South Arts Awards Nearly 70 Presentation Grants Totaling More Than $300,000

South Arts’ Presentation Grants support the public presentation of Southern artists and engaging those artists for educational opportunities. Arts organizations in our nine-state primary region – AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN – were eligible to apply this spring for up to $7,500 to support artist fees for engagements occurring between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. South Arts is awarding 69 Presentation Grants, totaling $306,952.Read about the Presentation Grant Recipients Learn more about Presentation Grants

New this year, Presentation Grants replaced our previous Performing Arts Touring Grants and Literary Arts Touring Grants programs, combining them into a singular, more inclusive program. Additionally, as communities continue to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, eligible projects could include in-state and local artists as well as virtual engagements.

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre in 2018’s Make Believe, the second part of a trilogy culminating in the forthcoming Devotion, which will be presented with the support of a Presentation Grant by the American Dance Festival. Photo by Ben McKeown.

“Supporting the presentation of Southern artists ties back to the core of our mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts,” said Nikki Estes, South Arts’ Director of Presenting and Touring. “With our Presentation Grants, we are an integral part of the ecosystem that helps artists get paid for their work, offer audiences access to new artistic experiences, and engages the community in creative ways.”

Some highlights of the 69 projects funded through the Presentation Grants include:

Janie Verret Luster will be a featured artist in the Louisiana Native Basketry section of the Newcomb Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition Core Memory which connects computational processes to handmade processes.
The New Orleans Film Society will host award-winning filmmaker Zac Manuel as part of a three-day residency in conjunction with South Summit 2022, a convening designed to seed conversations and actions around creating, resourcing, and amplifying film and media content in the South.
To celebrate the publication of Bigger Than Bravery, an anthology about Black joy and resilience during the pandemic, University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Lookout Books will host a forum led by author and editor Valerie Boyd to include a public reading, community storytelling workshop, and panel discussion in April 2022.
In Fall 2021, Meredith Galleries will host a public multimedia art exhibition on mental health and creativity during COVID-19 with collaborative artworks by Southern artist Julia Caston and local emerging artists; a panel discussion with artists working at the intersection of mental health, art, and advocacy; and a four-part art therapy session offered for BIPOC activists, caretakers, and students.

To see the complete list of Presentation Grant recipients and read about their projects, visit our Grants & Fellowships Recipients page.

Presentation Grants are part of South Arts’ portfolio of grants, fellowships, professional development opportunities, and services supporting artists, arts organizations, and communities. Presentation Grants are supported through a partnership agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts. The next application cycle for Presentation Grants is anticipated to open in Fall 2021.

South Arts Announces Films, Filmmakers, and Venues for the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit Season

Atlanta — South Arts reveals its lineup of 24 Screening Partner venues and 10 films and filmmaking teams selected for the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. This long-running South Arts program connects US-based documentary filmmakers with communities throughout the South to share their work, discuss the art and process of filmmaking, and engage with audiences about issues impacting their communities.See the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit season schedule

All films will be screened online for audiences of each Screening Partner venue, with each screening followed by a pre-recorded 30-minute conversation with the filmmakers discussing their film’s subject matter and the filmmaking process. Each film will be available for attendees to view on demand during a four-day window allowing viewers to stop and resume at their leisure. As a precaution for health and safety in the COVID-19 pandemic, filmmakers will not tour in the Fall. Films will be presented online, though some screening partners may also host in-person screenings for their communities. In-person screenings and discussions with filmmakers in attendance will resume for Spring 2022.

“This year’s selections broach a range of important, timely topics including border and immigration issues, confederate monuments, healthcare justice, and domestic violence,” said Teresa Hollingsworth, program director. “South Arts has a strong commitment to equity and inclusion in all of our programs. We are proud to affirm that commitment in our selection of feature-length documentaries and their creators, with many sharing a direct connection to the subject matter and communities represented.”


* Indicates a new partner


Coleman Center for the Arts – York, AL


* Gulf Coast Symphony – Ft. Meyers, FL
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center – Cutler Bay, FL
Tropic Cinema – Key West, FL
* WSLR – Sarasota, FL


Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, GA
City of Hapeville – Hapeville, GA
Oxford College of Emory University – Oxford, GA
* Spelman College – Atlanta, GA


Gateway Regional Arts Center – Mt Sterling, KY
* Warren County Public Library – Bowling Green, KY
University of Pikeville – Pikeville, KY


Delta State University – Cleveland, MS

North Carolina

Appalachian Theatre of the High Country – Boone, NC
a/perture cinema – Winston-Salem, NC
High Point University – High Point, NC
* John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
* University of North Carolina at Wilmington – Wilmington, NC
Western Carolina University, Bardo Arts Center – Cullowhee, NC

South Carolina

* The Arts Center of Clemson – Clemson, SC
Presbyterian College – Clinton, SC


Clayton Center for the Arts – Maryville, TN
East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, TN
Global Education Center & * Fisk University – Nashville, TN


And So I Stayed – Natalie Pattillo and Daniel A. Nelson, Directors
At the Ready – Maisie Crow, Director
Duty Free – Sian-Pierre Regis, Director
Lily Topples the World – Jeremy Workman, Director
Los Hermanos/The Brothers – Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, Directors
My Name is Pauli Murray – Betsy West and Julie Cohen, Directors
Not Going Quietly – Nicholas Bruckman, Director
The Neutral Ground – CJ Hunt, Director
Proper Pronouns – Megan Daniels, Director
Stateless – Michèle Stephenson, Director

Since its inception in 1975, Southern Circuit has brought some of best independent filmmakers and their films from around the country to communities throughout the South. The program is made possible through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.


About South ArtsHeadquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists, organizations, and communities, and increasing access to arts and culture. Our mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts. In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the State Arts Agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee — with additional funding from other public and private donors such as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — South Arts supports artists and organizations through a rich and responsive portfolio of grants, fellowships, and programs. South Arts believes that the arts elevate the region, increasing connectedness and inspiring meaningful change in the process. For more information, visit

The South Arts 2021 Southern Prize & State Fellows Exhibition Opens at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, GA

Atlanta – The South Arts 2021 Southern Prize and State Fellows Exhibition is now open at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. The multidisciplinary exhibition includes work from each of the nine state fellows, including Southern Prize Winner Marielle Plaisir and Southern Prize Finalist Fletcher Williams III.Meet the State Fellows Visit the Bo Bartlett Center

The exhibition will be on display through December 20, 2021. Following the installation at the Bo Bartlett Center, the exhibition will tour to additional locations around the region, with dates and locations to be announced as soon as possible.

The 2021 State Fellowship recipients included in the exhibition are:

Tameca Cole. Mixed Media. Birmingham, Alabama.
Marielle Plaisir. Mixed Media. Hollywood, Florida. Southern Prize Winner.
Myra Greene. Craft. Atlanta, Georgia.
Joyce Garner. Painting. Prospect, Kentucky.
Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun. Photography. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Ming Ying Hong. Drawing. Starkville, Mississippi.
Jewel Ham. Painting. Huntersville, North Carolina.
Fletcher Williams III. Mixed Media. Charleston, South Carolina. Southern Prize Finalist.
Raheleh Filsoofi. Multidisciplinary. Nashville, Tennessee.

The Southern Prize and State Fellowships are a juried competition conducted by South Arts each Fall to acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. Hundreds of visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a national panel of jurors reviewed the applications through the lens of artistic excellence representing the diversity of the region. A second national panel of jurors reviewed the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize winner and finalist. Each panel is conducted blind, with the applicants’ identities withheld from the jurors.

Each State Fellow receives a $5,000 cash award. The Southern Prize finalist receives an additional $10,000, and the Southern Prize winner receives an additional $25,000. Both the Southern Prize Winner and Finalist receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. The awards are presented to the artists as unrestricted funds. This program is supported by many organizations, foundations, and individuals, and is powered by the Hambidge Center.

To read more about each artist, view samples of their work, and learn about the Southern Prize and State Fellowships program, visit