Charleston Stage awarded Alliance’s Boeing Vision Award

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The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts is excited to announce that Charleston Stage has been awarded the $25,000 Boeing Vision Award. The grant is for an innovative arts concept that will reach an underserved segment of the community. This grant will help Charleston Stage launch a program to offer sensory-friendly performances for specials needs children and their family, performed at the Dock Street Theatre. The grant was selected by an independent five-person panel of community leaders from the arts, business, and education communities that was selected by the Arts Alliance Board of Directors. Thank you to Boeing for their generous contribution to the arts, and thanks to Charleston Stage for bringing this innovative initiative to our community. To learn more about this exciting program, please visit Charleston Stage’s Boeing Vision Award.



Starting on Tuesday June 7th, Avondale’s second annual chART-a-Rama begins! Held in Avondale, this three day art event is even bigger this year. Events range from birdhouse painting and yoga classes, to a 24-hour live pianist marathon and a Brendan James concert. Follow them on their Facebook Page, which is updated with newly added events, and make plans to check out one or all three nights of this awesome event!



Friday Fiver: Erin Nathanson

Erin Nathanson has been dedicated to the arts in Charleston for over a decade. She has served as the gallery coordinator for The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, is a founding member and artistic Erin Nathansondirector of Charleston Supported Art, and now has opened The Southern Gallery alongside her husband Justin Nathanson. The Southern Gallery has only been open a few months, but has already become a landmark for the contemporary art scene in Charleston. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the gorgeous new space, head to The Southern Saturday night to see their newest show “Kelly Lu’s War,” from 7-10. We sat down with Erin for this week’s Friday Fiver.

Reflecting on your newly renovated gallery, what has been the number 1 benefit of designing your own space?
A huge benefit of designing The Southern ourselves was having control over functional features like our reinforced walls and adding some surprise with neon and wallpaper in the bathrooms. 2 Carlson has allowed us to show our aesthetic without architectural restrictions.
You showcase and represent artists only for the length of their exhibits. How does this benefit the artists?
This is somewhat true. We are taking our time to build a roster for The Southern in a number of ways – producing exhibitions and consigning works on paper and objects for 3-6 month periods. For some artists, working with one gallery feels constricting, but for others it’s like “Jesus, take the wheel”. We like to work with artists on all ends of that spectrum. This benefits the artist at the end of the day because we are understanding of their needs and goals for their career. 
3. At your last opening, the DJ played mostly hip-hop music. What can we expect to hear at “Kelly Lu’s War” on Saturday and how do you decide what music to play?
 Saturday night’s opening will have a playlist curated by our girls Camela Guevara and Dalia Dalili of Gemsounds. Girl power is definitely the theme of the evening. We usually select the music based on the artist’s vibe. This is why our last DJ was from a North Charleston strip club, and it was fun.
4. The outfits you wear to the gallery are so cool and professional at the same time. Who is your fashion inspiration?
I have no idea. Thankfully, I have very fashionable friends, like Sarah Frierson, so I usually ask her if something is cool or not.
5. If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what would you like to see happen?
The impractical side of me would love to see all the stray cats come together and parade up King Street because that would be pretty magical. 

Gallery Openings this Weekend!

Opening this weekend are several highly anticipated gallery exhibits. There are a ton of great shows still up from the first rush in May (Remnants at Robert Lange, Neighbors at 4th Wall) but you’ll definitely want to head to these openings this weekend to mingle with the artists and savor the last weekend before the summer tourists come and take away all of our weekend event parking.

FRIDAY UNTIL 4 : “Toonin’ In” at The Charleston Library Society 


FRIDAY 6-8 : “The Talking Cure” by Melissa Stern at Redux Studios


FRIDAY 6:30-8 : “Rational Exuberance” by Erwin Redl at The Halsey 


SATURDAY 6-9 : “Listing” by Tim Hussey at T.Hussey Studio

Friday Fiver: Courtney Daniel

Courtney DanielCourtney Daniel has spent a lifetime in theater. As Executive Director for Threshold Repertory Theatre, she continues that lifetime passion, bringing shows to life at their home on Society Street. Courtney is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a BA in Arts Management. She is a Delta Zeta alumni and sits on the board of League of Charleston Theatres. She is also a licensed Esthetician and make-up artist. Threshold’s next production, part of Piccolo Spoleto, is “Fully Committed,” which opens May 27 and features a single actor portraying more than 40 roles. We sat down with Courtney for this week’s Friday Fiver:

Located on Society Street, Threshold is smack in middle of downtown. What are the challenges of being in the heart of the Holy City? The advantages?

There are always pros and cons to any location. Charleston has so much to offer and being downtown can be extremely beneficial for foot traffic, easy access to great restaurants for patrons, and the allure of the Lowcountry. Some of the challenges we face as a local non-profit organization in a quickly growing city is; property values increasing, lack of parking for staff, actors, and patrons, and competition with larger performing arts venues.

What is your favorite role you’ve ever played? What’s your dream role you hope to one day play?

My favorite role was Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. My background in theatre is primary Musical Theatre and this role was a lot of fun. She was funny, caring, feisty, and you can’t beat music by Cole Porter. There are a lot of roles I would love to play. One off the top of my head would be Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

As a licensed Esthetician and make-up artist, what is something about theatre make-up that most people don’t know or realize?

Firstly, you must have a good base, you have to take good care of your skin to get the best results from makeup. So I would advise everyone to make sure they are cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing daily. Theatre makeup is naturally thicker than most daily makeups because it has to stand up to lighting and audience distance.

In “Fully Committed” actor Adam Miles plays 40 separate characters. Can you give us a couple of examples of the diverse characters we see him perform?

Fully Committed is filled with fun, witty, and unique characters. Some of the my favorites include; Bryce, the gay assistant for Naomi Campbell’s office; Jean Claude, the french maitre d’ with no manners; Bunny Vandevere, the V.V.V.VIP patron who expects special treatment; and Ms Wantabe, the Japanese patron that can’t speak English well. I think patrons will find multiple characters to love in this show.

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what one thing would immediately happen?

We have a beautiful culturally enriching city with a multitude of arts organizations with dedicated and hard working people at the helm. If I could wave a wand over Charleston I would make it so these organizations had the appropriate funding to continue their work and have the ability to pay artists living wages. I would want to see organizations make larger impacts for youth, the underserved, artists, and our community as a whole without funding limitations.

 Interested in being a Friday Fiver? E-mail

Graduation Weekend/Mother’s Day

What with Lowcountry Giving Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco De Mayo, College of Charleston’s Graduation, and now Mother’s Day we’ve all had quite a busy week! We’ve got some GREAT things happening in the arts this weekend to entertain all your out-of-town friends, in-laws, and most importantly, Moms. Click on some of the images below to take you directly to their details page to buy tickets!

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Friday Fiver: Carolyn Rivers

Carolyn Rivers

Carolyn Rivers

Carolyn Rivers is looking the change the world. Founder and director of The Sophia Institute, Carolyn guides the organization as “she focuses on personal and societal transformation that fosters the emergence of the Feminine, cultivating wisdom and mindfulness, for a more just, sustainable, flourishing world.” The Sophia Institute conducts retreats, classes, and seminars year-round. Their next event, More Lessons in Becoming Myself on Saturday April 30, features Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn, who “chronicles through story and poetry her latest lessons in her transformative journey as a woman and an artist.”

We sat down with Carolyn for this week’s Friday Fiver:

What is the significance of “Sophia” in your organization’s name?

Sophia means “divine wisdom” in the ancient Greek and is portrayed in all the world’s traditions as the Feminine divine nature. In Christianity she is portrayed as Sophia or Mary, in Buddhism as Tara or Quan Yin, in Hinduism as Saraswati. She’s also the basis of philosophy- philosophy, the love of Sophia. At Sophia Institute our work is centered on the rise of the feminine, cultivating wisdom and mindfulness, for a more just, sustainable, and thriving world. Wisdom awakens us to new ways of living and being on the planet that honors the sacredness at the center of life and moves us to love in action to make the world a better place.

The Sophia Institute seeks to bring change to our world by “using a new model of spiritual partnership and integration between feminine and masculine values.” What is one way you hope that people can see the world differently through this new model?

I think the world is in a time of profound transformative change as more and more people awaken to what they are truly called to, to a wholeness that is part of their own innate nature. We have the opportunity now to move from “power over” or domination, to “power with” or true partnership and to cultivate a world that is more egalitarian, just, sustainable, and potentially a much more conscious world.

Your next speaker is acclaimed actress, storyteller, and author Ellen Burstyn. Why Ellen Burstyn as your choice for a speaker?

Ellen Burstyn

Ellen Burstyn

We’ve always loved Ellen Burstyn and the roles that she’s portrayed for women in our culture through film and theater. When we read her memoir Lessons in Becoming Myself we were truly moved by that, because we understood that the roles that she’s chosen and portrayed so well come out of a deep wellspring that she has found within herself, a wellspring that she’s cultivated, she’s worked hard to excavate through study, through her depth in Sufism, and through her mentor Lee Strasburg who really helped her perform from this deep wellspring, from her own true nature.

When you travel in your car, what’s on the radio?

Either its music like that of Harold Budd or All Things Considered.

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what one thing would happen instantly?

Charleston would become a model city for greening consciousness and for greening the planet — for racial justice and environmental justice. It’s really what Sophia Institute is investing in now. It’s central to our evolving work.

Interested in being a Friday Fiver? Email

Barnes and Noble Fundraiser

We are so excited to be teaming up with our friends at Barnes and Noble in West Ashley to raise money for the Alliance! Come out tomorrow between 9 and 6 and paint a piano, join in for sing-a-longs, make some art, and buy books; a portion of the proceeds will go to helping us continue to support the arts in Charleston! If you can’t make it, no worries, just use the code 11828720 at ANY Barnes and Noble location or online at checkout and a portion of your purchase will go directly to The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts.

So go ahead and get that Mother’s Day gift (yes, it’s coming up!), stock up your summer reading library, or just pop in and say hi and join in the fun!


Piccolo Lineup Announced!

This morning, Piccolo Spoleto announced their 2016 program calendar and poster and this year looks particularly exciting! Their Program Guide is gorgeous (shoutout to our friends at Annex Studios!) and packed full of classic Piccolo events, new shows, park openings, and more.

Check out the full lineup here!


Support the Arts on Giving Day!

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts is participating again this year in Lowcountry Giving Day! Lowcountry Giving Day is a day-long challenge to the community to show their support for the nonprofits that provide essential services.brand_stamp_3d

The Charleston Arts Alliance is an essential piece of the Lowcountry Arts puzzle. By providing a comprehensive arts calendar, business development workshops, our Lowcountry Arts Fund, and more we are able to support the entire network of nonprofit arts in Charleston.

By supporting the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, your donation gets stretched even farther out into the arts community.

Check out our “Arts Matter” video below and see what your donation goes to support!

H O W  T O  G I V E

  • Text: Text ARTSMATTER to 33923
  • Online: Visit (click on schedule donation and search for Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts)
  • Mail: Please make a check out to The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts and send to 293 East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

All donations must be received by May 3, 2016. 


Questions? Email or give us a call at 843.577.5288