New Film in Works -- "Rising" by Ron Hagell with Terrance Henderson

Rising_Logo “Rising ”is a new contemporary dance film by Ron Hagell, with choreography by Terrance Henderson. It is being made for The Jasper Project as a part of the “Marked by the Water” commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 Year Flood on October 4, 2016.


Both Hagell and Henderson have felt strongly that the artists of Columbia need to “make artwork” in response to this major event that brought upheaval to so many lives in our hometown. To that end both artists, experienced in dance and filmmaking, came together to devise this new work.


The artists were close to some of those whose homes were engulfed on the night of October 4, 2015 particularly along Gills Creek in the Rosewood section of the city. In the aftermath many had lost a lifetime’s worth of treasured possessions and their homes but thankfully, with the help of neighbors and strangers, few lives were lost.


Talking through the disaster’s lead-up and with a good deal of knowledge of the community since the flood, both felt that there has been a change in our community and that a comment about this could be the starting point for new work.


If we think back to our state and town in the years and months leading up to this event it is clear that South Carolina has been in a socio-cultural slump for some time. There were many problems that came to a head prior to the flood. The Charleston shooting happened and this lead to the final chapter in the decades long struggle to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse grounds. While one negative incident led to a positive one, the economic and political plight of many blacks and other citizens of the state did not change. Old problems of inequality and racial division seemed as intractable as ever. The SC State Supreme Court ruling regarding basic education rights for all children showed us how serious the situation had become. But many still believed that, even with these news headlines, change would only come in the far distant future - if at all.


Then the flood came.


Since the flood came so quickly and waters rose to heights never before witnessed in living memory, those affected needed a great deal of assistance from across the whole community. In most areas the destruction was so great that normal services could not cope. In these cases many communities saw neighbors and stranger helping each other in a myriad of ways regardless of race or social standing. The flood brought down barriers and in their place we have felt a change that has stayed around. It’s a ripple on the surface of our town, where history runs deeper than the three rivers. But it’s there and we hope it will lead to a new beginning and a bridge to change.


Our dance film speaks to this hopeful future but rests in the arms of our Southern traditional/spiritual music. As with most contemporary dance, every element of the work is symbolic. The historic photograph stands-in for much that is lost – washed away by the waters. But still our victim is helped to rise from the flood into a new life with the help of others.





“Rising” Film Production Organization:

Production: Studio 53 – Contact: Ron Hagell or Shirley Smith

Telephone: (917) 216-2098 or (803) 609-0840

Filmmaker (script and direction) – Ron Hagell

Choreographer and Music Arranger – Terrance Henderson

Principal Vocalist – Katrina Blanding

Supporting Vocals – Terrance Henderson and Kendrick Marion

Art Director – Eileen Blyth

Auditions are currently underway for dancers and additional crew. The film will be completed in late September for screening on October 4, 2016.

This film is being produced under the auspices of the Jasper Project as a part of “Marked by the Water,” under the leadership of Cynthia Boiter, Ed Madden and Mary Gilkerson.



Announcing the Winners of Jasper's Fall Lines Writing Prizes

Fall Lines  


The Columbia Fall Line is a natural junction, along which the Congaree River falls and rapids form, running parallel to the east coast of the country between the resilient rocks of the Appalachians and the softer, more gentle coastal plain.


Jasper is delighted to announce the winners of the Fall Lines Poetry and Prose Writing Prizes sponsored by the Richland Library Friends and published in the inaugural issue of Fall Lines – a literary convergence.

Congratulations to Nicola Waldron, winner of the Broad River Prize for Prose for her piece "Dig and Delve," and to Mary Hutchins Harris, winner of the Saluda River Prize for Poetry for her poem, "Accidentals." A check for $250 accompanies each prize.

Work by Waldron and Harris will appear in Fall Lines along with poetry and prose by such award winning writers as Christopher Dickey, Josephine Humphries, and SC Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, as well as Aida Rogers, Ray McManus, Susan Levi Wallach, Susan Laughter Meyers and more. Fall Lines is edited by Cynthia Boiter with poetry editor Ed Madden.

With a single annual publication, Fall Lines is distributed in lieu of Jasper Magazine’s regularly scheduled summer issue via a partnership between Jasper Magazine and Richland Library, the University of South Carolina Press, One Columbia, and Muddy Ford Press. The South Carolina Academy of Authors and Roe Young State Farm Insurance Agency also serve as generous sponsors of the literary journal.

Fall Lines will release on Sunday, June 8th with a 4 pm reception and reading at the Richland Library.

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Boiter Receives 2014 Verner Award

"The staff of Jasper magazine congratulates Jasper editor Cindi Boiter, who has been selected to receive a 2014 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award, presented annually by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The award will be presented at a special ceremony at the South Carolina Statehouse on May 8th. ..." - Ed Madden For the full article, click through the photo below:

Verner Award

Muddy Ford Press Releases New Anthology - A Sense of the Midlands - on February 22nd

Adobe Photoshop PDF


Furthering their efforts to both build a community of local literary artists and recognize the multiplicity of talented, professional poets and authors already at work in the South Carolina Midlands, local boutique publishing house Muddy Ford Press will release their tenth publication, A Sense of the Midlands, on February 22nd, 2014.


Edited by Cynthia Boiter with poetry editor Ed Madden, A Sense of the Midlands anthologizes 33 Midlands area writers.

