With Marcus Amaker and Charlton Singleton
The Charleston Gaillard Center presents Raising the Volume, a conversation on music, race, art, activism, and community curated by Artists-in-Residence Marcus Amaker and Charlton Singleton. In Raising the Volume, Charleston’s Poet Laureate Amaker and Grammy Award winner Singleton explore issues through open, honest dialogue. The series begins with Amaker and Singleton examining their own experiences with racism as artists. Each subsequent conversation is led by either Amaker or Singleton having in-depth conversations with local Black leaders, educators, business owners, and artists.
Each video will also be accompanied by a lesson plan for both middle and high school students. The Gaillard Center’s on-staff educator will facilitate cross-school virtual meetings for students in different areas to discuss the content of the interviews. Lesson plans will soon be freely available on gaillardcenter.org.
Filmed and produced by the Charleston Gaillard Center, each of the 30-45 minute videos will be available on gaillardcenter.org, Facebook, and YouTube. The first three episodes will be released together on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. An additional seven episodes will air at a later date.
A conversation on music, racism, art, activism, and more with Marcus Amaker & Charlton Singleton.
A conversation on Charleston activism, past and present with the former Municipal Court Judge for the City of Charleston for 33 years with Judge Arthur McFarland.
A conversation on awareness and action with the Executive Director of YWCA, LaVanda Brown.
ABOUT THE HOSTS
Marcus Amaker was named Charleston, SC’s first Poet Laureate in 2016. He’s also the award-winning graphic designer, an accomplished electronic musician, the creator of a poetry festival, and a mentor to hundreds of students. His poetry has been featured by PBS Newshour, SC Public Radio, Huffington Post, A&E Network, Charleston Magazine, and more. In 2019, he won a Governor’s Arts award. His poetry has been studied in classrooms across the country and has been interpreted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera and theater. Marcus has recorded three albums with Grammy Award winning drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter. His latest book is The Birth of All Things (Free Verse Press)
NEW BOOK, VINYL AND MORE newpoetrybook.com
A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being aadjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. In 2008 he co-founded and became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18 piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. Mr. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston, SC. In November of 2016 he was named the inaugural Artist in Residence at the recently renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. He remained in this position until July 2019; at that point he was named Artist in Residence Emeritus. In this position he continues to lead the Summer Youth Jazz Orchestra Camp as well as lead the “Jazz Through the Ages” assembly, which attracts a capacity crowd of students at the Gaillard Center.
As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He is a founding member of a new ensemble called Ranky Tanky. The group is a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast Coast of the United States. In 2017 Ranky Tanky reached the top of the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Contemporary Jazz charts with their self-titled debut recording. In 2019 they accomplished the same feat with the release of their sophomore effort, “Good Time”, which recently won the 2020 Grammy Award for “Best Regional Roots Music Album”.
In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few. Outside of music and entertainment, he and his wife, MaryJo, are the proud parents of Shalamar and D’Marcus, as well as their pets…Sassy, Jango, Mojo, Kota Bear, Pumpkin, and Ginger.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
EPISODE II – Judge Arthur McFarland
Municipal Court Judge for the City of Charleston for 33 years
JUDGE ARTHUR C. MCFARLAND is a native of Charleston’s Eastside community. He is the seventh of child of the late Thomasina Jenkins McFarland and Joe McFarland. His mother encouraged all her children to become community activist like her and his oldest brother Joe McFarland. He attended Immaculate Conception grade and high school. As a teenager, he participated in the 1963 civil rights sit-ins and demonstrations in Charleston and attended the March on Washington. In 1964, he was one of nine African American students to desegregate Bishop England High School. Upon graduation from Bishop England, he entered the University of Notre Dame where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government. At Notre Dame, he became the first president of the Afro-American Society. In 1973, he received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation from Virginia, he worked as an Earl Warren Fellow with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York receiving training in civil rights litigation. In 1974, he opened his law practice in Charleston. He is admitted to practice before the State, Federal and U.S. Supreme Courts.
In 1976, Judge McFarland was appointed Associate Judge of the Charleston Municipal Court. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Municipal Judge and held that post until his retirement in 2009. During the past 46 years, he has been a practicing attorney in Charleston handling school desegregation and employment rights as well as heirs’ property and other civil cases.
