SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM WELCOMES COMMUNITY THIS MAY WITH IN-PERSON FREE WORKSHOPS, EXTENDED OPENING HOURS AND SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM WELCOMES COMMUNITY THIS MAY WITH IN-PERSON FREE WORKSHOPS, EXTENDED OPENING HOURS AND SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH, GA – April 29, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is inviting the community to join them in a range of family-friendly events this May. On Sunday May 2, 2021 SAAM will participate in the Georgia History Festival’s Super Museum Sunday by opening to visitors from 12 noon – 3 p.m. While entry is always free of charge, the museum is usually open Wednesday – Saturday. Commencing on May 5, SAAM will be extending visiting hours by one hour a day so the museum will open from 12 noon – 5 p.m., every Wednesday – Saturday except major holidays.

SAAM is also slated to host its first onsite workshop since closing in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The free workshop will take place from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 in the museum’s courtyard, located at 201 East 37th Street. SAAM Docent Connie Williams will guide participants through the process of working with beads while sharing a brief history of African beading. Participants will have the choice of making bracelets using recycled glass beads from Ghana, made by a group known as the Krobo people; glass trade beads from Nigeria; terracotta beads from Mali; or Bone Batik hand-dyed beads, using a wax relief process, from Kenya.

Participants are encouraged to take a tour of the museum to view some of SAAM’s intricate beaded artwork on exhibit. The museum holds a collection of over 1,000 objects that hail from West and Central Africa and represent over 180 cultures across 28 countries.

Williams conducts West & Central African Tours at the SAAM. She has applied her diverse leadership experience in banking, finance, international business relationships. For most of her career, she has worked in the public sector in business and international relations. Traveling within Africa for a decade helped her to see the real need for training, coaching and business support to assist the women and young adults. For the past 10 years she shared responsibility for business development and community programs in the village of Kpanvo, located in Northern Region of Tamale Ghana, West Africa where she was appointed Chief in 2009. 

Williams is the Founder and CEO of Savanna Naturals Inc., a small business focused on natural products with an understanding and appreciation of how products are produced in Ghana and throughout the Savanna region of Africa. Leading by example and excellence are innate to who Williams is. Her ultimate motivation is to help uplift rural women while creating business opportunities that will impact their lives and families in a positive way.

On Saturday, May 29 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the museum will hold its previously postponed “The Healing Tree: A Visual Storytelling Workshop” in the museum’s courtyard, located at 201 E. 37th St. in Savannah. The workshop, facilitated by visual and performance artists Kat Robertson, will focus on the universal art of storytelling, which exists in every culture and serves to pass on traditions, knowledge, history, and experiences to new generations. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. This is accomplished by the gift of the storyteller who entertains, inspires, and engages audiences while educating them.

In African storytelling tradition, the storyteller does not merely share a story with an audience, they share an experience, making creative use of their vocal ranges, facial expressions, gestures, instrumentation, etc. Stories may include songs, chants poems, and prayers, and the audience may be invited to chime in. Storytellers in West Africa are known as a Griots (pronounced “gree·ows”). The role of a Griot is traditionally inherited, passed from one generation to the next. Griots’ roles as primary storytellers of their people was once also complimented with the role of serving as advisers to the king.

Robertson, a published poet and writer, said, “The global pandemic’s massive impact on the quality of our lives and all the events worldwide over this past year has revealed an especially important message. We as a nation and our planet as a whole need wellness; restoration and healing.”  She will ask workshop participants, “If words were a healing balm, which words would we bring to heal and re-unite us with each other and the world around us?” Reflecting upon this question, each attendee will select a word, a color, a movement, and a sound that best represents this “balm” creating a visual montage. By combining various media – such as colored construction paper, fabric, paints, or photos from magazines – each participant will select their “word” of healing. Everyone will assign a sound and a physical movement to their word. When completed, each mosaic is in turn a piece of a unique whole story, “The Healing Tree.” With the visual words, sound, and movement combined, those present will see the complete visual story as an orchestrated presentation which will be videotaped. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will leave with their individual piece of art reflecting their telling of “The Healing Tree.” There will also be a link posted on the museum’s website to access the group’s visual presentation.

