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Hub Quick Hits: Spoleto Festival USA commission awarded Pulitzer

Top honors for Omar

[caption id="attachment_53232" align="aligncenter" width="952"]A Black man with close-cropped hair and a beard, wearing a flowing orange tunic, sings on the left of a darkened stage. A white man with short dark hair and white flowing clothes points at the Black man while singing. The stage set looks like a weathered wooden-slat fence with text from the opera in white superimposed via projection. Jamez McCorkle on stage with Malcom MacKenzie. Spoleto Festival USA photo by William Struhs.[/caption]

It was announced yesterday that Omar, the opera co-commissioned by and premiered at Spoleto Festival USA in 2022, is the 2023 Pulitzer Prize winner for music.

Omar was composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels and awarded "For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year." It comes with a $15,000 prize. The 1831 autobiography of Omar ibn Said, a West African scholar uprooted and sold into slavery in Charleston, is the inspiration for Omar. Opening in Senegal, the opera’s narrative traces Said’s spiritual journey from his life in West Africa to his enslavement in the Carolinas. A Muslim African scholar, Said was 37 years old when he was captured in Futa Toro and brought to Charleston. His story is one of strength, resistance, and religious conviction, a story of truth and of faith. Upon arrival in the United States, Said was sold to a Charlestonian, but escaped and fled to North Carolina, where he was recaptured, sent to jail, and then resold to James Owen, the brother of one of the state’s governors. Said penned his autobiography in Arabic in 1831. It is considered the only surviving autobiography of an enslaved person in the United States written in Arabic and therefore unedited. According to many scholars, as many as 30 percent of the enslaved Africans who arrived in the colonies, and subsequently the United States, were Muslim, a largely unexplored truth in modern American discussions of slavery.

Jason Rapp

2023 S.C. Arts Awards: Nigel Redden

Governor's Award: Special Award

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.

Nigel Redden retired as the general director of Spoleto Festival USA in 2021, having rejoined the festival in October 1995 after having previously served as its general manager from 1986 to 1991.

Redden was director of the Lincoln Center Festival from 1998 to 2017. He has also served as executive director of the Santa Fe Opera (1991-1995), artistic consultant to Philadelphia’s American Music Theater Festival (1992-1994), and consultant to the chairperson of the New York International Festival of the Arts (1991-1992). He was director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ dance program from 1981 to 1986 and has served on numerous panels for the NEA, regional arts organizations, and various foundations. He is president of the Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation and serves on the board of South Arts. In 2001 he was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France and was promoted to Commandeur in 2019. He has received honorary doctorates from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina. He is currently the project leader for the Anson African Burial Memorial in Charleston which will honor 36 Africans/African Americans buried in the late 18th century whose bodies were disinterred during the renovation of the Charleston Gaillard Center.
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

Tuesday was a big day for grant announcements

S.C. arts orgs, one artist benefit from NEA, South Arts funding

Within hours of each other yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts and regional arts organization South Arts made their first 2023 grant announcements that will find an artist and several arts organizations in South Carolina.

The NEA went first, announcing more than $34 million in funding to support the arts nationwide. This is the first of the NEA’s two major grant announcements each fiscal year and includes grants to organizations through the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, and Research Awards categories. This announcement also includes grants to individuals for Literature Fellowships in creative writing (poetry) and translation. Evelyn Berry, a writer from Aiken, was among those latter awards, getting a creative writing fellowship of $25,000. Additional grants awarded in South Carolina include:
  • Coker University in Hartsville (Grants for Arts Projects - Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; $10,000)
  • Colour of Music, Inc. in Mount Pleasant (Grants for Arts Projects - Music; $10,000)
  • Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg (Grants for Arts Projects - Literary Arts; $35,000)
  • Puppetry Arts Theatre in Charleston (aka Tuffy Tiger Productions) in Ravenel (Challenge America; $10,000)
  • Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston (Grants for Arts Projects - Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works; $10,000)
  • Trustus, Inc. in Columbia (Grants for Arts Projects - Theatre; $10,000)
  • Warehouse Theatre (aka Greenville Community Warehouse Theatre) in Greenville (Challenge America; $10,000)
“Together, these grants show the NEA’s support nationwide for strengthening our arts and cultural ecosystems, providing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contributing to the health of our communities and our economy,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “I encourage everyone to explore these projects and the ways they help provide inspiration, understanding, and opportunities for us to live more artful lives.” The full list of recommended grants is available in a state-by-state listing and organized by grant category/discipline. Additional information about the projects can be found using the NEA’s Grant Search.
By afternoon, it was South Arts' turn, making (rightful) hay over 16 new Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients for 2023. These organizations are each receiving up to $15,000 to support "arts and..." projects developed by partners—one arts organization or artist, and one non-arts organization—harnessing the power of collaboration. Vaughn Newman Dance of Greenville is the lone South Carolina recipient. Cross-Sector Impact Grants are offered each year as part of South Arts' portfolio of programming to support artists, arts organizations, and communities across the south. These projects support collaborative efforts that connect the arts with non-arts aspects of local communities.
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

Spoleto Festival mourns passing of Geoff Nuttall

[caption id="attachment_51522" align="aligncenter" width="921"] Geoff Nuttall, left, performs with the St. Lawrence Quartet at Dock Street Theater in Charleston. William Struhs/Spoleto Festival USA photo provided.[/caption]

Last week, South Carolina's arts community lost one of its brightest lights as it was announced Geoff Nuttall passed away at 56.

Though not native to the state, Nuttall had tremendous staying power as the director of Spoleto Festival USA's chamber music series. He began welcoming Spoleto festival audiences to chamber concerts at Dock Street Theater in 2010, taking over for the formidable Charles Wadsworth—who invited him to the role. Nuttall's charisma and charm enabled him to make the role his own. As director, he curated each of the 33 annual concerts and performed on many as a violinist and founding member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Spoleto’s quartet-in-residence. “This is a loss not just for Spoleto Festival USA, but for music lovers around the world. Geoff was classical music’s greatest showman, eliciting a rowdy, raucous reception to Haydn that would sound more at home in a club than a concert hall. He didn’t care if people were clapping between movements; he didn’t care that people wore shorts and sandals to performances; he didn’t care for the rigid social formalities that govern classical music performance. All he cared about was the communitarian, cathartic power of music. And because of that, he changed chamber music in America," festival General Director Mena Mark Hanna said in a statement. Nuttall was claimed by pancreatic cancer and passed away Oct. 19 at his home in California.

More on Geoff Nuttall

Jason Rapp

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.

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