UofSC Koger Center for the Arts accepting applications for stage manager
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, July 16, 2021
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, July 16, 2021
Harris Pastides, Ph.D. Distinguished President Emeritus University of South Carolina Columbia
Application deadline: Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
Four honored for achievement in visual art, craft, and music
“What are some of the pillars needed in a community for a creative professional to have a high quality of life?” That’s the question the South Carolina Arts Alliance is asking as it hosts Creative Pillars forums this summer in Greenville and Charleston. Forum dates and locations:www.scartsalliance.net. The forums, which are open to any creative professional or those with an interest in a creative field, will include group activities meant to identify key amenities that help attract and retain creative professionals and targeted discussions to dive deeper into specific topics. The Arts Alliance is interested in hearing from every kind of creative professional, from the freelance graphic designer to the touring musician to the nonprofit fundraising professional. “We wanted to create a way to gather insight into areas other than pure arts and culture and how they play a role in the quality of life for a creative professional," said GP McLeer, SCAA’s executive director. "We know that a high value on arts and culture is important, but what about access to healthcare, public safety, recreation, or even trash pick up - where do these kinds of issues lie in the hierarchy for the creative professional? Whether you’re an architect, designer, actor, musician, nonprofit arts manager, or even a board member, this is an important discussion to have as people look for ways to effectively make a difference in their community." Creative Pillars is also serving as a pilot for a new statewide leadership development program, CreativeSC, being planned by the South Carolina Arts Alliance in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the University of South Carolina, and Together SC, with additional partners expected to join in the coming months. The comprehensive program will include networking, workshops/forums, and a selective leadership program. The Arts Alliance is targeting an early fall 2017 launch of CreativeSC. The series is supported by a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. About the South Carolina Arts Alliance The South Carolina Arts Alliance is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development, and public awareness. The SCAA is housed at the Younts Center for Performing Arts in Fountain Inn, SC.
From ColaDaily.com Article by Rachel Ham; photo by Kelly Petty
An idea launched in 2013 at the University of South Carolina took home the top prize at Wednesday's Ignite! Ideas Contest. University of South Carolina student Vincent Felix won $5,000 to support his startup, Mr. Penguin Designs, over two other finalists. The big reveal was made Wednesday night during the annual celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation at the new USC Alumni Center. Local business and education leaders attended, tweeted about the startups' presentations and voted for their favorite throughout the evening. Mr. Penguin Designs gives cellphone users a unique way to express themselves with one-of-a-kind protective cases. Felix partners with local artists who create fresh designs, and he found a retail partner in Comporium. "We've been working incredibly hard for the last two and a half years," Felix said. "This shows if you don't give up ... something good will happen." Felix said the concept of Mr. Penguin Designs — to help student artists gain exposure to their work while also providing them with residual income — began in 2013. Felix was a sophomore at USC and noticed the lack of different and individualized options for phone cases. After seeing the creative potential in his artistic friends, Felix got to work on his startup. Ten percent of the proceeds from each case sold now go back to the artist. "It's about giving back to them," Felix said of the artists. Felix plans to use the $5,000 Ignite! award to boost his marketing campaign. The company will collaborate with USC student media to reach more students and people beyond the Midlands. Though not everyone went home with a novelty-size check, people were inspired by the story of another Columbia entrepreneur. Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons of 2 Fat 2 Fly were among the guest speakers and shared their story from the first stuffed chicken wing to the restaurant they now own. Simmons and Dickerson said support from the community played a significant role in their success. Simmons recalled the early days were tough but said "as long as we had wings in the cooler, we were OK." EngenuitySC Executive Director Meghan Hickman said businesses like those represented at Ignite! are what makes the Midlands a force in economic competitiveness. "We have incredible things to come ahead of us," she said. The next Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report from EngenuitySC is due out soon.
From The State Article by Sarah Ellis, photos by Tracy Glantz
COLUMBIA, SC “The most important thing is don’t stop singing.”
