Friday, May 25, 2012

Spoleto Festival USA And Piccolo Spoleto Time Has Arrived-Choose Your Event, There Are Many

Piccolo Spoleto 2012 Poster Image
by Linda Elksnin
It's Spoleto Festival USA time in historic Charleston starting on May 25, 2012. But this venue is a two for one deal because it is also Piccolo Spoleto Festival time. The two festivals coincide with one another, beginning on the same day and ending on the same day. Spoleto Festival is the parent festival and Piccolo Spoleto was incorporated as a compliment but with a different emphasis. Both festivals are a celebration of the performing, literary and visual arts. Where as Spoleto's focus is on international artists, Piccolo Spoleto's focus is primarily on artists of the Southeast region. Obviously, with over 700 events scheduled in the 17 days the festivals run, you have to be selective. For a complete list of Spoleto events go to Spoleto Festival USA.

One aspect of Piccolo Spoleto is half of its events are admission free. The series of free events include the Sunset Serenade concert behind the U.S. Custom House featuring the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Children’s Festival, the Memorial Day Concert, the Sand Sculpting Competition, the Intern Block Party, the Petite Performance Pavilion, and the Piccolo Spoleto Finale at Hampton Park.

The Intern Block Party: "Anchored Down in Charlestowne" will be June 2 from 6-10pm at Marion Square, King and Calhoun Streets. There will be live music by local bands, a variety of food vendors, and lots of games. Local favorites Folkgrass, Old You, and Rustic Remedy are the featured bands performing their versions of folk, soul, and blues-rock music. Another featured talent will be McKenzie Eddy of Bluroc Records. This soulful songwriter is a graduate from the University of South Carolina and from Hilton Head Island. She toured the East Coast with her funk-rock band Stealing From Bandits for a time and then linked up with hip-hop mogul Dame Dash in New York City where she began running Blueroc and working with artists such as the Black Keys, the London Souls, Curren$y, Ski Beatz, Vado, and Camron. After the party, Charleston has a vibrant nightlife including places like Wet Willies, Mad River Bar and Grille, Charleston Beer Works, Rooftop Bar Vendue Inn, and Closed For Business to name a few. Here is a complete list, and enjoy this video of last years block party.

The Children's Festival: "Once upon a time..." will be at Marion Square, King and Calhoun Streets on May 26 from 10am-3pm. It will be a day of music, dance, arts & crafts with a special focus on storytelling, children’s literacy, and summer reading programs for kids at the Charleston County Library. This is only the beginning of the story. On site will be SC Aquarium’s sealife “touch tank” and Cabot Cheese of Vermont with a sizable exhibit featuring Vermont dairy farmers making their famous cheddar cheese. Photographs of their farms will also be displayed for your viewing and education.

Isle of Palms Front Beach will be the scene of the Sand Sculpting Competition June 2 from 9am-12noon. We look forward to seeing what the area's creative minds can come up with this year. This is a specialized art form utilizing a balanced mixture of water and sand blended together to create whatever shape or form the human imagination can conceive and the hands can orchestrate at its best, with alittle help from various small tools and enhancing mediums. After all, isn't that what Piccolo Spoleto is all about, fostering appreciation for the arts. A great way to begin the day. Young and not so young can join in the fun for free. Trophies will be awarded. Bathing suits and bare feet recommended. Her are some pictures of last year's entries.

Do you like American films? Charleston County Public Library will host a series of free movies. For the complete list of times visit Charleston County Library. Do you like poetry? Dock Street Theatre Courtyard will feature "Sundown Poetry". Judith Pacht, Jerri Chaplin, Diana Pinckney, and Gretl Claggett are some of the poets highlighted. For the complete list of times and dates visit Dock Street Theatre. This is only the tip of the ice tea. Go to Piccolo Spoleto Festival for all of the scheduled events.

It all ends on June 10, 2012. So, choose your poison, figuratively speaking. Charleston's festivals offer the best in visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Enjoy the free stuff and for everything thing else purchase your tickets and have the time of your life.

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