The feel of wet soil beneath the knees of the winter-weary gardener as she plants spring peas. The sound of the Carolina fight song echoing down Main Street. The smell of meat crackling in Crisco on the stove top. The taste of tea so sweet it curls your tongue. The sight of deer on the side of the road or the sun going down on the statehouse dome. All these things and more ground us in what it means to be from the South Carolina Midlands. Writer and editor Cynthia Boiter  and acclaimed poet Ed Madden asked more than thirty Midlands-area writers to share how the fidelity of place resonates from their own senses and into their writing in this collection of poetry, essays, and short fiction, A Sense of the Midlands



Writers include James Barilla, Ray McManus, Tom Poland, Cassie Premo Steele, Kristine Hartvigsen, Darien Cavanaugh, Nan Ancrom, Nicola Waldron, Ruth Varner, Lauren Allen, Julie Bloemeke, Brandi L. Perry, Mahayla Bainter, Laurel Blossom, Matthew Boedy, Matthew Fogarty, Melanie Griffin, Linda Lee Harper, Terresa Haskew, Thomas Maluck, Rieppe Moore, Zach Mueller, Robbie Pruitt, Dianne Turgeon Richardson, Kevin Simmonds, Randy Spencer, Alexis Stratton, Frank Thompson, Ed Madden, and Ivan Young. Local artist Jarid Lyfe Brown created the cover of the book from an original painting.


The public is invited to celebrate the launch of A Sense of the Midlands on Saturday February 22nd from 5 – 7 pm at the Columbia Music Festival Association Art Space at 914 Pulaski Street in Columbia’s historic Vista. Admission is $15 which includes a copy of A Sense of the Midlands, admission to the reception from 5 – 6 during which authors will be available for signing, and admission to a reading from the book from 6 – 7. (Two attendees sharing a book will be admitted for $20.)


Muddy Ford Press is the underwriter for Jasper Magazine – The Word on Columbia Arts. All Proceeds go toward the publication of Jasper. 


For more information contact: 

Robert Jolley at or

Cynthia Boiter at



Important Stuff About The 2nd Act Film Festival -- What you may not know ...

  2nd act single cam

  • The 2nd Act Film Festival was created to help bring a sense of community to Columbia, SC filmmakers.


  • The 2nd Act Film Festival was created to complement and support the already existing independent film structure in Columbia -- i.e., The Nickelodeon and those (like us) who love and support it.


  • 30 filmmakers applied to participate in the festival -- 10 were chosen.


  • Jurors included representatives from USC, the Nickelodeon, POV, One Columbia, and a private production company.


  • The 2nd Act Film Festival does not and will not charge local filmmakers to participate. (This is in keeping with Jasper Magazine's policy of never charging artists to perform, participate, publish, or exhibit.)


  • All participating filmmakers now have their screenplays registered in the Library of Congress as part of a compilation of all the screenplays published via the generosity of Muddy Ford Press.


  • Through the generosity of Coal Powered Filmworks, all participating filmmakers now have their films compiled with those of other participants on a limited edition DVD.


  • Both DVD and Screenplay Book will be available for purchase at the festival on 10/10.


  • Reserved seats to the festival can only be obtained via our KICKSTARTER campaign -- and that ends Sunday night.


  • Non-reserved seats can be obtained in advance via Eventbrite.


  • This film festival is a labor of love directed by Wade Sellers under the auspices of Jasper Magazine.


  • We did it for you, the filmmakers, and the Columbia arts community that we love.


  • We hope you'll join us on our mission to make Columbia, SC the greatest arts destination in the Southeast.



Cindi & Wade


Meet the 2nd Act Filmmakers - pt. 2

2nd act multiple cams We're taking the time leading up to the debut of Jasper's first ever film festival to introduce you to our filmmakers and let you in on a few of the behind the scenes machinations that go into putting on a film festival.

We've had a ball, but it hasn't all been easy.

We started out with 30 potential filmmakers who were interested in being a part of the festival. We gave them all specific instructions on what they should send us to let us -- and our jurors -- know they were ready to participate in a festival of the caliber we were hoping to create.  We were overwhelmed by the applicants! Luckily, we brought in some big guns to make the very difficult decisions of who to invite to participate -- Lee Ann Kornegay, Simon Tarr, Bradley Powell, Caletta Baily, and Janell Rohan.

Film editor and festival director Wade Sellers and I were so happy to have these guys in the studio so that we didn't have to make the cuts. It was a long and (sometimes) tense Saturday afternoon. But when the work was done and the finalists were all accounted for, we knew we had a special group.

Meet two more of our awesome filmmakers below.


Michael McClendon



We hope you're as excited as we are about this new young group of independent filmmakers who call Columbia, SC their home. There's some extremely impressive talent here.

Please help Jasper support these filmmakers and the growth of their community by joining us on our Kickstarter campaign. There are some pretty nifty prizes available -- including reserved seats at the festival.

2nd act kickstarter

Move to Kickstarter by clicking here. Thanks!


Welcome Wade Sellers -- Jasper's New Film Editor

jasper screens It was about this time two years ago when a small group of us gathered in my living room out at Muddy Ford and discussed what we wanted out of the new Columbia arts magazine we were building, Jasper. Having written for national magazines for years, I felt comfortable on the writing side of things. But having always been peevish about people talking -- or worse, writing -- about things they know little about, it was important from the start that we only bring in staff members who know a great deal about their subject matter. Experts in the field, if you will. Folks who have the vocabulary and are proficient in the theory and methods about which they would write.

It was a pretty small group of us at first. Ed Madden took on the literary arts and Kyle Petersen, music. Thankfully, Heyward Sims agreed to be our design editor -- a huge task and a huge load off of my mind to know that our words and photography would be handled by someone who would respect them, as well as enjoy and experiment with the process of putting them on paper. And Kristine Hartvigsen was and continues to be a great source of advice and encouragement.

It didn't take long for the magazine family to grow with long-time theatre aficionado August Krickel joining the staff as theatre editor,  Bonnie Boiter-Jolley as dance editor (it seemed only natural), and Forrest Clonts as photography editor -- another huge job given that Forrest is responsible for arranging for all the photographs to be taken, and then editing them and preparing them for publication. Last summer, Annie Boiter-Jolley signed on as our operations manager -- a tremendous underuse of her skill set, but we're thrilled to have her. Just before Christmas this year, Chris Robinson from USC joined us as our visual arts editor -- a position I had been wanting to fill with the right person since the inception of the magazine. And now, finally, local filmmaker and documentarian Wade Sellers has come on board as our film editor.

