Re-enactors to tell story of African-American women in Civil War

Coming this Friday is a show-stopping event that deserves your attention. The South Carolina African-American Heritage Foundation is presenting an event that uniquely bridges Black and Women’s history months: a reenactment of African American women during the Civil War era. On Friday morning at 10:30, Female Reenactors of Distinction (FREED) will bring to life untold stories of struggle, strength, and success of African American Women who contributed to our American history. The reenactment will be performed at the South Carolina Archives and History Center (8301 Parklane Rd., Columbia). It’s free, but you must register to attend first. The South Carolina Arts Commission is sponsoring this event.

Six students readying for ‘Poetry Out Loud’ state finals Saturday

Six South Carolina high school students will compete in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – this Saturday, March 10, 3 p.m. at the Richland Library Main Branch (1431 Assembly St., Columbia). Janae ClaxtonThe S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the competition to state high schools for 12 years running. In 2017, around 7,500 students from 35 schools in 14 counties participated. School competition winners competed against students in their district to move on and compete in January’s regional finals. The following six state regional winners, three from each of two regions, compete Saturday for the opportunity to be the South Carolina representative in the national finals April 23-25, 2018 in Washington, D.C.:

  • Grant Butler (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Janae Claxton (pictured - First Baptist Church High School in Charleston)
  • Sha’Kaila Stewart (Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook)
  • Alyssa Stone (Wando High School in Mount Pleasant)
  • Alexia Story (Buford High School in Lancaster)
  • Taylor Elisse Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize. Contestant Janae Claxton is the 2017 S.C. Poetry Out Loud winner. Update, 12:25 p.m. March 8: First alternate Alyssa Stone will replace Keegan Dustin, who is unable to perform, on the program.

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. For more information, visit

U.S. poet laureate, Air Force ‘Rhythm in Blue’ Band in Sumter this weekend

This weekend in Sumter, the Sumter County Cultural Commission and Arthenia Millican Literary Foundation partner to present a new two-day multicultural arts event featuring performances, speakers, an art exhibit, and vendors. "Love. Respect. Unity. Festival" (LRU) is seeking to unite diverse people groups through the arts at Sumter's Patriot Hall March 10-11. Event host Cynthia Hardy from "On Point with Cynthia Hardy" will welcome U.S. Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth and Hate Won't Win founder Alanna Simmons as speakers. The headlining performer is the U.S. Air Force Rhythm in Blue Band – a nod to Shaw Air Force Base, which calls Sumter home. “We often get into a routine of existing day to day in silos, without meaningfully engaging with people who are different. We have the rare opportunity to unite people around the Sumter area’s rich culture and the diversity of the arts," Sumter County Cultural Center Executive Director Melanie Colclough said. Other performers are scheduled to appear include a combined ‘unity’ choir consisting of choirs from Morris College, First Baptist Church, and Lakewood High and the Sumter County Civic Chorale; a performance by Charleston’s first poet laureate Marcus Amaker; an art exhibit; and performances by a host of Sumter-area and S.C. talent. The AJBM Foundation was established in 2008 to preserve the legacy and literary works of Dr. Arthenia Jackson Bates Millican and to give back. Dr. Millican (1920-2012) was an internationally known poet, educator, novelist and humanist of rural beginnings who called Sumter home. A focal point of the foundation’s contributions is to promote literary and cultural arts locally, nationally and globally. “Many of the performances are inspired by the works of civil rights icon C. T. Vivian and feature themes of togetherness, cooperation, and unity," Millican Foundation Executive Director Richard (Rick) Jones said. “What I’m most excited and passionate about is the impact the festival and ongoing LRU programming will have bringing our diverse and multicultural community together through the arts." Festival admission is free. Hours are as follows:

  • Saturday: vendors from 1:30-3:30 p.m.; program from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: program from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
More information is available here:  

