Textile traditions are the glue that helped families and friends connect, keep warm and show their love through handmade household items. Unfortunately these art forms were often restricted to their communities and had limited access to the consumer market . The idea I would like to share is the creation of a cottage industry model to educate, develop and promote these textile art forms that are a part of the heritage and beauty of the lowcountry. A cottage industry would afford many people an opportunity to work from their home to create these traditional handmade items and by developing partnerships with established businesses these pieces would present an aspect of history that is little known. Textile art traditions tell a very compelling story of the creativity and ingenuity of the artisans. I am interested in preserving these handmade textile traditions while enabling them to evolve and reach the homes and lives of the contemporary consumer. It is important to share these little known pieces of history for all of us to gain a greater understanding of the cultures of the Lowcountry. When these aspects of history are shared it provides greater insight and knowledge of each culture which is an important part of truly getting to know one another.
Is there a central, streamlined online platform for connecting our region’s venues with the talent that that venue may be interested in attracting to perform at their site? Is their a place where musicians, music groups, theatre troops, and other performance artists can go to submit proposals for performances and connect to producers and/or venues that are interesting to them?
From the big spaces like such as Gaillard, Sottile, Memminger, NCPAC, Dock Street Theater, and Charleston Music Hall, to the area’s many beautiful religious sanctuaries and other smaller performance spaces, there should be a central connection hub between venues and artists. Such a system would help deliver increased local arts performances, as venues and artist matches are facilitated.
The city of Atlanta, the city of Miami, and others have dedicated funding that provides arts experiences for children. For example, the city of Atlanta offers the Cultural Experience Project, which guarantees one free arts experience – including transportation- each year for K-12 students in the Atlanta Public School System. Over 50,000 students each year receive FREE tickets and FREE transportation paid for by the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, and each grade level attends a different experience (the symphony, the art museum, the theater, the history center, the botanical gardens, the ballet, etc.) By the time students reach 12th grade, they have attended thirteen different arts experiences. This is a huge investment in the arts- it helps students to gain an understanding of where the cultural arts institutions are in their city, offers diverse and rich educational arts experiences, and gives students a brand new experience every year that ties to their curriculum standards, helping them make stronger learning connections. The arts organizations are able to offer widespread discounts to the city because they are booking groups in bulk (less work for them to market and recruit audiences). Because local arts organizations are showcased at the heart of this method, this funding contributes to the survival of those organizations and as well as the local economy. It’s a win-win for the arts, the kids, and the city.
Charleston needs more public art–permanent as well as temporary installations–sculptures that speak to our place in history as well as our place in the future. For two weeks every Spring, we are graced with the energetic charge of Spoleto. Why can’t we carry that all year long? Look at Charlotte, Atlanta, NYC, Nashville, San Fran…all of them have glorious examples of public art.
Founded in the historic Charleston Lowcountry, Charleston Characters specializes in providing dance entertainment in non-traditional venues and incorporating all aspects of dance and theater. The mission of Charleston Characters Dance Company is to showcase contemporary dance with an emphasis on theatrical intent, by engaging audiences of all walks of life through the art of dance theatre.
Charleston Characters is made up of current and former College of Charleston Dance Department students. Each member brings their unique style and personality to the company, and their diversity makes for a one of a kind performance experience. We would love for more people to get involved with CCDC, regardless of Dance or Theater experience. Our goal is to bring Dance and Theater to the people and give everyone an opportunity to express themselves in a fun and invigorating artistic environment!
Hey Charleston Mayoral Candidates! Here’s a question I’d like to have answered at the upcoming forum:
Outside of Spoleto and Piccolo, what ideas do you have to bolster the arts in our town to create more jobs with living wages?
If we were mayor, we’d make a recurring play street on the Upper Peninsula and bring a portable, interactive art and book display composed of square units. Each square would have a different theme–Charleston history, creative writing, outerspace, etc. We’d create a space where kids could read together, with their parents, or by themselves; where they could learn how to make a new kind of art or play a new kind of sport; where they could be transported to a whole new place by barely leaving their backyards.
I am a teacher at James Simons Elementary. We are a Title One, Montessori school on upper King Street. We have very little green space. At recess children get excited if they find a snail shell. We are trying to change that by adding some raised beds and setting up an afterschool garden club. I would also like to incorporate art projects into the garden which would make the garden more unique and give the children a sense of ownership of the space.
