Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Summer Art Camps

2009 Arts Festival - Main Event
Visual Arts Camp I - June 4-8 from  9 am – 12 pm 
For children ages 5-8 taught by the City’s Artist-in-Residence, Lori Starnes Isom.  Children will have the opportunity to experience various art media with an emphasis on drawing techniques.

Visual Arts Camp II - June 11-15  from  9 am – 12 pm
For children ages 9-13 taught by the City’s Artist-in-Residence, Lori Starnes Isom.  Students will receive more in-depth instruction in visual art using various art media with more emphasis on drawing techniques.  This will be a good opportunity to strengthen art portfolios for the more serious student while having fun!  Students of all ability levels will benefit from the opportunity to be creative!

Drama Camp I - June 18-22 from  9 am – 12 pm 
For children ages 5-8 taught by local theatre/film-making professional Julian Gooding.  Students will learn dynamic skills for acting in fun ways to build confidence and stage presence with inspiration coming from familiar fairy tales/children’s stories.

Drama Camp II  - July 9-20 from 9 am – 12 pm 
For children ages 9-13 taught by local theatre/film-making professional Julian Gooding.  Students will have the opportunity to learn more intensive drama skills in a 2 week Performance Workshop format focused on creating a performance for parents and the community at the end of the camp.

African Drum & Dance Camp  - July 23-27 from 9 am –12 pm
For children ages 5-13 taught by Rajeeyah Mujahid.  Students will learn rhythms and techniques of drumming and dance from West African influences.  An informal performance for family and friends will showcase the skills learned in the camp.

The fee for all camps is $50 per week and students can pre-register early to get in the desired camp beginning March 1st.  A minimum number of registered students are required for the camps to take place.  Deadline for registration is one week prior to the beginning of the camp.  Register early by calling 740-5851 or email  All camps take place within the North Charleston Cultural facilities on the former Charleston Naval Base.  Visit under Cultural Arts for more info and to print registration forms.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Works by Matt Tomko and Dan Vaughn at City Gallery in March

Pintails by Matt Tomko

Works by North Carolina artists Matt Tomko and Dan Vaughan will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery during the month of March.

Both artists’ work will be on display from March 1-31, 2012. A free opening reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, March 1, from 5pm-7pm. The artists will be present and the public is invited to attend. 

Matt Tomko, from Durham, North Carolina, will be featuring Serene Recollections of the Natural World.  This exhibition consists of forty oil paintings depicting wildlife and nature scenes.  Paying close attention to the fine details in feathers, branches, eyes, or leaves, Tomko’s work invites the viewer to recollect on past memories of special places and experiences often stored away in their memories.  

The inspiration for Tomko’s work began in his youth.  As a child, he would catch and release birds and small animals.  He began drawing as a way to keep a small part of nature with him.  From 2007 to 2009, he studied art at Studio Amid the Pines in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, with Judith Keats.  Since then, he has been a featured artist of the Triangle Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, the Durham Arts Council Fall Class Catalog, as well as various solo and group exhibitions.    

Hooded Merganser by Dan Vaughn
Also on display at the gallery will be twenty-five large pastel paintings by Carrboro, North Carolina, artist Dan Vaughan. In Carolina Waterways, Vaughan presents realist depictions of the Carolina coast and waterways. Whether it is the sun breaking the early morning fog or the last rays of sunset illuminating the coastal breakers, the Carolinas’ picturesque coastal regions are beautifully recreated and preserved in Vaughan’s works.

Born and Raised in Michigan, Vaughan received degrees in biology and medicine from Michigan State University and Wayne State University.  Though his science studies took up most of his time, remained a serious photographer and painter.  His retirement from the University of North Carolina in 2003 has allowed him to devote more time to his art.  Vaughan’s work is greatly influenced by his biology training and shows a great appreciation of the outdoors.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am – 5:00pm, daily.  The Gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only.   Inquiries regarding artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Watch the February 23, 2012 City Council Meeting

The commercials displayed in the UStream player above are not
endorsed or sponsored by the City of North Charleston.

Download the Agenda

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Old House names North Charleston’s Park Circle a Best Old-House Neighborhood

Oak Terrace Preserve Home
Park Circle in North Charleston, SC has been named amongst the 2012 Best Old-House Neighborhoods. The editors of This Old House have tracked down neighborhoods that have promising futures, strong communities, and homes that truly deserve a long-term commitment.