Fine food, fine art make for fine finale to 50th anniversary

The South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Arts Foundation, in partnership with United Community Bank, the Peace Center, and Table 301, are working together to create a memorable evening of art, art experiences and music to celebrate 50 years of public and private support for the arts.
  • Thursday, April 5, 2018
  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Genevieve’s at the Peace Center 
  • 300 South Main St., Greenville
  • $150/person | Buy tickets now!
Party goers will be treated to art from the State Art Collection, plus a silent auction and live auction conducted by Lydia Fenet, senior vice president at Christie's and benefit auctioneer. Both auctions include works by South Carolina artists, travel packages, and experiences. Fabulous food by Table 301 Catering, music, and dancing will make for an exciting and unforgettable evening.

50th Finale Highlights

  • State Art Collection - a glimpse of works from the state's contemporary art collection. Leo Twiggs, Jeanet Dreskin, Sam Wang and Sigmund Abeles are among artists whose works are featured.
  • Silent Auction - a diverse array of works by more than 20 Upstate artists offers opportunities for collectors to add to their collections. See a preview above! Peter Helwing, Stephanie Norris, Jeanet Dreskin, Benjamin Gilliam, Diana Farfan, Teresa Roche, Carrie Burns Brown, and Nancy Fox are among the artists included in the sale. The silent auction includes an online component, which will go live prior to the event.
  • Live Auction - guest auctioneer Lydia Fenet will offer fantastic and memorable art and travel packages, including work by Leo Twiggs, a two-day stay and spa treatment at Palmetto Bluff, and a Lowcountry experience at premier hotels in Charleston.
  • Dance Party - DJ Craze-E Crane will get the party started with music from a variety of genres and a library of more than 50,000 songs. See you on the dance floor!
  • Be there... reserve your ticket now.

Presenting Sponsor


Silver Sponsors


About Lydia Wickliffe Fenet

As senior vice president, global director of strategic partnerships at Christie’s, Lydia Fenet leads a global team forging significant collaborations with other luxury brands. Building on her 15-plus-year career at the historic auction house, Ms. Fenet pioneered the Strategic Partnerships program at Christie’s in 2010, leveraging skills sharpened both as special events director from 2004-2010 and during her time on Christie’s client advisory team. Under Ms. Fenet’s purview, innovative brand partnerships have grown into a valuable marketing and business development platform for Christie’s and its partners, producing dynamic co-branded initiatives worldwide. These initiatives include major exhibitions, special events, and targeted digital activations. Since leading her first auction in 2001, Ms. Fenet has become Christie's global head of benefit auctioneering and the top performer in the field, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for some of the largest non-profit organizations around the world and training Christie’s new classes of charity auctioneers. Some of her recent auctions include The Clinton Foundation, AMFAR, Tipping Point, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, and The Bob Woodruff Foundation. In 2014 she partnered with Glenn Close and Robert DeNiro to launch the Bring Change To Mind auction benefiting mental health. Ms. Fenet is currently writing her first book, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room, which will be published by Touchstone, a Simon & Schuster imprint, in spring 2019. Ms. Fenet graduated with a bachelor's degree in both art history and history from Sewanee - The University of the South. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and three children, Beatrice, Henry and Eloise.

Tuning Up: A compendium of arts in Columbia this week

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

  • CURTAIN CALL ALERT: Artistic Director Edward Arron closes out nine years leading the CMA Chamber Music on Main concert series with a farewell concert of Mendelssohn, Bernstein, Mozart, and more that features pianist (and, coincidentally, wife) Jeewon Park. $35. 6 p.m. happy hour + galleries, 7 p.m. concert.
  • ARTFIELDS WEST?: The new Stormwater Studios (née Vista Studios/Gallery80808), will debut with ArtFields Winners 2013 – 17, its first art show in its brand new home (413 Pendleton St.). Not simply the first show at Stormwater Studios, it's the first time ArtFields has shown its winning works outside of Lake City. The show at Stormwater Studios opens this Friday, 6-9 p.m., and remains through March 31, 2018.
  • COLA-BORATION II: the Southeastern Piano Festival and South Carolina Philharmonic renew their annual collaboration Saturday night at Romantic Chopin. David Hou, 2016 winner of the SEPF's Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition performs Chopin's First Piano Concerto with Music Director Morihiko Nakahara and the S.C. Phil. $17-$47. 7:30 p.m.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning Colson Whitehead to come to Charleston

