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Milestone Spoleto Festival season announced

Which is to say: It's back!

[caption id="attachment_49300" align="aligncenter" width="948"]A woman and man, splattered in bright paint, stand close to perform a theatre production. Physical theater company Machine de Cirque performs the US premiere of La Galerie at Festival Hall. Photo by Emmanuel Burriel.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_49301" align="alignright" width="300"]Promotional photo of two-member The War and Treaty. The War and Treaty (shown) performs with Francesco Turrisi at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard as part of the First Citizens Bank Front Row series. Photo courtesy The War and Treaty.[/caption]

International performers return to Charleston for a program exploring themes of faith, migration, intertwining histories, and reclamations of the past in Charleston from May 27-June 12, 2022 at the storied Spoleto Festival USA.

General Director Mena Mark Hanna announced the first season programmed under his leadership (Hub story), a robust 46th season of America’s premier performing arts festival. This 17-day celebration of arts and culture features more than 120 events in venues throughout the city. Tickets are available to the public beginning Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. ET at spoletousa.org or by calling 843.579.3100. All told, patrons can expect 124 performances and events by upwards of 70 international artists. Included are 10 world premieres. Spoleto Festival USA is a general operating support grantee of the South Carolina Arts Commission. For the first time since 2019, international artists will once again convene in Charleston, reaffirming Spoleto’s prominence in the broader arts landscape. In this way, the 2022 festival season serves as a bridge that spans Charleston and the global community with unifying threads and intertwining themes. It is also, as mentioned, a milestone: the first with Hanna as general director. Hanna, who began leadership last fall, sees Spoleto on the precipice of a new beginning. “Charleston has seen tremendous growth and rapid change, with nearly 60,000 people relocating to the area in the last decade,” he said. “I see Spoleto at a unique point to not only grow with the city, but to continue to be a steward of its cultural life, just as the festival did in its early years.” [caption id="attachment_49302" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Chorus in concert with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Photo by William Struhs.[/caption] At the centerpiece of the season is Omar, Spoleto’s world premiere opera with music by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, directed by Kaneza Schaal (May 27, 30, June 2, 5, 8, 12), and conducted by John Kennedy. Expanding the traditional opera canon and providing a platform for marginalized voices, this work is part of a watershed moment that challenges the standard practice and repertoire of opera, questioning how it has been performed and what it can mean today. With a libretto by Giddens, Omar follows the life and autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an African Muslim scholar who, in 1807, was captured in West Africa and brought to Charleston—a main harbor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In sharing Omar Ibn Said’s memoir, the opera underscores a largely undiscussed truth: as many as 30 percent of enslaved Africans who arrived in the colonies and the United States were Muslim. “Within and beyond Omar, Spoleto’s program explores migration—be it forced, exiled, or voluntary. Enslavement is a forced migration, for example. And in looking at our country’s origin points, it’s crucial to include Africa as a key genesis of the United States. That can no longer be ignored,” Hanna said. These themes distill throughout the program, from jazz and Americana concerts in the College of Charleston Cistern Yard to classical music, dance, and theater performances. Read all about them in the season announcement here or go here to find specific performances to snap up when ticket sales begin next week. [caption id="attachment_49303" align="aligncenter" width="949"]Black female actor performs, alone, on stage of a dimly-lit theatrical set. Dael Orlandersmith performs Until the Flood at Festival Hall during Spoleto Festival USA. Photo by Nicholas Hussong.[/caption]

Jason Rapp

$195,000 in NEA project support announced for S.C.

Six S.C. organizations benefit

Six organizations from South Carolina in Aiken, the Charleston area, and Spartanburg were announced among the recipients of $33 million in nationwide arts project funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today.

