CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: FEEDBACK: iPad addiction, gripe, correction
SPOTLIGHT: West Of
:: QUOTE: When the spirit falters
CharlestonCurrents.com offers insightful community comment and good news on events twice each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer the best of what's happening locally. What readers say
AUG. 1, 2011 Singing in CSO Gospel Choir is the most marvelous experience Ive ever had in my life.
* * *
Every rehearsal, event and performance is a joy. I feel very blessed to be here.
* * *
This is the greatest blessing in my life after the gospel and my family.
typify the feelings of members of the CSO Gospel Choir and CSO Spiritual
Ensemble. Each performance is a spiritual feast. To watch the face of
an audience member transform whether in the blossoming of a smile,
clapping their hands or brushing of a tear from the eye is a joyful
and moving experience.
In the coming week, the CSO Gospel Choir and its sister group the CSO Spiritual Ensemble, a 35-member group focusing on African-American Spirituals, are holding listening sessions for interested volunteer singers. We are looking forward to hearing community members come vocalize with us August 1-2 and August 8-9 and become part of one or both of these remarkable groups that have moved audiences for many years.
have to be a professional singer to join. We are looking for talented
vocalists in all categories that are dedicated to performing this uplifting
and spiritual music from the African-American musical tradition.
The 80-voice CSO Gospel Choir was formed in response to a need to grow the audience reach and diversity for Charlestons symphony. The all-volunteer, racially diverse group debuted the First Annual CSO Gospel Christmas in December 2000 in concert with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
In 2008, the smaller CSO Spiritual Ensemble was born from the broad talent of the CSO Gospel Choir. The Ensemble honors the devout musical tradition that African-Americans formed as slaves after arriving in this country and in particular its relevant history here in South Carolina. Both groups were founded by Lee Pringle, who conceives and produces the concerts for both the Gospel Choir and Ensemble.
Comparing the Big Easy with the Holy City
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
AUG. 1, 2011 Walking around an Uptown neighborhood in New Orleans has the feel of Hampton Park in Charleston: airy homes on lots with lush trees in a semi-tropical climate where summer steaminess is as accepted as white on rice.
But there are differences in these two famous Southern cities, both heavily influenced to this day by early European settlers. Here are some observations on how Charleston and New Orleans are similar and different:
Outward appearance. While Charleston has some downtown loudness in bar areas, the community as a whole is more akin to a quiet church a clean place where order trumps disorder. Not so in New Orleans, where a griminess seems to coat the city, more than three times the size of Charleston. The Big Easy is more like a noisy bar, not just in the French Quarter, but all over. It's fun, rowdy and larger than life, while Charleston's scale and temperament definitely seems more staid and English.
Diversity. New Orleans is filled with all kinds of people Cajuns, Creoles, Indians, whites, blacks, Latinos and more. It has a palpable feel of being a real melting pot, compared to Charleston which is mostly black and white. New Orleans also has more people who hang around all over the place. They seem to do little. Again, it's part of the city's earthiness, compared to Charleston where the homeless and bums are less visible.
Religious influence. One resident noted how the prevailing religious influence on New Orleans is European Catholic, while the more conservative Christian Bible Belt ethos is dominant in Charleston. As a result, people in New Orleans are more relaxed about relaxing. They've got a different way of handling things. And while all of the partying, gambling and gluttony may be at odds with religious teaching, they roll with it.
Schools. Both communities and their states have challenged public schools. While both offer private education alternatives, the parochial school system throughout New Orleans is fully developed and offers schooling at rates more affordable to working people than the hoity-toity private schools. This makes sense, though, as New Orleans is more tied to Catholicism.
Good food. Both communities are blessed to have outstanding restaurants and food. The major difference? The dives the non-pretentious eateries that fill New Orleans and whose offerings po' boys, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and mounds of fresh seafood are a true delight. My wife Courtenay, a native of New Orleans, says (and rightly so) that Charleston could use a few more dives.
Infrastructure. If you think the roads and infrastructure in Charleston are bad, wait until you see New Orleans. Although some problems still exist from Hurricane Katrina, the city's pockmarked, pothole-ridden roads on which you can get lost at the drop of a hat need serious work. Some of the sidewalks, which reportedly have to be maintained by homeowners in residential areas, are so broken up by tree roots that it's obvious the community must keep a stable of slip-and-fall lawsuits on the court dockets.
Traffic. It takes a long time to get from Point A to Point B in New Orleans you have to allow yourself extra time for the traffic delays that are sure to happen. But one thing missing in Charleston that it used to have is a network of streetcars, which are fun ways to travel and avoid traffic in New Orleans.
Housing. Charleston has its single house. New Orleans has its shotgun house. They're similar in that they're both one room wide. But the single house has a side porch that leads to the front door on the side of the residence, while the shotgun house often has its front door on the front. As in Charleston, the old housing stock is constantly being repaired, beautified and upgraded, although Katrina's wrath still has some areas pretty down and out.