This Old House notes Park Circle to be a location of “hundreds of lovingly crafted—albeit more modest and affordable—old houses surrounding a 30-plus-acre park filled with baseball fields, playgrounds, and a weekly farmer's market.”

Reasons to buy in Park Circle, according to This Old House, are many, “with its affordable houses and plenty of restaurants and shops on Montague Avenue, its main commercial thoroughfare, Park Circle is popular among first-time homebuyers. A new elementary school and a performing arts school draw families with children. Since more of the former naval base's buildings are being converted to office space, this is a great place for anyone with a good business plan, too.”

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey stated, “After the closure of the Navy Base, a sustainable, community-driven vision was set forth for Park Circle and its surrounding communities. We hoped for a renaissance, and we got just that. Today, Park Circle is a diverse, progressive, vibrant neighborhood full of young families and professionals that are active in the community, take pride in their homes, and patronize our local, small businesses.” Mayor Summey continued, “We are honored to receive this recognition from This Old House, and consider it validation that Park Circle and the City of North Charleston are truly a great place to live, work, and play.”

This Old House scoured the United States and Canada to find unique, tight-knit neighborhoods for their fifth annual search for the Best Old-House Neighborhoods. These places might not be on your radar, but deserve to be, according to the magazine’s editors. features 61 great spots, 51 in the United States and 10 in Canada, that fit the criteria of old-house neighborhoods – architectural diversity, craftsmanship of the homes, and the preservation momentum in the area as well as neighborhood amenities including walkability, safety and community. With the help of, neighborhood groups, real estate agents, and preservation societies, This Old House compiled their list of the best places to fall in love with one-of-a-kind period houses and bargains in need of a DIY remodel. The winning neighborhoods are also divided into categories such as Best Bargains, Best for Retirees, Best College Towns, and more.

Within the various categories of winning neighborhoods by This Old House, Park Circle was among: The South, Waterfront, Lots to Do, Family Friendly, First-Time Buyers, Cottages and Bungalows, and Easy Commute.

(Neighborhoods are listed alphabetically by State in all categories) 

About This Old House
This Old House Ventures Inc. is America’s premier home enthusiast brand, netting 50 million multi-media impressions each month through its award-winning television, print, and web properties. The leading consumer publication for home how-to and inspiration, the award-winning This Old House magazine currently has a circulation of 950,000 and reaches an audience of almost six million. This Old House is available on tablets and is published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, a division of Time Inc., the largest magazine media company in the U.S.

Monday, February 20, 2012

North Charleston receives Above and Beyond Award from ESGR

North Charleston receives Above and Beyond Award from ESGR
The City of North Charleston was recently awarded the Above and Beyond Award by the South Carolina Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

The Above and Beyond Award is given  to a select few out of thousands of employers throughout the state and presented annually by each ESGR Committee.  This award recognizes those employers at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their Guard and Reserve employees.

North Charleston was nominated by Petty Officer First Class Scott Perry, US Navy Reserve of the Navy Security Force who is stationed at Joint Base Charleston.  Petty Officer Perry is also an employee of the City of North Charleston Police Department.

The award was accepted at the ESGR's Annual Banquet in Columbia, SC on February 10, 2012.

ESGR is a Department of Defense organization. It is a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, which is in itself a part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. It is the lead DoD organization for this mission under DoD Directive 1250.1.

Today, ESGR operates through a network of thousands of volunteers throughout the nation and Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Visual Artists and Fine Craft Artisans Sought for Annual Co-Op Gallery in North Charleston

North Charleston Arts Festival
The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is accepting applications from visual artists and fine craft artisans for participation in the Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op, an annual, temporary artist cooperative gallery located at 1077 East Montague Avenue in the Olde Village area of North Charleston.  Operating Fridays and Saturday, April 6 through May 26, the Co-Op is dedicated to presenting many artists of varied backgrounds working in a diverse array of media and representing a full range of styles. Eligible applicants include artists creating fine art, fine crafts, photography, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, glass, sculpture, and more.

Applications for the Co-Op Gallery can be found online at under the Applications and Registration forms section. Call the Cultural Arts Department office at 843-740-5854 to request a print copy. Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 1, 2012.  There is no fee to apply. Applicants must be a South Carolina resident, ages 18 and up.  Artwork eligible for submission must be original work completed within the last two years. An artist reception will be held during the North Charleston Arts Festival Art Walk on Wednesday, May 9, from 5:00-8:00pm.  

