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Nation’s largest free farm + arts crawl announces 2023 event

No bull! Annual event has ... bumper crop of counties

The annual South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is adding Aiken and Sumter counties while returning eight previously participating counties to feature a cornucopia of more than 100 tour sites during the 2023 iteration of the event—the largest such in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_52401" align="alignright" width="300"] Click to enlarge.[/caption] Will Culler, Clemson Extension agribusiness agent and tour director, bills the free, self-guided farm and art tour as a great way to educate people about where their food and fiber come from while they're introduced to local artisans. Now in its 12th year, it has seen steady growth in length and counties and sites participating. Ag + Art Tour is looking for #SCartists who want to exhibit! Go here for information and to apply. Have a farm? Tour sites are being sough to apply too. “We are proud of the commitment of our farms, artisans, and county teams. Because of that, we can sustain continued growth,” Culler said. “One of our goals has been to give people a better knowledge of what is produced in their backyard and help them to support local businesses while making healthier food choices. This event does that by putting food and product with a face.” The 2023 tour include farms and artisans in Aiken, Chester, Colleton, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, Sumter, and York counties.

2023 schedule

Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.
  • May 6: Lexington
  • May 13-14: Aiken, Lancaster, Sumter
  • May 20-21: Colleton, Newberry
  • June 3-4: Kershaw
  • June 10-11: Richland, York
  • June 17-18: Fairfield
  • June 24-25: Chester
Tour stops include farms and farmers' markets, with art at each location. Artisans on the tour range from weavers, painters, musicians, storytellers, metalworkers, and craftsmen to poets and live musical performances. Some farms will offer value-added products, such as jarred and canned foods, honey, baked goods, or even farm-fresh meals.  There is no fee to attend; visitors can start and stop their tour at any location.
The tour began in York County in 2012 and has added at least one new county each year since. The interest in the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour continues to be high, and it is the largest free farm tour in the nation. More than 85,000 visitors have enjoyed it since its inception. More information about the participating farms, markets, artisans, and ancillary sites can be found online at www.agandarttour.com and its social media accounts:
  • Facebook: @agandarttour
  • Instagram: @agandarttour
Various counties have accounts too, so do a quick search for yours. And don't forget the hashtag: #agandarttour. Plan your mooooooves now.
About the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free self-guided tour of farms and farmers' markets featuring artisans at every stop occurring every weekend in June.  The first Ag + Art Tour was held in 2012 in York County to blend agriculture and art. The tour began to expand in 2013 and has continued to do so yearly. It is the largest free farm and art tour in the nation. The tour is coordinated by leadership and county-level planning teams led by Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Partner organizations include economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, farm and artisan organizations, education and extension offices, arts councils, and community volunteers.
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/corn-fields-under-white-clouds-with-blue-sky-during-daytime-158827/

Jason Rapp

Fort Mill teen’s art to ‘pop’ in Charlotte

All around Charlotte. On billboards and such.

It would appear today is Youth Day on The Hub.

You've certainly seen our earlier post about the finalists of the state Poetry Out Loud competition, right? Now we bring you news from the visual arts, as Fort Mill student Haley Horner is hitting the big time in Charlotte. Horner is one of 20 members of the ArtPOP Street Gallery artist class of 2023. Founded by a former outdoor advertising exec, ArtPOP brings art to the masses with unused billboard space, newsstands, digital screens in airports, and at mass transit stations. That's $7 million in ad space around Charlotte, some half a million impressions, and a $500 honorarium for the 20 artists in the class. But Horner gets more. The Fort Mill High senior is a painter focusing on visual art studies, and she will receive a $1,500 scholarship toward those. Check her out on Instagram: @haley.ayana.art, and remember you heard about her on The Hub first. (Yes, that's her featured artwork above.)  

Jason Rapp

Winthrop University shares open arts jobs

If a job change is one of your New Year's resolutions, maybe The Hub can help.

Winthrop University reached out to share three open positions, all in the arts and creativity realm. Best of luck!

Jason Rapp

Work in the arts in York County

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, October 14, 2022
  • COMPENSATION INFORMATION: min. $37,000 + paid holidays, etc.

The Arts Council of York County is seeking an experienced professional to serve as its full-time office manager.

Reporting to the executive director, this position is responsible for the financial transactions and documentation of day-to-day business of the Arts Council’s office, all facility rentals, donor database management, and general office management. Learn more about this opportunity here.

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Tega Cay middle school student is S.C. Google Doodle winner

[caption id="attachment_50538" align="aligncenter" width="684"] Carolyn Zheng's Doodle for Google. Image courtesy of Google.[/caption]

Google announced recently that Carolyn Zheng of Gold Hill Middle School in Tega Cay is one of its 14th annual Doodle for Google contest state and territory winners.

Zheng was entered in the 6-7 Grade group. Her doodle is above. To celebrate their achievements, each of the 54 state and territory-winning students received Google hardware and swag, and Google held celebrations in their hometowns to showcase their artwork.
The Doodles are judged based on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication. The public can vote for their favorite Doodles at doodle4google.com until July 12. (The Hub regrets the late notice; we only just found out ourselves.-Ed.) Voters can help determine who will go on to become one of our five national finalists. A panel of Google employees will then select one national winner from that group. The winning artist will see their work on the Google homepage for a day, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and the winner’s school will receive a $50,000 technology grant. In a release, Google said, "We were amazed by the submissions we received. Across ages, students showcased how they cultivate self-care practices in thoughtful and intentional ways. Young artists shared a range of helpful strategies including spending time in nature, being active, taking part in creative hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. Given the challenging nature of the past few years, we were really inspired to see the many ways students have been nurturing their spirits and building resilience." Doodles are meant to surprise and delight people when they visit Google.com. Past Doodles have celebrated some of the most brilliant, talented, and passionate people throughout history.

Jason Rapp

Arts Center of Fountain Park names first director

Non-profit veteran to start Aug. 1

The Arts Center at Fountain Park announced yesterday that it is appointing Todd Leahy as its first executive director.

Leahy’s appointment marks the conclusion of a "thoughtful" search conducted by the ACFP board of directors. ACFP aims to be the home for performing arts across York, Lancaster, and Chester counties in South Carolina. A news release said Leahy brings more than 16 years of major fundraising experience to ACFP and a deep passion for arts and community building.
"It was imperative for us to find someone who not only understood the job requirements but who also embodies the heart of our mission. Todd shares our vision to put The Arts Center truly at the center of the performing arts in our region both physically and metaphorically," Matthew Dosch, chairman of the ACFP board, said.
Most recently, Leahy was the major gifts officer for United Way of Central Carolinas. There he raised more than $2 million annually while managing a robust portfolio of donors at all levels. Since 2011—and across multiple roles—he not only raised record numbers but also forged lasting community relationships that continue forward. His passion for the performing arts was passed down to Leahy as a child, and it’s something he’s doing for his children today. "As a kid, I went to shows in Spartanburg, and just recently, we gave my daughter a season pass to [the] Blumenthal [Performing Arts Center]. I’m passing it down. That’s what I want to build within the region—a love of the arts that outlives us all,” he said. Leahy is tasked with leading ACFP in its mission to connect, educate, and inspire through shared celebration of the arts. “We met with many candidates who could do the role’s tasks, but it was Todd who truly grasped the need to connect an active, engaged, and inclusive community of performing artists and arts organizations, while touching the lives, passions, and imagination of those who share a love for the performing arts,” ACFP Board Secretary Melanie Jones said.
"I want every part of the community to feel like they can participate. Whether taking a class, attending a concert, listening to the symphony, or going to a school play, art should be accessible and enjoyed widely. I am immensely grateful to the ACFP board, the search committee, and the community for giving me this opportunity," Leahy said.

For more information about The Arts Center at Fountain Park, and how you can become involved, visit www.theartscenterfp.org.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Amiri de Artist to be featured on Juneteenth + Arts Center of Fountain Park

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...

New Amiri Farris exhibition tour kicks off on Juneteenth

You remember Amiri Farris, right? Farris' art figured prominently in the Art of Community: Rural SC's Creativity + Public Health initiative. He's back this summer with a touring exhibition that kicks off on Juneteenth. Before it hits the road, there's even a send-off concert with Quentin Baxter and his Quentin Baxter Quintet that will feature Farris painting live on stage. Where can you find this #SCartists goodness? All the details and more are right here.

New performing, gathering space coming to life in S.C.'s Olde English District

Big things in the works in York County. Arts Center of Fountain Park is coming to life to become the home for performing arts across York, Lancaster, and Chester counties. "The new center will be a hub for the organizations to produce and present events and activities year-round for diverse and eager audiences," according to its just-launched website. The Hub is eager to track its progress! (We promoted the search for its executive director earlier this year.)  

Jason Rapp

One Word Poetry Festival returning to Rock Hill this month

Rock Hill Poet Laureate Angelo Geter, in conjunction with the Rock Hill Poet Laureate Committee, Arts Council of York County, and Comporium, is pleased to announce the second annual One Word Poetry Festival, which will take place from March 30-April 2, 2022.

[caption id="attachment_49539" align="alignright" width="250"] Angelo Geter. Provided photo.[/caption] The first festival in 2021 attracted a crowd of approximately 500 people. Many of the events were free and open to the public. Events taking place during this year’s five-day festival will include:
  • a creative writing showcase by Winthrop University students;
  • a Youth Open Mic;
  • Adult Open Mic featuring music by Rock Hill Hall of Fame band, “Mellogroove,” where there will be a food truck and beverages for sale from the Rock Hill Bottle Shop;
  • and various workshops will be offered for free Saturday morning and afternoon for children 12 and under, middle and high school students, and adults.
The festival will also include the announcement of the 2022/2023 Youth Poet Laureate contest winner. Poets from across the country will compete in an epic poetic battle to determine the best of the best at the Saturday night Poetry Slam, with $4000 worth of prizes up for grabs. Capping off the festival will be a Sunday brunch with a keynote reading by the acclaimed poet Rachel McKibbens, and a performance by the toe-tapping musicians of the Jason Poore Trio. The festival’s additional sponsors include: South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission; Duke Energy; the city of Rock Hill; Old Town Rock Hill; the Women’s Art Initiative; The Mercantile; Winthrop University English Department; York County Library; Barber Therapy & Associates; the Eta Alpha Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Rock Hill Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the Kappa Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Harriet & Martin Goode; Slow Play Brewing; and Flipside Restaurant. Some festival events are free. A $50 festival pass that grants free entry into all festival events is available, or guests may pay individually for the events that have a cost. Tickets can be purchased at onewordpoetryfestival.com.
Contact Rock Hill Poet Laureate Angelo Geter with questions: onewordpoetryfestival@gmail.com or 757.870.2497. 

Submitted material

Leader sought for Arts Center at Fountain Park in Rock Hill

The Arts Center at Fountain Park (ACFP) is seeking a 21st century leader to help build the region’s premier arts destination.

Recent, strong economic growth in upstate South Carolina presents an exciting opportunity to support the region’s growing cultural sector. Through a dedicated space to celebrate the arts and arts education, ACFP will serve as the region’s premier cultural destination and a catalyst for economic vitality, community engagement, and creative vibrancy. Situated in Old Town Rock Hill, ACFP joins a bustling area with restaurants, businesses, shopping, schools and universities, and new housing. Old Town is home to some of the most popular annual events and festivals in the region which bring thousands of people into the downtown area. Now, a thriving Arts Center will contribute even more to the economic success, inclusive community, and cultural vitality with year-round performances and events for diverse and eager audiences. This region is a dynamic, welcoming community and an integral part of the Charlotte market, one of the hottest in the country. Population growth is twice the national average and business expansion is seen in existing companies and newcomers. With a combination of rural, small town and suburban living options, the region has great schools from kindergarten through university options, and abundant recreational offerings that include the scenic and accessible Catawba River, easy access to the coast and the mountains, greenways, and parks.

Scope & responsibilities

The Executive Director must bring the leadership skills and experience to nurture a strong, diverse set of relationships and inspire professionals and volunteers on behalf of the organization. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, vision, and financial objectives. Fundraising and donor stewardship
  • Initiates and manages an integrated development program as principal architect of the capital campaign fundraising strategy, including the creation and execution of a daily, monthly, and annual action plan to maximize contributed income from diverse sources.
  •  Assumes the lead role in fundraising, working in collaboration with the Board, and campaign counsel to maximize fundraising impact for the construction of a new facility.
  • Develop an annual giving, major gift, and corporate sponsorship fundraising program.
  • Provides personal contact and an accessible “institutional face” to current and prospective donors, volunteers, and the public.
  • Guides, supports, and engages the Board and other volunteers in fundraising and advocacy.
Marketing and communications
  • Works with the Board to develop and implement long term branding strategies.
  • Oversees functions related to the marketing and communications with a focus on maximizing revenue, audience development, and elevated public awareness.
  • Oversees vendor relationships including designers, printers, consultants, and photographers.
Strategic planning and governance
  • Provides ongoing reporting to the Board and stakeholders on the organization’s progress toward strategic goals.
  • Provides support to and stewardship of the Board and the committees of the Board.
  • Educates and engages individual board members in fundraising, advocacy, and community ambassadorship.
  • Partners with Board to maintain a robust pipeline of prospective board members as part of a comprehensive board development strategy.
  • Maintains relationships with state, local, and federal government agencies.
Programming and community relations
  • Provides direction and oversight for programming and presenting activities, ensuring programs are developed with input from the community.
  • Works collaboratively to plan events including but not limited to music, dance, theater, pottery, and art exhibits.
  • Develops partnership strategies, engagement activities with schools, local artists, local universities, and community organizations to further the impact of ACFP’s activities.
  •  Leads community-building programs around the region in advance of and after the opening of the center.
Finance and administration
  • Develops and ensures that annual programming, as well as educational and community engagement plans, are budgeted appropriately.
  • Monitors ACFP’s financial position and makes recommendations to the Board and acts to ensure the most effective use of financial resources.
  • Oversees the continued mentoring, coaching, and professional development of the staff, systems, and organizational practices that create an effective infrastructure.
  • Ensure the organization is effectively structured and staffed by setting the standard for a positive environment of mutual respect and caring.

