HomeNewsAnnual North Charleston Arts Fest Set for May 1-5

Annual North Charleston Arts Fest Set for May 1-5

Celebration of arts returns for 41st year with full line-up of FREE events

The 41st annual North Charleston Arts Fest is just one month away, set to take place May 1-5. The celebration of arts and culture highlights the talents of regional and local artists and performers in the areas of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and literature. Performances, activities, and exhibits take place in a variety of venues throughout the city of North Charleston with free admission for all. Residents and visitors can enjoy concerts, dance performances, art demos, kid’s programs, a variety of exhibitions, an Arty Block Party, and more. Complete details about the five-day event are available at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Exhibit Hall C at the Charleston Area Convention Center will host the Arts Fest’s Judged Art & Photography, South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and Tri-County Youth Art & High School Sculpture Competitions & Exhibitions during the entire run of the festival, May 1-5. Viewing hours are Wednesday, May 1, 6-8pm; Thursday-Saturday, May 2-4, 10am-6pm; and Sunday, May 5, noon-5pm. Award winners of the competitions will be acknowledged at 6:30pm during the Arts Fest Opening Celebration on Wednesday, May 1. The event, which takes place from 6-8pm, features food, music, and more, set among the hundreds of pieces of artwork on display. The Exhibition Encore on Sunday, May 5, from 2-5pm, serves as a closing reception, allowing patrons to view the artwork in a festive atmosphere and make final decisions on purchases. In addition to a final look at the exhibits, the event offers musical entertainment, fiber art demos, and complimentary “bites and bubbles.”

Other visual art highlights include a solo exhibit at Park Circle Gallery featuring paintings by the Arts Fest’s poster design competition winner Jirah Perkins and the 18th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition installed at North Charleston Riverfront Park. North Charleston City Hall will display the 17th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition – Celebrating Black Music throughout the festival dates and beyond, remaining on display until June 16, 2024.

Music, theatre, and dance offerings during this year’s Arts Fest run the gamut. Concerts range from bossa nova and bluegrass to rock and reggae, and take place in a variety of venues, including libraries, a chapel, and local businesses. The World Dance Showcase at the new Park Circle Community Building will be held from 12-4pm on Saturday, May 4. The event showcases traditional, folk, and modern dances of cultures from around the world by local performers in vibrant costumes. This new venue will also host theatre presentations by Shortwave Kitsch (May 2) and The Crabpot Players (May 5), a dance matinee performance featuring Dance Moves of Charleston and ensembles from Charleston Dance Space (May 5), and The Global Art Fair Soft Launch presented by Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art Gallery and NobleSol Art Group (May 3). The Colour of Music Festival returns to the Eternal Father of the Sea Chapel on the former Charleston Naval Base this year with a premiere by Charleston-born composer Edmund Thornton Jenkins, the Lowcountry’s father of Black classical music at 7pm on Thursday, May 2. And, of course, the performing and visual arts come together at the Arts Fest Arty Block Party on Saturday, May 4, from 5-8:30pm on East Montague Avenue. The street art market features vendor booths with local artists, makers, and arts-related businesses and organizations, live music by 2Slices (5-6:30pm) and Ras B & ReggaeInfinity (7-8:30pm), along with a variety of roving entertainers.

Complete information on all 2024 North Charleston Arts Fest offerings and participation opportunities is available at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Applications are currently being accepted for vendor space at the Arty Block Party. Entry instructions for the Festival’s Judged Fine Art Exhibition, Judged Photography Exhibition, Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition, and Tri-County High School Sculpture Exhibition, as well as volunteer sign-up forms are also available. Forms can be downloaded at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply.