Beaufort, South Carolina: One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America
Beaufort is an established arts destination in the Southeast for both collectors and for working artists of many disciplines, from visual to literary. More than a dozen art galleries offer paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, folk art, basketry, woodcrafts, hand-painted furniture, antique prints, pottery, and original wearable art. These galleries feature the works of regionally and nationally known artists with style~ ranging from classic to modern and everything in between. In March and October and coinciding with the Tour of Homes, visitors and residents look forward to Art Walk, an evening of special exhibits by the Guild of Beaufort Galleries. Artists are in attendance to discuss their work and the Beaufort art scene.
The performing arts also shine in Beaufort. Under the baton of Fred Devyatkin, the Beaufort Orchestra, now in its 22nd year, performs five concerts each year, and has commissioned Columbia composer Dick Goodwin to compose Sea Island Sketches. The Arts Council of Beaufort County's (ACBC) Ever Expanding Arts Calendar lists all arts events county-wide, displaying the vitality of the local art scene. The USCB Festival Series features performances from the renowned Charles Wadsworth. The ACBC Performance Space, an intimate 45-seat venue, offers local thespians a stage for their shows. Free Friday Organ Concerts are presented throughout the year at St. Helena's Episcopal Church in downtown Beaufort. Lowcountry Shakespeare is a well-established theatre group annually presenting new interpretations of the Bard for everyone to enjoy. Darrah Hall at Penn Center on St. Helena Island is newly renovated and is used for exhibitions lectures and plays by both local groups and traveling shows.
We are also home to many writers, musicians, storytellers, dancers, and filmmakers. Book signings by authors of regional and national acclaim happen throughout the year in our bookstores. Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk entertain and educate audiences with their traveling show. The Hallelujah Singers travel worldwide performing spirituals, gospel and traditional Gullah music, but always come back home to Beaufort. The Beaufort Shag Club preserves the heritage of beach music and shag dancing, the State Dance of South Carolina. On any given evening, live music rolls over the Beaufort River and the newly renovated Waterfront Park from a variety of musicians performing in the restaurants downtown. The Beaufort Film Commission will present the second Beaufort Kaleidoscope: Film, Food & Fine Art-four days of feature and short films in March. Beaufort is also home to the Highway 21 Drive-In, the only year-round drive-in movie theatre in South Carolina. The Arts Council of Beaufort County produces the Port Royal Performance Series, and also partners with the Technical College of the Lowcountry to host the Southern Circuit Tour .of Independent Filmmakers.
Yearly festivals in Beaufort bring scores of visitors to our community: Harlem Renaissance in January; Softshell Crab Festival in April; Taste of Beaufort, sponsored by Main Street Beaufort, in May; Gullah Festival in late May; Water Festival in July; Yemassee's annual Shrimp Festival in September; Port Royal's OktoberFest; Beaufort celebrates our shrimping heritage in October; November is Heritage Days at Penn Center; and December the community celebrates with Night on the Town.
For more information about the arts around Beaufort: 843.379.ARTS • www.BeaufortCountyArts.com