Jasper's new film editor Wade Sellers


Wade is the owner and executive director of Coal Powered Filmworks and, among many other things, the person who brings you the excellent SC ETV series on South Carolinians and their involvement in WWII. Wade is always hopping on a plan and heading for all points exciting so I'm practically over-the-moon that he has agreed to share his wisdom with us. And when I say that he has wisdom and experience, I'm not kidding -- in all aspects of filmmaking. He has served as the director of four films, cinematographer on seven, writer on three, and editor and producer on two, not to mention working as camera, gaffer or grip on nine more. And he's been nominated for two Emmys.

Wade came to work ready to make things happen in the Columbia film community. You'll see the product of his work in the next issue of Jasper coming out on Friday night, July 12th. And you'll also hear him announce some exciting news about an additional film festival in Columbia (organized with the blessing of our friends at the Nickelodeon.)

So please help us welcome Wade to the Jasper family. He fits in so well - it feels like he's been here forever.

Celebrate the New Issue of Jasper on Friday Night

Jasper leaf logo


Jasper Magazine will celebrate the release of its 12th issue (Vol. 002, No. 006) on Friday July 12th with a multi-disciplinary arts party and performance at the Columbia Music Festival Association at 914 Pulaski Street in Columbia’s historic Vista. The event will include film, visual arts, literary arts including poetry and prose, dance, and music.


  • Dialogue with Kirkland Smith, recent recipient of the ArtFields People Choice Ward 2013, will start the evening off with an informal talk and Q & A on the process of assemblage.


Steve Jobs by Kirkland Smith

  • Next up, visual artist Alejandro García-Lemos and author Cindi Boiter will offer a reading and presentation on their new book, Red Social:  Portraits of Collaboration.

Red Social low res

  • Screening of the film, Howl—a musical reading of Ginsberg’s epic poem by Tom Hall with local visual artist Michael Krajewski and local musician Noah Brock.

Tom Hall


  • A performance by the Columbia Summer Rep Dance Company.


Columbia Summer Rep Dance Company

  • And finally, a performance by local musician Mat Cothran of Coma Cinema and Elvis Depressedly fame.

Mat Cothran - photo by Thomas Hammond


  • And to top it all off, hot-off-the-press issues of a brand new film-themed Jasper Magazine!


The event runs from 7 pm until 11 pm and is free. Seating is limited to 100 so please arrive early if you want a seat.

Young Women Need to Rock On!

girls rock columbia  

“I know I’m small in a way, but I know I’m strong.”

-- Indigo Girls


“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore.” 

 -- Lady Gaga


"Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up is all."

-- Joan Jett

Monday is the Girls Rock Columbia camper application deadline so don't wait to read this post or to reach out to the young women in your life (ages 8 - 18) and direct them to the Soda City camp that will in all likelihood CHANGE THEIR LIVES.


Girls Rock Columbia is a one-week long day camp that exists to foster a community of girls ages 8-18 through music, performance, and various workshops. The program encourages an environment that cultivates self-confidence, challenges gender stereotypes, promotes positive female relationships, creativity, and leadership.  The ultimate goal of Girls Rock Columbia is to empower everyone involved; both campers and volunteers, to take the sense of community learned from within the organization and carry that throughout the city they call home.

Girls Rock Columbia will be held at Eau Claire High School the week of July 22nd  – 25th with a showcase of talent culminating the week.


We live in a world that still tells little girls to act like ladies -- which means being quiet; to sit like ladies -- which means in an unnatural posture with their knees tightly together and their hands helplessly in their laps; to dress like ladies -- which means with their feet bound and disabled, the perfection of their faces painted over, and their bodies tied up in ribbons and bows and zippers they can't even reach themselves. This is your chance to help a young woman you know or love set herself free with the music that's inside her.

Tell her how to apply online.

Don't know a young woman but want to be a part of this bad-ass movement to cultivate greatness among this generation?

Then volunteer!

Or, pull out that pretty little purse -- you know, the one you got on sale but still paid an exorbitant price for -- and let the money you have in it make a bigger statement than the purse itself, and flat-out MAKE IT HAPPEN!


(And here's a little something from 2009 about someone's pick for the 12 greatest female electric guitarists of the day.)

Reviews from Spoleto -- Chamber Music VI gets H.O.T. - HOT! with Cellist Christopher Costanza & Was that the Cast of The Office onstage?

St. Lawrence String Quartet I think everyone was concerned about how the Spoleto Chamber Music Series would fare once its founder the beloved Charles Wadsworth said goodbye. After seeing Geoff Nutall in action at my first chamber concert since Wadsworth’s leaving, I don’t think anyone is the least bit worried any more. (The cool-yet-sad thing? Wadsworth was in the audience and—as we learned Saturday afternoon—he will play his final public performance on the stage in the last of the series’ concerts later this week.) Nutall owned the stage offering clever banter and pertinent information in such a casual, stand-up comedy style that the audience giggled and laughed. And these audiences aren’t always the laughing and giggling types.

Charles Wadsworth

The Saturday program (Program VI) offered Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano featuring  St. Lawrence String Quartet’s (Nutall’s group) cellist Christopher Costanza, followed by Ginastera’s Duo for Flute and Oboe with the glorious Tara Helen O’Connor and James Smith, and finally Beethoven’s String Quartet in E Major, Opus 59, no. 1 performed beautifully by the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Before the concert, Nutall shared with the audience, via a letter written by Debussy, how much the composer hated being clumped in with the Impressionists of his era—he resented the whole extrapolation of a visual arts genre to music. This piece was written in 1914, just four years before his death of cancer in 1918. Debussy had planned for 6 sonatas but was only able to complete 3 including this sonata for cello.

Dock Street Theatre

OK, this is a little intimate here, but to my recollection my mind has never wondered to sex while attending a chamber music concert—until Saturday afternoon. There was something about watching Costanza and his relationship with his cello that was easily evocative of a person in the throes of pleasure. His face was beautifully expressive; his fingers, agile; his expertly calculated bowing with long and efficient strokes, delicious. Oh my.

And the music was nice, too.

Christopher Costanza

Here’s the funny thing. Costanza, though certainly more attractive, looks more than a little like the character of Toby the PR person from the recently ended sit-com series, The Office. Keep this in mind. We’ll come back to it after we address the Duo for Flute and Oboe which was awe-inspiring. Tara Helen O’Connor is a master of the flute—her intonation somehow simultaneously lightly delicate while also being intense. She and her partner for this concert, James Smith—who looks a lot like Seth Meyers from SNL—demonstrated a practically perfect interplay as they called to and answered one another, locking eyes for the final few notes of the duo and ending in an authentic embrace. It was resplendent.

The final number for the concert required that the entire St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) come to the stage. This musical group is like no other quartet in their commitment to all aspects of musical interpretation—facial, physical, etc. (I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play many times before; one of the most memorable being in 2003 at the Joyce Theatre in NYC when the quartet accompanied Pilobolus Dance Theatre for the premiere of My Brother’s Keeper, performing Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 Op. 110. The quartet also performed (unaccompanied by choreography) a piece by Jonathan Berger called Eli Eli (In Memory of Daniel Pearl.))

According to Nutall, with this string quartet Beethoven took classical music by the collar and threw it into the Romantic era, writing it in a way that would dare amateurs to try to play it. The complexity and difficulty of the piece was not lost on the audience in the Dock Street Theatre. Nor was the excitement of the accomplishment of such a difficult piece lost on the quartet whose engagement with the music is nothing short of thrilling. As usual, it was all Nutall could do to stay in his seat.

Geoff Nuttall

As mentioned previously, Nutall is a bit of a character. Sort of floppy haired at times with a wardrobe that looks like anything except what you would expect a first violinist in a Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned string quartet (the group is in residence at Stanford University) to look. On this particular day he wore a long sleeved shiny shirt, oddly patterned, and looking like something Michael Scott (also from The Office) might wear. When he called his colleagues onto stage it wasn’t difficult to see a family-television resemblance with Scott St. John playing the role of Dwight Shrute, Leslie Robertson playing Angela and, of course, Chris Costanza playing the part of a somewhat amorous Toby.

Even with Wadsworth watching from the audience, the Spoleto Chamber Music Series continues to be a culturally significant hoot—always full of surprises. Highly recommend.

Scott St. John aka Dwight Shrute


Leslley Robertson who looks more like Pam in this photo but on Saturday afternoon looked decidely like Angela


Spoleto Reviews; JOHNNYSWIM and Le Grand C

JOHNNYSWIM The singer songwriter duo JOHNNYSWIM seemed to be as surprised to be performing at this year’s Spoleto Festival USA as we were to hear them. To their credit, neither partner in the married couple band acted as if they were too cool for school, repeatedly referencing how they had been looking forward to the gig “for months” and recalling that their last performance was at a bar in Burbank for an audience of three. This isn’t that surprising. It’s not that they weren’t good—they just weren’t quite good enough to be playing a coveted concert in the College of Charleston’s Cistern Yard. (A quick Internet search shows that the couple played SXSW in March and will have a follow-up concert in Tryon, NC tonight.)


In all fairness, Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano (daughter of disco legend Donna Summer) put on a sweet and lovely show, albeit filled with a good deal of chatter (and the show still barely stretched over 60 minutes), and they were able to mix in a few original tunes that shined. But the limitations in Ramirez’s guitar work and the lack of range in Sudano’s beautiful voice make the duo barely local venue material, much less headlining at an international arts festival. Granted, Ramirez’s strong vocals proved entertaining. And both partners are attractive with pleasant stage presence.  And certainly the setting under the moss-draped live oaks of the Cistern was enchanting.  But given that the team has only released a single EP and don’t expect to release an album for at least another 12 months, an act with a little more experience might have been more in keeping with Spoleto Festival USA quality standards.


Le Grand C

For example, the French acrobatic company Compagnie XY who also premiered at this year’s festival with multiple shows of Le Grand C, gave a jaw-dropping performance that packed in as much detail (think carefully choreographed human traffic patterns made to look like chaos that develops into machinations reminiscent of gears and cogs in a perfectly tuned instrument) and subtlety (the gentlemen gallantly smoothing the red skirts of their fellow female acrobats who have just returned to earth from being four persons high in the air) as it did feats of daring do. With 17 performers ranging in size from several tiny-though-immensely-muscular women to a dude with a bit of a belly who clearly tops 200 pounds, the team stays in almost constant motion—sometimes performing in duos or triads or larger groups, and sometimes performing as a single unit. The clever inclusion of French music—from the haunting dirge-like composition that accompanies the opening stunt performed in subdued lighting to another series of stunts in which the entire group sings—adds tremendously to the changing character and atmosphere the group creates for the various stunts being performed.

The 75 minutes of Le Grand C fly by as quickly as the performers (literally) fly through the air in places. This is a uniquely entertaining show not to be missed.


-Cindi Boiter



Schedule for Muddy Ford Press at the SC Book Festival

MFP final logo

Muddy Ford Press

at the

SC Book Festival



Saturday, May 18th


11 – 12:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Don McCallister will be signing Fellow Traveler

11:20 – 12:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on the USC Press Panel for State of the Heart with Aida Rogers, Pat Conroy, Ken Burger, Billy Deal, and Sandra Johnson. Signing will follow.

