Violinist Lee-Chin Siow might not be a celebrity here, but the College of Charleston professor has her own postage stamp in Singapore. The president there personally arranged for the government to sponsor her 1750 Guadagnini instrument.
Charleston-based jazz sweetie Latoya Smith is preparing herself for the biggest move of her life. The 18-year-old jazz vocalist traveled to New York City with Quentin Baxter and several other Charleston jazz greats last January to represent the Charleston Jazz Initiative at a conference.
The New Music Collective is likely the only "classical" music organization in town with a MySpace page "a great way to create a community, even if it is owned by corporate hoo-hahs," says NMC cofounder Nathan Koci. "It's useful, if you can swim past the dating ads and the half-naked girls."
For years, Charleston's tight jazz scene has enjoyed the runoff of musical talent streaming from the College of Charleston's arts program. Some of the cats held in highest regard either teach or study in the jazz performance programs.
Live theatre in Charleston has a storied past. With the recent creation of the League of Charleston Theatres and the hiring of executive director Emily Wilhoit, its future looks to be even brighter.
College of Charleston alum Janine McCabe is frankly surprised to find herself back in Charleston, but she's not complaining. After graduating eight years ago with a degree in theatre from the School of the Arts – her area of concentration was not in the scenes but, rather, behind them, in the costume shop – the New Jersey native earned an MFA in costume design at University of Virginia.
When Currie McCullough decided to open her own art gallery at 53 Cannon St. in early 2005, she knew what she was getting into. After growing up with her renowned father, painter William McCullough, and working for years as a horseback riding professor at the College of Charleston and then as an agent/manager for her father and four other artists, she had spent the vast majority of her life in professions that require patience and focus and was prepared to wait it out.
It's an unlikely story. An out-of-towner with little knowledge of Charleston's slew of galleries sets up his own studio in an area that's far from the tourist track.
Amid the inevitable sea of idealistic, jaded, or downright inept lecturers that train our nation's youth, a small percentage of effective educators occasionally bob to the surface. For the next three years, scores of students at the College of Charleston will be lucky enough to encounter one of those buoyant personalities as Jarod Charzewski becomes the Studio Art Department's latest visiting artist.
To have artistic integrity, first you have to be an artist. And in the film business, being an artist usually means having some funds.
Justin Nathanson visited Charleston as the editor of a TV show. He loved the city so much, he decided to move here and become a part of its film community by starting the Charleston Documentary Film Festival, which premieres October 6-9.
While Charleston's independent film community may not appear, on the surface, to be thriving, people are constantly working to get their creative visions out into the public eye. With the ascendency of the digital age and the easy-to-use video uploading capabilities of websites like MySpace.com and YouTube.com, independent filmmaking has become anyone's game (well, anyone with access to a high-speed Internet connection and digital equipment).
Social issues and interactions – the words and deeds shared between people facing change and crisis – are what stir Organic Process Productions (OPP) cofounder Farrah Hoffmire to action. For Falling Together in New Orleans, a documentary film on the rebuilding of the city and its culture, she journeyed to Louisiana and gathered first-hand footage of grassroots efforts to reclaim the devastated Seventh and Ninth Wards.
At 20 years old, College of Charleston theatre major Henry Riggs has just two years of higher learning under his belt. But he's also got the writing, music, and direction credits for a full-length theatrical musical that's been produced in both Charleston and Chicago.
mmer vacation, a time to return to the classroom and face the challenges of yet another school year. For eight to 12 Charleston County School of the Arts students, the coming school year offers a wide open stage and the opportunity to entertain adults and children all over the southeast with their unique brand of improvisational theater.
The salt slap of the ocean, shells crushed to grit beneath the toes, and August lush with dark swaths of green along sea island paths: that's the stuff that pulls you into the novels of Beth Webb Hart – her passion for coastal Carolina and the small brushstrokes, the detailing, that bring it to life on the page. Once inside her stories, a pervading sense of purpose and religious faith begins to emerge in the words and actions of her characters.
How does Anthony Varallo find time to write? He has a two year old at home, teaches fiction full-time at the College of Charleston, and looks at every single short story submitted to Crazyhorse, the college's lit mag, which works out to be about 5,000 stories a year.
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"We're shaking things up this year," says J.C. Conway, director of local company Theatre /verv/, and he's not alone. Charleston's board treaders are determined to try fresh tactics this year to snag larger audiences, ranging from new venues to more challenging productions.
These days, orchestras tend to sink or swim according to the quality of their programming. Their product faces ever-stiffer competition from today's avalanche of media, information, and entertainment options, and also from increasingly vibrant alternative music scenes, like chamber and choral music.
Cabaret Kiki Fri. Oct. 27 at 7:30and 9:30 p.m. $15 Theatre 99 280 Meeting St., 853-6687
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