A total of $195,000 is being spread among:
  • the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston ($85,000 for research grants in the arts)
  • Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston ($55,000 for presenting and multidisciplinary works)
  • Colour of Music, Inc.; Mount Pleasant ($20,000 for music projects)
  • Charleston Jazz, North Charleston ($15,000 for music projects)
  • the Aiken Symphony, Aiken ($10,000 for a Challenge America grant)
  • Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg ($10,000 for literary projects)
The awards are part of the NEA's first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2022, with 1,498 awards totaling nearly $33.2 million. Grants for Arts Projects funding spans 15 artistic disciplines and reaches communities in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Recipients of the Challenge America grant program, NEA Literature Fellowships in creative writing and translation, and support for arts research projects are also included in this announcement. “These National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants underscore the resilience of our nation’s artists and arts organizations, will support efforts to provide access to the arts, and rebuild the creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The supported projects demonstrate how the arts are a source of strength and well-being for communities and individuals, and can open doors to conversations that address complex issues of our time.” The NEA is committed to equity, access, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Applications for funding demonstrated a commitment by the arts and culture sector to provide more equitable and accessible pathways for arts engagement.

About the grants

Grants for Arts Projects Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) awards reach communities in all parts of the country, large and small, and with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. There are 1,248 organizations recommended to receive cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 for a total of $28,840,000. These awards represent 15 artistic disciplines/fields: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. Applications were received in February 2021 from 1,879 eligible organizations requesting more than $92 million in support. Take note: The next Grants for Arts Projects application deadlines are Thursday, February 10, 2022, and Thursday, July 7, 2022. Visit arts.gov for guidelines and application resources and register for a Grants for Arts Projects guidelines webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, from 3-4 p.m. Challenge America Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. There are 168 organizations recommended in this funding category for a total of $1,680,000. Each grant is for $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Take note: The next Challenge America application deadline is Thursday, April 21, 2022. Visit arts.gov for guidelines and application resources and register for a Challenge America guidelines webinar on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 3-4 p.m. Literature Fellowships The National Endowment for the Arts will award $1.2 million in FY 2021 Literature Fellowships to creative writers and translators:
  • This includes 35 Creative Writing Fellowships of $25,000 each. These FY 2022 fellowships are in prose and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career development.
  • The NEA approved fellowships to 24 translators ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 to translate works from 16 languages and 18 countries into English.
Learn more about these fellowships. Take note: The next deadline for Creative Writing Fellowships is Thursday, March 10, 2022. In 2022, the NEA is accepting applications in poetry. Research Awards The National Endowment for the Arts offers two funding opportunities to support arts research projects:
  • Through Research Grants in the Arts, 18 organizations are recommended for a total of $815,000. This program funds research studies that analyze the value and/or impact of the arts.
  • Five NEA Research Labs are recommended for funding totaling $648,784. Transdisciplinary research partnerships grounded in the social and behavioral sciences will examine and report on the benefit of the arts in non-arts sectors.
Learn more about these recommended arts research awards. The next Research Awards application deadline is Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Guidelines and application resources will be posted soon at arts.govRegister for a Research guidelines webinar on February 9, 2022, at 2 p.m. All of the recommended grants in this announcement were evaluated through the agency’s panel review process. First, applications are submitted for consideration to the agency and staff review them for eligibility and completeness. A panel of experts with knowledge and experience in their respective field then review and score each application in accordance with the published review criteria. Recommendations are then made to the National Council on the Arts. The council makes recommendations to the chair, who makes the final decision on all grant awards. The NEA assembles diverse panels every year with regard to geography, race and ethnicity, and artistic points of view. Learn more about the grant review process or volunteer to be a panelist.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. To learn more, visit arts.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Jason Rapp

Spoleto Festival USA announces new general director

Beginning October 2021, Mena Mark Hanna will become the Festival’s new leader, taking over from current General Director Nigel Redden, who will be retiring after 35 years.

Hanna (right) comes to Spoleto from Berlin’s Barenboim-Said Akademie, where he was Founding Dean. Prior to his tenure in Berlin, he was Assistant Artistic Director at the Houston Grand Opera. “Mena possesses a depth of knowledge and experience across artistic genres, and also—essential for Spoleto and Charleston—understands and is passionate about the power of artistic expression to bridge differences and bring people together,” said Alicia Gregory, President of the Board of Spoleto Festival USA. “The board is unanimous in Mena’s appointment.”