2:30 – 4 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Alejandro Garcia Lemos and Cindi Boiter will be signing Red Social:  Portraits of Collaboration


4:10 – 5 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Don McCallister, Janna McMahan, Aida Rogers, and Kristine Hartvigsen will present a panel on The Limelight – Highlighting Columbia’s Artist Community, moderated by Cindi Boiter. Signing will follow – all Limelight contributors are invited to join the panel for signing following the presentation


Sunday, May 19th


12 – 2 Muddy Ford Press Booth #16

Kristine Hartvigsen will be signing To the Wren Nesting


1:15 – 2:05 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel for Collections of the South:  Anthologies Celebrating Writers in Community with Curtis Worthington and Brian Carpenter

2 – 3:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Laurie Brownell McIntosh will be signing All the In Between:  My Story of Agnes

2:20 – 3:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel on Short Stories with Cliff Graubart, Stephanie Powell Watts, moderated by Michelle Maitland





Back to Rockafellas' - This Weekend




Back_to_RockafellasJasper Magazine wanted to know what the deal was with this weekend's big Jam Room fundraiser at Rockafellas', so we pulled aside Jay Matheson, owner of the Jam Room Recording Studio and asked him. Here's what Jay had to say:







Jasper: So what are we calling this very cool fundraising event and how did you come up with the concept?


Jay:  When I met the new owners of Jake's I could tell that they wanted to embrace the musical legacy of the bar, where the previous owners seemed to want to distance themselves from the building's heritage. I’m constantly coming up with crazy ideas, but this one just seemed to actually be good enough to put into operation. It’s called Back to Rockafellas' because we all finally get to go back, not to reminisce but to actually re-experience it. And hopefully, we'll raise some funds for this year's FREE Jam Room Music Festival, so we can bring Columbia the best show possible.



Jasper:  What’s the line-up look like?


Jay:  Since it’s a benefit for the Jam Room Music Festival we had to keep budget in mind, but I think it’s going to be a great gig and I think the bands will be glad that they played it. We got a strong bill together and we’re very happy with it. The first night has a Rock ‘n’ Roll theme with a country-ish opener. The second night more indie, and the punk matinee and acoustic Sunday evening speak for themselves. It’s basically an exact copy of the format of a normal weekend from the heyday of the old Rockafellas'.


Steve Gibson, the original owner of the bar said that he preferred to have fresh, current new bands, rather than trying to have defunct bands reform. I agreed and feel that Steve’s input is essential in doing the most appropriate event that we can. This show was designed to appeal to younger people, but also to be something that the older Rockafellas' crowd will like.



Jasper:  What do you think is going to be most surprising to folks attending?


The most surprising thing will be the vibe that the place still has and the sense of camaraderie and community.



Jasper:  How are things going with plans for this year’s Jam Room Festival – can you give us a little preview of what’s in store?


Jay:  We're already working hard on planning the event for September 21st. We'll have two stages set up at Main Street and Hampton Street, with an eclectic mix of  bands, just like last year. We're planning on bigger and better, and we're talking to a number of great artists but no specific details are  available just yet.



Jasper:  Anything else you want to share with Jasper’s readers?


Jay:  The Jam Room Music Festival is always looking for volunteers and sponsors so I’d like to encourage anyone with interest to contact us through our website or through Facebook. I really hope that both this fundraiser and the Jam Room Music Festival will inspire some other people to get off the sidelines and get involved with creating some new music events or even improve our current music venue variety. We’re hoping to help put Cola back on the map as an important music city


Jay Matheson


Jasper:  Finally, what dates should we mark on our calendars for both the Rockafellas' Fundraising event and this year’s festival? 

Jay:  Back To Rockafellas' is the weekend of May 17 -19. We have a number of other fundraising events coming up later this summer. One is a Ladies of  Country Music show at Trustus Theater on Sept. 6th. The others will be at the Whig and at Jake's, with more details to come on those later on. The Jam Room Music Festival happens on Sept. 21st on Columbia's Main Street.


jasper listens


Friday Night - It's the CAYs!

"Clara" by Doug McAbee Nothing pleases Jasper more than the opportunity to take notice of a local artist and be able to say, Congratulations – Well done! It’s even more exciting when there’s an award involved and it’s not just a certificate, but some ca-ching, as well! That’s why we’re looking forward to this Friday night, April 26th and the annual Contemporaries Artist of the Year celebration when, in addition to the grand prize of big bucks from the Contemporaries, Jasper will award our second annual State-of-the-Art Award (a certificate, a feature story in Jasper Magazine, and $200) to some talented local artist.

Last year's winner of the Jasper State-of-the-Art award was Doug McAbee for his sculpture Clara (above.) We profiled Doug in the most recent issue of Jasper Magazine.

Entries to the competition were adjudicated by a jury consisting of Dr. Will South, Tom Stanley, and Mary Walker. Our panel of judges is headed up once again this year by Chris Robinson, who, has taken the lead as Jasper's visual arts editor.

Awards include:

  • $2,500 Contemporaries' Artist of the Year (with partnership from Anne and Alex Postic)
  • $300 People's Choice Award
  • The Jasper "State-of-the-Art" award receives a $200 cash prize and a spread in a future issue of Jasper Magazine.

Please join us on Friday night for the CAY Celebration from 7 - 10 pm at the beautiful Columbia Museum of Art.


For more info check out the CAY Facebook page or go directly to the CAY website at the Columbia Museum of Art.



Cinemovements Monday Night

Cinemovements Leave it to the good folks at Indie Grits to find all kinds of innovative ways to heighten our senses and help us appreciate the multiplicity of arts that surround us.

Case in point – Cinemovements, a collaboration between Indie Grits and the SC Philharmonic  coming up Monday night (doors at 7, concert/films at 8) at the very cool space by the river, 320 Senate Street.

Here’s how it will go down. The SCP will play original music by concert master Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian, who we wrote about previously in Jasper and who is an innovative composer in her own right, to accompany four films commissioned for this event.

Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian

Filmmakers for this year are Indie Grits alums Roger Beebe, Steve Daniels, David Montgomery, Gideon C. Kennedy & Marcus Rosentrater. (You might remember Steve Daniels from his award-winning 2011 film Dirty Silverware.)

The performance is made possible through a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

And here's a neat little blog post that we lifted from the Indie Grits website

$20 Seated / $10 standing


jasper listens

- Cindi Boiter, Jasper editor

Jasper's Fave Non-Film Part of Indie Grits? Spork in Hand Puppet Slam -- Hands Down!

  Lyon Hill - Self Portrait


It's no secret that Jasper is a big fan of Indie Grits -- we love independent film! And while we'd just as soon have a film festival that was about film and film only, we admire the way the good folks at IG try to incorporate the whole community in their special week. AND, we are crazy about one specific part of the festival, the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam.

Why? Lots'o reasons, but the strongest being the opportunity to see three of Columbia's most creative minds demonstrate their incredibly eclectic, innovative, and just plain out-there abilities. Lyon Hill, Kimi Maeda, and Paul Kaufmann.

(Jasper wrote about Lyon Hill here and Kimi Maeda here.)

(And is it true that the strangely brilliant Alex Smith is also involved this year? Yes? No? Somebody?)

We lifted the below information info from the Indie Grits website about these folks:

Lyon Hill lives with his wife, Jenny Mae, and their son, Oliver, in Columbia, SC. He has been a puppetmaker and puppeteer with the Columbia Marionette Theatre since 1997. His paintings and puppets have been shown in numerous galleries over the years and his puppet shows have been performed at regional and national puppet festivals. Three of his short films are part of Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams film series, which are shown internationally

Kimi Maeda

Kimi Maeda is a theatre artist whose intimate visual performances cross disciplines and push boundaries.  Trained as a scenic and costume designer whose work has been recognized nationally, she is drawn to the versatility of puppetry and delights in the fact that it allows her to explore all of her diverse interests; from science to storytelling.  Kimi worked for several years as a puppeteer and set designer for the Columbia Marionette Theatre, writing and directing Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Her shadow-puppet performances The Crane Wife and The Homecoming are original adaptations of traditional Japanese folktales interwoven with her own bi-cultural experience growing up as a Japanese-American.


Paul Kaufmann

Paul Kaufmann is an actor, writer and artist.  His acting credits include three productions at New York’s famed LaMaMa E.T.C.: The Cherry Orchard Sequel (2008, NY Times critic’s pick), The System (2009) and the title role in this year’s Hieronymus, all written by Obie Award winner Nic Ularu. With Mr. Ularu, Paul has also toured Romania in The System (2006). In 2010, he performed at the Cairns Festival in Queensland, Australia in Dean Poynor’s H. apocalyptus, a zombie survival tale. He has performed the same role in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (2011) and at The Studios of Key West. Also at TSKW: One Night Stand: 3, 4 and 5. Recent roles at Trustus Theatre include Dan in Next to Normal, Charles Guiteau in Assassins, Bill Fordham in August: Osage County and all roles in I Am My Own Wife.  For pacific performance project/east, Paul played Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012) and Man in Pile in Mizu No Eki (The Water Station) (2010). A founding member of the SC Shakespeare Company, Paul has acted onstage, in television and in film (including Campfire Tales and Lyon Forrest Hill’s Junk Palace) for 40 years. His collages, assemblages and paintings have been exhibited at Anastasia and Friends gallery.  He’s thrilled to be a part of the Spork In Hand Puppet Slam. In May, Paul returns to Romania to perform at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in a new production directed by Mr. Ularu.

To what they have to say above we'll just add this -- There is nothing like the experience of good adult puppetry theatre. It effects the viewer in ways that are personally, emotionally, and psychologically surprising. It can be intimate, evocative, and funny -- all in the same breath. It is touching and exhilarating. It can move you in ways you have never been moved before. It makes you laugh and it makes you think. Don't miss this beautiful experience.


Kimi Maeda

jasper watches


presented by Belle et Bête

Saturday, April 13th at 7pm & 9:30pm - $10 - Nickelodeon Theatre


-- Cindi Boiter, editor - Jasper Magazine

Dropped into the Middle of a Major Arts Month - What to Do Today, Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday

Hello Columbia Artists and Arts Lovers! I just got back a few hours ago from London and Ireland where the Bier Doc and I sucked up every last morsel of art we could cram into the two weeks we were there -- Five plays, three art museums including the very cool Hugh Lane in Dublin which houses the actual studio of Francis Bacon, three guided walks (Irish literary, history, and trad music), over 30 pubs, most with music - all with brew, and more sights and sounds and cliffs and sheep and ancient neo-lithic sites than I ever thought possible.

Francis Bacon standing in front of his Triptych

Yes, we got home exhausted, which is unfortunate, especially given the line-up of art and art experiences that April has in store for all of us. We're going to try to keep you posted via our Facebook page and this blog - What Jasper Says, but you should also pay close attention to the listings at One Columbia as well as at Indie Grits which kicks off Friday night with a smokin' hot  Block Party.

indie grits

Tonight, we recommend you join Yours Truly as I help out at the USC Art Auction at the Campus Room of the Capstone Building on the campus of USC. The auction starts at 7 with a lovely reception at 6.

(This guys knows not what he's doing and neither will I)

On Wednesday, we recommend you schedule yourself for the Closing Reception for Painted Violins from 5 - 8 at Gervais and Vine at 620 Gervais Street which benefits our beloved SC Philharmonic.

"She Used to Play the Violin" by Wayne Thornley

On Thursday, the highly successful (blushing) Jasper Salon Series returns with a presentation and discussion by local poet, author, and creativity coach, Cassie Premo Steele. We'll start out about 7 pm with drinks and chatting, then at 7:30 sharp, Cassie will begin the program.

Cassie Premo Steele

We'll be posting more sneak peeks at all the cool stuff going on this month just as soon as we unpack and get a day's work done. I'm looking forward to seeing you all where you ought to be -- smack in the middle of the Southeast's newest and hottest arts destination, Columbia, SC!