In addition to his professional work, Judge McFarland has held positions in numerous local and national organizations. He has just completed service as co-President of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) which is comprised of 35 congregations and organization in the Charleston area engaged in social justice work. For six years he served as Supreme Knight and CEO of the Knights of Peter Claver, Inc., the largest African American Catholic lay organization in the nation, overseeing over 1000 units in 32 states, the District of Columbia and Colombia, South America. He serves as National President of the Gadsden Family Reunion (his mother’s side of the family). He previously served on the boards of the MUSC Foundation, Daniel Joseph Jenkins Institute for Children, and the College of Charleston Foundation; President of several organizations including the the Charleston Business and Professional Association, Charleston County Human Services Commission (now Palmetto CAP), Robert Shaw Boys and Girls Club and Gamma Lambda Boule-Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
Judge McFarland is listed in the Who’s Who in Black America. He has been featured in the Congressional Record and Ebony and has been referenced in numerous articles and books.He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, South Carolina ETV and numerous radio and television programs, locally and in other States. Hehas been a frequent speaker at churches, schools, legal and civic gatherings. He has received numerous awards and honors for his community service, locally and nationally. In 2007, he was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame.
Judge McFarland is married to Dr. Elise Davis-McFarland. They have two children, Kira J. McFarland and William J. McFarland and two grandchildren, William J. McFarland, Jr. and Lara Elise McFarland. He is an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church.
EPISODE III – LaVanda Brown
Executive Director of YWCA
LaVanda Brown joined YWCA Greater Charleston as executive director in February 2016, bringing more than 20 years of experience, leadership, and a passion for serving to the organization.
During her decades of on-the-ground experience in social services focused on underserved populations, she has led and advised multiple nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including Family Promise of Greater Savannah, Union Mission, Greenbriar Children’s Center, Gang Alternatives of Miami, Clarke Community Services in New Orleans, and others in the behavioral health, employment, and community services arenas.
A passionate advocate for causes including gender equality, diversity, and racial equity, and a strong ally of under-resourced teens and homeless populations, she envisions a world where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated. “The mission of the YWCA is one that is very much in line with my personal mission of empowering women and celebrating differences,” she says.
During her career, LaVanda has developed strategic plans resulting in more positive community interventions, created a homeless case management system, developed a life skills curriculum, designed an after-care program to help the homeless transition to independence, and instituted permanent supportive housing for homeless adults and families.
Her work has garnered awards including the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Best Practices Award for Transitional Housing and Case Management, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Magnolia Award for Excellence in Housing. She was also the 2018 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Picture Award for outstanding community service, presented by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard.
LaVanda currently also serves as the housing subcommittee chair for the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, and serves on the board of Enough Pie, an organization dedicated to improving Charleston’s upper peninsula.
She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in counseling from Georgia Southern University.
Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell
Founder of Closing the Gap in Healthcare
Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell is a practicing Family Practice Physician in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine and the Founder of Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. (CGHC), a non-profit organization created to decrease health disparities by providing health education for African Americans and other under-served populations.
Closing the Gap in Health Care radio health tips as well as the website has received National Awards from the National Health Foundation as one the best programs of its kind in the Country in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Dr. Bell is a 2013 recipient of the National Medical Association Distinguished Service Award, Toronto, Canada.
On November 11, 2013 will be inducted into the Richland One Hall of Fame for contributions made to Richland One, his community, profession, and society as a whole by the Richland One Board of School Commissioners.
Dr. Bell writes a weekly newsletter that is received by 1500 readers online primarily in North and South Carolina. The newsletter is read by the lay public as well as physicians. He speaks at his Church (Olive Branch AME Church) each Sunday AM that he is in town giving a short health tip to the congregation. He has been a frequent speaker to state wide AME Church conferences at the request of the Bishop of the AME Church. He is the recipient of the prestigious Richard Allen Award given by Allen University in 2005 for outstanding contributions in medicine.
Through CGHC, Dr. Bell presents radio health tips that are aired in the Tricounty area, other parts of the Low Country and in the Columbia, SC radio markets (most recently television health tips are also being aired). He also does a monthly radio show with Gary Posik (WGCV 95) in Columbia, SC (for the past five years). The health information provided through the radio health tips and the CGHC website reaches over 300,000 people each week. The television program reaches about 12,000 people per day in the Charleston area. In May 2005, Closing the Gap in Health Care was the recipient of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Service Award for Outstanding Contributions in Public Health.
