looking back at
Indie Grits

 2013 – the first indie grits at 1607 Main Street

2013 – the first indie grits at 1607 Main Street

 2013 cinemovements with the sc philharmonic

2013 cinemovements with the sc philharmonic

2013 was the first time Indie Grits was hosted at the new Nickelodeon Theatre at 1607 Main Street. 

In it's seventh year, Indie Grits had grown to present an array of cultural events– expanding our partnerships with the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam, the SC Philharmonic, and continuing to grow our special event programming. 

 2013 block party outside the new nickelodeon theatre

2013 block party outside the new nickelodeon theatre

2014 was the first year of the Weekly Revue, the first year of featuring an artist-in-residence (Amada Cassingham-Bardwell), and we expanded our music programming–bringing in Of Montreal to headline the big music event at the Columbia Museum of Art.  

 2014 - first year of the weekly revue featuring toby lou.

2014 - first year of the weekly revue featuring toby lou.

 2014 opening night party

2014 opening night party

 2014 – of montreal performing at the columbia museum of art

2014 – of montreal performing at the columbia museum of art

 2015 resident Artist antoine williams

2015 resident Artist antoine williams

 2015 resident artist sleeper

2015 resident artist sleeper

 2015 resident artist gabrielle duggan installing her piece,  resound  in the nick theatre stairwell.

2015 resident artist gabrielle duggan installing her piece, resound in the nick theatre stairwell.

Future Perfect

As Indie Grits has expanded and grown over the past nine years to cover art, film, music, and tech, we became more and more interested in the cross-sections between these different disciplines. We saw these overlapping areas as the future of the festival. With the future in mind, we created an integrated multimedia experience built around a central theme that would push our artists, filmmakers, designers, and programmers to explore challenging new ideas. The 2015 theme was Future Perfect. The theme was a starting point, an abstract concept, a pair of words in need of physical space.

 2015 muralist-in-residence trek matthews

2015 muralist-in-residence trek matthews



"Celebrating ten years of indie grits, we wanted to highlight Columbia’s defining feature–the lines of water coursing through our city built on rivers. those broad and deep imprints have long shaped the community’s culture and development. But in early October of 2015, those rivers took a violent and unexpected turn. After historic rainfall, man-made dams failed, water lines streaked unexpectedly across urban landscapes, and we saw our neighbors’ homes submerged, our community changed overnight.

Changing our original concept, we gathered a group of local and regional artists to explore these new relationships with our waterways and assist with the healing of our strong community. This group of artists formed Waterlines and was challenged to create new works in film, performance, transmedia, and public art, all commissioned by the Nickelodeon Theatre."

- Seth Gadsden,
Director of Indie Grits Labs





"Visiones focuses on individual visions for the future of the Southern Latinx community and Latin Americans around the world. In today’s climate it’s crucial for Latin Americans to redefine our place in the art world and society, and spread knowledge of the depth of our culture through the creative arts. Through the project Visiones, our main objective is to celebrate Latin American culture, shed light on our stories, and proudly showcase our role in shaping new Southern culture."

– Amada Torruella,
Visiones Co-curator

  mighty latinas!  performance during noche de visiones

mighty latinas! performance during noche de visiones

"It was an honor to be included in Indie Grits 2017. The mission of our film collective, Femme Frontera, aligned perfectly with that of Visiones, which is to create exhibition opportunities for work that frequently gets overlooked, most especially films made by Latinx filmmakers. The filmmakers, festival goers, performers, and organizers were so warm and welcoming, and the whole event felt very communal. I not only made good connections, but great friends. It was a truly memorable experience."

– Angie Tures
Founder of Femme Frontera
Filmmaker Showcase


Partnering Organizations

Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Palmetto Luna Arts
Richland County Library
One Columbia for Arts & History
Oaxaca Film Festival
Austin Film Society
O Cinema Miami


DACA Voices

Indie Grits Labs teamed up with South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center to develop a series of interviews to allow for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients to share their stories and communicate with lawmakers and congressmen who play a tremendous role in shaping their uncertain future.

Decisively human and apolitical, DACA Voices presents a series of urgent testimonies, as a plea for reason, offering a glimpse into the experiences of undocumented youth.


