Charleston has a vibrant arts scene all year long, but one event truly showcases the power of art, theater, music and dance. Spoleto Festival USA brings internationally known and incredibly talented artists and performers to the Holy City for 17 days.
From the kickoff in May to the finale on June 12 at Middleton Place, this event is a celebration of all things art and culture, attracting visitors and reminding locals about Charleston’s artistic beauty and history.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Spoleto Festival USA – a much-heralded event that highlights the importance of art in our local community. It draws people together to enjoy classic operas, modern dance and innovations in art and music.
Making headlines this year is the performance of “Porgy and Bess” at the newly renovated Gaillard Center – a beautiful venue to showcase this amazing event. The opera, last performed at Spoleto in 1999, brings to life DuBose Heyward’s depiction of the Gullah community right here in Charleston. Charleston artist Jonathan Green is the visual designer.
Although the performance sold out months ago, art lovers can still see the paintings that depict the impact of “Porgy and Bess” and how it showcased Charleston to the world. The Gibbes Museum of Art is hosting “The Art of Porgy and Bess.” This collection opens May 28 as the Gibbes reopens after an 18-month renovation. A “Porgy and Bess” Walking Tour is also available, featuring sites associated with the fictional characters and historical context for the work and its creators.
Bringing a performance like “Porgy and Bess” to Spoleto reinforces the deep connection between Charleston’s artistic and cultural history. Even the city’s architecture and historic homes are part of its artistic scene.
Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm in Charleston, understands that tie. Daniel Ravenel is part of the Sotheby’s brand – a global art business dealing in some of the finest pieces and collections in the world.
In 1976 Sotheby’s launched the Sotheby’s International Realty brand to complement the auction house. This collaboration uses a combination of unique marketing efforts to reach an influential audience around the globe. The auction house started in London in 1744 and continues to provide amazing knowledge of art with a network of 90 offices in 40 countries.
“Sotheby’s history and Charleston’s rich art history are the perfect blend,” Dan Ravenel said. “In many ways, Charleston’s homes are pieces of art so working in real estate in the beautiful Holy City among all these artistic treasures is the best of both worlds.”