Best Sign That the 2016 Spoleto is Going to be Like No Other

The Charleston Connection

Staff Pick

The folks at Spoleto Festival USA like to be coy when it comes to teasing their festival lineup before they’re ready. But with Spoleto 2016, they played it just a little bit differently. Months before SPUSA made their traditional January announcement, word had gotten out that the Charleston-set folk opera Porgy and Bess would be Spoleto’s signature event. However, there were more Charleston connections to come. Jazz singer René Marie was commissioned to write a song honoring the Emanuel Nine, while visual artist Carrie Mae Weems is currently crafting a mixed-media performance inspired by President Barack Obama’s eulogy of the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney. The festival will also offer what many believe is the first performance of African-American, Charleston-born composer Edmund Thornton Jenkins’ Afram Ou La Belle Swita, as well as a series of Porgy and Bess events ranging from lectures to walking tours to exhibitions. —Chris Haire
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