The Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award is an annual recognition presented by the board of One Columbia for Arts and History to a Columbian who reflects many of the values and qualities of those generously given by One Columbia’s former leader in support of the growth and vitality of his City of Columbia. Morrison, who passed away in 2013, co-chaired the One Columbia Arts and History Board of Directors for three years.

The recipient of the Steve Morrison Visionary Award honors the best combination of vision and leadership, applied to arts and history and the entire cultural foundation of the City, and the value they bring to Columbia.

2017 Recipient

One Columbia for Arts and History is proud to announce Dr. Bobby Donaldson, a leader in the preservation of Columbia’s civil rights history, as the recipient of the 2017 Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award. The award will be presented Friday, November 17 at the Booker T. Washington Auditorium.

Dr. Donaldson began his career at the University of South Carolina in 1999 and now leads the Center for Civil Rights History and Research, housed in the Hollings Special Collections Library. He also serves as the lead scholar for Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters, a documentary history initiative that chronicles the struggle for civil rights and social justice in Columbia.

Additionally, he has served as a consultant for museum exhibitions, archival collections, oral history initiatives, documentary films, and historic preservation projects, including the renovation of the Booker T. Washington High School in downtown Columbia. In 2008, the Historic Columbia Foundation awarded Dr. Donaldson and his students the Helen Kohn Hennig Prize for their documentary project on the Ward One community in downtown Columbia.

Dr. Donaldson is a native of Augusta, GA, and received his undergraduate degree in History and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. in History from Emory University where he served on the staff of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project. Previously, he held the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship at Dartmouth College and the Susan Biddle Ford Fellowship at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

“I am extremely honored by this recognition,” says Donaldson. “Steve Morrison was a phenomenal ambassador for our city--an extraordinary, brilliant, and energetic leader who exemplified the very best in civic engagement. I had the good fortune of serving with him on the founding One Columbia board.“

He continues, “As a history professor at USC and as the lead scholar for Columbia SC 63, countless students, colleagues, and community members have joined me in uncovering, documenting, and promoting our city’s rich and diverse histories. It is enormously gratifying and indeed inspiring to sit down, record, and listen to memories and enduring lessons of the past. I am proud of our efforts to bring greater voice and visibility to often overlooked and unrecognized chapters in our collective history. I am humbled by this award, and I am excited about the work and collaborations ahead that highlight why our stories matter.”

“Professor Donaldson’s efforts to document and tell the story of the civil rights struggle here in Columbia have made a tremendous impact on the cultural foundation and fabric of our city. His work has ensured that Columbia will not forget the role its citizens played in the struggle for civil rights and social justice so that current and future generations may appreciate and honor those contributions, but may also understand the work that remains to be done as we continue to march toward those honorable goals. We are extremely proud and humbled to honor Professor Donaldson by selecting him as this year’s recipient,” says Jeremy Hodges, President of the One Columbia for Arts and History Board of Directors.

“One Columbia for Arts and History recognizes the cultural and community significance of Dr. Bobby Donaldson’s influence in our community along with the substantial contribution he has made in recognizing the role of Columbia’s citizens during the civil rights movement,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Dr. Donaldson has become the incredibly articulate and passionate voice of the rich, colorful and often painful story highlighting the contributions of the African seed in our Columbia sun. He has left an indelible mark on this amazing city that we call home.”

The award will be formally presented Friday, November 17 at 6 p.m. at the Booker T. Washington Auditorium, 1400 Wheat Street, on the USC campus.


Past Recipients

2016 - Terrance Henderson

Henderson, a driving force in both the theatre and dance communities in the Midlands, was born in Newberry, residing in art that illuminates contemporary societal issues and also, providing opportunities for those who have not had formal training in dance and theatre. Henderson has been a long term artist-in-residence at both Logan and A.C. Moore Elementary Schools, where he teaches dance and drama. Henderson has performed, choreographed, directed and premiered work from California to Florida. In addition to working with most of the Midlands' live theatres, he was the co-creator of Trustus Theatre's "Henderson Bros. Burlesque" and also created an original evening of work, "The Black Man...Complex." Most recently, he premiered his new work "Ruins" as part of the Harbison Theatre's MTC Performance Incubator, performed in "Blank Page Poetry: Words and Shadows" at 701 Center for Contemporary Art and created the choreography for a new film, "Rising." One Columbia for arts and History recognizes the cultural and community significance of Terrance Henderson's influence in our community along with the substantial contribution of his work to make arts education a part of every child's life.

2015 - William Starrett
Starrett first came to the Columbia City Ballet as a guest artist in 1977; he served as Artist-in-Residence, Associate Artistic Director Premier Danseur before being appointed executive and artistic director. During his 29 year history with the ballet, Starrett has expanded the company to be the largest touring company in the state, introduced an educational outreach program and integrated dance into the lives of Columbians. Starrett has created over 19 principal ballets including Columbia City Ballet's signature performances, Dracula Ballet with a Bit and Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green. Starrett conceived this collaboration of art and dance in 2002, bringing South Carolina native Green's paintings to life on the stage. In addition, Columbia City Ballet's Educational Outreach Program has introduced the ballet to more than half a million children in the program's 25 years. The program introduces students to a wide spectrum of artistic genres and disciplines, dance styles, art history, music, stagecraft, and literacy. The ballet has received national attention and awards for its creative commitment and vision of the Educational Outreach Program.

2014 - Satch Krantz

Satch Krantz began his career at Riverbanks in 1973 and served as its director from 1976 until 2017, making him one of the longest serving zoo directors in the nation. One of only three American zoo directors that have served as president of both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Krantz was also the first zoo director to serve two presidential terms for the AZA since WWII. Krantz has received numerous accolades throughout his career. Most recently, Krantz was awarded the prestigious R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence. Established in 1978, the Marlin Perkins award is the highest honor bestowed upon a zoo professional by the AZA. Other honors include the Global Vision Award by the World Affairs Council, the International Ambassador of the Year Award by the Committee of 100, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Regional Cooperation from the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and Clemson Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award. Krantz has been heavily involved in the community that Riverbanks serves. He is a past president of the board of Palmetto Richland Children's Hospital and the Columbia Rotary Club. He has also served as president of the Clemson University Board of Visitors and the University of South Carolina University Associates and is a member of the Board of Directors of the River Alliance, the Children's Hospital and the AZA.




Artsopolis Network Members: Akron OH | Albuquerque NM | Austin TX | Birmingham AL | Boston MA | Cape Cod MA | Charlotte NC | Cincinnati OH | Colorado Springs CO | Columbia SC | DuPage County IL | Flagstaff AZ | Flint MI | Fort Lauderdale FL | Houston TX | Indianapolis IN | Kalamazoo MI | Macon GA | Marin County CA | Mendocino County CA | Milwaukee WI | Monterey Bay CA | Montgomery County MD | Napa Valley CA | Nashville TN | Orange County CA | Orlando FL | Palm Beach County FL | Panama City FL | Providence RI | Quito, Ecuador | Rapid City SD | Richardson TX | Riverside CA | Rock Island IL | Sacramento CA | San Antonio TX | San Jose CA | St. Cloud MN | St. Croix Valley MN/WI | St. Johns County FL | Stillwater MN | Tallahassee FL | Tampa Bay FL | Utah | Ventura CA | York County PA