Friday Fiver: Madeleine McGee

madmcgIf you’re a nonprofit and need an advocate, you need Madeleine McGee. As President of the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO), Madeleine is a tireless champion for nonprofits across the Palmetto State. Currently, she is leading the charge toward the annual SCANPO summit, which will be held March 9-11 in Spartanburg. The summit brings nonprofits together from across the state to learn, network, and connect. We sat down with Madeleine for this week’s Friday Fiver:

The theme of this year’s summit is Collaboraction — a combination of Collaboration and Action. What is one key thing that nonprofits can focus on to team up for a Collaboraction?

Building relationships. That’s why SCANPO puts some such emphasis on fellowship. What we are hoping for is that folks from the (nonprofit) community will say, “Let’s go learn together.”

What is one thing about nonprofits in South Carolina that most people don’t know?

That there are more than 23,00 of them. And since the EZ application form came out in 2015, the number approved by the IRS doubled from about 750 to 1,600. And our workforce represents 10 percent of the total (South Carolina) workforce. I think people forget the economic impact we have.

Last year’s summit was at Isle of Palms. This year’s summit is in Spartanburg. What is something the Lowcountry can learn from the upstate?

I am in awe of how the Spartanburg community works together. That’s why the theme is collaboraction. When I went to (Mary Black Foundation President and CEO) Kathy Dunleavy and asked her to chair, she said, “Yes,  but I’d really like to do it in collaboration with the other funders.” There’s a lot to be learned how their philanthropic organizations work together.

You spend a lot of time on the roads of the Palmetto State. What’s your go-to listen while traveling in the car?

NPR One. It’s a terrific app that gives you NPR. You can pick any stations you want. Of course I have SCETV radio. It‘s basically a podcast of NPR stations.

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what would happen?

The diversity of our leadership class would grow leaps and bounds in the coming decades.


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Friday Fiver: Jon Adam Ross

From left, Chantal Pavageaux, Jon Adam Ross, and Darian Dauchan.

From left, Chantal Pavageaux, Jon Adam Ross, and Darian Dauchan.

Jon Adam Ross is bringing his unifying vision to Charleston. The New York-trained actor and writer helms an exciting production that will be part of Piccolo. Jon and his team — director Chantal Pavageaux and actor Darian Dauchan — are this week’s Friday Fiver. Jon shared with us what their project is all about, and we hope you can come out and meet them at the City Gallery on Monday. We asked Jon to share the project in his own words:

The inHEIRitance Project is a nationwide series of five plays, each created with a different American city through community conversation, study, exploration, and expression and inspired by a different character from the book of Genesis. In Charleston, theatre artists Jon Adam Ross, Chantal Pavageaux and Darian Dauchan are exploring the story of Rebecca and her twin sons, and how that story relates to Charleston today. Local artists of all mediums are invited to create their own artistic responses that will accompany performances of the finished play when it premieres as part of Piccolo Spoleto in June.

THIS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th, from 11am to 2pm, Jon, Chantal, and Darian will be at The City Gallery to meet with local artists who are interested in discussing the source text and its relationship to the Charleston community, and learning more about ways to be involved in the process or the exhibition. Feel free to drop in at any point between 11am and 2pm on Monday, and stay as long as you like. They are eager to meet you and expand their understanding of Charleston and the vibrant artistic community here.

The Friday Fiver:

Your plays will be presented as five stories from Genesis in five cities — Charleston, Minneapolis, Austin, Kansas City and Seattle. How did you pick those five cities?

When we got the commission from The Covenant Foundation to start this project, they were interested in us eschewing cities with large Jewish communities (New York, Chicago, LA, etc.) and we wanted to find Jewish communities that were off the beaten path. Working with smaller, unique Jewish communities the stories would be more interesting and the population more accessible.

The story being told in Charleston will be the story of Rebecca and her twins, Jacob and Esau. What drew you to this story, and how did you adapt it for the performance?

