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South Carolina Arts Commission presents art workshops

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The South Carolina Arts Commission will present the last in a series of three professional development workshops, “Promoting your Gullah Geechee Art Form,”  from 6 – 9 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center (formerly the Marina at Lemon Island) at 310 N. Okatie Highway, Okatie, S.C. The workshop is offered free of charge. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants. To register, artists should call (803) 734-8693 or e-mail sduplessis@arts.sc.gov  and provide name, art form, phone number and email address.

Artists will learn how to create basic support materials necessary for promotion of their art work. “It is especially designed for Gullah Geechee residents who practice or represent one or more of the cultural expressions outlined in the Gullah Geechee Corridor’s management plan,” said Ken May, South Carolina Arts Commission executive director. Those areas are music, arts, handicrafts, foodways, spirituality, language, education and economic development.

“Our ongoing goal is to make new relationships that bring resources to people and create interest in the Corridor – both in the state and beyond,” May said. “This series of workshops for Gullah Geechee artists will hopefully provide a template for replication in the four-state corridor.” The other states in the Corridor are North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

“We are pleased to present this workshop in a location between Beaufort and Hilton Head and in partnership with the new maritime center,” May said. “They are a new community resource and exhibit venue for artists, and their recent programming has had a strong Gullah Geechee theme. It’s a good fit for our workshop.”

The workshops were developed after a series of community arts meetings in 2013, where the South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, heard from more than 80 Corridor artists and residents. The first workshop was held Sept. 30 at the Mt. Pleasant Branch of the Charleston County Library; the second took place Dec. 10 at the Georgetown County Library. All three workshops are being led by Charleston native Kerri Forrest, award-winning journalist and owner of Social Creative Media Consulting. Active in the Charleston region since her return from a distinguished career in Washington, D.C., in 2010, Forrest currently is director of Institutional Advancement for the American College of the Building Arts. She also chairs the speaker selection committee for TEDx Charleston. Other artists and local arts leaders will also participate.

For additional information about the program and future meetings, contact Arts Participation Program Director Susan DuPlessis, sduplessis@arts.sc.gov or (803) 734-8693.

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