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North Charleston to present Juneteenth theatre production next week

The North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is set to host a special theatre performance in recognition of Juneteenth in North Charleston on Saturday, June 18, with "When I First Remember" presented by Lady in White Productions.

This original ensemble production is an interactive, storytelling journey full of song, dance, and dialogue appropriate for all ages. The play portrays the passage of African slaves to the Lowcountry and provides a unique and authentic insight into the Gullah Geechee and African American culture. Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/when-i-first-remember-juneteenth-event-north-charleston-cultural-arts-tickets-291785015837. Written by Queen Atterberry and directed by Samelia Adams, "When I First Remember" has been described as educational, poignant, and engaging. The cast features Nina Reinaldo, Rose Eunice Atterberry, Duane Branch, and Samelia Adams. Viewers will witness how enslaved Africans survived, adjusted, and adapted to a foreign environment and harsh circumstances, creating a new culture and identity in the Americas. Audience members will also learn about the origin and significance of the Juneteenth holiday. "When I First Remember" will be presented at Centerpoint Church at Remount, located at 1520 Remount Rd. in North Charleston. The performance begins at 7 p.m. and is approximately 1.5 hours long. Tickets are $30 per person. Parking is free. To purchase tickets, order online. Cash will also be accepted at the door. For information on the performance, visit www.facebook.com/WhenIFirstRemember.
For information on other programs and events produced or sponsored by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, call 843.740.5854 or visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website, www.northcharleston.org.

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Colour of Music Festival returns next weekend

Octet readies for NYC debut

The Colour of Music Festival will return to Mount Pleasant at I’On Village Chapel, Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. for a special performance showcasing leading Black classical artists.

German-born violinist Anyango Yarbo-Davenport will be featured as part of an evening of duos and quartets in I’On’s picturesque village community east of the Cooper. The evening will include a duo for violin and viola by John Halvorsen, Zoltán Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello Op. 7 and works by two black composers―Valerie Coleman’s Umoja for String Quartet and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s String Quartet No. I “Calvary,"―to honor the many black communities surrounded by the Mount Pleasant and Awendaw communities. Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of Black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. The Colour of Music Festival began with performances at various venues throughout historic Charleston and has grown to debut at leading collegiate venues and performance halls across the U.S. This summer, it adds New York to its list of stops when the Colour of Music Festival Octet debuts at Carnegie Hall. “Dating back to 2014, the Colour of Music Festival was among several music entities that inaugurated the I’ON Village Concert Series. I am elated to produce what I hope will be many more events in partnership with the I’ON Trust whose mission is to bring the I’ON Village and surrounding communities together through music,” said Lee Pringle, Colour of Music Festival founder, artistic director, and community resident. I’On Chapel Mount Pleasant | Colour of Music Festival Quartet
  • Saturday, May 21, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
  • 352 North Shelmore Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
  • Tickets: $35 adult; $25 senior; $15 student (general admission seating)
    • Online: www.colourofmusic.org
    • by phone 888.512.9835 Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET
PLEASE NOTE COVID-19 PATRON ADVISORY: Mask are recommended. If not in the possession of one, patrons will be issued KN95 mask to be worn throughout the performance. The Colour of Music Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Colour of Music Festival

Based in Charleston, South Carolina and organized in 2013, the Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences throughout the Lowcountry, regionally, and nationally. The festival has also presented performances in Washington; Atlanta; Houston; Nashville; Richmond; Pittsburgh; Sacramento, California; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. www.colourofmusic.org
Main image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

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Gibbes Museum awarded grants to increase diversity

The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston’s premier art museum, has been awarded three grants that aim to showcase more diverse voices and expand the canon of art history.

One comes courtesy of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and two from the Art Bridges Foundation. These grants have awarded funds to the Gibbes to support two exhibitions – the Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice exhibition currently on display and another exhibition slated for fall of 2023 that will draw parallels between the British Aestheticism movement of the late 19th century and the Charleston Renaissance, highlighting LGBTQIA+ influences on both movements.

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections for the people of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Chicago. The Gibbes was named one of 11 recipients of the foundation’s groundbreaking Broadening Narratives initiative, which aims to fund specific collections or projects that shed light on underrepresented stories. This grant, totaling $60,000, will aid the Gibbes in a special exhibition that will draw unprecedented parallels between two dynamic artists – 20th century Charleston Renaissance artist Edward “Ned” I.R. Jennings and author and illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, an icon of the British Aestheticism movement. In particular, the exhibit will consider the role of queer artists in the Charleston arts community at the time by exploring Jennings’ life and works. “At the Gibbes, we are committed to sharing artists from diverse backgrounds and experiences,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “We are grateful and excited to put this grant toward continuing that mission with a special exhibition highlighting LGBTQIA+ artists with a focus on our Charleston arts community.”

Art Bridges Foundation

The Art Bridges Foundation grants, totaling $76,015, were awarded to the Gibbes to support exhibition costs, marketing and related programming associated with the Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice exhibition, now on view at the Gibbes until Aug. 7, 2022. This exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with support from the Art Bridges Foundation. William H. Johnson, a South Carolina native, painted his “Fighters for Freedom” series in the 1940s as a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers and performers who fought to bring peace to the world. Through their stories, he suggests that the pursuit of freedom is an ongoing interconnected struggle with moments of both triumph and tragedy. “The presentation of Johnson’s Fighters for Freedom not only reintroduces a major South Carolina-born artist to contemporary audiences, but also further strengthens a program of exhibitions addressing complex and lesser or unfamiliar narratives in visual art,” Mack said. “We are truly grateful for the partnership with Art Bridges to bring this exhibition, the first-ever presentation of this series, back to Johnson’s home state and to foster a more diverse and expanded canon of art history.”

About the Gibbes Museum of Art

Home to the Carolina Art Association, established in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Housing one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present, the museum’s mission is to enhance lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy and to be inspired by the creative process. For more information, visit www.gibbesmuseum.org.

Jason Rapp

Mary Whyte donates first sculpture to Charleston

New addition at Joe Riley Waterfront Park

[caption id="attachment_49901" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Mary Whyte and Lilly Jones (l-r) are all smiles in front of "Lilly." Charleston Post & Courier photo by Henry Taylor.[/caption]

Last week, Mary Whyte joined Charleston dignitaries and one special Citadel cadet in a Charleston park for a memorable gifting.

Though Whyte's normal medium is watercolor, her foray into sculpture is now a fixture in her city's Waterfront Park. Lilly depicts a young Black girl reaching to the sky. The eponymous subject of the bronze statue, Lilly Jones, is now a Citadel cadet who attended the dedication ceremony. “On behalf of our citizens, I'd like to thank Mary Whyte. This remarkable statue of Lilly is a beautiful and joyous work of art, and I can't imagine a more appropriate home for it than Waterfront Park,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “The statue of Lilly is not only a tribute to our African American community, but will be a joyful welcome to Waterfront Park visitors as well,” Whyte remarked. Visit Lilly at Joe Riley Waterfront Park, Vendue Range & Concord Street in Charleston.      

Jason Rapp

Charleston Jazz Festival announces 2022 lineup

Charleston Jazz is excited to announce the lineup for the Charleston Jazz Festival, April 21-24, 2022.

The festival draws fans from around the world for a four-day celebration of the Holy City’s rich jazz heritage and thriving music scene. It started in 2015 and since, jazz fans throughout the country flock to Charleston to celebrate the Holy City’s rich jazz heritage and thriving jazz scene. Previous festival performers have included Bobby McFerrin, Ranky Tanky, Regina Carter, Freddy Cole, Nnenna Freelon, Arturo Sandoval, and Manhattan Transfer to name a few.

2022 Festival Highlights

From April 21-24, the 2022 Charleston Jazz Festival will feature student musicians, local jazz groups, and internationally acclaimed performers including the Emmet Cohen Trio, the Jorge Luis Pacheco Quartet, Kandace Springs and Etienne Charles in multiple venues around Charleston. The festival will open on April 21 with Lowcountry Jazz Day, hosted by Forte Jazz Lounge. Expect a host of Charleston's own top musical talent and an appearance by the city Poet Laureate, Marcus Amaker. From April 22-23, the Charleston Music Hall will host internationally-acclaimed artists Emmet Cohen Trio (pictured above, with Lucy Yeghiazaryan and Bruce Harris), the Jorge Luis Pacheco Quartet, Kandace Springs, and Etienne Charles & Creole Soul. The festival will close with Family Jazz Day on Sunday, April 24 as Charleston's brightest young musicians carry on the torch of the city's jazz art form in a special showcase at Royal Missionary Baptist Church. The Charleston Jazz Festival is made possible, in part, by the Medical University of South Carolina. Get the entire festival lineup and, importantly, ticket information right here.

Jason Rapp

Halsey Institute set for Young Contemporaries 2022

[caption id="attachment_49589" align="aligncenter" width="622"] Installation of Young Contemporaries 2021. Photo by Rick Rhodes Photography & Imaging.[/caption]

Now in its 37th year, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the College of Charleston Studio Art Department are proud to present Young Contemporaries 2022, opening Friday, March 18 and running through April 23.

