Rural creatives: network on July 25

Network, celebrate, and catch the creative spirit


After a year of creating new connections and networks, CREATE: Rural SC wants you to join us and continue its creative exploration.  Creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, makers, tradition-bearers, mavens, advisors, friends and partners: you are especially invited to be part of this conversation and celebration. On Thursday, July 25, we’ll ask what matters to artists working deeply in communities to make positive change and what matters to communities that host visiting artists.   As we share and network, we’ll learn more about the community-based work of visiting artist Markus Tracy of Nevada who will lead a conversation about his South Carolina experiences in Estill and Blackville this spring and summer. Join us to learn more about staying connected with the S.C. Arts Commission and this program and come meet the agency's new director, David Platts. Light refreshments will be served and a mic provided for artists and others to share brief creative updates and insights. Artists are invited to bring a sample of their artwork for sharing and informal discussion. And perhaps a few of you will bring instruments—these meetings have a history of turning into jam sessions.

THANKS!

We are excited to join with the Estill/Hampton County Team for The Art of Community: Rural SC to support this important meeting and give special thanks to the Town of Estill for its support. In addition, financial support from USDA-Rural Development, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission (which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts) is fostering new ideas, new programs and new projects for community arts development in South Carolina. Special thanks as well to associates affiliated with the Promise Zone region, which includes Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

RSVP

Check out this e-vite link and rsvp today: http://evite.me/jBdWNpf5gm
Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

Submitted material

conNECKtedTOO is on the move

Sculpture heads to North Charleston for the summer


“You Bet ‘N Me ‘N Me ‘N You,” a sculptural tiny business village of the future, has moved from the Cannon Street Arts Center in downtown Charleston to the lobby of North Charleston’s City Hall (2500 City Hall Lane) where it will remain installed through early August 2019. The sculpture was created by artists, apprentices and business owners working with conNECKtedTOO, a project of art and culture in/with community for economic development. The project supports and promotes tiny business in Charleston and beyond as a vital part of neighborhood and commerce by building a collaborative, sustainable network of business owners, artists and neighborhood youth. This network is inter-generational, interracial and grassroots by design; it reflects the importance of diversity in the building of equitable societies.

"Everybody's dream is not to become Bill Gates. Some folks want to support their families or live out something that's a passion of theirs. There's one guy that has always wanted to have a place to sell pizza. As simple as that. He doesn't want to be Pizza Hut," said conNECKtedTOO tiny business coordinator and Charleston native Theron Snype.

In addition to the tiny business village installation, conNECKtedTOO has developed an Active Memory Map as one way of seeking out local narratives that are often left out of economic conversations—the stories, voices and memories of generations of Charlestonians, especially those who represent marginalized populations like minorities, women, and immigrants. The participatory map will be at the Charleston County Library Main Branch (68 Calhoun St., Charleston) through July 31.
coNECKtedTOO, as a multi-faceted experiment, is being constantly imagined, forged and promoted. Our present plan, timeline and budget are supported in large part by an ArtPlace America award. Additional support is provided by Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For more information please visit conNECKtedTOO.org or email conNECKtedTOO@gmail.com.

Submitted material

Theatre for children this summer in North Charleston

First of two presentations is June 21


The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to offer the first of two Summer Children’s Theatre presentations on Friday, June 21, 2019, featuring Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws!, presented by Good Clean Fun. The interactive, STEAM learning based program is for all ages and features two showings at two different locations. Daycares, community groups, families, and individuals are welcome to attend the 10 a.m. showing at Northwoods Park and Recreation Center at 8348 Greenridge Rd. and/or the 2 p.m. showing at Danny Jones Recreation Center at 1455 Monitor St. in North Charleston. Tickets are $2 per child with accompanying adults admitted at no charge. Parking is free. Good Clean Fun is led by Deena Frooman, an award-winning event producer and 25-year veteran of festivals, corporate entertainment, and tv/film production, who specializes in providing interactive amusement for children. As purveyors of play, Good Clean Fun is dedicated to “recretainment,” a combination of recreation and entertainment. Their mission is to bring STEAM play to the people using juggling and manipulation of objects as the core for development. Their hands-on assemblies and workshops can invoke a sense of belonging for audiences, both interpersonally and intrapersonally. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws is a program that incorporates a combination of STEAM-related vocabulary and skills focused on Newton’s Laws, Force of Motion, velocity, inertia, other scientific information, self-confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, and more. To learn more, visit www.goodcleanfun.simpl.com. Gravity: It’s Not a Word; It’s the Laws! is presented as part of a Summer Children’s Theatre Series, which also includes an anti-bullying and self-esteem enhancing program by TiffanyJ featuring Super Beauty on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Groups of 10 or more are asked to reserve space in advance. Seats fill up fast, so reserve early by calling the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 843.740.5854. For reservation forms, directions, or information on additional programs and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of NorthCharleston.org.

Finale of ‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series set for Dillon

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to announce that the finale of Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop that helps participants write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community will occur in Dillon on Saturday, June 8. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?
Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Dillon County Library Main Branch (600 East Main St., Dillon). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, Art of Community: Rural SC, a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council. Enjoy Crossroads at Dillon County Theatre Associaion in Dillon from May 18 through June 29, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

Summer arts camp experiences for children with special needs

Arts Access SC, Aiken Center for the Arts team up


Special needs children in the CSRA will get to experience art and music this summer thanks to a partnership among Arts Access South Carolina, Aiken Performing Arts, and the Aiken Center for the Arts. 
  • June 10-14, 2019
  • 10 a.m. to noon OR 1-3 p.m.
  • Aiken Center for the Arts
AASC master teaching artist Carter Boucher, working with a student from S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind. Designed specifically to enable children living with traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, and other physical and developmental disabilities to express themselves creatively, this program is the highlight of our summer outreach. The camp offers adaptable art and music programs designed to enable campers to express their creativity. Whether they are working with clay, trying out screen printing, or experimenting with tonal and atonal musical instruments, their days will be filled with fun. Carter Boucher, an artist in residence and master arts instructor for the Arts Access South Carolina, will teach this years camp. He told WFXG FOX 54 that he urges parents to sign their children up "even if you don’t think they will participate. We have seen children who are nonverbal singing songs and others who usually don’t participate taking the lead on projects. These camps are fun but they also are helpful to these children.” Eligible campers may attend free. Enrollment is limited, so go here to apply today.

Tuning Up: Experience the arts this weekend

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...


Jennifer Wen Ma’s team installs a version of Cry Joy Park at Beijing’s Tang Contemporary in October 2018. (Courtesy Halsey Institute) Jennifer Wen Ma’s team installs a version of Cry Joy Park at Beijing’s Tang Contemporary in October 2018. (Courtesy Halsey Institute)

Hey, look; we made it.

Friday is here. You've been looking forward to it since 8:30 or 9 a.m. Monday, and it's finally here. The Hub will be mowing and pitching in on some house cleaning for sure, but a good weekend has more to it than the mundane. We are here to help. BLACKVILLE The 8th Annual Blackville Music & Art Festival is bringing a weekend full of entertainment and activities to downtown Blackville this weekend, May 17-19. Organizers promise a carnival, parade, car & bike show, several live performances, art displays, vendors, and live artist demonstrations by South Carolina artists Edmon Glover Richburg, Ment Nelson, and Terrance Washington. CHARLESTON Not an exhibition per se, but how about something that keeps on giving? Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is offering BOGO memberships (for all membership levels!) until May 31. It's part of their May giving campaign. Use this deal to enjoy Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light from Jennifer Wen Ma (opens Saturday).  Ma helped design the stunning opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. COLUMBIA Your last chance to see Jackson Pollock: Mural is Sunday, when the exhibit at Columbia Museum of Art closes. The museum devoted two galleries not just to the mural that launched his fame but to the techniques and creation that made it what it is. LAKE CITY Join ArtFields in Lake City for a dual gallery opening on May 18th from 6-8 p.m. at TRAX Visual Art Center and Jones-Carter Gallery. On opening night, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks while you view artwork from Beverly Buchanan, Jenny Fine, and Jerry Siegel. Additionally, Fine and Siegel will be present to talk about their work and the inspiration behind their pieces.

