Archive for the ‘Orangeburg SC Visual Arts’ Category

The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium in Orangeburg, SC, was Selected for a Pilot Project from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

May 13, 2015

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has honored the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at SC State University, in Orangeburg, SC, with its selection to participate in a Pilot Project to help establish guidelines for NMAAHC collaborations with HBCU Internship Programs. The Stanback is one of only five HBCU institutions in this nation to be selected.

The Stanback’s Internship Project is a partnership with the Philip Simmons Foundation, Charleston, SC. Two student interns have the opportunity to work with the Philip Simmons Foundation to help preserve the iron works and legacy of Philip Simmons. They will work with the Simmons collections to register and catalogue the iron gates around Charleston on the Collections Management System.

Interns Cornelius Blanding and Zaire McPhearson

The Stanback is a Learner Centered Museum, as part of a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and has been successful in working with students at the center of all activities. This project brings the museum and students into the community, creating a unique opportunity to assist and educate a community organization. The Stanback Director, the Education and Outreach Manager and the Interns will participate in an evaluation meeting with NMAAHC at the National Association of African American Museums in August at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

The two student interns working on this Pilot Project are Cornelius Blanding, a sophomore music industry major and Zaire McPhearson, a freshman, art major with a concentration in Digital Media and a minor in Biology. This internship opportunity provides a unique opportunity for them to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills in the museum industry. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, and strengthen their understanding of working in African American Museums.

Carlton Simmons (Philip Simmons Nephew)

“We are grateful to the Smithsonian-National Museum of African American History and Culture for its recognition of the Stanback’s Internship Program and for helping to foster this collaboration. This project will have a substantial impact on the Stanback, laying an important foundation in community participation and developing a basis for growth, through educational opportunities and organizational development,” said Ellen Zisholtz, I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium Director.

The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium is a museum of Conscience, Social Justice and Education that promotes the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, including Civil and Human Rights. Its purpose is to create a world class Museum that encourages the development of critical thinking, creative skills and social consciousness through collecting, documenting, preserving, exhibiting, presenting and exploring ideas from a broad range of cultures. . The Stanback has a Philip Simmons Chandelier in its permanent collection, donated by the artist.


The Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, established in 1991, whose mission is to develop and maintain a commemorative garden from design to completion and to preserve the legacy and craft of Philip Simmons. Simmons was the most celebrated of Charleston ironworkers of the 20th Century. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded him its National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States can bestow on a traditional artist. This recognition was followed by a similar award from the South Carolina State Legislature for “lifetime achievement” and commissions for public sculptures from the South Carolina State Museum and the City of Charleston. Simmons was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach, SC on January 31, 1994. “The Order of the Palmetto”, South Carolina’s highest award, was presented to him on August 11, 1998 by Governor David Beasley. In 2001, Philip Simmons received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for “Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.” He was honored by Penn Center and inducted into the 1862 Circle.  And on May 12, 2006, he was the recipient of the Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress through legislation signed into law in 2003 by President George W. Bush. It will be the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural institution, devoted exclusively to exploring and documenting the African American story and its impact on American history. NMAAHC is scheduled to officially open in 2016.

For further information contact Davion L. Petty by e-mail at ( or calling 803/536-7174.