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SC Arts Commission Press Releases

S.C. Arts Commission Partnering with Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission to Hold Community Arts Meetings


Nov. 14, 2013

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698


COLUMBIA, S.C. – In a series of local community arts meetings, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission are partnering to help connect Gullah Geechee artists, residents and organizations to resources and promote the state’s Gullah Geechee culture. The second of three meetings is set for 5:30 - 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Penn Center on St. Helena Island. Gullah Geechee residents and organization representatives, as well as advocates of sea island culture, are invited to the meeting.


“In this new partnership, our goal is to identify Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the expressions outlined in the Corridor’s management plan,” said Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director. “Those areas include music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development. We want to build relationships with Gullah Geechee artists and those who advocate for the preservation of Gullah Geechee culture and traditions. Our ultimate goal is to make new relationships that bring new resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond.”


At the Nov. 19 meeting, which is designed to be interactive, May will be joined by Emory Campbell, chair emeritus of Penn Center, and Beryl Dakers, longtime advocate of sea island culture.


The first meeting was Oct. 29 in Mt. Pleasant; the third meeting is set for Dec. 10 in Georgetown.


Each meeting follows this agenda:


  • 5:30 - 6 p.m. Light refreshments
  • 6 - 7 p.m. Program
  • 7:30 - 8 p.m. Informal networking


“The Gullah Geechee Corridor’s partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission hopefully will develop a template for use with other arts commissions throughout the Corridor,” said Ronald Daise, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission chairman. “We encourage Gullah Geechee artists in each community to participate. All ideas that are expressed will help to develop awareness of authentic representation of Gullah Geechee culture.”


View the invitation to the Nov. 19 meeting (PDF). To RSVP for this meeting, email sbauer@arts.sc.gov or call (843) 734-8687.


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 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.


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.