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 2021 (November 1, 2020 – October 31, 2021) are displayed below. Grants awarded in fiscal years 2007 – 2020 can be viewed by clicking on the links on this page. For previous records, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.

Major Grants

Sponsoring Organization: Edisto Island Open Land Trust
Project Title: The Historic Hutchinson Family Story from Enslavement to Emancipation to Entrepreneur on Edisto Island
Project Director: John Girault
Awarded: $7,695; Cost-share: $8,372
The Edisto Island Open Land Trust (EIOLT) will create a traveling exhibit titled “The Hutchinson Family Story: From Enslavement to Emancipation to Entrepreneur on Edisto” that can easily be displayed in venues like libraries, museums, schools, and at local festivals and events. The exhibit will consist of four pop-up panels and a video about the Hutchinson family, a notable Edisto Island African American family whose historic house is in the process of being restored by the EIOLT. The traveling exhibit is expected to be completed and available for travel in October 2021.

Sponsoring Organization: Coker University
Project Title: South Carolina Civil Rights Monument Project
Project Director: Jasmine Baetz
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $11,450
Coker University will serve as the Fiscal Agent for the “South Carolina Civil Rights Monument Project” coordinated by Assistant Professor of Art and sculptor Jasmine Baetz. She will lead university students and community members from Hartsville and Orangeburg in creating four sculptures about the history and narratives of South Carolina Civil Rights activism, particularly by students, that will be installed outside the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum in Orangeburg. The sculpture creation will occur during two “community making days” tentatively scheduled for Summer 2021 during which participants will hear from speakers like Cecil Williams about the history of the Civil Rights movement in South Carolina and the importance of art commemoration while contributing to the creation of the monuments. The sculptures are planned to be unveiled during a program in Fall 2021 featuring a panel discussion about history and art.

Sponsoring Organization: Richland Library
Project Title:
 Richland Library Story Walk
Project Director: Emily Stoll
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $10,000
Richland Library will create two StoryWalk sites in public parks located in Richland County, most likely at Blythewood Park and Hopkins Park. A StoryWalk features laminated pages from a children’s book attached to wooden stakes dispersed along a family-friendly, accessible trail in a community park. Richland Library will consult with humanities scholar Dr. Nicole Cook to select the featured books, which will change quarterly. The first StoryWalk installation will take place in June 2021 and the second one in September 2021. The books from the StoryWalk site will also be featured in other Richland Library virtual and in-person programming.

Sponsoring Organization: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (College of Charleston)
Project Title: Dyani White Hawk: Listen – Documenting the Catawba Language
Project Director: Bryan Granger
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $14,230
In 2022, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston will feature an exhibition of two different bodies of works by Native American artist Dyani White Hawk, including both a video installation titled LISTEN and a photography exhibition titled I Am Your Relative. In 2021, the Halsey Institute will commission a new installment in the LISTEN project featuring a Catawba speaker (previous pieces focus on Western tribes), and they will hire a videographer to document the creation of the Catawba video and create a mini-documentary featuring interviews with the artist and the Director of the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project. The exhibit will open in Charleston in January 2022, and the Halsey Institute proposes at least three public programs while the exhibit is on display, including an artist talk and an interdisciplinary panel discussion.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina (McKissick Museum)
Project Title: Carolina Knives: Handcrafted Traditions
Project Director: Lana Burgess
Awarded: $7,500; Cost-share: $20,000
The McKissick Museum will create an original exhibition titled Carolina Knives: Handmade Traditions that features the work of contemporary knifemakers from South Carolina and North Carolina, including a wide variety of blade styles and types. In addition to 90-100 knives and related objects, the exhibit project will include an audio-visual component and a robust public program series at the McKissick and the South Carolina State Fair. The exhibit will open in August 2021 and an online version of the exhibit will be created to reach a wider audience during the ongoing pandemic concerns.

Sponsoring Organization: Historic Camden Foundation
Project Title: Historic Camden Foundation Welcome Exhibit
Project Director: Virginia Zemp
Awarded: $4,000; Cost-share: $5,000
Historic Camden Foundation will install a permanent exhibit about colonial mercantile business at the entrance to their property in 2021 to coincide with the opening of the new Revolutionary War Visitors Center on the property next door. The opening of the colonial mercantile exhibit, which will have 4 or 5 panels, is tentatively scheduled for November 2021.

