Charleston’s historic sites, museums and cultural organizations that make up the Charleston Heritage Federation (CHF) are pleased to announce a number of exciting activities and events for spring that bring the history of the city to life. From spiritual concerts and author visits to garden walks and virtual lectures, locals and visitors alike can experience a collection of culturally enriching offerings geared towards guests of all ages.
CHF’s Essential Charleston Passport is once again available for purchase online, offering individuals a digital ticket to travel back in time and discover the city’s cultural mainstays by hopping between the city’s well-known historic districts. The passport includes admission to CHF’s five remarkable historic houses, the SC Historical Society Museum, the Charleston Museum and the foremost gallery of American art at the Gibbes Museum of Art. For an additional fee, guests can visit the country’s oldest landscaped gardens at Middleton Place and the oldest preserved plantation house at Drayton Hall.
Please see below for the latest CHF news, exhibits and events taking place in the Holy City this spring:
Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice at The Gibbes Museum of Art
Now – Aug. 7, 2022
William H. Johnson’s Fighters for Freedom series is a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers, performers and international heads of state working to bring peace to the world. On view at the Gibbes until Aug. 7, this exhibition is the first-ever presentation of this series in Johnson’s home state of South Carolina. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition is premiering at the Gibbes before its national tour. Fighters for Freedom presents well-known Fighters such as Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson and Mahatma Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known individuals whose equally important determination and sacrifice have been eclipsed over time. For images of this exhibition, visit bit.ly/3EFvqDq.
Women’s History Tour at the Heyward-Washington House
March 19 & 26, 4-4:30 p.m.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, a special tour will be offered every Saturday in March (March 12, 19, 26) to focus on the lives of the women who made history at the Joseph Manigault House. Visitors on this tour will learn about Charlotte Drayton Manigault, her daughter Ann, the enslaved women Affy and Bess, and the daily lives of ladies of the early 1800s. This special tour will also tell the stories of how the house was saved by Susan Pringle Frost, Nell McColl Pringle, and Princess Henrietta Pignatelli. Guides will also highlight the House’s history as a USO post, Red Cross Training Facility and women’s dormitory during WWII. This special tour is FREE for Members and FREE with admission to the Joseph Manigault House. For more information, call 843-722-2996 ext. 236 or visit https://www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Garden Strolls & Wine Tasting at Middleton Place
Every Wednesday, March 16 – May 11
Sip and stroll in a different location each week in America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens while sampling old and new world wines. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the event. Online ticket sales end at 3 p.m. on the day of the stroll. For more information and tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2G4QNFE.
75th Festival of Houses and Gardens with the Historic Charleston Foundation
March 16 – April 9, 2022
The Festival of Houses and Gardens is thrilled to celebrate its 75th year with exciting opportunities ranging from tours to concerts, wine tastings to lectures – both virtual and in person. Since 1947, the annual Festival of Houses and Gardens has been the Historic Charleston Foundation’s largest fundraiser and educational tool by providing an intimate glimpse into some of the most historic and grand properties in Charleston, SC. The festival’s “Live Like a Local Events” enhance this special program with various events and Shop Historic Charleston at 108 Meeting Street will have vendors, book signings and more throughout the festival’s duration. Tickets are required for festival events, ages 6 and up. Prices vary. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3q8M9tm.
Dr. Conseula Francis Reading Circle: Read Until You Understand with the Avery Research Center
Thursday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.
Join the Avery Research Center for a virtual conversation with Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin. She has taken to her heart the phrase “read until you understand,” a line her father, who died when she was nine, wrote in a note to her. Griffin has spent years rooted in the culture of Black genius and the legacy of books that her father left her. A beloved professor, she has devoted herself to passing these works and their wisdom on to generations of students. The event is free and open to all ages. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/FJGCircle.