On Monday, March 19th, Pulitzer Prize winning author Colson Whitehead (right) will speak at the Charleston Music Hall as part of The Paperback Tour for The Underground Railroad. The event is being organized by The Charleston Library Society as part of their annual Speaker Series. In 2016, The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Price for fiction and was named one of the “Ten Best Books of the Year” by The New York Times Book Review. It traces the story of Cora, a slave on the Randall Plantation in the deep South, who has been beaten and brutalized. She escapes slavery and sets out on the Underground Railroad – almost a character in and of itself – a literal network of railways and tunnels running throughout Antebellum America in search of freedom. Her journey, though, is as hard fought as her life, and Whitehead’s mix of mythology and reality creates a profound, emotional reading experience. While touring in support of The Underground Railroad’s paperback release, Whitehead will stop in cities across the country, including Charleston. “We are thrilled to host Mr. Whitehead,” says Charleston Library Society Executive Director Anne Cleveland. “The response from our Book Club’s discussion of The Underground Railroad was thought-provoking and memorable. To host him Charleston, with its deep Southern history described in his novel, will make for a very special night.” Every ticket sold is accompanied by a signed paperback edition of The Underground Railroad. Tickets are available only through the Charleston Music Hall. To purchase tickets, call 843.853.2252 or visit

Tuning Up: Story Slam season 3, African American Civil war reenactors

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

  • Women's History Month begins Thursday, March 1, and on the same day Story Slam returns to the Columbia Museum of Art in partnership with the #WhatSheSaid Project. SCAC quarterly grant recipient Shannon Ivey is #WhatSheSaid founder and the evening's host. “This is my third Soda City Story Slam at the CMA, and I can tell you, magic happens here,” Ivey says. "I am thrilled to bring these powerful women to the stage at the CMA.” Festivities kick off with a 6-7 p.m. cash bar, and is included with museum admission or membership. NOTE: event recommended for mature audiences only.
  • An event that bridges Black and Women's history months, get ready for a reenactment of African American women during the Civil War era to be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 16 at the South Carolina Archives and History Center (8301 Parklane Road, Columbia). The reenactment will be performed by Female Reenactors of Distinction (FREED,) an auxiliary organization of the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C. (The event is co-sponsored by SCAC.) It's free, but you must register to attend first.
  • The South Carolina Arts Alliance's work isn't done now that Arts Advocacy Day is in the rearview mirror. Did you know membership is free? They give wonderful advocacy tools and keep you updated on critical legislative activities related to the arts.

Richland County offers arts workshop to veterans Saturday

Richland County Recreation Commission is partnering with the Arts Access South Carolina (which itself partners with the S.C. Arts Commission) to promote and present the Veterans Creative Arts Workshop at the Adult Activity Center this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon. An instructor will teach you how to paint your own painting and create an arts and craft project! (All materials will be provided.) Limited slots available so pre-register today! The workshop is free, and open to veterans, spouses of veterans, and caregivers of veterans. Come out and mingle, meet new people, and create a masterpiece of art! Go here to register now, or call 803.462.9995.

