Opening Event: Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts

Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 4:00 P.M.

Rnady CohenRandy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation's advocacy organization for the arts. A member of the staff since 1991, Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and using the arts to address community development issues. He recently published Americans Speak Out About the Arts, a national study about the public’s opinions and participation in the arts. He publishes The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts as well as the two premier economic studies of the arts industry—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, an 

annual mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts establishments and their employees. Randy led the development of the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, launched in 2006 in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts Blog recently received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for the best blog post of the year. In the late 1990s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in 49 states and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences and served as its managing director, as well as worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. He was Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission for three years, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

Meet the Author Event: Tom Poland

January 22, 2019

“Lost Traditions of the South” for Dufford Students plus Public 11:00 A.M.

“SC Backroads” Talk, Reception, and Booksigning 7:00 P.M.

Tom pollandTom Poland is the author of fourteen books and more than 2,000 magazine features and columns. Tom writes about the South, its people, culture, land, natural wealth, and beautiful detritus—ruins and abandoned places. He travels back roads looking for forgotten places, captivating people, and vestiges of bygone times.

In his own words: 

I grew up in Lincoln County, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism. I actually use that degree. I began as a scriptwriter, moved into magazine work, and then wandered into the book world. My work has appeared in magazines throughout the South. Among my recent books are Classic Carolina Road Trips From ColumbiaGeorgialina, A Southland, As We Knew It, and Reflections of South CarolinaVol. II. Swamp Gravy, Georgia’s Official Folk Life Drama, staged my play, Solid Ground, which pleases me as I am from Georgia. April 16, 2018 my book, South Carolina Country Roads will be released.

Wayne Ford of the Athens Banner Herald wrote, “Tom Poland is an inquisitive man who keeps an eye out for extravagant chunks of nature, disappearing cultures, and people who are salt of the earth. He has ridden those so-called back roads for years chewing foods, sipping drinks, absorbing stories and documenting his finds. Change is what Poland touches upon frequently.

Yep, change is my subject matter. I write a weekly column for newspapers and journals in Georgia and South Carolina about the South, its people, traditions, lifestyle, and changing culture and speak to groups across South Carolina and Georgia. I’m the editor of Shrimp, Collards & Grits, a Lowcountry lifestyle magazine.

I write about “Georgialina”—my name for eastern Georgia and South Carolina. As you’ll see, I prefer forgotten backroads and places where the pace crawls, where old mansions crumble, and orchards go untended. It’s there that I find inspiration and there that I uncover tales and ways that belong to the past. You’ll find memories, special places, and unforgettable characters in my work. I think of myself as a blue-collar historian. Maybe you will too.

Additional Events Coming Soon

  • An additional grant will provide for printing of Newberry County Passport Book (similar to agri-tourism passport) that provides a check-list of things to do and places to visit in Newberry County.

  • SC Humanities to lead a Post-Event Forum based on Feedback from Exhibit Questions “What if you were mayor?” “What traditions should our rural town keep?” “What gives you anxiety about the future in our rural town?” “What should we be doing to plan for the future?”

  • Visit from SC State Scholar Ken Robinson of Clemson University 

    Tentative Date: January 2019 speak with potential Stories, Yes! students

  • With SC Arts Commission artists Eboni Ramm & Michelle Ross “Communal Pen: A Writing Workshop Celebrating Memories, Stories, and Traditions of Place” Date: March or April 2019

  • Stories: YES! participants weave national narratives from the exhibition into the history of their own hometown by conducting research and interviews to create a project highlighting their community. The program engages kids with regional history and contemporary local issues while providing an opportunity to use professional equipment and learn real-world skills. Grant provides equipment to be used by high school age students for collecting and editing oral histories (5-7 minute “stories”). Equipment can then be used for other ongoing collaborations with NOH and the District. Meet Your Change Makers: Make sure Government Officials, School Board, Planning Commissions, Architectural Review Board etc. are invited. Date: May 2019

Opportunities for Students

Grant to provide recording technology and software to enable high school students to create mini-documentaries and collect primary histories about Newberry County

Stories, Yes!
Date: January 2019

Documentaries Debut at May Forum