Sponsoring Organization: Historic Columbia
Project Title: LGBTQ Columbia History Initiative
Project Director: Robin Waites
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $15,775
Historic Columbia is expanding their Connecting Communities through History (CCtH) initiative by adding a new track focused on LGBTQIA+ history in the Midlands. Like their other CCtH programs, this one will include guided and self-guided tours in digital and walking/driving formats, interactive maps, and public programs. To build the content for the tours and programs, Historic Columbia will partner with the University of South Carolina’s Office of Oral History and South Caroliniana Library to record and transcribe 30 oral histories, process 70+ boxes in the “South Carolina gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer collection” at the South Caroliniana, and conduct several Research Roundtable programs. The “LGBTQ Columbia History Initiative” will officially launch in October 2021 at the SC Pride Festival.

Sponsoring Organization: Culture & Heritage Museums
Project Title: Historic Brattonsville Brick House Exhibition
Project Director: Kevin Lynch
Awarded: $4,275; Cost-share: $5,775
The Culture & Heritage Museums will create a new exhibit at Historic Brattonsville that will be installed at the Brattonsville Store, which is in the process of being restored and more fully interpreted. The exhibit will tell the story of the 1871 lynching of John Williams, a prominent African American militia captain, and explore the period of Reconstruction and its legacy. The exhibit will open in the Fall of 2021, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina State University
Project Title: Colors of Film
Project Director: Alison McLetchie
Awarded: $7,400; Cost-share: $10,054
South Carolina State University will sponsor a media literacy and film discussion program titled “Colors of Film” that will serve the Orangeburg community. In Fall 2021, two Black diasporic films will be screened outdoors in the green space behind the football field at South Carolina State University: The Day Shall Come (2019, Christopher Morris) and Burning Cane (2019, Philip Youmans), neither of which has received much attention in South Carolina. The film screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with the two humanities scholars and guest speakers still to be identified. Additionally, the screenings will be bookended by pre- and post-screening media literacy workshops that will provide participants with the tools to better interpret and think critically about films, especially African American films. The workshops will have a maximum size of 80 participants, with 40 spots reserved for students from SC State and Claflin Universities.

Mini and Planning Grants

Sponsoring Organization: Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage
Project Title: The Battle of Honey Hill
Project Director: Kayleigh Vaughn
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $31,551
The Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage will expand their permanent exhibit about the Battle of Honey Hill during the Civil War, which took place in present-day Ridgeland. They will add a large-format visual timeline, soldier profiles, and new artifacts. The re-opening of the updated exhibit is planned for February 13, 2021.

Sponsoring Organization: City of Gaffney
Project Title: Memorial Gardens/Open Air Museum
Project Director: LeighAnn K. Moon
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $2,000
The City of Gaffney will use Planning Grant funds to support the creation of an initial design and specification plan by a full-service land design firm for an African-American open-air museum and memorial gardens in downtown Gaffney. Ultimately, the Open-Air Museum and Memorial Garden is to be a place to recognize and commemorate the influence and sacrifices of African Americans from Gaffney and South Carolina, including three African Americans who fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, which will connect this garden to Gaffney’s Revolutionary War history and planed Revolutionary War Discovery Center.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina Beaufort
Project Title: USCB Virtual Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, Identity, and Equality
Project Director: Erin McCoy
Awarded: $1,000; Cost-share: $1,000
The University of South Carolina Beaufort will virtually present their first annual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference on February 15 – 16, 2021. The conference theme is “Race, Identity, and Equality,” which will be looked at from a variety of vantage points and disciplines. There will be two keynote speakers: Dr. Vernon Burton, historian at Clemson University, and Dr. Gloria Holmes, from Quinnipiac University. The conference is primarily geared towards graduate and undergraduate students and faculty. The keynote speeches will be made available online on the conference website, Facebook, and YouTube, where they can be viewed by the general public.

Sponsoring Organization: The Village Group
Project Title: Pee Dee Heritage Project
Project Director: Vanessa Greene
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,210
This project will support the creation of a strategic plan for the creation of a new nonprofit organization called The Pee Dee Heritage Institute. The proposed Pee Dee Heritage Institute is described as “a nonprofit organization that would research, interpret, document, preserve, and present high quality, publicly accessible programs and activities designed to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the broad historical and cultural dimensions of the African American presence in Georgetown, Williamsburg, and Horry Counties.” Planning Grant-supported activities will include creation of a planning committee, a cultural/heritage inventory, creation of a blueprint of issues and work areas, production of a three-year organizational development plan, and creation of a community outreach and regional marketing plan. This effort will include at least two public community forums.

