ARTIFACTS 

MOOCHING AS ART FORM
Downtown Charleston freeloaders, penny-pinchers, and sponges of every ken, take note. The Charleston Fine Art Dealers' Association's first Palette/Palate Benefit went down on Fri. July 14, and the premium event seems to have been a roaring success by any measure, drawing more than 700 people to the 14 member galleries in the historic district and raising $12,000 for its scholarship fund to support high school students hoping to enter a career in the arts. The benefit paired up CFADA galleries with local restaurants like the Boathouse, Charleston Grill, Cordavi, Cypress, FIG, Oak, and Tristan. According to CFADA president Joe Sylvan, 725 tickets were sold — almost three times as many as expected. Tickets to the event went for $25 each, which certainly helped keep the riff-raff away. Does this spell the end of the free Art Walk as we know it? What does this mean for the moneyless noshers, tipplers, and nibblers who descend upon French Quarter galleries like locusts during Art Walks each spring and fall to elbow their way to the wine tables and cheese plates without fear of having to reach for their wallets? Fear not, say French Quarter officials. The art of the mooch will persevere. —Patrick Sharbaugh

MEN FROM NANTUCKET NEED NOT APPLY
Remember when your parents told you that you'd never make a living writing poetry? They were absolutely right. Be that as it may, the South Carolina Poetry Initiative at the University of South Carolina is accepting submissions for their second annual chapbook contest. The competition gives aspiring poets from around the state a chance to have their work published and promoted to poetry fans and South Carolina educators.

But you're going to need more than just a gift for rhyme. Submissions must be between 20-28 pages long and contain original, previously unpublished material. There are no specific rules about poem length or format, but don't expect a portfolio full of dirty limericks to win any prizes.The five winning chapbooks will be published and distributed as part of a numbered series, and authors will attend promotional readings and a launch event. Find more details at www.cas.sc.edu/engl/poetry.The goal of the Poetry Initiative is "to promote and celebrate the reading, writing, and performing of poetry in the South Carolina population." With our state's education standings? Good luck. What rhymes with "Thank goodness for Mississippi"? —Steven Zimmerman

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