Barnwell: New arts hotspot?

Theatre, literature events coming this weekend

For the unfamiliar, the South Carolina Arts Commission's "Art of Community" rural revitalization work began in six southeastern S.C. counties, one of which is Barnwell. The program uses arts and culture to connect people to where they live and each other in ways not tried before. Its success has turned it into a national model, and expansion to other parts of the state is now happening. This coming weekend, Barnwell residents can look forward to two arts events:
  • Part of "Art of Community," the "Communal Pen" writing workshop series is touring the state helping people connect to where they live through writing. The fifth of six workshops is this Saturday in Barnwell. Co-facilitators Eboni Ramm and Michelle Ross will lead workshop participants as they write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. While you're there, be sure to check out the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural AmericaCrossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. (MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming.) "Communal Pen" has tracked the exhibition's tour of South Carolina.
  • Circle Theatre's "The Addams Family" is setting up the new musical comedy for a two-week run starting Friday that will include your favorite kooky family, plenty of laughs, valuable lessons and catchy music. Support the arts at Circle Theatre, Barnwell County's community theatre, located at 325 Academy Street. Purchase tickets in advance for $15. Tickets will be $20 at the door if there is space, but shows could sell out.

Submitted material

New book takes dogs in literature for a walk

Furman librarian Jeffrey Makala co-edits anthology

Jeffrey Makala, Furman University special collections librarian and university archivist at the James B. Duke Library, has co-edited a new book about dogs in literature. The book, “In Dogs We Trust: An Anthology of American Dog Literature,” is co-edited by Jacob F. Rivers III and published by the University of South Carolina Press. A book signing event is set for Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-noon at M. Judson Booksellers in downtown Greenville. University of South Carolina Press offers this description of “In Dogs We Trust”:

“‘In Dogs We Trust’ is a grand anthology that celebrates the many sterling virtues of the canine species. Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years as working partners. By the 19th century, their role expanded to companions. American dog literature reflects this gradual but dramatic shift that continues even today. Our household dogs are quite literally closer than ever to us: sleeping in our beds, getting dressed in Halloween costumes, and serving as emotional support companions.

“The first comprehensive anthology of American dog literature, ‘In Dogs We Trust’ features stories, anecdotes and poetry from periodicals dating from the 19th to the early 20th century. By mining the vast American literary archive of this time, Rivers and Makala reveal the mystique and magic of the human-canine relationship and what they believe is one of the best connections humans have to the mysteries of the natural world.”

Rivers is the director for the Office of Veterans Services at the University of South Carolina and a teacher in the Department of English. He is the author of “Cultural Values in the Southern Sporting Narrative” and “Early Southern Sports and Sportsmen: 1830-1910.” Apart from his roles as special collections librarian and university archivist at Furman, Makala is owner of Two Terriers Press. He has written about 19th century American literature and book history in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America; Literature & History; Printing History; and The Oxford Companion to the Book. He is also an editor for The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP News).

All you need to know about S.C. Arts Awards Day

14 recipients to be honored May 1

  • Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award presented at ceremony
  • S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon & Art Sale to follow

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two awards honoring high arts achievement in South Carolina will be presented to 14 recipients Wednesday, May 1, 2019 during South Carolina Arts Awards festivities at the UofSC Alumni Center in Columbia. The South Carolina Arts Awards, sponsored by Colonial Life, are a joint presentation of the South Carolina Arts Commission, South Carolina Arts Foundation, and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina to award the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards.

