STRETCH GOAL UPDATE: You all are so amazing! You smashed through our stretch goal of $6,500! Now, with 5 days left in our project, we're announcing our final stretch goal -- $10,000. To hear more about this goal, check out our most recent update with a special message from our Assistant Project Manager.
GOAL UPDATE: Since we met & broke our first goal of $5,000 (wow!!), we're announcing a new stretch goal of $6,500. To celebrate this stretch goal, we've added a brand new premium at the $75 level -- an exclusive t-shirt/totebag bearing the cover art to Setting the Supper Table & an empowering quote from Eartha Kitt. PLUS, anyone who has already sponsored any level over $75 now automatically receives a t-shirt or tote bag!
What is the Supper Table?
Imagine a 12' x 12' x 12' triangular-shaped table set with SC-artist-created place-settings each inspired by one of 12 diverse women from SC history whose lives were dedicated to the betterment of humankind. Around this table 120 tiles, each naming another great SC woman and decorated by a community member, hang on movable walls called An Array of Remarkable SC Women. Now, listen to essays about each of these women written by SC writers with excerpts theatrically read by SC theatre artists and watch 12 90-second films each created by a SC filmmaker about one of the women honored at the table.
The Supper Table, is modeled after and is an homage to the 40th anniversary of Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist arts project, The Dinner Party, which set out to bring greater attention to the contributions made by women to western culture and history. A multidisciplinary arts project, the Supper Table is unique in that it brings together almost 60 SC women artists from the literary, visual, theatre, and film arts with 120 community members to create an innovative arts installation celebrating contributions to SC culture and instilling pride in our foremothers as well as SC's contemporary women leaders and artists. And we’ve created a way for YOU to join us.
Why Create the Supper Table?
Back in the early part of the women’s movement some of us took a look at our history books and realized that, other than the women who were married to famous men (or that one woman who famously sewed a flag) women were absent. Sure, we knew about Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale, but the list dropped off after them. So historians began to ask the question: What were the women doing?
The Supper Table helps to answer this question about SC history. We learn about two SC women who founded colleges; two women who devoted their lives to abolishing slavery; several more who worked tirelessly for human rights; a woman whose work in medicine changed the course in healthcare in the state; women who broke down barriers in athletics, law, entertainment, and the military; the woman whose work in indigo saved the fledgling American colonies, and more.
And when we learn about these women, we feel proud!
This project was undertaken because, now more than ever, we need to feel proud of our state, we need to be inspired by these women to do our own parts to make SC better, and we need to celebrate the women among us who are already working so hard at this important endeavor.
Because the Jasper Project is a multidisciplinary arts facilitator, (and because SC women artists have got so much game already), we called upon our outstanding women artists to join us in this project. Since January of this year, more than 4 dozen women artists from 4 different disciplines have been working diligently to use their unique talents to build this project as a gift to our SC sisters and brothers.
They said it couldn’t be done. (Not really, we’ve gotten tons of support from our friends, family, and colleagues). But they DID say it was a huge project with so many moving pieces – and it has been. But everything is coming together now and, with your help, we can put the final touches on this project and put a little change in the pockets of the artists who have given months of their lives to proudly presenting this multidimensional answer for the ages – THIS is what the SC women were doing – and THIS is what we will continue to do because, despite what you hear from late-night stand-up comedy routines, we know SC rocks!
We have so much to show you – and we are so proud of our work and the women we honor with it that we want you to share in this fabulous feeling of pride and accomplishment.
What are the Supper Table Specifics?
The table for the Supper Table project was built by Columbia artist Jordan Morris from cherry and African mahogany woods. The place-settings, each honoring a woman from SC history selected by project director Cindi Boiter in consultation with USC distinguished professor emerita in history, Dr. Marjorie Spruill, were each designed by a notable SC woman visual artist, such as Artfields grand prize winner Michaela Pilar Brown, Mana Hewitt, Heidi Darr Hope, Laurie Brownell McIntosh, and Eileen Blyth. Artists have created their place-settings out of material that ranges from ceramics to coiled paper to copper wire and found objects.
A collection of essays honoring the 12 subjects, written by outstanding SC women writers, such as SC state Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, USC’s Qiana Whitted, long-time journalist Claudia Smith Brinson, and more, along with a roster identifying the 120 tile subjects and the women who painted them, high resolution photography of the place-settings, and portraits of the honored subjects by Artfields People’s Choice winner Kirkland Smith are being compiled into a book titled, Setting the Supper Table, which will accompany the exhibit and be available for purchase, promoting long-lasting public awareness.
