News Release

Town of Hilton Head Island Logo

Town to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

May 25, 2021

The Town of Hilton Head Island has been approved for a $10,000 Grants for Arts Project award to support the 2021 Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade. The Town is among more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during a second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

"As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as the Town of Hilton Head Island Office of Cultural Affairs reengage fully with partners and audiences," said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. "Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure".

"We have built vibrant cultural activities through our Office of Cultural Affairs. Receiving this national grant reflects our efforts to sustain arts and culture throughout our community," said Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann.

The Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade is a creative placemaking initiative culminating in the Town's largest temporary public art display on the island. Community members construct lanterns in advance of the parade and showcase them at the parade. This year's event will take place over two days. There will be a drive-thru Lantern Parade event at the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park on Friday, November 12, 2021, and will include a safari-like meet and greet with glowing puppets up to 14 feet tall. The main Lantern Parade will take place on South Forest Beach on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

"We are thrilled to be back with an in-person Lantern Parade this year and honored that the NEA thought it was worthy of funding," said Jennifer McEwen, the Town's Director of Cultural Affairs. "We are also tickled to have discovered a way to increase mobility accessibility to the artist's collection of puppets with our drive- thru event that was created as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

For more information, contact Jennifer McEwen, Director of Cultural Affairs, at 843-341-4703 or


The Town of Hilton Head Island's Office of Cultural Affairs works to promote and support Hilton Head Island as a vibrant cultural destination that enriches our diverse community. We strive for the island to be recognized as a vibrant & distinctive destination known for its unique arts & culture assets that serve a diverse community and create a richer quality of life.

Carolyn Grant, Communications Director