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Engaging Creative Minds’ Summer STEAM Institute receives national recognition, donations

Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) of Charleston recently received two exciting phone calls. The first was from Microsoft announcing a donation of $15,000 in cash and $4,128 in Microsoft software in support of ECM’s Summer STEAM Institute. The second phone call was from the National Summer Learning Association, notifying ECM that the organization is a semi-finalist for the New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award. “I am so proud of our team, because we are one of only 17 sites selected from all across the country to be a semi-finalist for this prestigious award,” said Robin Berlinsky, executive director of Engaging Creative Minds. “Then to be given this incredible opportunity from Microsoft to expand and improve our computer science and coding curriculum at all our camp locations is just amazing.” Microsoft is also excited about the partnership. “In order to fulfill our company mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, the Microsoft Philanthropies YouthSpark initiative is partnering with organizations that are empowering young people—particularly underserved communities, women and ethnic and racially diverse populations—providing them access to critical computer science education,” said Jeff Tozzi, Microsoft general manager, State & Local Government, East Region. “Together with Engaging Creative Minds, we can help more young people develop computer science skills that will prepare them for tomorrow’s global economy, regardless of their career path." The New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programs or models that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between pre-kindergarten and 12th grade. The awards are given annually based on an application process that reviews the program’s history, mission, goals, operations, management, staff development, partnerships, results, and sustainability. Interviews are conducted with a small group of semi-finalists followed by site visits to a select group of finalists to observe program activities before announcing the awards. Winners will be honored at the National Summer Learning Association conference in Seattle in October. “With Microsoft’s support, I believe we have a really good shot at bringing this award home to South Carolina,” said Berlinsky. Engaging Creative Minds provides six weeks of arts integration summer camps for rising 3rd – 8th graders at St. Paul Elementary School in Clarendon School District One, thanks to a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. ECM also has camps at the College of Charleston and The Citadel. Each of the six-week summer camps engages students in activities that support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) curriculum. Campers work alongside professional artists, educators, cultural organizations and athletic providers to explore weekly themes like robotics and forensic science. Groups are small for more 1:1 interaction between adults and campers. “The goal is making sure every child is engaged, happy, and having so much fun they don’t even know they are learning!” said Berlinsky. In addition to the funding it receives from the South Carolina Arts Commission, Summer STEAM Institute receives support from Youth Endowment for the Arts (The Charleston Marathon) and Boeing SC. The mission of Engaging Creative Minds is to inspire the creative and innovative potential of all students to achieve academically and become imaginative, adaptable, and productive adults resulting in stronger communities and an increasingly competitive South Carolina workforce. Engaging Creative Minds is a 501-c-3 organization. Via: Engaging Creative Minds, National Summer Learning Association

Grants help Lincoln Middle-High School students learn through the arts

On May 21, Lincoln Middle-High School joined Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School at the McClellanville Arts Center to present a student art exhibition and concert for the community. The Lincoln Middle High School steel drum band (pictured above) opened the show, and the LMHS culinary art students catered the event. student maskThe exhibition includes animation storyboards and 65 cultural clay masks handcrafted, glazed and embellished by students from LMHS and Cape Romain Environmental Charter School. The funding for the ceramic masks was made possible by the Coastal Community Foundation through their Open Grant program. Art, environmental science and physics students worked with potter Georgette Sanders, arts educator Annie Purvis, science teachers Edwin De Ocampo and Dane Smith and McClellanville Arts Council Director Bernadette Humphrey to research the historical and social functions of masks and work through the physical characteristics of clay. The resulting works of art embody personal meanings for the students, and each mask is accompanied by an artist statement. The animation storyboards consist of more than 100 pages of student-created stories and illustrated characters for gaming proposals. The advanced storyboard work was made possible through a South Carolina Arts Commission Arts in Education Teacher Standards Implementation grant and grants from the Charleston Marathon Youth Endowment for the Arts. This support allowed Lincoln students to integrate 2-D/ graphic design into art classes and provided an iMac, printer, scanner and Photoshop software to create the animation storyboards. This work helped demonstrate to students how to be competitive artistically and academically in 21st-century art and design careers. The works will be on display in the McClellanville Arts Center gallery through the first week of June 2014. Via: Lincoln Middle-High School