We were drawn to Rebecca’s story in part because she is the least written about ‘matriarch’ or ‘patriarch’ of the big 7 in the book of Genesis. And also because she is not a passive character, but rather takes initiative and changes the path of succession – or inheritance – for her children. That she carried, bore, and raised twins, and played favorites along the way, made her an even more complex character. Her sons’ fates are intertwined in her story, and Darian and I are eager to explore the twin relationship on stage. To be clear – we have not created the play yet. That will happen through our conversations in Charleston these next weeks and months leading up to Piccolo.

You are looking to perform the show at both African-American and Jewish houses of worships during the run. How do you see art as a tool for bringing together different faiths?

Theater is a key element of religious ritual, and the stories we’re wrestling with are ones with shared ownership across faiths. We have an opportunity to create and share art that is familiar in a universal way, but also presents the audience with versions of these stories that challenge their traditional understanding, making them think “wow, I never thought about it that way!”

You and your team are currently in Charleston planning for the event and, hopefully, taking in the Holy City. What has been one of your biggest pleasant surprises about Charleston?

Unlike any other city we’ve worked in, Charleston feels like one community. Everyone knows everyone else and are so eager to introduce us. Forget six degrees of separation, in Charleston it’s one degree. It’s been the most welcoming arts community, religious community, educational community and it’s all intertwined. We feel like we’re in one large living room.

You are an accomplished writer and actor with a BFA in acting from NYU. That said, give us your one guilty pleasure TV show or movie that you just have to indulge in on occasion.

Jon – When Harry Met Sally – that ‘Mr. Zero Knew’ story while doing the wave at a NY Giants football game sends me every time

Darian – Shawshank Redemption – because of the power of the human spirit

Chantal – Any reality television show where somebody gets to accomplish their dreams (Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Project Runway, etc.)


Friday Fiver: Heather Powers

heather powersHeather K. Powers is organized. And she knows you can be, too. The owner of HK Power Studio, Powers uses her artistic and organizational skills to help others – particularly artists – get organized. We sat down with Heather for this week’s Friday Fiver to talk about getting all of your ducks in a row.

What is the first thing people need to accept when they are ready to begin the journey to getting organized?

It’s not about the containers! I love a good container as much as the next striving-to-be-organized person but you have to start with the PURGE! That’s the word some people fear. I’ve seen people resist this step, thinking they just need more containers. It’s not going to work, trust me. When you can really address your stuff and begin to make decisions about what, why and where…then creating that perfect system and containing the stuff comes more easily.

What is the hardest habit to break when getting organized?

It takes patience, practice and maintenance to be organized but it’s worth the effort. Having realistic expectations and understanding that you will always have to keep doing this (file papers, put clothes away etc) is a good first step. Your home/office or whatever space your working on probably won’t look like a designer magazine or book, at least not on an everyday basis. I find people tend to be too detailed or too general and that leaves people feeling totally overwhelmed. It’s about striking that sweet spot, what’s right for you and your lifestyle.

You were a fibers major at Savannah College of Art and Design, and say that sitting at a loom felt like you’d “found home.” Is a loom still home for you, and how much time do you get to spend there these days?

Having moved to Charleston several years ago without a loom or a studio, I’m happy to say I have both now and I truly feel at home! I’m pretty busy running my business and don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like on my creative pursuits, but I’ve got my next weaving planned and a gallery bugging me for my work so that should be motivation to get me going! I also have some exciting creative projects I’ll be doing in the Charleston community that will keep me in the creative zone.

You are also a Master Gardener. Come spring, what will we find sprouting in your garden?

Last year I planted a butterfly garden and began beekeeping so I will continue planting thing that support pollinators, if I can cut what I grow and eat or enjoy the flowers indoors…Even better!

Your world is about organization. But are there times when you let a little bit of chaos take over for a spell, in a good way?

Of course! As a creative person I understand that there are cycles that include order and disorder. If we try too hard to find one without the other we are likely to fall out of balance and loose our inspiration or motivation. The key is to understand where that tipping point is for yourself. Most likely my tolerance of dis-order is lower than some peoples and that’s okay with me if it’s okay with them! If I invited you to come see my closets or kitchen cabinets I promise you would find order…the cat toys all over the living room though? That’s another story, I haven’t managed to teach them to put their toys away!

