On October 30 The Humanities CouncilSC hosted a luncheon at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to honor “two extraordinary South Carolina individuals and one university institution” as the recipients of the 2012 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities. The three recipients were Karen Chandler, Associate Professor in Arts Management at the College of Charleston School of the Arts; Anthony DiGiorgio, retiring President of Winthrop University; and the University of South Carolina Press located on the Columbia campus.
The Humanities CouncilSC is South Carolina’s state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize “outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in community-based programs that promote public understanding of ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs.”
Chandler is a co-founder of the Charleston Jazz Initiative (CJI). Numerous funders, including both the National Endowment for the Arts and The Humanities CouncilSC, have supported this important project, through which Chandler has planned and presented performances, collected oral histories and archival materials, and convened and/or made presentations for several academic conferences related to jazz and its origins. The Governor’s Award in the Humanities is just the latest recognition to go to Chandler for her work. She also has enjoyed honors from the MOJA Arts Festival and the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission.
In May of this year Chandler was the recipient of a Testimonial Resolution by the City Council of Detroit, Michigan, for her research and work with the CJI to document the life and musical career of James Jamerson, a former resident of Charleston and Edisto Island who was a longtime Motown jazz bassist. In October the Art Schools Network, an association of more than 300 member schools (K-12 and colleges/universities) from around the world, presented Chandler with the Research Initiative Award for individual effort in recognition of her work with CJI.
Chandler serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. Her service includes membership on the boards of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the Charleston Concert Association, and Art Forms and Theatre Concepts. She also serves on the advisory board of Creative Spark Center for the Arts and is a volunteer Literary Coordinator for the MOJA Arts Festival in Charleston. At the national level she is a member of the African American Jazz Caucus in New York.