Native American Rock Group Dark Water Rising Play at USC

DarkWaterRising_CharlyLowry_2015-03-27_1518 By Erika Ryan

Museums tend to revolve around nothing more than the past, but McKissick Museum presented its series “Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast” in a way that celebrates the Native American culture of today. With five public events, McKissick showcased native artists from all disciplines , but on April 3rd, native musicians will be in the spotlight for a concert with the group Dark Water Rising.

Although Native American music isn’t a widely known genre, Dark Water Rising is among the best in their niche. Based out of North Carolina, their sound teeters between blues and southern rock, and it’s clear that their music is deeply rooted in their cultural background.

Since their first album release in 2010, they’ve gotten plenty of attention — from radio play spanning across the East Coast, a feature on NPR, and two Native American Music Awards, Dark Water Rising captivated large audiences with deeply emotional, inspirational ballads, such as “Hometown Hero.”

Friday’s concert “Native and Now” is the final program for the “Traditions, Change, and Celebration” series, but the exhibition featured on the second floor of the McKissick Museum is open until July 25th. As part of the museum’s Diverse Voices series, the mission “Traditions, Change, and Celebration” was to explore how traditional Native American heritage is incorporated and maintained in the works of today’s southeastern, native artists.

The “Native and Now” performance will be at USC’s Booker T. Washington Auditorium this Friday at 7:30p.m., and while the concert is free to the public, be sure to claim a ticket on McKissick’s website before the show. - Jasper intern Erika Ryan


17th Annual Native American Indian Film Festival among highlights of National Native American Indian Heritage Month in November

native2 November is  National Native American Indian Heritage Month, with plenty of events and educational opportunities available locally throughout the month to honor and celebrate native culture and history.

National American Indian Heritage Month is celebrated every year in November to honor and recognize the original people of this land.   Established nationally in 1990, this commemorative month aims to provide a platform for native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives native people the opportunity to express to their community, both city, county and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area. Local, municipal, federal and state agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness. National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month takes place each November and is a great way to celebrate the traditions and cultures of the first Americans. Today, American Indians comprise 2.3 percent of the U.S. population. Their buying power in 2014 is 156 percent greater than in 2000, and is expected to grow to $148 billion by 2017.For more information, visit

South Carolina is home to the Catawba Indian Nation, the only federally recognized nation, and twelve recognized tribes & groups, representing over 43,000 people of Native descent according the 2010 US Census. These tribal communities are all "body politic," and preserve their distinctive culture, heritage and history in South Carolina.

native1The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc. have been sponsoring and leading the statewide observance of National Native American Indian Heritage Month since 1994.  In 2013, the SC state legislature officially designated November 18 as Native American Awareness Day in South Carolina.


native3State government officials and Native American Indian leaders will  gather at the State House on November 18 from 12 -1 PM  to celebrate the 2nd Native American Awareness Day in South Carolina, in conjunction with the local and national observance of National Native American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month. There will be drumming, Native songs, a traditional flag ceremony,  the reading of the Proclamations and H-Bill 3746 proclaiming this day, plus leaders from tribes and groups will speak and introduce their tribal communities' history to the general public.  For more information, visit

Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc.  is an organization that works to promote  self-determination, civil rights, religious freedoms, education, history, culture, and the arts of Native people. ECSIUT is a nonprofit that serves federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Natives and “state status” Native American Indian people, and is also a tribally based intertribal consortia.


Also beginning on November 18, Columbia once again plays host to  the  17th Annual Native American Indian Film Festival of the Southeast, a community-based event which aims to present the richness and variety of indigenous cinematic expressions. The festival is a time to educate the public  about contemporary Native American talent and issues, Native themed documentaries, and to discuss film and the power it has to tell Native stories by Native people (and to entertain.)


A screening of The Cherokee Word for Water, last year's festival winner, will take place at 7 PM at USC's McKissick Museum, followed at 8:30 PM by a reception and talkback session with the film's director, Charlie Soap.  This year's films will be shown at Tapp's Art Center starting at 6 PM on November 20 and 21, and at Conundrum Music Hall on November 23 beginning at noon. There will also be programming at Main Street's Nickelodeon on November 24.


Films include:

The Mayan Connection: Lost Legacy of Southeast,  directed by  Antara Brandner, who will be attending the Festival for talkback sessions

Between Hell and a Hard Place, directed by Jaysen P. Buterin   (also attending)

Indian Relay ( 2013)

LaDonna Indian 101 (2014)

Indian Like Us (2014)

Spirit in Glass (2014)

Inner Healing : Journey with Native Trees of Knowledge, directed by Adrian Esposito (also attending)


For more information on the film festival, visit .

Additionally, the McKissick Museum is hosting a year-long exhibition,  Traditions, Change & Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast, which features 150 pieces of Native American Indian handcrafted art, from 75 artists in nine states, representing over 25 distinct Native American Indian tribal nations and cultures,    including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole.  Also featured are  Pamunkey Indian Pottery from Virginia, art from the Poarch Band Creeks, the basketry of John Paul Darden of the Chitimacha Indians of Louisiana, and pottery by Bill Harris of the Catawba Indian Nation.  For more information on this exhibition, visit, and for a list of events taking place locally, visit











Project 63 at USC's McKissick Museum - by Deborah Swearingen

David Wallace photographer In the midst of the 50th anniversary of 1963, the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum has teamed up with the city of Columbia mayor’s office to present Defying the Quiet: Photography of the Civil Rights Movement. The display is part of an initiative called Project 63, which aims to create a more complete record of the civil rights movement, particularly in Columbia. Typically, the civil rights movement is centered on events that took place in Alabama and Mississippi, but the project is working to add more to what is already known about the movement here in Columbia.

The photographs in the exhibit were taken primarily by three photographers: Cecil Williams, a professional African-American photographer; David Wallace, a local Caucasian business owner of the time who was interested in what was going on; and The State newspaper. Museum exhibitions curator Ed Puchner hopes that when the photographs are displayed, the variation in perspective of the three photographers will be evident. He also says that it will be interesting to see how the photographs taken by the newspaper were used to shape social movements.

Cecil Williams - photographer

Cecil Williams - photographer

Social change was certainly prevalent throughout the ‘60s, and the photography combines personal involvement in the civil rights movement with personal emotion. Photographical documentation of Henrie Monteith Treadwell, the first African-American to be admitted into the University of South Carolina, is included in the exhibition.

The photographs in the exhibit will be separated by event. As most have never before been seen, the museum will have a place for those who visit to identify anyone they may know in the pictures.

David Wallace - photographer

David Wallace - photographer

Among numerous other clips, film footage of marches for freedom, speeches by Gov. Hollings (SC governor 1959-1963), and interviews with those involved in the movement will be cycled through.

“We like the idea of there being a lot of different voices,” Puchner said.

Defying the Quiet will officially open October 18th and will stay open until January 17th. It is located on the second floor of the McKissick Museum in the South gallery and is free to the public. On October 22nd, there will be a gallery opening reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. where Cecil Williams will be signing books. All are invited to attend.

David Wallace - photographer

To learn more about Project 63, visit

- By Deborah Swearingen, Jasper intern