The Humanities Council SC Awards Over $50,000 in Major Grants

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.

Funded projects include a documentary on Harriet Tubman, an oral history project in Allendale County, a local history harvest in the town of Little Mountain, and an exhibit and symposium on South Carolina hero Robert Smalls. Matching community support for the 12 projects totaled $188,525.

A list of awarded grants is provided below.

Sponsoring Organization: Public Education Partners
Project Title: Garcia Theater Project
Project Director: Natalie Fox
Award: $2,000
Cost-share: $12,249
Public Education Partners will sponsor the fourth year of the Garcia Theater Project, a program that encourages the development of strong theater arts programs for the seven high schools in Aiken County through the collaboration of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at USC-Aiken with students. The project culminates with a day of performances of one-act plays by each of the participating schools; the date is set for May 3, 2008.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina – McKissick Museum
Project Title: “Barbeque Joints: And the Good Folks Who Own Them” Exhibit
Project Director: Saddler Taylor
Award: $3,000
Cost-share: $6,500
“Barbeque Joints: And the Good Folks Who Own Them” is an exhibit that will be based on the forthcoming book Barbeque Joints by author David Gelin. The exhibit will feature a selection of photographs from the book and will investigate culinary traditions and barbeque history. McKissick Museum will display the exhibit from May – July 2008 and will offer other collateral events during its tenure, including an author lecture and book signing.

Sponsoring Organization: Trident Technical College
Project Title: Trading Tastes: Islam, the Indian Ocean, and the Asia-Africa Interchange
Project Director: Katharine Purcell
Award: $2,800
Cost-share: $8,709
Trident Technical College in partnership with the East-West Center plans a symposium on the trade history of the maritime spice route and the way it has shaped the current social and political landscape of the world, including the Lowcountry region’s rice and indigo cultures. The symposium, planned for November 2008, will offer a range of activities, including programs for students, workshops for teachers, and lectures open to the general public.

Sponsoring Organization: American College of the Building Arts
Project Title: 2008 Masters of the Building Arts Festival
Project Director: Simeon Warren
Award: $2,500
Cost-share: $18,000
American College of the Building Arts will hold its third Masters of the Building Arts Festival in March 2008 which will showcase artisan skills such as stone carving, masonry, ironworking, and woodworking through lectures, demonstrations, and presentations. Special outreach will be made to at-risk youth who may be interested in pursuing careers in artisan skills.

Sponsoring Organization: Friends of the Allendale Hampton Jasper Regional Library
Project Title: Voting Rights in Allendale, South Carolina
Project Director: Beth McNeer
Award: $5,000
Cost-share: $5,000
The Allendale Hampton Jasper Regional Library System will coordinate an oral history project that will document the experiences of Allendale County residents during the years of 1963-1965—when Civil Rights voting issues were center stage. The project will culminate with a public forum in which the findings of the oral history collection will be presented to the citizens of Allendale County and discussion will be encouraged. Publication of a small booklet of these findings is also anticipated.

Sponsoring Organization: University of South Carolina
Project Title: King Cotton Documentary
Project Director: Laura Kissel
Award: $6,000
Cost-share: $23,800
King Cotton is a proposed feature-length documentary which will examine the cotton industry—from South Carolina farm to Chinese factory and back to American consumer.

Sponsoring Organization: Community Foundation of Greenville
Project Title: Nothing to Prove: The Return of Mac Arnold to the Blues Documentary
Project Director: Stan Woodward
Award: $4,500
Cost-share: $18,731
Nothing to Prove: The Return of Mac Arnold to the Blues is a folk heritage documentary by producer Stan Woodward that will tell the story of South Carolina blues-man Mac Arnold. The film is slated to be broadcast on “Southern Lens” on SCETV and will premier in South Carolina in January-February of 2009.

Sponsoring Organization: Town of Little Mountain
Project Title: Listening to the Past, Speaking to the Future: Little Mountain History Harvest
Project Director: Lindsey Moore
Award: $5,000
Cost-share: $7,500
The Town of Little Mountain plans a local history harvest as the first step in a long-term project to document their community history in order to better plan for their future. The history harvest will be a day-long event in which oral histories and pictures/artifacts are collected digitally. This information will be compiled into a 30-minute community history video that will be screened at the annual Little Mountain Reunion Festival in August 2008 and provided to schools, libraries, and other repositories.

Sponsoring Organization: The Center for Independent Documentary
Project Title: The Commander: Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid Documentary
Project Director: Michael O’McCarthy, James McDuffie Bruce, and Eric Stange
Award: $8,000
Cost-share: $14,064
The Center for Independent Documentary plans a docudrama project entitled The Commander: Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid which is intended for primetime television. The docudrama will investigate Harriet Tubman’s life, focusing particularly on her role in the 1963 episode in South Carolina history in which Union forces staged a raid on the Combahee River site and freed numerous slaves.

Sponsoring Organization: ETV Endowment of South Carolina
Project Title: American Agent: The Rise and Fall of Melvin Purvis Documentary
Project Director: Betsy Newman
Award: $4,000
Cost-share: $55,350
American Agent: The Rise and Fall of Melvin Purvis is a one-hour documentary that will be broadcast on ETV as part of the “Carolina Stories” series and made available to schools and other institutions. It explores the story of South Carolina native Melvin Purvis, famous both for his successful stint in the FBI in the 1930s and for his subsequent mysterious downfall at the hands J. Edgar Hoover. Broadcast is scheduled for October 2008.

Sponsoring Organization: Avery Research Center (College of Charleston)
Project Title: The Life and Times of Robert Smalls
Project Director: W. Marvin Dulaney
Award: $4,600
Cost-share: $9,500
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture requests funds to support the development and implementation of an exhibit on the life and times of South Carolina Civil War hero and statesman Robert Smalls. The exhibit will be accompanied by an opening symposium on Smalls’ life and influence featuring notable South Carolina scholars and a Smalls descendant. After the exhibit’s tenure at the Avery Research Center (August – September 2008), it will be available for travel to other institutions, including schools and libraries.

Sponsoring Organization: Science South, Inc.
Project Title: General Francis Marion Cordially Invites You…
Project Director: Colleen Zilio
Award: $3,950
Cost-share: $9,122
Science South, Inc. in partnership with the Francis Marion Trail Commission will organize two workshops that will look at different aspects of the Revolutionary War: historical, anthropological, and cultural, including a unique look at food history and culture. The workshops are scheduled for the fall of 2008 and the winter of 2009, and the information presented during the programs will be collected in a booklet and in an exhibit.

The next major grant application deadline is in August 2008 for preliminary drafts. For more information about the projects listed above or on upcoming grant opportunities, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.