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USC to offer seminar focused on women in music industries

Free for college students statewide

  • March 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

University of South Carolina Music Industry Studies is getting ready to present the Women in Music Industries seminar Friday, March 31 in Columbia.

The seminar will be at the Koger Center for the Arts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The seminar is free for college students and is held in-person. Students can register here. According to the University of Southen California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, women represent 27% of managers, 20% of agents and 27% of A&R roles in the industry. Women in Music Industries will provide connections and mentorship to help bridge gaps in the music industry. Women in Music Industries mission is to create pathways, visibility and connections for women and diversity in the industry. The USC Music Industry Studies program focuses on the various music industries, business, marketing, and recording skills. The program has students acquire an education in musical theory, history, and performance to create well-rounded graduates who can speak the language of music as well as navigate the myriad aspects of the music industry. The seminar includes Jenny Reader (former director, CMO and VP of Fearless Records, Jenny Mann (owner of Strung and lead singer of Blameshift), Daphne Benford (trademark and IP lawyer), Tracey Leenman (NAMM), Connie Manley (security director for concerts, festivals and artists), Grace Powlas (director of marketing, Bon Secours Wellness Arena), Piper Payne (mastering engineer at Infrasonic Sound), Raelynn Janicke (mastering engineer and studio manager at Infrasonic Sound), singer/songwriter Charity Daw, Peyton Orlando (East Coast Entertainment), Monique Runnels (Ticketmaster), Tasha Cobbs Leonard (GrammyU and singer), Julie Robbins (EarthQuaker Devices), Hilary Jones (MidRiff podcast/advocacy) and Nicole Moore (general manager of The Senate venue in Columbia). The seminar also includes virtual panels with Fan to Band, Amplify Her Voice and MidRiff Podcast. Each panel will focus on a different aspect of the industry to give students exclusive industry insights, advice, mentorship and networking opportunities. The seminar will focus on round table discussions, Q&A’s and networking with industry professionals in artist relations, touring, production, marketing, promoting and performing. Full seminar schedule and registration can be found by clicking here. Pastel multicolor horizontal oriented graphic that reads 03/31/2023, Women In Music Industries and shows three panelists: Charity Daw, Jenny Reader, and Julie Robbins. It continues, "Panel Sessions on Live Production, A&R, Marketing, Songwriting, Leadership, and Recording! Koger Center for the Arts, University of South Carolina School of Music."

Jason Rapp

The arts sector’s contribution to S.C. economy tops $14 billion

New S.C. Arts Commission report shows 45% growth in five years


COLUMBIA, S.C. – A new South Carolina Arts Commission economic impact report using 2021 data estimates an annual $14.1 billion impact is made on the state’s economy by the arts-related economic cluster.

Like other large sectors of the state’s economy, arts and creativity form a cluster. The research reviewed 2021 data from the portions of the state economy associated with the performing arts, individual artists and artisans, design arts, crafts and further related activities. The SCAC engaged Joseph C. Von Nessen, Ph.D., research economist with the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, for the report. He analyzed data from the U.S. census and economic analysis bureaus and commerce department. The research discovered across-the-board increases in the arts-related economic cluster’s annual economic impact in South Carolina from the previous study released in 2018.
  • 123,550 jobs paying $5.7 billion. That is the total number of local jobs supported by the arts-related cluster. This level of employment represents 5.5 percent of the total employment base in South Carolina, generating $5.7 billion in wages and salaries. It is a 7.5 percent increase from the 2018 study.
  • $360.2 million in estimated annual tax revenue generated for the state of South Carolina that arises from the arts-related cluster. That is a 33 percent increase from the 2018 study.
  • A $14.1 billion total economic impact, which represents both the direct and indirect demand generated by the local spending activity of all arts-related businesses, their suppliers, and their employees. This is a 45 percent increase from the 2018 study ($9.7 billion).
“This report illustrates clearly the powerful impact of our state’s investment in the arts,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The Arts Commission currently receives an annual appropriation of around $8 million, 70 percent of which is returned directly to artists and arts organizations in communities across the State in the form of grants which fund arts experiences for our citizens, fuel the creativity of emerging and established individual artists, and address pandemic-related learning loss for students. And the resulting economic activity generates more than $360 million in tax revenue which comes back to the state. It is truly a win-win for all South Carolinians.” The SCAC is seeking to increase its recurring base appropriation by $3 million starting in FY2024 to sustain and grow arts learning programs. Much of those are directed by its Arts Grow SC program, a federally-funded partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education. Funding for the three-year partnership will expire after FY24, and additional state funding would allow its work with national, state and local partners to continue. “Since it began, we have been proud of the work accomplished by Arts Grow SC. The arts, and especially arts learning, do so much to help our students learn to be creative problem-solvers. We are especially proud that this work reaches rural and underserved communities because the Arts Commission works to ensure everyone has access to the arts’ benefits,” SCAC Board Chair Dee Crawford said. The study utilized an economic multiplier model to determine the extent of the arts-related cluster’s impact. Researchers first analyzed the number of direct jobs in the sector and then assessed its economic impact using a model of South Carolina’s economic linkages—how spending in one sector spreads. The complete report is available from the SCAC website: https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/why-arts-matter/arts-the-economy/.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Fort Mill senior wins first place in annual state writing contest

One senior and three juniors have won the top awards in the annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest.

Presented by the South Carolina Honors College, the contest asks the same question each year: How can we make South Carolina better? Students can respond in poetry, prose, drama, and fiction, keeping their submission within 750 words. This year’s judge was Dr. Ray McManus, a poet and professor at the University of South Carolina-Sumter. [caption id="attachment_49565" align="alignright" width="300"] Kaylen Pritchard. Provided photo.[/caption] Kaylen Pritchard of Fort Mill (right) won first place with her personal essay, “The Curriculum My Brother Deserves.” A senior at Catawba Ridge High School, Pritchard recounted how her mixed-race family was “denied service” at a South Carolina restaurant because her younger brother, adopted from Africa, was Black. She argues against recent state legislation that limits teaching critical race theory in schools. “My brother has been on the receiving end of the bitter teeth of racism ever since he first came to the United States at 18 months old,” she wrote. “If my young siblings and I had to experience the confusion and fear of being turned away from an establishment because of one of our skin colors, we were old enough to learn about the deeply rooted issues that led to such manifestations of racism.” “Truly amazing work” is how Judge McManus described Pritchard’s work. “I do not know the age of this writer, but I think he or she captures the very essence of the issue and simplifies the complexity (without over-simplification) that is often elusive for many adults. This is a writer we college professors dream of having.” Pritchard will receive the Walter Edgar Award, which includes $1,000. The Walter Edgar Award is provided by Thad Westbrook, a Columbia lawyer and University of South Carolina trustee, in honor of his history professor. At Catawba Ridge High, Pritchard’s English teachers are Heather Spittle and Christopher Revels. William Ross of Sullivan’s Island won second place with “Train Tracks,” his personal essay about the racism that exists in the South and within his family. A junior at Charleston County School of the Arts, Ross describes an incident that occurred while his family watched a college football game. “This essay cuts me to the bone,” McManus wrote. “It’s honest and unflinching, which is not an easy task when you consider how we will often save face to prevent any perceived embarrassment. What this writer does, and so eloquently, is brave, and it’s beautiful.” A student of Danielle DeTiberus, Ross will receive the South Carolina Academy of Authors Award, which includes $500. Katherine “Kit” Moore of Greenville won third place for “Blue-Capped Future,” her personal essay about how everyone wins when students with disabilities are included in all school classrooms. A junior at Greenville Senior High School, Moore described how her brother, who has Down Syndrome, thrived in such a school. “If each of the 64,400 students were given the opportunity to impact their classmates as my brother did his, our communities would benefit from an inclusive educational system and our state would be filled with people who’ve learned to see the world inside-out.” A student of Rachel Stokes, Moore will receive the South Carolina Academy of Authors/Pat Conroy Literary Center Award, which includes $250. Liam Quan of Columbia won Honorable Mention for his poem, “The Holes We’ve Dug.” A junior at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Quan begins his poem by describing South Carolina’s potholed roads before covering the state’s history of enslavement and education. “I am blown away by the mastery of metaphor here – holes, more specifically potholes, as divots in our troubling and often embarrassing history,” McManus remarked. “The writer’s experimentation never loses focus on the subject. I have no doubt that this individual, staying on this trajectory, will be in print someday (sooner rather than later).” Quan is a student of Dr. Sally Plowden.
Now in its ninth year, the South High School Carolina Writing Contest was founded by Steven Lynn, dean of the South Carolina Honors College. The contest includes a publishing opportunity for its winners and finalists. This year, the submissions of the 22 finalists will be published here. “The cash awards are great, but we think the best prize is getting published,” said Aïda Rogers, contest coordinator. “We’re excited to bring their work to the public, and curious to see what these young people will do in the future.” The contest’s presenting partners include the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the South Carolina Academy of Authors, the South Carolina Writers Association, and the South Carolina State Library. Previous judges have been acclaimed South Carolina writers, including novelists Pat Conroy, Pam Durban, Mary Alice Monroe, and Elise Blackwell; poets Nikky Finney, Marjory Wentworth and Sam Amadon, and historian Walter Edgar.

