December at the Charleston Museum

Check out these events at the Museum in December:

December 2-27 – Garden Club of Charleston Holiday Decorations at the Joseph Manigault House
December 8 – Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department
December 9* – STEAM Saturday: Holly Jolly Science
December 9* – Holiday Candle Making Workshop with Local Artist Daisy McClellan
December 13*  Holidays with the Heywards Tour
December 15  Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department
December 19-21*  Winter Break Camp
December 20*  Holiday Workshop
December 22  Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department
December 24  Christmas Eve: Museum and historic houses CLOSED
December 25  Christmas Day: Museum and Historic Houses CLOSED
December 28*  Marvelous Maps Workshop
December 29*  Communication through the Ages Teen Workshop

*Reservations Required

-Submitted by The Charleston Museum

(Image credit:

Reminder: Holiday Concert on Dec 4

Remember that on Monday, December 4, 2023 the Charleston Coastal Choir will perform a holiday concert, “Sing of a Merry Christmas.” The concert will take place at 5:00 pm at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, located at 3871 Betsy Kerrison Parkway.

Under the direction of Van McCollum, the Charleston Coastal Choir will perform both traditional holiday music as well as some unique musical pieces which will certainly help the audience get into the holiday spirit! Please come out to enjoy seasonal holiday music and to support your friends and neighbors in the Charleston Coastal Choir. We hope to see you there!

-Submitted by Deborah Banecker

CJO: Holiday Swing Dec 2

The Charleston Jazz Orchestra and director Robert Lewis have a truly joyous and magical Holiday Swing concert planned for you on Saturday, December 2. In addition to favorites like Santa Baby and White Christmas, you will have the rare opportunity to hear Duke Ellington’s jazzy Nutcracker Suite live. For tickets for the 5:00 performance, click here and for the 8:00 pm performance, here.

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite is truly a masterpiece. In 1960, Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, arranged Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet music into a jazz suite, which has since become a holiday classic. The Nutcracker Suite showcases Ellington’s signature style of big band swing, bluesy melodies, and complex harmonies, while still paying homage to the original classical work. The result is a delightful and unique interpretation of the beloved Nutcracker story, with each movement bringing a fresh and exciting jazz twist to the familiar tunes.

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December Activities at Kiawah

Kiawah has some exciting events for the holiday season!

Harmonize the Holidays

Saturday, December 2, 2023,
3:00 pm. Doors open at 2:30 pm.
Kiawah Island West Beach Conference Center

Tickets: Adults $15, Youth 15 and under $5

Harmonize the Holidays with the Southern Harmony Chorus and Palmetto Vocal Project, two local a cappella groups

For advance ticket sales, contact Jennifer at 843-530-3528
Come capture the Holiday Spirit!

Astralis Flute and Harp Chamber Ensemble

Sunday, December 3, 2023
7:30 pm Church of Our Saviour
Cost: No Charge

Join us as we celebrate the holiday season with the highly acclaimed artists of the Astralis Chamber Ensemble, an innovative and dynamic duo performing with much acclaim across the globe. Witness prize-winning artists Angela Massey (flute) and Rachel O’Brien (harp) present a magical concert with holiday favorites, including “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night,” and “Greensleeves.” The concert will also include classical repertoire to fit the spirit of the season with delightful works by Jean Cras, Andriessen, and Rota. 


Sunday, December 10, 2023
7:30 pm Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Cost: $15

GlassDuo, the world-renowned glass harp performance group, is comprised of Anna and Arkadiusz Szafraniec from Poland — former orchestral musicians who were charmed away from the symphony by the sounds and the possibilities of the glass harp. GlassDuo has spanned the globe, performing the world’s largest glass harp in over 40 countries. Their crystal clear, expressive music attracts audiences and fans in concert halls, at international music festivals, on TV/radio, in ads, and at corporate events.

Piano Bar with Misha Pekar

Wednesday, December 13, 2023
5:00 – 7:00 pm The Sandcastle 
No Tickets Required 

Not meant to be concerts, Piano Bars are to enjoy with friends and offer an opportunity to meet neighbors outside your circle for some island socializing. Bring your beverage of choice and a snack to tide you over. View Misha Pekar’s website here.

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(Image Credit: Kiawah Arts Council & Christmas Clipart)

Art & Artisan Pop-up Shop on Kiawah Island

The Art and Artisan Showcase returns to The Sandcastle on Kiawah Island on Saturday, November 18, 2023, and everyone is invited to shop for unique items in a beautiful setting. This showcase will feature a full slate of local artists and artisans with their original paintings, photographs, handcrafted pottery, jewelry, and home decorations for sale.

