SC Humanities Awards $125,000 in Grants

The South Carolina Humanities Board of Directors awarded more than $125,000 in Major Grants to 16 cultural organizations after a September 23, 2022 Board Meeting in Aiken.

The awards were selected through a competitive application and review process and are made possible by SC Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Matching community support for the 16 awarded projects totaled: $654,402.

A list of awarded grants is provided below:

Sponsoring Organization: From the Heart Productions
Project Title: Going Fine Since 1889: The Magical Armstrongs
Project Director: Jennifer Stoy
Awarded: $8,000; Cost-share: $10,000
“Going Fine Since 1889: The Magical Armstrongs” is a proposed 90-minute documentary about the little-recognized Armstrong family, African American magicians who have origins in South Carolina and performed throughout the South during the Jim Crow era. The documentary is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 after which it will be submitted for PBS broadcasting, entered in a variety of film festivals, and presented at a series of community screenings at venues in South Carolina and North Carolina, including the Chapman Cultural Center, Claflin University, and Sidney Park CME Church in Columbia.

Sponsoring Organization: Charleston Gaillard Management Corporation
Project Title: Charleston Gaillard Center: Raising the Volume
Project Director: Sterling deVries
Awarded: $6,619; Cost-share: $37,791
The Charleston Gaillard Center will produce, promote, and evaluate a third season of their virtual conversation series “Raising the Volume,” which looks at race, art, activism, and community. The approximately 50-minute episodes pair the Center’s artists-in-residence Marcus Amaker and Charlton Singleton in conversation with scholars, local leaders, and educators to explore issues facing the Charleston community. The target audience is students in grades 6 – 12, and each episode is accompanied by a lesson plan. Season Three will include eight episodes, featuring speakers like Elana Pea, a local entrepreneur and activist, and Daniel Green, a lifestyle photographer and videographer.

Sponsoring Organization: Coastal Carolina University
Project Title: Gullah Geechee Community Day
Project Director: Ashlyn Pope
Awarded: $9,350; Cost-share: $10,950
Coastal Carolina University will host the 3rd annual Gullah Geechee Community Day in downtown Conway on February 25, 2023. The free event includes presentations, vendors, film screenings, and cultural performances. Potential topics of presentations include heirs property, sustainable development, culinary practices, historic preservation, and cultural tourism.

Sponsoring Organization: Gullah Geechee Group Inc
Project Title: UKWELI: In Search Of Healing Truth Conference (Gullah Geechee Linkin Up Fa Tru)
Project Director: Herb Frazier
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $20,050
Gullah Geechee Group Inc. is coordinating a two-day conference titled “UKWELI: In Search Of Healing Truth” that will take place February 25-26, 2023 at Burke High School in Charleston. On Saturday, there will be a keynote plenary by poet Dr. Len Lawson and four panels on the topics of lynching/racial violence, healing, heirs property/land retention, and Gullah culture. On the Sunday of the conference, there will be two nonfiction writers workshops, one for adults and one for youth, and an Open Mic spoken word finale moderated by Marcus Amaker. Tickets to the conference are $50/person. Some portions of the Sunday programming may be free. The concept of the conference is based on a collection of essays and writings edited by Horace Mungin and Herb Frazier that was published in 2022.

Sponsoring Organization: The Charleston Literary Festival, Inc.
Project Title: Charleston Literary Festival: Charleston Reads & Documentary
Project Director: Sarah Moriarty
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $55,000
The 2022 Charleston Literary Festival (formerly called Charleston to Charleston) will take place November 4 – 13, 2022. Two new elements will be included this year. Charleston Reads is a partnership with Mayor John Tecklenburg inviting the community to collectively read the book South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry. Imani Perry will present a free session on November 6, 2022 that will also be livestreamed to HBCUs in South Carolina and Huntsville, AL. Secondly, the Charleston Literary Festival will work with a local production company to create a one-hour documentary film about the festival that will include excerpts from author sessions, author interviews, interviews with founders and sponsors, and behind-the-scenes footage of the event.