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Arts learning job opportunities available

Arts learning is having a day in South Carolina.

Two new positions, which are at different South Carolina universities but yet related, are open and seeking qualified applicants.

CARE Project Program Manager

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 17, 2022 Back in the fall, The Hub covered the formation of a five-year case study working to improve arts learning in rural counties. Today, on behalf of the ABC Project, we share that the case study is looking for its program manager. The Community Access to the Arts in Rural Education (CARE) Project Program Manager (PM) is responsible for coordinating all CARE Project activities, documentation and grant reporting. The objective of the CARE Project, which is funded by the USDE Assistance in Arts Education grant, is to develop an arts-rich education in Allendale County School District (ACSD) schools. Toward that end, the program manager also will serve as ACSD’s Director of Visual and Performing Arts and will oversee administration of the district’s visual and performing arts programs in alignment with its mission, vision and beliefs.
Coordinates and implements all CARE Project initiatives and deliverables, including the following:
  • recruits steering committee members and potential partners for the ACSD Rural Network;
  • facilitates the strategic planning process for ACSD and its schools and assists with implementation of program initiatives;
  • contracts and secures logistics for residencies, professional development and research services; and
  • trains ACSD personnel to sustain practices beyond the CARE Project.
Additionally, the program manager is to serve as director of visual and performing arts for the ACSD in accordance with suggested responsibilities and requirements as outlined by PSAE. They will also:
  • Work extensively with the ABC Director and CARE Advisory Council to administer the CARE Project throughout ACSD.
  • Work closely with the ABC Director and Business Operations Manager to accurately report all activities and associated expenditures of the CARE Project.
The full posting for program manager is available here.

