Update: Spanning nine days from May 4 to 12, the North Charleston Arts Festival offers much to do — almost a little too much.
So, I'll also recommend giving the Charleston City Paper's "top 10 picks for the North Charleston Arts Festival" a once over to get your bearings, and not look over any highlights.
— Update by Ken Hawkins.
First reporting: Now in its 30th year, the North Charleston Arts Festival will take place May 4 to 12.
The nine day event highlights national, regional, and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, music, theater, visual arts, crafts, photography, media arts, and literature.
Many of the offerings are free, and those that are ticketed are aim to be moderately priced. Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event, the North Charleston Arts Festival offers something for everyone.
“The Arts Festival is truly a point of pride for the City of North Charleston,” says North Charleston Mayor, Keith Summey. “It provides our residents and thousands of visitors with a myriad of opportunities to experience high quality entertainment, exhibits, and programming from every arts discipline in a variety of traditional and non-traditional settings.”
The Arts Festival Main Event, held on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center, offers free admission and parking to over forty performances on four themed stages: General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Youth Entertainment, and Bands. Other features include judged fine art and photography exhibits; the 12th annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Exhibit; youth art from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county students; the Lowcountry Gem & Mineral Society show and sale; the Village Antiques & Collectibles show; children's activities at Box City and Creation Stations; art & craft vendors, a food court, and much more.
The Festival continues with over fifty events throughout the week at various locations. An exciting array of free and ticketed events include concerts, street dances, theatre presentations, film screenings, art workshops and demonstrations, an art walk, children’s programs, an Art & Fine Craft CoOp Gallery & Sale, the 7th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, and a Grand Finale at the beautiful North Charleston Riverfront Park. This year’s Grand Finale on May 12 features a Tri-County school showcase, dance performances, a slam poetry show, children’s activities, and an evening concert by The Shem Creek Boogie Band. The event concludes with a fantastic fireworks display over the Cooper River.
Applications are now being accepted for participation in the Festival’s Judged Fine Art Exhibition, Judged Photography Exhibition, Art Walk, Opening Processional, and Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition. Volunteer sign-up forms are also available. Applications can be found at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.
For more 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival information, including event details and venue information, visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com or contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at (843) 740-5854.