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Nominations sought to honor S.C. folklife and traditional arts practitioners and advocates

McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Arts Commission want to honor exceptional practitioners and advocates working in the Palmetto State’s folklife and traditional arts.

Nominations for eligible artists and advocates are now invited for the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts, the Folk Heritage Award is presented annually by the General Assembly to honor the work of stewarding and furthering the traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. McKissick Museum and The South Carolina Arts Commission jointly manage the award.

Up to four artists and one advocate may receive awards each year. Nominations are accepted in two categories:

  • Artists: South Carolina artists who have dedicated their lives to the practice of art forms that have been passed down through their families and communities and who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping their tradition alive. Past awards have recognized art forms such as basket making, gospel singing, bluegrass and old-time fiddling, hammock making and boat building, among many others.
  • Advocates: South Carolina 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 deadline to submit nominations is Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

McKissick Museum will administer the 2022 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award nomination process. For program guidelines and nomination instructions, visit Before submitting a nomination, you are strongly advised to contact McKissick Museum’s Executive Director Jane Przybysz (PRIZ-bee) to determine whether your nominee is eligible: or 803-777-7251.

The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, along with the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, will be presented at the 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony in the spring.

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