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“Mirrored Images: Race Relations Today and Yesterday” is the theme of the Black History Month observance at Brookgreen Gardens on Saturday, February 25. It will include reflections by the authors of the book, “We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel” and a performance of freedom songs, spirituals, and work songs, at 1 p.m. in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium. The program is free with garden admission; however, seating must be reserved at 843-235-6049. (Left to right) Bernard Powers, Ph.D., Marjory Wentworth, Herb Frazier Charleston authors Herb Frazier, Bernard Powers, and Marjory Wentworth will discuss mirrored images as reflected in their writings. Singer Rozlyn Sorrel of Charlotte, NC will perform a mini-concert during the 90-minute event. Frazier is the public relations and marketing manager for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston, S.C. He grew up in the Ansonborough public housing projects in Charleston and at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, The Post and Courier. Powers is professor of history at the College of Charleston teaching courses in American, African American and African diasporic history. His major work, "Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885," was designated an Outstanding Academic Book by "Choice Magazine." Wentworth, SC Poet Laureate, is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet who has worked extensively in human rights for organizations such as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland; The Whole World Institute of Boston; and Church World Service in New York. She is the co-author of "Taking a Stand." Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and open to the public daily. For more information, visit our web site at www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6000.
The Sand Bar Lecture Series continues at the Museum of Coastal Carolina featuring the American Civil War Corps Commander Tuesday, January 17 at 6 PM. Join presenter Douglas Elliott for an evening of enlightenment on life in the early 1860's and accept a promotion to the level of Corp Commander in the American Civil War. Our view of the world today is through 2017 eyes but he will step you back into the 1860's and change your view and perspective. He’ll explore how he got the job, what is needed to know, responsibilities, and the effects of your actions. When done you will have a perspective on the military, political, and social impacts of decisions. Together the group will discuss how this new found knowledge was applied at the battle of Gettysburg and look forward to today to see how much has changed. Elliott notes, “I look forward to our time together and promise a night of learning, lots of interactive discussion, and time for questions.” Elliott’s background includes portraying an American Civil War reenactor for 18 years, a lifelong military history student, a member of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry Living History Organization, and he has delivered 200+ lectures to students of all ages on the Civil War. He can be seen on the Documentary "Regiment" as a historical commentator. Admission to the museum is free for museum and dual museum/planetarium members. Non-member all-day admission (including NC sales tax) is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call the museum at 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.
Historian and anthropologist Joseph Opala will kick-off the 2017 “The Reign of Rice Lecture Series” at Brookgreen Gardens. The theme for the three-monthly programs, which provide information about the complexity of Gullah Geechee heritage through the production of rice, is “Shared Cultural Elements of Rice Heritage.” In recognition of Native American shared cultural vestiges, Opala will present “The Black Seminoles: Gullah Freedom Fighters and the African Frontier in North America” at 1:00 p.m. in the Welcome Center Conference Room on January 21. The program is free with garden admission. Seating must be reserved at 843-235-6049. Opala, of Harrisonburg, VA, is known for his research on the “Gullah Connection.” He has spent 40 years using historical discoveries to bring Sierra Leoneans, Gullahs, and Black Seminoles together in a series of homecomings along the entire migration route, from West Africa to Mexico. His talk will relay how some Gullahs used their rice farming skills to win their freedom. Other events about Gullah heritage include an educational exhibit and two Wednesday programs. “Shine On, Gullah. Shine On.”, an exhibit of Story Quilts, Fabric Collages, and Prints by Fabric Chronicler Dorothy Montgomery of Charleston, will be displayed at Learning Lab I of the Wall Lowcountry Center from 12-4:30 p.m. daily from January 9 through March 12. Her art reflects Gullah history and culture and her Gullah experiences, including language and traditions. Each quilt uses a variety of mediums including fabric and acrylic paints, ink, crayons, embroidery floss, dye sticks, and appliqués. The Wednesday “Gullah Geechee Program Series” will feature two guest presenters. On January 18, Montgomery will present a lecture about her exhibit. On January 25, Gillian Richards-Greaves, Ph.D., will present "Connections with Gullah Geechee and Caribbean/West African Cultures," identifying Africanisms/African retentions in both. Richards-Greaves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Geography and the Assistant Director for the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal Carolina University. Each program will be at 1:00 p.m., in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium and is free with garden admission. Seating must be reserved at 843-235-6049. Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and is open to the public daily. For more information, consult our web site at www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6000.
The Sand Bar Lecture Series continues at the Museum of Coastal Carolina Tuesday, December 6 at 6 PM, featuring the American Civil War Corps Commander. Join presenter Douglas Elliott for an evening of enlightenment on life in the early 1860's and accept a promotion to the level of Corp Commander in the American Civil War. Our view of the world today is through 2016 eyes, but he will step you back into the 1860's and change your view and perspective. He’ll explore how he got the job, what is needed to know, responsibilities, and the effects of your actions. When done you will have a perspective on the military, political, and social impacts of your decisions. Together the group will discuss how this new found knowledge was applied at the battle of Gettysburg and look forward to today to see how much has changed. Elliott notes, “I look forward to our time together and promise a night of learning, lots of interactive discussion, and time for your questions.” Elliott’s background includes portraying an American Civil War re-enactor for 18 years, a lifelong military history student, a member of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry Living History Organization and has delivered 200+ lectures to students of all ages on the Civil War. He can be seen on the documentary "Regiment" as a Historical Commentator, a nationally syndicated award winning story of the 140th NYVI. Admission to the museum is free for museum and dual museum/planetarium members. Non-member all-day admission (including NC sales tax) is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call the museum at 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.
The National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program and Friends will host the 2016 National Underground Railroad Conference in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The theme for this year’s conference is Into the Light: Striving for Freedom and ‘an equal chance in the battle of life’. This year’s conference is sponsored in part by the Hilton Head Island- Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and will be held at The Hilton Head Island Westin Resort and Spa from June 13-16, 2016. The four-day conference at The Westin Resort and Spa will include pre-conference events, renowned keynote speakers, panel discussions, an exhibit hall, and tours of local museums and historic sites. The NTF was established by legislation passed in 1998 to promote the preservation and interpretation of resources associated with the Underground Railroad. For more information about the 2016 National Underground Railroad Conference go to www.nps.gov/ugrr or contact Sheri Jackson, Southeast Regional Manager, Network to Freedom – National Park Service at 404-507-5635.
The Arbor Day Foundation named Beaufort a 2015 Tree City USA in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management. As part of the city’s work to keep its trees healthy, dozens of trees in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park were fertilized in March. The week of April 18, 14 unhealthy and hazardous trees will be removed from the park. These trees are primarily in the west parking lot, but there are also two large Willow oaks in the park that require removal. Beaufort met the Tree City USA program’s four requirements: A tree board or department; a tree-care ordinance; an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita; and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Started in 1976, the Tree City USA program is celebrating its 40 th anniversary. The program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Beaufort has been a Tree City for 25 years according to Trees SC, formerly the South Carolina Forestry Commission. As part of its work to protect and enhance the “urban forest,” in 2004 Beaufort leaders commissioned a study of all trees in public areas, including the Open Land Trust property within the city and city parks. “We learned that 61 percent of our urban forest is oaks, and within that, 40 percent is Laurel oak,” said Eliza Hill, the landscape architect in the City of Beaufort’s planning and development services department. “There is a general guideline for tree diversity that proposes to reduce the risk of catastrophic tree loss due to insects and disease. The urban tree population should include no more than 10 percent of any one species, 20 percent of any one genus, or 30 percent of any family -- so our focus has been to decrease the Laurel oak population and increase tree diversity.” To do that, when trees are removed, the city has tried to replant -- as funds are available -- with a greater diversity of trees including Elms, Bald Cypress, Maples, Black Tupelo, Magnolia and Southern Red Cedar, Hill said. One area of common complaint is when overhead utility companies trim trees. South Carolina Electric & Gas prunes different sections of city trees every five years. Hill hosts a seminar on proper pruning techniques for all members of the contracted company before start of work and supervises as work is ongoing. When the pruning is done, she rides the entire circuit with a private consulting certified arborist to check the work. The city also works to help keep struggling trees healthy. For instance, the Drake elms in front of the hospital administration building on Ribaut will receive an application of a growth regulator to prevent the necessity of utility pruning in the future. Last year, the city added 20 Bald Cypress trees to the city’s “tree farm” in Southside Park, and plans are in the works to plant another 20 Trident Maples there this spring. Additionally, a number of Sabal and Butia palms were rescued from construction work on Boundary Street and were replanted in the new dog park area at Southside Park.
