8 Black Women Keeping the Arts Alive in the Lowcountry & Carolinas

The arts inform every aspect of our lives from popular culture to the high and fine arts. These women are keeping the arts alive and on the right side of history in a variety of capacities in the Lowcountry and throughout the Carolinas. 

8 Black Women Keeping the Arts Alive in the Lowcountry & Carolinas

Latesha K. Smith is the community engagement coordinator for Spoleto Festival USA, America’s premier international arts festival, a 17-day event held in Charleston, SC every year. As a Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts Creative Catalyst Fellow and the Community Engagement Coordinator, Latesha works as a liaison between commissioned operas for the event and the community at large.

Donellia Chives is the owner of Ngome LifeStyle brand and the curator of Africa Fashion Week LowCountry in Beaufort, SC, which promotes the incorporation of African culture in fashion, art for the home, and the arts via dance and music. AFWLC is the bridge between African culture – past and present – and Gullah culture in the lowcountry.

Artist Sonja Griffin Evans is the founder of the National For Artists – By Artists Society and a major contributor in the development for the  ‘Forgotten Communities Art Program and Director of the Gullah Arts Initiative for the Pan African American Cultural Heritage Initiative, which is a program designed by the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute Inc. to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of people of Pan Africa -via the arts. Evans is the President of the South Carolina Cultural Heritage Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, Inc. and the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Society.

Florence, SC’s Carla Angus is the founder and director of Dramatic Coffee Beans, an arts organization that is an interactive drama club enabling youth to act out community issues and issues related to their peers. She is also the program manager of ArtFields Jr., an art program for children in Lake City, SC.

Charlotte resident Jonell Logan, is an independent curator, arts advocate, and founder of 300 Arts Project, LLC. 300 Arts is an arts management and consulting company that helps museums, colleges, and collectors expand and document their exhibitions, scholarship, and collections. Logan has taught Art and Art History at various colleges and universities including Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Krista Terrell is vice-president of marketing and communications, Arts & Science Council, Charlotte. Member of the President’s Leadership Team providing strategic public relations/communications counsel in the areas of community partnerships, sponsorships, grant making, public art, cultural education, advocacy, volunteerism and philanthropy. 

Ce Scott-Fitts is the Artist Services Program Manager at South Carolina Arts Commission in Columbia, SC. She is an experienced arts educator and administrator who oversees programming, strategy and administration of SCAC’s programming portfolio. Scott-Fitts comes from Charlotte, where she was creative director and founding staff of McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She established an international residency program for North Carolina artists, curated exhibitions, developed the artist-in-residence program, and built the education/outreach and artist services programs. 

Harriett Green is the Director of Visual Arts at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she works with visual artists, museums, galleries, colleges, and art centers around the state. She also serves as a County Coordinator in Anderson, Lancaster, Lee, Kershaw, Oconee, Pickens, Sumter, and York counties where she consults with art leaders and others on a variety of topics including planning, exhibitions, public art, grant advisement, and more. In addition, Harriett serves as the State Art Collection Curator. 

The eight women above are lending their voices, talent and advocacy to the arts in diverse ways. Their presence as administrators, educators and patrons offer security in the way our stories are told with music, paint, dance and drama. 

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