The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op is presented as a component of the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival, May 4-12. The nine-day celebration of arts and culture provides over 30,000 thousand residents and visitors with an array of performances, exhibitions, and activities.  The Main Event, held the first weekend in May, offers free admission and parking to over 40 performances on four themed stage stages; General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Youth Entertainment, and Bands. Other Main Event activities include judged art, photography, youth art, and fine craft exhibitions, a gem & mineral show, an antique show, children's activities, art & craft booths, and an outdoor food courtyard.  The Arts Festival continues with numerous free or moderately priced ticketed events throughout the week at various locations around North Charleston and concludes with fireworks over the Cooper River at the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, the Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op, or other exhibition opportunities, visit or call the Cultural Arts Department office at 843-740-5854.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Clemson, ECPI donate computers for new workforce development lab

Clemson Extension and ECPI University have donated 18 computers to the city of North Charleston for a computer training lab in the city’s Midland Park neighborhood.

The Midland Park Community Center and Computer Lab will be used for workforce development skills to create opportunities for neighborhood residents.

Cable installation was provided by Teleco Communications and high-speed Internet access by Comcast Cable in Charleston. The building for the center was donated by the city of North Charleston.

Community leaders expressed a need to improve the technical capabilities of the local population, said Harry Crissy, Clemson regional community and economic development agent for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.

With a six-computer general use area and 12-seat classroom, the center will be used to help local residents of the community develop computer skills.

“This project will help residents of Midland Park learn word-processing skills, and day-to-day computer applications such as email and the Internet,” Crissy said. “Put simply, the basic computers skills they learn at the lab will help them find jobs.”

The center at 7349 Stall Rd. in North Charleston is the second computer lab Clemson and its partners have opened in the city. The first, at the Gussie Greene Community Center, opened in May 2009. The group plans to open additional centers in communities across the three-county region, Crissy said.

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey said the computer lab provides many with the opportunity to establish and expand important skills that will enable them to gain meaningful employment.

“In an age where information prevails, becoming computer literate and technologically savvy is invaluable,” Summey said. “I am very grateful for the many contributors to this project, and I am confident that the entire community will benefit from their generous deeds.”

Collaborators in the project are:
  • City of North Charleston
  • Rhonda Jerome
  • S.C. Linux Users Group, Charleston
  • Clemson Extension
  • SClabs, a non-profit outreach aimed at creating free labs for in-need communities
  • Clemson University Restoration Institute
  • Clemson University Institute for Economic and Community Development
  • Teleco Communications
  • Caminos Nuevos, a non-profit outreach and education group
  • Comcast Cable
  • ECPI University, North Charleston

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Commentary by Chief Zumalt: "Setting the record straight"

North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt
In 2006 North Charleston was identified as the 7th most violent city in the United States. We experienced 28 murders that year. In 2007, 26 people were murdered. This epidemic of black on black violence was devastating to our City, its communities, and the families of the victims. Something had to change. In 2007 I pleaded to the public and community leaders for help. While many did help us the leader of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP was quoted in the paper that year saying “Don’t make your job, my job.” Since that time the leaders of the Charleston NAACP have been critical of our community and police efforts to stop the violence and most troubling, have offered no help or solutions. I guess it is easier to criticize than to roll up your shirt sleeves, come to the table and work together to make our communities safer. Until now I have refused to get involved in the negativity directed at our police department. The time has come for me to set the record straight.

The statics tell us that over the last decade 84 percent of violent crime in our City was committed by black suspects and the majority of the victims of those crimes were black. The vast majority of the violence was committed in predominantly black neighborhoods. The majority of people in these neighborhoods are good, law abiding citizens. They were sick of the violence and deserved better from all of us. They wanted our presence and challenged us to make their neighborhoods safe.  In response to those facts I moved a significant portion of our police resources to these high violence neighborhoods and instructed our officers to take a zero tolerance policy toward unlawful behavior. As a result a higher number of blacks are stopped for traffic and pedestrian violations than whites. During each stop I require the officers to remain respectful, explain why they are in the neighborhood and explain to the person the reason for the stop. This communication between the officer and offender is necessary and expected and has proven fruitful in gaining information and in most cases compliance has been achieved through a warning citation. Because of this proactive and focused use of our police resources we had 5 murders in our City in 2011. Murders have dropped 82% and overall violence has dropped by 55 percent since 2006. We must and we will continue this approach to crime control.

