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North Charleston City Gallery accepting applications for 2020-21 exhibitions

Application deadline: Saturday, Nov. 30


Established and emerging professional visual artists creating two-dimensional or wall-hung three-dimensional works are invited to apply individually or with a group to exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery. The gallery features artwork by national, regional, and local artists in a variety of subjects and media. The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department manages the exhibitions in the space, which are rotated on a monthly basis and may feature two or more artists concurrently. Exhibits are programmed one year in advance according to fiscal year. A review panel will convene in December 2019 to evaluate and select exhibits for July 2020-June 2021. There is no fee to apply. Artists must apply online at http://northcharlestonculturalartsdepartment.slideroom.com by Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in order to be considered. The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Dr. in North Charleston. The exhibition space is at the northwest corner of the Convention Center adjacent to the Coliseum, facing International Boulevard. This high-traffic venue offers great exposure for artists seeking to reach local patrons and out-of-state visitors of the multi-use facility. Exhibits are open to the public daily and admission and parking are free. Public receptions are typically held the first Thursday of each month from 5-7 p.m. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Only original, two-dimensional works or three-dimensional pieces that can be wall mounted on the gallery’s Walker display system will be considered. Free-standing sculptures, installations, and works requiring special display equipment cannot be accommodated in the space. Submission requirements include an artist statement, resume and exhibition history, exhibition concept, and five quality digital images that portray the quality and style of the artists’ work. Artists not eligible to show their work at the City Gallery, like, for example, those creating free-standing sculptures or installations, are welcome to submit an exhibition proposal to be considered for other locations. Proposals may be emailed to culturalarts@northcharleston.org and will be reviewed by Cultural Arts on an ongoing basis.
For additional information about these and other exhibition opportunities or to learn more about programs and services offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at NorthCharleston.org, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or call 843.740.5854.

Just getting some ‘AIR’

Notable arts organizations announce artists-in-residents 


North Charleston

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is proud to announce the appointment of Katherine Hester as artist-in-residence (AIR) for FY2019/20. The city’s AIR serves as a key resource for the department’s outreach programs, especially in the area of art instruction. Katherine will share her unique skills, talents, and experiences by providing residencies and workshops to public schools, seniors, and various community groups in North Charleston through June 2020. Hester is a local artist working in oil and mixed media. She paints outdoors, onsite when painting landscapes in order to capture the changing light of the Lowcountry. Katherine also enjoys creating portraits, working in mixed media in order to put a modern twist to the classic genre. She is a Lowcountry native and graduate of the College of Charleston. She holds a master’s in education and worked as a studio art, art history, and science teacher before leaving the classroom in order to pursue her painting career full time. She's been represented by galleries in Charleston and exhibited her work throughout the region. Hester holds numerous awards and participates in the annual Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition each spring. As North Charleston’s Artist-in-Residence, Katherine will offer instruction in painting and drawing. The North Charleston City Gallery will host an exhibition of Katherine’s work throughout December 2019 and January 2020. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center (5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston). School liaisons, arts teachers, and the general public are invited to meet the artist at a free gallery reception on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, from 5-7 p.m.

Spartanburg

HUB-BUB, a division of Chapman Cultural Center, announced artists-in-Residence who will begin their 2019/2020 terms in September. The purpose of the HUB-BUB artist-in-residence program is to continue to build a vibrant and healthy artistic community through opportunities for cultural enrichment.

Masimba Hwati (left) is a mixed media artist living and working in Zimbabwe; Cape Town, South Africa; and Detroit. His work explores the transformation of indigenous knowledge systems and cultural resistance. He juxtaposes cultural objects and symbols with ephemeral mainstream symbols. His work is preoccupied with contemporary and historical themes working with found objects performance and sound he creates antennas, gadgets of memory and experiences. It has been shown in Germany, France, Canada, London, Australia,southern Africa, and in the U.S. In 2015 he represented Zimbabwe at the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale in Italy. Hwati has conducted research in Cape Town, Avignon, Nova Scotia , and Detroit.

Shuk Han Lui (right) is a multidisciplinary artist who works predominantly in mixed-media paintings and artist’s books. Her practice takes a meditative focus and explores relationships between drawing, painting, piano, and the use of space. She is the recipient of several research grants and fellowships, including the Don Bachardy Fellowship, the Wilson Center Graduate Research Award, and the Looney Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Lui earned her Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia.

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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.

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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.

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City of North Charleston seeks new Artist-in-Residence

One visual artist can serve city, schools

Application deadline: 5 p.m. ET, Friday, June 28, 2019
Each fiscal year the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department contracts a professional visual artist to serve as the city’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR). The department is currently seeking to fill the position for fiscal year 2019/20. At the written request of art teachers and school liaisons, the AIR will conduct visual art residencies at North Charleston schools throughout the 2019/20 school year. Additional workshops and demos will be coordinated at the request of community groups, as well as during the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest. The AIR will also conduct a workshop for the department’s monthly Creative Arts Workshop program and offer instruction for summer arts camps in June 2020. In addition, the AIR will present an exhibition of his/her work at the North Charleston City Gallery from December 2019 through January 2020. Additional exhibition opportunities are available during the North Charleston Arts Fest in May. Past artists who served in the position include:
  • Quintin Chaplin (2018/19),
  • Camela Guevara (2017/18),
  • Caroline M. Self (2016/17),
  • Daryle Halbert (2015/16),
  • Alexandra Roberts (2014/15),
  • Charlynn Knight (2013/14),
  • Kristy Bishop (2012/13),
  • Lori Starnes Isom (2011/12),
  • Deborah Meyer (2010/11),
  • and Robert Maniscalco (2009/10).
Rate of pay for this part-time, contracted position is $25 an hour for up to 300 hours completed from August 2019 through June 2020. Program supplies are provided. A background check is required. Interested artists should submit quality photographs or digital images of their work along with a current résumé or CV reflecting their exhibition and teaching experience by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2019. Application materials may be emailed to kyeadon@northcharleston.org or mailed to the attention of Krystal Yeadon at City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. For more information about the Artist-in-Residence program, or the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website at www.northcharleston.org or call 843.740.5854.

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Temporary sculpture installed in Charleston

'Under Glass' conjoins natural sciences, spirituality

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is bringing public sculpture to the West Ashley Greenway with a temporary art installation by Georgia artist Mike Wsol. The piece was installed May 8 near the St. Andrew's School of Math and Science between Campbell Drive and the West Ashley Greenway. The Conservancy awarded Wsol with an exhibition prize at ArtFields in May 2018. ArtFields is an annual art exhibit and competition in Lake City showcasing the work of artists around the Southeast. Over the last year, Wsol has been planning and designing his sculpture for the West Ashley Greenway. Titled “Under Glass,” Wsol said the sculpture was “designed with the natural sciences and spirituality in mind. Its form divided in two chambers separates the viewer below from the natural light entering and reflecting within the upper chamber. Experiencing ‘Under Glass’ highlights the separation of the viewer’s physical body from the passing light nature provides.” The sculpture is made from two 325-gallon scrap propane tanks bolted to an X-shaped foundation that will be buried underground and covered with sod and soil. After the installation is complete, the sculpture will appear to balance atop the earth. It will be on display until October. In the coming months, the Conservancy will host educational events and opportunities for the public and schoolchildren to view the sculpture and interact with the artist. Wsol's recent creative work has taken the form of large experiential, interactive public sculpture, prints, and drawings. His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami, among other cities. Wsol has also been the recipient of grants and awards from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Indiana University, and the Georgia State University Center for Collaborative and International Arts to name a few. He earned a master of architecture from the University of Virginia, a master of fine art in sculpture from the University of Georgia, a master of arts in sculpture and a bachelor of arts in sculpture from Eastern Illinois University. The Charleston Parks Conservancy launched its Art in the Parks program in 2017, an effort to encourage temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including Redux Contemporary Art Center, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and ArtFields. The first art installation was in Hampton Park last year. In 2017, the Conservancy received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a planning and public engagement process to encourage creative placemaking along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. The site of Wsol’s installation was identified in the plan as location for public art that engages the community and encourages social interaction. “This installation is the first of many public art projects we’ll bring to West Ashley,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “As we work on the overall master plan for revitalizing the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, pubic art and arts programming will play an important role in how we reshape this public space and encourage resident use and engagement.” The ArtFields exhibition prize is part of the Art in the Parks program created by the Charleston Parks Conservancy in collaboration with Redux Contemporary Art Center and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.

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...


[caption id="attachment_40184" align="aligncenter" width="600"]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)[/caption]

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.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dale Rosengarten

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dale Rosengarten, Ph. D.

