By Bonnie Hargrove
I believe we at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts have put together a season of stunning quality that gives those who live here and those who visit Beaufort multiple opportunities to experience the arts.
My job as the director of the Center for the Arts is to rally support for the arts and the artists who make it happen; to ensure that local artists have the time and space to create and be seen; to show how vital it is to let a child play and how life-affirming it is to awaken the long-suppressed performer in an adult. Most importantly, my job is to ensure that every single person who comes in contact with the center will have a creative and artistic experience.
The “value” of the arts is important to our community, not only for its entertainment value but also for its role as a contributor to the area’s economic development. The center’s success is nurtured by a university partner, supported by a great many contributors and sponsors, strengthened by a talented pool of creative individuals as well as continuously applauded by those who purchase tickets to attend our events.
What we do “by the numbers” as a self-supporting, nonprofit organization is remarkable. In the 2013-14 season, the center delivered: 40 independent films; 24 live performances in music, dance and theatre; 2 Beaufort Children’s Theatre productions; 6 school district shows; 10 MET Live in HD opera performances; 8 art gallery exhibitions featuring 30 local and regional artists; and countless hours in education and arts enrichment.
As we kick off our 2014-15 season with the opening night performance of Beaufort Theatre Company’s production of “Grease” on September 5, I invite you to participate in the activities of the center, to be a part of what makes our community distinct and to discover the innovative nature of the arts. In other words, “Be at the center of it all.”