(note: not sure what happened to the previous version of this post which was missing most of its text. Oops & sorry!)


The Next Big Thing - by Cindi Boiter

I feel a little guilty using What Jasper Said to post my answers to The Next Big Thing, the hot new meme going around our community in which writers tag one another and ask that they write about their newest projects. But given that my newest project was published by Muddy Ford Press and that MFP underwrites Jasper Magazine, there's a sweet symbiosis to it that I cannot deny. Here's how it works -- after having been tagged (my thanks to Cassie Premo Steele for tagging me), the newly tagged author is required to self-interview, answering 10 pre-determined questions. After having answered these questions, she tags another five writers to do the same.

Here goes.

What is the working title of your book?

The Limelight -- A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, volume 1

What is the genre of your book?

Essay collection

Where did the idea come from?

Columbia, SC is a city that is reeling with a multitude of artists from different genres, particularly the literary arts. We have an inordinate number of professional writers here, yet we don't really have a sense of ourselves as a writing community -- though we are. I'd love to play some part in helping us to form a more unified community of writers. I want Columbia to be known as a "writers' town." To that end, I invited 18 local writers to contribute first person narrative essays about another local artist -- writer, visual artist, musician, dancer, theatre artist, whatever -- who had influenced them in some way.  I had the pleasure of editing the essays.

Clearly, one volume is not enough to represent the artists and authors we have here, so I decided to serialize the compendium with the plan of publishing it on an annual basis.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Columbia, SC essayists sing the praises of Columbia, SC artists.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I issued the call for essays in the summer of 2012 with an autumn deadline. We went to press in February 2013.

Who or what inspired you to write it?

The community of Columbia artists.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book was published by Muddy Ford Press.

What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?

I don't really know of any other books with the same model.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, there are 36 "characters" if we include both the contributors and the subjects of their essays.

The essay I wrote was about the artist Blue Sky, so, naturally Clint Eastwood would play Blue. For me? Lisa Kudrow or Terri Garr.

Ed Madden would be played by Jon Cryer and James Dickey by Jon Voight.

Jeffrey Day? Woody Allen, of course. James Busby would be played by Channing Tatum (that's right, I said it.)

I'd like to cast Christopher Walken to play someone, but I'm not sure who ... a much older Chad Henderson, maybe? Just for kicks?

Patrick Wilson would play Kyle Petersen with Sheryl Crow playing Danielle Howle (though I like Danielle's voice far better).

Billy Murray would play the part of Stephen Chesley and the part of Susan Lenz would be played by Julia Louis Dreyfus.

Vicky Saye Henderson would play herself.

What else about your manuscript might pique the reader's interest?

Some of the first lines are spectacular. For example, poet Ray McManus opens his essay about Terrance Hayes with this, "When you're a boy growing up in rural South Carolina, and you want to be a poet, you should first learn to fight."

And ballet dancer Bonnie Boiter-Jolley's first line about her mentor Stacey Calvert is brutally honest when she says, "When I first met Stacey Calvert over a decade ago, she explained to me how being a dancer is a very selfish thing."

And there are 16 more.


That's the end of the interview and I have to admit that it was fun. In an effort to share the fun and keep this meme going I'm tagging Aida Rogers, Don McCallister, Debbie Daniel, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Susan Levi Wallach. And I'm inviting them all to post their answers to me so I can share them with our readers. I think there's something about Wednesdays and deadlines also as I was tagged on a Wednesday and told to blog on the next Wednesday. So, by next Wednesday, I hope to have even more Next Big Things to share.

Thanks for reading,





Chesley, Williams, Wimberly, and Yaghjian: Behind the Studio Walls for the 13th Exhibition

It's time again for the annual Chesley, Williams, Wimberly, Yaghjian exhibit at Gallery 80808 and, as for as Jasper is concerned, it couldn't have come soon enough. We need a nice bath of good art after the holidays to cleanse away all the ticky and the tacky that inundated our senses over the last three holiday-driven months of 2012. Like a bracing breath of cold clean air, it jolts our systems; resets our standards; makes us see things more clearly. It centers us. It reminds us of what to expect from professional artists who continually hone their skills and not only challenge themselves, but challenge one another.

That's why we've become accustomed to the annual Chesley, Williams, Wimberly, Yaghjian exhibition of art because the four artists -- the four friends -- have been doing this for us for thirteen years now. We aren't just accustomed to it -- we're spoiled.

And while most of us will be making our pilgrimages to Vista Studios at 808 Lady Street today to offer some small genuflection at what promises to be an excellent exhibition, Jasper thought it also might be fun to get a glimpse of the other side of the studio wall. We wanted to know how these artists got together, what they think of one another, and why this exhibition -- and these friendships -- continue.

To that end we sent a number of questions out to the four gents. These are some of their answers.

Jasper:  We know it was more than a dozen years ago, but how did this group show get started?

Williams: The group, minus David the first year, originally came together for a holiday art event to share with our collectors and friends special selections of our work that we would curate from the past year. The fact that we were friends sharing many of the same collectors combined with mutual admiration for one another's work made this exhibition an instant annual tradition.  David joined in the second year, he was always a friend,  even before he moved back to Columbia.

Jasper:  Why do you think it works so well?

Yaghjian: It works because we are relatively mature adults who have done what we do for decades and  want to put up a decent show.

Chesley:  We have all been friends over many years ... and the time train moves on ... this exhibition allows us and our patrons to gather and start a new year ... with art ... The disparate arts groups that are aware of each other are afforded a moment to recognize each other as friends each January.

Williams:  We were all friends in many former lives apparently.

Jasper:  How far back do your friendships go?

Yaghjian:  I met Steve in 1984 through some friends of my wife, Ellen.  Mike, I met in the early 1990's. Edward, I'm not certain when I met him, he's almost an archetype. It is as though he's been hovering  a long time in another dimension.