It’s OK to make mistakes, Brenton O’Hara assured the performance cast. But they can’t let the audience see it in their faces, and they must not stop singing. https://youtu.be/vgPFAfA6q9E Sure, there would be mistakes for the dozen high schoolers who, in the span of just two weeks, had learned to sing and choreograph a 15-minute opera. It’s been a steep learning curve for the teens, most of whom had never even seen an opera, much less performed on a public stage, before attending Project Opera Camp. A first-year program co-founded by University of South Carolina graduates O’Hara and Kate McKinney, the two-week Project Opera Camp has given campers a crash course not only in the arts of opera and on-stage performance, but in self-esteem and life skills. “Within the opera performance itself, there’s just intrinsic value. Music, it warms your heart,” McKinney said. “You have to be assertive in your presentation when you’re on stage in front of people. You’re making yourself vulnerable. You’re putting yourself out there.” The camp was born from McKinney and O’Hara’s $20,000 prize-winning pitch in USC’s Proving Ground entrepreneurship competition last fall. The pair had witnessed the benefits musical performance can instill in children while directing an opera during McKinney’s senior year at USC. Both voice-performance majors in college, they wanted to continue spreading the good of the art form, particularly to young people who might not ordinarily be exposed to it. As a result, Project Opera Camp was offered for free to all of its students, many of whom come from schools with large populations of students receiving free and reduced lunches, traditional indicators of poverty. Augmented by life skills workshops on topics such as college readiness, money management and entrepreneurship, the bulk of the camp focused on voice lessons and rehearsing songs and choreography. “People throw the word ‘opera’ around, and you immediately have the idea in your head of, like, the fat lady in the viking hat or something that’s elitist and unapproachable,” McKinney said. “But for the most part, when you really delve into the art form, it’s very accessible. It tells stories. Storytelling is inherently human, and opera does a wonderful job of telling the story through music.” On Thursday, a day before their culminating public performance, 13 campers started rehearsal with a full run-through, punctuated by occasionally forgotten lyrics and fumbling dance steps. But the progress they had made in just under two weeks was evident, and their confidence grew visibly with every repetition. The campers’ rendition of “Inner Light,” an abbreviated performance of the children’s opera by composer Roger Ames, features a loose story reflecting the nature of love and relationships. The music, “takes you into a whole other world,” said Xavier Thompson, an 18-year-old who was encouraged by his Columbia High School music teacher to participate in the camp. “You shall be simple, you shall be right, if only you follow your inner light,” the chorus sang in harmony, somewhat timidly in an early trial then with more boldness as the rehearsal wore on. “I think it sort of encapsulated what we were trying to do (through the camp),” O’Hara said of the opera selection. “Your inner voice has value, and learning how to share it – not just singing, but all these other (skills), too.” The camp has been a self-esteem-building experience for a number of the campers. “My confidence has gone from a ‘one’ to a solid ‘nine,’” 17-year-old Haley Brown said. At the end of the week, 17-year-old soloist Maria Streater was still not entirely comfortable being in the spotlight, she said. Her voice, though, wowed her peers. “I don’t know what you have to be nervous about,” 16-year-old Quest Morris told her in between rehearsals Thursday. Stepping forward during a run-through, Streater fixed her eyes ahead of her and took a confident breath. “I used to dream I was a bird flying high above the earth,” she sang out loudly, clearly, not a quiver in her voice. “And with my wings I’d catch the air and fill it with my song.
IF YOU GO
Project Opera Camp will perform “Inner Light” Friday (July 31) at 7 p.m. at the Columbia Music Festival Association, 914 Pulaski St., Columbia. The performance is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and seats are first come, first served. Donations will be accepted at the door from anyone wishing to support the camp’s future programming. For more information, visit www.projectoperacamp.org. Image: Camp director Kate McKinney, left, and choreographer Anna Dragoni, offer suggestions during a rehearsal at Project Opera Camp. The camp, in its first year, was started by two USC graduates to offer a music camp that also focuses on life skills, for students who might not otherwise be able to attend such a camp.