2020 Awarded Grants

The following grants were awarded by SC Humanities in fiscal year 2020 (November 1, 2019 – October 31, 2020).

Major Grants

Sponsoring Organization: Fountain Inn History Museum
Project Title: The Making of a Small Town
Project Director: Kenzie Galloway
Awarded: $3,325; Cost-share: $4,636
The Fountain Inn History Museum will refurbish an available, unused space and use it as a new exhibit gallery for a series of rotating photographic exhibits drawn from their historic archives. They have a cache of more than 500 photographs taken between 1860 and 2000 in their archives. The initial exhibit will include 36 images that share about the history of the community and will open in June 2020.

Sponsoring Organization: Orangeburg County Historical Society
Project Title: Dixie’s Last Stand – Documentary
Project Director: Emily Harrold
Awarded: $8,000; Cost-share: $38,650
The Orangeburg County Historical Society is serving as the Fiscal Agent for a documentary project with the working title “Dixie’s Last Stand” about the recent conflict over the flying of a Confederate flag outside of an ice cream parlor in Orangeburg. The proposed one-hour broadcast-length documentary film will explore the two-year long battle through a variety of perspectives, digging into the flag’s historical legacy as well as current perspectives about it. The film is expected to be completed in Fall 2020, after which it will premiere at a nationally-recognized film festival, be broadcast on public television, streamed on Topic.com, and screened at locations across South Carolina.

Sponsoring Organization: Ginetta V. Hamilton Literacy Foundation
Project Title:
 Gullah: A Historic Introduction to a new Generation in Alvin, SC
Project Director: Ginetta Hamilton
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $4,500
This is a two-part project that includes a public presentation by noted Gullah scholar Ron Daise during the annual Alvin Festival on June 28, 2020 in Berkeley County as well as an oral history collection project to record and document “I Remember When” stories from 18 seniors in the Alvin/St. Stephen community about former African American businesses and life there.

Sponsoring Organization: Richland School District 2
Project Title: Defining South Carolina Deliciousness
Project Director: Dr. Wendy Campbell
Awarded: $7,281; Cost-share: $37,836
Richland School District 2 is planning a series of programs for students about South Carolina food that will take place from April – December 2020 and reach more than 1,000 children in grades 3,4,5 and 9.

Sponsoring Organization: Nickelodeon Theatre Society – Columbia Film Society
Project Title: Colors of Film
Project Director: Omme-Salma Rahemtullah
Awarded: $6,971; Cost-share: $12,760
The Nickelodeon will present the “Colors of Film” series that will include the screening of two diasporic films in Orangeburg and again in Columbia, as well as media literacy workshops for 80 people in each community. The programs will take place in Fall 2020 in Orangeburg and in Winter 2020/2021 in Columbia. The two selected films are The Day Shall Come (2019, Christopher Morris) and Burning Cane (2019 Philip Youmans), neither of which has received much attention in South Carolina. Each film screening will be bookended by media literacy workshops that are designed to accompany screenings of African-American films and address issues of identity, place, migration, religion, and family.

Sponsoring Organization: Historic Columbia
Project Title: Women, Voting, and Politics: Reflections on a Century of Women’s Suffrage
Project Director: Robin Waites
Awarded: $8,000; Cost-share: $15,500
Historic Columbia in partnership with the University of South Carolina History Center will present a symposium on “Women, Voting, and Politics: Reflections on a Century of Women’s Suffrage” on April 23 – 24, 2020 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. The symposium will include an evening keynote on Thursday, followed by two panel discussions on Friday, each featuring leading scholars on women in history. The panel themes are “In Politics to Stay: African American Women and the Vote” and “Women, Equality, and American Politics.” The keynote and symposium sessions are free and open to the public; a lunch fee of $30 per person will be charged for the Friday luncheon. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: The ETV Endowment of South Carolina
Project Title: Sisterhood: South Carolina Suffragists
Project Director: Beryl Dakers
Awarded: $8,000; Cost-share: $103,638
SCETV will create a series of three half-hour television documentaries entitled Sisterhood: South Carolina Suffragists that will air in Fall 2020 to commemorate the centennial of the 19th amendment. Each program will focus on a different set of South Carolina sisters and their contemporaries who worked to gain equal rights for women. The first episode will feature Sarah and Angelina Grimke, abolitionists in the early 1800s. The second program will feature the Rollin sisters (Frances, Lottie, Louise, Kate, and Florence), politically-engaged black women who were active in women’s suffrage during Reconstruction. The final program will concentrate on Carrie, Mable, and Anita Pollitzer, Jewish women from Charleston who lived to see the 19th amendment ratified. In addition to the three half-hour programs intended to air on Carolina Stories, there will be a comprehensive website and a series of 4-minute radio shorts that will complement the themes of the documentaries. Educational materials will be created and disseminated to schools.

Sponsoring Organization: Brookgreen Gardens
Project Title: Seen, Heard, Esteemed: Living History Narratives of Georgetown County, SC
Project Director: Ron Daise
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $9,852
Brookgreen Gardens will collect living history narratives about six Gullah Geechee community members of Sandy Island, Plantersville, and Murrells Inlet that will be dramatized and complemented with digital elements. The completed narratives will be made available to the public through performances to guests as well as through audio and video excerpts online. The public aspects of the program will be launched at Brookgreen Gardens’ annual Harvest Home Weekend fall festival on October 3-4, 2020, and the pilot phase presentation schedule will continue through December.

