Semester Stories 2019

At Indie Grits Film Festival 2019, Mahkia Greene works around the clock in her role as part of the film festival team. Here, Greene films The Fist and Spoon Fair, a festival event at the Columbia Museum of Art. The footage will be used for Indie Grits and as teaching material for her students to edit. © 2019 Melaney Mottsey

Students spent the semester documenting people who make a difference without making headlines. They covered nonprofit groups that protect the environment and wildlife, explored small businesses, and got to know a Black film artist.

The Palmetto State of Sustainability

Photos and Text by Taylor Carroll

When you think of South Carolina culture, good food is one of the first things that comes to mind. Unfortunately, food deserts, parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy whole foods, are becoming more abundant in S.C. In response, some leaders in Columbia are doing their best to practice sustainability and promote it to others within the community.

Saved by Education

Photos and Text by Beata Juodvalkyte

The Carolina Wildlife Center helps the wild critters of South Carolina.

Creative on Her Own Terms

Photos and Text by Melaney Mottsey

Mahkia Greene, 24, is a standout among Columbia’s burgeoning community of young artists. She works as a media education instructor at Indie Grits Labs, an extension of Indie Grits Film Festival. In that capacity, she helps film the Indie Grits Festival, run the festival film team, curates for the Nickelodeon’s ‘Out Here’ series as well as teaching filmmaking to teens.

Fishing for Profits

Photos and Text by Dalton Tumblin

Tim Harmon grew up in Columbia, handcrafting his own fishing tackle and fishing local ponds for bass every chance he got. This grew into a lifelong hobby of building fishing lures for himself and friends. About five years ago, the orders from friends grew and Treeshaker Tackle Company was born. Harmon quickly learned to make lures fast, even building his own mechanisms to produce lures in bulk. Working out of his garage after his day job, Harmon now distributes online, in dozens of stores and at fishing tournaments.

Kaliko Salon

Photos and Text by Brayln Kelley

Kaliko Salon was the very first “green salon” in the state of South Carolina when it opened in Columbia in 2016. Kelly Odom, owner and stylist, says “this place is like home to my girls,” speaking of the other three stylist she shares the salon with. This salon doesn’t just do well for their clients, but also for the environment. Kaliko Salon has virtually no waste because they recycle basically everything they use— cut hair, hair foils, hair dye, plastic, bottles, cardboard and a lot of other supplies.