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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

STEAMIFY competition for 4th-8th graders

Registration deadline: Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with AARP and Augusta University, is sponsoring a virtual engineering and artistic design-based problem solving competition called STEAMIFY.

Students will tackle real-world problems relevant to their community where they are able to design, build, test a prototype to the solution and pitch their innovation as a team. Using areas of computer science, engineering, visual arts, and spoken word, scenarios are created for students to problem solve and dialogue to use critical thinking skills and their leadership.

“How can you contribute towards making your community livable for all?” 

  • For Computer Science: Students will identify a need in their community that has been impacted by COVID-19. Discuss and create how they would create a mobile or web app that assists, improves, enhances or informs a targeted audience about the availability of services.
  • For Engineering: Students will redesign their classroom to maximize connectivity while social distancing. Students will design and discuss how that would look.
  • For Visual Arts: Students will use their choice of media and design to create one or two pieces of art work that showcases the COVID-19 impact on their life and imagine how their community could apply lessons learned from COVID-19 to become more connected.
  • For Spoken Word: Students are asked to consider the impact of COVID-19 or how the impact of social justice has made on their family and community, lesson learned, and how they propose changing their life and the lives of others in the community. Students will design, create and perform a spoken word piece that chronicles 2020 and how it can lead to positive outcomes and results.
Read more under "Events & Guidelines" on this page.
Who Should Participate

Afterschool programs, schools (public/private), scout clubs, houses of faith, parks and recreation centers, homeschools, and others are invited to participate.

Teams of 2 - 7 students

4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th graders

There is a $10 fee for each event.

For financial support, send your request to steamify@scafterschool.com.


Jason Rapp

Theatre for children this summer in North Charleston

First of two presentations is June 21

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to offer the first of two Summer Children’s Theatre presentations on Friday, June 21, 2019, featuring Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws!, presented by Good Clean Fun. The interactive, STEAM learning based program is for all ages and features two showings at two different locations. Daycares, community groups, families, and individuals are welcome to attend the 10 a.m. showing at Northwoods Park and Recreation Center at 8348 Greenridge Rd. and/or the 2 p.m. showing at Danny Jones Recreation Center at 1455 Monitor St. in North Charleston. Tickets are $2 per child with accompanying adults admitted at no charge. Parking is free. Good Clean Fun is led by Deena Frooman, an award-winning event producer and 25-year veteran of festivals, corporate entertainment, and tv/film production, who specializes in providing interactive amusement for children. As purveyors of play, Good Clean Fun is dedicated to “recretainment,” a combination of recreation and entertainment. Their mission is to bring STEAM play to the people using juggling and manipulation of objects as the core for development. Their hands-on assemblies and workshops can invoke a sense of belonging for audiences, both interpersonally and intrapersonally. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws is a program that incorporates a combination of STEAM-related vocabulary and skills focused on Newton’s Laws, Force of Motion, velocity, inertia, other scientific information, self-confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, and more. To learn more, visit www.goodcleanfun.simpl.com. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws! is presented as part of a Summer Children’s Theatre Series, which also includes an anti-bullying and self-esteem enhancing program by TiffanyJ featuring Super Beauty on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Groups of 10 or more are asked to reserve space in advance. Seats fill up fast, so reserve early by calling the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 843.740.5854. For reservation forms, directions, or information on additional programs and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of NorthCharleston.org.

Submitted material

Blackville students gain STEAM at summer camp

From the Augusta Chronicle:

A new summer camp brought learning full STEAM ahead for 100 Barnwell County students.

The Engaging Creative Minds Summer STEAM Camp was held at Macedonia Elementary/Middle School between June 4 and July 19. Approximately 100 students in the first through eighth grades engaged in fun and educational activities centered upon the components of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. While many students were from Blackville, a number also came from Barnwell and Williston.


The model used for the camp was started as an arts integration program during the school year in Charleston several years ago. A summer camp component was added in 2014, which proved successful and expanded into Clarendon County. This caught the eye of the South Carolina Department of Education which along with the S.C. Arts Commission provided funding for this year’s camp in Blackville, said Robin Berlinsky, the executive director of Engaging Creative Minds. Another camp was held in Allendale County.


Jeremiah Gilchrist, 11, a rising sixth grader at Macedonia, said he isn’t the best artist, but instructor Terrance Washington pushed him to be creative. “He told me not to tell him what I can’t do, but to at least try to do it,” said Gilchrist, who noticed his artistic progression throughout the six-week camp.

There's plenty more to read in Jonathan Vickery's Chronicle story.
Photo from Augusta Chronicle, credit not provided.

