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Charleston Arts Festival Launches Online Archive; Bearing Witness Continues



Press Release

Since its founding in 2016, and through each of its subsequent editions, Charleston Arts Festival (CAF) has highlighted Lowcountry luminaries working across artistic genres, including music, dance, visual arts, poetry, theatre, film and culinary to create four years of multi-event festivals.

With the goal of memorializing its previous years of creative programming, in the pandemic era the Charleston Arts Festival has developed a comprehensive archive of its almost 40 offerings during seasons 1-4.

This archive is available at and provides an impressive reminder of the scope of CAF’s innovative programs and of the many wonderful and talented artists who have participated in them.

Charleston Arts Festival is also pleased to announce the continuation of BEARING WITNESS, a history-spanning commentary on race in America, produced in collaboration with PURE Theatre and Buxton Books. Having commenced with Denmark: Every Man has a Story, on July 31st this free and virtual series of play readings will catapult forward 110 years to the 1968 Detroit riots with Last Rites. This play received stellar reviews at its premiere at PURE Theatre in August 2019 and was written by PURE Core Ensemble member, Randy Neale.  As the final offering of the series, on August 14th, Bearing Witness will jump over a half century to the present day for a reading of Retcon, a new play by PURE Core Ensemble member, Michael Smallwood, that examines black rage through the lens of superhero mythology.

Each of the play readings will be followed by a virtual panel discussion between audience members, experts in various fields, and creators from the Charleston arts community. Spanning more than 150 years, BEARING WITNESS will serve as an important reminder that while we may believe that we have come a long way, very little has changed.  The series will allow audiences an opportunity to think deeply about racial injustice and to come together to consider how to move forward in equity.

Additional information about how to access and participate in these readings is available at  Readings will occur on the specified Friday evenings from 7:30-9:30pm.

Although this series of readings is free for all attendees, donations via links to the PURE Theatre website are welcomed in support of the expenses of production.

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