To strengthen constituent service as it expands grant and program offerings, the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing the addition of four new members of its team.

Two of the staff members will serve by managing arts learning initiatives in and out of schools throughout the state as a direct result of the SCAC’s $20 million, three-year partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education. Access to grants will increase because of the additional funding, necessitating a new member to serve in the agency’s grants office.

Finally, the SCAC is announcing the addition of arts industry as a strategic new focus area. The fourth team addition will lead those efforts, directing statewide programs for arts organizations, including local arts councils, nonprofits, and businesses.

“Each of these exceptional additions to our team represent even better constituent service. They have begun working immediately to help the South Carolina Arts Commission promote equitable arts access and cultivate creativity among and for South Carolinians. Our already strong, dedicated team is now deeper and better able to serve our state,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Arts Learning Director Kimberly Washburn Motte comes from the Florence County Museum, where she has served as curator of education since 2012. An artist herself, Kimberly is also a former visual art teacher, having taught across the K-12 spectrum in Darlington County. She received her bachelor’s in art education from Francis Marion University. Kimberly’s work at the agency will focus on a continuum of learning in and through the arts— from enrichment with very young learners through creative aging experiences.

K-12 Coordinator Amanda Noyes joins after having served as a disability resource coordinator at the University of South Carolina since 2018. She received her bachelor’s in fine art and psychology from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and her master’s in art therapy from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In addition to her work at UofSC, Amanda has worked as an art therapist, pre-K teaching assistant, and art instructor. Amanda’s work at the agency will focus on learning in and through the arts in K-12.

Assistant Grants Coordinator Krista Grendze is a May 2020 graduate of Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She previously worked for Benefitfocus in Charleston as a fulfillment analyst, coordinating customer relations and editing technical documents. She also has experience working with the volunteerism department at Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art) and with the Indianapolis Fringe Theatre Festival. Krista will work with the grants team to support our applicants and grantees across the state.

Arts Industry Director La Ruchala Murphy returns to the SCAC having most recently worked as director of leadership and capacity for the United Way of the Midlands in Columbia. She previously served as executive director of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation in Watkinsville, Georgia. La Ruchala received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s in arts administration from Winthrop University. She also earned a master’s in nonprofit administration from Louisiana State University.

Photo: Left to right: Kimberly Washburn Motte, Amanda Noyes, Krista Grendze, and La Ruchala Murphy