Charleston’s Spoleto Arts Festivals

Charleston’s Spoleto Arts Festivals

How lucky am I to be located in Summerville, SC. Just 10 minutes from downtown Charleston, I get to enjoy this historical and lovely city everyday. Even more lucky, Charleston is home to the world famous Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto arts festivals which take place every year in the cities center.

For 2 weeks, every year in the spring, the Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto arts festivals take over the city of Charleston and fill the air with inspiration from every type of art imaginable.  It's hard not to find something that will satisfy your art soul here. This year it is being held from May 24 to June 9. Which means there is only one week left at the time of me writing this.

What are the Spoleto Arts Festivals

Spoleto Festival USA was primarily a performing arts festival. Over the years it has expanded to have some visual arts exhibits as well. It was started in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti. His vision for the original festival was for it to be a counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and Charleston was chosen for its size and rich history. The mission of the festival is to provide younger performing artists the opportunity to work with veteran professionals of national and international renown.

Piccolo Spoleto is a sister festival that runs simultaneously with Spoleto Festival USA.  It officially became a part of the overall celebrations in 1979. Unlike Spoleto Festival USA, Piccolo Spoleto focuses more on artists of the south east region and its goal is to make the festival more accessible to everyone from every economic background. Most of the events from Piccolo Spoleto are outside events with no admission fees, though there are some that have very small fees. A simple walk through downtown during the festival will expose you to live performances, arts and crafts and more. There is a sand sculpting competition, outdoor crafts fair, poetry walking tours, just so many things packed into Charleston's downtown area you can spend the whole day and not see it all. 

Not to mention the beauty of Charleston itself.  It is categorized as a city and if you know me I am no city girl, but Charleston is NOT big city.  It's really just an overblown small town. It feels like a nice quiet  neighborhood even in the middle of downtown. It's historical architecture (which lets face it they don't make um like that anymore), small shops, restaurants and small theaters make it the perfect accompaniment to the festival.

I count myself as very lucky to have these 2 weeks every year to get out and go enjoy the inspiration of others, who like me appreciate the creative arts in all its forms.

Jun 04, 2013

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