$20 million partnership to expand S.C. arts learning initiatives
SCAC, S.C. Dept. of Education make landmark announcement
For Immediate Release
A $20 million partnership announced today by the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina Arts Commission will help public schools throughout the state address pandemic related learning loss with proven, arts-based learning initiatives.
The American Rescue Plan, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law March 11, 2021 by President Biden, included $121.9 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ARP ESSER), that has been administered through the U.S. Department of Education to state educational agencies.
The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is set to receive $2.1 billion in ARP ESSER funds to help South Carolina’s public schools address the impact that COVID-19 has and continues to have on students, families, educators, and school communities. Ninety percent of these funds will flow through to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in Summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The remaining funds, which amount to $211,205,148 are to be used for state-level activities to address learning loss, summer enrichment programs, and comprehensive after school programs.
The SCDE solicited public input on the use of these funds and the needs that the state should address in its ARP ESSER plan which was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on June 18, 2021. Leadership from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) proposed to SCDE a creative pathway—rooted in innovation and evidence-based practices—that the arts are equipped to provide. Funding was requested to allow the SCAC’s team of professionals and network of partners to:
- help schools and teachers fill learning loss gaps in the arts,
- use arts integration to remediate core subject areas,
- and provide summer and afterschool learning opportunities that leverage the arts in schools throughout the state.
The SCDE approved $20 million for the SCAC to implement its plan over the course of the next three years.
“As a longtime music teacher, I have seen firsthand the impact that arts education can have on students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The arts have a unique ability to engage students of diverse backgrounds across all subject areas which makes this initiative well suited for the receipt of these funds.”
“The South Carolina Arts Commission is confident in its ability to put this funding to use right away to equitably impact learning using the arts,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “Our team of professionals manages existing programs, partnerships, and grant-making infrastructure for this work, which includes federal and state reporting for accountability. ARP ESSER funding from the SCDE will enable expedient and effective scaling with various arts education partners on the local, state, and national levels.”
Programmatic focus areas of the SCAC’s plan include:
- Arts integration
- Arts in early childhood
- Arts industry certification credentials for high school students, building on existing vocational training programs
To realize its classroom-based goals, the SCAC will rely on its partners at the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, which currently serves about 44,000 students in 74 schools and has been cooperatively led for more than 30 years by the SCAC, SCDE, and Winthrop University. The ARP ESSER funding will facilitate scaling the program to:
- increase access to quality arts education (targeting underserved communities)
- develop arts-rich learning environments
- build, restore, expand, and support infrastructure for arts learning at the district level
- research and develop new and innovative instructional practices.
“We have a couple of years’ worth of recent Gallup Organization research looking at South Carolina’s arts-rich schools. It repeatedly shows a link between arts-rich learning and student hope and engagement. We have dreamed about having the kind of funding that would enable expansion to all communities throughout the state,” SCAC Board Chairwoman Dee Crawford said.
In addition to building on the work of the ABC Project, the Arts Commission will expand existing pilot projects with the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities in Greenville and Engaging Creative Minds in Charleston, and will offer grant and programming opportunities for arts education providers across the state.
“Arts and creativity are critical to achieving the knowledge, skills, and characteristics outlined by the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. We are excited to work with grantees, statewide partners in arts education, and other arts providers to ensure equitable access to learning in and through the arts,” Platts said. “This partnership fully supports our mission to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina.”
The SCAC is working now to release information on grant guidelines, research to support evidence-based practices, partnership and professional learning opportunities, and more in coming weeks. Starting in July, these resources will be available at www.abcprojectsc.com.
NEA opens ARP relief funding to arts orgs
And encourages new applicants
The National Endowment for the Arts is encouraging arts organizations not previously funded by it (along with those who have) to apply for direct American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, “The Arts Endowment is committed to encouraging organizations that have not applied to the agency before to do so through ARP and other programs. We have created a new web page with more and better information about registering with [SAM.gov] and grants.gov.”