Sponsoring Organization: South East Rural Community Outreach
Project Title: Commemoration on the Land
Project Director: Deborah Scott Brooks
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $10,000
South East Rural Community Outreach will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the purchase of the Harriet Barber House property with two public events about African American land ownership and the history and culture of African Americans in Richland County. The first event is a film screening and discussion of “Restoration: A Concert Film,” which explores stories of Southern Black self-determination and struggles for land justice. The second event will be a virtual discussion with scholars and authors Dr. William Darrity and Kirsten Mullen about the history of black land ownership in the South. The film screening is scheduled for January 21, 2023, and the virtual discussion is scheduled for April 3, 2023.

Sponsoring Organization: Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina
Project Title: Growing Towards Our Future: An Exploration of the Cultural Landscape of Modern Agriculture
Project Director: Josh Johnson
Awarded: $9,900; Cost-share: $10,000
The Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina will create a new exhibit that looks at changes in agriculture in South Carolina over the last 50 years, especially environmentally sustainable methods. The exhibit will include stories of South Carolina farmers, especially minority farmers, who have implemented innovative agricultural techniques, futuristic technologies, and agritourism. Additionally, there will be three large exhibit components: a section on herbicides and pesticides that includes a drone, a section on aquaponics with an aquaponic demonstration tank, and a section on the history of tractors with a tractor simulator. The exhibit is anticipated to open in January 2023.

Sponsoring Organization: Richland Library
Project Title: Poetry Workshops and Performances
Project Director: Clo Cammarata
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $20,306
Richland Library will coordinate a series of poetry workshops and a culminating presentation featuring Black British poet Yomi Sode in partnership with education consultant Peter Kahn. In March 2023, they plan to offer three high school workshops, one college workshop, and a final event at Richland Library on March 17 that will talk about identity, black culture, literary elements of poetry, and the craft of poetry. The identified high schools are Keenan High School, Spring Valley High School, and Midlands Middle College, and the college workshop will be open to students from UofSC, Allen, Benedict, and Midlands Tech.

Sponsoring Organization: Dorchester Heritage Center Inc.
Project Title: The Discovery Educational Outreach Series
Project Director: LaClaire Mizell
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $57,325
In 2023, Dorchester Heritage Center plans to present a series of 12 monthly lectures on a variety of historical and cultural topics relevant to Dorchester County. The “Discovery Educational Outreach Series” will be led by local scholars, historians, and presenters at venues around Dorchester County to increase attendees’ awareness and knowledge of Dorchester County History and increase the community’s awareness of the Dorchester Heritage Center as a venue and resource. Some of the proposed topics for the monthly lectures include “First Peoples Stories,” “African American Church & Campground History and Life,” “SC 250th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War and the Liberty Trail,” and “Summerville’s Golden Age.” Potential venues include the library, state historic sites, housing communities, and nursing homes.

Sponsoring Organization: Urban League of the Upstate
Project Title: Project Ready: Historical and Cultural Literacy
Project Director: Kimberly D. Arnold
Awarded: $2,000 Planning Grant; Cost-share: $10,000
The Urban League of the Upstate will facilitate a program for youth about the black urban experience in America. “Project Ready” is a national program offered by the National Urban League, and the Urban League of the Upstate will adapt it locally to focus on the history of the Urban League of the Upstate and the Historic McClaren Medical Shelter. The participating youth  (“HCL – humanities scholars”) will take oral histories and research archival documents among other activities. At the conclusion of the program, the youth participants will share their knowledge at monthly coffee and conversation sessions in downtown Greenville.

Sponsoring Organization: Upcountry History Museum
Project Title: Upcountry History Museum Facing Change: Civil Rights Exhibit and Programs
Project Director: Dana Thorpe
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $72,048
The Upcountry History Museum will evaluate and update their existing exhibit Upstate SC Civil Rights Movement, which originally opened in 2014, through a process of working with scholars, community members, and memory initiatives. From December 2022 – November 2024, they will review the content and interpretive plan for the Civil Rights exhibit and expand programs and educational offerings associated with that topic. It is the first step in a larger museum-wide “assessment and refurbishing” effort related to their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEAI) goals. Exhibit and Education Committees at the museum will audit the current exhibit, identify errors and omissions, and recommend exhibit content modifications. At the same time, they will offer some programming about Civil Rights through Lunchbox Learning sessions and will create a new pilot program for 5th grade students titled “Catalysts for Change: Remembering the Past, Reimagining the Future.” By February 2024, they will be working on the final design for the exhibit, and the “Catalysts for Change” program will become established as one of their core educational offerings.