The annual exhibition is a celebration of talented artists at the College of Charleston. With works selected by a nationally renowned juror, the exhibition reflects the strength and diversity of practice in the School of the Arts’ rigorous programs. Featuring a wide range of media, including paintings, sculpture, photography, and prints, the exhibition showcases the efforts of the student body at the College. Artist Ron Bechet served as the juror and awards judge for Young Contemporaries 2022. Concurrent with Young Contemporaries is the Salon des Refusés, showing in the exhibition space of the Cato Center for the Arts. The works in the Salon are chosen by Studio Art faculty. The origin of the Salon des Refusés dates to Paris in 1863, when artists who had been rejected from the official Salon caused such a protest that Emperor Napoleon III ordered another exhibition held for them. Among the painters in the original Salon des Refusés were Camille Pissaro, Henri Fantin-Latour, James M. Whistler, and Edouard Manet. The Young Contemporaries and Salon des Refusés category awards are funded by the Dean’s Excellence Fund for the College of Charleston School of the Arts. The Norton M. Seltzer Award is funded by Mindelle Seltzer, and the Karin Jurick Award is funded by the Robert Lange Studios community.
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is located at 161 Calhoun St. in Charleston. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays. Free.

Jason Rapp

Help and healing through the arts

We are all in this together, you and I.

Sometimes things are grand. Peachy. Sunshine-y with clear skies and, preferably, low humidity. Cake and ice cream—or the treats your genetics let you enjoy comfortably. Other times, things aren't. As a result, we might need a little help.

Making their way to Hub HQ this week were two news stories of great interest to our mission. The stories go right to how the arts intersect with well-being, illustrating perfectly how they are put to use to help when your metaphorical skies are stormy or your ice cream cone topples to the hot pavement. The South Carolina Arts Commission envisions all people benefiting "from a variety of creative experiences." Those benefits are wide-ranging and depend on many things. For example, we've seen recently how they lend themselves to public health. Today, we share stories about their positive effects on other health matters, specifically mental health.

Art therapy in Charleston County schools

A December report out of Charleston County schools showed alarming increases in suicide assessments, so the district is mobilizing to address the mental health needs of its students. How? You guessed it; with the arts. Reporting by WCSC-TV 5 in Charleston reveals that a new program: "one-hour, once a week art therapy classes at five schools," according to Live 5 News' Nick Reagan. The program is in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina. The Hub supports local journalism and doesn't wish to plagiarize. We will stop there and encourage you to go check out Reagan's reporting for more on this story.

California arts learning project goes viral

The Hub covers South Carolina arts, but we're not limited to those borders. Once you call the "Peptoc Hotline" from California elementary school students, you'll be grateful. (We have, and we are.) We will use the CNN coverage here, but they and others have covered this story about a "public art project from students at West Side Elementary School in Healdsburg, California, [that is] designed to offer positive and encouraging mantras to help everyone through this trying time." Long story short, the school's art teacher Jessica Martin put together recordings of the students offering hotline callers encouragement, positivity, a smile, and maybe some lifted spirits. You try not to smile after a pep talk from a kindergartener, or after choosing our favorite, option 4 (a looped recording of the children laughing).

The name for the project came from Martin's 6-year-old son. Once the artist had captured all the recordings, she asked her son to use his special block letters to create a flyer to advertise the hotline. She purposely gave him no direction beyond what she thought would be the name: "Peptalk." He sounded out the words and mistakenly spelled them as "Peptoc," which Martin loved for its honesty and unintentional reference to TikTok. The name stuck.

The hotline might be limited to the remainder of the school year unless outside funding allows for it to continue beyond that. When you're ready for your "Peptoc," call 707.998.8410. The hotline is free, but charges might apply from your phone service provider.

Jason Rapp

Milestone Spoleto Festival season announced

Which is to say: It's back!

[caption id="attachment_49300" align="aligncenter" width="948"]A woman and man, splattered in bright paint, stand close to perform a theatre production. Physical theater company Machine de Cirque performs the US premiere of La Galerie at Festival Hall. Photo by Emmanuel Burriel.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_49301" align="alignright" width="300"]Promotional photo of two-member The War and Treaty. The War and Treaty (shown) performs with Francesco Turrisi at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard as part of the First Citizens Bank Front Row series. Photo courtesy The War and Treaty.[/caption]

International performers return to Charleston for a program exploring themes of faith, migration, intertwining histories, and reclamations of the past in Charleston from May 27-June 12, 2022 at the storied Spoleto Festival USA.

General Director Mena Mark Hanna announced the first season programmed under his leadership (Hub story), a robust 46th season of America’s premier performing arts festival. This 17-day celebration of arts and culture features more than 120 events in venues throughout the city. Tickets are available to the public beginning Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. ET at spoletousa.org or by calling 843.579.3100. All told, patrons can expect 124 performances and events by upwards of 70 international artists. Included are 10 world premieres. Spoleto Festival USA is a general operating support grantee of the South Carolina Arts Commission. For the first time since 2019, international artists will once again convene in Charleston, reaffirming Spoleto’s prominence in the broader arts landscape. In this way, the 2022 festival season serves as a bridge that spans Charleston and the global community with unifying threads and intertwining themes. It is also, as mentioned, a milestone: the first with Hanna as general director. Hanna, who began leadership last fall, sees Spoleto on the precipice of a new beginning. “Charleston has seen tremendous growth and rapid change, with nearly 60,000 people relocating to the area in the last decade,” he said. “I see Spoleto at a unique point to not only grow with the city, but to continue to be a steward of its cultural life, just as the festival did in its early years.” [caption id="attachment_49302" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Chorus in concert with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Photo by William Struhs.[/caption] At the centerpiece of the season is Omar, Spoleto’s world premiere opera with music by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, directed by Kaneza Schaal (May 27, 30, June 2, 5, 8, 12), and conducted by John Kennedy. Expanding the traditional opera canon and providing a platform for marginalized voices, this work is part of a watershed moment that challenges the standard practice and repertoire of opera, questioning how it has been performed and what it can mean today. With a libretto by Giddens, Omar follows the life and autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an African Muslim scholar who, in 1807, was captured in West Africa and brought to Charleston—a main harbor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In sharing Omar Ibn Said’s memoir, the opera underscores a largely undiscussed truth: as many as 30 percent of enslaved Africans who arrived in the colonies and the United States were Muslim. “Within and beyond Omar, Spoleto’s program explores migration—be it forced, exiled, or voluntary. Enslavement is a forced migration, for example. And in looking at our country’s origin points, it’s crucial to include Africa as a key genesis of the United States. That can no longer be ignored,” Hanna said. These themes distill throughout the program, from jazz and Americana concerts in the College of Charleston Cistern Yard to classical music, dance, and theater performances. Read all about them in the season announcement here or go here to find specific performances to snap up when ticket sales begin next week. [caption id="attachment_49303" align="aligncenter" width="949"]Black female actor performs, alone, on stage of a dimly-lit theatrical set. Dael Orlandersmith performs Until the Flood at Festival Hall during Spoleto Festival USA. Photo by Nicholas Hussong.[/caption]

Jason Rapp

IAAM gets third round of support from Ford Foundation

Grant to assist Gullah storytelling, more

The International African American Museum has received a grant of $500,000 from the Ford Foundation that will support its inaugural year of operation, including exhibition installations and early programming, genealogy workshops, and Gullah storytelling programs.

This is the third grant from Ford to the museum since 2017, and it brings the foundation’s total gifts to nearly $1 million. With opening set for late 2022, this investment comes at a crucial time. IAAM President and CEO Dr. Tonya Matthews called 2022 a "momentum year." “As we head down the finish line of artifact and exhibition installation, we are also launching several programs and beginning to connect with educators across the country while we design our K-12 curriculum,” Matthews said. “We are only able to do this with the vision and support of organizations like the Ford Foundation. We are incredibly grateful for their continuing support.” Exhibitions will explore the real human cost and suffering of slavery, but they will also honor ancestors; celebrate cultures, like Gullah Geechee, that were forged in the crucible of the antebellum South; explore the cultural impact that began in Charleston and spread across the U.S. and the Caribbean; and then connect descendants to their ancestors through an award-winning genealogical research center. “We are honored to work with the International African American Museum and ensure that the history of enslaved Africans is preserved for years to come,” said Margaret Morton, director of creativity and free expression for the Ford Foundation. “The museum will be a critical resource for researchers and visitors alike, and we look forward to seeing the lasting impact its programming will provide.” Ford’s support for the International African American Museum will provide visitors—nationally and internationally—an opportunity to experience the African American journey at one of the most historic sites in the nation: the former Gadsden's Wharf, the point of disembarkation for so many enslaved Africans. Matthews is eager to open the museum doors to visitors. "The International African American Museum is excited to have the Ford Foundation among its partners. Both institutions strive to ensure that all individuals, and their stories, receive just and equitable treatment. The stories and artifacts within the museum, alongside the connections made because of them, are being intentionally curated with this understanding. The International African American Museum will prompt difficult conversations, tell a complete history, and spark action to build a more perfect union,” she said.
The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores cultures and knowledge systems retained and adapted by Africans in the Americas and the diverse journeys and achievements of these individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the United States, and throughout the African Diaspora. IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history and is thus one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. Set to open in late 2022, IAAM is positioned to honor the untold stories of the African American journey from Charleston, S.C., at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org or call 843-872-5352.
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion. For more than 85 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the Foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Jason Rapp