Jason Rapp

Charleston Scene takes on ‘sea change’ in CHS, S.C. arts leadership

Thought-provoking piece on future of S.C. arts


In a sweeping new story, Charleston Scene interviewed several arts leaders who recently—or will—depart their posts as change comes to South Carolina's arts scene.

Picture of an iconic church steeple in downtown CharlestonWriter Maura Hogan asks, "What will the next phase look like?" after several high profile departures dating back to 2019. Among them:
  • Kathleen (Kathi) P. Bateson (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina)
  • Stephen Bedard (Gaillard Management Co.)
  • Ken May (S.C. Arts Commission)
  • Valerie Morris (College of Charleston School of the Arts)
  • Nigel Redden (Spoleto Festival USA)
  • Mark Sloan (College of Charleston Halsey Institute)
  • Marjory Wentworth (former state poet laureate)
While reasons for the departures varied, nearly all involved foresee major change on the horizon in Charleston and the state, whether as a result of the pandemic, recent emphasis on diversity and inclusion, or other things. Click here to read the story from Charleston Scene (subscription possibly required).
Charleston photo by Jason Rapp/SCAC.

Jason Rapp

Six S.C. organizations receive Arts Endowment grants

NEA releases first FY21 grantees


The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2021 totaling $27,562,040.

Supported projects span 14 artistic disciplines in communities throughout the U.S. Also included in this announcement are the recipients of NEA Literature Fellowships in creative writing and translation and support for arts research projects. “The creativity and resilience of artists and arts organizations across the country have inspired Americans during this challenging year,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These projects represent the vitality and perseverance of arts organizations small and large to overcome significant challenges, transform to new ways of engagement, and forge new relationships that benefit the diverse populations in neighborhoods and cities throughout the United States.” The Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and cover these artistic disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. In February 2020, the agency received 1,674 eligible GAP applications requesting more than $82.4 million in FY 2021 support. Approved for funding are 1,073 projects totaling nearly $25 million, with grants recommended to 64% of all applicants and an average grant amount of $23,190. Grant guidelines and upcoming application deadlines are now available on the Arts Endowment website for organizations wishing to apply. Five arts projects in South Carolina were granted in this cycle. They are:
  • College of Charleston ($20,000)
  • Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston ($40,000)
  • Columbia Film Society ($20,000)
  • Greenville Light Opera Works ($10,000)
  • Hub City Writers Project ($10,000)
The Arts Endowment is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Part of this commitment includes our partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Outreach to develop relationships and help HBCUs navigate funding opportunities has led to an increased number of applications from and involving HBCUs. A few Grants for Arts Projects examples of successful applications from this round of funding include:
  • A $20,000 award to National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, to support the Move/Dance! Program in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and Spelman College, which will virtually engage students in the appreciation of Black dance in America.
  • A $15,000 award to Illinois State University to support outreach to HBCUs and the publication of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora. With the aim of growing its readership and cultivating new voices, Obsidian plans to offer online literary programming at HBCUs across the country.
  • A $25,000 award to Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts to support a master class series for aspiring classical music singers. The project will take place at several historically Black colleges and universities such as Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia; and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.
  • A $20,000 award to Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky, to support an artist residency program for visual artists and related public programming. Artists will engage local rural audiences and a partnership with Kentucky State University will enable students to engage with the residency program as interns and volunteers.
  • A $100,000 award to Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to support the pARTners Project. The goal of the initiative is to increase access to arts education for students in West-Central Alabama, with a special focus on preK-12th grade students in rural areas, by creating a strategic plan, providing arts integration programs to schools, including developing curriculum and training teachers. Teaching artists will be recruited for participation from local colleges and universities such as Stillman College.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award $1.2 million in FY 2021 Literature Fellowships to creative writers and translators. This includes 35 Creative Writing Fellowships of $25,000 each. These FY 2021 fellowships are in poetry and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. In addition, the Arts Endowment approved $325,000 in fellowships to 24 translators to translate works from 16 languages and 19 countries into English. Click here to take a more in-depth look at these fellowships and other Literary Arts grants this round.
The National Endowment for the Arts also offers two funding opportunities for research projects. This year marks the tenth anniversary of grants for arts research, a program currently known as Research Grants in the Arts. For FY 2021, 14 organizations are recommended for Research Grants in the Arts totaling $833,000. In addition, five NEA Research Labs are recommended for funding totaling $645,790. Transdisciplinary research partnerships grounded in the social and behavioral sciences will examine and report on the benefit of the arts in non-arts sectors. Click here to explore more about the recommended arts research awards. A research project by Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute at Roper St. Francis Hospital in Charleston was the recipient of an $80,000 research grant.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jason Rapp