“We’re looking forward to, once again, being able to welcome people into the museum to participate in our educational workshops and excited about extending our opening hours and participating in Super Museum Sunday,” said Billie Stultz, SAAM’s founding executive director and chief curator. “We’ve implemented important precautions and specific sanitary measures, which our museum staff will adhere to in order to ensure the health and safety of visitors.”

Registration is required via Eventbrite to attend these free workshops and space is limited to 15 people per workshop. Register to attend these workshops at https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/

To learn more about the museum, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO LIVE EVENTS

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO LIVE EVENTS

SAVANNAH, GA – April 28, 2021 – Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) announces a return to live events, outside, masked and socially distanced in line with local and CDC guidelines, on May 13 and May 16, 2021. 

On Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m., artist Lauren Jelencovich will present a 60-minute concert of opera classics, Broadway favorites and popular hits, accompanied by pianist Assaf Gleizner, in Pop Goes Puccini. The event is sponsored by Middy Larson and introduces VOICExperience alumna Lauren Jelencovich to Savannah. This talented soprano performed in the virtual 2021 VOICE Gala earlier this year. On May 13 this dynamic artist will share her music and stories from the VOICE studios to the world’s stages, touring with the world renowned Yanni and recording opera, musical theatre, and popular song. This event will take place on the outdoor patio at Savannah’s Demere Center for Living, 6000 Business Center Drive, located just off Chatham Parkway. Tickets for the concert and reception are priced at $55 per person with a limited number available to ensure social distancing. For more information and to purchase tickets please call 855.766.7372 or visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org

On Sunday, May 16, from 1-3 p.m., SVF joins Hospice Savannah for Back to Before – A Live Juke Box Experience. Celebrate with Hospice Savannah and the Savannah VOICE Festival and enjoy

performances by Lauren Jelencovich, Jessica Ann Best, Chad Sonka, Mariano Gladić, Jessica Fishenfeld, Scott Joiner, Heather Jones, and Maria Zouves, with Assaf Gleizner on piano. This event will take place on the newly renovated courtyard patio funded by the Dr. Deborah Fulmer and John “Jack” Leigh Endowment at the Hospice In-Patient Unit (formerly Hospice House) at 1352 Eisenhower Drive in Savannah.

Hosted by Suzan Kiepper and Ron Krannich, with Masters of Ceremony Rene & Joe Marinelli, this Live Juke Box Experience by the Savannah VOICE Festival will benefit the work of Hospice Savannah’s Palliative Care. Food and Desserts will be provided by local restaurants: Belfords – Cha Bella – Gaslight Group – The Olde Pink House – Yia Yia’s Kitchen. There will be an exclusive VIP section courtesy of The Grey. For more information about the work of Hospice Savannah visit www.hospicesavannah.org Tickets are $75 per person with VIP tickets priced at $150 and are available by calling 912.629.1043 or emailing LLMcKinnon@HospiceSavannah.org.

“These will be our first in person events in Savannah in over a year and we are very much looking forward to returning to live audiences, strictly adhering to COVID-19 prevention protocols,” said Maria Zouves, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Savannah VOICE Festival. “We’re delighted to present our talented alumni and to partner with Hospice Savannah to support their mission and vital work in the community.”

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com

LEGENDARY BARITONE LAUNCHES NEW OPPORTUNITES FOR MILNES VIRTUAL TEACHING PROGRAMS

LEGENDARY BARITONE LAUNCHES NEW OPPORTUNITES FOR MILNES VIRTUAL TEACHING PROGRAMS

SAVANNAH, GA – April 27, 2021 – Legendary Verdi baritone, and co-founder of VOICExperience (VE) and The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF), Sherrill Milnes unveils a special online opportunity for artists around the world.

