Spartanburg County Cultural Organizations and Artists Awarded over $550,000 from Chapman Cultural Center

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:00 am

Chapman Cultural Center, the leading local arts agency in Spartanburg County, will award fourteen arts, science, and humanities organizations and ten local artists a total of $554,734 at a public ceremony on June 11th, 2019. The ceremony will take place in the theater at Chapman Cultural Center at 5:30 p.m. and will acknowledge grantees and the impact they make in our community. 

In the last twenty-four years, through generous donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded $17 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way, and our community’s creative ecology is thriving because of it.

Chapman Cultural Center offers General Operating Support Grants and Community Grants to local non-profits and individual artists.

The General Operating Support (GOS) Grants are awarded to anchor cultural organizations that have been established for 3 years or more and have at least a part time staff person working to advance the mission of the organization. Grantees for GOS Grants were evaluated on the basis of artistic/historic/scientific merit, evidence of sound management & fiscal responsibility, and service to all of Spartanburg County. These awards support up to 20% of the grantees’ annual operating expenses.

“Our General Operating Support Grant Program is critically important to our grantees because it gives them a reliable funding source which allows them to plan strategically to expand programs, reach larger and more diverse audiences, and retain creative talent,” said Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center. 

Chapman Cultural Center’s 2020 strategic plan includes assessing and revising their grant making portfolio to be more inclusive, collaborative, impactful, and supportive of the broader cultural sector. 

Board Chairman, Bert Barre, stated “The cultural sector has grown since we first started providing these grants in 1995 and more demands are being placed on organizations as our community grows and prospers. We evaluate the grantees in a thorough process that includes thirteen volunteer grant reviewers representing our Board and members of the Spartanburg community. They conduct site visits, review applications and listen to presentations made by each organization. Together, these organizations serve over 143,000 people each year and the grants allow these organizations to continue to grow their collective impact.”

General Operating Support Grants are being awarded to the following organizations:  

  • Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg - $15,500
  • Ballet Spartanburg - $102,600
  • Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve - $13,500
  • Hub City Writers Project - $22,500
  • Spartanburg Art Museum - $89,050
  • Spartanburg County Historical Association - $70,000
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic - $90,000
  • Spartanburg Science Centre - $38,000
  • Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre - $93,600

Chapman Cultural Center’s second grant opportunity, Community Grants, are awarded quarterly to non-profits and individual artists who reside in Spartanburg County. This year Chapman Cultural Center has awarded over $20,000 to non-profits and individual artists through this grant program. The grants are funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.

Melissa Earley, Community Impact and Outreach Director for Chapman Cultural Center, added: “Community grants, along with other grant opportunities, ensure a diverse portfolio of strong, culturally-focused organizations and artists which contribute to our creative ecology. In December 2018, our Board of Trustees elected a cultural equity statement and their work to advance equity in grant making continues through the community grant program. This year, we saw a 30% increase in the total number of applicants and a 60% increase in minority applicants. Additionally, there was a 21% increase in the number of applicants from outside the city, which shows an increase in our geographic diversity.”

2018-2019 Community Grantees include: 

  • Anthony Milian - Faces of the Upstate
  • Corey McDaniels - Purchase of Upright Bass
  • Crystal Irby - Publication of Bible Belt Black Novel
  • Janeen Scott - Howl in the Valley Album Launch
  • Josh Holt - Exhibit on the Art of Clouds
  • Lindsey Brakhage - Berlin Opera Training
  • Michael Davidson - M.A.D Music Afterschool Program Launch
  • Thomas Koenig - Specialty Macro Photography Equipment
  • Tim Giles – Scrappy Shakespeare | Romeo and Juliet
  • Vivianne Carey - Artist Exhibit at Radford University 
  • Charles Lea Center - Artist Performance at Road Rally Fundraiser
  • Proud Mary Theatre - Boys in the Band Production
  • Scrappy Shakespeare - Much Ado about Nothing
  • Spartanburg Area Conservancy - WILD Spartanburg Poster Contest
  • Spartanburg Fringe Festival - Spartanburg Fringe Festival Inaugural Funding

Evins concluded, “As the local arts agency of Spartanburg County, part of our mission is to further the significance of arts, humanities, and sciences in the life of our community. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to fund critical operational needs of anchor organizations and help other non-profits include the arts in their programs and provide local artists with funding for professional development. It is an exciting time in Spartanburg and having a strong and vibrant cultural sector helps us maximize on our cultural assets and creative people.” 

About Chapman Cultural Center: Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

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