UofSC REM Center Research Associate

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 18, 2022 Interested in a higher-level view of the CARE Project and Arts Grow SC, South Carolina's landmark $20 million arts learning partnership? Check out this posting for a research associate from the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center at the University of South Carolina College of Education. The research associate will manage the evaluations of Arts Grow SC and the CARE Project. A background in the arts is a bonus but not a requirement. As the CARE Project is a deep dive mixed methods case study, researchers/evaluators with a strong capacity for understanding and responding to culture, context, and community are needed, according to a REM Center professor. Here's a little more: This Research Associate will coordinate and manage projects evaluating education initiatives in arts education, with an emphasis on rural settings. The Research Associate will plan and conduct a variety of research tasks associated with the evaluation plans, including data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Research Associate will coordinate the writing of evaluation summaries and annual reports based on mixed methods data collection and analysis. In addition, the Research Associate will assist faculty members in organizing, managing, and developing the work of graduate students. Inclusiveness and diversity are integral to the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center’s commitment to excellence. We encourage applications from candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through their work in research and evaluation. Job responsibilities include:
  • Contributes to project teams on the design and development of methods used to evaluate programs, conduct research studies, and/or support assessment projects. Participates in meetings of research teams and clients and consults with project faculty.
  • Provides leadership in the development and selection of instruments and tools for analysis of educational data. This includes developing survey items, interview and focus group protocols, and rubrics and other measures of implementation and program quality.
  • Performs and organizes data analyses including data entry, data management, statistical analysis, and qualitative coding. Uses appropriate software such as SPSSSAS, Excel, and qualitative analysis software for analyzing data. Maintains documentation of data files and analyses.
  • Responsible for data integrity and executing extensive quality assurance and confidentiality procedures. Maintains appropriate documentation.
  • Communicates with external clients regarding data collection activities. This includes scheduling meetings and planning data collection events (e.g., interviews, focus groups, site visits); collecting feedback on data collection instruments in development (e.g., surveys, implementation rubrics); obtaining data needed from clients (e.g., student assessment data, other school data); disseminating and collecting data from online systems (e.g., surveys, rubrics); and other relevant data collection.
  • Collects data in a variety of formats, including surveys (both in-person and online), web-based document sharing, focus groups, interviews, and other applicable data collection methods. Responsible for data integrity and executing extensive quality assurance and confidentiality procedures. Maintains appropriate documentation.
  • Assists one or more faculty members in organizing and managing the work of graduate students employed as Research Assistants. This includes project coordination and management, delegation of tasks to Research Assistants, review of Research Assistants’ work and providing feedback on their work, and offering professional support to develop students’ skills.
  • Writes evaluation and technical reports to summarize methods and results. Also prepares research briefs accessible to a non-technical audience. Uses MS Word, MS Excel, and other software to prepare reports, including creating tables and graphs as well as formatting reports.
  • Reviews narrative written by other team members and provides timely feedback. Schedules timelines for drafting narrative that includes appropriate time for supervisors’ review. Presents reports to clients and key stakeholders as requested.
The full posting for research associate is available here.
Image by Tracy Lundgren from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

Jazz at UofSC presents Jazz Girls Day

Jazz at UofSC presents its inaugural Jazz Girls Day, Jan. 15, 2022, at the School of Music from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Jazz Girls Day invites and inspires middle and high school girls from South Carolina to join the Jazz Faculty at the School of Music for a day of masterclasses, connection, concert and jam session. The idea behind Jazz Girls Day is to welcome girls to start or continue playing jazz and to encourage South Carolina music educators to encourage girls to play jazz, and it's goal is to help girls around the state prepare for all-state jazz auditions—although this is not a requirement to attend. This program is for all instrumentalists and vocalists (traditional AND non-traditional) at all levels. The only prerequisites are middle and high school students who identify as female. Accompanying adults are welcome as well. “It’s really exciting for us at UofSC Jazz to launch what will become an annual Jazz Girls Day,” said Dr. Colleen Clark, a drummer and newly-hired assistant professor of Jazz at UofSC. “It will better prepare and provide opportunities for grade-school students to have fulfilling and inspiring experiences in jazz.” A recently published study assessed the rate of women bandleaders and women led ensembles that made the 2019 NPR Music Jazz critics poll. From this study, only 16% of band personnel in the 2019 critics poll were made up of women. In turn, the majority of ranked jazz records did not employ women. This is something that can be addressed in the early stages of musical development, henceforth making Jazz Girls Day a necessity. For more information, contact Clark at colleenbclark@sc.edu.


