Arts Notes: Julliard in Aiken begins today

March 9, 2014 

Entries are being accepted to this year's Runaway Runway. This fashion forward show pairs wildly fashionable design with and sustainability in recycled materials.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH — The State Buy Photo

The sixth annual Juilliard in Aiken Performing Arts Festival begins today.

Juilliard in Aiken was established in 2009 through the efforts of Aiken authors Greg Smith and Steven Naifeh.

Every year since then, students and teachers have come from The Juilliard School to perform for Aiken.

“This year, we’re bringing 69 artists plus Juilliard staff. … This will the be the largest festival we’ve ever had,” said Janice Jennings, Juilliard in Aiken’s advertising, publicity and promotions committee chair.

This year’s festival will run until March 14.

It will focus around one acclaimed piece – Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Saint Matthew Passion.”

Written in the 18th century, this work tells the story of Jesus Christ’s final days.

“It is widely regarded as the most important composition in the history of Western music,” Jennings said.

The Juilliard School will only perform it three times this year. This first will be in Aiken. This production will occur on the festival’s final day.

“The performance will take place in the weeks leading up to Easter (April 20), so the timing could not be more perfect,” Betty Ryberg, Juilliard in Aiken president, mentioned in a release.

Until then, the Juilliard students and staff will be teaching and performing around the community.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Among the five finalists for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner awards is Percival Everett, an award-winning author who grew up in Columbia.

The PEN/Faulkner Award is the nation’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction.

Everett’s book, “Percival Everett by Virgil Russell: A Novel,” is a tale of a father and son, but, as the awards judges note, “it’s not always clear just who is narrating the story.” Everett, the author of 20 books, including “Damned If I Do,” lives in southern California.

The winner will be announced April 2. The prize is $15,000; four finalists will get $4,000.

Got a knack for design and a yen for recycling? Try fashioning a fashionable piece for the annual Runaway Runway: A Recycled Fashion Show.

Runaway Runway began as a way to encourage recycling by making it hip. The event, now in its seventh year, has grown into one of the most fashionable evenings of spring.

Each entry costs $30, with a reduced $15 rate for student designers. There is no limit to the number of designs that can be submitted by a designer. All designers must register online or at the front desk of the Columbia Museum of Art. Entries are being accepted through March 21. The league is limiting the number of entries to 60.

The event is April 5 at the Township. Details:

Next time you’re headed to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, check out the new art exhibit.

Silk painter Libby Bussinah and sculptor Jemes Davis will have their works displayed in various parts of the airport during March and April. More artists will have their work in rotation through February 2015.

Elizabeth O’Neill Verner award recipients have been announced.

They are: Artist: Edward Rice, North Augusta; Individual: Cynthia Boiter, Chapin; Arts in Education: Beaufort County School District, Beaufort; Business: Elliott Davis, LLC, Greenville; Government: City of Greenwood.

They will be honored at a ceremony May 8 at the State House. A gala will be held May 7. Details: (803) 734-8696 or

Staff Reports: Contributing, the Aiken Standard

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