Thank you to our sponsors:

City of Columbia
Richland County
Surdna Foundation
Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences
SC Humanities
National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
The Nord Family Foundation

South Carolina Arts Commission
Palmetto Luna Arts
One Columbia for Arts and History
South Carolina Parks, Recreation & Tourism
BlueCross BlueShield of SC
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation
McDaniels Subaru of Columbia
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Elizabeth and Whit Slagsvol
Tracy and Eddie Jones
McDaniels Volkswagon of Columbia
Governor's School for the Arts Foundation
Reel South / South Carolina ETV
South Carolina Film Commission / Indie Grants
KW Beverage

Reel South / South Carolina ETV
South Carolina Film Commission / Indie Grants
KW Beverage
Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh, NC
Bank of America
The Whig
Hunter Gatherer
ABC Columbia / WOLO
Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC



“This year Indie Grits Labs two main after school programs. Come Around My Way and TakeBreakMake focused on the same theme: the self." 

"We reside in a world that constantly bombards us with an emphasis on productivity and efficiency. After all, that’s often how our importance is measured and for the students of these two programs, those subjects have different, but still very serious consequences. With survival, identity, and success at stake, we encouraged the students to explore the inner workings of their own minds in order to flesh out creative ideas and craft short films that reflect their fears and joys. Both classes relied heavily on discussion with topics including politics, the current social climate, hopes for the future, and the daily life of being a high school student. This sharing of powerful perspectives shaped the direction of the assigned projects, effectively creating a student guided creative environment. It also allowed us all to get to know each other better. Vulnerability played an important role this year as a way of engaging with students and helping them navigate their creative projects. One of the top priorities this year was forming a brave space where students felt comfortable thinking openly and creating. From students’ projects, it’s clear we were successful in accomplishing that. With the careful combination of class discussion, hands on video production and dedication, the students of Come Around My Way and TakeBreakMake were able to create some amazing thought provoking pieces.”

— Mahkia Greene (Instructor),
Bonnie Harris-Lowe,
and Audria Byrd (Education Interns)

Come Around My Way


Support provided by:

Richland School District One
South Carolina Arts Commission
Nord Family Foundation
Becky & Kevin Lewis




"In January, TakeBreakMake attended the 29th annual Creating Change Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Scotti Jones, Danny Flores, Sarah Hinnant, and Dana Dixon were chosen to be youth representatives at Creating Change, where they attended various workshops on everything from privilege and power in movement spaces to the contemporary Latinx experience. They also screened original TBM projects and led audiences through a “Rainbow Story” exercise based on their film TrUth, where participants were invited to assemble multi-colored collages out of original poetry written on construction paper. This unprecedented opportunity reaffirmed what the students of TBM already knew to be true: that art is transformational, and an indispensable tool in bettering our communities."

– Mahkia Greene,
From Nick Mag Issue #009


Support provided by:

Harriet Hancock LGBT Center
University of South Carolina Women and Gender Studies Program

Mega MediaLab


Our weekly middle school program, Mega MediaLab, centers around weekly critically engaging media screenings of contemporary and historical films, music videos, news programs, commercials, and other forms of current media. Each screening includes post film discussions and critical thinking/writing exercises that enrich students’ study of literature, social studies, science, world languages, and the visual and performing arts. This program also provides students with a basic understanding of the languages of film and media: Camera, Editing, Sound & Script. Education faculty as well as guest speakers provide a social, historical, cultural, and aesthetic context for the media content and facilitate post-screening discussion. After post-screening discussions, students break into groups to collaborate, write and present new content for the current media in discussion.



Literacy Labs


"This summer the media education team at Indie Grits Labs is creating a new series of media literacy labs. The new program consists of three major parts: CineLab, MediaLab, and StoryLab. All three labs include screenings, post-screening discussions, and critical thinking exercises that introduce students to the skills needed to navigate contemporary screen culture."

– Seth Gadsden,
Director of Indie Grits Labs


High School Horror Film Camp

Jordan Young,
Steffi Brink


Stop Motion Animation Camp

Lillian Burke,
Shelby Geter