Hilton Head Island
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October is National Arts and Humanities Month, the coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. Launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago, this month-long celebration hopes to achieve the goals of focusing on equitable access to the arts for all; encouraging diverse communities to participate in the arts; allowing governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and raising public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.
Locally, our arts and culture community is a vital component to our identity and quality of life for our residents. The local economic impact of our non-profit cultural organizations is $39.1 million dollars for Hilton Head Island alone. This is comparable with communities four times the size of our population, and this doesn't even count our for-profit galleries and music venues.
Our town stresses the importance of arts and culture through activities that honor the efforts of artists, historians, teachers, and cultural groups working to make the arts and humanities a part of everyone's life. Each month, for instance, Jenn McEwen, the director of our Office of Culture Affairs, highlights the work of Lowcountry artists in local media and shares how their work contributes to our goals. We partner with different artists on projects at local schools, in our parks, and in other spaces. These relationships have resulted in large, colorful murals featuring powerful national and local figures and public art adorning our parks.
Five years ago, the Arts Council of Hilton Head launched our local Crescendo celebration of arts and culture on our island. This festival is our own month-long celebration of our cultural community in coordination with National Arts and Humanities Month. Crescendo starts on October 10 with La Isla's Latin Music Festival at Shelter Cove Park and closes on November 13 with the spectacular Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade. The celebration features over 100 visual arts, theatre, music, dance, history and literary events in between. I invite you to check out culturehhi.org, the town's website for all things arts and culture, for a full calendar of the happenings that will take place.
It is an honor to experience the creativity and ingenuity of our cultural community. I look forward to seeing each of you at the many events this month.