Sponsoring Organization: Clemson University
Project Title: The Cooper River Canoe Project
Project Director: Gyllian Porteous
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000

Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center (WLCC), located in North Charleston, has a 4,000+ years old dugout canoe in its temporary custody, and they are requesting Planning Grant funds to hold a consultation event to which representatives from all Native American communities and organizations in South Carolina will be invited. The consultation event is tentatively scheduled as an in-person event in April 2021, with virtual participation arranged as necessary. The Native representatives will be able to examine the canoe, hear the conservation plan proposed by the WLCC staff, ask questions, and provide feedback. The process will be documented and shared with the public via a blog, social media, and other outlets. The expected outcome of the Planning Grant is a confirmed conservation plan and the creation of a council of Native American leaders to continue as consultants, as needed. The conservation of the canoe is expected to be completed by 2023.

Sponsoring Organization: Bullets and Bandaids
Project Title: 1 on 1 Conversation Series
Project Director: Dherick Jacobs
Awarded: $1,300; Cost-share: $4,260
The “With Preach Jacobs: One on One Conversation Series” is an ongoing effort to bring together black artists and activists in discussion in Columbia. A program on February 26 will bring together comic book artist Sanford Greene with Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine, moderated by artist and journalist Preach Jacobs. The program will take place at Trustus Theatre in Columbia with some in-person capacity (25%) and online streaming. 

Sponsoring Organization: We GOJA Foundation
Project Title: Union County Community Remembrance Project
Project Director: Timika Wilson
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $4,344
This project will fabricate and install a historic marker at the Union County jail to recognize the jail raid lynchings of 1871. It is coordinated by the Union County Community Remembrance Project, whose mission is to recognize and document the history of lynching and racial terrorism in Union County. The marker will be unveiled in June 2021 as part of the community’s Juneteenth commemoration and activities.

Sponsoring Organization: Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta
Project Title: Hamburg: SC’s Lost Town
Project Director: Mary Anne Bigger
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $2,000
The Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta will create an exhibit about “Hamburg: SC’s Lost Town” that will consist of 10 panels that chronicle the founding of the town, the industry, the people, and its demise, as well as several artifacts, including a model of the Hamburg Depot. The exhibit is expected to be on display from June 24- July 16, 2021. The creation of the exhibit coincides with the publication of a book prepared by the Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta about Hamburg.

Sponsoring Organization: The Remedial Herstory Project
Project Title: The Remedial Herstory YouTube Series on US Women’s History
Project Director: Kelsie Brook Eckert
Awarded: $1,912; Cost-share: $2,000
The Remedial Herstory Project is requesting Planning Grant funds for planning and scriptwriting for three episodes of a 25-episode series featuring the stories of American women that have often been left out of history texts and K-12 education. Three episodes will each feature at least one South Carolinian: “Abolition is Women’s Ticket” will include information about the Grimke sisters of Charleston and Mary Chesnut of Sumter/Camden. The episode “Rise of the NAWSA” will feature Mary McLeod Bethune, who was born in Mayesville, and “Women and the Depression” will highlight Charlotta Spears Bass, who has a connection to Sumter as a possible birth place. Each video in the series will be about 7 minutes long and will be released for free on YouTube between December 2021 and April 2022. Each episode will include inquiry-based lesson plans available on the Remedial Herstory Project website that will meet the National Council for Social Studies C3 standards.

Sponsoring Organization: Olympia Mill Village Museum
Project Title: Christmas in July
Project Director: Dr. Sherry Jaco
Awarded: $250; Cost-share: $1,210
The Olympia Mill Village Museum will present 8 weekly classes from July 7 – August 25 that will combine elements of historic education, crafting, and social interaction. Each class will include a mini-lecture about the museum and its artifacts and a related card-making experience, led by local artist and teacher Jacqueline Dudley Price.