We have implemented a number of innovative programs to prevent violence in the future. Our “Cool to be in School” program provides impoverished children the supplies they need for their classroom education and we work with the schools and parents to reduce truancy. Our juvenile diversion program is working to keep children that commit minor offenses out of the juvenile justice system and instead, surround them with the types of services that will help them change their behavior. We do a gun buyback every year to reduce the number of guns on our streets and provide gun safety locks to prevent gun injuries to children. This is positive change. This is problem solving. This is hard work. There are a number of dedicated community leaders that meet with me and the department and help us make our city safe. The leadership of the NAACP has not helped us with these or any of our crime reduction efforts and I wish they would.

I am human and so are my Officers. We make mistakes. When we do, please let me know and I promise that we will work to resolve it and improve. In the sense of fairness, when we do a good job let us know that too. We should all be supporting and thanking the brave and dedicated police officers that are working to reduce crime and gain the trust and respect of our citizens. These men and women are heroes.

Jon R. Zumalt
Chief of the North Charleston Police Department

Friday, February 3, 2012

Eagle Scout donates over $2300 to Fire Department missions

Eagle Scout donates over $2300 to Fire Department
Eagel Scout Joshua Chambers made a donate of $2,340.80 to the North Charleston Fire Department as part of his Eagel Project.

In addition, Joshua hand crafted a fire hydrant and fire truck to be displayed at one of the City's fire stations.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is your vision for Charleston County Schools?

Charleston County School District wants your feedback on proposed goals and strategies for its five-year strategic plan Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016.

Give feedback at R.B. Stall High School on February 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

Charleston County School District's (CCSD’s) current strategic plan Charleston Achieving Excellence centers on four priorities: Literacy Improvement, Effective Teaching and Leadership, World-Class Schools & Systems, and Strategic Partnerships. CCSD has three goals: 1) Close the achievement gap; 2) Elevate achievement overall; and 3) Raise the graduation rate.

In the 2011-2012 school year, CCSD is launching community engagement to prepare for the next stage of the plan—Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016. This next phase will strengthen the district’s emphasis on literacy improvement and teacher effectiveness and create bold annual performance targets for all students.

Graphs of Vision 2016 Goals: Third Grade English/Language Arts (ELA), Third Grade Math,Eighth Grade English/Language Arts (ELA), Eighth Grade Math, Graduation Rate

See what has been said so far...

In fall 2011, the CCSD Board of Trustees met with various stakeholder groups. In January and February 2012, the district held community meetings deisgned to garner feedback from the public. The League of Women Voters has compiled notes from the meetings.
Parent & Employee Survey Results: The district is taking steps to better support students and implement a more comprehensive performance-based accountability system across the district. The Studer Education Group is helping the district set and achieve Vision 2016 goals, improve supports for staff and parents, and identify opportunities for improvement. In December 2011, parents and employees were asked to complete engagement surveys. These are "baseline" surveys, giving the district a starting point for discussion. The Board of Trustees received copies of the survey results, and department heads and principals are being trained on the roll-out of survey results and next steps.

Works from The Goose Creek Artists Guild at City Gallery in February

Rocks Meet the Sea by Karen Gaag
Works by members of the Goose Creek Artists Guild will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from February 1-29, 2012.

A free reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, February 2, from 5-7pm. Many of the exhibiting artists will be present and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend.

Poppies by Trish Emery
The Goose Creek Artists Guild, founded in 1982, will present its Annual Judged Show featuring two-dimensional works in a variety of subjects and mediums including oil, watercolor, acrylic, drawing, pastel, and mixed media. Ribbons for Best of Show as well as first, second, and third place will be awarded by guest juror, Chris Groves. Guild president, Karol Skelly, will present the President’s Choice award to the winning artist at the reception. In addition, visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece in the show, which will be awarded the People’s Choice ribbon at the conclusion of the exhibition. For more information about the Goose Creek Artists Guild, find them on Facebook.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am-5:00pm, daily.  The Gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only.   Inquiries regarding artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at