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North Charleston City Gallery to exhibit works by Summerville Artist Guild

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that works by members of the Summerville Artist Guild will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from March 1-30, 2018. A free reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, March 1, from 5:00-7:00pm. Many of the exhibiting artists will be present and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend. The Summerville Artist Guild will present its 42nd Annual Judged Exhibit featuring two-dimensional works by more than 40 of its members in a variety of subjects and mediums. Comprised of artists from Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties, guild members from all levels of expertise express their talents in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, and more. Ribbons for Best of Show as well as first place, second place, third place, and honorable mentions in multiple categories will be awarded by guest judge, Jan Ross. Ross has been a dedicated artist for the past 30 years. Her formal education began at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where she developed her passion for watercolor painting She continued her studies in Europe for six years, as well as ongoing education through workshops with some of America’s top watercolor instructors. The Watercolor Societies of Georgia, Missouri, Western Colorado, Rhode Island, Alabama, Alaska, and the North East have all awarded her “Signature Membership,” their highest credential for achievement in watercolors. She is also a “Member of Excellence,” the credential of highest ranking, with the Atlanta Artists Center, the largest art organization in the Southeastern USA. Jan’s award-winning watercolors been accepted in more than 450 local, regional, national, and international juried competitions, as well as numerous one-woman and invitational exhibitions. She is on the faculty of the Hilton Head Island, SC, Art League and Academy and currently lives on Daufuskie Island, SC. The Summerville Artist Guild meets on the first Thursday of each month from September through May. The purposes of the guild are to “present programs of artwork, demonstrations, and workshops for the encouragement of members at all levels of artistic ability and for the awakening of greater interest in the Fine Arts community and environs." For more information, visit The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the northwest corner of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free. Gallery hours are Tuesdays 12-5pm, Wednesdays 11am-5pm, Thursdays 11am-7:30pm, and Fridays 11am-5pm. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at

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North Charleston Arts Fest Reveals 2018 Design Competition Winner

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Hamed Mahmoodi of Greenville, S.C. as the winner of the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, Mahmoodi’s acrylic painting, titled Atlantic Sun (right), will be used to promote the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 2-6. In addition, the artist received a $500 purchase award and the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection. Hamed’s design was selected from a total of 85 entries by artists from 11 cities across the state. The selection was made by a review panel appointed by the Cultural Arts Department who judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture. Mahmoodi, who has submitted work into the competition in years past, created a series of abstract paintings in the Art Nouveau manner for his entries in this year’s competition. “I focused on concentrated circles and curves and loaded the pieces with colors in a rainbow fashion that would be pleasing to the viewer’s eye,” he explains. “I believe the vibrancy created by the enticing color scheme and the energy generated by the movement in Atlantic Sun are very representative of the North Charleston Arts Fest. The diverse performances and artwork featured during the event, and the approach to connecting the arts and community members, bring vibrancy and energy to the City that I think is very special.” Hamed Mahmoodi was born in Iran and moved to South Carolina in 1978. He attended Clemson University and received a B.S. in Design Architecture in 1986. After graduation, he worked as an associate architect at Fluor International, then as art director for Naegele Outdoor Advertising. He has been a freelance designer for various architectural firms throughout the Southeast and a full-time artist working in a variety of media since the late 80’s. Hamed has had several one-man shows in museums, universities, galleries, and restaurants, and his design works and paintings can be found from Ground Zero Memorial Park in NYC to the South Carolina Governor's Mansion. He has also earned numerous juried awards, best in show honors, merit awards, fellowships, and art grants and has been chosen as the poster/art design winner of other notable festivals, including Piccolo Spoleto (Charleston, SC) and the Coca-Cola RiverPlace Festival (Greenville, SC). Oil, watercolor, acrylic, metals, wax, paper, furniture, and photography are just some of the media that Mahmoodi has used to create his diverse works of art. His philosophy for creating art is much like Robert Rauschenberg and Christo, whereas he believes that each idea and work deserves its own individual style and medium. Therefore, his approach varies from representational to abstract, with his most recent paintings primarily executed in an abstract style with an emphasis on color and movement. A new series of Mahmoodi’s paintings will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2018. The exhibit will also feature the winning piece, Atlantic Sun. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during the Arts Fest Expo from 11:00am-5:00pm on May 5 & 6, 2018. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email, or visit