Dr. Bell is the co- founder of the award-winning Closing the Gap in Health Fitness Festival for Children and Youth, an annual event that promotes life fitness for youth in the Charleston area. The program was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for outstanding contributions to the community.
Dr. Bell was the Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness under 3 different governor’s during which time fitness and health was elevated to a new level in South Carolina.(Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness).
Also in 2007, Dr. Bell was a Physician Finalist for Health Care Heroes through the Charleston Regional Business Journal and in 2008. He received the Wanamaker Award given by the Charleston County Medical Society. In April of 2012, Dr. Bell received the James Clyburn Health Literacy Award in Public Health Communication and Community Service. CTCIHC has received numerous award from sororities and fraternities for outstanding contributions to the African American Communities in Public Health (Health Literacy). March 2013, Dr. Bell received the Humanitarian Award from the city of Summerville, South Carolina.
Recently, Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. received a major two year grant from the Medical University of South Carolina to collaborate at looking at the effectiveness of radio health tips in the Tricounty area.
Dr. Bell is currently in private practice in family medicine Charleston, SC. He retired from MUSC in 2010 after serving as Director of University Diversity and Associate Dean for Diversity in the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at MUSC. While serving as director of the office of diversity Dr. Bell authored and help initiate diversity plans to increase the number of African American programs in all six colleges at MUSC.
Dr Bell was invited to be the second only African American to be an Assistant Dean of Minority Students at MUSC by Dr. Layton McCurdy, the Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at MUSC. At the recommendation of Dr. McCurdy, Dr. Bell was recommended to Dr. Jim Edwards, President of the University at that time, to serve as interim director of the Office of Minority Affairs . After three months Dr. Bell was name the director of the office, which he promptly change the name to the Office of Diversity. He was elevated to Associate Dean of Minority Affairs in the College of Medicine and was the author of many programs to improve the recruitment, retention and graduation of minority students at MUSC. He was a member of the admission committee as well as the progress committee for College of Medicine. While he was Associate Dean of Medicine and Director of the Office of Diversity, the university experienced a significant improvement in the number of African Americans in all 6 colleges at MUSC.
He is the founder of the annual very prestigious Earl B Higgins Diversity Award given in honor of Dr. Earl Higgins to the person at MUSC who has done the most for promoting diversity. The award continues to be given at MUSC. He was also the founder of the Earl B. Higgins Scholarship given to minority students in need of financial support in all six colleges at MUSC. He was the founder of the HBCU Collaboration Program with MUSC to help increase the number of African American students from HBCU colleges and universities in South Carolina into MUSC (College of Medicine).
He was named Physician of the Year in 1996 by the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians (the first African American Physician given this honor) . He was name to the South Carolina Bell South Calendar for Outstanding African Americans, the first South Carolina State College calendar for outstanding graduates and in 1992 was recognized as an outstanding graduate from MUSC. In 1993 Dr. Bell was selected as outstanding graduate of South Carolina State College for contributions made to medicine, track and field and the military.
Dr. Bell received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Charleston Southern University in 2003 for outstanding service to the university and the community.
Dr. Bell was a Major in the US Air Force Reserve from 1983 to 1993. He is a graduate of the US School of Aero Space Medicine and was a Flight Surgeon in the Air Force Reserve. He served in Operation Desert Storm after which he retired.
In April 2007, Dr. Bell was honored by Select Health Insurance Inc. with an endowed scholarship named in his honor at the Coastal Community Foundation of Charleston, South Carolina. The scholarship will provide support for African American students attending MUSC in all six colleges. Dr. Bell started the annual Low Country Jazz Festival which is in its fifth year and has been recognized as one of the best Jazz Festival in the Southeast. The festival is sponsor by Closing the Gap In Health Care INC for the purpose of rising funds to support the radio and television programs as well as the endowed scholarship at the community foundation. We have reached our goal of $250,000.
