The Christopher Gadsden Wells Endowment for the Arts was established in May 2013 in memory of Christopher Wells ('11) to provide gifted and talented young artists the benefit of exposure to the arts. A son of Muffie Vardell Wells (’77) and Jack Wells (’78), Christopher found his heart in theatre and music at Hammond.
The endowment is self-perpetuating and used to host visiting artists, provide exemplary opportunities for artistic endeavor, and help develop and nurture artistic talent in students. Since its inception, the endowment has made possible these exceptional opportunites.
- A baby grand piano purchased for concerts and choral performances.
- The Jazz Artists of Charleston worked with students individually and collectively throughout a school day, culminating in live performances.
- In recognition of Hammond's 50 anniversary, the program included alums Marcus Shields ('08) (opera), Laurel Seibels Justice ('82) (visual arts), and Charlie Todd ('97) (improv).
- The University of Cambridge American Stage Tour spent a day on campus conducting workshops for Middle and Upper School Fine Arts student participation, ending their visit with a live performance of Shakespeare's As You Like It.
- Alumni and acclaimed poet, Hastings Hensel '01, held a poetry reading for the Hammond community in the Theatre and worked with students throughout the day. Hasting's writing has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Gray's Sporting Journal, The Greensboro Review, New South, storySouth, The Hopkins Review, PLEADES, Valley Voices, Cave Wall, 32 Poems, and many others.
- Most recently, Terrance Henderson, renowned for his work as an actor, singer, dancer, director, and choreographer, spent the day on Hammond's campus demonstrating dance and choreography and interacting with students. Terrance was the recipient of the 2016 Steve G. Morrison Visionary Award, which honors someone in our community who exhibits 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.
The Wells family and Hammond thank you for your support of the Endowment, and encourage you to give again and share with others the many benefits of supporting the arts at Hammond. Join us in helping students discover and encourage artistic talents.
If you have questions or need help with this form, please email Mahalie Moore or call 803-695-4023