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Spoleto, Piccolo Spoleto festivals begin today in Charleston

The international arts community turns its attention to South Carolina today as two signature festivals begin at noon. Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festival begin with noon opening ceremonies from the city's famed Four Corners of Law intersection (Meeting and Broad streets). If you're not going to make it down, you can livestream the event thanks to the city of Charleston on Facebook. S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May will be among the dignitaries launching the festival. The S.C. Arts Commission is pleased to provide support for both festivals. They, along with ArtFields in Lake City and Artisphere in Greenville, are our state's three signature arts festivals. Both Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto will provide a plethora of performances in all disciplines through June 10. Start making plans to go now!

See you there!

Tuning Up: Eclipsing 50 at SCSM, Speaking Down Barriers in Spartanburg

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


  • Eclipsing 50. Originally scheduled to come down in June, the State Art Collection will remain on display at the South Carolina State Museum into August, so consider this a periodic reminder to go check it out. With the wet weather this week and summer's heat looming, this is a way to escape both. It's rare to see so much of the collection displayed in one place... unless you visit the S.C. Arts Commission. Free with museum admission.
  • Speaking Down Barriers in Spartanburg. This Saturday, our friends at Chapman Cultural Center and South Carolina Humanities are planning to use music, poetry and art to help bring people together to build a better community in the Upstate. Speaking Down Barriers holds the first "Day of Transformation" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg (210 Henry Place, Spartanburg). $15. Read more about it here and here. (The SCAC provided support for this event.)
  • More Spoleto! On Monday, May 28, Palmetto State Arts Education will host the opening performance of the 2018 Rising Stars Piccolo Spoleto Series, showcasing young actors, dancers, musicians, writers and visual artists in the high profile venue of Spoleto Festival USA through its affiliation with Piccolo Spoleto. A series of six programs, each program will feature 5-7 young artists and/or ensembles in a conversation and performance format. All programs are presented at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church across from Marion Square on King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston at 4 p.m. $8.00.

Submitted material

Male solo vocalists with acting ability sought for Piccolo Spoleto production

Submission deadline is May 19 – this week! Charleston's Gracie and Lacy have an opportunity for a baritone and a tenor to be a part of the famed Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston as the East Cooper Baptist Church Orchestra and Choir, and top local entertainers, celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Norman Rockwell's The Four Freedoms. Artists and businesses are donating their time to make this concert free to the community. But they need a little "help from the audience" to round out the cast. Current needs are for one of each:

  • Baritone (looks 40s-50s)
  • Tenor (looks 20s-30s)
Submit video sample of vocals and resume by May 19th! Artists must be available the following dates in Mt. Pleasant:
  • Wed, May 29th: Rehearsal
  • Wed, June 6th: Run through (Cast & Orchestra)
  • Fri, June 8th: Dress Rehearsal (Cast & Orchestra)
  • Sat. June 9th (4 p.m. show, 2 p.m. call)
Submit requested materials to Lacy Miller: info@gracieandlacy.com, or call 843.259.8872 with questions.