Gullah Spirituals Concerts at the Circular Congregational Church hosted by the Historic Charleston Foundation
March 17, March 24, March 31, April 7, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
The Plantation Singers, one of the Southeast’s most acclaimed a cappella groups, are back by popular demand. Feel the spirit during their energetic performances of Gullah spirituals and the sacred music of the Sea Islands. In addition, learn more about the rich Gullah culture through lively tales told by the performers. The Circular Congregational Church, c. 1892, provides an inspirational setting. $40 each. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3Mh6pmG.
The Role of Architecture in Social Justice Movements – with Architect Michael Murphy and Interlocutor, “60 Minutes” producer, Braden Bergan at The Charleston Library Society
March 17, 6 -7 p.m.
Please join us for an enthralling program with Michael Murphy, Founding Principal and Executive Director of MASS (Model of Architecture Serving Society) Design Group, with interlocutor Braden Bergan, producer of “60 Minutes.” Murphy will discuss the ways architecture can help improve function and social justice as he explains his MASS’, belief – “that architecture has a critical role to play in supporting communities to confront history, shape new narratives, collectively heal and project new possibilities for the future.” Bergan will elaborate on MASS’ work in designing hospitals and schools in ways that meet their needs as well as provide dignity and beautiful spaces. Tickets are $10 for CLS Members and $15 for CLS guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3IUtTfq.
Wine on the Piazza at the Edmondston-Alston House
March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21
Looking for a breathtaking view and a glass of wine? The Edmondston-Alston House is the perfect piazza for a spring or summer evening. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Edmondston-Alston House followed by a glass of wine on the second-story piazza overlooking Charleston Harbor. For more information and tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2G4QNFE.
Lowcountry Ecology Tour with Curator of Natural History Matthew Gibson at The Charleston Museum
March 19, 9-10:30 a.m.
Join Natural History Curator Matthew Gibson on a nature walk through The Charleston Museum’s Dill Sanctuary, where guests are offered an in-depth look at the ecological diversity of the Lowcountry. This tour will give visitors the chance to learn about the significant differences between invasive and non-invasive species, negative impacts on endangered species and the steps they can take to help conserve the environment. Bring binoculars and discover birds that call the Dill Sanctuary home and why the Sanctuary is an important stop along migration routes. Visitors are encouraged to submit their findings to citizen science projects such as eBird and iNaturalist. Please note this is an “off-road” location with unprepared terrain. Walking shoes/boots are strongly recommended. This tour provides access to Battery Pringle. Reservations are required, $25 Museum Members and $40 Non-Members. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 224. For more information, visit https://www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Roses and Rosé at the Nathaniel Russell House Museum
March 19, March 26, April 2, April 9, 5:30- 6:30 p.m.
They say rosé is a state of mind. Add spring flowers in the stunning garden of the Nathaniel Russell House for a rosy celebration, indeed. Guests are invited to enjoy a relaxed gathering with light bites and wine (white and rosé), music from a string duo from Palmetto Strings, as well as a stroll through the Museum House after hours. Tickets required, $55 each. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3Mh6pmG.
Community Open House at The Avery Research Center
Sunday, March 20, 2-6 p.m.
The Avery Research Center team welcomes visitors back to 125 Bull Street. Join us as we finally reopen our doors. Visitors will be able to take a self-guided tour of all three floors of our building, view our new exhibits and learn more about our upcoming events and initiatives. Registration is required for the self-guided tours. Admission is free. The event is open to all ages. To register for the 30-minute tours, visit https://tinyurl.com/AveryOpenHouse.
The Founding Farmer – The Rural Life of George Washington & His Relationship To The System of Slavery, told by Author Bruce Ragsdale at The Charleston Library Society
March 22, 6 -7 p.m.
Calling all history buffs! The Library Society is thrilled to host author Bruce A. Ragsdale for an evening lecture on his new book, Washington at the Plow: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery. In this thoroughly researched and fascinating read, Ragsdale explains how George Washington spent more of his working life farming than he did at war or in political office. For over forty years, he devoted himself to the improvement of agriculture, which he saw as the means by which the American people would attain the “respectability & importance which we ought to hold in the world.” As Ragsdale shows, it was the inefficacy of chattel slavery, as much as moral revulsion at the practice, that informed Washington’s decision to free the enslaved people at Mount Vernon after his death. Tickets for this in-person event are $10 for CLS members and $15 for CLS guests and can be purchased with the link below or by calling 843-723-9912. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3Cjar9P.
Drayton Hall’s Virtual Book Club: The Charleston “Freedman’s Cottage” with author Lissa Feltzer
March 24, 2022, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
This virtual book club event is a visit with Lissa Felzer who will discuss her book, The Charleston “Freedman’s Cottage.” This event will be held at 5:30 pm EST. For more information, visit bit.ly/DHMarchBook.
The Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street, Sallie Krawcheck – Presented by the Greystar Leadership & Business Series at The Charleston Library Society
March 31, 6-p.m.
In conjunction with our strong Greystar sponsor, CLS is very inspired to be hosting the most powerful woman on Wall Street Charleston native Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, and Former Head of Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management. Krawcheck will be in conversation with Rachael Brittingham, Greystar’s Managing Director and leader of the Global Client Relations group. Don’t miss this very powerful interview! The interview will focus on Krawcheck’s impressive career path and her company Ellevest, a financial company with the goal to get more money in the hands of women, by closing the gender money gaps. We are thrilled to host such successful and tremendous business leaders here at CLS! Tickets are $30 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3tEB1pM.
The Preview Party: Charleston Spring Antique Show at Drayton Hall
March 31, 2022, 6-9:30 p.m.
Celebrate the opening night of the Charleston Spring Antiques Show at the exclusive Preview Party on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at the Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. Enjoy an extraordinary evening benefiting Drayton Hall Preservation Trust with a glittering cocktail party and a special collections exhibition by Drayton Hall of never-before exhibited Drayton Hall collection objects. Then get early night-before access to all the Charleston Spring Antiques Show has to offer. This wonderful annual spring event returns to Charleston with this exciting preview party from 7 to 9:30 p.m. with VIP access beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets: $200 – $250. For more information, visit bit.ly/DHSpringPreview.
Music In The Afternoon – Daniel Adam Maltz on Piano Forte at the Charleston Library Society
April 2, 2-3 p.m.
Vienna-based, incredibly talented pianist, Daniel Adam Maltz, will join us for a performance on Mozart’s favorite piano – an Anton Walter fortepiano – in our Main Reading Room! Mozart wrote his piano masterpieces to be performed on a Viennese fortepiano, an early piano invented 100 years before Steinway. Mozart was so enthusiastic about his Viennese fortepiano that he “not only wanted to have it in his study all the time, but exclusively used this and no other instrument in all his concerts, regardless of whether they took place in court, in the palaces of noblemen or in theatres or other public places,” according to his son, Karl. Maltz, a specialist in Viennese fortepianos explains, “The fortepiano isn’t old technology in need of an upgrade. Mozart and Beethoven created works of genius by exploiting the unique characteristics of this instrument.” Maltz continues, “Many of Mozart and Beethoven’s musical ideas are lost on modern pianos, because they are so different from fortepianos.” Viennese fortepianos are rare and most music lovers have never heard one; Experience the Viennese fortepiano at the Charleston Library Society. Tickets are $25 for CLS members and $35 for CLS Guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3HJSCBD.
Kid Tours: Boats
April 6, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Explore the history of boats from Native Americans to the Civil War in the Museum’s collection.Kid Tours is a series designed to highlight artifacts from our collection that have fascinated children for years. Kid Tours meet the first Wednesday during the months of April to May at 3:30 PM. This program includes a tour highlighting the weekly theme and an engaging craft project or educational activity. FREE for Museum Members and FREE with Museum admission. For more information or to make reservations, call 843-722-2996 ext. 236 or visit https://www.charlestonmuseum.org.