Chesley:  We all met at various times, Mike in the 80's, the time of great headway in the arts in Columbia and David later … the earliest was when I was in graduate school in the School of Architecture in Urban Planning at Clemson, 1978. I would often go downstairs to the small space they deemed a gallery in Lee Hall. One time I went down to visit and there was a small pastel work entitled "Escaping Fruit." I was mesmerized by the whimsical depiction of a bowl of fruit escaping through an open country window as it brushed a lightly blown lace curtain. It was actually the highlight memory of my graduate work at Clemson. Only years later at an opening for a single portrait in St. Matthews did I learn it was done by Edward Wimberly who was in graduate school at the same time … a whimsical lasting memory to this day.

Jasper: What do you admire most about one another, either individually or as a group?

Yaghjian:  Mike is a really interesting mix of Southern boy and sophisticate.  He is very funny and has a great laugh when you prod him past his initial grumpiness.  Stephen is astonishing in his appetite for knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of subjects from pigments to high finance.  He is more than willing to share that knowledge with any and all.  Both Stephen and Mike are extremely capable in all matters technical and mechanical.  Edward can not only recount a good southern tale, he is one.

Williams:  Not only can Edward Wimberly really draw and paint, he defines the word raconteur. He can spin the yarn.  I can't tell a joke or dance. Stephen is very poetic and dependable.

Jasper: Who is the troublemaker or comedian in the group? Who is the workhorse?

Yaghjian:  Steve and I mess with Mike's paranoia around computers and the Internet, feeding his fears that all his information is being stolen RIGHT NOW as a result of the latest situation that has arisen with his virus protection or some news story about scams or hacking.  Edward is unintentionally a troublemaker in his annual tardy arrival for the hanging of the show -- or, in the past, borrowing duct tape or tacks to hold work in frames or to hold the frames together. (Last year his wife, Amanda McNulty, demanded he act his age and have his work framed before the afternoon of the hanging. We were flabbergasted.) (editor's note: Edward did not provide answers to Jasper's questions and was therefore unable to defend himself.)

For the show, Mike is the youngest and therefore it's only right that he be the workhorse.  He has the temperament as well; there is the aspect of the worrier in the boy.

Edward's lethal fishwife's punch requires a fair amount of effort with both its ingredients and incantations.


Jasper:  Do you get to see each other enough when you aren't hanging a show?

Williams:  We don't necessarily see that much of one another because we're all busy and caught up in our respective daily routines.  I don't hesitate to call on them if needed and hopefully they feel the same; they are my absolutely reliable friends and respond when they're called into action or to mount this exhibition.  Everyone knows the drill and looks forward to returning annually to Vista Studios, where it all began, and to hosting this event.  We take this time every year to share in our work and catch up on a year's worth of news.


Jasper:  Anything else to add?

Chesley:   2013 another year ahead. Let it begin.

Jasper Calendar (Salon Series & Release Events) January thru March 2013

Last October, Jasper began a series of Salon events in which we invited local artists to give a brief and informal presentation on their work to a small group of fellow artists and arts lovers. Our Salon subjects have ranged from authors to artists to artistic directors with the size of our group ranging from a half dozen to more than 40. Every single one of the events has been a success. Attendees leave more engaged with the arts, better educated and informed, and with a greater sense of community. There have traditionally been no fees to attend, (though we usually have the Jasper Econobar open and, this year, we’re adding an unobtrusive donation box for folks who’d like to throw in a buck or two to help pay the rent.) We’re delighted to announce the Salon schedule for the first couple of months of 2013. Please check back soon though – the schedule is rapidly evolving as we all get a handle on the fact that the new year has started whether we were ready for it to or not! All of our events are also offered publicly on Facebook, too, so please try to RSVP there when you can.

Thanks for all your support and happy New Year from all of us at Jasper!


Thursday 1/10 at 7pm in the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, Author Janna McMahan  talks about her new book, Anonymity, published January 2013


Tuesday, 1/15 at 7pm at the Tapps Arts Center, Jasper Release Party for Jasper vol. 002, no. 002 – Our 1st Photocentric issue with photography from the Jasper staff photographers and their choices of some of the best local photographers in town.

Thursday 1/17 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, Trustus  “The Trustus ‘Motherfu**ers : Looking Under the Hat” – Jasper invites members of the cast and crew of "The Motherfu**er with the Hat" to give you a behind the scenes look at the new Trustus play, opening on February 8th.


Thursday 1/24 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade presents “The Dark Side of Snow White with Columbia City Ballet featuring William Starrett” as Starrett shares his new vision of the ballet Snow White.


Tuesday, 1/31 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade -- Jasper’s book club, Jasper’s Nightstand, is up and running again and, by popular demand we’re reading Don McCallister’s new book, Fellow Traveler with discussion led by a surprise reader and Fellow Traveler author himself, Don McCallister.



Tuesday, 2/12 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, USC Vagina Monologues director Alexis Stratton will talk about the history of the Vagina Monologues and this year’s edition. Plus, you’ll get to hear a reading of one or more monologues from the play.

Tuesday, 2/19 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade – Lecture and discussion “Patriarchy & Gender Roles in The Dry Grass of August: The Good Old Days? Sister, Please!” USC Women's and Gender Studies Adjunct Instructor and Jasper editor Cindi Boiter will lead discussion on the social constructs in this year's One Book, One Columbia selection, The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew.

Sunday, 2/24, time and location TBA, Book Launch – The Limelight: A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, Volume 1 published by Muddy Ford Press.

Thursday, 2/28 at Jasper Studios at the Arcade  Jasper’s Nightstand – The Dry Grass of August 8:30 or immediately following the author Anna Jean Mayhew's presentation at the Richland Library one block away.




Thursday, 3/7 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade -- Panel Discussion with Authors from The Limelight: A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists. More information to come.

Friday, 3/15 at 7pm location TBA -- Join us as we celebrate the release of Jasper vol. 002, no. 003 -- The Women's Issue!