Sponsoring Organization: Congregation of Adath Yeshurun
Project Title: “A Source of Light” Centennial Celebration
Project Director: Steve Silver
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $25,000
The congregation of Adath Yeshurun in Aiken will commemorate their 100th anniversary from March – May 2021 with a variety of public programs, including a physical exhibit on the history of the Aiken Jewish community in partnership with the Aiken County Historical Museum; a virtual exhibit on a specially designed 100th anniversary website; an exhibit catalog; the installation of a historic marker; panel discussions; and a Centennial Celebration weekend event from March 5 – 7. Some elements of the programming may be in person depending on health and safety conditions.

Sponsoring Organization: Hagood Mill Foundation
Project Title: On-Site and Virtual Field Trips at Hagood Mill
Project Director: Betty McDaniel
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $10,000
Hagood Mill Historic Site will expand their on-site field trip options and also create new virtual field trip packages designed for 3rd – 8th grade students. On-site field trip topics include “Tour of the Historic Site,” “Tour of the Native Roots Trail,” “Tour of the Petroglyph Center,” and “Tour of the Mill”; they also often include demonstrations, hands-on activities, and interviews with experts. Grant funds would help formalize these on-site field trips to align them with standards and to include lesson plans and resources that can be used with educators. Additionally, Hagood Mill Historic Site will create four new virtual field trip kits on the topics “Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1800s,” “Finding and Identifying Early Appalachian Artifacts,” “Native American Way of Life in the 1800s,” and “Finding and Identifying Native American Artifacts.” The kits will include a short video about the historic site; a PowerPoint with the lesson plan, supply list, worksheets, assessment rubrics, and other items; a choice of one tour, and a choice of one demonstration/how-to video clip. Virtual field trips will begin rolling out in December 2020.

Sponsoring Organization: Georgetown County Library System
Project Title:
 From Blue Hills to Green Sea: Representing South Carolina Foodways
Project Director: Trudy Bazemore
Awarded: $10,000 Cost-share: $10,920
The Georgetown County Library will present a major project on South Carolina food history and culture titled “From Blue Hills to Green Sea: Representing South Carolina Foodways.” The project will include three main elements offering the perspectives of both scholars and laypeople: a virtual symposium in March 2021 featuring many noted scholars from South Carolina and around the country; a digital video series featuring South Carolina chefs and other practitioners demonstrating preparation of culturally significant meals; and a digitization project of community cookbooks and other foodways ephemera to be archived in the Georgetown County Library System’s digital collections.

Sponsoring Organization: The Poetry Society of SC
Project Title: The Poetry Society of SC 100th Anniversary
Project Director: Danielle DeTiberus
Awarded: $5,000; Cost-share: $30,424
The Poetry Society of South Carolina will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021 and will offer four readings and seven writing workshops from January – May by faculty Len Lawson, Joy Priest, Leslie Sainz, Valerie Nieman, Michele Reese, Chad Abushanab, and Keith Flynn. If possible, the programs will be both in-person and broadcast online; otherwise, they will be offered exclusively online. In addition to these programs, the centennial celebration will include a publication about the 100-year history of the society; an exhibit of photography and memorabilia that will be on display in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville; a release of recordings from several decades of society readings; and the presentation of three Centennial awards.

Sponsoring Organization: Middleton Place Foundation
Project Title: Virtual Programming for K-12 Students: Understanding our Shared American History
Project Director: Carin Bloom
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $21,516
Middleton Place Foundation will create free, virtual field trip opportunities for K-12 students based on their current curriculum and educational tours. Virtual field trips will include short recorded videos and resource materials. Live interactive Q&A sessions with interpreters and historians can be arranged directly with schools. The topics for the virtual field trips include “Meet the Breeds,” about agricultural practices and livestock; “Living History,” “Garden Overview,” “Middleton Place Virtual Tour,” and “Beyond the Fields: Slavery at Middleton Place.” The virtual educational programming is scheduled to launch by mid-November on a new educational website portal.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina Writers Association
Project Title: SCWA Programs, Delivery, and 2021 Conference
Project Director: Mike Lee
Awarded: $7,500; Cost-share: $39,675
The South Carolina Writers Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary year with a series of programs designed to reach more South Carolinians. They will present 24 free virtual “Writing Conversations” sessions about craft and publishing and six free virtual “Become an Author” workshops from late 2020 – June 2021; they will update/optimize their website to make it more visible, particularly to underserved regions and minority groups; and they will present their annual in-person conference, featuring confirmed faculty Jeffrey Blount, Patti Callahan Henry, Cassandra King Conroy, and agent Marly Rusoff, in April 2021 in Columbia.

Sponsoring Organization: Sigal Music Museum
Project Title: CSI: Keyboards Lecture Series
Project Director: Thomas Strange
Awarded: $5,160; Cost-share: $5,160
The Sigal Music Museum will present a series of 5 free lectures from November 2019 – February 2021 titled “CSI: Keyboards” that will engage the public in learning about the history of musical instruments, instrument makers, musicians and their historical time periods, and more. The museum curator and other humanities scholars will discuss the restoration process for several historic keyboard instruments that are part of the significant Sigal Collection bequeathed to the museum in 2019, touching on humanities disciplines of art history, music history, and historical research. At least the first two lectures will be offered virtually; the final three lectures in 2021 will be offered in-person if conditions allow. The museum is also currently open to the public with an exhibit featuring the Sigal Collection on display.

