Awarded Grants

SC Humanities funds numerous projects in South Carolina through Major Grants, Mini Grants, Planning Grants, and Fast Track Literary Grants.

Grants awarded in fiscal year 2018 (November 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018) are displayed below. Grants awarded in fiscal years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 can be viewed by clicking on the links to the right. For previous records, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.


Major Grants

Sponsoring Organization: Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society
Project Title: An Exhibit of Early Edistonians
Project Director: Gretchen Smith
$8,000; cost-share: $18,633
The Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society will create a new permanent exhibit in their museum about the history of the “Early Edistonians,” the Native American peoples who lived there from 2200 BC to 1600 AD. This history has not been interpreted in the museum previously; current exhibits focus on early European and African American history. The “Early Edistonians” exhibit will include artifacts, illustrations, and possibly an interactive display and is expected to open to the public in January 2019.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina (McKissick Museum)
Project Title: Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler
Project Director: Saddler Taylor
Awarded: $7,000; cost-share: $8,000
The McKissick Museum will create an original exhibit titled Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler that will explore the work of noted potter Thomas Chandler who left an important stoneware legacy in Edgefield County, including new pottery forms, new techniques for mixing clay, and new methods of decoration. The exhibit will be on display from August 2018 – July 2019, and they expect to create a catalog featuring articles from leading pottery scholars and produce several public programs throughout the exhibit’s tenure at the museum.

Sponsoring Organization: The Santa Elena Foundation
Project Title: The Ring People
Project Director: Jamie Koelker
Awarded: $8,000; cost-share: $89,539
The Ring People will be a broadcast-length documentary about the prehistoric peoples who lived on South Carolina’s coast and produced the vast oyster shell structures (near Charleston County) known as “Fig Island.” The documentary is expected to be completed by Fall 2018. It will be submitted to SCETV and the National Educational Television Association; screened at such public venues as The Charleston Museum, the Santa Elena History Center, and the Beaufort Historical Society; submitted to several film festivals; archived on the website; and used as the basis for standards-based lesson plans for middle school students that will be available on multiple web platforms.

Sponsoring Organization: Clemson University
Project Title: Lincoln’s Unfinished Work
Project Director: Vernon Burton
Awarded: $7,000; cost-share: $8,000
Clemson University will host a major conference on “Lincoln’s Unfinished Work” on November 28 – December 1, 2018. The event is slated to include more than 40 noted scholars from around the country. The conference will investigate Lincoln’s unfinished work, including such topics as the Reconstruction Era and its aftermath, social reconstruction (WWI and the New Deal), alternate views on memorials and statues, current race relations in the United States, and Lincoln’s broader legacy in the 20th and 21st centuries. The conference will include panel presentations, plenary sessions, tours of the Clemson campus, several accompanying exhibits, and workshops with continuing education credits for teachers.

Sponsoring Organization: Georgetown County Library
Project Title: Lebanese Legacy of Georgetown County, SC
Project Director: Dwight McInvaill
Awarded: $6,000; cost-share: $9,140
The Georgetown County Library will present a multi-faceted project on “The Lebanese Legacy of Georgetown County, SC.” They will host a symposium in October 2018 featuring scholars in Lebanese culture who will shed light on facets of the Lebanese experience in Georgetown. They will also display an exhibit from the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese-Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University and premiere an original documentary that is already in production about the Lebanese families of Georgetown County.

Sponsoring Organization: Slave Dwelling Project, Inc.
Project Title: Uncovering the Underground Railroad
Project Director: Joe McGill
Awarded: $6,000; cost-share: $18,500
The Slave Dwelling Project is planning a major cultural program called “Uncovering the Underground Railroad” for November 2 – 8, 2018 at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. The event will include lectures, exhibits, discussions, and performances to educate participants about some of the unknown or misunderstood aspects of the Underground Railroad.

Sponsoring Organization: The South Carolina Historical Society
Project Title: The People, the Place, the Promise Exhibition
Project Director: John Tucker
Awarded: $4,000; cost-share: $318,570
The South Carolina Historical Society will install a major exhibit about South Carolina history and culture in the Fireproof Building in Charleston. The exhibit will tell the story of South Carolina’s people, land, and history. The exhibit will occupy a 2,500 square foot space with six galleries that will broach the following topics: “The Life and Legacy of Robert Mills” (the Fireproof Building was designed by Robert Mills), “Cultures Converge: Exploration and Settlement,” “Expanding Horizons: Moving to the Upcountry, Antebellum Life, Revolution,” “War and Reconstruction: Secession, Civil War, Reconstruction,” “Charleston Recovers: Natural Disasters, Charleston Renaissance, Film,” “Celebrating Diversity: Art, Literature, Culture,” and “Only in South Carolina” (rotating exhibits on foodways, conservation, and other topics). The exhibit will open in September 2018, and they will have several pre-opening events such as a Military Family Day and receptions for educators and legislators.