Sponsoring Organization: Support Lowcountry Artists Y’all
Project Title: Return to Nature: Gullah Geechee Story & History
Project Director: Angela Dore
Awarded: $250; Cost-share: $5,037
The organization Support Lowcountry Artists Y’all will present a Juneteenth celebration event on June 19 in Bluffton featuring a variety of programs and scholars. Additionally, an exhibit will be on display at the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island from May 3 – June 25, 2021 titled “Return to Nature: Gullah Geechee Story and History.” The exhibit features 40-50 pieces in a variety of styles that examine the evolution of Gullah Geechee art.

Sponsoring Organization: The Luminal Theater
Project Title: UNAPOLOGETIC documentary screening & community talkback
Project Director: Curtis John
Awarded: $1,400; Cost-share: $1,800
The Luminal Theater will screen the 2016 documentary UNAPOLOGETIC on September 23, 2021 at a theater in Northeast Columbia. The film follows two female activists in Chicago fighting for racial equity. One of the film’s subjects, Janaé Bonsu, will participate in a post-screening talkback and Q&A. The day before the documentary screening, the Luminal Theater will host an intergenerational discussion on the history and current state of activism in South Carolina, particularly in the Midlands, at Carolina Film Network studios in West Columbia. A short film by a local filmmaker, TBD, will be screened at this event. A follow-up intergenerational discussion is also tentatively planned.

Sponsoring Organization: Marion County Museum
Project Title: Enslavement to Safe Haven: Reaves Township
Project Director: Holly Floyd
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $4,925
The Marion County Museum is planning a series of programs and products that will focus on the Reaves Township, an area in Mullins where freed African Americans settled after the Civil War and where Civil Rights activism occurred. Eventually, they plan to have an interactive and traveling exhibit about the history of this community, with complementary educational materials, and an exhibit trail that will go through Marion County. They will use Planning Grant funds to do initial research and outreach to descendants of the Reaves families and other community members. Staff will also be trained in how to take oral histories.

Sponsoring Organization: The College of Charleston
Project Title: International Conference on Romanticism, 2021
Project Director: Kathleen Beres Rogers
Awarded: $1,500; Cost-share: $30,359
The College of Charleston will host the 2021 International Conference on Romanticism on October 14th – 16th. There will be a variety of panels and programs for conference attendees over the weekend, including two events that will be open to the general public to some degree. The “Charleston Unbound” panel will look at race and history in Charleston. A screening and discussion of the film “The Bespoke Tailoring of Mr. Bellamy,” about race and labor integration in 1960s Louisiana, at the Halsey Art Museum will also be open to the general public.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina, McKissick Museum
Project Title: The Changing Culture in Museums
Project Director: Lana Burgess
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $3,250
The McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina will host a public lecture and workshop on “The Changing Cultural Climate in Museums” on September 28 – 29, 2021. The speaker is Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham from Museum Hue in New York City. Her lecture will explore inequities that exist in cultural organizations and how those can change. They expect up to 200 people at the lecture and 50-100 in the workshop. The programs will be free and open to the public.

Fast Track Literary Grants 

Sponsoring Organization: Pat Conroy Literary Center
Project Title: The Pat Conroy Literary Center’s 5th Annual March Fourth
Project Director: Jonathan Haupt
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $5,225
The Pat Conroy Literary Center will present the 5th Annual March Forth program, commemorating Pat Conroy’s death on 3.4.16, as a three-day event with programming on Thursday, March 4; Saturday, March 6; and Sunday, March 7. The line-up of presenters includes: Bruce Feiler, Bakari Sellers, Kalynn Baylor, Claudia Smith Brinson, Wanda Smalls Lloyd, J. Drew Lanham, John Lane, and Charlene Spearen, and they will address major themes in Conroy’s writing, such as storytelling, conservation, social justice, and inclusivity. The Pat Conroy Literary Center will partner with Penn Center, Nevermore Books, and Beaufort High School, at which several virtual programs for teachers and students will take place. The opening keynote event will be free, and there is a registration fee of $25/person for the events on Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsoring Organization: Claflin University
Project Title: Social Justice, Mass Incarceration, and 2020: An Evening with Award-Winning Author Danielle Allen
Project Director: Dr. Belinda Wheeler
Outright Request: $3,000; Cost-share: $3,000
Claflin University’s Center for Social Justice will partner with the First-Year Experience program and the college’s First Lady, Mrs. Warmack, to present a virtual program by author Danielle Allen to Claflin and the wider South Carolina community. The novel Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. will be the topic of the reading and virtual discussion. The program will take place in February 2021 (exact date TBD).

