The 2016 SC Humanities Festival is in Beaufort, June 9 – 11


Inspire. Enrich. Engage. These are the stirring words summoning the promise of entertainment, learning and community interaction at the South Carolina Humanities Festival, due to unfold at many locations throughout Beaufort County June 9 – 11.   Arts, cultural and educational organizations from Beaufort to Bluffton and Hilton Head will participate, presenting a wide variety of special events including lectures, films, tours, art shows, exhibits, performances and much more, around the theme of community collaboration, to demonstrate a sense of place. South Carolina Humanities supports the annual SC Humanities Festival in a different community each year.

Beaufort residents and visitors will sample and savor the area’s rich and diverse art, history and culture from numerous interesting perspectives. The Festival kicks off at the USCB Center for the Arts on Thursday, June 9 with a preview of event activities, a “meet and greet” reception with refreshments and a concert.

The first Humanities Festival was held in 1993 in Beaufort to honor SC Humanities’ 20th Anniversary and was originated under the leadership of Harriet Keyserling and Betty Ann Mead. The event has since been held in eighteen different South Carolina cities. Each festival celebrates the local history and culture of the host community, enabling partnerships between cultural organization and community groups.

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, chairman of the Humanities Festival Committee, is working with community leaders to insure that the event will continue the great tradition of success initiated by his mother and Mead.

“The event is open to residents and visitors supporting the SC Humanities from across the state and region to join us in discovering and exploring Beaufort County’s unique history and culture,” Keyserling said. “Using the bridge as part of the logo demonstrates that we want residents of Beaufort to cross the river to explore Hilton Head Island and Bluffton and we want residents of Bluffton and Hilton Head to come out and learn more about us,” Keyserling said.

“This is perhaps the first and largest collaboration of organizations working together to share our sense of place. We have a story to share with our visitors and our residents,” he said.

Each of the venues that will open their doors to showcase Beaufort Country and portray the area’s heritage are representations of the best cultural organizations in the county and will portray the area’s heritage in a very positive light.

“We are extending the invitation to everyone to join in discovering and exploring Beaufort’s unique history and culture,” Keyserling said.   “We have a great representation of the best cultural organizations in the county. The Festival will showcase Beaufort County and portray the area’s heritage in a very positive light

Participating organizations include Beaufort Arts Council, Beaufort County Historical Society, Beaufort County Library, Beaufort Film Society, Beaufort History Museum, Beaufort Mass Choir, Coastal Discovery Museum, Friends of Fort Fremont, Friends of Hunting Island State Park, Gullah Geechee Consortium,   Heritage Library, Historic Beaufort Foundation, Historic Port Royal Foundation,  Mitchelville Preservation Project, Parris Island Historical and Museum Society,  Penn Center, Port Royal Sound Foundation, Maritime Center, Santa Elena History Center and the USCB Center for the Arts.

The complete schedule of events can be downloaded here or is available on the website at