The NEA received $135 million in the American Rescue Plan Act, representing a strong commitment from President Biden and Congress to the arts, and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy.
On April 29th, the NEA announced that it was directing 40 percent of that allocation to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations. The NEA will award the remaining 60 percent of the funding in competitive grants to support jobs in the arts and culture sector and keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations and local arts agencies nationwide.
ARP emergency relief funding is coming from many sources, and S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) constituents can count on the agency and The Hub to help you keep it straight.
ARP funding from the NEA
There are two avenues for funding from the NEA’s $135 million. The Hub can’t stress enough that reading the guidelines is critical to know for what arts organizations or individual artists are eligible. We will post those as they arrive.
- Direct to arts organizations (60%). Not limited to previous NEA grantees! Also new is that recipients may use funding awarded to cover general operating costs, which speaks to the “tremendous need in the sector,” according to the NEA. Guidelines are live and available here.
- Direct to state and regional organizations (40%). The SCAC is receiving an $818,700 allotment from which it will award grants. The anticipated timing of this process is mid-summer 2021. Announcements will be made via The Hub, social media, and other SCAC outlets to ensure you’re informed when guidelines go live.
State-level relief funding
Details are thin right now but yes, there will be relief funding coming from the state. Most of those details are being sorted out, to include how much and from where it will me made available. Again, count on SCAC team members and The Hub to help you keep it straight in coming weeks.
Three new positions open at SCAC
Arts learning, grants, and something new
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, August 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (all three)
The S.C. Arts Commission is hiring.
By now you have probably heard that South Carolina is making a massive investment in arts learning. With that will come increased demand for S.C. Arts Commission grants and other services. To ensure constituent service remains at a high level, applications are now being accepted for two positions serving grants and arts learning.
K12 Arts Education Coordinator
Coordinates and implements activities, research, and administrative duties for the Arts Commission’s K-12 initiatives including grants and direct programs. Working under supervision of the arts learning director, they play a vital role in working with constituents, grantees, schools, organizations, and partner entities. Provides consulting and technical assistance to constituents within assigned programmatic areas.
Assistant Grants Coordinator
Ensures accurate and efficient processing of grants from application to final report in a cloud-based grants management system. Serves as the initial point of contact for requests for grants information and customer service. Working under supervision of the deputy director, they serve as a member of the Arts Commission’s grants team and play a vital role in working with constituents, grantees, schools, organizations, and partner entities. Duties include grants office administration and grants processing.
Introducing Arts Industry
The SCAC 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.
Soon, arts industry will be added as a fourth key area.
Arts Industry Director
The agency envisions its first arts industry director as someone who designs, manages, and implements statewide programs for arts organizations, including local arts councils, nonprofits, businesses, and non-arts organizations serving as arts providers.
Working under supervision of the deputy director, they play a vital role in working with constituents, grantees, organizations, and partner agencies. Provide consulting and technical assistance to arts organizations, arts providers, and arts businesses within assigned programmatic areas. Chair the State Art Collection committee and manages the State Art Collection coordinator.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) 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 three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, 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 social media.
Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of July 26
SCAC Deadlines and Coaching Opportunities
Though not the only way, grants are among the main ways the SCAC accomplishes its work.
Because of their importance to that, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times we hear people say, “If only we’d known about (X or Y) grant!”
We can’t reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, “Grants Roundup” highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what’s coming later in increments.
*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.
The state of South Carolina and South Carolina Arts Commission fiscal year runs July 1-June 30 each year. We are currently in FY22.
These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.
NEXT 30(ish) DAYS
These grants offer convenient, rolling deadlines, but you are advised to apply at least six weeks before your project for some. Check guidelines for specific instructions.