TEDx Charleston wants to hear from you

2016-Event-Header-JPG1Are you on the verge of a tipping point? Then TEDx Charleston wants to hear from you.

In case you’re not sure if you are, TEDx Charleston has defined a Tipping Point – this year’s theme – as “that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

TEDx Charleston has opened up applications for speakers, performers, and set designers. If you’ve got what it takes to be part of the TEDx Charleston production, hit the sites linked here and submit your application. And if you’re just wanting to be part of the audience, we’ll see you on Oct. 19. (Subscribe to the TEDx Charleston newsletter for updates on when tickets will be available.)


Friday Fiver: Josh Silverman

Josh Head ShotJosh Silverman is the founder and CEO of Jericho Incorporated, a business management and financial strategy company. But he keeps his hands firmly in the arts. Silverman is an art history major from the University of Pittsburgh, and has a Master’s in Art History from Williams College. He merges that background at Jericho with Jericho Arts, an art gallery that keeps a healthy rotation of diverse art exhibits. Recently Jericho launched the Avondale incubator, which “offers startups, artists, and entrepreneurs a collaborative, professional environment in which they can grow their companies, network with peers, showcase their wares, and gain access to mentors and best practices for their businesses. It is designed not just to enrich, but to allow for experimentation and growth within an affordable, high ­visibility location.” We sat down with Josh for this week’s Friday Fiver.

Jericho Inc. focuses on business strategies, which are often a contrast to the very subjective nature of art. What made you decide to incorporate an art gallery into your business?

Entrepreneurs and artists rely on innovation, training, and a bit of good fortune to craft their vision into something transformative for their audience, and I’ve found that both personalities can be quite similar, so it seemed a natural fit.  Since graduate school, I’ve also had a dream to run an art gallery with a dance floor, and with the space I leased for our offices, we have been able to do that.  We just re-launched that part of the business as 4th Wall, and you can check us out at

If you could pick any artist from any point in history to have an exhibit at your office, who would you go with and why?

Andy Goldsworthy.  His outdoor site-specific installations are elegant and thoughtful, contemplative, and at times humorous, and the idea of bringing his use of leaves, stones, and sticks indoors into the gallery, with the natural light we get in our space – it would really be quite special.  I don’t think I’d get a lot of work done.

With the launch of the Avondale Incubator, you are opening office space for entrepreneurs and artists to launch their dreams. Why is Avondale the right place for such an initiative?

After having offices downtown for the first few years of Jericho, I wanted to move to a tight-knit community close to the peninsula that was affordable, and offered amenities like restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops that were locally focused like my company.  With extra space in our space, launching the incubator was a logical step, and I created offices for other professionals to use, with shared conference and break rooms, and our gallery is now being rented as experimental retail for other businesses and pop-up shops.  Avondale is wide open for creative ideas and companies, and the neighborhood is extremely supportive of our efforts – I thought others might want to benefit from that type of environment.

What was on the radio on your ride into work this morning?

When I started Jericho in 2011, one of the first things I did was get a Pandora radio station going.  Music is pretty constant in my life, and Pandora is great once you train it with your likes and dislikes.  Funk, Soul, Hip-hop, and Jazz – Jericho Radio is frequently on when I drive.  Windows down, system up!

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what would be the one thing you would make happen?

Fast-forward the improvements to our infrastructure.  From flooded streets to growing congestion to Grand Canyon size potholes, a underutilized public transportation system, suburban sprawl, and some pretty hellacious commutes, getting around is becoming a major undertaking.  Fixing all that with a magic wand would be a real pleasure.


Friday Fiver: Stacy Huggins

MH20151023-10Stacy Huggins is surrounded by art. As the Executive Director at Redux Contemporary, she oversees the exhibits as well as the artist work spaces in the facility. She is also the Executive Editor for Art Mag, which covers the Charleston art scene. In addition to the art exhibits, Redux is also known for its classes. Starting Jan. 20, Redux will be offering a four-week screenprinting class, led by instructor/artist Todd Anderson. We sat down with Stacy for this week’s Friday Fiver.

As a contemporary art studio, you have wide-ranging exhibits that rotate through Redux. What exhibit has most surprised visitors to Redux?

Probably the ones that included taxidermy – three to date – Wunderkammer, the most beautiful photographs of roadkill you’ve ever seen, with three taxidermied squirrels by Kimberly Witham in January 2014; Andrea Stanislav’s Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted in July 2013; and most recently Rufous: The Stuff of Life by local artists Becca Barnet and Michelle Jewell. Something about a formerly-live creature in an art gallery seems to throw people. I keep a Becca Barnet squirrel in my office year-round for the sheer joy of shocking folks when they notice her.

Who would be your dream exhibit to show at Redux (and feel free to bend the restraints of time)?

Well, to stay true to our mission, I’d stick with a modern day artist. I’d love to give Theaster Gates the keys to the castle and two or three weeks to work, then come back to see what he’s done with the place.

At the screenprinting class, attendees will learn the art of screenprinting and be able print a T-shirt, hoodie, etc. What is your favorite piece of screenprinting you have ever made?

I actually learned to screen print at Redux, from my predecessor Karen Ann Myers. I think more than anything I’ve made for myself in that class or since, my favorite print I’ve ever pulled was for a little girl at an Enough Pie Romney Street Mini-Park outreach event that we participated in. When she saw me put down a blank piece of paper, lay down the screen, pull the squeegee across it, and lift it all to reveal the print, she proclaimed it was “Magic!” and asked if she could keep it. That was the best print I ever made.

The mural on the outside of Redux is a huge part of the studio’s personality. How do you go about deciding what the next mural will be?

The mural changes once or twice a year, and it’s largely dependent on budget and the quality of the proposals we receive. It’s frightening to tally up how much painting a new mural on our wall actually costs; we’d change it a lot more often if we had the cash and/or supplies! Who wants to send me a proposal!?

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what one thing would you make happen?

A 10,000+ sq ft building, with 20-30 killer artist studios, the most amazing galleries ever, lecture hall, classroom, print shop, darkroom, artist lounge, and a studio apartment or Tiny House out back for visiting artists – with the deed in Redux’s name!


Friday Fiver: Charlton Singleton

Charlton-Singleton-Press-Photo-wTrumpet-2For many who love jazz, Charlton Singleton is the voice and the face of the genre in the Lowcountry. He has performed prolifically for years, and serves as the conductor and artistic director for the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. Now, he will has an opportunity to share his love of music with the younger generation. The versatile and talented Singleton has been named the Gaillard Center’s first Artist in Residence and will be be bringing his love and passion for his art to schools across the Lowcountry. The part-time paid position will have the acclaimed musician visiting schools throughout the tri-county area, bringing his passion for music to Lowcountry students. We sat down with Charlton for this week’s Friday Fiver:

What is the biggest challenge you face when you are out in the schools meeting with students?

I don’t know if it is a challenge or not, but every classroom and every student presents a different situation. Sometimes you go into classrooms and there will be students that are doing pretty well, and then there other classrooms where students are just beginning and things can be challenging. As a former band director, I actually like the challenge of seeing how I can help and build off of what the students are doing.

For some students, this will be their first exposure to jazz. Tell us what it’s like to see a student experience jazz for the first time.

Unfortunately, most students today do not know a lot, if anything, about jazz. Once I explain it to them, share with them some clips of music, and talk to them about the history of how this great American art form began, they are usually pretty interested and excited to hear and learn more.

You have performed jazz across Charleston for years, and the music and the community have a natural union. Why are jazz and Charleston such a perfect couple?

Well…Jazz actually has roots here in Charleston, SC. Contrary to belief, New Orleans is NOT the one and only birthplace of Jazz. The truth is that there where a few cities in the South that had musicians playing what is now referred to as Jazz. One of the main places for us in Charleston is Jenkins Orphanage. Charleston has played, and continues to play, a huge roll in the development of Jazz.