New Orleans is an entertaining place to visit, but after a few days in the Big Easy, I'm ready to get home to the Holy City.
To Charleston Currents:
Loved your piece on the iPad and addictions. Im right there with you.
Finally had to delete Spider solitaire app as I had spent so much time on it.
I miss it especially that hour I would play before going to sleep, but I feel free.
To Charleston Currents:
Please dont write least well-known or the more common most well-known. The correct terms are least-known and best-known. You have a chance to set another good example for The Post & Courier, which has retired almost all of its writers who were old enough to have learned that sort of thing in school.
article in Thursdays edition of Charleston Currents about
a Charleston company, Immunologix, contained several errors. Here is the
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on West Of newspaper, the West Ashley's community newspaper that highlights community news, opinions, schools, dining, arts and more for the 62,000+ people who live west of Charleston's Ashley River. West Of also publishes the James Island Messenger for people who live on James Island. Visit West Of online or via Twitter.
Lowcountry Local First is holding Femivore, a celebration of women leading the Local Food movement on Aug. 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The event, which will be in the Ashley Hall School Dining Hall, 172 Rutledge Ave., will feature music from the Local Honeys, food from area women chefs, wine and champagne. The 4 Femivore finalists will be asked to present in the areas of Grow, Inspire, Nurture and Give. The audience will then vote on the woman with the project that most inspires them and she will receive $2,000 toward her project.
All participants will receive an Entrepreneurship Package. Free parking is available at the schools Smith Street lot. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online.
nears for MOJA Arts Festival juried exhibition
Work will be juried by JPEG-formatted CDs and should reflect the mission of the MOJA Arts Festival. MOJA is an 11-day festival of African-American and Caribbean art produced by the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs. The 2011 festival will take place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 9.
Bonneau man wins $15,000 playing Fantasy Fishing
of Bonneau was stunned to hear that he won $15,000 by playing FLW Fantasy
Fishing held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour. Sheffield correctly
picked National Guard pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., to win the Walmart
FLW Tour event on Pickwick Lake in Minnesota.
McClellanville girl makes leap to track and field finals
Zeniyah Lawrence, a student at St. James Santee Elementary in McClellanville, will represent the state this weekend in the 11-12 girls standing long jump in the North American Track and Field Finals in Hershey, Penn.
4 to 7 final competition is part of a series of events in the Hersheys
Track and Field Games. Lawrence was selected from the state-level competition,
held in Mount Pleasant, when she jumped 8 feet, 1 inch on June 4. The
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission has been involved with
the Hersheys Track and Field Games since 1988.
Thursday is Family Fun Night
at Patriots Point
Patriots Point is offering Family Fun Nights with discounted admission and family movies on Thursdays, Aug. 4 and 11.
Admission will be only $5 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and military active duty personnel and children under age 6 will be free.
The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum is at 40 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant. Among the features at the museum are the USS Yorktown, the Medal of Honor Museum and a collection of historic aircraft.
Lane closures slated tomorrow for Summervilles Main Street
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company will conduct maintenance work in downtown Summerville on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The work will be conducted in the outside southbound lane of North Main Street at the intersection of North Main Street and West 9th N. Street.
The lane closure will begin at Berkeley Circle and end at West N. 8th Street. Also incorporated in this lane closure will be the northbound turn lane into West 9th N. Street toward North Cedar Street.
Incorporated in 1837, the town of Blackville originated as a depository on the South Carolina Railroad in Barnwell District. It was named for Alexander Black, a railroad superintendent, but was briefly renamed Clinton in honor of Revolutionary War hero General James Clinton. However, in 1851 the town name reverted to Blackville after sectional pride led residents to conclude that it was more fitting to honor a southern railroad entrepreneur than a northern general.
the Civil War, Blackville prospered as a cotton reception point, which
stimulated the development of a bustling mercantile community. Although
much of Blackville was destroyed by Union forces in February 1865, the
town recovered quickly. In the years immediately following the war, Blackville
briefly served as the county seat before that returned to the town of
Barnwell in the mid-1870s. By the 1880s Blackville contained thirty-three
stores, four churches, four schools, several saw and grist mills, and
a population of almost one thousand. The town continued to thrive as a
cotton market, shipping some four thousand bales of cotton annually.
Devastating fires struck Blackville in 1876 and 1887, but the town survived to maintain its role as a commercial and transportation center for Barnwell County farmers. Truck farming grew during the first half of the twentieth century, and large quantities of cucumbers, watermelons, and asparagus were sent from the town each year. Blackville residents further benefited from the establishment of the Commercial Bank of Blackville in 1917 and the installation of the towns first water system in 1933. By 1940 the population stood at 1,456.
Although agriculture declined in importance throughout the region in the decades following World War II, Blackville experienced population growth over the same period, particularly in its African-American community. Between 1950 and 1980 the towns population more than doubled, from 1,295 to 2,840, with African-Americans making up over two-thirds of the total. The location of the massive Savannah River Site plant in Barnwell County in the 1950s inspired some of the increase, but most came about from new manufacturing plants. By the 1960s factories operated by the Blackville Manufacturing Company (a maker of ladies apparel) and the Ducane Heating Corporation employed hundreds of Blackville inhabitants and attracted new residents. Only seven percent of the workforce remained in agriculture by 1980.
The final decades of the twentieth century found Blackville struggling to maintain its position of economic importance within Barnwell County. In 1979 more than one-fifth of Blackville families lived below the poverty line, and the removal of the towns railroad line in the late 1980s further added to difficulties. Like other areas of South Carolina, Blackville turned to recreation and tourism to revitalize the economy. In the 1990s residents cooperated with state agencies in attempts to restore and preserve the towns historic downtown. Blackville was also designated as the site of a regional heritage center on the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.
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Family Circle Cup stats
It has been a few months since the April 10 close of the 2011 Family Circle Cup tennis championship on Daniel Island. That left time to crunch the numbers and learn that the Cup generated lots of great statistics for the city of Charleston, voted the Best Tennis Town in America.
"The majority of people perform well in a crisis and when the spotlight is on them; its on the Sunday afternoons of this life, when nobody is looking, that the spirit falters."
Small Business Lunch: 12 p.m., Aug. 4, Hall's Chophouse. Speaker will be Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and past president of the PGA. He'll speak about the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah's Ocean Course and how it will shine an international spotlight on Charleston. Go online for more information and to purchase tickets.
(NEW) Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions: Prior to 7:05 p.m. RiverDogs game, Aug. 5. A day after he was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Roberto Alomar led the balloting for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted along with local philanthropist William Ackerman and former Wando High and Clemson pitcher Mike Kimbrell. Formal induction will take place on the field of Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Play Auditions for Adults: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Aug. 7 and 8, South of Broadway Theatre Company (a non-profit organization),1080 E. Montague Ave.,North Charleston. Greater Park Circle Play Fest (3 plays on 3 separate weekends) audition dates for adults and older teens. Will provide sides from scripts.Minimal rehearsals (3 - 4). Performance dates will be Sept. 10, 17 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Family Fun Weekends: Saturdays and Sundays in August. South Carolina residents who want to enjoy a "staycation" can take advantage of reduced admissions at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Weekend admission to the gardens and a nature train ride will be $40 for each vehicle carrying up to five passengers. Free snow cones and popcorn will be served at the Peacock Café. For more information, call 571-1266.
Seminar: 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 9 and Aug. 23, Charleston Digital
Corridor Flagship, 475 E. Bay St. (corner of East Bay and Calhoun streets).
Step Ahead offers two seminars sharing tips for successfully using Facebook
to promote and grow your business. Part 1 will focus on the basics of
setting up a Facebook page, behind-the-scenes functions, posting strategy,
photos, videos and tagging. The second will explain how to customize your
page, strategies for generating results, Facebook apps and Insights (analytics).
Each seminar is $65 or register for both and save $10 ($120 for both).
For more information or to register, visit
here or email here.
(NEW) Art Exhibit Opening Reception: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Aug. 19, The Wells Gallery at the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. Opening of Rothwell/Reinert, a new show of works inspired by the scenery of the Lowcountry. The artists, Junko Ono Rothwell and Rick Reinert, both inspired by nature and sunlight, have created numerous new works that will be on display in the gallery Aug. 19 to Sept. 2. Both artists will attend the Opening Reception on the evening of Aug. 19.
Signing: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 19, Blue Bicycle Books, 420
King St. Author Maurita Corcoran will sign her book, A House Interrupted,
a can't-put-it-down read about a wife's devastating discovery that her
physician husband had been living a double life. Recently, Maurita and
her husband appeared on national television on The Dr. Drew Show, where
they discussed their successful efforts to rebuilding their lives together.
Youth Plays: 1:30 p.m., Aug. 21 and 22, and 5:30 p.m. Aug.
22, South of Broadway Theatre Company (a non-profit organization),?1080
E. Montague Ave.,North Charleston. Ages 13-18: Power Play, remounting
last year's popular production, with additional school performances in
discussion. Ages 9-13: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a creepy musical experience.
Power Play performance dates: Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow performance dates: Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., Nov.
13 at 3 p.m.
The Bridge Ride: 6:30 a.m., Sept. 17, Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. Includes a spin session at the park, as well as a bike ride across the bridge. Proceeds go to East Cooper Community Outreach. Registration is open.
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