And we all came together seemlessly to give something very special!

13 Jun And we all came together seemlessly to give something very special!

Letter from Dr Randy Akers, Director of SC Humanities

Dear Bonnie, Mariah and Billy and all of the Festival Organizers:

Thank you all for such a marvelous weekend. Certainly that was one of the best if not the best festivals we have had. It all had to do with your organization, all your hard work, pulling so many local partners in to work on this, and lots of elbow grease. I hope it was worth your efforts. I think Beaufort and the county will benefit from this spirit of cooperation. Everyone I talked to sure enjoyed it—I saw lots of buttons everywhere I went. Congratulations on showcasing your beautiful city. Thanks for being our friends. I know you wont rest, cause on to the next thing, but thanks again for everything. Randy

And we all came together seamlessly!

Since before I became Mayor of this special place, one of my principal passions outside of my limited official duties has been to demonstrate that by working together we can each advance our individual or organizational purposes.

This is not always easy because many organizations with similar missions, though producing complementary products, believe they are competing for donations and audiences. This may be the case, but I have always assumed we could build a collective audience that will advance each of our causes. As a result, we can better fulfill the public purpose of helping residents and visitors understand our sense of place and importance to our community, state and nation.

Through the 2016 SC Humanities Festival in Beaufort, people and groups gently stepped out from their silos and worked together to make our hometown an even better place which led to reaching our goal of becoming the largest of the 23 annual SC Humanities Festival.

Over the past weekend, historical and cultural organizations and artists of all kinds, from north and south of the Broad River, came together to present the SC Humanities Festival in Beaufort County. The theme was: “Inspire, Enrich and Engage.”

More than four hundred people gathered opening night at the USCB Center for the Arts where SC Humanities Director Randy Akers welcomed us. Bonnie Hargrove, Director of the USCB Center for the Arts, presented an overview of the many venues open to participants Friday and Saturday. And the event came to a crescendo with the audience on their feet clapping and singing with Scott Gibbs and the Beaufort Mass Choir.

Partners in the collaboration, who opened their doors (at no cost to participants) included:

USCB Center for the Arts

Beaufort History Museum

Beaufort Arts Council

Beaufort County Library

Beaufort History Museum

Beaufort Film Society

Beaufort Mass Choir

Coastal Discovery Museum

Friends of Fort Fremont

Friends of Hunting Island State Park

Heritage Library

Historic Beaufort Foundation

Historic Port Royal Foundation

Mitchelville Preservation

Penn Center

Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center

Santa Elena History Center

USCB Center for the Arts

USCB History Department

Dr. Marlena Smalls

Lavon Stevens Band

Aunt Perlie Sue (Anita Singleton Prather) and her associates

Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce

Reverend Kenneth Hodges and the Congregation at Tabernacle Church

And many Volunteers from throughout the County

PickleJuice Productions, Saltus River Grill + Salty River Catering and Breakwater were the primary sponsors who were supported by Robb Wells of the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce Visitors Division.

As a member of the Board of SC Humanities, I was given the honor of chairing the three day event. I would be remiss if I did not admit that Bonnie Hargrove and my personal assistant, Mariah Robinson, pulled the many groups together and coordinated activities.

This is the kind of collaboration that distinguishes our potential to be the best we can be.  Thanks to many organizations and individuals who came together to make this event so special.