Tuning Up: Calls for Art! + STEAM workshop

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...

Calls. For. Art.

We have a couple calls for art this morning, which can only mean one thing: it's time to fire up the ol' calls for art megaphone:
  • Okay, so the first is an RFQ, but it counts, right? (Right?) City of Mauldin and the Mauldin Cultural Council in ... Mauldin ... invite all South Carolina based visual artists – working solo or as a team – to submit qualifications for the Mauldin Public Art Trail. The selected artist/team will create work in any medium that reflects the specific theme “Industry of the Upstate.” The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 16, 2018 at 5 p.m. The selected artist(s) can create a work in any medium as long as it reflects the stated theme. A minimum of two artists/teams will be selected as “finalists” by April 24, 2018.
  • There is still time to apply to participate in STYLE '18! Now in its 12th year, STYLE is a show, sale and benefit celebrating independent contemporary design. This is a curated event focused on the highest quality fashion, jewelry and accessories. STYLE '18 will take place over two days on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. Jurors will hand-select 36 national and international designers to participate in the 2018 event. Submit your application today to participate.

STEAM Workshop

SC Afterschool Alliance invites you to spend a "Morning with STEM" (just wait...): workshops that will provide valuable resources that can be used with your students immediately and designed to promote engagement, creativity and success. Over the next few months, they plan to present sessions to help you learn to integrate technology with literacy, math, art and science to expand your STEM offerings. Included in April's session is "STEM is Gaining STEAM." The workshop is Thursday morning, April 10 in Columbia at SCETV. Register for the free workshop here.

Funds available for STEAM education projects

From Clemson University Article by Paul Alongi

[caption id="attachment_33236" align="alignright" width="300"] Educators from across the state can apply for grants that pay for new STEAM projects, such as those on display at the iMAGINE Upstate festival in downtown Greenville each spring.[/caption] Students across South Carolina will have new opportunities to learn skills that employers say are in demand as part of a program that is distributing funds for new projects in science, technology, engineering, art and math, also known as STEAM. Five grants will be awarded to educators who are interested in starting new STEAM projects targeted toward students from prekindergarten through grade 12.
Each grant recipient will receive up to $2,500 and eight hours of STEAM-focused professional development valued at $1,500. Educators in the public and private sector are invited to apply, and eligibility extends to those involved in out-of-school learning, such as after-school clubs. The deadline to apply is Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. The grants are called  “Growing in SC: The Future of STEAM is Here.” They come from the S2TEM Centers SC, an affiliate of South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science. They are part of the centers’ 25th anniversary celebration. Tom Peters, executive director of the South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics & Science, said the grants will help establish new and innovative projects across the state. “STEAM education inspires the next generation of leaders and prepares them for some of the state’s most in-demand jobs,” he said. “With these grants, we are planting seeds for the future.” One grant will be awarded to an educator from each area of the state as defined by the coalition: Coastal Pee Dee,  Lowcountry, Midlands, Upcountry and Western. Recipients will be recognized at an anniversary celebration planned for March at the Capital City Club in Columbia. The grants should incorporate multiple aspects of STEAM education and support the “Life and Career Characteristics” and “World Class Skills” sections of the TransformSC “Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.” Applications can be downloaded at www.s2temsc.org/grant.html. The South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics & Science offers a host of programs in STEM and STEAM education resources through its S2TEM Centers SC initiative.  These resources range from downloadable lessons to continuing education courses. The coalition is based in Anderson and is housed within the Clemson University College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