If someone hasn’t delved deeply into jazz, what are three albums you would recommend as the essential jazz starter pack?

That’s pretty tough to narrow down into three albums, but I would say (not in any order) Kind of Blue (Miles Davis), Atomic Basie (Count Basie Orchestra), Winelight (Grover Washington, Jr.). I would probably say something different tomorrow, but these are usually the ones that I talk about the most.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure popular song?

That’s a hard one to answer. Most people that know me as a musician have seen and heard me play or reference a wide variety of songs. At this particular moment I’d probably say Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas. I only really know the opening lines, but I sometimes just belt it out at the oddest moments. That’s usually when my wife smacks me on the arm and snaps me out of it.

Friday Fiver: Philip Macchia

philip macchiaPhilip Macchia has seen the light. Millions of them, in fact. The Director of Parks for the City of Charleston, Macchia oversees the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park, which is routinely honored as one of the top light festivals in the nation. Macchia’s first Festival was in 1991, its second year. Since that time, he has seen it grow to millions of lights over the three-mile path, and surge to being a top family holiday destination for myriad hands-on holiday fun. We sat down with him for this week’s Friday Fiver.

Q: What is one light exhibit that has been retired that was the most memorable?

A: We’ve retired a couple of good ones over the years and hope one day they may return…two displays that would be good to return are “the best friend of Charleston (train) and Santa on a surf board.  We also retired the Partridge in a pear tree … I can only think of about 4-5 displays (Santa on a bench)  that we’ve retired in 26 years.

Palm20Trees1200Q: What is one behind-the-scenes fact most visitors would be surprised by?

A: The one thing that most people don’t really comprehend… we work on the show almost year round with building new, repairing old, replacing panels, breakers, fighting ants, wasp etc, tree trimming, mowing sites, planting new trees (not every year) and brainstorming new stuff to fit our script each year.  It’s more work than people realize and an army to make it work.

Q: The Festival is routinely recognized in regional and national publications as one of the top holiday attractions in the country. How do you make it fresh and new each year?

A: We do discuss it year round.  It works to keep it fresh and continuous.  This way we are not doing things at the last minute, we are constantly planning, thinking and implementing and trying to make it better each year.

Q: For a first time Festival attendee, what is the best advice you can give them so they can get the most out of the experience?

A: Go more than once!  Go on a “slow night” and take your time, look and experience all the aspects of the show.  Go on a “busy” night and feel the crowd excitement.  Being around kids also brings a certain excitement when you see their eyes light with the beauty of the show.

Q: What are your top three go-to Christmas songs?

A: Little Drummer Boy, Silent Night, Joy to the World

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Friday Fiver: Nichole Myles

nichole mylesIf you’ve got a child 10 or under in your life and haven’t been to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, you are missing out. If you have a child 10 or under in your life and have been to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, you are probably ready to plan your next visit. The CML brings hands-on, interactive learning experience for kids in an exciting and vibrant setting. We sat down with Nichole Myles, who took over as the Executive Director for CML in July, for this week’s Friday Fiver.

What would most surprise a first-time visitor to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry?

There are so many wonderful surprises at CML but I think one of the most remarkable new additions is the Odeith mural in our lobby.  This large-scale original painting was custom created for us by mural artist Odeith this October and utilizes his signature 3D anamorphic art technique. Visitors are encouraged to ‘step inside the painting’ by actually standing on the painted floor. When a photo is snapped from an opposing corner, it looks like the participant is actually in a 3D environment, holding a giant Rubik’s cube!

You recently launched a program called Museums for All, in which a family on public assistance can be admitted to the museum for $1. Why is it important to make sure the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is accessible to everyone in the community?