During the pandemic, the Milnes VOICE programs pivoted to a completely virtual format. In August 2020, for the ‘Stay At Home’ season, the Milnes VOICE studio ran a two week intensive teaching program 100% online. 31 students from across the US and around the world participated in over 400 hours of voice lessons, coaching, masterclasses, and special presentations. This season, the programs plan to offer 1000 hours, both online and if possible, live and in person.

With over seven decades of teaching behind him and degrees in music education, Milnes has been teaching throughout his career. Now he is creating avenues for artists around the world to work with him via an online platform through applications such as Resonance and through his organizations. While private, one-on-one work with Milnes requires being at a high level of singing ability and on a true career trajectory, Sherrill Milnes works in an encouraging and positive manner with all ages and levels in the infrastructure of VOICExperience and the Savannah VOICE Festival’s studio intensive training programs.

Sherrill Milnes is a five-time Grammy® nominated, three-time Grammy® winner and 2008 Opera News Award winner, Milnes is internationally recognized as the leading Verdi Baritone of his time. A world-renowned opera star who sang for over four decades, Milnes has conquered all of the great opera capitals of the world, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; La Scala, Milan; Berlin’s Deutsche Opera; the Paris Opera; Buenos Aires’ famed Teatro Colon; the Liceu in Barcelona; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; the Salzburg Festival; the Hamburg Opera; and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Milnes is Commendatore of the Italian Republic and a Chevalier of the French Republic and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy, the highest honor the State of Illinois can bestow.

Milnes began his career as a voice teacher and has worked extensively with young singers throughout his career. He has led master classes at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, at most major universities throughout the country and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. More extensive teaching has been done as faculty member of Yale University School of Music; as guest artist at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow; the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; the National Conservatory of Music in China (Beijing), the Northern Royal College of music in Manchester, England (where he is a fellow); the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv; Montreal; Puerto Rico; Peabody Institute; and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy. The legendary artist and educator is now Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus from Northwestern University and continues to teach and judge vocal competitions around the world. Milnes serves as guest artist and special presenter for opera companies around the world, working in apprentice programs and co-directing productions with his wife, soprano Maria Zouves. Having founded the VOICExperience Foundation with Zouves, in 2000, they have mentored singers through training programs and built opera audiences throughout the nation, most recently creating the Savannah Voice Festival, launching in the summer of 2013.

During the pandemic, Milnes and Zouves were able to pivot educational initiatives to an online format.

As the world emerges from the pandemic and artists look forward to returning to the stage, Sherrill Milnes has formalized his virtual educational initiatives into a dedicated teaching experience suitable for students and artists, educational organizations, and musical entities. These programs include master classes and tutorials and include some new topics including a “Practical Magic of Stage” for emerging artists and returning artists as the world plans to open for live performances as the threat of COVID-19 recedes.

Milnes says, “I say to young singers: Sing anywhere and everywhere you can. Give it your best shot every time you’re out there; there’s no such thing as an unimportant date. Because that’s what makes careers. That’s a big difference between opera and other music genres. You can have a hit record in other genres, lip-sync it all over the world… But, in the world of opera, it’s hundreds of performances that make a career. Also, singers need to take the time to prepare. I remember when I was a voice teacher for seven years at Northwestern University and a lot of very smart, young singers somehow thought that once they had a piece memorized, that was the end of their artistic journey with it, and they were ready! Well, not so; that’s where it starts and then you begin to make music. You can be a fast memorizer and that’s great; but, knowing it from memory is not the end of the trip. Making music, saying something, telling the story—that’s what it’s all about.”

To contact Milnes regarding teaching opportunities for your institution, project, or be considered to work with him directly, visit www.SherrillMilnes.com.

To learn more about Sherrill Milnes, VOICExperience or the Milnes VOICE Programs or to support young artists, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org and www.SavannahVOICEFestival.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the Lesley Francis Public Relations team at 912-417-LFPR(5377).

