SC Humanities Awards $140,000 in Grants

The South Carolina Humanities Board of Directors awarded more than $140,000 in Major Grants to 12 cultural organizations after a September 22, 2023 Board Meeting in Greenwood.

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 12 awarded projects totaled: $198,621.

A list of awarded grants is provided below:

Sponsoring Organization: Friends of Honey Hill
Project Title: Honey Hill Battlefield Interpretive Signage
Project Director: Richard Thomas
Awarded: $8,600; Cost-share: $8,600
The Friends of Honey Hill will work with the Town of Ridgeland, SC to create and install ten permanent outdoor interpretive exhibit signs along visitor walking trails at the battlefield site. The signs will be researched and written by noted South Carolina historian Dr. Stephen Wise. The signs are expected to be installed by the end of April 2024. Additionally, the Friends of Honey Hill will promote the battlefield with billboards on I-95 to attract visitors. They will partner with the Morris Center for Cultural Heritage on Civil War lectures and guided battlefield tours.

Sponsoring Organization: Stone Soup Storytelling Institute
Project Title: LISTEN! American Revolution Program Series
Project Director: Karen Page-Davies
Awarded: $8,477; Cost-share: $8,477
The Stone Soup Storytelling Institute will present a series of six collaborative program sessions about the American Revolution. Each event will include a storyteller presenting a story or oral history from the American Revolution, a scholar presentation about the topic, and a moderated audience discussion. The proposed program topics are “The Seeds of Revolution” (January 2024), “Revolutionary Women” (March 2024), “Not Just the Colonists” (May 2024), “In this Land” (August 2024), “Independence: A Scary Prospect” (October 2024), and “A Revolutionary Christmas” (December 2024). The specific dates are not yet confirmed, and only some of the scholars and storytellers are currently confirmed. Each program will offer both an in-person and virtual livestream option. The in-person programs will be free; the livestream option costs $10 per program. The livestream videos are kept for archival purposes.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina
Project Title: From Mahrabouy to Barnwell Tabby: Unearthing the 250 Year Journey of One Hilton Head Island Building
Project Director: Dr. Kimberly Cavanagh
Awarded: $12,617; Cost-share: $17,235
The University of South Carolina Beaufort is coordinating an archival research project looking at the history of the “Talbird House,” burned during the Revolutionary War. The research will investigate the families of this region and will locate maps, plats, and other important documents related to the property. The researchers will pay particular attention to ascertaining information about enslaved laborers in the northern, “Skull Creek” region of Hilton Head Island, which has not been well-developed. The research will take place at repositories in Columbia, Charleston, Beaufort, and Hilton Head Island between December 2023 and April 2024. Results of the research will be integrated into a virtual reality app that is being developed by USC Beaufort as well as in other educational and tourism materials, including signage.

Sponsoring Organization: Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Project Title: National Association of Women Artists | Sisterhood
Project Director: Patricia Goodwin
Awarded: $6,000; Cost-share: $15,200
The Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum will present an exhibition of works from the National Association of Women Artists titled Sisterhood from January 2 – April 14, 2024. The exhibit will feature 60 works by contemporary artists with text panels that investigate the influence of earlier women artists. The humanities scholar Fran Gardner will give a gallery talk and a lecture while the exhibit is on display and will also contribute to a virtual tour of the exhibit for their website and YouTube channel.

Sponsoring Organization: Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum
Project Title: Briggs Before and Beyond Brown
Project Director: Jannie Harriot
Awarded: $15,000; Cost-share: $15,148
The Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum will present five symposiums throughout the state from February – August 2024 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. The Board of Education decision and particularly the significance of the Briggs v. Elliot case. The symposiums will be held in Summerton, Anderson, Florence, Rock Hill, and Columbia. Each session will feature Dr. Bobby Donaldson; Dr. Thomas Mullikin, attorney for Briggs petition; and Cecil Williams. Some sessions will also include Dr. Larry Watson of SC State University, Dr. Roy Jones of Clemson University, Nathaniel Briggs, J.A. DeLaine, and Sandra Williams. The symposia will be free and widely promoted.

Sponsoring Organization: Hagood Mill Foundation
Project Title: Native American Language Reclamation Project
Project Director: Dr. Betty McDaniel
Awarded: $15,000; Cost-share: $19,365
Hagood Mill Foundation will help coordinate a collaborative Cherokee language reclamation project in partnership with the Easter Cherokee Southern Iroquois and United Tribes (ECSIUT), educators, and local experts.  The proposed programming will include two key events on November 18, 2023 for Native American Heritage Day and May 4, 2024 for the ECSIUT Powwow, during which visitors will be introduced to Cherokee stories and syllabary and will hear Cherokee language speakers. They also plan to offer three community workshops with more in-depth opportunities to learn about Native American language, two half-day educational events for fourth and eight graders at local schools, two professional development workshops for educators, sessions for specialty groups like homeschool cooperatives and Scout troops, and a more intensive introductory Cherokee language course between December 2023 and May 2024. Ultimately, a curriculum featuring lessons on Cherokee language and local indigenous culture will be created, and bilingual books will be housed on an updated website.

Sponsoring Organization: Sigal Music Museum
Project Title: Distinguished Lecture Series to expand on the new exhibit Worlds Apart: Musical Instruments from Secular to Sacred
Project Director: Thomas Strange
Awarded: $13,200; Cost-share: $13,200
From November 2023 – May 2024, the Sigal Music Museum will present 12 lectures in their Distinguished Lecture Series to accompany their new exhibit Worlds Apart: Musical Instruments from Secular to Sacred. The exhibit includes international instruments and looks at musical cultures, rites, and traditions from around the world. The series will start on November 5 with the lecture “A Spooky Dive Into Shubert” presented by composer and museum Board Member Jon Grier. Other speakers are not confirmed yet, but potential topics include African music, Middle Eastern stringed instruments, and music that combines the cultures of East and West. The lecture series will be free.

Sponsoring Organization: Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society
Project Title: Gullah Geechee Exhibit Final Phase – Media/Interactive Room
Project Director: Gretchen Smith
Awarded: $7,815; Cost-share: $7,815
The Edisto Island Museum has been working on implementing their new exhibit From Africa to Edisto Island: Gullah Geechee since 2019. They are now entering the final phase and are requesting support for an interactive media room – a first for their small museum. The room will include an interactive Gullah language activity, a computer station with an interactive Gullah Geechee software program, an exhibit about James Jamerson, and a looped video about Gullah Geechee history and culture, including net making and casting, Gullah food, and a storyteller speaking in the Gullah language. They anticipate that the new media/interactive room will open in March 2024.

Sponsoring Organization: The Charleston Literary Festival Inc.
Project Title: Charleston Literary Festival: Digital Access Initiative & Charleston Reads
Project Director: Sarah Moriarty
Awarded: $15,000; Cost-share: $50,000
The 2023 Charleston Literary Festival will take place from November 3 – 12 with the theme “Embrace the Conversation.” Some of the confirmed featured authors include Margaret Atwood (virtual), Richard Ford, Paul Harding, Claire Keegan, Rebecca Makkai, Lorrie Moore, and Safiya Sinclair. They expect to host 31 festival sessions where authors are in conversation with each other or with moderators; each session has the opportunity for Q&A. They are specifically requesting funding for their second annual Charleston Reads initiative in partnership with the Mayor’s office and their digital access initiative to record festival sessions and upload them to their website and YouTube channel to be viewed free of charge. The 2023 Charleston Reads program will feature The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor. The author will appear on November 5 in a free program that will also be shared with students from the Alabama HBCU Oakwood University.

Sponsoring Organization: Center for Creative Partnerships
Project Title: Preserving History – The Orangeburg Massacre
Project Director: Ellen Zisholtz
Awarded: $15,000; Cost-share: $18,500
The Center for Creative Partnerships will conduct an oral history project about the Orangeburg Massacre that will include public programs and a digital archive. From November 2023 – September 2024, the project will have four phases that will start with a scholar-led community discussion to review current resources and will end with a second public program to view the resulting oral histories and digitized archives. The oral history component will include new work with women who are survivors, observers, or direct participants in the Orangeburg Massacre as well as a focus on the influence of the National Bowling Association and college athletes.

Sponsoring Organization: American Battlefield Trust
Project Title: Black Revolutionary War Patriots at the Battles of Stono Ferry and Port Royal Island
Project Director: Catherine Noyes
Awarded: $15,000; Cost-share: $15,000
The American Battlefield Trust in partnership with the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust will conduct new research on Black Patriots in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War, particularly at the battles of Stono Ferry and Port Royal Island. Conducted by South Carolina scholars Douglas Bostick and George McDaniel, the research will inform the creation of an interpretive sign at each park as well as a short video (approximately 5 minutes long) about the history of Black South Carolinians in the Revolutionary War. The signage and video should be unveiled in Fall 2024.

Sponsoring Organization: The St. James Foundation
Project Title: Gullah Geechee Historical Marker Educators
Project Director: Rev. Dr. Charles C. Heyward, Sr.
Awarded: $10,000; Cost-share: $10,000
The St. James Foundation plans to host a series of four “community outreach history gathering workshops” from January – February 2024 at which they plan to collect images, artifacts, and stories. These materials will be used to inform the content of eight educational historic markers that will be placed along an existing walking trail located at their property on James Island. The markers are expected to be installed in July or August 2024 with an unveiling ceremony.

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