Spoleto Festival
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Spoleto Festival

Many people consider the Spoleto Festival to be the most important arts festival in the U.S. And with over 100 performances by artists from around the world, it is definitely a notable event!

Gian Carlo Menotti, a Pulitzer Prize winning composer, founded The Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy in 1958. The festival was meant to be a forum for American artists to showcase their talents. Soon, Spoleto became a home for singers, actors, dancers and visual artists to produce traditional and experimental works.

In 1977, Menotti decided to create a U.S. version of the festival. After examining many U.S. cities, he found Charleston, South Carolina to be best suited to host Spoleto USA. It is large enough to handle 17 days of non-stop events and small enough to recreate Spoleto, Italy's charm.

The Spoleto festival has maintained the original festival's traditions while establishing a reputation as a premier artistic event. It is a forum for the audience to see the world's best known artists. And it is a medium to expose young talent to the professional world.

Tickets to individual performances range from $15.00 to $75.00. The festival also offers package tickets to special events, such as black-tie balls and opening week celebrations. These can cost anywhere from $75.00 to $500, depending upon the event.

For more information, write to:

Spoleto Festival USA
14 George Street,
Charleston, SC 29401

Piccolo Spoleto Festival

The Piccolo Spoleto (Little Spoleto) Festival was created by the city of Charleston as an outreach arm of Spoleto USA. It takes place at the same time as the Spoleto. There are three notable differences between the two festivals. First, the performances for the Piccolo are free or modestly priced. Second, while the Spoleto USA is great for art connoisseurs, the Piccolo is more suited for family entertainment. And third, at the Spoleto you will see artists from around the world, but the Piccolo features local talent.

For more information, write to:

Piccolo Spoleto Box Office
Gaillard Municipal Auditorium
77 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC  29401
Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco / USATourist.com
Photo Description: The Spoleto Festival in Charleston