  • Meet and Greet with School of Music Jazz Faculty, current students (that will co-teach throughout the day)
  • Breakout sessions:
    • Preparing Your All-State Audition Repertoire
    • Improvising the Blues
  • Lunch
  • Concert: UofSC Jazz Faculty featuring Lauren Meccia & Colleen Clark
  • Jam Session with all participants, faculty member and UofSC Jazz Students


  • Jazz Girls Day is a free event. Registration is required.
  • Early bird registration perk before Jan. 10, 2022: UOFSC SOM/JAZZ Merchandise
  • Register online for the first annual Jazz Girls Day.


  • Resources made specifically for Jazz Girls Day
  • Connection and mentorship with the UofSC Jazz community
JAZZ GIRLS DAY is partially funded by SPARK and UofSC Jazz Studies and is supported by the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Education Network’s South Carolina Chapter. The UofSC Jazz Faculty includes:

Jason Rapp

‘Outsider art’ focus of McKissick Museum exhibit

The Artists Inside Outsider Art running through March 5, 2022

[caption id="attachment_48436" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Provided image. Click to enlarge.[/caption]

McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina presents an exhibition full of permanent collection pieces showcasing southern self-taught artists.

The Artists Inside Outsider Art is an exhibition drawn from McKissick Museum’s permanent collection of artworks that are often referred to as “Folk Art,” “Outsider Art,” or “Self-Taught Art.” The collection, some of which will be on display for the first time, dates between the 1940s and the 1990s and includes well-known southern artists like Thornton Dial, Bessie Harvey, and R.A. Miller. Primarily self-taught, these "outsider" artists often use bright colors and found or recycled materials like wood, clay, and metal. #SCartists Richard Burnside, who has two works included in the State Art Collection, and Columbia's "Chicken Man" Ernest Lee are included in the exhibit. Outsider art can have many definitions, but most agree that it includes forms of creative expression that exist outside accepted cultural norms or the realm of “fine art". The exhibition dives into some of the challenges in using different descriptors but eschews much of controversy surrounding the collecting and selling of “outsider art” or “self-taught art”. Rather than perpetuating stereotypes that these artists somehow belong outside of the art world, The Artists Inside Outsider Art is an attempt to reconcile that marginalization by acknowledging that these artists have their own agency, and through their agency, they have made art that reflects their cultural experiences as southern contemporary artists. For Faculty Curator Dr. Lana Burgess, this exhibition is personal. “When I began my curatorial career I had the opportunity to meet some of the artists exhibited here. Talking to and working with them, I began to learn how many of them created art without a specific audience in mind. I invite visitors come and celebrate the ingenuity of the men and women who literally took materials readily available and made southern contemporary art.” The Artists Inside Outsider Art will be on view from Nov. 8 through March 5, 2022. The public is invited to a free opening reception on Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Register for your tickets online or by calling 803.777.2876.
McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum, located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe, has more than 140,000 objects in its collection, including one of the most extensive natural science collections in the Southeast. McKissick is home to the Folklife Resource Center, a repository of folklife and traditional arts materials of value to Southern folklife researchers. For visitation information, online exhibits, and more, please visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum or call 803.777.7251.

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UofSC Koger Center for the Arts accepting applications for stage manager

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, July 16, 2021

The Koger Center for the Arts, a division of the University of South Carolina School of Music, is accepting applications for a full-time stage manager.

The stage manager is responsible for the successful production of all events held at the venue and for the staffing, training, and supervision of a P/T production crew. This staff member is also responsible for the general maintenance of the staging area, including but not limited to flooring, lighting, dashers and other items. Minimum Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in related field and 3 years experience in radio or TV programming, production or engineering; or high school diploma and 7 years experience in radio or TV programming, production or engineering. Preferred Qualifications Assoc. or Bachelor’s degree in related field. Minimum 5 years experience in an entertainment venue setting to include staging, lighting, and sound production. Click here to learn more and apply.

About the Koger Center for the Arts

As the gateway to the Vista, Columbia’s vibrant hub of dining and entertainment, the Koger Center for the Arts has been a focal point of the cultural landscape since it first opened its doors in 1989. With remarkable acoustics, state-of-the art sound, lighting and live-streaming capability in the 2,256 seat Gonzales Hall, the Koger Center presents local performing arts groups, but also hosts large-scale shows, such as Broadway’s Wicked and well-known artists like Sarah Vaughn and James Taylor.

