From staff reports
South Carolina Humanities has announced that Billy Keyserling is one of the 2020 recipients of the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities.
In it release, SC Humanities said of Keyserling: “As the longtime Mayor of Beaufort, Billy Keyserling has led collaborative cultural and environmental initiatives designed to educate the public and mobilize the community for the common good.”
Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards celebrate the Palmetto State’s most ambitious humanities academics and advocates.
The virtual Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Award Ceremony will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 on YouTube. Details about the virtual event will be announced soon.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.
It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.
Billy Keyserling’s full bio
Billy Keyserling brings a wealth of experience in public affairs, public policy, business, marketing and public service to his position as Mayor of Beaufort.
Keyserling’s record of public service began in Washington, D.C. where he held positions in the U.S. House and Senate, directed political campaigns, and led the Washington office of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry in an international effort to free Jews from the former USSR.
After returning home to the Palmetto State, he served two terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives and one term on the Beaufort City Council. For the past 12 years, Keyserling has served as the Mayor of Beaufort.
As Mayor, Keyserling partnered with Congressman Jim Clyburn and the former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, among others, to lead the campaign to create the Reconstruction Era National Park. Keyserling also founded a non-profit organization, Reconstruction Beaufort: The Second Founding of America, that brings teachers, public officials, artists, and community leaders together to uncover and teach the untold stories of the Reconstruction Era.
Outside of his duties as Mayor, he is known for organizing collaborative cultural and environmental initiatives designed to educate the public and mobilize the community for the common good.
Keyserling was the visionary behind Pink Dolphin, a book written by an 8-year-old and illustrated by an 83-year-old that teaches folks of all ages that our communities are stronger when we harness diversity and work together for the benefit of all.
Keyserling’s work has been recognized by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the League of Conservation Voters. Keyserling holds a Masters in Public Relations from Boston University and a B.S., Magna Cum Laude, from Brandeis University.