The National Endowment for the Humanities will distribute $423,464 in grants to 38 cultural organizations to bring to light and digitize historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country, making them available to the wider public.

Among grant recipients is the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, which will receive nearly $12,000 to collect materials documenting the island’s African-American history and culture and offer public lectures.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program, which was created in April as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in civic life.

Common Heritage grants will allow historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to host “digitization days,” encouraging members of the public to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters and works of art.

Sculpture artists from across the nation are invited to participate in the city of North Charleston’s 11th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. Up to 14 sculptures will be selected for the 2016 exhibit and will compete for cash prizes totaling up to $16,250.

The exhibition opens in conjunction with the annual North Charleston Arts Festival, to be held April 29-May 7. The application is only available online and may be accessed via the link at An application fee of $35 allows artists to submit up to four entries. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 25.

Organized and presented by the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, this 11-month exhibition offers established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their work in Riverfront Park, along the Cooper River. An estimated 50,000 people visit this public park annually.

The juror for this year’s exhibition is James G. Davis, founder and president of Sculpture in the Landscape, a North Carolina-based organization.

The Coastal Community Foundation is accepting applications, through March 11, for its annual Griffith/Reyburn Lowcountry Artist Award, worth $5,000.

The award is intended to support an artist creating a work of visual art that depicts the “look and feel” of the Lowcountry. Artists who live in Charleston County and are over the age of 15 are eligible to apply. New and under-recognized artists are especially encouraged to apply.

The proposed work of art can be done in oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, drawing or a combination of those media. It also may be a work of three-dimensional fine art sculpture (excluding crafts and installation art).

Past winners include Karin Olah, Mary Edna Fraser and Lese Corrigan.

Specific guidelines and applications are available on Coastal Community Foundation’s website at The application is due electronically by March 11 to Sydney Meeks Fowler at

Adam Parker