FAREWELL PRINCE PHILIP

It has been a sad couple of weeks in the land of my birth as we mourn the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 9, just two months before he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.  I love my life in beautiful Coastal Georgia and after twelve years living here and nine years since I became an American citizen, this is my home.  However, whenever there is a significant British ritual or royal event, I do feel the pang of homesickness – especially as I have not been able to return to the UK since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Last Saturday, my husband and I watched the funeral of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II at 10am EST (3pm in the UK).  Prince Philip had been married to the Queen for 73 years and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.  At the age of 99, he had of course had a long and fulfilling life, and it was reported that he “died peacefully” at Windsor castle – their main home in recent years.  However, watching the elderly Queen (who turned 95 on April 21 – just days after burying her husband) mourn alone in the chapel at Windsor Castle – socially distanced and wearing a mask due to COVID-19 precautions – was heart breaking.  Who will call her “Cabbage” now?  This was Prince Philip’s nickname for his wife whose official title is ‘Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second – by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her Other Realms and Territories – the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and Defender of the Faith’.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born on the Island of Corfu as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but in 1922 when he was eighteen months old, his family went into exile in London when the Greek royal family was overthrown in a military coup. When he married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, he gave up a promising naval career which could have seen him become “First Sea Lord”, the head of the British Navy. During World War II, the duke saw combat aboard a British destroyer and battleship.

The funeral had been planned in detail by Prince Philip himself over decades – although these had to be modified significantly due to the restrictions of the pandemic – many of these modifications made by the Duke of Edinburgh himself in recent months.  He retired from a busy schedule of public engagements in 2017, and earlier this year spent a month in hospital after undergoing heart surgery.  He died just a few weeks after he was discharged in March.

Watching the televised funeral from 4,000 miles away was poignant; in my opinion no nation does the national and royal ceremonial stuff better than Great Britain.  Under unusually clear blue skies on a lovely English spring day, close family attended the funeral with limited number of people – masked and distanced due to COVID-19 precautions – allowed in St. George’s Chapel.  The close relationship the Prince had with the military, especially the Royal Navy was reflected in the military parades and music performed before the funeral outside the chapel.  Prince Philip, who loved outdoor pursuits, the military, cars, and airplanes, showed that he was a true individual to the end.  In a break with tradition, he had personally designed a military green Land Rover for his coffin to be transported to the chapel. His coffin was draped in his personal standard (a military flag) and carried his sword and naval cap. On nine cushions on the altar were some of his military regalia, including Philip’s Royal Air Force wings and field marshal’s baton, as well as the Order of the Elephant, bestowed on him by Denmark, and the Order of the Redeemer, by Greece. These last ones symbolized his royal lineage as a prince of Denmark and Greece.  After Philip was interred, the Royal Marines’ buglers played “The Last Post” and “Action Stations,” a summons to battle stations that is rarely played at funerals but can be requested by a veteran of the Royal Navy.

Prince Philip supported the Queen for more than seven decades and his passing marks the beginning of the end of an era – a sad and sobering thought for many generations of British.  He set up The Duke of Edinburgh awards in 1956, the world’s leading youth achievement award foundation, operating in 141 countries.  He authored 14 books, was a keen birdwatcher, shooter, pilot, and competitive horse carriage driver after giving up polo around half a century ago.  He loved reading, oil painting and the great outdoors, and was quick-witted and straight talking if politically incorrect on occasions. He was much loved by his family and the nation.  At what we assume was his wish, there was no eulogy at the funeral, just the readings and music he selected – performed by a distanced choir of four people. 

The Queen did over-rule him on one matter in a clear display of love and appreciation.  In a major break with royal protocol, and after his standing next to her but three steps back during her entire 69-year reign, for the first and only time her husband the Prince preceded her in the procession.  Her car followed his coffin transported on the modified Land Rover, along with close members of the royal family on foot.  There is more information at www.bbc.co.uk

It is appropriate that I say goodbye this week with this quote from Prince Philip himself from an occasion when he met an Australian man who introduced himself and said, “My wife is a doctor of philosophy and much more important than I am,” he replied: “Ah yes, we have that trouble in our family too!”

God Bless America, and Rest In Peace Prince Philip!

