Sixth year of the Connected
Communities grants will fund innovative projects within the community
S.C. — Central
Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ local center for philanthropy, is
pleased to award $375,100 to 10 Connected Communities grant recipients. In
response to two questions, “What makes residents love where they live?” and
“What draws them in and keeps them there?” the 10 nonprofits will launch new
projects that increase the livability of the Midlands region.
The Community Foundation’s
Connected Communities grant initiative helps connect residents to their
community and knits the Midlands region together. Since inception, grants
totaling $2,060,721 have been awarded to support local projects.
This year’s grant recipients presented
innovative ideas that embrace one or more of the following three focus areas identified
by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup as the most important
elements of an attractive community: Welcoming
Community, which promotes and encourages open and inclusive activities and
programs; Vibrant Social Offerings,
which supports the availability of community events, arts and culture
opportunities; and Superb Public Spaces,
which enhances the beauty and physical setting of the Midlands community.
“Through the Connected
Communities grant initiative, the Foundation seeks to strengthen our region by
investing in our community’s assets. Each selected project encourages citizen
involvement and community-wide collaboration,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and
CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “We’re delighted to support
creative organizations that are enriching our region.”
Connected Communities grants
are funded by the Foundation’s Community Impact Endowment fund and several Field
of Interest funds. These funds were established with generous gifts from visionary
donors who knew their unrestricted gifts would allow the Foundation to respond
to the ever-changing needs and opportunities in our region for generations. This
year’s grant awards total $375,100 and will serve Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington,
Richland, and Sumter counties.
2020 Connected Communities
The following projects have
been approved by the Foundation and will be funded by Connected Communities
- City of Sumter, “Sumter
Veterans Park” will
honor the thousands of Sumter veterans, commemorate the history of the Tuskegee
Airman in the United States Air Force, and provide an outdoor recreational
space and walking trails for the community.
- Columbia Film Society, “Faces
Spaces” is a
fellowship for eight media artists that will examine the issue of housing
insecurity in the City of Columbia. Fellows will be embedded in low-income
housing communities across the city to collect, document, and share stories of
the residents through short documentary films, photography, and other works of
- Crooked Creek Art League, “The
Art of Living in Chapin,”
will create a mural at Crooked Creek Park in Chapin, S.C. The mural will
celebrate Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission’s 50th anniversary and
is inspired by 24 drawings from local children who colored pictures in response
to the question “What do you like about living in Chapin?”
- Edventure, Inc, will improve the physical
appearance and efficiency of their cooking lab through the “Eddie’s Café Redesign: Every Child Cooks” project, making it a
vibrant space for the community to learn about healthy food options. Children
will learn how to prepare tasty, healthy foods during improved Cooking Lab
- Foodshare, will renovate a former Circuit
City warehouse into a statewide central hub through “Building a Statewide Foodshare.” The warehouse will serve as a distribution center for Midlands
residents to access fresh, affordable produce and will house a Culinary Teaching
Center for community members and medical professionals.
- Historic Columbia, will partner with the Wideman
Davis Dance Company to present“Migratuse Ataraxia | Exploring the Black
Experience in Antebellum Spaces, Then and Now,” a community-oriented engagement
series that addresses narratives about people of color in traditionally
white-dominated spaces. The project will include community conversations,
performances and talkbacks, and workshops.
- Serve & Connect, will enter Phase II of their “COMPASS Program,” focused in Fairfield
and Kershaw Counties. The program will make these communities more welcoming
through assessing and enhancing police community collaboration.
- Acercamiento Hispano de
Carolina del Sur/South Carolina Hispanic Outreach will promote community
engagement between the LatinX and Columbia community through their “La Vida Sana/The Healthy Life”
project. The project will include the revival of a garden in West Columbia and
continued development of two community gardens in North and Northeast Columbia,
increasing access to healthy food for the residents in those areas.
- WREN, will utilize community
programming in their “Columbia City of
Women’s Public Art Project” to develop a public art piece in the heart of
Columbia that will honor the contributions of diverse and remarkable women from
our past, present, and future.
- Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist
inspire and encourage community pride through “Small Town- Great Beginnings.” A series of seminars, concerts, and
festivals will be planned to increase pride and connections among Lee County residents.
For more information about
Connected Communities grants, visit www.yourfoundation.org/community-impact/connected-communities or call 803-254-5601.
About Central Carolina Community Foundation:
Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ center for philanthropy, is a
nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands by distributing
grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and
area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the online
giving challenge Midlands Gives, On the Table, Connected Communities grants,
the One SC Fund, the Best of Philanthropy Awards, and annual scholarships. For
more information about the Foundation, visit
or call 803.254.5601