“Eggs in The Stacks” Easter Egg Hunt at The Charleston Library Society
April 9, 10:30-12 p.m.
Please join us for our “Eggs in the Stacks” Easter Egg Hunt! Joyce Smith, Storytime & Children’s Librarian, will start this fun event with a reading of Dubose Heyward’s “The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes” followed by age-appropriate Egg Hunts in the Main Reading Room & Rabbit Hole. Join us for yummy treats, a raffle for a CLS Family Membership, and a lot of fun. We think it will be an EGGcellent way to spend a Saturday morning. For more information and to RSVP, visit https://bit.ly/35W6tHO.
Sweetgrass Basket Weaving Workshop at The Charleston Museum
April 9, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Join local artisan Sarah Edwards-Hammond for in-depth instruction on sweetgrass basketry which has been an integral part of the Lowcountry’s Gullah Geechee community since the 17th century. Edwards-Hammond comes from a long line of basket makers and has passed down the tradition to her family and others in the community. Edwards-Hammond will share a brief history of the artisanal craft of basket making. Participants will then spend the remainder of the class making their own basket guided by Edwards-Hammond. Come learn about an extraordinary craft that has been a staple of culture, art, and history in Charleston for centuries. All materials and instruction will be provided. Space is limited. Reservations are required, $75/Museum Members, $105/Non-Members. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 224. For more information, visit https://www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Garden Tour at the Heyward-Washington House
April 12, 4-4:30 p.m.
The beautiful formal garden located behind the Heyward-Washington House has been maintained by the Garden Club of Charleston since 1941. The garden is designed to reflect what might have been found in Charleston during the late 1700s and features a knot garden and plants authentic to the period. Join members of the Garden Club for a guided tour to learn more about the flowers and trees featured and the work that goes into maintaining a historic formal garden. This special tour includes a tour of the interior of the Heyward-Washington House. This tour is FREE for Members and FREE with admission to the Heyward-Washington House.
Art Charleston at The Gibbes Museum of Art
May 9-13, 2022
The Gibbes Museum of Art will host a new annual festival of visual art, Art Charleston, the week of May 9 – 12, 2022. Four main events, the Amy P. Coy Forum, Art of Design, Soiree and Gibbes on the Street, will anchor the festival celebrating creative freedom. Additionally, participants will partake in artist lectures, gallery walks, professional workshops and exhibition tours with experts and an art auction during the week-long event. This year’s theme of creative freedom is inspired by the museum’s major spring exhibition Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice, which is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. For tickets and more information about this year’s inaugural Art Charleston, visit www.gibbesmuseum.org/art-charleston.
Drayton Hall Walking Tour: Historic Landscape and Lenhardt Garden Walk
May 21, 2022, 10-11:30 a.m.
Join Eric Becker, Manager of Horticultural Landscapes and Modern Facilities at Drayton Hall at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022, for the perfect May walking tour in Charleston, Drayton Hall’s Historic Landscape and Lenhardt Garden Walk. Advance registration is required: Non-members $45/ members $40. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/DHMayTour.
For images of Charleston Heritage Federation properties, visit https://spaces.hightail.com/space/yKXIJ9IZNk.
About Charleston Heritage Federation
Charleston Heritage Federation is the united voice of numerous historic landmarks, museums, plantations and houses in the Charleston area. A mission-driven organization focused on educating, preserving and telling the authentic story through experiences, Charleston Heritage Federation prides itself on capturing the essence of the city’s rich history while fostering a deeper understanding of the Lowcountry. Members of Charleston Heritage Federation include Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture, Charleston Library Society, The Charleston Museum, Drayton Hall, Gibbes Museum of Art, Historic Charleston Foundation, Middleton Place Foundation, Preservation Society of Charleston and South Carolina Historical Society. For more information, visit www.charlestoncvb.com/heritage-federation/.
About the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit www.explorecharleston.com.