Qualities & qualifications

The ideal candidate must be an experienced fundraiser and manager with a proven track record of success in the non-profit arts community. She/he should have an acute sense of strategy and a passion for the arts. The ED will have compelling personal qualities of integrity, leadership, outstanding communications skills, exceptional judgment, and an entrepreneurial nature. The successful candidate should be a proven leader, a charismatic communicator, as well as a “doer” with a willingness to be hands-on. This position will build enthusiasm for the organization, its performances, and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of ACFP as a cultural and community leader in the region. Qualifications
  • Passion for the mission of ACFP and demonstrated ongoing passion for the arts.
  • A record of personal success in raising money through major gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, corporations, or the public sector; broad-based knowledge of various development activities including membership, direct mail, proposal, and grant development, planned gifts, event planning and management, and direct solicitations.
  • Leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research, and volunteer management.
  • Ability to navigate a complex fundraising environment with nuanced strategies and initiatives, while building an effective group of volunteer fundraisers through board development and gaining respect of community and business leaders.
  • Broad knowledge of branding, communications, and external relations and demonstrated success with establishing sponsorships, stewardship and donor recognition programs that sustain long-term relationships.
  • A track record as an exceptional communicator, in writing as well as verbally; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other materials.
  • Demonstrated management skills in motivating, developing, and managing staff and consultants, and in coordinating and supporting the fundraising activities of others.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, engage and inspire others, and develop a rapport with many diverse people and groups, including staff, civic leaders, patrons, donors, and friends of ACFP.
  • Experience in planning and managing facility design and construction.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Salary range for this position is $100,000 to $125,000.


Bennett W. Hoke, Managing Director Carter Global 2145 14th Avenue, Suite 2 Vero Beach, FL 32960 385.246.4555 bhoke@carter.global

Submitted material

Arts Council of York County announces new leader

New executive director starts next month

Lori Robishaw was named the new executive director of the Arts Council of York County (ACYC) Thursday, and the organization expects her tenure to begin Monday, Nov. 15.

[caption id="attachment_48064" align="alignright" width="175"] Lori Robishaw[/caption] Robishaw will come to Rock Hill after five years as executive director of La Grua Center in Stonington, Connecticut, a small cultural venue that presents concerts, art exhibitions, and speakers on a wide range of topics. She was responsible for increasing both earned and contributed revenues there, as well as leading the organization through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training that then informed the organization’s new strategic plan. Prior to that position she was the executive director of the Ashtabula Arts Center in her Ohio hometown and an arts management consultant who helped launch the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition in 2013. ACYC Board of Director President Priscilla Nealy said Robishaw's "wide breadth of experience and connections to the greater arts community makes her perfectly suited to propel the ACYC into our next chapter.” Her career has also included a five-year stint in Washington, where she headed the communications office for Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education. She continued with the organization as a consultant for 15 years, which included writing the book commemorating the organization’s 50th Anniversary and the program journal and event script for its annual National Arts Awards in New York City. “I am delighted to be joining the Arts Council of York County and excited to move to this growing region,” Robishaw said. “It is a tough time for the arts and culture world as we continue to move through this pandemic, but surely the last year and a half has shown us how critical the arts are to our health and well-being, not to mention the economy of our communities.” “I feel like I am returning to my roots, working with what I call the arts infrastructure of our country. I started out with a state arts agency in Ohio, worked at the national level in Washington, and now have the chance to run an arts council at the local level. These umbrella organizations are so important for communities to be able to look at the big picture as they foster partnerships among cultural assets to strengthen a sense of place, while at the same time, play a role in attracting and retaining businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Robishaw. “The board and staff have done a stellar job this past year following Debra Heintz’s long and distinguished tenure, and I am eager to contribute what I can to moving the organization forward.”

More about Lori Robishaw

Lori Robishaw has held positions with some of America’s leading regional theatres, including managing the National Playwrights Conference for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in New York City and Waterford, CT. She also was a founder of CATCO, now Columbus’s major resident professional theatre, The Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. In addition, she has worked in higher education in a senior staff communications position at Ohio State, as well as in the broader nonprofit arts sector for the Ohio Arts Council—which included a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts—and The Music Center of Los Angeles County. She has also forayed briefly into the commercial sector by managing a producer’s office for a season on Broadway and working for two film production companies and as a script analyst in Hollywood. Robishaw holds a BA in theatre from Ohio State and an MFA in theatre management from the Yale School of Drama.

About the Arts Council of York County

The Arts Council is headquartered in downtown Rock Hill, a state-recognized cultural district. For more information on Arts Council events, contact the Arts Council of York County at 803.328.2787, by email at arts@yorkcountyarts.org, or visit yorkcountyarts.org.

Jason Rapp