Charleston Marathon presents $100,000 to Youth Endowment for the Arts

Congratulations to the organizers of the 2014 Charleston Marathon, who recently presented $100,000 in race proceeds to the Youth Endowment for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides equitable, quality cultural arts experiences to Charleston-area children.  The Charleston Marathon was organized in 2011 to raise funds for the YEA. In its inaugural year, the race raised $40,000, and by 2013, proceeds had doubled to $80,000. In four years, the marathon has raised a grand total of $280,000. The marathon is the sole funding source for YEA. YEA was founded in 2000 by North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey and his wife, Judge Deborah Summey. Through grants and curriculum building, YEA strives to use the fine arts to help open additional avenues to learning. The 2015 Charleston Marathon is set for January 17. Image - front row, left to right: Dr. Nancy McGinley, Charleston County Schools Superintendent; North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey; Judge Deborah Summey; and Liz Alford, Charleston Marathon Executive Director. Back row, left to right: Dr. James Braunreuther, Charleston County Schools Fine Arts Coordinator; Kyle Lahm, Mayor's Office Coordinator of Education, Youth and Family; and Zoe Roff, Charleston County Schools Fine Arts Department. Via: Charleston Marathon

Charleston Marathon: Going the distance for the arts

2014 marks the fourth year for the Charleston Marathon, organized to raise funds for the Youth Endowment for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides equitable, quality cultural arts experiences to Charleston-area children. In its inaugural year, the race raised $40,000. In 2013, proceeds doubled to $80,000. The marathon is the sole funding source for YEA. Charleston Marathon artwork by Robert LangeIn addition to providing the usual race experience, the event features several arts components. Charleston artist Robert Lange created an original work of art, "We Will Not Stop," (pictured right) that is featured on the official race shirt. (The actual work of art is being auctioned as part of the proceeds.) A highlight for race participants will be the dancers, singers, drummers, bands, pianists and other performers, including some Charleston County students, who will provide entertainment and motivation along the course. Schools that apply for grants from YEA receive points on their applications for performing or volunteering at the race. The race is actually a weekend of events, with a Youth Marathon on Friday, Jan. 17, a 5K, half marathon and full marathon on Saturday, Jan. 18, and bike tours of various distances on Sunday, Jan. 19. The 2013 event attracted nearly 5,000 participants in all events combined. (Related: 2013 Verner Award Business recipient Charles Fox was recognized in part for his role in launching the marathon to benefit arts programs in schools.) About Youth Endowment for the Arts Youth Endowment for the Arts’ mission is to provide equitable, quality cultural arts experiences to Charleston-area children. Through grants and curriculum building, YEA strives to use the fine arts to help open additional avenues to learning. YEA was founded in 2000 by North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey and his wife, Judge Deborah Summey.

Intellectual Property for the Arts Workshop

Artists, authors, journalists, script writers, singers/song writers, musicians and others working in and managing the arts are encouraged to attend the  Intellectual Property (IP) Workshop for the Arts Community on Wednesday, May 29 from 1 p.m.  - 5:30 p.m. at the Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Highlights of the workshop include the creation and protection of copyrights and the realities of royalties, marketing, setting financial goals and structuring agreements. The structuring of deals in the arts and entertainment industry can be unique and creative, and workshop participants will learn how to extend their creativity to the business aspect of their careers and how to market the value of their creative works. The program will feature a mix of national and state leaders and their success stories, as well as provide the opportunity for participants to interact with state and local entertainment industry business leaders and executives. The registration cost of $65 per person covers the half-day workshop and the reception that follows. The workshop is produced in association with the City of North Charleston, City of Charleston, the National IP Taskforce, South Carolina Film Council, Youth Endowment for the Arts, the Darla Moore School of Business, and the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts. “The collective mix of co-producers who have stepped forward are vital partners in the event’s success," said North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey. "Bringing focus to the knowledge of intellectual property will help build a much stronger arts and entertainment community with more opportunity for commercial success and prosperity." Program details and registration information are available online. Via: City of North Charleston  

Engaging Creative Minds seeks executive director

The newly launched Engaging Creative Minds program is seeking an executive director to serve as its first managing leader. The application deadline is January 21, 2013, and email applications are required.

Visit the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts' website to read the job description, which includes background about this initiative, the priorities of the executive director for the next 12-18 months and the application process. Engaging Creative Minds is a public/private education partnership, created through a community planning task force organized by the Charleston County School District, the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the College of Charleston School of Education, Health & Human Performance, the Youth Endowment for the Arts, the City of Charleston, City of North Charleston, the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, Berkeley County School District and Dorchester County School District Two. The inspiration for Engaging Creative Minds came from the Dallas-based organization Big Thought, which provides arts integration curriculum and professional development for teachers and artists and hands-on engaged learning in the core subjects -- not just the arts -- in school, after school and during the summer. Documented results for the Dallas Unified School District include increased success in raising student engagement in learning, helping young people pass standards tests to move to the next grade level and increasing academic achievement levels. Via: Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, Engaging Creative Minds