SCAC announces four 2021 fellowship recipients
Individual excellence in writing, dance honored
for immediate release
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Hard work and exceptional abilities are earning four South Carolina artists practicing in the dance and writing disciplines fellowships from the South Carolina Arts Commission for fiscal year 2021.The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors approved four $5,000 fellowships among several other FY21 grant awards to be announced at a later date. The SCAC’s four fellows are:
- Sarah Blackman of Greenville County in prose,
- John Pursley III of Greenville County for poetry,
- Erin Bailey of Richland County for dance choreography,
- and Tanya Wideman-Davis of Richland County for dance performance.
About the FY21 Individual Artist Fellowship RecipientsSarah Blackman | Prose | Greenville County Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-centered public high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her poetry and prose have been published in a number of journals, magazines, and anthologies and she has been featured on the Poetry Daily website. Blackman is the co-fiction editor of Diagram, the online journal of experimental prose, poetry and schematics; and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers she edits alongside her Fine Arts Center students. Her story collection Mother Box, published by FC2 in 2013, was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. Her novel, Hex, was published by FC2 in April 2016 and in 2018 she joined its board. John Pursley III | Poetry | Greenville County John Pursley III teaches contemporary literature and poetry at Clemson University, where he also directs the annual Clemson Literary Festival. He is the author of the poetry collection, If You Have Ghosts (Zone 3 Press), as well as the chapbooks, A Story without Poverty (South Carolina Poetry Initiative) and A Conventional Weather (New Michigan Press), among others. In addition, he works as the poetry editor of Burnside Review and is an assistant editor for the South Carolina Review. His poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, AGNI, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Erin Bailey | Dance: Choreography | Richland County Erin Bailey is a South Carolina native who discovered her passion for dance at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville. She has degrees from Columbia College (BFA) and Texas Women’s University (MFA) and has her certification and licensure in massage. She is an adjunct dance professor at Columbia and Coker colleges and the University of South Carolina. Bailey has worked and performed with Columbia area dance companies since 2004 and has performed nationally and internationally at festivals like Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston. In 2018 she founded and remains artistic director of Moving Body Dance Company. She has twice received awards for her choreography work. Photo by Jesse Scroggins. Tanya Wideman-Davis | Dance: Performance | Richland County Tanya Wideman-Davis is the co-director of Wideman Davis Dance and is on faculty as associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies. With an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, she completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012). Tanya has danced with many world-renowned companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet NY, and as guest artist with Ballet Memphis, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and Quorum Ballet (Portugal). She received international acclaim as “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” from Dance Europe magazine. Photo by Sammy Lopez.
About the South Carolina Arts CommissionWith a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
- arts education,
- community arts development,
- and artist development.
Columbia’s Wideman Davis Dance selected for South Arts program
'Momentum' to help build touring capacity[caption id="attachment_40193" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Momentum program director Nikki Estes (left) meeting with Thaddeus Davis (center) and Tanya Wideman-Davis (right) of Wideman Davis Dance in Columbia, South Carolina prior to "Migratuse Ataraxia," a multidisciplinary reimagining of antebellum homes[/caption]
South Arts, a regional nonprofit arts organization, has announced the five Southern dance companies selected to participate in Momentum. This new three-year project, funded with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will allow the selected companies to build their capacity for regional and national touring. “There is remarkable dance occurring in our region,” said Nikki Estes, program director with South Arts. “Southern artists are pushing boundaries and telling important stories through this art form. Yet, they are often overlooked in favor of their counterparts in other parts of the US. Through Momentum, we aim to address that gap and raise the profile of Southern dance companies across the region and country.” Over the course of three years, each company will receive professional development, residency opportunities, and touring grants to fund their work. Participants will also showcase at the Performing Arts Exchange booking conference to share their work with arts presenters and programmers. The selected companies are:
- Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami, Miami, Florida. Jennifer Kronenberg, Artistic Director.
- Helen Simoneau Danse, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Helen Simoneau, Artistic Director.
- New Dialect, Nashville, Tennessee. Banning Bouldin, Artistic Director.
- staibdance, Avondale Estates, Georgia. George Staib, Artistic Director.
- Wideman Davis Dance, Columbia, South Carolina. Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis, Artistic Directors.
- Neil Barclay (CEO, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History),
- Christy Bolingbroke (Executive/Artistic Director, National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron),
- Laurie Eisenhower (Founding Artistic Director, Eisenhower Dance),
- Christopher Heacox (Executive Director, Auburn University Performing Arts Center),
- Sophie Myrtil-McCourty (President, Lotus Arts Management),
- Martin Wechsler (Former Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater),
- and Ichun Yeh (Vice President/Director of Booking, Sozo Artists).