Sponsoring Organization: The Lowcountry Writing Project (The Citadel)
Project Title: 2021 Invitational Summer Institute
Project Director: Lauren Rule Maxwell
Awarded: $2,500; Cost-share: $29,663
The Citadel’s Lowcountry Writing Project will host its third “Invitational Summer Institute” for up to 15 Lowcountry teachers to receive professional development in teaching writing skills to their students. The three-week Institute will take place from June 21 – July 9 and will include a week for a Young Writers Camp reaching up to 50 students from Title 1 elementary schools in downtown Charleston. The 2021 Institute will put a greater emphasis on grants writing and civic engagement.

Sponsoring Organization: Francis Marion University
Project Title: FMU USS Initiative
Project Director: Erica Edwards
Awarded: $1,875; Cost-share: $1,875
Francis Marion University will kick off their “Universities Studying Slavery” (USS) initiative with a performance by noted poet Glenis Redmond on September 23, 2021. Her presentation will be followed by a moderated panel about other elements of the USS initiative at Francis Marion University that will take place in the 2021-2022 academic year, such as an oral history project, poetry slam, and more.

Sponsoring Organization: Beyond BASIC Life Skills
Project Title: Beyond BASIC Book Club
Project Director: Kate Welsh
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $10,009
Beyond BASIC Life Skills will offer a book club and literacy program for 30 adults with disability or special needs. The program will reach approximately 30 “teammates” and will run weekly starting in August 2021. The book club will be run by special education teachers with support from Beyond BASIC Life Skills staff and literary scholars.

Sponsoring Organization: Spartanburg Community College
Project Title: 2021 Wonders of Writing (WOW) Symposium Public Reading and Reception
Project Director: Nettie Watkins Brooks
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $3,133
Spartanburg Community College Foundation will host the 2021 Wonders of Writing Symposium on Thursday, September 30, 2021, featuring poets Tiana Nobile and Esteban Rodriguez. Their readings will be followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the community.

Sponsoring Organization: Boy and Girls Club of the Crescent Region
Project Title: Girls Write Poetry and Performance Workshops
Project Director: Shannon Ivey
Awarded: $2,000; Cost-share: $3,500
The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands will host four 90-minute poetry and performance workshops for girls and gender expansive youth as part of their summer camps from July 15 – July 23, 2021. Workshops will take place at four different summer camp sites in Richland and Lexington Counties, and each workshop will serve 8 – 12 girls. The workshops will be led by poet and teaching artist EboniRamm and performance instructor Shannon Ivey.

Sponsoring Organization: Arts Council of Hilton Head
Project Title: The Crescendo Author Talk with Pat Conroy Literary Center
Project Director: Jennifer McEwen
Awarded: $900; Cost-share: $1,300

The Arts Council of Hilton Head will present their annual arts and culture celebration, Crescendo, from October 10 – November 13th. As part of the festival, they will present an author talk, reading and Q&A featuring poet E. Ethelbert Miller on November 4. This event will be in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center and their annual festival. In addition to the public reading event, there will be a workshop with the author that requires registration through the Pat Conroy Literary Center. The author talk will be recorded and archived on the Pat Conroy Literary Center YouTube page and the Hilton Head Island Office of Cultural Affairs website.

Sponsoring Organization: City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs
Project Title: 2021 Free Verse Festival
Project Director: Scott Watson
Awarded: $2,750; Cost-share: $3,000
The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs will present the 5th Annual Free Verse Festival from October 15 – November 15. They expect to have an opening event featuring Geffrey Davis and a closing event featuring Andrea Gibson, as well as a variety of other poetry events, cultural activities, and poetry workshops in schools. The speakers and full line-up of events are not confirmed at this time.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina State University
Project Title: Words Across the Water: Writing and Culture Across the Black Atlantic
Project Director: Thomas Cassidy
Awarded: $2,800; Cost-share: $3,000
South Carolina State University will present a series of four hybrid (in-person and virtual) programs on “Words Across the Water: Writing and Culture Across the Black Atlantic” from September 16 – November 4, 2021. The program themes are “Language and Identity,” “Forbidden Words and Transgressions,” “Indigenous, Immigrant, and Migrant,” “Food and Family.” Each program will feature three discussants reading poems relevant to the theme and facilitating dialogue. This series builds on a previous “Words Across the Water” series that ran from January – April 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.