know she’s ready to lead,” says Susan Myers, chair of Hub City Writers Projects’ board of directors. “We are beyond lucky to have her immense talent and experience to guide the organization with a clear vision.” “The work I’ve done for Hub City over the past ten years has fundamentally changed the way I think about the world and has fostered in me a belief that inclusive literary communities are vital in all places, large and small,” says Reid. “I’m deeply honored to have the chance to lead the organization into its exciting next chapter.” As the head of HCWP’s leadership team, Reid will develop a mission-driven business strategy and overall artistic vision for the organization, leading from a firm set of values based on equity, community partnerships, and transparency. “Meg has devoted the past decade of her professional career advancing the mission of Hub City Writers Project,” Waters said. “She has done a phenomenal job as director of Hub City Press, and I expect she will do the same as executive director and publisher. I look forward to seeing what she and her extraordinary staff achieve in the coming years.” Since its founding by Betsy Teter, John Lane, and Gary Henderson in 1995, Hub City Writers Project’s mission has been cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent press, community bookshop, literacy outreach, and diverse literary programming. Hub City Press has published over 100 high caliber literary works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as books of regional history, and is the distributor of Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy Quarterly magazine. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Hub City Press books have been widely praised and featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Hub City Bookshop has twice been named one of the South’s best bookshops by Southern Living, and was named 2019 Bookshop of the Year by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Every other year, Hub City Press and the South Carolina Arts Commission are partners in recognizing South Carolina authors with the South Carolina Novel Series.

Jason Rapp

Comms job posting serves Spartanburg arts

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
  • COMPENSATION INFORMATION: $56,000-$60,000 / FT / Benefits offered

Chapman Cultural Center is looking for a new communications director.

From their website:

The marketing & communications director is a leader driving brand strategy, creating and activating promotion that inspires and engages patrons, creatives, and donors in our community. The director is responsible for developing innovative brand ideas, actions, and thought leadership that communicates the role, scope, and impact of Chapman Cultural Center as a leading arts, cultural, and entertainment organization and destination. Reporting directly to president/CEO, the marketing & communications director manages all aspects of marketing, communications, and promotions for Chapman Cultural Center.

The director must demonstrate curiosity and passion for the power of branding to drive demand and achieve objectives. Day-to-day tasks will include traditional and digital marketing, media planning, budget management, and design oversight. 

Click here to learn more and get application instructions (PDF).

Jason Rapp

Hub Quick Hits: Beaufort benches, Spartanburg hotel art

Twofer Tuesday? Twofer Tuesday. Let's go.

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

Jason Rapp

New arts job to support connections, community engagement

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, November 21, 2022 (priority consideration)
  • COMPENSATION INFORMATION: $38,000-$40,000 + benefits

Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg County's arts leader, is offering a new position that supports its efforts to reach its community and stakeholders.

Chapman Cultural CenterThe Nonprofit Arts Administrator and Community Engagement Initiator provides support to the president/CEO and the board of directors to provide seamless administrative operation and supports the president/CEO with community engagement and creating connections to underserved audiences and creatives. The successful candidate will be an individual who builds authentic relationships and values frequent engagement with diverse stakeholders. This individual will be resilient and flexible in addressing challenges and embracing opportunities; they will have a commitment to community engagement and a passion to collaborate with a wide range of artists and other professionals and promote accessibility and creativity throughout the region. Interested? Learn more at this link.

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg community-based choir announces new name

The Spartanburg Festival Chorus, Spartanburg’s choral union of community singers and Converse students, has a new name: The Spartanburg Master Chorale.

The new name more accurately reflects the purpose of the chorus: to present masterworks of choral and choral-orchestral repertory from the 16th century to the present day. The group has been together, under various names (Spartanburg Symphony Chorus, Spartanburg Festival Chorus) for more than 50 years and has presented high-profile concerts with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra and with Ballet Spartanburg, and they have participated in major choral festivals in Prague, Paris, and in Oppenau, Germany. The Spartanburg Master Chorale has also been a part of the immensely popular "Lessons and Carols" holiday program at Converse for many years. On Nov. 17, 2022, the Spartanburg Master Chorale will present Robert S. Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories to the Spartanburg Community, in collaboration with the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Writing in the Choral Journal in October of 2018, Kody Wallace wrote about Alzheimer’s Stories, One of the greatest achievements a work of art can hope to achieve is to bring us to our darkest places and show us a light. To illuminate our fears, ease our anxieties, and heal our pain. Whether or not you’ve struggled with this disease personally or as a caregiver, this is what makes Alzheimer’s Stories a truly special experience.”
The Spartanburg Master Chorale rehearses on Tuesday nights from 7-9:30 p.m. on the Converse campus, beginning on Aug. 23. Interested singers should contact Dr. Keith Jones (keith.jones@converse.edu or 864.596.9004.

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11 to receive FY23 operating support from Chapman Cultural Center

[caption id="attachment_49964" align="aligncenter" width="950"] A 2018 installation exhibit at Spartanburg Art Museum by artist Jonathan Brilliant. Photo by Jake Francek/Social Design House.[/caption]

Chapman Cultural Center is pleased to announce we’ve awarded $539,400 in General Operating Support (GOS) Grants to 11 arts and cultural organizations for the 2022/2023 fiscal year.