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Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009.  She can be contacted at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com  or via her PR and marketing agency at www.lesleyfrancispr.com

THE SALVATION ARMY OF SAVANNAH WOMEN’S AUXILIARY CELEBRATES THIRD ANNIVERSARY EVENT AT BOUTIQUE FAMILY STORE

THE SALVATION ARMY OF SAVANNAH WOMEN’S AUXILIARY CELEBRATES THIRD ANNIVERSARY EVENT AT BOUTIQUE FAMILY STORE

SAVANNAH, GA – APRIL 22, 2021 – Yesterday, the Salvation Army of Savannah’s (TSA) Women’s Auxiliary hosted a celebration of The Salvation Army Boutique Family Store’s third anniversary. Major Paul Egan and leaders from the Women’s Auxiliary made short presentations and graduates from TSA’s rehabilitation programs were in attendance to discuss the positive impact that the store’s profits have had on TSA’s programs.

Beginning on Wednesday, April 21, the boutique will continue to have sales and door prizes through the weekend. Since the boutique’s grand re-opening by the Women’s Auxiliary in 2018, the store has undergone major renovation and raised over $450,000 to support programs like the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program as well as other various projects throughout the year.

“The Salvation Army of Savannah is so grateful to have a group of hard-working of women who are dedicated to keeping the Boutique Family Store a success,” said Major Egan. “The money made in this store goes directly to changing the lives of our community in a positive way through our programs and other community outreach projects.”

The Women’s Auxiliary is a civic group of over 100 community-minded women who want to make a difference in Savannah, GA, and the surrounding counties by raising awareness and funds to expand the amount and quality of help that is given by The Salvation Army of Savannah.

The Salvation Army has served greater Savannah for the past 120 years and has always supported the most vulnerable in our community.  To make a monetary donation directly now or for more information about The Salvation Army Savannah, please visit https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/savannah/ or call 912-200-3004 and follow the organization via social media.

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For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

GEORGIA CHARTER SCHOOLS WELCOME PASSING OF SENATE BILL 59

GEORGIA CHARTER SCHOOLS WELCOME PASSING OF SENATE BILL 59

SAVANNAH, GA – April 1, 2021 – Charter schools from across the state of Georgia welcomed the news that Senate Bill 59 (SB 59) was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and will be signed into law by Governor Kemp. SB 59 ensures equal provision for students at charter schools as it amends Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to elementary and secondary education.   

“Yesterday was a champion day for all charter schools,” said Barry Lollis, Director of Savannah Classical Academy – a K-12 charter school. “There is now more equity in funding and support for all charter schools in Georgia. The charter school movement is very much alive in Georgia. Thank you to the Georgia Charter Schools Association and our legislators for advocating and supporting charters with SB 59!”

SCA is a tuition-free, public charter school serving Chatham County students in grades K-12. The charter school is funded by the public education system but retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of parents and community members. It is the philosophy of SCA that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, education program that develops academic potential and personal character. To learn more about SCA, please visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES EVENTS FOR 2021 PRESERVATION MONTH

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES EVENTS FOR 2021 PRESERVATION MONTH

SAVANNAH, GA – April 21, 2021 Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) will lead the observation of National Historic Preservation Month in May with several community partnerships and unique events that celebrate the art of preservation and exhibit its significant impact on the past, present and future of Savannah. Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. In 2005, the National Trust extended the celebration to the entire month of May and declared it Preservation Month to provide an even greater opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and states.

HSF will kick off Preservation Month on Tuesday, May 4 at 10 a.m. with a tourism-focused media call held in conjunction with Visit Savannah and the Tourism Leadership Council. The event will feature remarks by Visit Savannah President Joe Marinelli, Tourism Leadership Council President & CEO Michael Owens, Josh Brooks, Historic Savannah Foundation Board Chair, Historic Savannah Foundation President & CEO Sue Adler, and Davenport House Museum Director Jamie Credle. HSF will also provide an update on the construction of the Murray C. Perlman & Wayne C. Spear Center/Kennedy Pharmacy addition and the Urban Enslaved Exhibit. HSF broke ground on this project in December 2020. In addition to offering historical insight, the work will bring a storefront back to Broughton Street, breathing life back into a piece of Savannah’s local history that can also contribute to the economy and drive tourism, to which tourism insiders Marinelli and Owens will attest.

