South Carolina native and award-winning poet Nikky Finney is the keynote speaker at the Statewide Arts Conference to be held on Sept. 18. Hired in 2013, Finney is the John H. Bennett Jr. chair of Southern Literature and Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina. Her fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split, was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. The conference will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Registration is still open, and early bird registration is available through July 31. For more information, visit southcarolinaarts.com/statewide. Indie Grits Recognized with Our Town Grant
The National Endowment for the Arts recognized 66 organizations in 38 states, awarding a little over $5 million for the fourth year of its Our Town grants, which support creative place-making. Columbia’s own independent nonprofit, the Nickelodeon Theatre, was awarded $50,000 for the annual Indie Grits Festival. As Indie Grits Grows each year, so does the support, both from the City of Columbia and various grants, which is putting it on the national film festival map, according to Mayor Benjamin. ETV Radio wins NY Festival Award
ETV Radio’s Song Travels program received the bronze medal award for the 2014 World's Best Radio Programs by the New York Festival Awards. Distributed nationally by NPR, Song Travels is hosted by Emmy and Grammy-award winning artist Michael Feinstein. The program features top musicians in all genres of music, from country to R&B. The program airs weekly at 2 p.m. on Sunday on ETV Radio News Service and at 6 p.m. Sundays on ETV Radio classical service. Tapp's Arts Center Seeks Submissions for August Exhibition
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 5-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink opens Thanksgiving Day! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: