Mayoral Candidates Respond to ACCHH Questions on Arts, Culture & History

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My name is Patti Maurer, and I am reaching out to you on behalf of the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head (ACCHH). Currently we have a collective membership of 43 performing and visual arts organizations, along with museum and cultural entities, individual artists and arts professionals. As an established 501 (c) 3 organization, the ACCHH coordinates, promotes, communicates and showcases the arts and cultural entities of the Hilton Head region, for the purpose of creating an arts destination, enriching the quality of life and speaking with one voice on cultural issues.

 

As a candidate running for Mayor of Hilton Head Island, the ACCHH respectfully requests your responses to three questions, which will be shared with our membership. Please note that our purpose for these questions is to keep the Arts, Culture, and History in the conversation, and not meant to endorse one candidate over another.  We believe that this would be the most productive format to have the collective voices of the arts community heard and recognized by any and all of the future elected officials.


Barry Ginn and Alan Perry did not respond to the questions.

 

1) What specific actions would you as our next Mayor, propose, support and implement  to promote Arts, Culture and Heritage on Hilton Head Island?

 Kim Likins: 

As Chairperson of the Community Services Committee I provided the leadership to form the Town’s first Arts & Cultural Strategic Planning Committee, and serving as the Town Council liaison and committee member. This dedicated citizens group collaborated with the local arts and cultural organizations and created a Strategic Plan for Arts and Culture on Hilton Head Island. This plans recommendations were implemented, including creation of the Town’s Office of Cultural Affairs, which is headed by Jenn McEwen and a citizen’s Culture & Arts Advisory Committee. Specific actions include:

·      Expanding the prominent marketing of the Island’s arts and culture both through the Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Town’s new CuiltureHHI.org website and other marketing initiatives.

·      Continuing work to create a unique Island Cultural District and pursue the distinguished Cultural District designation from the SC Arts Commission.

·      Working with the cultural community to identify and highlight the economic impact on the community to maximize the impact of public funds to support cultural and arts assets. This includes continued ATAX support for existing and new cultural ventures.

·      Insuring continued funding and support of the Town’s Office of Cultural Affairs

John McCann: 

The arts are an integral part of our culture on Hilton Head Island. We need to promote and support our home as a  vibrant cultural destination – a destination that inspires, that creates a sense of artistic excitement, and that enriches our diverse community.

We are blessed to have over 100 art related organizations on the island and we should support them in a number of ways:

A) The DMO needs more direction and needs to increase its focus on our artists and art offerings. 
B) We need to continue to support Jennifer McEwen and our Office of Cultural Affairs. 
C) We need more art related festivals and we need to better integrate art into our existing festivals and events. 
D) We need more family oriented arts and culture events.
E) We need to better integrate technology into our offerings, using mobile apps and streaming to more effectively share 
our arts and cultural activities with residents and visitors.
F) We need to find better ways to highlight the rich legacy of our historical arts and cultural heritage.
G) Local leaders need to attend and vocally support arts events in our community.
H) We should establish an annual Day for the Arts to celebrate the extraordinary artistic talent of our Island.
I) We should obtain South Carolina arts commission cultural district status.
J) Using the beauty of our Island and the rich legacy of our historical arts and cultural heritage, we should develop a 
variety of signature arts and cultural events to showcase our artistic talent to a broader audience.
K ) And, we should formalize our arts and cultural partnerships with community schools.

Through these steps, and with thoughtful and engaged leadership, we can add specific actions to the Comprehensive 

Plan and make these goals become reality in the next 4 years.

Michael Santomauro: 

As the only candidate that can be a full-time mayor for Hilton Head Island, I will devote my mayoral energy to make it my my mission for Hilton Head to become : “The Island of the Arts”.


I am the only candidate who wants to be your mayor on a full-time basis. None of my opponents are willing to do that— my opponents only want to be your mayor on a part-time basis — this is not enough mayoral work-time to oversee a two billion dollar island economy.

I will open a free public-art park, create teen arts internships and develop a series of classes and workshops featuring guests and local artists.

As a full time mayor I will have an open-door policy for the artist to contact me for help to facilitate his or her needs.

Rochelle Williams:

I would propose to speed up the Mitchellville [sic] project. I believe this area should be a market place to showcase the Gullah heritage. We should have Artists, Basket Weevers [sic], indigo dyers, farmers, shrimpers, fishermen and other activities that promote the Gullah Culture and it should all be marketed properly however I feel the heritage does not only consist of the Gullah culture but all of the settlers on the island and the rich history of this island that I love including the wars and military presence which made this island what it is

 

 2) Name ways in which the Town could use the Arts, Cultural, and Heritage organizations on the island as a tool to trigger the next wave of economic development in its pursuit to revitalize and modernize the economy?

 Kim Likins: 

Our Arts and Cultural assets already contribute significantly to our Island economy, both by employment (spend) and ticket sales (revenue). As opportunities for arts and culture on the Island, expand so will their contribution to the economy.

·      Developing Mitchelville Freedom Park will allow it to offer more frequent on-site programming permitting their contribution to our economy to expand exponentially. The same will be true with the renovation of the Zion Cemetery and Banyard Mausoleum.

·      Working harder to keep our Island’s wonderful art galleries from moving to the mainland. Identifying HHI as a place to make and buy art will help to encourage the business of arts on the island.  Attracting artists and artisans, musicians, etc.  and by promoting HHI as a great place for artists to live and work by showing them the variety of our arts assets.

·      Using art to revitalize some of our Island’s vacant commercial buildings by turning them into art enclaves. Creating spaces for artists’ studios, galleries and maker-space is a perfect opportunity for helping the arts community support the local economy as well as keeping them part of our vibrant Island art culture.

·      Implementing more projects like the bicycle path cultural trail map to involve families in art. 

·      Examining and implementing best practices used by other towns which have proven solutions to improving economic development as highlighted by organizations such as Art Place America or Americans for the Arts. 

John McCann: 

We must make it our mission to educate people about what a vibrant and distinctive arts and cultural destination Hilton 
Head Island is. We have so many unique arts and cultural assets to share, The DMO needs to do a better job highlighting 
this and the Office of Cultural Affairs can help coordinate efforts throughout the island to raise our profile. The Town of 
Hilton Head Island and the DMO need to provide our local artists with the necessary tools to support our marketing 
efforts and raise the visibility of our arts community. There is no doubt that the arts can bring people to our island and 

benefit our economy – we must embrace the efforts that support this goal.

 

Michael Santomauro:

 I strongly believe that the island economy is not a problem . Our island economy is overheated and over-developed. 


Unrestrained development will turn us into another Myrtle beach before imploding on us, unless we put a growth moratorium on new development, both commercial and residential. Let’s not lose our vision of why we came here — tranquility! Overdevelopment is a bad thing, once something is built it is irreversible. Remember in economics, overgrowth is not a good thing.

A growth moratorium is a win-win for all of us. It is good for the business community, since there is a shortage of labor. It is good for home values, because traffic problems will not worsen and the environmental beauty of our island will be preserved. Medical facilities and wellness centers will be exempt from the moratorium.

Hilton Head Island has 193 restaurants, fifteen supermarkets, and countless other stores — it is obvious we are overdeveloped.

Density: Hilton Head Island has 958 people per square mile, this is ten times the national average of 91. During the high season it swells to 3,600 people per square mile. Overwhelming? I think so.

Have you had enough? The developers sold us a vision, now they are getting overly greedy. Stop the unnecessary over-development of our beautiful island.

Instead, let’s put more into the arts it will STILL  be good for our economy and it will good for our soul.

Rochelle Williams:

I feel that plays, shows and movies would be a great start. People like entertainment. If we could market the Art and cultural center and the heritage organizations in a way where people would be intrigued to learn the history of the island and all that the heritage offers and where and how the culture has evolved then we should be able to benefit from this project.especially with the Arts, Cultural and Heritage organizations marketing events from Florida to North Carolina and out to Ohio about events.

3) How do you envision the Arts, Cultural and Heritage organizations playing an integral part in fostering a multi-dimensional community?

 Kim Likins: 

Arts and Culture play a vital role in fostering a multi-dimensional community. They speak to the heart and soul of a community and act as a catalyst to bring people together. Our Island’s unique Gullah Geechee culture combined with that of a generation of musicians who have grown-up creating Island style music, and an increasing Latino population who are settling in the area, make us a melting pot of rich diverse ethnic culture. With a citizenry young and old who deeply appreciates these assets, arts and culture should be a natural cornerstone upon which we work to build this vital vision.  Examples of ways to foster a multi-dimensional community include:

·      Developing Mitchelville and Gullah heritage sites and culture

·      Fostering festivals and concerts with our Latino community

·      Initiating more projects like painting murals at the rec center involving all age groups from school kids to seniors

More than 3000 of our citizens participated in an engaging visioning process to help guide the future of Hilton Head Island. This process helped us determine what we value, what are our greatest challenges, and most importantly what we aspire for our future. Now it is time to take this collective thinking and put it into action. We need to work hard to encourage community leadership, businesses and citizens to actively participate in implementing the vision strategies for our great future.  Ensuring that Arts and Culture are a prominent part of that vision is vital to our future success. 

 

John McCann: 

We should continue to promote greater collaboration between all interested parties and the Town. We are stronger 

together. The impressive and thoughtful plan that Jennifer McEwan developed will position us well going forward. It will 
enhance our collaborative objectives – and it will show that the arts, culture and history are alive and well on Hilton Head 
Island, and ensure that they play a significant role in our economy and in the quality of life here now – and for years to 
come. 

 

Michael Santomauro:

 I will like to work with the ACCHH to experiment with direct democracy and it will be a creative effort to bring art and politics together .
It will also increase our “Social Capital” that is lacking on Hilton Head Island . 

Rochelle Williams:

I believe that if people know more about this island and it’s heritage the island will be more respected. Once people realize that this island is rich in history and not just beautiful beaches and restaurants but history from stoney to seapines and the way we get along as a community the guests might want to follow suit. Not saying that they will but it is worth a try. I believe options and awareness will give our guests the best possible opportunity and experience while visiting our beautiful island. Thank You.

15th Annual Art Market at Historic Honey Horn Wraps Up for 2017

The 15th annual Art Market at Historic Honey Horn was held on April 29th and 30th. This year, 95 artists from 9 different states participated in the juried show. Judges awarded $5,000 in prizes to 14 different artists representing a variety of mediums. Local photographer, Paul Shatz, won best in show. Paul recently moved to Hilton Head Island from Charleston and has participated in hundreds of fine art festivals annually around the country. The judges for this year’s show were impressed with his spectacular images as well as his method of continuing the historic tradition of silver-gelatin photography.  According to Shatz, “My silver-gelatin original photographs are created by me, using traditional materials and techniques. I use 8x10 and 5x7 large format film and make silver prints one at a time using my hands, my head and my heart. They are selenium toned to achieve an archival quality. This traditional method of photography creates a depth and magic in the print that is unmatched.”

2017 Art Market awards:

Best in Show – Paul Shatz, Hilton Head Island, SC – Photography

2nd Place – James Herndon, Walterboro, SC – Wood

3rd Place – Murray Sease, Bluffton, SC- Oil / Acrylic

Awards of Merit:

Michele Blank, Mt. Pleasant, SC - Glass

JoAnn Graham, St. Helena Island, SC - Jewelry

Lyn Hise, Inverness, Fl – Mixed Media 2-D

Amanda McLenon, Daniel Island, SC – Oil/Acrylic

Eric Moore, Pomaria, SC - Sculpture

Diane Ness, Acworth, GA – Fiber

Blake Olsen, Orange Park, FL – Clay

Jody Rankin, Awendaw, SC – Oil/Acrylic

David Russell, Camden, SC – Glass

Michael Smalls & Dino Badger, Fiber (Sweetgrass Baskets) – Round O, SC

Valerie Thomas & Dana Shirley, Jewelry – Naples, FL

Twenty Five Years Behind the Seams

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The Palmetto Quilt Guild is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Guild. Twenty five years of creativity, camaraderie and community service. The Guild was founded in 1991 with the objective of promoting the art of quilting; educating the members in its intricacies and providing community and outreach services. The first quilt show was held in March of 1992 with a two day display of quilts at the First Presbyterian Church. The Guild has evolved from the original 50 members meeting 4 times a year to 150 members meeting every third Thursday of the month and hosting a nationally known speaker who then teaches a workshop on the following Friday. This March 11th through March 13th, the Guild will host its 13th Quilt Festival and fill the convention center at the Beach and Tennis Resort. The Guild has also continued the tradition of community and outreach programs. Recent activities resulted in over 300 quilts being distributed to local charities over the last three years; working with Veterans as well as many programs being provided to local groups such as Memory Matters and Programs for Exceptional People. Additionally, over the last 25 years, the Guild has provided a yearly scholarship to a high school senior pursuing an education in the visual arts. The Guild has awarded over $25,000 to 17 local students from Hilton Head and Bluffton schools. During this time, the Quilt Festival has also evolved. The current three day extravaganza includes a quilt competition judged by a nationally certified judge and the awarding of multiple ribbons across 14 categories; a display of 150 quilts; 13 vendors; a Gift Shop selling over 200 handcrafted items; a consignment shop selling quilts and quilt tops; and a silent auction. At the end of the show, we will pick the winner of the beautiful, queen-size quilt “Setting the Course”. The Festival’s hours are 10am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Admission for visitors 13 and over is $7 at the entrance to the show. For more information visit our website at www.PalmettoQuiltGuild.org or friend us on Facebook at Palmetto Quilt Guild. You can reach us at PalmettoQuiltGuild@gmail.com. 

Bring it On: The Musical is coming to Hilton Head Island High School’s stage March 9th-13th

Bitingly relevant and sprinkled with sass, Bring It On: The Musical, inspired by the Bring it On film, takes the audience on a high-flying journey filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. The show tells the story of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition. The musical comedy made its Broadway debut in August of 2012. The production earned Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Choreography, and The New York Times called it, “Impossible to resist!”

The modern and explosive new musical comedy raises the stakes on over-the-top team rivalries. Set against the world of competitive cheerleading, this powerhouse new show hilariously proves that winning isn’t everything when it means losing something - or someone - you really care about. This musical comedy combines an exciting new sound, gravity-defying choreography, and a thrilling story to create a total theatrical event worth cheering for.

The cast is the largest that has been on the HHIHS stage in years and features two principal casts that will rotate performances. “We were so worried about the castability of this show and ended up having to whittle down over 120 audtionees to a cast of just over 70 talented students that reach our entire student body from athletes to theatre students and everyone in between,” said Theatre Teacher and production director - Harry Culpepper, Jr. The creative team includes Joshua Wall as the Music Director and Jamal Edwards as the Choreographer with Jenny Zmarzly and a team of parents assembling the costumes.

The production will open on Wednesday March 9th and run through Sunday March 13th. Performance Times are 7:00pm each evening with a matinee at 2pm on Saturday March 12th and Sunday March 13th. Tickets can be bought online at www.seahawktheatreguild.org or at the door. The Box Office will open one hour to curtain. Cash, Credit Cards and Checks accepted. Contact www.seahawktheatreguildhhi@gmail.com for information about tickets.

 For more information or questions please contact Harry Culpepper, Jr. at 843-689-4997 or email harry.culpepper@beaufort.k12.sc.us .

A Very Special Visitor to 2015 Hilton Head Motoring Festival

The 2015 edition of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance is now in the books. Record crowds enjoyed spectacular weather for all the Festival events. People from all over the US and abroad attend our event each year, but none so special as one that "finally made it" on Sunday. Her name is Heidi Hetzer from Berlin, Germany. What makes her so unique? She was here in the midst of DRIVING around the World in her 1930 Hudson Great Eight.

 Heidi Hetzer and the Concours Chief Judge Paul Ianaurio

Heidi Hetzer and the Concours Chief Judge Paul Ianaurio

Heidi left Berlin fourteen months ago and drove East, through Europe and Asia and then on to Australia and New Zealand. After arriving in Los Angeles she made her way East, via Detroit, the home of the legendary Hudson. We discovered her while she was in Raleigh and we hastily invited her to our Car Club Showcase. All was well until Thursday evening when we found out her trusty Hudson had a broken piston. A call to the Hudson Club of America located one but it did not arrive in time for the repair. Undaunted, she left her car in Wilmington, NC and headed to Hilton Head Island, arriving for our Sunday Concours d'Elegance. She headed back to Wilmington to rejoin her car and continue her travels. She is headed to Florida and then South America and over to South Africa for the final leg of her journey back to Berlin.

We are sorry we did not get to see her car but it was a rare treat to meet such a fearless traveler. We wish her well over the next six months as she completes this remarkable voyage.