The pop-up shop will take place from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and is open to all. Come enjoy the beachfront breeze at the community clubhouse while you decide which pieces to take home.

This event is a great way to support local artists and businesses while getting some holiday shopping in. The Sandcastle is located at 1 Shipwatch Road on Kiawah Island.

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(Image credit: KICA)

CSO Holiday Music in December

Unleash the spirit of the holidays with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO).

Nothing says “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” in the Lowcountry like Holiday Strings at the Charleston Library Society. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s string quintet will perform an annual tradition of holiday works with your classic favorites announced from the stage. Click here for tickets and information. 

“Hallelujah!” Few excerpts are familiar to as many, and Messiah remains Handel’s best-known work. There is no better time of year to enjoy Handel’s sacred oratorio that has long been associated with good will and charity.

Join the CSO for this glorious holiday tradition, Holy City Messiah, with the CSO Chamber Chorus and four guest soloists at three beautiful churches in downtown Charleston, Daniel Island, and Summerville. Click here for tickets and information.

Unwrap the joy with the Charleston Symphony this season with one of Charleston’s favorite winter traditions! Enjoy your favorite new holiday tunes, traditional carols, audience sing-alongs, and more. There will be something for everyone – including grand vocal works, fun visits from Santa and the Grinch, beloved pipers, and special guest dancing guests. Click here for tickets and information.

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(Images credit:

SIAG December Artist of the Month, Brenda Tilson

The year was 1974. Richard Nixon was President of the United States, Leonid Brezhnev was President of the USSR, and Brenda was a new graduate of the University of Cincinnati and ready to step into the real world. Equipped with a hefty backpack, an SLR camera, and sturdy hiking boots, she set out to trek through western Russia and Finland in the spring and summer of 1974.

It is now 2023. A few images from that experience are on display in December. Seen together, they illustrate the contrast of Czarist Russia and Bolshevik Russia as well as previously occupied Finland and Czechoslovakia. Included are classic churches and cathedrals, propaganda posters anchored to architectural monuments, as well as a view of daily life in Russia in 1974.

Thanks to today’s technology, these film images were revived from their film status to December’s exhibit…to live again.

Brenda’s background includes degrees from Fairmont State College (BA Art), and the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, and Art (BS Science) and she is a Juried member of the Pastel Society of America.

Brenda’s 40-year design career was spent collaborating with architects and clients on interior spaces and planning.

Please join Brenda for the Artist of the Month reception
Tuesday, December 5, at The Lake House from 4:30-6:00 pm.

For information on the Seabrook Island Artist Guild click here.

-Submitted by Bonnie Younginer, Seabrook Island Artist Guild

(Image credit: Brenda Tilson)

Visiting Artists at the Gibbes

The Gibbes Museum of Art welcomes Charleston-based artists Alice Colin and Elizabeth Williams as part of their Visiting Artists program. They will be in residence at the museum now through December 3. Alice will hold open studio hours Monday – Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Sundays noon to 5:00 pm, and Elizabeth’s open studio hours will be Monday – Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm for the public to see these artists at work.

Alice Colin

Alice Colin’s creative process aims at expressing emotions and thoughts through colors and pattern, while balancing shapes and shades. Her inspiration comes from her travels, the many places she’s called home and the facial expressions of people she has encountered. Her portraits try to capture the emotional charge, history and experience a figure may exude. Originally from Bordeaux, France, she has studied, worked and lived in many countries before landing in Charleston. Influenced by a background in communication, she developed a love of creating visual artworks using acrylic colors combined with recycled elements from daily life such as newspaper, leather, fabrics, discarded packaging, and jar labels.

Elizabeth Williams 

Elizabeth Northcut Williams is a fine artist who lives in Johns Island, SC, with her husband, three children, rescue dog, and parakeet. She grew up in Louisville, KY with family who valued making beautiful things. With that encouragement, she received her BFA in painting from the University of Evansville and has been blessed with art “work” ever since. Using a range of painting and drawing mediums, she combines figurative realism with expressive abstraction on oil-primed linen, panels or paper. In blending traditional portraiture with conceptual storytelling, she can connect the “who” with the “why.” Williams says, “I see this exploration of artmaking as an extension of hospitality, and for that act of connection, I am forever grateful.”

-Submitted by the Gibbes Museum

(Image credits: and

Building Connections Through Photography Nov 16

Thursday, November 16, 2023
6:30 – 8:00 pm

Refreshments at 6:30 pm
Presentation 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Live Oak Hall at The Lake House

This meeting is free to attend as a thanks to the Seabrook Island Community for supporting the Photography Club.

The Seabrook Island Photography Club is pleased to host South Carolina Fine Art Photographer jon holloway* who will discuss “Building Connections Through Photography.”

“Throughout my career, I have experimented with capturing the splendor and beauty forged from building connections between the human spirit and our universe – a visual statement designed to communicate my belief that we, as soulful beings, are made to share ourselves with each other and with our universe. Too often in our society, we neglect the importance of creating meaningful connections with the world around us. I believe when we share our “spark”, however brief, we experience an overwhelming joy and appreciation for the beauty and majesty of life.”

jon holloway

The presentation will be a creative photographic journey of the 30 years that jon has been exploring land and culture. He will share a variety of projects including India, Spirit, 500 Years, and South Carolina book projects. He will discuss the creative process and share images created with film, digital and the use of old cameras. His projects have taken him across the planet—traversing Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, Cuba, Central America, India from the Thar Desert to the Himalayas, the vast wilderness at the gates of the Arctic, Europe’s storied cities, every corner of his home, the Palmetto State, and especially North America’s indigenous lands in the west. 

His work has been nationally and internationally exhibited and collected. He has also appeared in numerous publications including South Carolina Beautiful Places, National Geographic, South Carolina 24/7, Daybreak 2000, and the Palmetto Portrait Project.

As a tenured professor at Lander University, jon also teaches photography. His humor and energy are legendary on campus and in the heart of Greenwood, SC, where he has been celebrated as Small Business Person of the Year for his frontline efforts in the urban renewal of Uptown.

Please join us for a special evening! If you have any questions about the meeting please contact Maureen Healy at

*The artist prefers to spell his name with lowercase letters.

-Submitted by Maureen Healy

(Image credits: jon holloway)

Charleston Coastal Choir Holiday Concert Dec 4

Please mark your calendars for Monday, December 4, 2023 for the Charleston Coastal Choir Holiday Concert, Sing of a Merry Christmas. The concert will take place at 5:00 pm at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, located at 3871 Betsy Kerrison Parkway. Under the direction of Van McCollum, the Charleston Coastal Choir will perform both traditional holiday music as well as some unique musical pieces that will certainly help the audience get into the holiday spirit! 

Please come out to enjoy seasonal holiday music
and to support your friends and neighbors
in the Charleston Coastal Choir.

-Submitted by Deborah Baneker

November at the Charleston Museum

The calendar of special events in November at the Charleston Museum includes the following:

November 3 – Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department

November 7* – Election Day Workshop

November 7* – Educator Professional Development: Life in Colonial Charleston

November 9* – Archaeology at The Charleston Museum: Past, Present, and Future with Martha Zierden

November 10 – Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department

November 11* – In Defense of Charleston: A Tour of Battery Pringle with Chief of Collections Jennifer McCormick

November 15* – Special 250th Early Days Gallery Tour with Curator of Historic Textiles Virginia Theerman

November 16*  Homeschool History Day: Indigenous American Knowledge

November 16*  John Milner and the Fire of 1740 with Curator of Historical Archaeology Martha Zierden and Dr. Sarah Platt of College of Charleston

November 17*  Indigenous American Workshop

November 17  Fossil Friday with the Natural History Department

November 18*  Calendar Candle Workshop with Local Floral Designer & Master Certified Florist Pia Geraghty

November 18*  STEAM Saturday: Pirates

November 22*  Teen STEAM Workshop: Maritime Archaeology

November 23  Thanksgiving Day: Museum and Historic Houses CLOSED

*Reservations Required

-Submitted by The Charleston Museum

(Image credit:

Podcast with IAAM President & CEO

Periodically, the Town of Kiawah Island hosts a podcast with people or issues that are of interest to the residents in the area.

In this episode, Council Member Brad Belt speaks with Dr. Tonya Matthews, President and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM). Belt and Matthews discuss Matthews’ background and accomplishments; the rich history and stories that the IAAM tells, including those of the Lowcountry Gullah Geechee; and what you can expect when visiting at this sacred place. 

IAAM is a new museum to Charleston and tells the unvarnished stories of the African American experience across generations, the trauma and triumph that gave rise to a resilient people. Learn more about the museum here.

Click here to listen.

Click here to watch.

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