Chapman Cultural CenterThe funds are the highest amount awarded since the 2019/2020 fiscal year and will be critical to supporting Spartanburg’s arts and cultural community as it continues to recover from the pandemic. Grantees use GOS funding to support annual operating expenses and general funding to support and progress the mission of their organization. In the last twenty-five years, through donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded $18 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way, and our community’s creative ecology is stronger because of it. Chapman Cultural Center is the leading Local Arts Agency in Spartanburg County. Each year, GOS grants are awarded based on a stringent application process to arts and cultural organizations that have been established as a 501(c)3 for three years or more and work towards advancing the arts and cultural vitality of Spartanburg County. Grantees are evaluated based on merit, need, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service within Spartanburg County. “We are thrilled to be awarding these grants as arts and cultural organizations emerge from the pandemic and strive to increase service to students and underserved citizens, and to bring together the community at the Chapman Center and at other venues throughout Spartanburg County. The arts and culture unite us and these grants represent important operating funds that sustain nonprofits in our area and enable us all to celebrate what makes our community so special and unique,” said Daniel Mayer, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center. General Operating Support Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Artists Collective | Spartanburg Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Ballet Spartanburg Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve Hub City Writers Project Proud Mary Theatre Company Spartanburg Art Museum Spartanburg County Historical Association Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre Spartanburg Philharmonic Spartanburg Science Center 

Upon receiving the grant, Robin Ruppe, Executive Director of Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve said, “On behalf of Hatcher Garden Board and staff, we sincerely and most gratefully thank the Chapman Cultural Center for their very generous GOS Grant award. With this support, we can continue collaborative arts partnership activities for all ages in the community and greatly appreciate the generous financial support of Hatcher Garden!” This year, Chapman Cultural Center received additional funding through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to aid in the arts and cultural sectors’ recovery from the pandemic. Chapman Cultural Center received $250,000 in funding which was used to supplement and distribute GOS grants to eligible organizations. To learn more about Chapman Cultural Center’s various grants programs and processes, please visit our website.

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Spartanburg scholarship helps pursuit of visual, performing arts degree

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Chapman Cultural Center is pleased to announce that the application period has opened for the Mary Wheeler David Scholarship.

Chapman Cultural CenterThe Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarship is an annual award open to high school seniors from Spartanburg County who are interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in the visual or performing arts. Applications for the Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarship will be accepted by Chapman Cultural Center through March 16. One scholarship of at least $1,000 is usually awarded. The selection is based on student character, financial need, and artistic potential. The scholarships are awarded based on the recommendations of a panel of community leaders with interest and expertise in the visual and performing arts. With tuition prices rising and amid a pandemic, now more than ever, this scholarship will help provide financial assistance to students looking to further their education in the arts. The scholarship award was named in honor of Mary Wheeler Davis, who felt her purpose in life was to improve the quality of life for others, especially to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of all citizens of Spartanburg County. The family of Mary Wheeler Davis created a special trust as a memorial to her to be devoted primarily to the promotion of the arts in Spartanburg County by means of scholarships for studies in the performing and visual arts. The Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarship is a component fund of The Spartanburg County Foundation. In addition to completing the application, the student must submit a resume; two letters of recommendation; statements pertaining to career goals, scholarship use, and need; and support materials, such as writing samples, tapes, films, and videos. The application must be submitted to the Chapman Cultural Center offices by 5 P.M., Friday, March 16, 2022. To apply for this scholarship, please visit www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org.

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Eight competitors reach S.C. Poetry Out Loud finals

State finals to be held virtually March 5

for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – From among statewide submissions, judges selected eight finalists who now have a chance to represent South Carolina this spring in the national finals of Poetry Out Loud—an annual, nationwide recitation contest.

The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud South Carolina (POLSC), partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to the state’s high schools. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance. POLSC Coordinator Bonita Peeples once again arranged a 2021/2022 competition with a virtual structure. The first step, now complete, was inviting students in grades 9-12 to submit videos to twin regional competitions, each with its own set of different judges. Both regionals yielded four finalists to compete in the competition’s next step: virtual state finals on Saturday, March 5, 2022. The eight finalists come from four schools in Charleston, Greenville, and Spartanburg. Students from Region 1, roughly the lower half of the state, all come from Charleston County School of the Arts. They are:
  • Tea Allen
  • Kenneth Carrington
  • Natalie Holland
  • Adam Maierle
Finalists from Region 2, which is roughly the upper half of the state, represent three schools. The students are:
  • Emily Allison, 2021 state champion (Fine Arts Center of Greenville)
  • Harper Scott (Fine Arts Center of Greenville)
  • Catherine Wooten (Westgate Christian School of Spartanburg)
  • Caleb Xiao, 2021 first runner-up (Spartanburg Day School in Boiling Springs)
Adjudicating the virtual finals will be veteran Poetry Out Loud judges Al Black, Dr. Ray McManus, Michelle Reese, and Kimberly J. Simms. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. Each finalist will meet virtually to record three one-take recitations with Peeples and a prompter. The judges will review the recitations and determine a state champion and first runner-up. The state finals champion will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition for the chance to win a $20,000 first prize. Cancelled in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the national finals returned virtually in 2021 and will be virtual again in 2022. Find out more about the national competition here.
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 four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. 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