South Arts awards arts orgs $1.67 million in Resilience Funding

Three awarded in South Carolina


Investing in the long-term success and strength of arts and cultural infrastructure is core to the South Arts Resilience Fund.

With grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000, 34 small- and mid-sized arts organizations across the region are receiving a total of $1.674 million to build their resilience through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund, managed by South Arts, is part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “These organizations represent a cross-section of the creativity vital to our region,” said Susie Surkamer, CEO and president of South Arts. “Their work impacts artists and audiences across their respective states, the region, and the nation. These awards will allow them to reimagine their work in the face of the pandemic, and emerge stronger than before.” Some highlights of the funded organizations and projects include:
  • Junebug Productions of New Orleans will receive $30,000 to build new revenue streams through the creation of a Junebug Digital Platform as a digital extension of story-sharing as well as an expansion of their fundraising capacity.
  • Appalshop of Whitesburg, Kentucky will receive $100,000 to expand their capacity to provide online content and engage in racial equity planning to analyze their work and policies. Additional funds will convert their facility to renewable energy sources.
  • Collage Dance Collective of Memphis, Tennessee will receive $55,000 to support televised broadcasts of their season as well as a reimagination of their membership program to be more inclusive and robust while increasing revenue.
In June, nearly 500 arts organizations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee were nominated for consideration by themselves and leaders in the field. Of those nominees, 95 were invited to complete a full application and proposal. The applications were then reviewed by panels of experts, who adjudicated each organization based on criteria including impact, vision, geographic scope, and service to the underserved. Three organizations in South Carolina were selected for awards:
  • Colour of Music Festival (Mount Pleasant) $35,900
  • Hub City Writers Project (Spartanburg) $30,000
  • Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston) $50,000
In contrast to funds dealing with the immediate needs of organizations during the pandemic, the South Arts Resilience Fund asked organizations to look further toward the future. “These are unprecedented times and we are glad to provide arts organizations the flexibility and resources to explore their work,” continued Surkamer. “The strategies for resilience look different for each organization, but the ultimate goal is almost always the same: create deeper, more meaningful connections with audiences while working towards long-term sustainability.” The South Arts Resilience Fund is part of South Arts’ comprehensive approach to supporting the arts throughout the pandemic. In April, South Arts distributed 450 grants of $1,000 directly to jazz artists nationwide. Throughout the summer, South Arts also awarded $725,000 in CARES Act funding to arts organizations supporting employment of their workers with an emphasis on rural, culturally specific, and statewide service organizations. Additionally, South Arts has adjusted their other programs to reflect new priorities over the course of the pandemic. A full list of South Arts Resilience Fund recipients as well as information about all other South Arts programs is available by visiting www.southarts.org.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

Submitted material

Spoleto Festival USA director to retire

30+ years enough for Nigel Redden


Nigel Redden announced that in October 2021 he will step down as general director of Spoleto Festival USA.