Sponsoring Organization: RobinHood Group
Project Title: The past and future history of food in Union County
Project Director: Elise Ashby
Awarded: $7,250; Cost-share: $8,500
The RobinHood Group will work with Sims Middle School in Union to offer a student-family-community journaling and recipe history harvest project to document local foodways, family history and ancestry, and local history. From November 2020 – May 2021, project staff will work with teachers and students by offering virtual or in-person genealogy, local history, and writing instruction. Every student at the middle school will receive a journal to collect stories and recipes. These materials will be collected in April 2021, and an edited collection will be printed and distributed at the end of the school year. The goal of the project is to engage students in pride about their community and to encourage healthy relationships to food.

Sponsoring Organization: Hartsville Museum Foundation
Project Title: H.H. Butler – Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Digitization Project
Project Director: Andrea Steen
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $15,931
The Hartsville Museum Foundation will oversee a major digitization project of an important collection of artifacts related to African American history in Hartsville, particularly the life of Henry H. Butler as well as the local chapter of the Grand United Order of the Odd Fellows. Between December 2020 and November 2021, they will assess, digitize, transcribe, and collect metadata for hundreds of documents that were found in the Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Hartsville. The digitized documents will be uploaded to the USC Digital Library for access and storage and shared with the public through social media, a lecture series, newsletter, and possibly through collections or an interactive computer kiosk at the museum.

Sponsoring Organization: Charleston to Charleston, Inc.
Project Title: The Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival 2020
Project Director: Leah Rhyne
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $10,000
The Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival will take place in November 2020 with a combination of virtual and possibly in-person events. Virtual author conversations will be recorded with introductions filmed in areas of Charleston highlighting its history and cultural heritage. They have an excellent line-up of featured authors. The virtual programs will be archived on the festival’s YouTube page and shared widely, with an emphasis on reaching high school and college students in South Carolina.

Sponsoring Organization: WeGOJA Foundation
Project Title: Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic
Project Director: Jannie Harriot
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $18,750
The WeGOJA Foundation is in the process of conducting an oral history/history harvest project collecting stories, pictures, videos, and artwork related to black South Carolinian’s experiences during the pandemic. “Portraits of a Pandemic” is the pilot project for a larger oral history collection initiative titled “Black Carolinians Speak” that will be ongoing. Interviews and materials have been being collected since May 2020. Starting in November, they will “relaunch” the project with additional promotion; collect additional interviews; convene a team to curate what has been collected; and offer three public programs (possibly available in-person and also offered virtually). The three public programs will be a digital film screening and discussion about “Caught in ‘Le Grippe’: Black Carolinians and the 198 Spanish Flu” in February 2021, “Black Carolinians Speak: COVID-19 Stories” in May 2021, and “Black Carolinians Speak: Where Do We Go From Here” in October 2021. The “Portraits of a Pandemic” collection and the videos of the public discussions will be archived at the SC Department of Archives and History and in the future on a digital platform.

Sponsoring Organization: Lander University
Project Title: Race and Identity Dialogue
Project Director: Alexis Carter Thomas
Awarded: $6,250; Cost-share: $8,050
Lander University will sponsor a series of free virtual discussions on race and identity for its campus and the wider community from January – April 2021. “Race and Identity Dialogue” will be comprised of nine virtual presentations and conversations designed to help participants learn about race through the lens of storytelling and to enhance civic engagement and dialogue. Each session will include required readings/materials, a virtual presentation, a moderated discussion, an online discussion board, and suggested materials for further reflection. The nine topics are “An Introduction to the Series,” “The Story of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays,” “Prejudice, Privilege, and Power,” “Personal Writing as Personal Reckoning,” “African American Voices – A Poetry Workshop,” “Letters on Blackness/Black Bodies in America – Writers Speaking to Younger Generations Exploring African American Literature,” “Parenting and Telling Stories to Children,” “Race, Politics, and Civic Action,” and “Civic Engagement and Your Own Story.”

Sponsoring Organization: The Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum
Project Title: Aiken County Celebrates 150 Years
Project Director: Kathy Cunningham
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $9,280
The Aiken County Historical Museum will create a new “County History” exhibit to be completed and unveiled in March 2021 in honor of the 150th anniversary of Aiken County’s founding. The refurbished exhibit will include new panels, new exhibit cases, the addition of interactive components including a touchscreen computer showcasing cultural tourism sites, and revised content to more accurately reflect Aiken County. The emphasis on the Civil War period will be reduced, and the new panels will expand the exhibit’s timeline beyond the county’s founding and into the modern era. In addition to the physical exhibit, the Aiken County Historical Museum will use the Omeka platform to create a corresponding online exhibit that will be launched by April 2021.

