Thursday, February 27, 2014

11th Annual St. Paddy's Day Block Party & Parade

Come join the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the Lowcountry on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm in the Olde Village of North Charleston. The 11th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Block Party & Parade promises fun for the entire family. The Block Party location is East Montague Avenue between Virginia Avenue and Jenkins Avenue.

The celebration will feature live music across three stages, street vending and fare from Olde North Charleston restaurants, additional local food vendors & trucks, the North Charleston Artist Guild, a Kid’s Zone with jump castles, a fire truck, face painting, as well as the always favorite mechanical bull. 

Live music line-up includes:

Family Zone Stage: Charleston Hot Shots, The V-Tones and High Gravity Jazz Band.
Cheerwine Stage Lizzy Pitch, Folkgrass, The Three Dudes, The Ryan Perry Band.
Madra Rua Stage: Karl Byrne, Don Merckle & the Blacksmiths, and Wadata.

This year’s party will kick off with a parade starting at Park Place East (adjacent to East Montague Avenue and across from Park Circle Community Center) at 12:00 noon. The parade route will proceed down East Montague Avenue through the block party location to O’Hear Avenue. The parade Grand Marshalls will be Madra Rua Irish Pub owners, Robert Spencer and Stephen O’Connor, who recently celebrated the 11th anniversary of the pub’s opening. North Charleston's Mayor Keith Summey, the North Charleston High School band, The Charleston Police Pipe & Drum Band and many other local groups will also participate in the parade.

East Montague Avenue will close from Park Place East to O’Hear Avenue at 11:30 am and stay closed for the duration of the parade. East Montague will close between Virginia Avenue and Jenkins Avenue at 9:00 am for set up and remain closed until 8:00 pm.

The party, parade and parking are free to the public.

The 11th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Block Party and Parade is sponsored by the Madra Rua Irish Pub, the City of North Charleston, Southern Eagle Distributors, Lee Distributors, Cheerwine and the Olde North Charleston Merchant’s Association.

Fire Department to conduct Hydrant testing. Find out how this could affect you.

The North Charleston Fire Department will be conducting hydrant testing throughout the City of North Charleston in the month of March. Firefighters will flow each hydrant to ensure that the hydrant functions properly and that adequate water will be available in the event of a fire.

Firefighters will be posting signs in the neighborhoods to inform residents that hydrant testing is in progress. Firefighters will be as careful as possible to minimize damage to lawns or landscaping from the flow of water.

Despite all precautions, there is the possibility that sediment from the water system may become visible in residential tap water. If a resident encounters discolored water they should run the faucet in their home until the water runs clear.

The North Charleston Fire Department thanks residents in advance for their understanding as we perform this required task to ensure the safety of our City.

If you encounter any other problems with your water, please contact your water department. Charleston Water System can be reached at (843) 727-6800 or Dorchester County Water and Sewer Department may be reached at (843) 832-0075.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chicora Community Art Mural Unveiling Set for March 6

A public art piece one year in the making is set to be revealed to the public at an official unveiling ceremony and reception on Thursday, March 6, 2014, from 4:00-5:00pm at the Tri-County Family Life Center, located at 1914 Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston. The 8’ by 12’ mural by Jonell Logan and Rashawnna Hawkins, titled The Gift We Give Ourselves, is the result of a collaboration between the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, City of North Charleston Police Department, and Metanoia. The artists and collaborators invite members of the surrounding community and the general public to witness the unveiling and enjoy light refreshments at the reception.

This highly collaborative project combines art and community engagement to visually encourage and remind the area’s youth to aspire to reach their goals and also serves as a point of pride for Chicora neighborhood residents. “We were thrilled to partner with the North Charleston Police Department, the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, and Tri-County Family Ministries to make our first mural on Reynolds Avenue a reality,” says Rev. Bill Stanfield, Metanoia CEO. “The two artists who did the mural really took the feedback of neighborhood residents into account and the second of these two artists, Rashawnna Hawkins, is actually a resident of the neighborhood herself. We feel positive public art is a very important part of any health community and we look forward to trying to get more murals going in the months ahead in our neighborhood.”

WHAT: Chicora Community Art Mural Unveiling and Reception

WHO: City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, City of North Charleston Police Department, Metanoia, and Tri-County Family Ministries

WHEN: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 4:00-5:00pm

WHERE: Tri-County Family Life Center - 1914 Reynolds Avenue, North Charleston

ADMISSION: Free; all are welcome to attend

This project was funded in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Consumer Beware! - after a natural disaster

Consumer Beware!

Its understandable to want to quickly get back on your feet after a disaster. During your recovery process, be careful to avoid another financial hit in the form of scams. Unfortunately natural disasters often bring out con artists and those looking to take advantage of disaster survivors. Consumer beware! Home repair scams and charitable donations are some of the ways criminals can target you.

Here are a few tips to avoid a home repair scam after a natural disaster:

Hire known and recommended repair companies;
Get at least two estimates from different companies;
Get all agreements in writing;
Make a full payment only when the terms of the contract are met.