Sponsoring Organization: Southern NCSY
Project Title: The Butterfly Project
Project Director: Arielle Nakdimon
Awarded: $5,000; Cost-share: $304,250
NCSY will help coordinate “The Butterfly Project,” also known as the “Holocaust Memorial of Greenville,” an effort to incorporate Holocaust education into the local schools and community through curriculum and the creation of public art installations (sculptures and murals) at multiple venues. In the 2021-2022 academic year, 6th grade students painted ceramic butterflies after learning about the Holocaust and specific children lost to its horrors. In 2022-2023, they plan to develop an additional curriculum about tolerance. Additionally, they will begin to install the public art pieces from January – March at venues in Greenville. There will also be several public promotional events.

Sponsoring Organization: Friends of Coastal South Carolina
Project Title: Historical Background for Hasty Point Interpretation
Project Director: Grace Gasper
Awarded: $2,000 Planning Grant; Cost-share: $6,000
Hasty Point Plantation is an 800-acre historic property in Georgetown County dating to 1732. It has recently come under control of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, and the Friends of Coastal South Carolina is assisting in the process of interpreting this property, which will be open to the public. The application requests funds to pay for a professional research consultant, who will research the archives and historical records about this property to prepare to tell the story through an interpretive display. Once it is fully open to the public, Hasty Point Plantation will likely reach at least 1,500 students as well as other attendees every year.

Sponsoring Organization: Claflin University
Project Title: Exploring Female Contributions to Music and Their Influences on South Carolina Humanities and Culture
Project Director: Dr. Eunjung Choi
Awarded: $7,500; Cost-share: $10,000
Claflin University will sponsor a series of public lecture-recitals featuring South Carolina female musicians and investigating their impact on music history and culture. The three South Carolina musicians are Angie Stone (born 1961 in Columbia), Linda Martel (born 1941 in Batesburg-Leesville) and Lily Teresa Strickland (born 1884 in Anderson). There are four programs planned to take between January – July 2023 (specific dates are yet to be determined), three in Orangeburg and one in Anderson. Each program will include an interactive lecture by a humanities scholar as well as a musical presentation. Additionally, printed programs and a moveable exhibit about the three musicians will provide additional humanities context.

Sponsoring Organization: South Carolina African American Heritage Commission/ SC Department of Archives and History
Project Title: Hettie Anderson: Goddess Model of the Gilded Age
Project Director: Karen Strickland
Awarded: $5,000; Cost-share: $17,682
The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, housed at the SC Department of Archives and History, will create a new temporary exhibit titled “Hettie Anderson: Goddess Model of the Gilded Age,” that will investigate the life of Hettie Anderson, a noted art model in the late 1800s who was born in Columbia, SC. The exhibit will include panels and artifacts, and a virtual version will be created that will be available on the SCDAH website even after the physical exhibit closes. The grand opening of the exhibit is scheduled for March 31, 2023, the last day of women’s history month.

Sponsoring Organization: The Arts Center of Greenwood
Project Title: Gullah Geechee History and Culture Through the Art of Jonathan Green
Project Director: Sylvia Martin
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $10,000
The Arts Center of Greenwood will host two exhibits from January 15 – March 4, 2023: an art exhibit, “Jonathan Green: Art of Gullah Geechee Culture” and “The History & Culture of Gullah Geechee in South Carolina.” Additionally, they will have a series of lectures, workshops, and interactive activities for visitors of all ages. Scholar Victoria Smalls will be a consultant for the history exhibit and will give a keynote lecture. There will also be lectures by three Lander University professors, and a variety of events for youth like a storytime event, a Family Fun Day, and field trips from local schools with a take-home kit provided.

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