S.C. Arts Commission Opens Nominations for Top Arts Awards

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

The South Carolina Arts Commission, in conjunction with its partners, wants to honor the next round of exceptional arts and folklife practitioners, professionals, and advocates in the Palmetto State.

Eligible persons fitting those descriptions can now be nominated for the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts or the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Both awards honor South Carolinians who create or support the arts, and both award programs use a simple, online nomination process. Nominations for both awards are due Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

Both awards will be presented at the South Carolina Arts Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. An art sale and luncheon by the South Carolina Arts Foundation will follow the ceremony.

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards

Nomination letters for Verner Awards should describe the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina and should address any characteristics included in the category descriptions. The letter should answer these questions:

What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?

How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in the arts?

What exceptional achievements or contributions has the nominee made, and what has been their impact on the community, state or beyond?

What other information about the nominee is important to know as they are considered for the state's highest award in the arts?

Verner Award nominations can be made in the following categories:

Arts in Education






For complete nomination guidelines or more information about the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, or contact Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough: mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698.

Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award

Created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. The S.C. Arts Commission partners with USC's McKissick Museum to manage the awards. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:

Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, fiddling, hammock making and boat building.

Advocates: South Carolina individuals and groups that have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.

Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact Program Specialist for Community Arts & Folklife Dr. Laura Marcus Green to determine whether your nominee is eligible: lgreen@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8764. For more information about the Folk Heritage Award, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com.