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Koger Center’s art competition evolves in Year Two

The Project: A 2020 Call for Art


The Koger Center is delighted to continue our support of South Carolina artists through The Project: A 2021 Call for Art.

The Project: A 2021 Call for Art is the Koger Center’s annual artistic competition that supports the work of South Carolina visual artists. Each year, one chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space, and staff support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center. Submissions for this year’s project will be accepted through June 30, 2021.


  • Artist must be over 18 years old
  • Submissions must be your own work
  • Must have been created in the past 2 years
  • Artists cannot submit any art that has previously been submitted to the Koger Center’s 1593 Project
  • Previous winners of the 1593 Project may not submit artwork for up to 5 years

Submission Form

https://forms.gle/Mr35hfNNYQA1gzKZ9 Please submit your artwork to the link above. If you have any issues submitting your work or questions about the form, please call 803.777.7500 or email KogerCenter@sc.edu.

History of The Project

The Project began as The 1593 Project: A Call for Art from the Koger Center during the national lockdowns due to COVID-19 in 2020. Inspired by the theatre closures that London faced during the bubonic plague in the year 1593, the Koger Center’s call for art was created to support artists as they endured the devastating effect of the COVID-19 shutdowns. In 2020, we encouraged submissions from South Carolina visual artists and received a diverse array of pieces reflective of the state’s vibrant arts and cultural talent from over 55 entrants.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Dr. Tayloe Harding

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Tayloe Harding

Arts in Education Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

Tayloe Harding is a composer and music administrator, serves as the dean of the School of Music, and in the 2019/2020 academic year served as interim provost of the University of South Carolina. A passionate advocate for advancing the impact of higher education music study and experience on American communities and national society, Harding is devoted to an array of organizations whose missions are consistent with this advocacy. As president of the College Music Society (CMS) from 2005-2006, he led the creation of the Engagement and Outreach Initiative where the efforts of the music professoriate are articulated with a variety of national constituencies, including other higher education disciplines and populations, music businesses and industries, and general audiences in an effort to meet common musical and civic goals. He also served as national secretary of the National Association for Schools of Music, the accreditation, advocacy, and professional development association for collegiate music schools. Tayloe Harding’s interest in the power of music and the arts to transform communities’ and individual’s lives by contributing to the health, happiness, safety, fulfillment, and hopefulness has been evident in his work with both local and state arts education and advocacy organizations. In addition to keynote speeches on this subject at each of the international summits he has produced at UofSC, he has participated in and led efforts locally and statewide as diverse as invited membership on the S.C. Arts in Basic Curriculum Steering Committee (2006-2018); consultant for the city of Columbia’s One Columbia initiative/office and the recent Amplify Columbia cultural plan for the city; service on the board and arts granting panels of the Richland/Lexington County Cultural Council (2008-2014); and in his regular engagement with the South Carolin Arts Alliance for Arts Advocacy Week (2007-2015). He teaches a unique course for young musicians, Introduction to Music and Arts Advocacy: Understanding the Power of Your Music and Art, to approximately 100 freshman arts majors at UofSC each year—an outcome of this course has been table tents and broader participation at the Arts Advocacy Week events for state legislators each February. An active consultant for many organizations regarding music and arts education policy, and advocacy, he is a frequent presenter on issues facing the future of university music units and their leadership, and remains active as a composer earning commissions, performances, and recordings for his works around the world.


As an advocate of the arts, Dr. Harding has provided meaningful advice and support to many local, state and national arts councils. He has been an outstanding community advocate, promoting diversity and access to a wide range of performances and performers. He has worked tirelessly to promote music appreciation and education across our state at the elementary and high school levels, as well as through undergraduate and graduate education.