Aiken Elementary students work up a STEAM through dance, movement

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


New Ellenton Middle art students engineer lasting legacy for school

From The Aiken Standard Article by Larry Wood

Art students at New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School recently learned the art of engineering. Using elements of engineering, including exploring, creating and testing, the students made two stained glass windows – each a mirror image of the other – featuring the school’s mascot, the Wolverine, in the school’s colors, green and gold. [caption id="attachment_29343" align="alignright" width="300"]newellentonmiddleschool2 Students in Kimberly Fontanez’s art classes at New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School created two stained glass windows with artist-in-residence Stacy O'Sullivan. The windows now welcome guests as they enter the school's front door. Photo by Larry Wood[/caption] One of Kimberly Fontanez’s sixth-grade art students sketched the designs for the windows, and artist-in-residence Stacy O’Sullivan translated them into a pattern for stained glass. Seventh-graders and the eighth-grade students in Fontanez’s Art I class, for which they receive high school credit in middle school, built the windows, each 31-by-21 inches, with O’Sullilvan’s guidance. After both windows went through a glazing process to help protect the glass, O’Sullivan installed them over the school’s front door, leaving a permanent legacy of the students’ time at New Ellenton Middle. With its emphasis on STEAM, New Ellenton Middle incorporates the arts and science, technology, engineering and mathematics in classes across the curriculum. For the stained glass project, students followed the engineering design process, Fontanez said. “Using the engineering design process, students first explored. They created a design. They then created tests to refine the design before starting the work,” she said. The students worked hand-in-hand with O’Sullivan to create the two stained glass windows. They cut the colored glass pieces into squares, rectangles, triangles and arcs – learning about geometry – and then ground the pieces’ sharp edges smooth on a grinder – learning about engineering safety. They also learned about leading and building the windows by putting the individual pieces of colored glass together to create unified works of art. “They have been intricately involved in every part of the process,” O’Sullivan said.
 At New Ellenton Middle, art and science go together like an artist’s paints and palette or a scientist’s microscope and slides.
“The STEAM program, in general, has been exciting to me as an artist in the community because it allows me to bring my artistry and show the parallel to what the kids are learning in school, aligning it with actual industries in Aiken County,” said O’Sullivan, the co-owner of Art and Soul, a gallery, studio and teaching/learning facility in downtown Aiken. “It’s exciting to be part of that, and the students have been amazing. They’ve done a great job and had great enthusiasm for the project.” Eighth-grader Jaiven Gardner said she is proud of her and her classmates’ work and their gift to the school. “The best part is being able to create a piece of art and be proud of it and know that you worked with your class to do that piece,” she said. She’s also proud to leave a legacy for future students at New Ellenton Middle. “I’m very proud that my class is going to leave a reminder of our last year here at New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School,” Gardner said. “I love this project, and I love my school.”

Spartanburg School District One offers dance for the first time

Spartanburg One's New Prospect Elementary and Holly Springs Motlow Elementary are Arts in the Basic Curriculum sites. ABC sites receive South Carolina Arts Commission grants to help integrate the arts into basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction. From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Second grade students at New Prospect Elementary School (pictured above) are dancing their way through the water cycle during a Science lesson, as a part of the newly implemented Dance pilot program in Spartanburg School District One. All District One elementary students in grades 2-5 now have the opportunity to participate in the first ever Dance program offered by the district. Mrs. Kellianne Floyd, who has taught dance in school at all levels over the last 12 years, will rotate between each elementary school in the district throughout the year, allowing students the opportunity to audition for Dance. Mrs. Floyd sees her auditioned groups every day during their Academic Arts time, and finds creative ways to integrate arts into the core curriculum through STEAM activities. In addition to working with her audition groups, Mrs. Floyd also works with entire grade levels teaching arts integration lessons, such as how to use poetry to choreograph a dance in AB form and using opposite words to create a dance sequence. Social Studies lessons have been transformed as students have had the opportunity to experience Native American dances, African folk dances, and even the Carolina Shag! Through this program, students have the ability to learn critical thinking skills by observing each other's performances and analyzing the skills implemented in each piece of choreography. Students can make connections between dance and academic subjects such as English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, and have the opportunity to learn in a completely new way. All students who participate in the Dance program will have the opportunity to choreograph and perform dances in their schools and community. In April, a group of Dance students have been invited to perform at Operation: Stand Down, an organization for homeless veterans. Mrs. Floyd received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from Winthrop University in 2003 and holds a Masters of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis on Recreational Therapy from Clemson University. In addition, Mrs. Floyd holds an Ed. S. in School Administration from Converse College. She has had opportunities to study with master teachers from around the world including Savion Glover, Frank Hatchett, Radio City Rockettes alumnae, So You Think You Can Dance alumnae Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan, and has also performed as a dancer in the 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Atlanta, GA.

Leader of the band: Scott Rush wants more arts education

From the Charleston Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker, photos by Grace Beahm

For Scott Rush, nothing could be finer than to stand before a school band and make music. He has tried to make it a lifelong habit, though his skills as an educator have propelled him up the chain of command and away from the band room. Today, Rush is director of fine and performing arts for Dorchester District 2, a generally high-performing public school system that serves the lower half of Dorchester County, especially the Summerville area. His years in education have taught him that a school curriculum infused with the arts improves learning,retention, test scores, behavior and general performance. The arts are considered vital if educators are to teach “the whole person,” he said. As the Charleston County School District grapples with an $18 million budget shortfall, representing about 4 percent of its $430 million annual operating budget, it’s making cuts that impact arts education. Dorchester District 2, a smaller district with a $187 million operating budget, instead has strengthened its commitment to arts education and empowered Rush to encourage collaboration and improve programming. In 2007, a federal arts grant for Alston Middle School allowed district officials to add fine arts programs that resulted in improved attendance, discipline and math and literacy scores. A recent federal grant for River Oaks Middle School and Eagle Nest Elementary School enabled the district to add more arts technology, an arts-dedicated technology associate and a drama teacher, introducing theater as a new core area of study at the two schools. “We hope that this infusion of more arts education will show some of the same successes,” Rush said. More than 70 percent of the district’s students participate in a fine arts class. More than 450 students enrolled in two fine arts summer enrichment programs. Lasting impressions The value of the arts to school learning became clear to Rush when he was a young student in Camden, where he grew up. His father was minister of music at church; his siblings played guitar and sang. At 4, Rush learned the ukulele. And music was a big part of the school day. At Camden Middle School, dynamic choral and band teachers offered Rush a glimpse of his own future. “By eighth grade I knew I wanted to play French horn,” he recalled. In high school, he realized he wanted to be a band director. He majored in music at the University of South Carolina, attended the Brevard Music Center as a student and counselor in the summers, played second horn in the South Carolina Philharmonic and joined the 1986 Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. It was good preparation for the New England Conservatory of Music, where Rush earned his master’s degree. He was in Boston for nearly four years, studying and freelancing. In 1990, he moved to Atlanta, performed with several ensembles and taught at nearby Kennesaw State University. The performing life was fast becoming routine and unfulfilling, Rush said. He’d warm up, rehearse, perform; warm up, rehearse, perform. It wasn’t enough. “A friend asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’ Well, I’ve always wanted to be a band director.” Dream come true Rush, then in his late 20s, moved back to South Carolina and took a job at Newberry Middle School. He earned less money, but he was finally doing what he loved the most. He was there seven years. Then, in 1999, he applied for an open position at Wando High School.

“I couldn’t turn that down,” Rush said. Teaching band at Wando was a dream come true. He flourished there for 15 years. “They were fantastic years. Everything about that job I loved.”

Wando had 108 band students when Rush first arrived and 282 when he left. All the while, Rush racked up the state and national awards. “Every child has the ability to fall in love with an art form,” he said. “If you are going to teach the whole child, Mozart and Michelangelo are just as important as Einstein and Shakespeare,” he said. He’s proud that 44 of his former students have pursued careers as professional musicians. Support from above Rush said Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joe Pye provides invaluable support. And that commitment trickles down. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="520"]Flutists Drew Smith-Jones and Dartagnan Brownlee rehearse under the direction of Scott Rush at Ashley Ridge High School. Flutists Drew Smith-Jones and Dartagnan Brownlee rehearse under the direction of Scott Rush at Ashley Ridge High School.[/caption] “Art is intrinsic for the kids,” said Glenn Huggins, assistant superintendent over curriculum and instruction. For example, in a social studies class recently, Huggins noticed the teacher was discussing the Egyptian pyramids with students. Down the hall in art class, students also were working on pyramids and talking about ancient Egyptian history. That was not by chance. It was a result of the kind of coordination the district encourages and Rush helps achieve. In 2003, another friend suggested that Rush write a book about teaching band. He thought about it for a second, then got to work. “Habits of a Successful Band Director” was a surprise hit, and it led to the writing of six more method books in the “Habits” series, some co-authored by Jeff Scott and Emily Wilkinson or Christopher Selby. Selby directs the Charleston County School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra. He said Rush insists on maintaining high standards. “I saw that on the marching band field at Wando, and I see it in Dorchester District 2,” Selby said. “He does work very hard to be the best and to have the best and to create the best.” He also has a clear vision for the direction music education has to go, Selby said. It must go is toward a more robust curriculum that includes the arts: STEAM, not STEM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math. “Any education that focuses on just one half of the brain is insufficient,” Selby said. “STEM was missing a limb. In order for education philosophy to be complete, it includes the arts.” Community Rush is a key partner for area arts organizations such as the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Gaillard Center and Engaging Creative Minds, which collaborate with educators to enhance school districts’ offerings. “We have found that it’s a homerun,” Rush said. “You’d think everybody would embrace arts-infused education. But equally important is art for art’s sake.” What happens to a young listener when she hears Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings or views Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee”? How do they resonate in her imagination? How might they improve her quality of life? For some students, the arts are more than a passing interest, hobby or method for enhancing academic performance; the arts provide a means of expression, a license to be creative, Rush said. “The instruction we provide (students) should be strong enough, substantial enough ... to enable them to pursue a career,” he said. “(Educators) can’t pick and choose what’s important and not so important to any individual student.” More than 25,000 students at three high schools, six middle schools, 15 elementary schools and one alternative school benefit from this approach.