Bill Kinney, Jr. | Digital Traditions

Bill Kinney was born and raised in Bennettsville, South Carolina, where his parents were publishers of the local newspaper. Today, Kinney follows in the footsteps of his parents, serving as the editor and publisher of the Marlboro Herald-Advocate. Professional lineage and following in the footsteps of his parents gives Kinney insight into issues of cultural continuity and heritage that are so important to our state.

Kinney is being recognized for his tireless efforts to promote South Carolina traditional arts, which includes his work on the Board of Trustees at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 by the United States Congress to “preserve and present American folklife.” Kinney was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1982 by Senator Strom Thurmond. Since that time, Kinney has added his distinctive Southern voice to the deliberation of the board, many of the years serving as its president. Peggy Bulger, Director of the American Folklife Center, states “his work was crucial. As trustee and chairman of the board, Bill walked the halls of Congress, visiting congressional offices, and testified at a congressional committee hearing on behalf of the Center.”

Kinney continues to be a superb representative of the state of South Carolina and constant advocate for traditional arts and culture in our state. In addition to his work at the American Folklife Center, Kinney also is very committed to issues of historic preservation, the arts, and other issues surrounding quality of life in South Carolina. Kinney received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 2003.