Art Gilliard optimistic about his theater company, MOJA, and Baldwin play

From The Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker

Arthur Gilliard, 67, began performing while in high school, and he spent the 1970s as a fledgling actor in New York City. When he returned to his hometown of Charleston, he helped run the MOJA Arts Festival and he produced plays in the basement of Emanuel AME Church. Before long, city officials asked him to form a theater company that would emphasize African-American playwrights and works that shed light on the black experience in America. It was to fill a void, he said. Twenty-one years later, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts is still going. It has survived ups and downs, fundraising struggles, space challenges and more, but Gilliard seems unstoppable. Q: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you first get interested in the theater? When did you start directing plays?  A: I’m a native Charlestonian who started life “back da green” on the Charleston peninsula, and attended A.B. Rhett Elementary School and Simonton Junior High School before graduating in 1967 as senior class president from Burke High School. A scholarship to Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, allowed me to build on what I had learned growing up in Charleston, and joining the college choir allowed me to tour the East Coast and the West Coast every other year. After graduating from Bishop College in 1971 and after a brief stay in the U.S. Navy where I served as a yeoman, I accepted a (public relations) position ... on Wall Street. During this time, I decided that theater was going to be my profession; I did not like being in management on Wall Street. Q: You have run Art Forms & Theatre Concepts for many years, mounting productions in every Piccolo Spoleto Festival and MOJA Festival. Do you think the local market could support a year-round regular season in which Art Forms presents several plays highlighting aspects of the African-American experience? A: In short, yes. There is an abundance of talent here in the Lowcountry, and many are readily available once they realize you value them and their contributions to the world of art. I have found many diamonds in the rough locally that didn’t know how talented they were — and are. Art Forms simply offers a slice of the African-American experience, using whatever talents are available on our stages. We have an abundance of stories to tell, and I believe with the community’s support we’ll continue to tell those stories. That’s our mission. We are also preparing 30-minute vignettes that can tour the schools and other community (venues). Like many other nonprofits, a major challenge we face is our need for additional supporters and donors. We have not found that “theatre angel” yet, but I keep hoping. Q: Expanding the work of Art Forms would require that the company find a stable venue and enlarge its annual budget. What's the status of the organization? A: Short-term, we are again looking for a space to call home, or at least a space where we can conduct workshops, classes and rehearsals while handling day-to-day operations with the assistance of volunteers and interns. The board of directors is actively seeking a space right now. Long-term, the new budget has increased to reflect the need for an executive director and securing and operating that new space. Fortunately, we do receive great support from Mayor John Tecklenburg, city council and numerous supporters, including the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and others throughout the Lowcountry. ... Finding an affordable space to mount additional productions and keep the tickets affordable is the challenge. ... In the meantime, we have added a production in December at Christmas for visitors and residents, and in February as a salute to Black History Month. Q: For years, you have been heavily involved in organizing (and participating in) the MOJA Festival, even serving as chairman for a while. If you could wave a magic wand and change something about MOJA, what would it be? A: I think, conceptually, MOJA is an absolutely wonderful festival. I would like to see it focus more on its core mission of celebrating more African-American and Caribbean Arts, and making it more national and international in scope, working more closely with embassies and ambassadors from African and Caribbean countries and showing their connections to the Lowcountry. It would also be a great opportunity to highlight some of the talent that at one time resided in the Lowcountry, since there are many out there making it. It would also be great to move the festival dates to a part of the year when more tourists are in town on vacations, family reunions are planned and schools are out. Q: For Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Art Forms is presenting James Baldwin's play "The Amen Corner," which considers the role of religion and racial prejudice in the life of a black family. Tell me about your approach to the play, about the particulars of this production and about the message you hope the show will deliver to Piccolo audiences. A: For me, the play shows that true love never really dies. It’s just that sometimes we don’t know how to handle it so we find ways to escape, without considering others' feelings, even the ones we claim to love. Though Baldwin was treated harshly in America, and criticized terribly, he never gave up on himself or his beliefs. And in “The Amen Corner,” Margaret, I believe, really loves Luke, and Luke really loves Margaret, but they didn’t become one as they thought they would. The story is so unencumbered, so simple and straightforward. All of the characters are so clear, and I’m sure we all know some of them. But, like Maya Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." That is all I ask of the actors in the play. Stay in the moment. Be believable and let us experience your emotions.

City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs seeks interns

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is seeking internship applicants for spring, summer and fall semesters and for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. The Cultural Affairs Office recruits and trains more than 50 college and master’s degree candidates to serve as interns leading up to and working during the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, MOJA Arts Festival and other special events. These students go on to careers in the nonprofit sector, business, law, medicine and other areas after learning skills in marketing, logistics, communications, production and management. Students work 120 hours and are generally eligible for three hours of college credit. All internships are unpaid unless a stipend is available. Internship start and end dates are flexible. Application deadlines for internships are ongoing. Find out more and apply online. Via: City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs

Students selected to perform as “Rising Stars” during Piccolo Spoleto

The South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education (SCAAE) has announced the names of 56 students who have been selected to perform May 25-June 5 as “Rising Stars” at this year’s Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston S.C. Piccolo Spoleto runs concurrent with the annual Spoleto USA Arts Festival. “These young people represent the best and brightest in arts in our state,” said Eve Walling-Wohlford, president of SCAAE. “We are proud to showcase their talent and to demonstrate the importance of ‘Rising Stars.’ Both their parents and teachers and community have reason to celebrate these talented students.” The students, who range in age from 8 to 18, were selected through an application and screening process judged by art educators and professional artists representing the disciplines of creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, vocal music and visual art. Students will perform at 4 p.m. May 25, 27, 29 and June 1, 3, and 5. All performances will be presented at St. Matthews Lutheran Church Auditorium, 405 King Street, which is located in downtown Charleston at the corner of King and Vanderhorst streets across from Marion Square. For additional info about the "Rising Stars," visit http://www.piccolospoleto.com/piccolo-rising-stars/ For the schedule of performances visit http://www.scaae.net/RisingStars.asp 2015 Rising Stars (Student Name, Hometown, School)

  • Caroline Antley    Orangeburg    Limestone Academy (Homeschool)
  • Lucas Antley    Orangeburg    Limestone Academy (Homeschool)
  • Benjamin Bagwell    Greenwood    Greenwood High School
  • Lila Berle    Sullivan's Island    Wando High School
  • Ashton Brabham    Moncks Corner    Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School
  • Elsa Cline    North Charleston    Charleston County School of the Arts
  • Anna Davis    Enoree    Woodruff High School
  • Lauren DeMarco    Mt. Pleasant    Charleston County School of the Arts
  • Julia Dotson    Mr. Pleasant    Charleston County School of the Arts
  • Kevin Fan    Charleston    Porter-Gaud School
  • Madeleine (Mozie) Frizzelle    Mt. Pleasant    SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities
  • Elaina Gable    Mt. Pleasant    The Cooper school
  • Riley Hatch    Summerville    Rollings Middle School of the Arts
  • Luz Hielscher    Summerville    Rollings Middle School of the Arts
  • Meredith Hungerford    Summerville    Pinewood Preparatory School
  • Shota Kohno    Charleston    James Island Charter High School
  • Harrison Luba    Hilton Head Island    Hilton Head Elementary School for Creative Arts
  • Sydney Murdaugh    Orangeburg    Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School
  • Samuel Painter    Greenville    Home School
  • Lydia Phelan    Summerville    Rollings Middle School of the Arts
  • Courtney Rich    Orangeburg    Orangeburg Prep
  • Sora Shirai    Mt. Pleasant    Sullivan's Island Elementary School
  • Autumn Smith    Moncks Corner    Berkeley Center for the Arts at Goose Creek High School
  • Bhavani Srinivas    Mt. Pleasant    Wando High School
  • Patrick Swain    Summerville    Rollings Middle School of the Arts
  • Joseph Tollefsen    Columbia    Homeschooled
  • Hannah Walters    Charleston    SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities
  • Skye Weimann    Folly Beach    Charleston County School of the Arts
  • John Wright    North Charleston    Rollings Middle School of the Arts

