Here in Charleston fall ushers in a new season of the arts with everything from plays and concerts to gallery showings and dance performances. It’s the perfect time of year to soak up the area’s thriving arts and culture scene.
A great way to sample everything arts is at the OPEN Arts Expo Sept. 21 on the College of Charleston campus. Presented by the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, this event celebrates local arts and culture with more than 50 local arts organizations presenting a variety of artistic opportunities, including music, dance, theater, visual and literary arts as well live music, performance and art activities. The event is noon to 4 p.m. in the Cistern Yard located at St. Philip Street on the College of Charleston campus. Info: 843-577-5288 or artscharleston.org.
Here are a few other must-do arts activities while you’re in town.
Art Walks: Stroll the galleries along Charleston’s picturesque Broad Street from 5-8 p.m. the first Friday of each month. Or head to the French Quarter to walk the cobblestone streets and discover more than 500 artists representing a variety of media. Walks are 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 3 and Dec. 5. The French Quarter is bordered by South Market, Tradd and Meeting streets.
Colour of Music Festival: More than 20 performances showcase the breadth and influence of blacks on the classical music world past and present. The festival runs Oct. 22-26 and features top black musicians, vocalists and orchestra leaders from across the globe performing piano, organ, voice recitals and chamber works at venues around Charleston. The festival chorus includes the host ensemble the CSO Spiritual Ensemble and the Colour of Music Chorale along with Bennett College, Benedict College and Winton-Salem State University choirs.
AWAKE: A multi-sensory exhibition by artist John Duckworth is opening Nov. 7 at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. The gallery will be transformed into an immersive space within a guided exhibition layout, displaying Duckworth’s photography, sketches, paintings, video and audio installation in his most comprehensive show yet. The exhibition will be open to the public through Dec. 21.
Exhibition highlights include the Buddha Chapel – a core of the exhibition – showcasing 15 large paintings within a sanctuary-like setting in the center of the gallery; a series of sketches on paper and canvas that were preparatory works for the Buddha paintings; and a selection of landscape abstract photographs.
League of Charleston Theatres: An alliance of Charleston area theater organizations, this is a great place to find out about upcoming plays and performances. Visit theatrecharleston.com for a full fall season calendar. Don’t miss the South of Broadway Theatre Company’s performance of “Fences,” the story of a responsible, yet otherwise flawed, black garbage collector in pre-Civil Rights America who rises to the level of an epic hero. The show runs Oct. 16 to Nov. 1. Tickets: southofbroadway.com or 843-745-0317
The Crabpot Players perform “The Glass Menagerie,” one of Tennessee William’s most famous works, Nov. 6-22 at their Mount Pleasant theater. Tickets: crabpotplayers.com or 888-303-0763
A Swinging Christmas: Join 34 West Theater Co., 200 Meeting St., for this holiday performance Nov. 25 to Jan. 4. Will Johnny be home for Christmas? Jazzy tunes and one crazed crooner heat up a cold wintery night at the snowbound Mountaintop Lodge. Tickets: 34west.org or 843-901-9343
The Sound of Charleston – Holiday Edition: Explore the sounds of Charleston’s gospel roots in this concert series at the Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26, 30. Tickets: soundofcharleston.com
Be sure to check out our full Calendar of Events for even more art events, performances and shows coming this fall.