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SC Arts Commission Press Releases

S.C. Arts Commission Presents Workshops for Gullah Geechee Artists


Sept. 3, 2014

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with  local libraries, will present the first of three professional development workshops called “Promoting your Gullah Geechee Art Form,” from 6 – 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30,  at the Mt. Pleasant Branch of the Charleston County Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. This workshop is offered free of charge. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants. To register for the Mt. Pleasant workshop, artists should call (803) 734-8693 or email sduplessis@arts.sc.gov  and provide name, phone number and email address.


The goal of the series of workshops is to give artists the tools to create basic support materials necessary for promotion of their art work through a variety of mediums. “It is especially designed for Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the cultural expressions outlined in the Gullah Geechee Corridor’s management plan,” said Ken May, South Carolina Arts Commission executive director. Those areas include music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development. The development of these workshops began after a series of community arts meetings in 2013, where the Arts Commission, in partnership with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, heard from more than 80 artists and community residents in the Corridor.   


“Our ongoing goal is to make new relationships that bring new resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond,” May said. “This series of workshops for Gullah Geechee artists will hopefully provide a template for replication in the four-state corridor.” The other states in the Corridor are North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
“We are also pleased to present these workshops in partnership with local libraries, which serve as essential community resources,” May said.


The second workshop is scheduled for Nov. 10 at the Georgetown County Library in Georgetown; the third workshop is scheduled for Nov. 17 at the St. Helena Island Library Branch of the Beaufort County Library on St. Helena Island. Both meetings run from 6 – 9 p.m.
All three workshops will be led by Charleston native Kerri Forrest, award-winning journalist and owner of Social Creative Media Consulting. Active in the Charleston region since her return from a distinguished career in Washington, D.C., in 2010, Forrest currently is director of Institutional Advancement for the American College of the Building Arts. She also chairs the speaker selection committee for TEDx Charleston. Other artists and local arts leaders will also participate.


For additional information about the program and future meetings, contact Arts Participation Program Director Susan DuPlessis, sduplessis@arts.sc.gov or (803) 734-8693.


About the South Carolina Arts Commission
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina 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. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.


About the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was designated a national heritage area by Congress on Oct. 12, 2006. The Corridor was created to recognize contributions made to American culture and history by African Americans known as Gullah Geechee, who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida; to assist organizations in the four states in interpreting and preserving Gullah Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music; and to assist in identifying and preserving Gullah Geechee sites, historical data and artifacts for the benefit and education of the public. For more information, visit www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org.