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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

Search produces new president & CEO for Chapman Cultural Center

New leader arrives from N.C. next month

Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center, front view of the building from street.

Today, Chapman Cultural Center announced that a roughly six-month search for its next president and CEO will bring veteran arts leader Dan Mayer to Spartanburg.

He will lead the organization beginning Feb. 10, 2022. Mayer (right) is the current executive director of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina where he has served since 2015. Prior to this role he was development director and later executive director of the Kirkland Performance Center, in Kirkland, Washington, for eight years. “A careful search conducted by a dedicated group of community leaders led by a nationally recognized search firm has brought Spartanburg’s newest visionary leader to Chapman Cultural Center. Dan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization, and I believe he will continue to strengthen and advocate for our vibrant cultural environment,” Dr. Brant Bynum, Chapman Cultural Center board of trustees chairman, said. Chapman Cultural Center’s board expressed confidence in Mayer’s ability to lead the organization, "specifically as we strive to achieve our 2023 strategic intentions." A news release touted Mayer's track record of achieving results through his business and finance acumen coupled with artistic vision. His accomplishments include overseeing a $1.5 million budget, launching a $6 million capital campaign, and building a budget surplus that allowed The ArtsCenter to continue is operations during the pandemic. Mayer brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in various roles in the arts and cultural sector. He was an attorney for the country’s largest pro bono art and entertainment law organization in New York City and served in numerous executive and advisory roles for arts organizations across the U.S., including the Spectrum Dance Theater, Photographic Center Northwest, and Seattle Jewish Film Festival. Regarding the hot-button issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and access, Mayer has reportedly shown a commitment to using the arts as a catalyst to promote diversity and equity in community-based programming, overseeing increases in program diversity and board participation while at the Kirkland Performance Center and implementing the The ArtsCenter’s first-ever DEIA policies while its leader. “The arts and culture will be essential in healing a post-COVID world, and the Chapman Cultural Center and its partners are a key part of bringing us all together to affirm our shared humanity. I look forward to creating coalitions and new initiatives to expand the impact of arts and culture throughout the region,” Mayer said.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center provides cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. The Chapman Cultural Center is located on East Saint John Street in downtown Spartanburg. Please visit www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org for more information.

Jason Rapp

Chapman Cultural Center posts outreach coordinator position

Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg is hiring a full-time outreach coordinator.

Chapman Cultural CenterThis position will be responsible for managing our Community Grants and General Operating Support Grants as well as some events management, data collection and reporting, and providing general support to the outreach department and the other Chapman departments as needed. You will work with artists, board members, staff, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders; you will present information to the general public and report on progress, events, and outcomes. Chapman Cultural Center offers a competitive benefits package and some flexibility in scheduling. We also have a creative, fun, devoted staff and positive atmosphere to work in, as well as rewarding work. Send cover letter and resume to mearley@spartanarts.org. Job posting will remain active until position is filled.

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Mural artist need announced in Spartanburg

Square graphic in dark tones that reads, "Call for mural artist, Spartanburg South Carolina. Robert Smalls Townhomes. Public art management by Chapman Cultural Center. Preference will be given to BIPOC artists and Spartanburg County artists, but all artists with a vision and passion for this project are encouraged to apply."

Artists are encouraged to apply for a two-part mural to be installed inside at Robert Smalls Townhomes in Spartanburg.

Chapman Cultural CenterThe townhomes should be ready for mural installation in the spring of 2022. This mural will be located in the clubhouse, which will serve the needs of the tenants and will be open as a meeting place for local groups and clubs. The purpose of the murals is to commemorate the life of Robert Smalls and educate the community as to his amazing feats of bravery and daring and his service in South Carolina state government. This project is being managed by Chapman Cultural Center. Click here for additional information. Contact Melissa Earley if you have any questions. mearley@chapmanculturalcenter.org, 864-278-9685.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: S.C.’s lone ARP grant from NEA + arts learning on air

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...
Chapman Cultural Center lands big award... Last week, the National Endowment for the Arts announced grants totaling more than $20 million to local arts agencies for subgranting. The agencies will use this funding to distribute grants in their communities to eligible recipients to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. South Carolina's lone recipient is Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center, which is receiving $250,000. The full list of grantees, sorted by city/state, is available on arts.gov. “The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.” The SCAC on the air... SCETV's "Carolina Classrooms" featured an interview with SCAC Executive Director David Platts late last week, joining #SCartists and arts educators to talk STEAM. Stream it on their YouTube Channel at your leisure.  

Jason Rapp

Arts job opens with Artists Collective in Spartanburg

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 10, 2021


The Artists Collective Spartanburg (ACS) is hiring an operations manager.

This is a full-time, salaried position with an expected start date in January 2022. The successful candidate must be a flexible and adaptable self-starter who can work independently with minimal supervision. Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Building management
  • Fundraising
  • Retail administration
  • Bookkeeping
  • Membership
  • Guest artist contracts
Additional duties, qualifications, and salary information is available by clicking here. The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 10, 2021.

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Spartanburg artist, arts org receive community grants

Chapman Cultural Center awards two


Chapman Cultural Center is committed to broadening and strengthening Spartanburg's Cultural community.

Chapman Cultural CenterBecause of this commitment, a major part of the work we do is centered around funding Spartanburg's arts and cultural community. One of Chapman Cultural Center's major funding opportunities comes in the form of our quarterly Community Grants Program. The Community Grants Program awards up to $5,000 per application and is open to both individual artists and non-profits/government agencies. We're proud to announce we've awarded the following artists and organizations a Community Grant for our Q1 2021-2022 grants cycle! Learn more about their projects and programs below.

Speaking Down Barriers

Black man sits, eyes close, with his right hand over his chest listening to poetry Speaking Down Barriers was awarded a Community Grant for their event "An Evening of Transformation." An Evening of Transformation will feature 8 artists: culinary artists, visual artists, spoken word artists, and musicians. Each will create art for the event that will examine our mission "Equity for all." The artists will present their art and the participants will engage the artist and each other around themes that emerge from each piece. All of the artists will be representing marginalized communities and perspectives. (The tentative date is November 13, 2021, 5:30-8:30 at the United Universalist Church of Spartanburg.)

Quinn Long

Local artist Quinn Long was awarded a Community Grant to help with purchasing a high-end printer to produce copies of her art from home, which will enable her to sell high-quality prints of her original artwork.
Chapman Cultural Center receives general financial support for cultural projects impacting Spartanburg County, funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. The full version of this story appears on the CCC website here.

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