Awards Ceremony

Both awards will be presented at the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia), which begins with a reception from 10-10:45 a.m. The official ceremony begins at 11 a.m. S.C. Arts Commission Board Chairman Henry Horowitz and Executive Director Ken May will be joined by South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster to present the awards to each recipient. Nine recipients from their respective categories are being recognized with Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • ARTIST: Tyrone Geter, Elgin
  • INDIVIDUAL: Kathleen Bateson, Hilton Head Island
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION (Individual): Simeon A. Warren, Charleston
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION (Organization): South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, Hartsville
  • BUSINESS: Hampton III Gallery, Taylors
  • GOVERNMENT: Florence County Museum, Florence
  • ORGANIZATION: The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
  • ORGANIZATION (Special Award): Town Theatre, Columbia
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Cecil Williams, Orangeburg
Four artists and one advocate are being recognized with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award as practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature, and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. They are:
  • John Andrew “Andy” Brooks (Liberty): Old-Time Music
  • Dorothy Brown Glover (Lincolnville): Quilting
  • Julian A. Prosser (Columbia): Bluegrass Music
  • The Voices of Gullah Singers (St. Helena Island): Gullah Singing
  • Dale Rosengarten, Ph.D. (McClellanville): Advocacy, African-American Lowcountry Basketry & Southern Jewish Heritage
McKissick Museum will celebrate this year’s Folk Heritage Award recipients at a mixer Tuesday, April 30 from 6-8 p.m., at the Blue Moon Ballroom (554 Meeting St, West Columbia). Admission is free for McKissick members or $5 for non-members. RSVP’s can be made, or tickets purchased, by going here. For more information, or to RSVP or purchase a ticket over the phone, call 803.777.2876.

S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon & Art Sale

The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). Works by South Carolina will be on sale from 11 a.m. to noon, with proceeds supporting S.C. Arts Commission programs. The luncheon program is expected to run from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • Unique ikebana flower arrangements, in partnership with Ikebana International Chapter #182 of Columbia, will serve as table centerpieces. Each arrangement, available for sale, will be presented in an included, original vase crafted by a South Carolina artisan.
  • Art experiences will also be sold.
  • The keynote speaker will be S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May, retiring at the end of June 2019 after 33 years at the agency and the past nine as its leader, giving a “State of the Arts” message.
  • Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and available for purchase through SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Submitted material

2019 North Charleston Arts Fest coming May 1-5

Performances, activities, and exhibits will take place throughout city


The annual North Charleston Arts Fest is now just weeks away, set to take place May 1-5.

The celebration of arts and culture highlights the talents of national, regional, and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and literature. Performances, activities, and exhibits are scheduled to take place in a variety of venues throughout the city of North Charleston, including libraries, community centers, businesses, and parks. Many of the offerings are free, and those that are ticketed are moderately priced.

Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event in both 2008 and 2018, the North Charleston Arts Fest is now entering its 37th year. Arts Fest offerings include:

  • concerts ranging from classical to contemporary,
  • theatre presentations,
  • dance performances,
  • children’s programs,
  • workshops,
  • demonstrations,
  • lectures,
  • exhibitions,
  • receptions,
  • public art installations,
  • and more.

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, which organizes and presents the event, is introducing some major changes to this year’s festival programming.

Most notable is the discontinuation of the two-day Arts Fest Expo at the Charleston Area Convention Center, and introduction of the one-day World Arts Expo at North Charleston Riverfront Park. The new event will be held on Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission and parking.

“A number of factors have encouraged us to switch our focus in 2019 to a new event that highlights some of the most popular components of the Arts Expo we’ve previously produced at the Convention Center,” explains Cultural Arts Director Kyle Lahm. “The World Arts Expo is our new flagship event celebrating visual and performing arts from cultures around the world. Patrons can enjoy the spring weather while experiencing a diverse line-up of music and dance performances, live art demonstrations, multi-cultural food offerings, art & craft vendors, hands-on activities, roving entertainment, and a kid’s zone.”

Despite this change, Exhibit Hall A at the Charleston Area Convention Center will continue to host the Arts Fest’s Judged Art & Photography, South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and Tri-County Youth Art Exhibitions during the entire run of the Arts Fest, May 1-5. Viewing hours are Wednesday, May 1, 6-8 p.m. (opening reception); Thursday-Saturday, May 2-4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 5, 12-6 p.m.

