The outlook for arts and entertainment in the Lakelands for 2022 looks bright.
Organizations have big plans. Many share a little of what awaits us for the New Year.
Greenwood Community Theater“We have some exciting shows,” said Stephen Gilbert, executive director of the Greenwood Community Theater. “’The Great Gatsby’ is scheduled for February, sponsored by the Greenwood Eye Clinic. “
GCT Technical Director John F. Keenan will direct “The Great Gatsby”. The theatrical adaptation of the literary work of F. Scott Fitzgerald will give life to a book often studied in middle and high schools.
“Linking this literary component is an important part of our influence,” said Gilbert. “It is supported by a grant from Duke Energy, to encourage reading.”
In April, the Greenwood Community Theater brings another non-musical play on stage with “The Boys Next Door,” a play by Tom Griffin. Brad Christie will lead. This poignant story, about four men with developmental disabilities who live in a group home, is not to be missed.
Gilbert said GCT’s Penguin Project will again produce a youth-oriented show for actors with disabilities and special needs in September.
“Our summer show will be ‘Cinderella’ and we will end the year with ‘Frozen Jr.’,” Gilbert said. “These, along with our outdoor performance of Shakespeare at Uptown Market, should give everyone something to look forward to over the coming year. “
City of Abbeville and Abbeville Opera House“Honestly, it’s just wonderful to be back to host live music and comedy events,” said Emily Bledsoe, Special Events Coordinator at the City of Abbeville.
Bledsoe said the historic Abbeville Opera House was dark for months at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Being able to bring back laughter and joy to the community after a really tough time is really special,” said Bledsoe. “I think everyone, including myself, has a new appreciation for live entertainment.”
In 2022, Bledsoe said the Abbeville Opera House had performances “almost every weekend.” Organizers bring new acts and bring back returning favorites. In early 2022, a number of tribute band shows, with nods to legendary artists Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder.
In addition, the new Abbeville Community Performing Arts Board of Directors is programming a live theater at AOH.
“Their production of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ in December 2021 was a huge success,” said Bledsoe.
Greenwood Artists Guild The Greenwood Artist Guild prepares with workshops led by members Virginia Pulver, Bob Poe and others. Learn how to create art from “everyday moments”, how to stretch your own canvases, and how to paint flowers in acrylics, to name a few.
Greenwood Performing ArtsLisa M. Sanders, executive director of Greenwood Performing Arts, said the nonprofit is poised to bring world-class artists to the Lakelands, continuing its 75-year legacy.
On January 21, a Journey tribute band took to the stage at the Greenwood Community Theater for a GPA concert. Stay tuned for a GPA event in March commemorating Women’s History Month.
Among the new programs GPA is bringing in 2022 is Violins of Hope in May, thanks to a grant from the Self Family Foundation.
The program focuses on a collection of violins and other stringed instruments that survived the Holocaust.
These instruments were played by Jewish musicians before and during World War II, including by people who endured the horrors of concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Renowned Israeli luthier Amnon Weinstein has dedicated years to restoring Holocaust violins as a tribute to those who were lost, including his own parents.
Greenwood Performing Arts orchestrates a triple approach to Violins of Hope:
Plans are for a daytime youth outreach program on May 10 at the Abbeville Opera House, open to area students. An evening concert on May 11 at the Greenwood Community Theater, where these stringed instruments will be played, is also planned. Additionally, there will be an exhibit at the Museum of Greenwood in May, featuring restored Violins of Hope instruments, their stories, and the stories of the Jewish musicians who played them.
“I am delighted to partner with these different venues over the coming year to host these events in the Lakelands,” said Sanders.
Greenwood Arts CenterSylvia Martin, executive director of the Greenwood Center for the Arts, said two popular events hosted by the nonprofit in 2021 will return in spring 2022.
The Uptown Art Walk is scheduled for April 7 and Earth into Art is scheduled for May 7. Both events are free and open to the public.
“These were very popular,” Martin said. “Earth into Art is sold by the Clay Community of Greenwood, with over 15 local potters selling crafts all in one location. The Uptown Art Walk allows us to showcase the work of Lander University Bachelor of Fine Arts students, local art venues and there is live music. There was a huge turnout for the Art Walk this year.
McCormick Arts Council at KeturaIn 2022, the McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah (MACK) plans to launch a major project to rehabilitate its facilities, a historic hotel, which opened as a community arts center in McCormick in 1985.
Heather McNally, director of programs and development at MACK, said an initial investment of $ 1.2 million was spent on launching the first phase of the project, enabling the expansion of arts and cultural facilities at McCormick and events and activities.
The project includes increasing accessibility design, for compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards, updating utilities and repairing building deficiencies, approaching renovations in a historically responsive and creating flexible and versatile program spaces.
While preparing for the MACK rehabilitation project, McNally stated that the Craftsmen Guild and Gift Shop have moved permanently to 218 S. Main St. The shop has handcrafted art, jewelry and more.
The store now has a brighter and larger storefront, which increases pedestrian traffic downtown, McNally said.
Contact Sainte-Claire Donaghy at 864-943-2518.