HSF’s Davenport House Museum is supporting Preservation Month with an exciting slate of events and activities. Springtime Tea at the Davenports will be held on May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 27 and 28 at 5 p.m.; and the Early Bird’s Preservation Walking Tour of the Landmark Historic District’s East Side will take place on May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, starting at 8 a.m. Reservations for these events are recommended as, due to COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance for some activities is limited. Social distancing will be enforced, and masks will be required at indoor events. For more information, please visit http://www.davenporthousemuseum.org/programs/ or call 912-236-8097. 

HSF’s Annual Preservation Awards will be celebrated once again in a virtual format with an online ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13. It will initially be made available to an exclusive group of HSF members and supporters, with a recording to be made available to the general public later that week. The awards recognize local citizens, organizations, and companies who value the rich history of their city and celebrates their revitalization of historic structures and sites. Each year, Preservation Award nominations are judged by an independent, all-volunteer jury selected for their expertise in architecture, preservation, and design. For information about becoming a member of HSF, please visit https://www.myhsf.org/support/membership/. Memberships start at just $50.

As part of National Historic Preservation Month, HSF is celebrating the community partnerships it has forged with many area entities to help bring mutually beneficial projects and initiatives to fruition. In addition to the May 4 kick-off with Visit Savannah and the Tourism Leadership Council, HSF is teaming with Ethos Preservation and enjoying generous support from Savannah Bike Tours. Ethos is launching a Coastal Historic Survey project that will involve a team of historic preservation consultants and architectural historians who will be surveying unincorporated areas along the Georgia coast east of Interstate-95 to identify historic resources in all of Georgia’s coastal counties, including Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh. HSF is proud to support this effort and encourages residents of Chatham and neighboring counties to take part in virtual meetings that will help Ethos identify historic resources in their communities. For meeting dates and times, visit https://www.coastalhistoricsurvey.com/.

Savannah Bike Tours has graciously announced it will donate $1 from each tour booked during the month of May to HSF.

For more information on any of the Preservation Month events or activities, please visit myhsf.org, call 912-233-7787, and follow HSF on their social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading nonprofit preservation and cultural institution, saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, the organization started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 410 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF continues to build capacity within its operations, secure new financial resources, improve its image and visibility, and increase public policy efforts to protect Savannah’s historic districts. For more information about the work of the Historic Savannah Foundation, visit www.myhsf.org

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH BALLET THEATRE UTILIZES GRANTS TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND PRODUCE VIRTUAL PETER AND THE WOLF

SAVANNAH BALLET THEATRE UTILIZES GRANTS TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND PRODUCE VIRTUAL PETER AND THE WOLF

SAVANNAH, GA – April 21, 2021 – Savannah Ballet Theatre (SBT) has received funding to support innovative educational programs in 2021, including the filming and dissemination of children’s ballet, Peter and The Wolf. This symphonic fairy tale was created by Russian composer Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev in 1936 to familiarize children with individual instruments of the orchestra and inspire their interest in music. SBT will introduce students at Savannah Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) to ballet with a fresh take on this beloved children’s performance.

SBT has received a $52,000 grant from the City of Savannah Arts and Culture Education (ACE) to support the continued growth of its educational outreach programs for local students which is supporting the Peter and The Wolf initiative. Savannah’s Arts and Culture Enrichment program (ACE) is intended to integrate arts, culture, heritage, design, and other creative disciplines as strategies that strengthen the City of Savannah’s economic, physical, and social vitality. In addition, SBT has been granted $5,000 from the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) to support its educational programs.