The Children’s Museum has a mission of reaching all children and providing them with opportunities that inspire curiosity and spark imagination. We firmly believe that children are capable, creative and full of promise and that each of them should have access to the valuable play-based experiences we offer. To that end, we have joined the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) and the Association of Children’s Museums in offering $1 admission for up to 6 people for any family that receives SNAP/TANF benefits when they present their card at the CML desk. This program breaks down barriers of cost AND time by being in place every day that the museum is open. We are very proud of our free admission programs such as PNC Play Days and Fam Jam but the Museums for All program is unique in that it allows year-round access during any of our open hours. This program brings unrestricted opportunities for PLAY to the entire community and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

The arts are a major component of the CML, with lots of hands-on learning experiences for children. What is one of your favorite arts components of the CML?

That’s a tough question! I get such joy out of watching the children in each of our 9 arts exhibit explore, create and discover. Still, I think seeing the children engage in dramatic play, storytelling and puppets in the castle is always a highlight!  Their imaginations really seem to come to life in that space.

Prior to moving to Charleston, you spent time in New Hampshire, Iowa, and Maine. What has been the biggest adjustment living in the Lowcountry?

Short sleeves on the first day of December! Honestly, I am really enjoying the Lowcountry but probably the biggest adjustment has to be the distance from my family and friends.

What is your favorite way to unwind on a day off?

I tend to have a bit of wanderlust…so exploring all Charleston has to offer with my kids is a great way to spend any free time. We love downtown and the beach best at the moment. I have a degree in music and really enjoy live music – I’m hoping to get back to more playing/performing again someday.  I also enjoy creative arts/crafts activities, which are especially fun this time of year.

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Friday Fiver: Mary Gould

Mary Gould headshot 6Mary Gould is the founder and producer of South of Broadway Theatre Company, located in North Charleston. In addition to producing fantastic shows year-round, SOBTC also has a youth component that is sending kids to the Broadway to the north. Now in its 11th year, “Summer in NYC” is a four-week theater immersion program done in connection with The Juilliard School. During their residency, students receive hands-on training and direction from world-class theater experts. Auditions of the 2016 Summer in NYC are Dec. 5, Jan. 9, Jan. 10 and Feb. 9. For more information on Summer in NYC, visit: To learn more about South of Broadway, visit

We sat down with Mary for this week’s Friday Fiver.

Summer in NYC is an intensive month-long engagement, focusing on at least four basic categories: Classical Vocal, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Dance. Additionally, special curricula has been done for Musical Theatre Coaching, Sound and Lighting Design and Instruments (Piano, Viola, Violin). How has Summer in NYC changed since the first one 11 years ago?

We started off offering  the best teachers and performing artists as mentors available in NYC, and we are still doing that.  A long list of those names is available on our website:  If anything, we are even more intense now than when the program started.  It is a relentless schedule that rivals college level courses.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a career in theater?

Get your training from the best people in the business.  Find a way to afford the best.  You get what you pay for.

South of Broadway produces a broad range of shows. What is one show that you haven’t done that you would most like to produce?

There are too many shows to name that I would like to produce, and most are well beyond the production values of our modest black box venue.  Talk to me in a few years :-)

What is your all-time favorite Broadway show?

“Black and Blue” a song and dance variety show that was on Broadway in 1989.  As an ‘opera chick’ schooled in the classics, this piece rocked my world.

If you could wave a magic wand and have one thing happen immediately in Charleston, what would it be?

Charleston has the reputation as a “Great Arts Town.” That being the case, I would like to see the evidence of more respect for the local Performing Arts organizations in terms of a dramatic increase in press coverage and reviews and also improved Theatre Etiquette for Live performances. The near disintegration of press reviews puts all the performing arts organizations at a disadvantage when writing grants for funders who request them. It also makes for an awkward answer to patrons who ask  “why wasn’t your show reviewed” to respond that most things ARE NOT reviewed anymore.  As for  “Theatre Etiquette”  — Live artists know when your cell phone goes off. Live artists know when you get up in the middle of an act and go to the bathroom. Live artists know when you come in late or leave early. Live artists know when you’re texting. We are not a movie house. We are LIVE. Quality is of performance and enjoyment and respect for fellow patrons suffers when theatre etiquette is no longer observed.