Leaders of the Santa Elena Foundation will travel to Washington DC this week as guests of both the Spanish Embassy and World Bank to share the 16th century story of Spanish colonization. Joining the Santa Elena team are Dr. Michael Francis from University of North Florida in St. Augustine, Florida and Dr. David Moore from the Exploring Joara Foundation in Morganton, NC. “What an honor to travel to our nation’s capital and be sponsored by the Spanish Embassy and World Bank. This is a great achievement for our team and helps further the mission to promote and preserve the story of Santa Elena,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Executive Director of the Santa Elena Foundation. “Additionally, sharing this opportunity with colleagues from Florida and North Carolina brightens the spotlight on the significance of this regional story of our heritage.” At the World Bank on Friday, February 26, the group will present an overview of the Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine stories. Then the focus will transition to the “Heritage Tourism” research that brings further community benefit to an educational and cultural gem. For more information about this event, or to register to view the presentation online, visit: https://collaboration.worldbank.org/events/2502. On Saturday, February 27 the group will participate in “Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S.,” an exhibition organized by the Fundacion Consejo Espana-Estados Unidos in partnership with the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana (National Library of Spain). This will be an opportunity present the facts from research and archaeology that tell the complex story of Spanish colonization in the 16th century. For more information on this event, visit: http://www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/designing-america/. “This is a unique opportunity to merge our local efforts together and present a cohesive story,” says Dr. David Moore, Archaeologist for Exploring Joara Foundation. “There are great benefits educationally, culturally, and economically for the general public to have a better understanding of the historical events at Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine.” All of the organizations are focused on working collaboratively to bring attention to a significant chapter of American History. Many facts continue to emerge through present-day research and archaeology as each organization furthers its mission. To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, visit http://santa-elena.org, and for the Exploring Joara Foundation, visit www.ExploringJoara.org. The Santa Elena Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The mission of the foundation is to expand the story of European colonization of North America through discovery, preservation and promotion of Santa Elena, a 16th Century Spanish settlement and colonial capital in the present-day United States. Representatives for the Washington DC trip include Executive Director Dr. Andy Beall, Director of Development Megan Meyer, and Board Member Stu Rodman. The Exploring Joara Foundation is committed to promoting public archaeology in the upper Catawba and Yadkin river valleys of western North Carolina. Its mission is to support research, education, and outreach on preservation of our past. The foundation is dedicated to finding and protecting archaeological resources, while fostering an understanding and appreciation for archaeology in the community. Representing the Explore Joara Foundation in Washington DC is Dr. David Moore, lead Archaeologist. From the University of North Florida, Historian Dr. Michael Francis will represent the historical perspectives and research on St. Augustine, Florida.
The 20th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration will present 15 events during the month of February. Back by popular demand are the Arts Ob We People: Art Exhibition and Sale, Arts, Crafts and Food Expo, Sweetheart Ball featuring Deas Guyz and Gullah Music Series featuring the G.A. Mass Choir. Additional highlights of the 20th Annual Gullah Celebration include the introduction of the Community Wellness Initiative that kicks off at the Fish Haul Creek 5K Run/Walk and the national observation of Freedom Day which commemorates President Lincoln’s signing of the US Constitution’s 13th amendment which outlawed slavery, immediately following the Ol’ Fashioned Gullah Breakfast. Debuting this festival season is the National Gullah Institute, which will present its first panel discussion on the American South’s Connection to West Africa on Sunday, February 28th. Details about all events presented during the 20th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration are available at gullahcelebration.com or using this link: http://gullahcelebration.com/assets/media/img/eventguide.pdf .
Historic downtown Beaufort’s growing mix of artists, galleries and thriving and varied restaurants earned the “Cultural District” designation from the South Carolina Arts Commission. City leaders hope to market the designation to help attract visitors and residents downtown as a hub of arts and culture, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. A cultural district is an easily identifiable geographic area with a concentration of arts facilities and assets that support cultural, artistic and economic activity, according to the S.C. Arts Commission and the General Assembly. One of the primary goals of the Redevelopment Commission is “to grow and expand our economy to fund the maintenance and improvement of the City’s infrastructure,” said Jon Verity, chairman of the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission. “Adaptive re-use and the infill of downtown Beaufort have long been key elements in our plan for economic growth,” said Verity, a former treasurer of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and past president of the Dayton (Ohio) Ballet. He also served as chairman of the Montgomery County (Dayton) Arts and Cultural District. “For many, many years in Beaufort, the arts have been a creative lure that helps attract new residents and businesses,” he said. “Earning the ‘Cultural District’ designation is like the Good Housekeep Seal of Approval.” Those non-arts businesses are important pieces of a cultural district, said Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director. “A successful cultural district attracts creative enterprises, such as galleries and theatres, whose patrons want to dine out and shop, so nearby retail and other businesses benefit from that increased economic activity,” May said. Other states with similar cultural district programs include Massachusetts, Kentucky, Texas and Colorado. For complete guidelines, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com. The cultural district program is administered by the South Carolina Arts Commission, a state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the 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.
Holiday Sea Island Gullah CelebrationProduction by Anita Singleton-Prather and The Gullah Kinfolk in historic Beaufort, South Carolina, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus Center for the Arts. The evening includes a taste of Gullah soul food buffet, artist showcase and marketplace, full stage musical with Aunt Pearlie Sue and Gullah Kinfolk: Christmas Wish Freedom Coming. Freedom Coming is a significant performance that shares the Sea Island Gullah tradition with audiences in a new way, performed by Anita Singleton-Prather and her singing ensemble The Gullah Kinfolk from Beaufort, South Carolina. It is Christmas 1860, the last Christmas before the Civil War begins. The scene is a Sea Island slave cabin where enslaved Africans are anticipating Christmas day and talking about freedom. Gullah songs and storytelling include everything from spirituals, work songs and play songs to rhythmic, foot stomping ring shout songs that are unique to the Gullah praise house traditions. Meet Diane Britton Dunham and many more featured artists exhibiting before the show. Sample local Gullah foods and mingle with local chefs. Book tickets at this link or call the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce 843-986-1102 to reserve your tickets for the Gullah performance, feast and art show or to arrange a weekend tour including history, culture and entertainment. Tickets are $35 at the door, $30 advance and $10 for children. Special group rates are available.
Date: December 4, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST