A ‘hidden pearl’ is right in the heart of Beaufort

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By LEE SCOTT

When my husband and I chose Beaufort to retire, we had certain criteria we were looking for in an area.

First, we liked the idea of a small town and wanted to be near the Intracoastal Waterway since we enjoy going on boat trips. And I wanted to be near a beach.

Beaufort met our needs. What we did not know was that there was a hidden pearl here. It is the University of South Carolina – Beaufort campus and with it the Center for the Arts. What a treat when we started to see advertisements for various programs being held right here in Beaufort.

Our first adventure was the Sandwiched-in program. This is a noon-to 1 free program where writers and other speakers come in to discuss a favorite book.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Beaufort Library. Local businesses add their support and door prizes. The auditorium was packed and not just with retired people. There were business people who would come over and have their sandwiches (hence the name of the program) while speakers made their presentations. Suddenly I found myself picking up books to read that I never might have touched.

Then there was the Beaufort International Film Festival.

“What?” I asked. “Here in Beaufort?”

What a treat to find this event. This past February there were more than 17,400 people in attendance over six days. There were 100 filmmakers, 39 states, and five countries represented.

The nice part is you have your choice in purchasing tickets. Do you want daily, do you want several programs? What is your preference? It was interesting to meet different people in the audience who would make their annual trip to Beaufort to attend the festival.

We have also gone to the “theater” there to watch National Theatre shows – on the big screen. We got to sit in our seats with our popcorn and sodas and relax.

Now the Arts Center is running a campaign called “Fill the House.” Since they are not having live shows and social distancing is so important, they have decided on a unique fundraiser.

Patrons are being asked to fill the house by submitting either the names of famous people, or renditions of themselves, along with a check. Local artists will be creating cardboard paintings and “you” become one of the “seat people.” You can even have a cardboard painting of your dog.

You can still visit the “Hidden Pearl” in Beaufort. Just go to the USCB Center for the Arts online. They are still doing some amazing things.

And if you want to support Center for the Arts this is the time. Who knows, your cardboard figure may be sitting next to Picasso.

Lee Scott, award winning humor writer takes her “Walter Mitty” like persona and spins tales around everyday life. She enjoys boating, reading, and meeting people. Scott lives in Beaufort with her husband, JD, along with their dog Brandy. You can reach her at Lasshood@aol.com.