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Arts Abound in Columbia

Central Carolina Community Foundation recently awarded grants to three nonprofit organizations that serve the arts community in the Midlands. The grants are provided through a competitive process from three different funds that are managed by the Foundation:  the Pierrine & Hootie Johnson Fund, Pied Piper Fund and Nell V. Mellichamp Fund.

The purpose of the Pierrine & Hootie Johnson Fund is to support premiere cultural arts in the Midlands, while the Nell V. Mellichamp Fund promotes music education and youth. The Pied Piper Fund seeks to support a variety of projects including art, music, dance and youth activities.

“Arts education is essential for young people — giving children the opportunity to express themselves creatively enhances their quality of life,” said Kim Williams, Education Director for the South Carolina Philharmonic. “The benefits of participating in the arts, and music specifically, also include increased math and language arts test scores. The S.C. Phil is proud to partner with area schools, offering a number of programs that enhance the school music curriculum.”

Since 1987, the total amount of grants awarded from these three field-of-interest funds has exceeded $565,000.

“The arts and humanities play a critical role in the development of vibrant communities,” adds JoAnn Turnquist, President & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “They allow us to explore ideas, express emotions and better appreciate cultures from around the world.”

Congratulations to the following organizations that have received this year’s funds:

Columbia City Ballet:  $5,000 for the educational outreach program’s (EOP) productions of Santa Claus is Coming to Town in December, and The Lion of Mali. The EOP presents two sets of ballets annually. Teachers and students register for the ballets and are sent curriculum packets created specifically for each production, including the original story of the ballet and a history of stagecraft. At the ballet, the groups enjoy what normally costs $45 to $55 per seat for only $5.00.

The Columbia Museum of Art:  $10,000 to support the Cheer for the Home Team exhibition running from May 16 through September 14. This specially organized exhibition explores the history of mascots from college sports in conjunction with the representation of animals in art. The exhibition is made up exclusively of pieces from the Columbia Museum of Art’s own extensive collection. Through this exhibition, the CMA hopes to pique the interest of a wider audience and attract first-time visitors to the museum.

South Carolina Philharmonic:  $10,000 for the Young People’s Concerts series. In partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the SCP will present four concerts to more than 7,000 students, seniors and special needs individuals from throughout the Midlands. The year-long program includes an in-school music education curriculum for K-6 students.