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Columbia Business Monthly

Central Carolina Community Foundation Grants $327,000 To 14 South Carolina Nonprofits

Feb 20, 2019 10:49AM ● By Kathleen Maris

Photo: The Central Carolina Community Foundation team at the First Base Building at Bullstreet.

Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ local center for philanthropy, announces that it has awarded $327,000 to 14 Connected Communities grant recipients. In response to two questions, “What makes residents love where they live?” and “What draws them in and keeps them there?” the 14 nonprofits will launch new projects that increase the livability of the Midlands region.

The Foundation’s Connected Community grant initiative helps to connect residents to their community and knit the Midlands region together. Since inception, the initiative has granted more than $1.6 million to support local projects.

This year’s grant recipients presented innovative ideas that embrace one or more of the following three focus areas identified by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup as the three most important elements of an attractive community: Welcoming Community, which promotes and encourages open and inclusive activities and programs; Vibrant Social Offerings, which supports the availability of community events, arts, and culture opportunities; and Superb Public Spaces, which enhances the beauty and physical setting of the Midlands community.

“Through the Connected Communities grant initiative, the Foundation seeks to strengthen our region by investing in our community’s assets. Each selected project encourages citizen involvement and community-wide collaboration,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “We’re delighted to support creative organizations that are enriching our region.”

Connected Communities grants are funded by the Foundation’s Community Impact Endowment fund and a number of Field of Interest funds for the arts. These funds were established with generous gifts from visionary donors who knew their unrestricted gifts would allow the Community Foundation to respond to the ever-changing needs and opportunities in our region for generations. This year’s grant awards total $327,000 and will serve Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, and Sumter counties.

2019 Connected Communities Grant Recipients

The following projects have been approved by the Foundation and will be funded by Connected Communities grants:

· City of Cayce“Art Lot – An empty lot on State Street will be transformed into a public space that will connect residents, local artists, and local government with arts-focused events. The lots will also add additional parking to allow more community members to enjoy State Street.

· With the completion of the newly renovated “Boyd Plaza,” the Columbia Museum of Art will present an inaugural year of free programming, encompassing all art disciplines and showcasing the museum’s long history of community collaboration.

· EdVenture’s “Community Enrichment Initiative” will present Pop Up EdVenture at 12 community festivals in the CCCF service area. Pop Up EdVenture will provide STEAM and literacy programs as well as promote the museum's programs and services.  

· “Ensemble Eclectica is an innovative interdisciplinary contemporary chamber ensemble. Their project will share the talents of South Carolina’s composers, dancers, and artists in Columbia.

· Friends of Harbison State will make major improvements to the “Firebreak Trail Entrance,” the most used entrance to the park. The improved trail will include a necessary footbridge and provide much needed access to the education center.

· The Harriet Hancock Center’s program, “Out,” is a support group for LGBTQ+ teens in the Midlands. The program will offer group-led outings to local attractions in the Midlands.

· Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church’s “Small Town – Great Beginnings” project will bring inspirational speakers to Lee County to encourage and inspire Lee County youth.

· Palmetto Luna Arts “The Latino Experience” project is a cultural, social, and educational initiative aimed to provide non-Latino Midlands residents with an in-depth experience that enhances their knowledge and understanding of the Latino community.

· River Alliance will improve the “12,000 Year History Park,” located on Congaree Creek in Cayce. The project will include two miles of ADA accessible trails, bridges, and boardwalks. Onsite interpretive panels will also be added to allow all visitors access to the layers of history.

· Serve & Connect plans to expand and enhance their “Compassionate Acts” program, which equips officers with additional resources, tools, and knowledge to assist individuals and families who are facing challenges associated with poverty in Fairfield, Kershaw, Newberry, and Orangeburg Counties.

· Sumter County Museum’s “Chamber Music at the Temple Sinai Jewish History Center” will present two nationally acclaimed chamber music ensembles from New York City: Decoda and Attaca Quartet. The concerts will expand the museum’s reach in the Sumter community, increase awareness of the center, and create a unique, shared experience for the community.

· The Courage Center’s “A Place of Hope” is a centrally-located community center in Lexington County that focuses on building the health and safety of youth and families to promote prevention and recovery support. Their program will introduce families to the center through community events and engaging speakers.

· The Jasper Project’s “The Supper Table” is a multidisciplinary arts project celebrating the history of S.C. women and contemporary S.C. women artists. The project will include 15 place settings created by SC women visual/textile artists and 150 tiles naming groundbreaking S.C. women.

· The Vista Neighborhood Association’s “Metal Box Wraps” is an expansion of the two-year project of the wrapping of utility boxes with art by local artists and historical photographs of the Vista.

For more information about Connected Communities grants, visit or call 803.254.5601.