Spend next week with Fall for the Arts in Sumter

Week to have free events in visual art, music, dance, theater


There's something happening every day during the 2018 Fall for the Arts.

The weeklong event presented by the Sumter County Cultural Commission starts at 7 p.m. Monday with the HeART of America Concert, a tribute to the United States by Sumter Civic Chorale and Sumter Civic Dance Company.

Melanie Colclough, executive director of the commission, said the festival will present events each night from Monday through Saturday, most of them with free admission.

"We are excited this year to offer an entire week of family friendly events that will hopefully engage people from every segment of our community," she said. "From beach music and modern dance, to theater and visual art, we have a little something for everyone.

"It's been over a decade since Ailey II has graced the Patriot Hall stage. We are thrilled that the Millican Literary Foundation decided to partner with us to bring them back to Sumter. It's an honor to have Ailey II come to our community to inspire the next generation."

There is a charge for Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. dance performance featuring Ailey II, recognized as one of the top dance companies in the country. Doors open at 7 p.m. Ailey II is sponsored by the Millican Literary Foundation (AJBM).

Started by the late Alvin Ailey, Ailey II combines the talents of the best young dancers and choreographers. When the company performed in Sumter 10 years ago, The Sumter Item's reviewer noted, "It is almost impossible to imagine anyone leaving without feeling the evening has been special and that, somehow, Man is a little closer to God."

The Ailey II company will not admit late arrivals during the performance; however, ticket holders can enter during the two intermissions.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Fall for the Arts presents Music on Main featuring Dave Rodriguez, leader and saxophonist for the Latin Connection. The band plays salsa and old school Latin jazz, R&B and music for all sorts of Latin dancing, with even a little shag music. Find this event on Main Street.

Thursday brings two events - the Fall for the Arts Student Art Exhibit and Sumter Little Theatre's opening reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., free to the public in Patriot Hall, followed at 8 p.m. by opening night of SLT's musical comedy "Little Shop of Horrors" in the adjoining theater at 14 Mood Ave. Tickets to the play for non-members are $25 adults, $20 student/senior/military.

On Friday, two free concerts invite dancing in front of Patriot Hall and Sumter County Gallery of Art. Terence Lonon and the Untouchables play beach music for shagging and a variety of other music genres. Hear some smooth jazz outside the gallery, 200 Hasell St.

Some of the area's best artists live and work in Sumter's historic district, and they'll open their studios for the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Organizer Laura Cardello said the Historic District Art Crawl offers the opportunity to see the artists' work in progress and/or to purchase art for your home. All of the studios are within walking distance. Following the crawl, the artists will host a free reception from 3 to 4 p.m. at Patriot Hall, where those who got their brochures stamped at each of the eight studios will be eligible for a drawing to win a painting.

For more information about Fall for the Arts, call (803) 436-2260.