- Accessibility Grants (apps to open for FY22 funding in July)
- Arts Project Support Grants (apps to open for FY22 funding in July)
- Arts Teacher Support Grants (formerly Teacher Standards Implementation Grants … apps to open for FY22 funding in August)
OPEN GRANT APPLICATIONS
- General Operating Support Grants – guidelines posted; new applicants’ applications accepted from Nov. 1, 2021*
- Operating Support for Small Organizations Grants – guidelines posted; new applicants’ applications accepted from Nov. 1, 2021*
*Only current operating support grantees are eligible for FY22 funding because of limited funding. Guidelines for FY23 funding will be available for new grantees at varying times; “Grants Roundup” will have the latest information.
- You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC grants page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
- For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult the appropriate member of our team if you are an artist or represent local organizations, an educational institution, or a non-arts business or organization offering arts programming.
Learn the ins and outs of the South Carolina Arts Commission grant application process and how to manage one of our grants from the professionals on the Grants Team! Grants Coaching topical sessions are held the first Thursday of every month.
- Thursday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m.: “What comes next after you have been awarded? Contract packets!”
The free topical discussion is held via Zoom. Registration is required. Need to get some assistance with something else? Try a one-on-one call. The Grants Team is available to answer your questions about the grants process with 15- or 30-minute sessions, Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit the Grants Coaching page for further information and registration links.
OPEN COACHING CALLS FOR ARTIST DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts and the SCAC Grants Team are using Zoom to host open coaching calls on artist development grants to better enable artists to make competitive applications for our competitive grants. The sessions are free, but you must register in advance.
- Next call TBA
APPLICANT COACHING CALLS
SCAC program directors are hosts of periodic informational sessions using Zoom about currently-available grant opportunities. Each session reviews a grant’s guidelines and application and includes a Q&A session. Sessions are free, but you must register in advance by visiting the link below to a grant’s guidelines page.
- Late October/Early November 2021: Operating Support New Applicants (registration TBA)
From The State: Sweetgrass basketry fighting for survival
A tradition in peril
Sweetgrass basketry intertwines with South Carolina heritage in the same way that the grasses come together to form the renowned finished product.
But for how much longer will it be part of the present?
Today, Caitlin Byrd of The State tries to get a grasp on the situation (subscription possibly required):
Also driving up the price of baskets is the increased development in the coastal region, which continues to cut off access to the very plants Black families use to make sweetgrass baskets. And then there’s the concern about time itself, as a generation of sewers worry that this craft, which can trace its origins to the 17th century, will not be carried on in the way it once was.
This traditional art form is no stranger to The Hub or the South Carolina Arts Commission.
- Sweetgrass basketmakers have been Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients many times since the first in 1990, and the most recent was in 2018. (The Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the SCAC and its partner the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum.)
- A basket by Mary Jackson, one of the most decorated artisans, is included in the State Art Collection and is included in The State’s story.
Marlanda Dekine wins 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize
SCAC earns publication, cash prize
Hub City Press just announced that Marlanda Dekine is the winner of the fifth New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.
Marlanda Dekine (she/they) is a poet obsessed with ancestry, memory, and the process of staying within one’s own body. Their work manifest as books, audio projects, and workshops, leaving spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves.
The prize for Dekine’s unpublished manuscript, Thresh & Hold, is $1,000 and publication by Hub City Press in spring 2022. Their manuscript was selected as the winner of the prize by award-winning poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi.
Dekine’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Juke Joint Magazine, OROBORO, Screen Door Review, Root Work Journal, and elsewhere. They are the founder and former executive director of Speaking Down Barriers, Spoken Word Spartanburg, and other organizations that make space for all beings. Currently, she serves as a Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders and the 2021/2022 creative-in-residence with Castle of our Skins.
Dekine is the recipient of many awards, including a Tin House Own Path Scholarship (2021), an SC Humanities Award for Fresh Voices in Humanities (2019), Emrys’ Keller Cushing Freeman Fellowship (2019), and grants from the S.C. Arts Commission, Alternate Roots, The Map Fund, and other organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Furman University, University of South Carolina, and is a third-year master of fine arts candidate (Poetry) at Converse College.