Advocacy – African-American Lowcountry Basketry & Southern Jewish Heritage Dale Rosengarten has been researching the African American tradition of coiled basketry for more than thirty years. In 1984, McKissick Museum hired her to interview basket makers in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, purchase baskets, and curate an exhibition about the iconic Lowcountry craft. Rosengarten spent the next two years conducting fieldwork with basket makers and pursuing archival research on the evolution of the basket from a humble agricultural tool to a world renown art form. Her work resulted in the exhibition Row Upon Row: Sea Grass Baskets of the South Carolina Lowcountry, which traveled for two decades across the United States and introduced thousands of people to this important tradition. In 1988, Rosengarten helped coordinate a conference on sweetgrass basketry at The Charleston Museum. The gathering marked a turning point in the relationship among public officials, land managers, and basket sewers. Participants addressed the challenges facing the makers and reached consensus about the need to ensure access to sweetgrass and protect the basket stands along Highway 17 from rampant development. The Sweetgrass Conference also created alliances with property owners willing to allow basket makers to gather grass on private land and inspired several horticultural projects aimed at cultivating the plant. Rosengarten’s doctoral dissertation (Harvard University, 1997) placed the Lowcountry basket in a global setting and led to a partnership with the Museum for African Art in New York. With co-curator Enid Schildkrout, she developed the exhibition and book Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art, highlighting the connection between African and Lowcountry baskets and their use in rice production on both continents. The exhibit opened at Charleston’s Gibbes Museum of Art in 2008—where scores of basket makers and their families attended the inaugural gala, and ended its coast-to-coast tour in 2010 with a six-month run at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. Grass Roots generated a number of educational tools, including a documentary film and a curricular guide, casting basket makers as tradition bearers and teachers. The exhibit catalog remains the comprehensive resource on the African roots of the Lowcountry basket but has not eclipsed Row Upon Row, which still sells steadily. Rosengarten continues to study, support, and promote Lowcountry baskets and their makers. Her knowledge and connections to the basket making community have benefitted cultural institutions across the country, including the Smithsonian, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and diverse museums seeking to mount exhibits or to build their permanent collections. A researcher and advocate, Rosengarten has authored numerous articles and book chapters and presented dozens of slide lectures on sweetgrass baskets and their history. One constant has been her spirit of volunteerism—her unflagging willingness to assist artists and arts organizations, basket enthusiasts and collectors, writers and film makers, and her desire to give people opportunities to tell their own stories. Since 1995, Rosengarten has also pursued a second scholarly interest: Jewish history and culture in the American South. Working as a curator in Special Collections at the College of Charleston, she has traversed the state recording oral histories (now numbering upwards of 500) and gathering archival materials that document South Carolina’s Jewish heritage. Again in partnership with McKissick Museum, she developed a landmark exhibition and book called A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life. After opening in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2002, the exhibit traveled for two years, spending six months at Yeshiva University Museum, where New Yorkers marveled at the longevity and abundance of southern Jewry. More recently, for Princeton University Art Museum, Rosengarten co-curated By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War, which had an unexpected second life at the New-York Historical Society under the title The First Jewish Americans. For the catalog Rosengarten contributed an essay on Charleston-born artists Theodore Sidney Moïse and Solomon Nunes Carvalho. She currently serves as editor of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina’s bi-annual magazine and as associate director of the College’s Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dorothy Brown Glover

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dorothy Brown Glover

Quilting Dorothy Glover is well-known for her distinctive use of traditional quilt design elements and patterns from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1925, she was the child of farmers Essie and William Glover creates exquisite quilt tops incorporating improvisational design methods that were popular among quilters whose social and economic status did not allow for the purchase of store-bought fabric for use in quilt making. Like most farm girls of her time, Glover was introduced to quilting by watching her mother make the quilts beneath which she slept as a child. These family treasures were created from strips and blocks of fabric salvaged from various articles of family clothing that were worn out and no longer wearable. The quilt backings were made from feed sacks and other pieces of old cloth from around the household. As a young adult, Glover took up the tradition and in time, through her patient and persistent devotion, she became a master of the art form. After marrying, Glover and her husband, Curtis, made their home in Lincolnville, where they raised their children. Continuing the family tradition, all three children slept each night beneath the quilts made by their talented mother. Lincolnville Town Hall, across the street from Glovers’ home, became an important artistic oasis. It was there that Ms. Glover embraced a community of women who organized an ongoing quilting bee, via which they shared an infinitude of creative ideas and tales of town history. This unique quilting bee, among other significant achievements, pieced together a group quilt to provide an historical timeline of Lincolnville—a place that had been founded by freed African-Americans following the Civil War. The women’s powerful history quilt paid homage to the days of the Reconstruction era, when Lincolnville became a haven to which formerly enslaved families came for a better life and community support. This special bee came, in time, to capture the hearts (and hands!) of many of the women of Lincolnville. For decades, Glover has inspired countless quilters, young and old, to join her in her artistic journey. Glover’s quilt reputation does not stop at Lincolnville. Quilters from throughout the state come to seek out her impressive quilting knowledge. Interested quilters watch her work painstakingly on intricate patterns like the “The Cathedral Window,” a quilt design known for the artist’s use of “invisible hand” applique stitches and precision piecing. Glover gracefully transforms thoughts and visions onto fabric and encourages other quilters, regardless of skill level, to experiment with patterns, colors, and designs. She generously shares her knowledge with all who want to learn and makes herself available to younger artists who seek out her experience and guidance.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

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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.