Filmmaker Lee Ann Kornegay is creating a full-length film tracing the creation of the project from inception through performance and installation which will premiere in spring 2020.
Through a partnership with Indie Grits Labs and overseen by Mahkia Greene, 12 film makers including Emmy-winner Betsy Newman, Laura Kissel, Faye Riley, and Roni Nicole are each creating a 90 second film on one of the honored subjects. These films will be looped and become a part of the collateral material accompanying the installation.
All films are available to sponsor except films on Eartha Kitt, Sarah Leverette, and Matilda Evans.
Through a partnership with Trustus Theatre and Harbison Theatre at MTC, 12 theatre artists will each perform a 3 – 5-minute staged oration adapted from the creative non-fiction essays written by the literary artists. Actor and educator Vicky Saye Henderson is overseeing and directing the women, all SC theatre artists, in this component of the project. The entirety of this project will premiere for the first time this September 6th at Trustus Theatre, with following shows at Harbison Theatre and Stormwater Studios, before traveling around the state well into 2020.
We hope you will join us at these events to celebrate our Supper Table women.
- January 2019 – first meeting of the Supper Table visual and literary artists
- March 2019 – first meeting of the Supper Table film artists
- July 2019 – first meeting of the Supper Table theatre artists
- September 6, 2019 – The Supper Table premieres at Trustus Theatre with a Launch Celebration including premieres of the Supper Table films, the theatrical performance, and the launch of the book, Setting the Supper Table
- September 8, 2019 – The Supper Table moves to Harbison Theatre at MTC for a second performance, celebration, and its first installation in the theatre lobby
Who are the Women Honored at the Supper Table?*
- Mary McLeod Bethune - Black educator & civil rights activist, founder of Bethune-Cookman University, known as “The First Lady of the Struggle.”
- Alice Childress - Black novelist, playwright, actor whose literary work centered on society’s have-nots.
- Septima Clark - Black Civil Rights Activist, known by MLK as the “Mother of the Movement.”
- Matilda Evans - First Black female licensed to practice medicine in SC and strong health care advocate.
- Althea Gibson -First Black athlete to break racial lines in international tennis & went on to break barriers her entire life.
- Angelina and Sarah Grimke - White sisters who became suffragists and abolitionists.
- Eartha Kitt - Black singer, songwriter, and Emmy Award winning actor.
- Sarah Leverette - White attorney and first female law professor at USC; civil rights and women’s rights advocate.
- Julia Peterkin - White Pulitzer Prize winning novelist who wrote about the Black experience.
- Eliza Pinckney - White businessperson and colonial entrepreneur whose work in botany changed the colonial economy.
- Modjeska Simkins - Black Civil Rights crusader, public health advocate, and human rights activist.
- Elizabeth Evelyn Wright - Black educator and Founder of Voorhees College
*italicized names' place settings have already been sponsored
Who are the Supper Table Artists?
Bohumila Augustinova - Eileen Blyth - Tonya Gregg - Mana Hewitt - B. A. Hohman - Heidi Darr-Hope - Lori Isom - Flavia Lovatelli - Laurie Brownell McIntosh - Michaela Pilar Brown - Renee Roullier - Olga Yukhno - Jennifer Bartell - Carla Damron - Kristine Hartvigsen - Meeghan Kane - Eva Moore - Marjory Wentworth - Qiana Whitted - Candace Wiley - Christina Xan - Claudia Smith Brinson - Steffi Brink - Lillian Burke - Carleen Maur - Tamara Finkbeiner and Josetra Robinson - Roni Nicole Henderson - Katly Hong - Laura Kissel - Lee Ann Kornegay - Jordan Mullins - Betsy Newman - Faye Riley - Ebony Wilson - Kirkland Smith - Jordan Morris - Betsy Newman - Mahkia Greene - Vicky Saye Henderson - Lee Ann Kornegay - Brenda Oliver - Diane Hare - Kathryn Van Aernum - Jemimah Ekeh - Cindi Boiter
Tell Me More about Kirkland Smith’s Portraits
In addition to being an award-winning assemblage artist, Kirkland Smith is a brilliant portrait artist. After studying each of the 12 women honored at the Supper Table Kirkland created 12 unique and original portraits of the women to display as part of the Supper Table installation. We are making just 5 signed and numbered copies of these portraits. By sponsoring a place-setting you or your organization can claim the portrait of the honored woman whose place-setting you sponsor. Or, you can go big and become a Portrait Sponsor and claim the complete collection (numbered 1/5) for your home or office.
