South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Folk Heritage Awards

Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award

The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is a one-time, annual award presented by the South Carolina General Assembly to practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year.

  • The award for traditional artists and arts organizations recognizes those who practice art forms that have been transmitted through their families and communities. These artists have demonstrated a commitment to sustaining their traditional art forms and have, in turn, used their art to benefit those around them.
  • The award for traditional arts advocates recognizes individuals and groups who have worked to further traditional culture in the state. Those who are not traditional artists, but who have provided service that helps to sustain and promote South Carolina traditions, are eligible for the advocacy award.

The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is managed jointly by the Folklife and Traditional Arts Program of the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Congratulations to the 2022 Folk Heritage Award recipients

About Jean Laney Harris (1933-1997)

A state representative for District No. 53 (Chesterfield-Marlboro County) until her death on Jan. 26, 1997, Jean Laney Harris was known and respected as an outspoken advocate and ardent supporter of the arts and cultural resources of the state. During her 18 years in the House of Representatives, she was chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Cultural Affairs and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. She played a major role in the recognition of South Carolinians for their contributions to the arts with the Folk Heritage Awards and the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts. She was also a supporter of the expanded role of the Governor’s School for the Arts. Jean Laney Harris was always a strong advocate for the areas of education, arts, and cultural affairs.



More about the Folk Heritage Award

Nominations for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are not currently being accepted. The 2023 cycle is expected to open in August 2022.

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.
  • Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity that are learned as a part of the cultural life of a particular group. This shared identity may be rooted in family, geographic, tribal, occupational, religious or ethnic connections, among others. As expressions of a living culture, traditional arts have been handed down from one generation to the next and reflect the shared experience, aesthetics and values of a group.
  • In general, artists should 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.
  • The art form for which the nominee is receiving recognition must be practiced currently in the cultural life of the community—whether that community be cultural, regional, tribal, occupational, religious, or other. Nominees practicing remnants of the past that are no longer practiced in contemporary life will not be considered for this award.

After some years of collection by the S.C. Arts Commission, McKissick Museum is taking back the collection of nominations. For instructions on how to put together a nomination and other critical information, please visit this page:

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For additional information and advisement, please contact McKissick Museum at UofSC Executive Director Jane Przybysz (PRIZ-bee) ( | 803.777.7251).

WATCH: the 2022 Folk Heritage Awards recipients revealed!

Artist, Traditional Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Pottery | Edgefield

Artist, Quiltmaking | Sumter

Advocacy, Custom knifemaking | Aiken

View additional past recipients here.


  • Jugnu Verma, Lexington – Traditional Indian Folk Art
  • Robert W. Hill III, Plantersville – Advocacy (American Long Rifle & Accoutrements)


  • Kristin Scott Benson, Boiling Springs – Bluegrass Banjo
  • David Galloway, Seneca – Spiritual Gospel Singing
  • Voices of El Shaddai Choir, Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area – Lowcountry Gospel Music
  • Judy Twitty, Gilbert – Quilting
  • Vennie Deas Moore, Georgetown – Advocacy, Folklore and Cultural Preservation


  • John Andrew (Andy) Brooks, Liberty – Old-Time Music
  • Dorothy Brown Glover, Lincolnville – Quilting
  • Julian A. Prosser, Columbia – Bluegrass Music
  • Voices of Gullah Singers, St. Helena Island – Gullah Singing
  • Dale Rosengarten, Ph.D.; McClellanville – Advocacy (African-American Lowcountry Basketry & Southern Jewish Heritage)

For additional information and advisement, please contact McKissick Museum at UofSC Executive Director Jane Przybysz (PRIZ-bee) ( | 803.777.7251).