Olde English District, Council promote arts, tourism
by Kevin Boozer Staff Writer
RIDGEWAY — Local artists and artisans have a venue to promote their work to tourists and visitors to South Carolina thanks to a project by the Olde English District.
At the August meeting of the Fairfield County Arts Council, Christia Humburg with the Olde English District gave a presentation on opportunities for local artists and artisans to sell their wares at The Olde English Visitor’s Center on a 70 percent/30 percent consignment split.
The Center pays sales tax and shipping as part of the arrangement. Since space is limited, Humburg said artists have done postcards, trading cards, note cards, magnets and other smaller items.
The visitor center, at Exit 65 off I-77 in Chester County, helps promote tourism in seven counties. There is a market on one side of the building.
“We want Fairfield to be highly represented at the Center,” Humburg said. “We love to work with Fairfield County and work to build all those relationships.”
Through a USDA grant, the Olde English District visitor center can provide space for artists and authors to sell their wares. Welcome centers cannot sell products, a key distinction.
“This is a great area for authors to get books out to the public,” said Virginia Lacy, president of the Fairfield County Arts Council.
Winnsboro resident and storyteller Frankie O’Neal is on the board for the Olde English District, one of 11 tourist regions in South Carolina that promote tourism. Art about Fairfield County or art from artists who live in Fairfield County is art eligible to be sold at the windows in the Center.
For more information on the Center and artwork, visit www.oldeenglishdistrict.com, view the calendar of events, and follow the area on Facebook. The Visitor’s Center holds an open house on Aug. 20. O’Neal will be there telling stories as part of the occasion.
In other business, Virginia Schafer, advisor to the arts council and chair of its writer’s group, said there is a renaissance of art in Fairfield County. She wants to start a writers group in the county and is looking for participants.
She said the S.C. Arts Council wants to talk to the county about opportunities to promote the arts and writing in this area, and some grant funding might be available. Ideas include a round table book signing event featuring local authors, guest lectures, writing workshops and more.
• Christmas on the Ridge will be held this year and FCAC members are thinking of ways to include art in the event such as hand-painted Christmas ornaments or paintings representative of the area.
• In December the Pine Tree Players will do a radio version of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Director Brian Garner said they need actors and actresses for the play and that it is more of a dramatic reading since radio performers can hold their lines in their hands. Auditions are at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2. This fall also includes Murder Medium Rare, a murder mystery meal set at the Winnsboro Woman’s Club.
• The roving art exhibit in area businesses will change in October and feature students’ art, particularly students from Kelly Miller Elementary. First Citizens Bank, Hoots, The Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Memorial Hospital are among the businesses featuring the local art.
• The Fairfield County Arts Council hopes to offer classes for the public in pottery and other mediums, though that remains in the planning stage.
• The group meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Century House (town hall) in Ridgeway.
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