Another new event called the Arts Fest Exhibition Encore will be introduced in 2019 as a means to spotlight these exhibits. The Exhibition Encore on Sunday, May 5, from 12-6 p.m., serves as a closing reception and celebration, allowing patrons to view the artwork in a festive atmosphere and make final decisions on purchases. In addition to the vast array of artwork on display, the event offers musical entertainment, live art demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more.


Theatre and Dance

Theatre and dance offerings during this year’s Arts Fest include everything from showcases and improv comedy sketches, to one-woman shows and full stage productions.

  • Award-winning sister act Gracie & Lacy make a dazzling return to the Arts Fest in a dinner theatre performance of Gloriously Gatsby on Wednesday, May 1, at the North Charleston Marriott. Their Jazz Era throwback production showcases the glitz and glam of the 1920s & '30s through song and dance.
  • Theatre 99 will be doing a little song and dance of their own by taking on-the-spot audience suggestions during their popular Improv Riot! comedy show, which is popping up at The Sparrow in Park Circle on the same evening.
  • Lady in White Productions will offer a one-night-only performance of Big Mama on Friday, May 3. The original musical, written by Ade Ofunniyin and directed by Samelia Adams, centers on performers’ experiences as members of the Theatre Owners Booking Association, the vaudeville circuit for African American musicians, comedians, and actors in the 1920s.
  • Arts Fest patrons can also catch a musical at Midtown Productions. Their reprise of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s West End and Broadway hit musical Tell Me On a Sunday has a 10-show run taking place between May 2 and 18. The production stars Allison Sharpley and is directed by Sheri Grace Wenger, who received the 2013 Theatre Charleston Award for “Outstanding Director of a Musical” for her work on this production.
  • Dancefx Charleston will present its second annual storybook show, Wonderland, on Saturday, May 4, at the Fort Dorchester High School Auditorium. The production features a series of dance performances woven together with narrated scenes from the beloved tale of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Fort Dorchester will also host a Youth Dance Showcase featuring performances by Dance Moves Youth Company and Summerville Dance Academy on Sunday, May 5.

Music

This year’s musical offerings vary widely, with numerous afternoon and evening concerts scheduled throughout the five days of the festival. In addition to performances of contemporary jazz, blues, soul, and variety tunes at the usual Arts Fest venues like North Charleston’s public libraries and senior centers, this year’s festival also includes musical offerings at new venues such as The Eternal Father of the Sea Chapel on the former Charleston Naval Base and Midtown Theatre. Another addition to the 2019 Arts Fest music line-up is the Park Circle Pickin’ Crawl, taking place in four locations along East Montague Avenue in the Olde Village area of North Charleston on Sunday, May 5. The day-long series of bluegrass & Americana concerts are all within walking distance from one another with no cover charge at any of the venues.


Visual Arts

Visual art offerings unique to this year’s festival include Honoring the Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement, an exhibition of quilted swing coats by Patricia A. Montgomery of Oakland, Calif.; Balancing Act, a collection of new paintings by the Arts Fest’s poster design competition winner Joseph Kameen; and The Culture: Part 2, a display of new work by the City of North Charleston’s current artist-in-residence Quintin Chaplin.

Other visual art exhibitions include the aforementioned Judged Fine Art and Photography Exhibitions, Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition, and the inaugural Tri-County High School Sculpture Exhibition, and the 18th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibition on view in Exhibit Hall A at the Charleston Area Convention Center; the 14th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition installed at North Charleston Riverfront Park; and the 13th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: BLACK GOLD on display at North Charleston City Hall. In addition, the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is continuing its partnership with the College of Charleston School of the Arts Sculpture Department to present public art installations in green spaces throughout the City. These installations, as well as a number of the exhibitions presented as components of the festival, will remain on view well after the festival concludes on May 5.


  • Complete information on all 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest offerings, including event and exhibition details, site maps, and social media contest rules, are available at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.
  • Applications are currently being accepted for booth space at the World Arts Expo at Riverfront Park and Arty Block Party. Entry instructions for the Festival’s Judged Fine Art Exhibition, Judged Photography Exhibition, Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition, and Tri-County High School Sculpture Exhibition, as well as volunteer sign-up forms are also available. Forms can be downloaded at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply.