Akers, Boyd-Wicks: Take time to celebrate arts and humanities

October 11, 2013 

— “Humanities” is defined as the study of human culture such as literature, philosophy and history. The arts have been used throughout the centuries to demonstrate human culture through visual arts, music and literature; before video and still cameras, visual artists were hired by the military to draw and paint battle scenes as a means of recording history.

It should be no surprise then that the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties and The Humanities Councils SC would come together to recognize the best contributions to our culture. And that is what we will do on Thursday evening, as we present the Aha! Arts and Humanities Awards, as part of National Arts and Humanities month. This coast-to-coast recognition of the importance of culture in America is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities.

In its 30-year history, the Cultural Council has awarded millions in grant dollars to cultural organizations in both Richland and Lexington counties, installed public art, provided technical assistance to artists and arts administrators and presented celebrations to recognize excellence in the arts.

The Humanities Council SC made its first grant in 1973 and has awarded more than $7 million to non-profits around the state. It has, among other activities, hosted the annual SCBook Festival, sponsored Museum on Main Street exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institution, developed the South Carolina Encyclopedia and hosted the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities.

Participating in arts and humanities events provides lifelong learning opportunities for all the residents of the Midlands and South Carolina.

Arts and humanities define our culture, preserve the past and provide guidance for the future. The AHA! Arts and Humanities Awards festivities will begin at 6 p.m. at the Palmetto Club and will include an artist exhibition and sale, performance vignettes, food and drink and the awards presentations.

Recipients of the Governor’s Awards in Humanities are Mary Ann Kohli, Ron Rash and Stephen Wise. Cultural Council awards will go to The Humanities Council SC for inspiration, the S.C. Philharmonic for collaboration, the Southern Guitar Festival for education and Town Theatre for innovation. Celebrating these honorees and recognizing the importance of arts and humanities to our community is a fitting way to join in the national celebration.

Randy Akers

Executive director, The Humanities Council SC

Norree Boyd-Wicks

Executive director, Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties

Columbia

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