The Thaddeus J. Bell Scholarship has been endowed for $ 250,000 for African Americans students at MUSC in all colleges in good standing with their prospective college). He is a frequent lecture on health disparities for MUSC, local radio and television. Heeh has been featured in several newspaper articles in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina. He is a frequent speaker at the annual the Greenville Health Disparity Conference and recently wrote an Op Ed on Obesity in the African American Community that appeared in the Greenville Newspaper. He is the recipient of the Golden Pen Award from the Post and Courier for a letter he wrote to the editor regarding the Apology of the American Association to African American Physicians for 100 years of Discrimination in 2008.
Dr. Bell is a well-respected lecturer on health disparities and is a frequently requested speaker throughout the South for both physicians and public groups. His Barbershop and Beauty Shop talks have been well received throughout South and North Carolina. The talks have been credited with saving the lives of many African American Men and Women. These lectures are given through Churches, civics and social groups. They are free to the public. Dr. Bell is currently the Chairman of the Health Initiative Committee of the Sixth District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and has been recognized locally and regionally for outstanding contributions to the health literacy of African American Men in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He is the 2011 recipient of the Citizen of the Year award given by the Mighty Sixth District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Dr. Bell was inducted into the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame in 1989 as an outstanding physician who was raised in the projects (Allen Benedict Court) of Columbia ,South Carolina.
In 1980 Dr. Bell found the Cross Family Health Center in Cross, SC, which was a free clinic for the underserved people in Cross, South Carolina which is now a federal health center for the underserved population and is a major part of the Franklin C. Health Clinic Network in Charleston, South Carolina. He worked at that center for 10 years as the only physician in the rural community of Cross, South Carolina.
He has expertise in fitness and health and often lectures on these subjects as well. Dr. Bell is a former World-Class sprinter in Master Track and Field. He won the title of World Champion in 1987 and 1989 in the 100m sprint. He has also been a two-time World Medical Games Champion in the 100m and 400m dashes. He has been on two master world champion sprint relay teams (1996 and 2001) at the Masters World Games. He has been a gold medal winner at the Penn Relays and has been guest physician at the relays. He has been invited to participate in famous Modesto Relays where he won the 100 and 200m dash for Masters Athletes (1988). Dr. Bell holds all of the South Carolina Records in the sprint events (100m and 200m dash) in Master Track and Field for South Carolina.
He has been a guest physician at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. He has been a physician for USA Track Field for a world championship. He was a physician for the Olympic Festival for USA Track and Field in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1990s.
The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina selected Dr. Bell as one of the best athletes of the 20th Century in track and field for the State of South Carolina.
Dr. Bell is a life member of the Alumina Association of the Medical University of South Carolina, Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Life Member of the South Carolina State College Alumina Association, a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the National Medical Association, the Charleston County Medical Association (currently Co Chairman of the Health Disparity Committee) . In February of 2012 the Charleston County Medical Association gave a $1500 scholarship to an African American student in the College of Medicine at MUSC in honor of Dr. Thaddeus John Bell.
Dr. Bell is a graduate of CA Johnson High School (1962) Columbia, South Carolina, South Carolina State University (BS} 1966, Clark Atlanta University 1970 (Masters in Science Education) Medical University of South Carolina (1976) MD, School of Aero Space Medicine (Flight Surgeon)1983 and is currently a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine.
Dr. Bell is the father of 3 children Thaddeus J. Bell, II (deceased), Tiffany Bell, and Tonisha Bell-Alston. He is the proud grandfather of a granddaughter, Julia Alston, grandsons, Kaidyn Snipe and Edmond James Alston.
Dr. Karen Chandler
Director of the Graduate Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management at the College of Charleston
Since 1999, Karen Chandler has taught arts management in the College of Charleston’s undergraduate and graduate certificate programs and served as director of the undergraduate program from 2014-2019. She is currently the Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Arts and Cultural Management. Prior to her College of Charleston appointments, she served as Assistant Professor of Arts Management at American University.
Chandler received her Ph.D. in Studies in Arts and Humanities (New York University), M.A. in Music Education (Columbia University-Teachers College), and B.S. in Music Education (Hampton University).
Chandler has directed arts and cultural programs at the African American Cultural Center (University of Virginia), Avery Research Center (College of Charleston), and is the co-founder/principal of the Charleston Jazz Initiative. With a National Endowment for the Arts grant, she served as Executive Producer of LEGENDS (2010), a CD with a 22-piece big band of songs by musicians the initiative is studying.
Dr. Chandler’s publications include “Bin Yah (Been Here): Africanisms and Jazz Influences in Gullah Culture” in Jazz @ 100: An Alternative to a Story of Heroes (Frankfurt: Wolke Verlag); “Prelude to Gershwin: Edmund Thornton Jenkins” for a Porgy and Bess anthology; “When Charity and Jazz Meet” (Spoleto Festival USA); Curtain Up on the Friends: A History of the Friends of the Kennedy Center Volunteer Program; and several articles in the Theatre Management Journal, The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society and JAZZed Magazine.
Chandler serves on a variety of boards including the City of Charleston’s Commission on the Arts, an appointment by the Mayor of Charleston, Association of Arts Administration Educators, Charleston Gaillard Center, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Among her awards are a Testimonial Resolution by the City of Detroit (MI) City Council for her research on Motown bassist James Jamerson, Faculty of the Year ExCEL Award (College of Charleston), and the South Carolina Governor’s Award in the Humanities, the state’s highest award in the humanities given to an individual. Chandler has also been recognized on the South Carolina Arts Commission’s “Forty Lists Project” as an Outstanding Arts Administrator.
Founder and Owner of Motherland Essentials
Andrea Davis always felt that everyone should have access to the products that are considered better for us, but unfortunately items labeled as “natural” or “organic” aren’t typically affordable to many. As a young wife and mother, she understands the importance of maintaining a budget. She initially started making handcrafted soaps as a way to provide more natural options to her own family and friends, and again considered the fact that cost keeps so many people away from healthy, quality products.
Motherland Essentials is an extension of her nurturing spirit to each of you.
Her ultimate goal is to foster an appreciation of all things natural and provide an opportunity to fall in love with natural skin care as much as she has. Everyone should have the ability to exercise the right to place quality over price, and Motherland Essentials is working toward achieving this goal one product at a time.
Photo by Aneris Photography
Herb Frazier is a Charleston, South Carolina-based writer. He’s the former marketing director at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. Before he joined Magnolia, Herb edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, The Post and Courier.
In 1990, the South Carolina Press Association named him Journalist of the Year. He has taught news writing as a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.
After leaving daily journalism in 2006, Herb led journalism workshops in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana, Suriname, Guyana and The Gambia for the U.S. government and a Washington-based journalism foundation.
His international reporting experience includes West Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall, humanitarian relief efforts in Bosnia and Rwanda during its post-genocide. He also reported on the conflict in Sierra Leone. Herb has written about the historical and cultural ties between West Africa and the Gullah Geechee people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia.
He is the author of “Behind God’s Back: Gullah Memories.” He is a co-author of “We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel” with Marjory Wentworth and Dr. Bernard Powers Jr. Herb’s forthcoming book, “Crossing the Sea on a Sacred Song,” is the story of an African funeral song that links a woman in Georgia with a woman in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Kylon Jerome Middleton
Senior Pastor at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church
Kylon Middleton was born and reared in Charleston, South Carolina and educated in the public school system in Charleston County. Kylon graduated from Burke High School and matriculated to the College of Charleston, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications. He has received graduate and advanced degrees from the following institutions: Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary – Columbia, South Carolina; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Duke University – Durham, North Carolina.
He served as a high school English teacher, an assistant principal, principal, and central office administrator in the public school systems in South and North Carolinas.
Kylon has successfully served as a Pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for over 25 years. He is currently the proud Pastor of Historic Mount Zion AME Church on Glebe Street, where he is leading the congregation in a multi-million restoration and expansion project and breathing new life into the congregation with a focus on racial healing, reconciliation, and transformation.
Kylon is extremely active in the Greater Charleston community. He led the City of Charleston’s Illumination Project. He is the YWCA Tri-County MLK Ecumenical Chairperson, Charleston 350th Community Outreach and Service Committee Chairperson, a member of the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative, member of Coastal Community Foundation G&L Committee, Charleston Forum Board of Directors, Chapter President-Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., WM-Boaz Lodge No. 309 F&AM PHA, member of Progressive Chapter No. 310 OES, a member of the Robert B. Elliott Holy Royal Arch Masons, and a member of the George Washington Carver Consistory No. 162. Most recently, Kylon was elected to Charleston County Council, representing District 6.
Kylon has one son, Kylon Joshua Middleton, a graduate student at East Carolina University.