Press Release

CMA launches literacy initiative for third graders in four SC counties in partnership with Richland Library

COLUMBIA, SC - The Columbia Museum of Art and Richland Library are launching a pilot art and literacy initiative this spring based on the photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts. All Around Town, All Around the State is a special program for nearly 1,600 third graders in four counties across South Carolina and begins Monday, March 4 at 9:00 a.m. at the CMA.

The program provides first-time exposure to the Columbia Museum of Art and Richland Library in addition the opportunity to experience the work of two famous African-American South Carolina artists: Richard Samuel Roberts and Dinah Johnson.

“I’m delighted to work with Richland Library to offer a program that connects visual art, literacy and social studies in a way that excites and engages students to learn across the curriculum,” CMA Director of Education Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby said.

The third graders begin with a field trip to the CMA where they participate in a three-part program:
• An interactive presentation with author Dinah Johnson, who brings her book All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts to life.
• A tour the CMA collection of portraits, focusing on the photographs by Richard Samuel Roberts
• A studio session on portraits and collage using images by Richard Samuel Roberts

Afterward, the students are escorted across the street to the Richland Library for a tour of the Children’s Room and story time under the famous Maurice Sendak mural from the book Where the Wild Things Are. All participants will receive an autographed copy of Dinah Johnson’s book, All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts.

All participating third grade teachers receive a Teaching Kit designed for K-12 teachers and students across the curriculum, with emphasis on social studies and visual arts. The kit was designed to provide teachers with resources that reinforce key concepts and curriculum for arts integrated classroom learning. To provide a complete lesson, primary sources were included to bring the people, time period, and geography to life. These resources range from reproductions of city directories, advertisements in The Palmetto Leader, an African-American newspaper, census records and photographs of Columbia in the early 20th century.

“By providing a teaching kit for educators, the All Around Town, All Around the State program will reach beyond our Museum and into classrooms across South Carolina,” Kuhlkin-Hornsby said.

This program is generously supported by SC State Library, Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina and Claflin University. “Claflin University is a proud supporter of All Around Town, All Around the State. This important art and literacy initiative will expose many Orangeburg County students to cultural institutions for the first time. Claflin is committed to offering educational programs to youth of all ages, giving them the opportunity to learn and grow,” Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said.

For more information, contact Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby at 803.343.2209 or

About Richard Samuel Roberts
The CMA proudly displays 24 photographs by South Carolina photographer Richard Samuel Roberts. Roberts captured some of the most realistic collective images of African-American life in the early 20th century, especially the rise of the economically secure middle class. Roberts’ photographs comprise a stunning visual history of the African-American community in Columbia. He frequently took his camera into the heart of the segregated Black District of Columbia and also to other towns and cities in the state. He photographed every facet of his community including bankers, teachers, social workers and even magicians. The images illustrate the richness and diversity of Roberts’ oeuvre and are just a fraction of the more than 10,000 images he is estimated to have made during his career.

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