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It's a Chick Thing
The artsy social fundraiser known as WomenRock returns in September, once again with estrogen to burn. On September 28 the S.C. Aquarium will host WomenRock IV: Rockin' On, and organizers are accepting applications from women artists (sorry, guys) interested in displaying and selling their wares at the event.

Despite the name, WomenRock isn't about music as it is arts and crafts, plus lots of food and plenty of booze. For three years, the single-evening event has showcased the work of local female artists and served as a fundraiser for a variety of area nonprofits. It's also become one of the most popular female-oriented social events of the year, filling the Aquarium to capacity last year. To get that sort of turnout for a guy-oriented fundraiser, it'd have to be a Super Bowl party or a charity drink-a-thon.

This year, WomenRock will have booths for 25 to 30 artists. Each participating artist is asked to donate an item to the silent auction that will be going on throughout the evening, with all proceeds from the auction going to the Aquarium's animal care programs. Interested in participating? Shoot an e-mail to womenrock2006@yahoo.com for the full 411 on how to apply. – Steven Zimmerman

African Experience
Charleston's long-gestating International African American Museum took a big step forward last week with the hiring of an executive director, Charleston native Dr. Gretta Middleton. Middleton's background ranges across both genres and continents, from managing international projects in Ghana, Great Britain, Jamaica, and Thailand to teaching courses at Charleston Southern University and developing exhibits for the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C.

Hopefully Middleton can get the ball rolling on the project, which for the past five years has existed as little more than a board of advisors, a good idea, and an empty lot. Among other things, Middleton will be in charge of implementing the museum's strategic plan, once it's been finalized, working with the board of directors and the mayor, and overseeing fundraising events. That last bit is particularly important, considering the estimated cost of the museum: a hefty $69 million. If all goes according to plan, the 60,000-square-foot facility will rise at the corner of Calhoun and Concord, across the street from the S.C. Aquarium, Charleston IMAX, and the Ft. Sumter Visitor Education Center – the perfect spot to take advantage of the area's heavy tourist population. The museum's goal is to "embody the histories, cultures, and experiences of Africans in the Americas, with a specific focus on Charleston and South Carolina." – SZ

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