Charleston Marathon: Going the distance for the arts

2014 marks the fourth year for the Charleston Marathon, organized to raise funds for the Youth Endowment for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides equitable, quality cultural arts experiences to Charleston-area children. In its inaugural year, the race raised $40,000. In 2013, proceeds doubled to $80,000. The marathon is the sole funding source for YEA.

Charleston Marathon artwork by Robert LangeIn addition to providing the usual race experience, the event features several arts components. Charleston artist Robert Lange created an original work of art, “We Will Not Stop,” (pictured right) that is featured on the official race shirt. (The actual work of art is being auctioned as part of the proceeds.) A highlight for race participants will be the dancers, singers, drummers, bands, pianists and other performers, including some Charleston County students, who will provide entertainment and motivation along the course. Schools that apply for grants from YEA receive points on their applications for performing or volunteering at the race.

The race is actually a weekend of events, with a Youth Marathon on Friday, Jan. 17, a 5K, half marathon and full marathon on Saturday, Jan. 18, and bike tours of various distances on Sunday, Jan. 19. The 2013 event attracted nearly 5,000 participants in all events combined.

(Related: 2013 Verner Award Business recipient Charles Fox was recognized in part for his role in launching the marathon to benefit arts programs in schools.)

About Youth Endowment for the Arts
Youth Endowment for the Arts’ mission is to provide equitable, quality cultural arts experiences to Charleston-area children. Through grants and curriculum building, YEA strives to use the fine arts to help open additional avenues to learning. YEA was founded in 2000 by North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey and his wife, Judge Deborah Summey.