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Union library named finalist for National Medal

Here's a belated note worth sharing with Hub readers today. – Ed. Union County Carnegie Library Earlier in March, the Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for community service. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions throughout the nation that have demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Union County Carnegie Library was named to the finalist list. Throughout March and April, IMLS will celebrate the excellent community work of these institutions through its six-week Share Your Story social media campaign, which began last week. Anyone with a story to tell about these libraries and museums is encouraged to share comments and pictures with #IMLSmedals and tag IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. "We are thrilled to be a finalist for the National Medal, and we know that this is due in large part to our facility and partnerships. We wanted to share this great news with you and tell you how much we appreciate our partnership and are thankful for your support," Executive Director Rieta Drinkwine said. The S.C. Arts Commission was one such partner, as UCCL was host of the first Communal Pen writing workshop series that has since worked its way through South Carolina since last September. National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will receive their medals at a ceremony on June 12 in Washington. Learn more about the Union County Library System here. 

Unified auditions coming for Upstate actors

Registration deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019


Be seen by casting directors for Upstate theatres

Brought to you by the South Carolina Theatre Association
  • Actors should prepare a 60 second monologue
    • Must be from a published play
    • Must be memorized
    • No costumes, please
  • Musical theatre actors should prepare 90 seconds of monologue and song
    • Must be from a published play or musical
    • Must be memorized
    • Must provide your own sheet music (we will provide the accompanist)
    • You can use the 90 seconds however you wish (all song, or song and monologue)
  • Technicians should prepare a presentation of their work.
    • Must bring your portfolio
    • May bring any examples.
    • You and your portfolio will be posted in a room for the casting directors to come visit and chat with you during their lunch break.
  • All auditionees including technicians will be included in the e-book that will be provided to participating theatres.  Upon registration you will receive and email requesting you to submit your resume and headshot.  If technicians have an on-line portfolio they can submit that link as well.  No paper copies will be accepted.
  • Please note: the Upstate Unified Auditions are opens to theatre artists age 8 and up. (18 and older on 2/16; ages 8-17 on 2/17)
  • If you have questions or issues registering, please contact Anita Sleeman: asleeman@southcarolinatheatre.org.
Go here to register now!

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop coming to Union

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to debut Communal Pen, a writing workshop in Union on Saturday, Oct. 6 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. And they have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union County Carnegie Library, 300 E. South St.) draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at the Union County Carnegie Library through Oct. 21, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Time to make hay

The first weekend in June is just days away, and that means it’s time for another arts festival in South Carolina. More low-key than its larger brethren, the Ag + Art Tour (Ag and Art Tour) continues to grow and in 2018 is spread throughout 12 counties. Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of designated farms in South Carolina featuring local artisans and farmer's markets.  During this tour you will have the opportunity to see first-hand where your food comes from, watch artists in action and purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folksongs, and learn more about rural life. It’s the largest free farm and art tour in the nation with more 30,000 visitors participating since it began in 2012. And it’s ready to, ahem, make hay for the next four weekends in the counties of:

  1. Chesterfield County (June 2-3)
  2. Darlington County
  3. Florence County
  4. Horry County
  5. Kershaw County
  6. Chester County (June 9-10)
  7. Lancaster County
  8. York County
  9. Fairfield County (June 16-17)
  10. Newberry County (June 23-24)
  11. Union County
  12. Spartanburg County
2018 Tour Times
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays 1-5 p.m.
Once again, yes, admission is free, but there will likely be a charge to purchase food, beverages and a farmer’s and/or artisan’s products. Some activities may also have a cost. Head to the Ag + Art Tour website to begin plotting the course that works for you. (And do them a solid: don’t forget to use the hashtag #agandarttour in your social media posts.)

Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour adds Union County to lineup

On June 27 - 28, the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour will host its second regional tour introducing a fifth county -- Union County -- to the tour lineup.  Tours will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. While 2015 marks the second consecutive year for the regional tour, it serves as the fourth Ag + Art tour in the Catawba Region since launching in 2012. [caption id="attachment_20582" align="alignleft" width="250"]Ag+Art Tour Patricia Gambino Patrician Gambino of Clay Impressions demonstrates pottery making at Calvert Training Stables during a previous Ag+Art Tour of Lancaster County.[/caption] Already the largest free farm tour in the nation, the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour will be bigger than last year, stretching across five South Carolina counties: Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York. Adding Union County farms and artisans to this year’s event will offer more than 50 farm sites for visitors to enjoy. The Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour is a self-guided tour and features local artisans and farms throughout the Catawba Region. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to see where their food comes from, interact with artists, purchase their work, enjoy live entertainment, and learn about rural life. “The tour has received great feedback and most recently received the County Activities of Excellence (CAE) Award from the American Farm Bureau Federation," says Ben Boyles, co-chair of the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour.  "Gov. Nikki Haley also encourages all South Carolinians to learn more about our heritage and history through this event and other community events.” Last year, Gov. Haley proclaimed the week of the tour as the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour week. A few sites to see along the tour include Benford Brewing Company (Lancaster County), Catawba Cultural Preservation Center (York County), Elder Farms Family Homestead (Fairfield County), Fishing Creek Creamery (Chester County), Native American Studies Center and Garden (Lancaster County), Three Horse Milling Company (Union County), Rock Ridge Farm (York County), Royal Greens (Fairfield County), Simple Times Farm (Union County), and The Powell Farm (Chester County). Each county will host a kickoff event to introduce the featured farm sites and artisans in their communities. Kickoff events include a range of activities such as barbeque feasts, concerts, farmers markets and cooking demonstrations by local chefs using local fresh produce. County kickoff events are scheduled as follows:

  • 2015 Chester County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 23, 6 – 8 p.m. in downtown Chester at the Market Building (116 Columbia St., Chester)
  • 2015 Fairfield County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 25, 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Mission Ridge Training and Golf Retreat in Winnsboro (601 S. Congress St., Winnsboro)
  • 2015 Lancaster County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 26, 7 – 11:30 p.m. at the Historic Lancaster County Courthouse (104 N. Main St., Lancaster)
  • 2015 Union County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 19, 6 – 9 p.m. in the 116th block of Main St. in Union near the Union County Arts Council
  • 2015 York County Ag + Art Tour Kickoff on June 11, 5 – 8 p.m. during the Old Town Farmers Market in Rock Hill (115 Caldwell St., Rock Hill)
Catawba Regional Ag +Art Tour About the Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour The first Ag + Art Tour started in 2012 in York County as a way to merge agriculture and art. York County hosted a total of 3,000 visitors in 2012. The tour expanded to include Lancaster County in 2013 with 6,000 total visitors, and added its third and fourth counties to include Chester and Fairfield in 2014 with a total of 8,000 attendees for the entire tour. The tour is coordinated by a regional leadership team and county-level planning teams that are coordinated by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and the Olde English District Tourism Commission. Partner organizations include economic development, chamber of commerce, tourism bureau, farm and artisan organizations, education and extension office, arts councils and community volunteers. For more information on the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour, contact Ben Boyles at 803-981-3021 or visit www.AgandArtTour.com for details. Image above: Dianne Mahaffee's Fine Art & Clay Studio in Lancaster County will demonstrate pottery and painting and host a clay turtle workshop for children. Via: Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour

Wm. Harold Senn

Union County Arts Council’s mission includes community partnerships

[caption id="attachment_6915" align="alignnone" width="600"]Union County Arts Council Union County Arts Council member/artist Nanette Jenkins explains watercolor techniques to summer campers at the Union County Recreation Center.[/caption] There are gallery shows, art classes, art groups, literary groups and music programs, but a primary focus for the Union County Arts Council is on community partnerships. It’s through these partnerships that UCAC can give back to the people who support the regular events in the gallery. “Partnerships are very important to us,” said UCAC president Bennie Giles. “Our community deserves to have the best events and programs that we can provide. Sometimes this means that we have to partner with another organization to realize that goal.” The most recent partnership was formed when Jessica Gallman, the Union County Recreation Department’s program director, contacted UCAC about the possibility of furnishing an instructor for their Summer Camp Program. “We wanted to do an arts and crafts week, and I didn’t know anything about it,” said Gallman. “So, naturally, we decided to contact the Arts Council and see what they could offer. It’s worked out so well for us that we would love to do it again.” UCAC also works with USC-Union during the annual Juried Art Show in September. All of the works are on display at USC-Union, and the awards reception is also held there. “This arrangement benefits the college by making art available to students who might not be exposed to it in other settings,” added Giles.  “And there are a couple of benefits to us. The first is that we are able to hold our reception away from our main gallery where there is more space. The second benefit is that we can use our gallery for another show that runs concurrently with our Juried Art Show, giving Union’s residents two art shows during that time.” The Union County School District is also on UCAC’s partner list. Each year a Youth Art Show hangs on the Arts Council’s gallery walls. Each art teacher in the district chooses a number of works by students to be displayed at UCAC, with those pieces being judged by a local artist and cash awards given to the winners. “We really appreciate our partnership with the Arts Council,” said Union County School District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall. “We know that encouraging all talents in our students is important for a well-rounded education. UCAC promotes our student artists’ works, and we look forward each year to seeing their work displayed in the gallery. And, I know their parents enjoy this recognition of their children’s efforts as well.” UCAC is looking to expand its partnership program by making member artists available for outside projects. “We’re very proud of our community partnerships and hope that any organization in need of help with any of the arts will contact us," said Giles. "We have a wonderful group of artists working in a variety of media, and we are happy to help out whenever we can." For more information about UCAC’s programs or partnerships, call (864) 429-2817 or email ucac@bellsouth.net. Via: Union County Arts Council

ELEVATE UPSTATE grants available for community vibrancy projects

Application deadline is September 15. Ten at the Top, an organization created to foster collaboration and partnerships across the Upstate, is accepting applications for its ELEVATE UPSTATE grants program. The initiative will award two $5,000 grants annually from 2013-2017 for programs that promote community and economic vibrancy in local areas across the Upstate. Eligible applicants include neighborhood associations, civic or community-based organizations, non-profit organizations or local governments that are committed to developing and implementing programs designed to increase local vibrancy in Upstate communities. Applicants must be located in and do their work within communities in one of the 10 Upstate counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Gaffney, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg or Union. Proposals may seek to produce a physical result, such as a mural, sculpture or signage that will increase the vibrancy and sense of place within a community, or implement the first of a recurring or annual event or program that helps grow vibrancy within a community. Check out examples of community vibrancy projects -- some from South Carolina and some from other states -- on the Ten at the Top website in the Great Ideas for Community Vibrancy booklet. The application deadline is September 15, 2013, and the first grants will be announced in late 2013. Visit the Ten at the Top website for more information or to apply. Via: Ten at the Top

Harold Senn

Union County Arts Council honored by Chamber

Arts Council wins Chamber’s “Service Group of the Year” award

“They provide first class art shows and workshops featuring top names in art and music.” Those were the words used by Union Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Torrance Inman when introducing the Union County Arts Council as the winner of the Service Group of the Year award at the Chamber’s annual Members’ Banquet recently.  The yearly Chamber awards are given based on the winner’s contribution to the Chamber mission and overall service to Union County. “We were surprised and very pleased to receive the award for ‘Service Group of the Year’ at last week's Chamber of Commerce banquet,” said UCAC president Bennie Giles.  “We do work hard to provide many types of art education and art-related programs for all ages, and it is extremely rewarding to know that our work is appreciated.  Although we do not know who nominated us, we are very grateful to them and to the members of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.” UCAC is continuing to be the leader in the field of the arts in Union County.  Programs are offered in the fine arts, as well as literary arts, music, photography and crafts.  The UCAC gallery presents a large variety of shows and is booked to capacity each year. “The leadership provided by Bennie Giles and Harold and Jackie Senn has taken the Union County Arts Council to new heights and they are still climbing,” added Inman. For more information about UCAC or any programs that are offered, call 864-429-2817 or email ucac@bellsouth.net. [caption id="attachment_5371" align="aligncenter" width="954"] Harold & Jackie Senn (Coordinators), Bennie Giles (President) and Doris Russell (Treasurer) show off UCAC’s “Service Group of the Year” award presented by the Union Chamber of Commerce.[/caption]