In response to disaster, charities often form to help those affected. Not all charities are reputable. Before you donate, follow these tips:

Research the organization and their purpose;
Do not give cash;
Write a check or money order to the organization, not the individual collecting for the organization; and
Do not provide personal information to anyone soliciting contributions.
Protect yourself, your family and your finances. Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to report scams or fraud in your area.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

North Charleston City Gallery to Exhibit Works by The Summerville Artist Guild

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that works by members of the Summerville Artist Guild will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from March 1-29, 2014. A free reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, March 6, from 5:00-7:00pm. Many of the exhibiting artists will be present and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend.

The Summerville Artist Guild will present its 38th Annual Judged Show featuring two-dimensional works by 30 of its members in a variety of subjects and mediums. Comprised of artists from Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties, guild members from all levels of expertise express their talents in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, and more. Ribbons for Best of Show as well as first place, second place, third place, and honorable mentions in multiple categories will be awarded by guest juror, Megan Aline, artist and co-owner of Robert Lange Studios in Downtown Charleston.

The Summerville Artist Guild meets on the first Thursday of each month from September through May. The purposes of the guild are to “present programs of artwork, demonstrations, and workshops for the encouragement of members at all levels of artistic ability and for the awakening of greater interest in the Fine Arts community and environs." For more information, visit

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the 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

Monday, February 17, 2014

North Charleston Arts Festival Reveals 2014 Design Competition Winner

Gullah Islander Toss by Amiri Farris
The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Bluffton, SC, artist, Amiri Geuka Farris, as the winner of the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, Farris’ mixed media piece, titled Gullah Islander Toss, will be used to promote the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival, taking place May 2-10. In addition, the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection.

Farris’ design was selected from a total of 53 entries by artists from across the state. The selection was made by a review panel appointed by the Cultural Arts Department who judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture.
According to Farris, Gullah Islander Toss honors the traditions of the Gullah-Geechee culture and is also an attempt to draw a greater focus to what he calls “a celebration of history.” “You will see elements like dance and rejoicing with references to important cultural elements like the land, cast net making, trowing and artistic traditions,” he explains. The piece is composed of a number of layers that involve design elements such as Adinkra symbols, paint drips, and paint embellishments. The dynamism of these elements represents the passing of time and movement into the future. As with many of Farris’ other works, the piece makes reference to specific Gullah traditions and historic elements while blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation.

Winning design artist, Amiri Gueka Farris
Amiri Geuka Farris received his Masters of Fine Art in Painting, with his B.F.A in Illustration and Graphic Design, from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. He is known for dynamic, powerful artwork that combines an alluring blend of vivid colors, layered textures, and a signature use of Adinkra symbols. The images of Sea Island culture that are evoked in his work introduce viewers to uplifting moments and insight into his contemporary view of culture. At the heart of Amiri’s artistic vision is the desire to capture the essence and tell the history of the Gullah-Geechee people and their way of life. His dedication to that vision was rewarded in 2012 when he was the co-recipient of a very prestigious award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Amiri’s work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 "Artist of the Year" by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, and is the current artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island. His client list includes numerous cultural, educational, and commercial organizations including the Telfair Museum of Art, The Savannah Children's Museum, Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Youth Opera International, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, Historic Penn Center Landmark, Savannah Jazz Festival, Heritage Jazz Festival, The Boys & Girls Club, The Coastal Discovery Museum, and many others.

Amiri’s art studio, located at the Sea Island Art Center at the University of South Carolina's Beaufort campus, is open by appointment. His work is currently featured locally in an exhibition curated by Jonathan Green titled Spirit & Memory: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Heritage, on view at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Downtown Charleston.

More of Amiri’s work, including the winning piece, Gullah Islander Toss, will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout the month of May 2014. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Gallery hours are 9:00am-5:00pm daily and admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery on May 3 and 4 during the Main Event of the North Charleston Arts Festival. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for sale.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email, or visit Additional information about the artist can be found at

Thursday, February 6, 2014

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

Applications are now being accepted from visual artists and fine craft artisans for participation in The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op, an annual, temporary artist-run gallery coordinated by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and presented as a component of the North Charleston Arts Festival. 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 South Carolina artists, ages 18 and up, creating original fine art, fine crafts, photography, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, glass, sculpture, and more. There is no fee to apply. Applications can be found online at Deadline for applications is Monday, March 3, 2014.

The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op Gallery is located at 1077 East Montague Avenue in the Olde Village area of North Charleston. Operating hours are Fridays and Saturdays, April 4 through May 31, 2014, and are overseen by participating artists. A free, public reception will be held at the gallery during the North Charleston Arts Festival Art Walk on Wednesday, May 7, from 5:00-8:00pm.

The 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival is scheduled for May 2-10. 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 and photography shows, the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit, a gem & mineral show, an antique show, children's activities, art and craft booths, and a food courtyard. The Arts Festival continues with over sixty events and exhibitions throughout the week at various locations. An array of free and ticketed offerings include street dances, concerts, theater presentations, film screenings, an art walk, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, a National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, and much more. The festival concludes with the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park featuring performances by professional groups and Tri-county schools, children's activities, and fireworks over the Cooper River.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op Gallery, or other exhibition opportunities, contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email, or visit