What’s up with the book, Setting the Supper Table, and how can I get my name in it?
Setting the Supper Table is the complete repository of the history of this project from Cindi’s conceptualization of the project to the names of all the folks who (as of August 1, 2019) invest in the project via their art and contributions. The book will include the essays written by our 12 literary artists, photographs of the place-settings and Kirkland’s portraits by official Supper Table photographer Kathryn Van Aernum, narratives of the art in which Jordan and the place-setting artists explain why they created their art as they did – Heidi Darr Hope and Laurie Brownell McIntosh offer particularly fascinating explanations, bios of all the artists, the names of the women and girls who embellished the Remarkable Women tiles and, finally, a comprehensive list of everyone who invests in this project with their contributions. This can be you!
What is An Array of Remarkable SC Women and Who are the Women Whose Names Appear on those Tiles?
While the 12 women we selected for seats at the table are incredible, our Array of Remarkable SC Women demonstrates that we couldn’t build a table large enough to honor all the amazing women from SC history and that we walk among truly ground-breaking SC women every day. (Have you met Malissa Burnette and Nekki Shutt?! What about Bambi Gaddist?) So with the help of experts and organizations like the League of Women Voters, WREN, and more, we asked for suggestions of women, living and deceased, whose lives have been devoted to shaking things up and making us better in a variety of ways. The names of these women were hand-embossed onto tiles at the Columbia Arts Center by Brenda Oliver, Bohumila Augustinova, and Diane Hare before members of the public were invited to come in, choose the name of a remarkable woman, and use their own creative energies to embellish her tile. These tiles are being mounted on walls to create this Array of Remarkable SC Women which will accompany the Supper Table on its journey throughout the state.
*list reflects available remarkable women
Where Will Your Money Go?
As said in the video, your money will go directly to funding stipends for our artists and covering additional costs to finish this project. Your investment will cover the costs of any materials our furniture artist Jordan Morris used to create the table from scratch. Your investment will pay for the framing of ArtFields People’s Choice Award Winner Kirkland Smith’s 12 portraits of our honored Supper Table women. Finally, your investment will allow us to display this project with the sound, lighting, and design that properly highlights all 60 artists’ work.
The Supper Table is an endeavor of the Jasper Project, a 501c3 NFP, and your investments are tax-deductible as detailed in the Supper Table premiums description.
Information on each of the premiums is in the right-hand column. We are so grateful for any contributions you can make and for helping us to set the Supper Table.
As a show of our gratitude, no matter what contribution you make, your support will be recognized, and your name will be permanently recorded in our book, Setting the Supper Table.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us. We can’t wait for you to feed your soul at the Supper Table.
The Jasper Project is a project-oriented, multidisciplinary arts facilitator serving the greater Columbia and South Carolina communities by providing collaborative arts engineering and community-wide arts communication.
The Jasper Project started as Jasper Magazine, an all-arts magazine devoted to SC Midlands-area arts, artists, and arts organizations, which was first published in September 2011 with underwriting from Muddy Ford Press. After five years and numerous ancillary arts projects including Fall Lines literary magazine and 2nd Act Film Festival, (each in their sixth year), and a number of multi-disciplinary projects such as Art from the Ashes, Marked by the Water, and Syzygy, commemorating the total eclipse of the sun, Jasper Magazine became the Jasper Project, a non-profit organization with four main priorities:
- Process– illuminating the unique processes endemic to all art forms in order to provide a greater level of understanding and respect for that discipline.
- Community/Collaboration– nurturing community both within and between arts disciplines.
- Narrative– creating a more positive and progressive understanding of SC culture.
- Economy– being efficient stewards of arts funding committed to creating more with less.
This project is supported by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation.
Risks and challenges
Our greatest risks lie in our greatest strengths -- the size of the project and the number of artists involved. Luckily, all the essays and place-settings have been completed at this stage of the project. The human factor means, however, that we are still susceptible to human failure and frailty as our films and theatrical performances are completed. We have already learned though that even when an artist has to leave the project, there are so many more talented women waiting in the wings to join the Supper Table team.
Secondly, insuring that we can financially cover the stipends promised to the many artists involved is a real challenge. To meet this challenge we have applied for A-tax and H-tax awards, taken advantage of additional grant application opportunities, and we are personally contacting potential sponsors to invite them to invest in this important project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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