Harris Pastides, Ph.D. Distinguished President Emeritus University of South Carolina Columbia

The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Governor’s School for Arts recognized for arts ed research

Link uncovered between drama curriculum and reading success

The Arts Schools Network Board of Directors has awarded the Research Initiative-Institution Award to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

The award honors an organization for its commitment to ongoing research and the dissemination of knowledge in research in arts education. The Governor's School's research initiative, implemented by the Office of Outreach in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, examines the potential impact that drama curriculum has on reading motivation and success for young children. Melissa Brookes, managing director for ASN, said, “Each year the Arts Schools Network board of directors take great pride in honoring and recognizing schools and individuals for their extraordinary efforts and impact throughout arts education. This year, we are thrilled to recognize the Governor’s School as the winner of our Research Initiative Award.” In the Spark! outreach program that this research is based on, at-risk third-grade readers attending the state mandated Read-To-Succeed summer program are exposed to drama principles in addition to their reading requirements. Now in its third year, Spark! participants are showing increased gains in creativity measures like fluency and originality, along with critical reading measures required by MAP testing, when compared to similar students not exposed to the drama component. “While we are only three years into this five-year initiative, the combination of creativity gains and reading gains together are what draws us further into this research, and we’re very excited to see these promising trends,” said Carol Baker, outreach director at the Governor’s School. “We’re grateful for this acknowledgement from the Arts Schools Network and for the ongoing support and participation of our partners, the South Carolina Arts Commission, who is funding this project, and the USC Department of Theatre and Dance, who is compiling and analyzing the data.”

About the Research

Dr. Peter Duffy, who heads the Master of Arts in Teaching program in theatre education at the University of South Carolina is leading this research which combines the qualitative measures of theatre making and creativity with quantitative methods of reading and motivation. “This research matters because it examines how story, motivation, and embodied learning through drama can impact a child’s desire to read, and how this component can affect the way young readers interact with their reading materials,” said Duffy. “We are studying how more creative teaching methods can motivate readers to really know the story inside and out. “Our research suggests that students who engage in the drama work make small but important improvements in their overall reading scores. Gathering five years of data will help us see whether these trends hold overtime, giving us a stronger impression of the real impact these programs can make.” The Spark! program was initiated at Kenneth Gardner Elementary in Williamsburg County School District, and thanks to two years of early positive findings, received increased funding to expand to Hardeeville Elementary in Jasper County School District. Both districts serve high poverty, rural, under-resourced populations and neither has a certified drama teacher at any level. Each school offers a multi-week summer remedial reading camp for rising fourth-grade students at risk of retention due to low test scores. The summer camp is part of the Read-to-Succeed program and is the last possible opportunity for these young students to increase their scores enough to move on to the next grade. How this research impacts arts education funding priorities “The Spark! outreach program’s research into the relationship between drama and reading in young, at-risk readers, provides compelling evidence of the correlation between creativity and reading retention,” said David Platts, executive director of the SCAC. “Working with Dr. Duffy and his team at the University of South Carolina and the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities has demonstrated how these types of programs, while specifically designed to help students, also provide vital information for agencies such as ours as we analyze and prioritize our programming decisions. Good decisions and responsible stewardship of public funds are possible only with the availability of solid and meaningful research and data.” Getting students back on track “Ultimately, this is about improving reading skills and reading motivation of young students in South Carolina,” said Dr. Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “We know that early reading comprehension is the key to success, and in this day and time, when we’re seeing reading regression in elementary school students due to pandemic-imposed virtual learning, we hope that programs like Spark! will be part of the solution to getting these students back on track.” “At the Governor’s School, we see first-hand how incorporating the arts into education can help improve student engagement, academic success, motivation, and hope for the future,” continued Adderley. “Now our challenge, as an arts resource and research center for teachers and students throughout the state, is to expand these proven programs to impact more students in need.”

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

About the Arts Schools Network

Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, provides arts school leaders, innovative partners and members of arts education institutions with quality resources, support and networking opportunities. Visit www.artsschoolsnetwork.org to learn more.
Image by Amberrose Nelson from Pixabay

Jason Rapp