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S.C. Arts Commission Press Releases

South Carolina to Honor 2011 Folk Heritage Award Winners



April 13, 2011

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina announce Florence Wade of Rock Hill and Willie Van Brailey of Orangeburg as the 2011 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients. The S.C. State Legislature will present the awards following a session of the House on May 5 at the Statehouse.


Wade, who learned to make pottery from her sisters and other family members at age 12, is being recognized for maintaining and sharing the Catawba Pottery tradition for more than 70 years. Brailey, who learned the art of chair caning from his mother, is being honored for his skills and dedication to maintaining a valued community tradition.  


Following the Statehouse ceremony a reception will be held at McKissick Museum on the campus of the University of South Carolina.  This informal event gives supporters and the general public the opportunity to celebrate the recipients’ artistic skills and lifetime commitment to the preservation and promotion of traditions rooted in place and community.  The reception will take place in the second floor lobby of the museum. 


The Folk Heritage Award is named for the late Jean Laney Harris, an ardent supporter of the state's cultural heritage. The award was created by the legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the folk arts. The artistic traditions represented by the award are significant because they have endured, often for hundreds of years.


For more information about the awards ceremony or reception, contact Saddler Taylor, McKissick Museum, at (803) 777-7251 or Julianne Carroll, S.C. Arts Commission, at (803) 734-8764. Also visit the McKissick website at www.cas.sc.edu/mcks/, or the S.C. Arts Commission website at SouthCarolinaArts.com/folkheritage.




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.