SC Arts Commission presents 2019 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts
Nine South Carolinians are to be honored by the South Carolina Arts Commission with the 2019 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts—the state’s highest arts honor.
The following recipients from their respective categories are being recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
•Lifetime Achievement: Cecil Williams, Orangeburg
•Artist: Tyrone Geter, Columbia
•Individual: Kathleen P. Bateson, Hilton Head Island
•Arts in Education (Individual): Simeon Warren, Charleston
•Arts in Education (Organization): SC African American Heritage Commission, Hartsville
•Business: Hampton III Gallery, Taylors •Government: Florence County Museum, Florence
•Organization: Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
•Organization Category Special Award: Columbia Stage Society (Town Theatre), Columbia
“It is an honor and privilege to recognize individuals and organizations who live out the service, commitment and passion that help the arts thrive in South Carolina,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz said. “Each of the Verner Award recipients makes a tremendous contribution not just locally, but they are honored for broad impact on the state’s arts community and beyond. These are outstanding ambassadors for our state."
A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members of the South Carolina community at large, reviews all nominations and, after a rigorous process, makes recommendations to the board for final approval after a series of panel meetings produces a recommendation from each category.
The 2019 Verner Awards will be presented with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards at South Carolina Arts Awards Day sponsored by Colonial Life on Wednesday, May 1 in a morning ceremony at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon. South Carolina artists’ work will be on sale to support the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission.
For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon, call 803.734.8696 or visit SouthCarolinaArts.com.
The S.C. African American Heritage Commission (Arts in Education Individual Category) identifies and promotes the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina, and assists and enhances the efforts of the S.C. Department of Archives and History. SCAAHC is a leader in integrating the arts into education resources, publishing the “Supplement to the Teacher’s Guide Integrating Art into Classroom Instruction” in 2016 and a subsequent revision last year.
The Florence County Museum (FCM) (Government Category) reflects the region’s rich artistic, cultural and historic heritage. Its permanent collection currently includes eight works by celebrated 20th century African American artist and Florence native, William H. Johnson and it is home to The Wright Collection of Southern Art, a volume of over 140 works representing some of the finest in 20th century Southern art (including some by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner). The FCM provides a platform for contemporary artists as host of the Pee Dee Regional Art Competition, South Carolina’s oldest juried art competition, since 1954.
With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians.
Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803-734-8696.