The world didn’t end along with the Mayan calendar. Whew, what a relief!

As a matter of fact, this world is very much alive.

I always find the end of one year and the beginning of the next to be a really fascinating time.

Just about everyone has the experience of reflecting on the past and simultaneously looking forward to the future.

And we at Charleston Scene are no different.

This past year has been overwhelming with gallery and theater events, and there are so many amazing things ahead in 2013.

While we can’t touch on everything coming up — some haven’t yet been announced, others we’ll wait and spring on you — we’re already ramping up for some of the major arts events.


As hard as it is to believe, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is just around the corner.

To be held Feb. 15-17 at various locations around the Charleston area, the schedule has been set, featured artists have been selected, the poster has been chosen and tickets are on sale.

SEWE is an event for art and outdoor lovers alike.

More than 100 artists will be in attendance exhibiting and selling their works. Featured artists this year are painter Jay Kemp and sculptor Pete Zaluzec.

And everyone’s favorite, DockDogs, will be back at Brittlebank Park along with numerous other demonstrations, from retriever to casting.

Marion Square again will host Birds of Prey flight demos along with exhibitors and more.

For more information, go to

North Charleston Arts Festival

This festival is an annual nine-day event highlighting national, regional and local artists and performers. This year’s is scheduled for May 3-11.

The event, now entering its 31st year, draws more than 30,000 residents and visitors annually.

Expect to see everything from dance to music, theater, visual arts, crafts, photography, media arts and literature.

The Main Event, held the first weekend at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center, offers free admission (and parking) to more than 40 performances on four themed stages.

There also will be a gem and mineral show, an antique show, children’s activities, art and craft booths, and a food courtyard.

The festival continues with more than 60 events and exhibitions throughout the week at various locations. An array of free and ticketed offerings include street dances, concerts, theater presentations, film screenings, an art walk, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, a National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition and much more.

The festival concludes with the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park. The event includes performances, children’s activities and fireworks over the Cooper River.

Check out for more.


For 17 days and nights each spring, the theaters, churches and outdoor spaces of Charleston are filled with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers.

Founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene and others, this is the American counterpart to the annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.

With performances ranging from opera, theater and dance to chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music, there is something for everyone.

Entering its 37th season, Spoleto Festival USA is scheduled for May 24-June 9 and is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival.

This year’s preparations are well under way, with highlights including indie-pop duo Johnnyswim and world music superstar Angelique Kidjo performing, along with the American premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s contemporary opera “Matsukaze.”

Find out more at

Coinciding with Spoleto Festival USA is Piccolo Spoleto, which focuses primarily on artists of the Southeast region.

Offering more than 700 events, many of which are aimed at children, Piccolo Spoleto offers the perfect complement to the international scope of its parent festival.

Find out more at


This arts festival, set for Sept. 26-Oct. 6, is a celebration of all things African-American and Caribbean.

Produced by the city of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in cooperation with the MOJA Planning Committee, the annual 11-day festival features presentations in a variety of artistic disciplines including visual arts, classical music, theater, poetry, storytelling, dance, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, children’s activities and traditional crafts.

This year will mark the festival’s 30th year, so expect it to be bigger and better than ever as they celebrate the milestone.

Go to for details.

Charleston Scene Editor Allison Nugent contributed to this report.