Sponsoring Organization: The Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage
Project Title: Living by the Rails
Project Director: Annmarie Reiley-Key
Awarded: $5,000; cost-share: 20,260
The Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage will create an original exhibit titled Living by the Rails: A History of Lowcountry Railroads that will be on display at the center from April 28, 2018 – March 2, 2019. The exhibit will include six small graphic panels, 12 wall text panels, a documentary film of local railroad stories, a photo booth, a children learn-and-play theater corner, and a community platform for people to share their own stories. They will also host a grand opening and a series of public programs throughout the year that the exhibit is on display.

Sponsoring Organization: Presbyterian College
Project Title: Workforce Development at Clinton and Lydia Textile Mills, 1961-1990
Project Director: Dave Chatham
Awarded: $7,000; cost-share: $31,727
Presbyterian College is coordinating an oral history project about “Workforce Development at  Clinton and Lydia Textile Mills, 1961-1990.”  Transcripts of 24 oral histories, 50 condensed audio narratives, and two thematic exhibits featuring narrative selections will be published for public access on web platforms. Additionally, they will receive a fair amount of local press through The Clinton Chronicle and two local radio stations.

Sponsoring Organization: Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina
Project Title: Shakespeare for All – Two New Adaptations
Project Director: Chris Weatherhead
Awarded: $6,500; cost-share: $21,840
The Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina will stage performances and readings with panel discussions of two adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays that are intended to make the plays more accessible to general audiences with a focus on underserved populations. An adapted version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed in Charleston in July 2018 and then readings with discussion panels will be performed at various more rural venues around the state in Fall 2018. A similar series/schedule of programs is planned for King Lear in 2019.

Mini and Planning Grants

Sponsoring Organization: Ocean Ana Rising, Inc.
Project Title: Annette M. Lane and the Secrets of the Tents
Project Director: Madeleine Hunt
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $7,200
This is a research and oral history project about the United Order of the Tents, the oldest black women’s organization in the country. Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are the states with the most active chapters of the United Order of the Tents, and the Project Director will travel to South Carolina to conduct between 10 – 20 interviews and oral histories with tents members who are 75 years or older. These oral histories will be transcribed, archived and presented at a “works in progress” update at academic and public history institutions in SC (possibly Penn Center), NC, and VA. The research will be used to develop a documentary film with an intended platform of public media broadcast.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation
Project Title: MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here?
Project Director: Jannie Harriot
Awarded: $1,750; cost-share: $4,760
The South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation will partner with People to People of Hartsville to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on January 14 – 15, 2018. The two-pronged project includes: (1) an oral history collection effort led by Dr. Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jennifer Heusel of Coker College and (2) a community commemoration program featuring Dr. Donaldson as the keynote speaker on January 15.

Sponsoring Organization: Gibbes Museum of Art
Project Title: Guardians of the Gallery: Interpreting Visible Storage at the Gibbes Museum of Art
Project Director: Zinnia Willits
Awarded: $1,000; cost-share: $2,000
The Gibbes Museum of Art will launch a new effort to increase understanding of the preservation and conservation of its art collection. The program will include permanent interpretive material and small, rotating exhibits of the Collections Storage Center. A visible storage space was created during the recent renovation of the Gibbes. Proposed exhibits for this program include “The Secret Life of a Painting” (March – May 2018) and “Why Can’t We Touch the Art” (June – September 2018). The museum will also offer monthly guided tours of the Collections Storage Center.

Sponsoring Organization: Greenville Chautauqua
Project Title: Maya Angelou, I Rise! – a Chautauqua History Alive interactive program through the life and words of Maya Angelou
Project Director: Caroline McIntyre
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $2,000
Greenville Chautauqua will bring the interactive Chautauqua History Alive Program “Maya Angelou, I Rise!” to seven South Carolina schools: Carolina High School, Tangelwood Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, Legacy Early College Elementary, Legacy Early College Middle, Legacy Early College High, and the Greenville Juvenile Detention Center. The seven schools are considered to have “at-risk populations” where many of the families live below the poverty line. The “Maya Angelou, I Rise!” program will be presented by veteran Chautauqua performer Becky Stone of North Carolina in February 2018 as part of Black History Month. Fifteen hundred students are anticipated to benefit from the program.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina Archaeology Public Outreach Division (SCAPOD)
Project Title: Archaeology in the Classroom
Project Director: E. Schofner
Awarded: $1,300; cost-share: $1,415
The South Carolina Archaeology Public Outreach Division requests grant support to present their “Archaeology in the Classroom” programming to 13 public school classrooms in South Carolina, reaching approximately 300 students. The 90-minute programs are designed as a hands-on way to use archaeology as a tool for teaching about the importance of our shared South Carolina cultural heritage.

Sponsoring Organization: Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters
Project Title: Scarred Justice Screening, Public Discussion, and Exhibit
Project Director: Jonathan Johnson
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $2,206
Columbia SC 63 will present a project to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre by screening the film Scarred Justice by filmmaker Judy Richardson at the Nickelodeon Theater followed by a panel discussion with Judy Richardson, Dr. Bobby Donaldson, and others. A pop-up exhibit will be created that will be on display in the lobby of the Nickelodeon and also used for future programming and events around the state. The film screening and panel discussion will take place on February 6, 2018.

Sponsoring Organization: Greenwood County Library
Project Title: Let’s Talk About Race in America
Project Director: Prudence Taylor
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $4,308
The Greenwood County Library will present a multimedia discussion series on the topic of “Let’s Talk About Race in America” from March – May 2018. At least six programs will be presented, including three film screenings and three book discussions, and a lecture and concert are also tentative. They are partnering with Lander University, the Benjamin Mays Historic Site, and the MEGS House (an emergency shelter for abused women and their children) to present and promote the programs.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern Guitar Festival
Project Title: Mexican Guitar Making & Its Connection to North American Guitar Making Traditions
Project Director: Marina Alexandra
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $2,000
The Southern Guitar Festival is an annual event that takes place in June in Columbia. For the 2018 event on June 8 – 10, they will host a lecture-demonstration by the Mexican guitar ensemble Oceto Sicaru to educate audiences about classical guitar building techniques, the history of guitar making in Mexico, and its influence on North American guitar building traditions. In addition to the free program offered as part of the Southern Guitar Festival to the general public, they are also tentatively planning a second program specifically oriented to the Latino community that will possibly take place at a church or another venue that caters to migrant workers.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern Documentary Fund
Project Title: Working Title: The Lowcountry
Project Director: Vicki Callahan
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $12,900
A major proposed documentary about “The Lowcountry” will explore this region’s struggle for racial reconciliation. The filmmakers plan to create a feature-length documentary that will air on public television and be screened at major documentary film festivals across the country. They anticipate that the film will be completed by Summer 2020. Planning Grant funds will allow for the research and scripting phases of the documentary, bringing several key project personnel to Charleston to conduct interviews and archival research and rights clearances at the College of Charleston and the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Fast Track Literary Grants

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina State Library
Project Title: SC State Library Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest
Project Director: Denise Lyons
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $12,000
The South Carolina State Library will present the second year of the “Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest,” open to South Carolina students in grades 3 – 12.The contest invites students to submit a poem about a person, place, or experience that made a mark on their lives and how this has helped shape their dreams. The contest will open in January 2018 with a deadline for submission of March 15, 2018. The awards ceremony is scheduled for April 21, 2018.

Sponsoring Organization: Spartanburg County Public Libraries
Project Title: Pat Conroy: A Reverence for Teaching
Project Director: Holly Tichenor
Awarded: $125; cost-share: $125
The Cyrill-Westside Branch of the Spartanburg County Public Library System will present a local author showcase called “Let’s Read Local” starting in January 2018. On April 11, 2018, they will present Jonathan Haupt of the Pat Conroy Literary Center speaking about “Pat Conroy: A Reverence for Teaching.” Jonathan will bring one of Pat Conroy’s teachers from Beaufort High School to be a part of the discussion. The event will take place during National Library Week.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina Academy of Authors
Project Title: South Carolina Academy of Authors Induction Weekend 2018
Project Director: Jonathan Haupt
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $9,900
The 2018 South Carolina Academy of Authors Induction Weekend will take place in Beaufort on April 27 – 29. The SC Academy of Authors is the state’s literary hall of fame, and they will induct four honorees in 2018: Nathalie Dupree, Mary Alice Monroe, Valerie Sayers, and the late John Blake White. The weekend will include a variety of cultural and educational events, including presentations by each of the living inductees, tours of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, and the annual induction ceremony and dinner. Many of the events are free and open to the public.

Sponsoring Organization: Anderson County Library
Project Title: Books & Community: Spotlight on Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Project Director: Sara Leady
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $4,800
The Anderson County Library requests Fast Track Literary Grant funds to support their community read in February 2018 using the National Book Award-winning title Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. They are planning on multiple discussions for teens and adults at library locations and high schools, panel discussions with community leaders, a South Carolina Civil Rights history program, and discussion of representation in comics.


For more information about the Grants Program or any of SC Humanities’ funded projects, please contact Theresa (T.J.) Wallace, the Assistant Director, at 803-771-2477.