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S.C. Arts Commission Press Releases

May 2 Gala to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the Verner Awards and Raise Funds for Arts Programs



April 12, 2012

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Arts Foundation presents the S.C. Arts Gala to celebrate the state’s arts community and to recognize the 2012 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts recipients. The gala is set for 7 p.m. May 2 in the Grand Hall at 701 Whaley in Columbia, and includes an art auction and sale of original artworks by some of the Palmetto State’s most recognized artists. Tickets are $75 and are available online at SouthCarolinaArts.com.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards, founded in 1972 to honor South Carolina arts organizations, patrons, artists, members of the business community, and government entities who maximize their roles as innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts.


The gala is an annual fundraiser that supports the arts education and arts development programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. Last year, the foundation contributed more than $55,000 to bolster programs such as artist fellowships and in-school artist residencies throughout the state. 


During the gala, the Arts Foundation is recognizing the 2012 Verner Awards for the Arts recipients, including Lifetime Achievement Award winner winner Dr. Lillian Quackenbush, a renowned performer, teacher, conductor, scholar and advocate from Columbia.


Other awards recipients are R. Scot Hockman of Columbia, Robert Ariail of Camden, Sam Wang of Clemson, The Self Family Foundation of Greenwood, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, with special recognition for Mark Sloan, of Charleston. Recipients of the Verner Award from the past 40 years are also being acknowledged to commemorate this historical milestone.


Those interested in attending the gala can reserve tickets online or by calling (803) 734-8696.


About the S.C. Arts Foundation

Established in 1972, the S.C. Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the SCAF has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. The organization is led by a diverse board of directors comprised of statewide business and civic leaders, artists, educators and others interested in supporting the rich variety of artistic expression found in the Palmetto State.


About the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. 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, S.C., 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.