Of the collection, Calvocoressi wrote,
“I cannot and will not put Marlanda Dekine’s, Thresh & Hold down. The world it builds, celebrates, and reclaims is a reckoning and a symphony. From the brutality of the rice plantations of South Carolina to the specific privacy found inside one’s Saturn Vue, the breadth of human experience that unfold in these poems cover histories that, we too often forget, are all intimate stories. Dekine reminds us that every moment we read about is a moment some body has fought or celebrated or been unable to live through. The effect of this is that we are brought into the vast music of a world that is endlessly unfolding, It’s fairly common to read poems that speak about community but there are only a handful of poets alive; Nikky Finney, Destiny Hemphill, CA Conrad come to mind, whose poems truly make community as the work blooms before us. This is a poet of that order and ability. I am so blown away by the gift and the challenge of this book. A book that not for one moment looks away from the brutality and beauty of this world. A book that says, ‘I am listening to Spirit. I am not dying today.'”
Calvocoressi is the author of the poetry collections Rocket Fantastic; Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, which was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and winner of the Connecticut Book Award in Poetry. They are the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Calvocoressi teaches at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.
The other finalists are Reyes Ramirez for Answers Without Questions and Andy Young for Museum of the Soon Departed.
The biennial New Southern Voices Prize is sponsored by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. It is open to all poets who have either never published a full-length collection of poetry, or who have only published one full-length collection, and who currently reside in and have had residency in one or more of the following states for a minimum of 24 consecutive months: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The previous winner of this prize was Megan Denton Ray for her collection, Mustard, Milk and Gin which was released by Hub City Press in March 2020.
S.C. Phil renews Morihiko Nakahara
Contract extension runs through 2025
South Carolina Philharmonic Music Director Morihiko Nakahara has renewed his contract with the organization through the 2024/2025 season.
Nakahara joined the S.C. Philharmonic as conductor and music director in 2008.
“I am thrilled to continue making music with our committed and talented musicians and sharing that music with listeners throughout the Midlands and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic of the last 15 months cemented my belief that the [South Carolina] Philharmonic is a special organization. Our musicians, staff and board members have navigated these challenging times with innovation, determination and an open mind. Music connects us and brings us together, and I look forward to playing my part to connect our orchestra with more South Carolinians over the next few years,” Nakahara said.
“We are so pleased and privileged to have Morihiko Nakahara continue as our Maestro for the South Carolina Philharmonic. His leadership is an unequivocal success,” said Concertmaster Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian.
“His work, along that of our wonderful executive director, Rhonda Hunsinger, has put us into a whole new sphere of musical achievements.”
Immediate Past Board President Lynn Hodge praised Nakahara.
“We are very excited to announce Morihiko Nakahara’s contract renewal. His charismatic personality, imaginative programming and dynamic performances have earned him widespread acclaim and a loyal following in the Midlands. The Philharmonic Board greatly values Nakahara’s artistic vision and commitment to ongoing excellence. We look forward to his continued leadership in taking the Philharmonic to new heights,” Hodge said.
A passionate baseball fan, he and the orchestra recently played to a sold-out crowd of around 5,000 at the Columbia Fireflies’ Segra Park. The patriotic and Americana-themed concert was performed on the ballpark’s infield and concluded with a large fireworks display set to music. Today’s news coincides with the recent announcement of the orchestra’s 58th season to begin this fall. The opening Masterworks concert is Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at the Koger Center for the Arts.
Wallace Foundation announces investment in arts orgs of color
$53 million over five years to address relevance, resiliency
The Wallace Foundation today announced a five-year, $53 million initiative focusing on arts organizations of color*, and invited eligible arts organizations to apply.
At the same time, Wallace invited researchers to respond to a request for proposals for the first of several studies associated withthe initiative. All submissions are due August 13, 2021.
The initiative will focus on this guiding question: How can and do arts organizations of color, facing strategic challenges, leverage their experience and histories of community orientation to increase their resilience, while sustaining their relevance? There will be two cohorts of grantees; Wallace currently seeks applications from eligible arts organizations of color that would like to be considered for the first cohort.
This project is part of the foundation’s efforts to foster equitable improvements in the arts, recognizing that many leaders of arts organizations of color report their contributions are often overlooked and underfunded. The initiative draws on emerging evidence that community orientation—which is central to the approach taken by many arts organizations of color—may contribute to relevance and resilience. By ‘relevance’ we mean that organizations matter to their communities; ‘resilience’ means the organizations’ ability to adapt and thrive. Finally, the initiative builds on Wallace’s history in the 1990s and 2000s of supporting efforts by non-profit arts organizations to more deeply engage the communities of which they are part.
“Equity has long been a central value at Wallace, and we hope this initiative advances that commitment,” said Bahia Ramos, director of arts at The Wallace Foundation. “By listening to and partnering with arts organizations of color, and documenting and studying their work, we hope to highlight their important contributions and better understand the practices that make them matter so deeply to their communities.”
Grantees will take community-oriented approaches as they develop individual projects of their choosing, while learning with and from the rest of the cohort. The initiative will incorporate a strong research focus intended to support grantees in their work by providing them with insights into their efforts as they implement their projects; contribute to the research base on cultural institutions, specifically arts organizations of color; and develop evidence-based, practical guidance.
“Our goal is to benefit not only organizations that are selected to be part of the initiative,” Ramos said, “but also other arts organizations of color and the broader field of the non-profit arts.”
To select the first cohort, Wallace will consider organizations with annual budgets between $500,000 and $5 million. Drawing from the initial round of applications, Wallace expects to invite approximately 50 organizations to submit proposals. From those, the foundation will select a cohort of 10 to 12 organizations across the visual and performing arts fields, literary and media arts, as well as community-based organizations focused on artistic practice. Heritage museums of color that include contemporary artists are also eligible.
Each selected organization will receive five years of funding totaling approximately $2 million to $3 million to develop projects that use community-oriented approaches to meet strategic challenges.
In partnership with Wallace, grantees will embark on a planning year for their project—whether it is in progress or something new—and identify any technical supports they might need before beginning four years of project implementation. The grantees will also decide on a name for the initiative—one that captures their collective aspirations and endeavors.
Throughout the initiative, grantees will participate in a peer learning community and in research to advance knowledge in the field. Research questions may be refined as projects become clearer after the planning year. Ethnographic researchers will also work closely with each organization to document its history, practices and organizational culture, providing important archival accounts both for the organization and for the field.
Information for arts organizations
Details on the application and selection process, and what participation in the initiative entails, are available at Wallace’s information hub, www.wallacefoundation.org/ArtsOpenCall. A brief application form is due by August 13, 2021.
The initiative will include a second, larger cohort that will focus on organizations with budgets below $500,000. This phase of the initiative is anticipated to begin in late 2022.
Information for arts researchers
The first research component of the new initiative is an up to $3.2 million study of community orientation. Wallace seeks researchers with a deep understanding of arts organizations of color and their relationships with the communities they serve, across a diversity of communities and arts disciplines.
The study will focus on the organizations’ activities, the context for those activities, and how they contribute to relevance and resilience. The research will result in a set of public-facing reports and academic papers. The request for research proposals is available at Wallace’s information hub, www.wallacefoundation.org/ArtsOpenCall. Letters of intent are due by August 13, 2021.
About the Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation’s mission is to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. Wallace works nationally, with a focus on the arts, K-12 education leadership and youth development. In all of its work, Wallace seeks to benefit both its direct grantees as well as the fields in which it works by developing and broadly sharing relevant, useful knowledge that can improve practice and policy. For more information, please visit the foundation’s Knowledge Center at wallacefoundation.org.
*For the purposes of this open call, an inclusive process for inviting submissions, The Wallace Foundation uses the term “arts organizations of color” to describe organizations that have been founded by (in either artistic or administrative leadership) and for communities of color. Wallace recognizes that no one umbrella term can accurately represent the plurality and diversity of arts organizations that serve communities of color including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Arab American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander.