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Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards


The nomination deadline is December 15.



Nomination Instructions


Please consider the following before submitting a nomination:

  • This award honors those who have spent a significant portion of their lives advocating for and/or creating traditional art forms significant to South Carolina
  • Artists must have learned the art informally and not through schools, classes, workshops, etc.
  • Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.
  • Nominees must be practicing their art or advocating for a traditional art in the state of South Carolina.
  • Past Folk Heritage Award recipients are not eligible.
  • Nominees practicing remnants of the past that are no longer practiced in contemporary life, will not be considered for this award.



Required Materials

1.  Nomination Form

The five-page nomination form is a PDF document. How to Use PDFs


2.  Narrative

The narrative should make the case for the nominee's outstanding contributions to the traditional arts in South Carolina and how his/her work has enriched the lives of those in his/her community and across the state.


The narrative should be no more than two (one-sided) pages, using at least 12-point type, and should include the following:


If nominating a traditional artist:

  • Explain how the artist learned the traditional art form practiced. For example, did the nominee learn this tradition through apprenticeships or informal transmission rather than through formal education? Provide details.
  • Is the art practiced by the nominee a traditional art with a history of practice in his/her community?
  • Describe the significance of the traditional artist or group in maintaining the traditional art or moving it to higher levels of artistic achievement.
  • Do other practitioners of this art form recognize the artist as a master of the art? Please explain.
  • How long has the nominee practiced this tradition?
  • In addition to these questions, answer the questions from the For all nominees section below. 


If nominating a traditional arts advocate:

  • Has the nominee raised the level of awareness about a particular tradition? Explain how.
  • Describe the significance of the advocate in supporting a South Carolina tradition and presenting it to a wide audience.
  • Is the nominee recognized by members of the traditional community in which the art is practiced for his/her support? Please share information about this community and the nominee’s relationship to it.
  • In addition to these questions, answer the questions from the For all nominees section below. 


For all nominees:

  • Does the art form practiced or supported have an historic connection to a South Carolina community? What is the significance of this tradition to the state’s cultural heritage?
  • What is the importance of the tradition to the community in which it is practiced?
  • Have others benefited in any way from the nominee’s skills or knowledge? Please provide details.


3.  Letters of Support

You may provide up to 10 current letters supporting the nomination. Letters should reinforce statements in the narrative regarding the nominee's knowledge, contributions, achievements, influence and community involvement, and should provide specific examples whenever possible. Label each letter with the nominee’s name and the number that corresponds with the Letters of Support list included in the nomination form. Please include contact information for each person who has written a letter for the nominee.


4.  Support Materials

Support materials should reinforce and expand on the information provided in the narrative and letters of support. A nominee cannot be evaluated without support materials. If you have questions concerning this requirement, please contact Laura Marcus Green (803-734-8764), South Carolina Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director, well in advance of the deadline.


Support materials may include, but are not limited to:

  • Audio and/or video recordings (may be submitted on CD or DVD)
  • News clippings and/or magazine articles
  • Photographs (images may be submitted as hard copies or on CD or DVD)
  • Samples of an artist's work
  • A portfolio representing the nominee's body of work or accomplishments
  • A book or publication about the nominee


Provide no more than five pieces of support material. For example, one scrapbook, one CD, a collection of news clippings, a photo album and a poster would be considered five different pieces of support material.


Please do not provide multiples of the same type of support material. For example, provide one scrapbook, one audio CD or one DVD.


Include only one format of the same piece of material. For example, do not provide the same images in print and on a CD.


If including a lengthy example of work, such as a book or a CD, please identify a brief excerpt that represents the nominee's best work (i.e. mark a specific page or provide a track number).


Each item of support material must be labeled with the nominee's name and number corresponding with the Support Materials List in the nomination form.


Support Materials List:

List all support materials on the Support Materials List found in the nomination form. Include the nominee's name as well as the information listed below:


  • Images: Provide the following information about photographs: date, location, people in image, relevance to the nomination, etc.
  • CDs and/or DVDs: Indicate the track number(s)/selection you want reviewed.


If you would like support materials returned, please provide a self-addressed stamped envelope capable of holding the materials, or arrange to pick up the items from the South Carolina Arts Commission.



Assembling the Nomination Packet

Please do not staple or hole-punch nomination materials. Rubber bands, clips, large envelopes or folders with pockets may be used to hold materials together. Large support materials should be placed in an envelope or box accompanying the nomination. Please ensure that all materials are clearly labeled with the nominee’s name.


How the Selection Process Works

For information on the selection process, please see the award legislation document.


Things to Consider When Preparing an Application

  • Be sure that you answer the questions asked in the narrative section (item #2)!  If the requested information is not provided, the advisory committee will not be able to review the nomination.
  • Please keep in mind that the advisory committee sees photocopies of the application and narrative. While an attractive presentation has its merits, it is not necessary to create elaborate or highly decorated enclosures for the nomination materials. The committee makes its recommendations based on the content of the application and may not see the original version.
  • The advisory committee will review many nominations during its meeting, and may not have time to look at every piece of support material in its entirety. Please make sure that support materials are of high quality, brief, and that they convey their support of the nomination in a concise and effective way.
  • Please do not submit support materials that are valuable, irreplaceable, or otherwise treasured. Images, reproductions, and photocopies are acceptable. The S.C. Arts Commission cannot be responsible for lost or damaged items.
  • Nominations are valid for four years from the time of their original submission. Applications may be augmented and edited before each new selection period, and support materials may be carried over from year to year. Although the nominations may be valid beyond their original submission, we ask that if you are interested in having your nomination considered beyond the year of its original submission,please contact Laura Marcus Green (803-734-8764), South Carolina Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director. This will ensure that your nomination is considered in subsequent selection processes.



Mail the nomination form and all materials to:
South Carolina Arts Commission
Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Nominations
1026 Sumter Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201

All nominations must be postmarked by December 15.

Award recipients will be announced in late spring.


About the Folk Heritage Awards


For more information about the Folk Heritage Awards, please contact Laura Marcus Green (803-734-8764), South Carolina Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director.