Sponsoring Organization: Spoleto Festival USA
Project Title: Omar Opera Discussion Series
Project Director: Nicole Taney
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $27,250
Spoleto Festival USA will debut a new original opera “Omar,” written by Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens and composer Michael Abels, on the opening night of the 2021 Spoleto Festival. “Omar” illuminates the life of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim African scholar who was captured in 1807 and sold into slavery in Charleston; his 1831 autobiography is the inspiration for the opera. Leading up to the premiere of the opera, Spoleto Festival USA will offer a community discussion series from November 2020 – Spring 2021 exploring marginalized races and religions, particularly Islam, in Charleston’s history and in American opera. A diverse slate of scholars and practitioners have been invited to participate. Topics for the discussion series include “Otherness,” “Religion and Spirituality in Black Lowcountry Diaspora Networks,” “Exploring Omar,” and “Islam and Enslaved Africans in Early Charleston,” among others. The community discussions will be free; some will be virtual, and they hope that some in 2021 will be in-person. The virtual sessions will be recorded and archived on the Spoleto YouTube page.

Sponsoring Organization: Historic Columbia
Project Title: Expanding Digital Access to the SC Statehouse Monuments
Project Director: Robin Waites
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $18,749
Historic Columbia will build on their “Connecting Communities Through History – SC State House Monuments” project, which created web-based and in-person, guided tours of the monuments at the SC State House. This new iteration of the project will create a three-part podcast, which will serve as a smartphone-accessible guided tour of the SC State House Grounds. The podcast will be written and recorded by Dr. Lydia Brandt. The three twenty-minute episodes will be on the following topics: “Memory vs. History” (focusing on the Washington, Confederate, Tillman, and Hampton monuments), “Monumental Processes: Who Makes a Monument?” (focusing on the African American, Law Enforcement, Armed Forces, and Palmetto Monuments), and “Monuments Forever?” (focusing on the Confederate Women, Thurmond, Lunsford grave, and Sims monuments). The podcasts will be available by January 2021 and will be widely promoted and accessible to people from around the state.

Sponsoring Organization: Hampton County Government
Project Title: Youth Documentary Project
Project Director: Heather Bruemmer
Awarded: $5,600; Cost-share: $13,146
Under the oversight of the county Art Director, Hampton County Government will sponsor a Youth Documentary Project for 16 students who participated in a film camp over the summer of 2020. They will be invited to take part in an advanced training opportunity about documentary filmmaking covering different documentary styles; different elements to tell stories; interviewing techniques; and technical elements like camerawork, lighting, sound, framing, and editing. The student participants will interview noted Hampton County artists and cultural practitioners from January – April 2021, using film kits purchased with grant funds. The project personnel will train the students in editing and help them craft one documentary film telling the stories of these local artists. The final film is expected to premiere in Hampton County by late May 2021 and will be shared online with support from the Nickelodeon Theatre.

Mini and Planning Grants

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina Aiken
Project Title: Mapping Current Israeli Politics, an Expert’s View
Project Director: Mark Hollingsworth
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000
The University of South Carolina Aiken will present a public lecture and a student forum on March 26, 2020 featuring speaker, Shaul Arieli. Arieli will speak about “Mapping Current Israeli Politics: An Expert’s View.” Arieli is a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, the Hebrew University and the Academic College of Jaffa; he is an expert in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: Cecil Williams Museum and Institute for Social Innovation
Project Title: The South Carolina Events That Changed America
Project Director: Cecil J. Williams
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000
The Cecil Williams Museum and Institute for Social Innovation will create a new major exhibit titled “The South Carolina Events that Changed America,” which will use historical photographs to contextualize the broader US Civil Rights Movement in terms of antecedent activities which took place in South Carolina. The Cecil Williams Museum will eventually showcase 8 major exhibit areas consisting of 500 photographs and 200 artifacts, including areas on “From Orangeburg to Montgomery,” “NAACP and the Elloree Teachers,” “A Commemoration Gallery” honoring students from SC State University who protested on campus, and “The Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike.” The exhibit will also include a “Wall of Commitment” interactive component where all visitors can sign their names indicating commitment to social justice and innovation. The exhibit is expected to open in February 2020.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina
Project Title: Eyes on the Prize: 2020 Vision African American History Month at USCB
Project Director: Najmah Thomas
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $4,000
The University of South Carolina Beaufort will present a variety of programming during African American History Month in February 2020. The effort, titled “Eyes on the Prize: 2020 Vision,” will include guest lectures, movie screenings, a gospel music showcase, and student panel discussions. They anticipate that 600 students, faculty, staff and local community members will be reached by this project.

Sponsoring Organization: Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society
Project Title: Sea Island Gullah Heritage Exhibit
Project Director: Gretchen Smith
Awarded: $1,538; Cost-share: $6,360.20
The Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society is planning a new permanent exhibit at the Edisto Island Museum titled “Sea Island Gullah Heritage.” They are in the first phase of planning and are requesting planning grant funds to convene a group of scholars to plan the scope of the exhibit, including how it will be designed for all people, what the exhibit will look like and what elements it will include, how it can be a tool to engage local school children, and whether it should be one part of a larger programming effort about Gullah culture. The projected outcome of the planning grant is to have a written plan with details about how to proceed with the design and creation of the “Sea Island Gullah Heritage” exhibit. The second phase of the project will be to actually fabricate the exhibit.

Sponsoring Organization: Winthrop University, John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy
Project Title: Dr. Michael Gerhardt Discusses Impeachment and Constitutionalism
Project Director: Katarina Moyon
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $1,000
Winthrop University will bring noted scholar on impeachment, Dr. Michael Gerhardt of UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill, to speak on February 25, 2020 as part of the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy. Gerhardt will discuss the Constitutional basis for impeachment, historical examples, and how the current impeachment crisis could impact Constitutional law. His one-hour presentation will be followed by a moderated Q&A session.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern Guitar Fest
Project Title: Synthesis of Sound: Nontraditional Ways to Experience Music
Project Director: Marina Alexandra
Awarded: $800; Cost-share: $4,200
The 2020 Southern Guitar Festival will take place June 12 – 14 at the Richland Library Main Branch in downtown Columbia. The event will include three lecture-demonstrations called the “Synthesis of Sound” that will feature interactive presentations by guitarists on how they fuse other art forms, cultures, and music genres into their music. Ukrainian-born composer Ulyana Machneva will present on “Music and Life,” sharing about the fusion of her original guitar compositions with her personal art and Ukrainian art and folk music. Celebrated Swedish musician Johannes Muller will present a lecture on the use of non-western compositional techniques on classical guitar. The MM Guitar Duo (Maja Radovanlija and Milena Petkovic) will present a talk about the synthesis in styles of composer Dusan Bogdanovic who fused elements of Balkan music with Blues, African music, etc.

Sponsoring Organization: Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College
Project Title: Social Justice Cinema
Project Director: Ellen Zisholtz
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $13,000
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College in partnership with the Center for Creative Partnerships will present a three-part film discussion series in honor of the late social justice advocate, John Hope Franklin. The “Social Justice Cinema” series will feature the screening of one film per month in February, March, and April 2020, each followed by a panel presentation with scholars and a moderator. On February 27, the film will be Freedom Summer with a panel featuring David Dennis and Millicent Brown. On March 23, in honor of Women’s History Month and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the film will be The Burning Bed with a panel featuring the writer Rose Leiman Goldember by Skype and SC Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter. On April 23, for Holocaust Remembrance Month, the film will be Beyond the Swastika and Jim Crow with a panel featuring John Whittington Franklin and a representative from the Anti-Defamation League. SEVERAL OF THESE EVENTS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: Middleton Place Foundation
Project Title: Distinguished Educational Speakers Series
Project Director: Carin Bloom
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $3,450
Middleton Place Foundation will present their “Distinguished Educational Speakers Series” in April – June 2020 at their 150-seat pavilion. The free lecture and discussion series will feature three authors whose books have historical connections to Middleton Place. Author Charlie Williams will speak about botanist and explorer Andre Michaux on April 9; Dr. Edda Fields-Black will discuss her research on “Combee: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and the Civil War Transformations among the Gullah Geechee” on May 21. The series will conclude on June 28 with Dr. C.L. Bragg’s discussion of his book Patriots in Exile about the capture of Charleston by British and loyalist forces and the transfer 63 people to St. Augustine, Florida. THESE EVENTS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: Culture & Heritage Museums
Project Title: Historic Brattonsville ‘Uncertain Times: Homefront 1865’
Project Director:
 Marie Cheek
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000
Historic Brattonsville will present a new event titled “Uncertain Times: Homefront 1865” on April 18, 2020. The event will feature the participation of five re-enactors from FREED (Female Reenactors of Distinction, an auxiliary organization from the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, DC) performing theatrical presentations in historical dress as real women who fought for freedom and equality. Other programs during “Uncertain Times” will include a presentation on the national flags of the Civil War, military demonstrations of soldiers in the Civil War, including African American soldiers, and other living history interpreters. Tickets will be $8/person. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: Community Foundation of the Lowcountry
Project Title: Coming Together: Courageous Conversation and Unity Through Song
Project Director: Linda Piekut
Awarded: $1,200; Cost-share: $17,443
An event titled “Coming Together: Courageous Conversation and Unity Through Song” is planned for September 2020 at Christ Lutheran Church on Hilton Head Island. The event is designed to bring people of different races and cultures together to talk about diversity concerns on the island, both historic and contemporary. The event will include musical performances, a keynote speaker, and small group discussions facilitated by table leaders with topics about race relations on Hilton Head Island.

Sponsoring Organization: Spoleto Festival USA
Project Title: Omar Ibn Said Children’s Coloring Book
Project Director: Nigel Redden
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $8,000
The 2021 Spoleto Festival USA will present an original opera titled Omar about the life of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim-African scholar who was captured in 1807, sold into slavery, and auctioned in Charleston. As part of collateral programming for the opera, they will create a coloring book about Omar Ibn Said’s life, illustrated by Jonathan Green, that will be distributed to 1,500 3rd and 4th grade students in schools in downtown Charleston. The coloring book will include text describing Said’s life written with guidance from the humanities scholars and tied to 3rd and 4th grade social studies standards. The coloring book will also be made available for free download from the Spoleto Festival website. The coloring books will be distributed starting in Fall 2020.