“The cancellation of the 2020 Festival and the enforced isolation of the last several months have made me realize that, after nearly 35 years since I first joined Spoleto Festival USA, it is time for me to retire. The Festival continues to mean an enormous amount to me—my first real job was working as a studente assistente at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, starting in 1969.” Spoleto Festival USA was founded in 1977 as an American counterpart to the annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto Italy. Redden first joined the festival in 1986 as general manager. He resigned in 1991, leaving the organization with assets of approximately $1.5 million, and returned in 1995 after the festival had suffered significant deficits. During his tenure, the festival built endowments; was involved in the renovations of Festival Hall (formerly Memminger Auditorium), Dock Street Theatre, Charleston Gaillard Center, and College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre; commissioned numerous artists; and staged many world and U.S. premieres. Contemporary composers whose operas were given American or world premieres include Guo Wenjing, Huang Ruo, Philip Glass, Wolfgang Rihm, Kaija Saariaho, Toshio Hosakawa, Pascal Dusapin, Luca Francesconi, Helmut Lachenmann, and Michael Nyman. Bill Medich, chairman of the Spoleto Festival USA board, thanked Redden for his long years of service to the organization. “Nigel Redden has been an inspirational leader for the Festival,” Medich said. “Under his leadership, Spoleto has become known as America’s premier performing arts festival, fulfilling its mission each year to present the best possible program while contributing to the development of young artists and proving a commitment to all forms of the performing arts.” Redden’s notice provides the festival more than a year to identify a successor, and the festival will begin a search immediately.

Jason Rapp

CARES Act funding announced for 7 S.C. NEA grantees

Awards total $350,000


Washington — The National Endowment for the Arts announces the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”


These awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. Overall funding is divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Seven NEA grantees in South Carolina received $50,000 grants each. They are:
  • Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) - Aiken
  • Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County - Camden
  • Spoleto Festival USA - Charleston
  • Columbia Film Society - Columbia
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawleys Island
  • Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) - Pickens
  • Hub City Writers Project - Spartanburg
  • View the full list of nationwide recipients by clicking here.

In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

From the beginning, the Arts Endowment has pursued both speed in making awards, and maintaining the agency’s reputation for organizational excellence. Just 12 days after President Trump signed the CARES Act legislation, the Arts Endowment posted guidelines for direct funding applicants. In less than three weeks, the agency had announced awards to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. This press release marks less than 14 weeks since the legislation was made into law.

Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jason Rapp

Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

New job opening at world-famous arts festival

Spoleto Festival USA seeks an executive assistant and board liaison

[caption id="attachment_12544" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Hubbard St. Dance Chicago[/caption]
The position supports the general director, managing correspondence, including drafting letters and transcribing dictation; facilitating communication with the board of directors as well as festival staff; maintaining calendar/scheduling; making travel reservations; and answering phone and maintaining files. The position also provides support to the director of development and maintains administrative management of the board of directors. This includes monitoring board members’ contributions, committee memberships, terms and contact details; coordinating materials, attendance, meeting room set-up, and other logistics for three annual board meetings and subcommittee meetings; drafting letters to the board of directors and festival donors; and serving as a primary point of contact for the board of directors. Additional responsibilities include co-maintaining the building reservation calendar and managing special projects on an as-needed basis, including but not limited to organizing site visits, monitoring position applications, and coordinating attendee lists for special events.

Qualifications & Capabilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in writing, communications, business, arts management or related field
  • 3+ years of executive-level administrative experience
  • Excellent organizational, writing, and communication skills – copyediting skills preferred
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently in a deadline-driven environment
  • Ability to handle multiple, concurrent tasks with high attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills & sense of discretion
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Word, & Excel
  • Experience with performing arts and/or not-for-profit organizations an asset
  • Experience with Tessitura software an asset

Compensation

Competitive salary; health, dental, vision, and LTD insurance; parking provided; paid leave and holidays; 401(k) matching program.

To Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter to mhale@spoletousa.org. No phone calls, please. (Ed. note: A deadline was not given.)

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