I would use the money to buy art supplies, such as clay, underglaze, paint and wood. Our school has a kiln. I wouId buy clay and underglazes for the garden club. We would make garden stones that could be used to identify the plants we are growing. We would also make toad houses from clay. We could keep some at different locations at the school. Students and teachers could use those houses to make predictions about how well toad houses work, as well as which location is best for finding the most toads.
I am also interested in students and their families learning about the plight of the Monarch butterfly. We will make ceramic butterflies that can be hung in the garden or in classrooms. They can be given to families as gifts around November, when the butterflies return to Mexico. This gift can be used to begin a conversation about the Monarch butterfly, and how we can help them. We will also build or buy bird and butterfy houses from wood that can be painted.
All of these things will help bring back an ecosystem to this area. It will also provide students with the opportunity for peaceful reflection and the ability to observe their natural environment.
This piece is inspired by a project I was given in art school. It evoked quite a bit of excitement on campus. If I were mayor, I would involve several community sectors in making this type of art.
A piece of artwork is created or selected (fine art, poster, photo, map), in this case upper peninsula related, and duplicated so it may be cut up into grid squares or rectangles.
Community members, seniors, school students, business owners, etc. each receive one of the pieces, which has been numbered. These community participants also receive a piece of board in the same proportion, but much larger than the grid square provided.
Participants enlarge the design of of the small grid square onto the larger board. They may use any art supply or material, convert it to black and white, work in a style, etc. Participants work at home with their own supplies, or many small events could be orchestrated to provide guidance.
The “main event” is the reconstruction of the original artwork with the larger grid pieces, by number, by the participants. The now larger recreation could be set on the ground and viewed from above, affixed to a wall or building side. This project is fun, interactive and can be accomplished by participants on a wide variety of skill levels.
Giving credit to former DC artist and resident Randy Jewart for his program that could work here. Put together a catalog of say 25 pieces of public art mostly suitable for outside installation. Corporations and various businesses would sponsor the installation of a piece of art chosen from the “catalog” for their grounds and or interior space for two years with a small stipend to the artist. The $1000 could be used to fund a directors part time position, cover installation costs. The host of each piece would do required maintenance. Although outstanding public art survives most anything! A three fold brochure with map and installation sites could be handed out to the public and published on various online sites.
I would like to create spherical sculptures of the entire Solar System to scale, with installations of all the major planets and their moons. Ideally they will be spaced far apart down a long line to create a peaceful environment where people can walk along to see them all, pondering the mysteries of the universe in the process. This would be a wonderful project for the community as well as all the schools in the area and an opportunity for scientists and teachers to give field trips and lectures about the Solar System and our place in the universe.
If I were mayor I’d create a Ticket Bank to benefit under privileged children (and their parents and teachers?). When patrons of the local performing arts are unable to use their tickets to the symphony, a play or a dance they could call in that ticket (or go online). The ticket bank would have a way of posting these tickets (taking advantage of tweets and push notices) and making the tickets available at the will call windows of the specific venues.
The Firefighter’s Memorial in its present condition is an embarrassment. The families of the firefighters and the public deserve better and we should not be afraid to explore how to make that property something worthy of the lives it memorializes. Allowing this property to become a publicly sponsored West Ashley eyesore is unacceptable.
It appears that the city will be building a new fire station on the 1901 Savannah Highway property and that the rear of that property might become a neighborhood park. Why not make a portion of the entire Savannah Highway property a passive destination for those who use the Greenway and the Bike Path? There are people who now park their cars on the shoulders of our neighborhood streets to use the Greenway. Having a totally unused city-owned parking lot at the memorial property and not encouraging people to use it is a missed opportunity. Why not incorporate restrooms and a water fountain for the people who use the Greenway and the Bike Path into the design of the new fire station?
Attend the Planning Commission hearing on February 18, 75 Calhoun Street, and voice objections, when the Beach Company will present its plan to redevelop the Sgt. Jasper site with more than 400 apartments, parking for 700 cars and a 35,000-square-foot supermarket which will attract traffic 24/7. Yikes!!! Much too much for this neighborhood.
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Charleston needs a world class institution that focuses on Contemporary Art and is large enough to accept traveling art shows from other world class institutions. The Institution should also have a focus on regional art with a mission to promote contemporary art in South Carolina and the Southeast.
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Neighborhoods, Parks & Housing
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