SC Humanities Awards Fast Track Literary Grants to Nine Organizations

SC Humanities is pleased to announce that nine organizations received Fast Track Literary Grants after the inaugural deadline in November 2015. The projects that are being supported are diverse and span the state from Clemson to Charleston.

The awards were selected through a competitive application and review process and are made possible by SC Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Matching community support for the 9 awarded projects totaled: $142,092.

The Fast Track Literary Grant is one of SC Humanities’s new literary initiatives that were announced in July 2015. Additionally, new literary speakers will be added to the Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud program this fall, and a literary track will be added to the annual South Carolina Humanities Festival. The goal of the new literary initiatives is to reach diverse groups of South Carolinians with literary programming all year long, better serving SC Humanities’s mission to “enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians.”

A list of awarded grants is provided below:

Sponsoring Organization: Clemson University
Project Title: Clemson University Literary Festival
Project Director: Nic Brown
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $3,000
Clemson University will present their ninth annual Clemson University Literary Festival, a “town and gown” event that will feature 10 nationally-known writers, including headliner Charles Simic. The event will take place April 6 – 8, 2016 and is free and open to the public.

Sponsoring Organization: Newberry County Literacy Council
Project Title: Newberry County’s Big Read
Project Director: Barbara Chapman
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $2,800
The Newberry County Literacy Council will present a county-wide “Big Read” program featuring Ron Rash’s book The World Made Straight that will take place in January and February 2016. A wide variety of events are being planned, including discussion forums, film screenings, scholar talks, student essay and art contests, and more.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina – Union
Project Title: 5th Annual Upcountry Literary Festival
Project Director: Randy Ivey
Awarded: $2,500; cost-share: $2,500
The University of South Carolina-Union will present their 5th Annual Upcountry Literary Festival, scheduled for March 18 – 19, 2016. They event will feature over 20 authors from a variety of genres in readings, workshops, panel discussions, and performances.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina Dharma Group
Project Title: Literature in Prison
Project Director: Nancy Kreml
Awarded: $1,080; cost-share: $1,250
The “Literature in Prison” program will take place at the Broad River Correctional Institute in Richland County. Monthly book discussions with up to 15 inmates will take place using works of literature intended to help them improve literacy, awareness of the world, and empathy.

Sponsoring Organization: Greenville Wordsmiths
Project Title: Saturday Writing Club
Project Director: Adrienne Burris
Awarded: $500; cost-share: $2,912
The Greenville Wordsmiths will present a free, twice-monthly writing club for students ages 9 – 14 that will take place at the Augusta Road Library in Greenville. Student participants will work one-on-one with program volunteers to experiment with words and publish a professional-quality collection of their own stories and poems.

Sponsoring Organization: One Columbia for Arts & History
Project Title: Deckle Edge
Project Director: Darien Cavanaugh
Awarded: $2,000; cost-share: $40,500
The inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival is scheduled to take place February 19 – 21, 2016 in Columbia. The event will feature 75 – 100 authors at a variety of downtown Columbia venues, including the Township Auditorium, Historic Columbia venues, the Columbia Museum of Art, and Richland Library.

Sponsoring Organization: Charleston County Public Library
Project Title: Storytelling as Peacebuilding
Project Director: Cynthia Bledsoe
Awarded: $500; cost-share: $3,000
Charleston County Public Library will present two programs featuring the President of the International Storytelling Center, Kiran Singh Sirah. He will present a presentation to the general public in Charleston as well as a workshop with teens, both on the theme of “Storytelling as Peacebuilding,” with the goal of engaging the Charleston community in a larger discussion of racial equality, social justice, and healing. The presentation and workshop will take place in February 2016 and are considered part of the lead-up to the 2016 Charleston Tells Storytelling Festival, which will take place March 11 – 12, 2016.

Sponsoring Organization: Community Foundation of Greenville
Project Title: Read Up
Project Director: Lee Yarborough
Awarded: $1,500; cost-share: $75,900
“Read Up” is a new literary festival geared towards Middle Grade and Young Adult readers planned for August 6, 2016 in Greenville. Many organizations are participating including M. Judson Bookstore, the Greenville County Library System, and the Peace Center for Performing Arts. They anticipate having 30 authors, 3 of which will be keynotes.

Sponsoring Organization: Berkeley County Library System
Project Title: Tri-County Literacy Celebration
Project Director: Donna Worden
Awarded: $2,500; cost-share: $10,400
The Berkeley County Library System will present their second annual Tri-County Literary Celebration that serves the counties of Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston. The festival promotes local published authors from this tri-county region, and its objective is to foster interest in the arts, increase the number of avid readers, and connect potential writers with published authors. The event is planned for February 6, 2016 at the Santee Canal State Park in Moncks Corner.

For more information about any of these grant-supported projects, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.