Halsey Institute celebrates 30th anniversary with exhibition of two native sons

[caption id="attachment_12578" align="alignright" width="262"]Shepard Fairey,  Endless Power Shepard Fairey, Endless Power[/caption]

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston celebrates its 30th anniversary with The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns. The exhibition features new work by Shepard Fairey and a survey of prints made between 1982 and 2012 by Jasper Johns at Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition is a visual arts offering of Piccolo Spoleto and runs May 22 - July 12.

Both Fairey and Johns recycle graphic elements in the works they produce, and in each case these repeated fragments gain new meaning through fresh juxtapositions and associations. Each artist will occupy a separate gallery space, and no attempt is made at comparing their works. Rather, this exhibition demonstrates the power of this strategy of image repetition in the works of these two distinguished American artists, both of whom are South Carolina natives.

While the Halsey Institute is best known for showing the work of emerging and mid-career artists, director Mark Sloan says, "I want to highlight the accomplishments by two native sons as a way to demonstrate the fact that important contemporary art can originate anywhere." Both Fairey and Johns have had a long association with the Halsey Institute, and this exhibition brings these two celebrated artists together for the first time in their home state.

In addition, Fairey has created four outdoor public murals in locations around Charleston.

Read more about the exhibition and related events on The Halsey Institute's website.

Related articles:

Via: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art  

Piccolo Spoleto – something for everyone May 23 – June 8

[caption id="attachment_12563" align="alignright" width="303"]Piccolo Spoleto 2014 poster Official poster by Charleston illustrator Timothy Banks[/caption] With a focus on accessibility and community participation in the arts, Piccolo Spoleto, the official companion festival to Spoleto Festival USA, highlights outstanding local and regional artists with more than 700 events scattered throughout Charleston. Piccolo Spoleto’s program offerings include visual arts, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Half of Piccolo’s events are admission-free, and the rest are offered at very modest ticket prices. Visit Piccolo Spoleto’s website for the complete schedule and ticket information. Related: Spoleto Festival USA May 23 – June 8 in Charleston Via: Piccolo Spoleto

Piccolo Spoleto seeking artists for annual outdoor art exhibition

Submission deadline: March 14 South Carolina 2D artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration to Piccolo Spoleto's Juried Outdoor Art Exhibit, which runs May 23 - June 8 during Spoleto Festival USA.  All 2D media is eligible and must be the original work of the artist.  As this is an outdoor art exhibition, all artists are required to have a professional display tent and display walls and are required to be onsite daily to represent their work for the full 17 days of the exhibit. The application is available online. Submissions deadline is March 14, 2014. Please send all applications to: City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs 180 Meeting Street, Suite 200 Charleston, SC 29401 About Piccolo Spoleto Since it began in 1979, Piccolo Spoleto has firmly established itself as an essential ingredient of Spoleto Festival USA's special and unique magic. Piccolo Spoleto, the official outreach companion festival to Spoleto Festival USA, showcases more than 4,000 local and regional artists by presenting a series of mostly admission-free events in the downtown area of Charleston each day during Spoleto. In addition to visual arts exhibits, Piccolo Spoleto offers classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Piccolo Spoleto is produced by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

Piccolo Spoleto Festival: Something for everyone May 24 – June 9

The combination of historic Charleston’s old European charm and the world-class Spoleto Festival USA together produce a unique and impacting synergy for all who come to the city by the sea to experience this magnificent international multi-arts festival. But what really adds the ingredient of magic to the mix is Piccolo Spoleto, which provides access to the festival for every person, especially children. Focusing primarily on artists of the Southeast region, Piccolo Spoleto is the perfect complement to the international scope of its parent festival and its 700 events in 17 days, transforming Charleston into an exhilarating celebration of performing, literary and visual arts. Piccolo Spoleto’s traditional program offerings include visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Visit Piccolo Spoleto's website for the complete schedule and ticket information. Poster: Piccolo Suono Bartholomeux by Nathan Durfee Related: Spoleto Festival USA May 24 - June 9 in Charleston Via: Piccolo Spoleto