Sponsoring Organization: Edisto Island Open Land Trust
Project Title: Traveling Introduction to the Historic Hutchinson House & Family
Project Director: John Girault
Awarded: $1,952; Cost-share: $2,751
The Edisto Island Open Land Trust will create a written plan for a proposed traveling exhibit about the history of the Hutchison family, an important enslaved and freedman family that lived on Edisto Island, with their home dating back to 1885. The proposed exhibit will include documents, photos, stories, and artifacts, and it will be traveled to various cultural organizations and public events like the Edisto Island Museum, the local libraries and schools, and the local Oyster Fest and Shag Fest. 

Sponsoring Organization: Actors Theater of South Carolina
Project Title: Calls to Greatness (Creation in Isolation)
Project Director: Chris Weatherhead-Felder
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $8,320
Actors Theater of South Carolina will create two 45-minute audio/video projects about history and literature that are intended to inspire and comfort people who are feeling depressed or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. “Calls to Greatness – History” will feature performers reading meaningful historical speeches or essays in period clothing with commentary provided by humanities scholars. “Calls to Greatness – Literature” will feature the same performer and scholar format with excerpts from inspirational literature that is in the public domain, from Shakespeare to TS Eliot. “Calls to Greatness” will be released in August 2020 on various platforms.

Sponsoring Organization: Coastal Discovery Museum
Project Title: Educational Content Equipment
Project Director: Natalie Hefter
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $4,350
The Coastal Discovery Museum will use Mini Grant funds to support the purchase of a camera, tripod, case, and microphone to facilitate creating virtual humanities content that can be showcased on their newly redesigned website. The website content will be designed to reach visitors, members, school groups, and the general public and will include programs like their annual lecture series and history forums. They anticipate reaching 100,000 people with the virtual programs in a year.

Sponsoring Organization: Hagood Mill Foundation
Project Title: One South, One America
Project Director: Betty McDaniel
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $6,725
Hagood Mill Foundation will present a special evening event, “One South, One America,” scheduled for Friday, August 14. The event is designed to allow the community to discuss such topics as sense of place, arts and culture in community, and unity. The event is tentatively planned to be in-person; however, it may be virtual. Check the website for more information about the event including whether it will be virtual or in-person: https://www.hagoodmillfoundation.org/.

Sponsoring Organization: The Luminal Theater
Project Title: Columbia Pop-Up Drive-In
Project Director: Curtis John
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,100
The “Columbia Pop-Up Drive-In” project will bring two free public film screenings to the Northeast side of Columbia. The featured films have been selected to depict diverse populations, with a focus on blackness, and to be family-friendly and accessible: The Wiz (to be screened on September 19) and The Last Dragon (to be screened October 17). Each event will also include the presentation of a short film, thematically related to the feature, by a local South Carolina filmmaker and a pre-recorded discussion with the filmmaker.

Sponsoring Organization: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston
Project Title: Dis/placement: Revisitations of Home
Project Director: Bryan Granger
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $66,842
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston will present a multimedia  exhibit project featuring 10 artists whose work deals with issues of displacement and home. Dis/placements: Revisitations of Home will exist primarily in a virtual format on a custom website. For each artist, the platform will feature 10 -12 images of artwork, a response to their artwork in text-based format, short video interviews, blog posts by faculty and students and other contextual measures. If health guidance allows, the Halsey Institute also plans to provide access to the virtual exhibit in their physical space using A/V equipment.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern Documentary Fund
Project Title: Saltwata Vives: Sankofa Seeds from Geechee Roots
Project Director: Sherard Duvall
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $67,580
“Saltwata Vibes: Sankofa Seeds from Geechee Roots” is an ambitious new documentary project under the direction of Sherard Duvall. The film will investigate the young adult generation of Gullah Geechee communities in South Carolina and how they understand their identity, particularly through the lenses of music and language. The film will particularly focus on Simeon and Sara Daise and their friends and on the creation of a “modern Gullah sound.” The documentary is currently in the research and development phase.

Sponsoring Organization: Independent Arts & Media
Project Title: Herlong’s Brown Goods Museum
Project Director: Cedriq Liqueur
Awarded: $750; Cost-share: $8,350
Herlong’s Brown Good Museum is a proposed museum in Summerton, SC that will collect, preserve, and present to the general public antique and contemporary radio and television appliances. The museum location was previously a television, radio, and electronics repair shop operated by Summerton resident Mr. Herlong, Sr. in the 1950s, and the majority of the collection that will be displayed is owned by him. The museum is scheduled to open to the public on February 15, 2021.

Sponsoring Organization: Preservation Society of Charleston
Project Title: Preservation Society Virtual History and Architecture Tours
Project Director: Courtney Theis
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,150
The Preservation Society of Charleston will create five video house tours of historically and architecturally important homes in Charleston. The videos will be narrated by the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Executive Director, Kristopher King, and will include photographs; primary source maps; and commentary from other contractors, architects, and preservationists edited into the house tour footage. The five videos will be released weekly starting October 18, corresponding with the in-person Fall tours (outdoor only). They can be purchased for $15 for members or $20 for nonmembers.

Sponsoring Organization: Coastal Carolina University
Project Title: The Waccamaw Indian People: Past, Present, and Future
Project Director: Carolyn Dillian
Awarded: $1,700; Cost-share: $2,000
Coastal Carolina University, in partnership with the Waccamaw Tribe and the Horry County Museum, will create an exhibit titled “The Waccamaw Indian People: Past, Present, and Future” that will include interpretive text and interactive components like audio and 3D printed examples of some artifacts. The exhibit will be developed by a team of 40 students and faculty at Coastal Carolina with input from the Waccamaw Tribe and museum. The exhibit will have a grand opening on April 22, 2021 and will be on display for six months. Additionally, the Coastal Carolina University team will create classroom/traveling materials and online lesson plans for the museum to include in their educational kits.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina Writers Association
Project Title: South Carolina Literary Arts Strategic Partnerships Project
Project Director: Mike Lee
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $9,000
The South Carolina Writers Association will manage a statewide assessment and survey of all literary arts and writing organizations in the state to check for opportunities for collaboration and partnership. The final deliverable will be a report that will be shared with all participants. This is Phase 1 of the project. In Phase 2, they will implement some of the partnership opportunities identified in Phase 1.

Sponsoring Organization: McClellanville Arts Council
Project Title: Video for Smithsonian Museum on Main Street Stories Yes Program
Project Director: Melanie McClellan-Hartnett
Awarded: $1,920; Cost-share: $2,650
The McClellanville Arts Council will participate in the Museum on Main Street’s “Stories: YES” program in 2020-2021 by working with students to create a short documentary film titled “Women of the Water.” The process of making the 5-minute film would be part of the McClellanville Arts Council’s engagement with the Water/Ways exhibit, which will be there from January 18 – March 1, 2021, and the film will debut at their inaugural arts festival weekend in June 2021.

Fast Track Literary Grants 

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina
Project Title: Swan Con: The Sumter Comic Arts Festival
Project Director: Andrew J. Kunka
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $10,100
The University of South Carolina Sumter will present their 2020 Swan Con: The Sumter Comic Arts Festival on March 6 – 7, 2020 at USC Sumter, Sumter Gallery of Art, and Patriot Hall. Featured speakers include Noah Van Scriver, John Porcellino, Rich Tommaso, and Rachel Lindsay. The event will include presentations by the speakers, exhibitors, and other family-friendly activities.

Sponsoring Organization: Florence 1 Schools
Project Title: Music and Literacy Work in Harmony
Project Director: Christina M. Welch
Awarded: $1,975; Cost-share: $2,350
Greenwood Elementary School in Florence, SC will offer writer’s residency program for sixth grade students featuring author and artist Kimberly Roberts. Roberts has written an informational book about the Caribbean titled Jammin’ Geography – Caribbean Cruise. In addition to her residency with sixth grade students, Roberts will present at a school assembly for the entire school featuring a steel band and educational information from her book. She will also present a parent workshop on promoting literacy at the school’s “Night at the Museum” event on March 2, 2020.

Sponsoring Organization: One Columbia for Arts and Culture
Project Title: Telling the Stories of the City
Project Director: Ed Madden
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $7,500
The City of Columbia Poet Laureate, Ed Madden, is partnering with One Columbia for Arts and Culture to create a website with an online map of poetry about Columbia. Building on Madden’s work over the past four years collecting poetry about local rivers, Columbia neighborhoods, homelessness, racial and class structure in Columbia and more, the “Telling the Stories of the City” website is intended to launch in April 2020 as part of National Poetry Month. A call for new poems will be issued in January 2020. One Columbia will manage the website with the goal of adding additional poems over the years, even after Madden’s term as Poet Laureate is over. THE PUBLIC EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina
Project Title: The Augusta Baker Lecture Series
Project Director: Dr. Nicole A. Cook
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $1,000
The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science will host the Inaugural Baker Lecture on Friday, April 24 to coincide with the already well-established Baker’s Dozen Storytelling Festival presented by Richland Library. The 2020 Baker Lecture will feature Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, literacy scholar and author of The Dark Fantastic and will be an online lecture. Dr. Thomas will also be conducting a professional development virtual workshop for 25 school librarians. The event will be promoted to the USC community, the Columbia community, and especially targeted to librarians and teachers.

Sponsoring Organization: Georgetown County Library
Project Title: Writing Wherever You Are
Project Director: Dwight McInvaill
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $3,000
“Writing Wherever You Are” is a free creative writing series that will be hosted by Georgetown County Library from June – December 2020. Poet Marlanda Dekine has developed and will lead the workshops, which are organized into four major sections, each with five classes. The topics of the major sections are “Writing Wherever You Are,” “The Blank Page,” “Healing Through Writing,” and “Before We Wrote, We Spoke.” Each section of five classes will be hosted at a different branch of the Georgetown County Library. The first one will be at Main Branch in Georgetown; the second one will be at the Waccamaw Branch Library in Waccamaw Neck; the third segment will be hosted by the Andrews Branch Library, and the final section will be hosted by the Carvers Bay Branch Library. Fifteen people can participate in each class.

Sponsoring Organization: Greenville County Schools
Project Title: The Momentum Series, Featuring Dr. Geffrey Davis
Project Director: Sarah Blackman
Awarded: $1,900; Cost-share: $2,600
The Fine Arts Center, a public arts magnet school in Greenville County, will host a public literary presentation by award-winning poet Dr. Geffrey Davis on September 14 – 15, 2020. Dr. Davis will also teach several workshops for students at the Fine Arts Center during his stay in September.

Sponsoring Organization: Allen University
Project Title: Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof: A Musical Theater Performance Based on the Collection of Poems Written by Carrie McCray
Project Director: Charlene M. Spearen
Awarded: $1,500; Cost-share: $15,850
Allen University will host a multi-disciplinary performance of the poetic work by Carrie Allen McCray titled Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof on August 27-28, 2020 at Allen’s Chappelle Auditorium. McCray’s book has been adapted by Kevin Simmonds into a musical theater performance including singing, instrumentation, and dance. Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof tells the true story of Congo pygmy tribesman Ota Benga who was forcibly removed from his home and brought to America in 1904 to be exhibited at the World Fair and later the Bronx Zoo.

Sponsoring Organization: The Poetry Society of South Carolina
Project Title: The Poetry Society of South Carolina 2020-2021 Season
Project Director: James Lundy, Jr.
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $15,851
The Poetry Society of South Carolina will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2020-2021, and they plan to offer three virtual online readings and six virtual online workshops in September, October, and November 2020. Featured authors include: Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Ray McManus, Erin Adair-Hodges, Ed Madden, Fred Dings, and Oliver de la Paz. The readings are free and open to the public, and the workshops have a modest ticket price of $15/nonmembers or $10/members. All events will be promoted statewide, and the programs will be offered through Zoom.

Sponsoring Organization: Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
Project Title: Poetry at McLeod
Project Director: Shawn Halifax
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $10,638
The fourth season of Poetry at McLeod is planned for the fall of 2020 to include two readings and two workshops. The readings are proposed to take place outdoors at McLeod Plantation Historic Site, where they believe they have sufficient room for social distancing, and the workshops will take place at the James Island Branch of the Charleston County Public Library or virtually. Featured Poet Teri Ellen Cross Davis will appear solo on the weekend of September 19-20, and a group reading by three young, developing poets with Charleston County ties (Yvette Murray, Joey Tucker, and Malachi Jones) will appear on the weekend of October 3 – 4. Joey Tucker will present the workshop on October 4th. The series is free to the first 50 participants at each reading and free with site admission to all other participants.

Sponsoring Organization: Friends of the Kaminski House
Project Title: Virtual Tours and Events at the Kaminski House Museum
Project Director: Kim Leatherwood
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000
The Kaminski House Museum in Georgetown will create several videos and virtual literary experiences that can be shared through the museum’s Facebook page and website. One video will feature historian and author Jennie Fant leading a guided tour of the museum. Another video will feature noted storyteller Natalie Daise. In addition to being posted online, the videos will be shared directly with three partner organizations that work with at-risk children.

Sponsoring Organization: Richland Library
Project Title: Let’s Talk Race Communitywide Initiative
Project Director: Tamara King
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $17,000
Richland Library will present the Let’s Talk Race Communitywide Initiative from August 2020 – May 2021. The programming will start with a virtual community-wide reading event featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and his book How to Be an Antiracist in August, hosted through Zoom. Three other authors (TBD) will be presented throughout the program’s tenure. Additionally, there will be book club discussions, forums, and the development and distribution of a curriculum toolkit for businesses and community organizations to use to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern Wesleyan University
Project Title: SWU Literary Festival: South Carolina Real and Imagined
Project Director: Dr. Jonathan Sircy
Awarded: $250; Cost-share: $250
Southern Wesleyan University will present their second annual “SWU Literary Festival: South Carolina Real and Imagined” on Friday, February 19, 2021. The event will feature jury-selected student writers from local high schools and universities, creative writing breakout sessions, an open mic, and a presentation by poet Celeste McMaster.

Sponsoring Organization: Communities in Schools of the Midlands
Project Title: Social Emotional Learning Initiative: The Literacy Writing Project
Project Director: Dr. Claudia Aldamuy
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $3,105
Communities in Schools of the Midlands will launch a new program, the Literacy Writing Project, from January – April 2021. The program is a writing competition with mentoring from local authors, poets, and artists that will serve approximately twenty high school students from at-risk populations at Columbia High School and the Birchwood School at the SC Department of Juvenile Justice.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina State University
Project Title: Words Across Water: Exploring the African Diaspora Through Poetry
Project Director: Alison McLetchie
Awarded: $3,000; Cost-share: $6,636
South Carolina State University will sponsor a series of seminars on how English-speaking Caribbean and African American poetry traditions have influenced each other. The four seminars will take place between January and April 2021 on the themes of “Identity and Personhood,” “Home and Notions of Belonging,” “Love and Loving,” and “Sound/Songs.” Each seminar will be led by three scholars and a moderator and are intended for educators, students, and the general public. 

Sponsoring Organization: McClellanville Arts Council
Project Title: MAC Literary Program Kickoff
Project Director: Melanie Mclellan-Hartnett
Awarded: $2,800; Cost-share: $2,830
The McClellanville Arts Council is designing a new series of literary programs, filling a gap that they see in the community. Between November 2020 and March 2021, they will offer four virtual programs: two writing workshops primarily geared for adults by author Eboniramm and two Zoom puppet workshops appropriate for children and people of all ages. These programs offer some thematic and promotional overlap with the Water/Ways exhibit that will open in McClellanville in January 2021.

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.