Beaufort Three-Century Project earns grants for workshops, celebrations

The Beaufort Three-Century Project (B3C) recently received two major grant awards to support project activities and events in 2010 that will lead up to the City of Beaufort’s notable 300th anniversary on January 17, 2011.
The Humanities Council SC, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded $8,000—the maximum amount in the major grants category—for promotion, staffing and materials to help carry out more than five different programs involving nearly 20 public presentations between January and September 2010.
The Urban and Community Forestry Grant Assistance Program, administered through the SC Forestry Commission and funded by the USDA Forest Service, awarded B3C $2,770 to conduct a one-day symposium, “Beaufort’s Live Oak Tree Legacy & Community Forestry: Past, Present & Future” in April 2010.
“B3C has been fortunate to have received several significant grants that helped us through the first two years of this three-year endeavor including operating support from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, funding for public school projects from the Northern Beaufort County Public Education Foundation, and an A-Tax Grant for a neighborhood project with heritage tourism implications from the City of Beaufort, as well as private donations” said project coordinator, Deborah Johnson.
These two new grants will foster public participation events to engage the community in this final year and help expand the reach of the project, she said.
“We are most appreciative of the endorsement of our concept by all of these prestigious foundations and agencies. We launched our one and only private fund-raising campaign several weeks ago to help match these grants and will continue to solicit private and corporate dollars until we reach our budget goal for 2010. The Beaufort community has truly embraced this project with numerous individuals giving generously of their time, treasure and talent. The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry administers a charitable fund for the project where tax deductable donations may be made,” Johnson said.
As the final year approaches, volunteers working on specific sub-projects are focused on completing the research and execution of these initiatives. Many projects will serve as the primary resources in the final digital archive, but some also will find their way into public presentations and venues. The current schedule of public programs for 2010 includes:
Tricentennial Lecture Series: Take 2 (January 15, 22, 29 & February 5) co-sponsored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Beaufort Three-Century Project. A repeat of the lively lectures presented in February 2009 that survey Beaufort’s history from the early European explorers through the 20th Century, this series will give many people who were turned away in 2009 because of the limited size of the sold-out auditorium the opportunity to participate in this “crash course” by scholars Dr. Lawrence S. Rowland, Dr. Stephen R. Wise, and Dr. John M. McCardell, Jr. Tickets are $10 per lecture and available through the Beaufort Performing Arts Box Office at 521-4145.
January 17th Anniversary Reception & Program (January 17). This event, the third of its kind since the project was launched on January 17, 2008, will highlight sub-projects completed under the auspices of B3C including a fine arts project, music, a book, and personal stories that weave the rich tapestry that is Beaufort. This event is free and designed to interest a broad audience in marking the final year countdown to January 17, 2011.
Ancestors of Future Generations: Look Back, Look Forward Forums (February 18, March 18, April 22, May 20, June 17, July 22-tentative, August 19, September 16, October 14, November 18, December 16.) A series of monthly Thursday evening forums will focus on different topics such as business & industry, religion & spiritual life, environment, arts, education, and health & safety. The first half of each program will be a “look back” at our history related to the topic through various mediums such as photos & film, presentations, and personal accounts, while the second half will be a facilitated dialogue with the audience on community values and aspirations for the future.
Beaufort’s Live Oak Legacy and Community Forestry: Past, Present & Future—A Symposium (April 29). This symposium will start with a presentation by local arborist Michael Murphy (Preservation Tree Care) on his search for and documentation of the area’s largest and oldest trees. Following Murphy will be nationally renowned climatologist & biogeographer Dr. Henri Grissino-Mayer, whose primary research interests include the reconstruction of past environments using information from tree-ring data (dendrochronology). Other presenters will be representatives from the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s Community Forestry program and Clemson University, as well as national tree preservation research experts. Several walking and driving tree tours will follow the formal presentations. The symposium is designed to reach a broad audience from lay people who just love trees to tree board members and governmental officials to professional arborists.
“Back to School—Schools’ History Showcase” (August, TBD). Classes in various Beaufort County schools have been working on B3C community documentation projects for two years. Over the reminder of the 2009-2010 school year, several individual school histories will be documented through a partnership between B3C and the County Channel. It is anticipated that a public “airing” of these films or other school-based projects will be presented in a back-to-school showcase in August.
“Home” -An Original Play About Beaufort written by Mary Louise Trask (September 9, 10, 11, 12). Through four public performances, this well-researched play—more than four years in the making—will portray women over 300 years of Beaufort’s history. It will entertain, educate, and showcase local talent.
Mission: In recognition of the 300th anniversary of the City of Beaufort’s charter, the Beaufort Three-Century Project taps our community’s cultural memory through a three-year process of exploration, studies, and special events that honor the past to better chart the future, culminating with the tricentennial celebration on January 17, 2011.
For more information about the Beaufort Three-Century Project call 489-1711 or email: djohnson@islc.net.

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