Rebecca Martin Dugal, Artistic Program Coordinator and a Company Dancer at SBT says, “We are extremely grateful to the City of Savannah and Georgia Council for the Arts for their generous support. We have not been able to present live performances since December 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in the loss of much-needed revenue through ticket sales. We are excited to resume our educational outreach to schools virtually through Peter and The Wolf, and hope to resume in-person outreach later this year, if safe to do so.”

Currently celebrating their 21st season of serving the greater Savannah community, SBT was established in 1998 under the artistic direction of Suzanne Braddy. Recognized as the premiere dance company in Southeast Georgia, SBT normally presents a full season of classical and contemporary dance every year. These two grants will help support SBT’s low-sensory performances of their fall shows and The Nutcracker, if determined safe to be performed in-person. These sensory-friendly performances are designed specifically for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities, or other disabilities, and are another way SBT reached out to new audiences, to spread the joy of dance throughout Savannah. SBT is proud to be the first professional arts organization in Savannah to offer this innovative and accessible experiences.

Savannah Ballet Theatre is committed to creating and curating artistically forceful new productions which are based on adaptations of popular stories and movies. SBT is Savannah and southeast Georgia’s only professional dance company. It is their mission to develop and showcase the talent of dedicated Savannah dancers alongside top professional dancers who train in the studio, and to engage in educational outreach and promotion of the art of dance within the community.

For more information about SBT’s sponsorship program or to donate, please email donate@savannahballettheatre.org or call 912-200-9406 or visit the website www.savannahballettheatre.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RETURNS TO ON-SITE WORKSHOPS WITH VISUAL STORYTELLING EVENT

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RETURNS TO ON-SITE WORKSHOPS WITH VISUAL STORYTELLING EVENT

SAVANNAH, GA – APRIL 20, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is planning its first on-site workshop since March 2020. On Saturday, April 24 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the museum will hold “The Healing Tree: A Visual Storytelling Workshop” in the courtyard garden, just outside the main building at 201 E. 37th St. in Savannah. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance is limited to 15 participants ages 6 and older, via Eventbrite registration.

The workshop, facilitated by visual and performance artists Kat Robertson, will focus on the universal art of storytelling, which exists in every culture and serves to pass on traditions, knowledge, history and experiences to new generations. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and also plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. This is accomplished by the gift of the storyteller who entertains, inspires, and engages audiences while educating them.

In African storytelling tradition, the storyteller does not merely share a story with an audience, they share an experience, making creative use of their vocal ranges, facial expressions, gestures, instrumentation, etc. Stories may include songs, chants poems, and prayers, and the audience may be invited to chime in. Storytellers in West Africa are known as a Griots (pronounced “gree·ows”). The role of a Griot is traditionally inherited, passed from one generation to the next. Griots’ roles as primary storytellers of their people was once also complimented with the role of serving as advisers to the king.

Robertson, a published poet and writer, said, “The global pandemic’s massive impact on the quality of our lives and all the events worldwide over this past year has revealed an especially important message. We as a nation and our planet as a whole need wellness; restoration and healing.”

She will ask workshop participants, “If words were a healing balm, which words would we bring to heal and re-unite us with each other and the world around us?”

Reflecting upon this question, each attendee will select a word, a color, a movement, and a sound that best represents this “balm” creating a visual montage. By combining various media – such as colored construction paper, fabric, paints, or photos from magazines – each participant will select their “word” of healing. Everyone will assign a sound and a physical movement to their word. When completed, each mosaic is in turn a piece of a unique whole story, “The Healing Tree.” With the visual words, sound, and movement combined, those present will see the complete visual story as an orchestrated presentation which will be videotaped. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will leave with their individual piece of art reflecting their telling of “The Healing Tree.” There will also be a link posted on the museum’s website to access the group’s visual presentation.

To register for the workshop, please go to https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/the-healing-tree-workshop-2021/. Attendees need not bring anything other than their creativity. All materials, tables and chairs will be supplied. However, anyone who prefers to sit on the grass as they create may bring a blanket, sheet or towel.

To learn more about the museum, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, or Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL COLLABORATES FOR APRIL EVENTS

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL COLLABORATES FOR APRIL EVENTS

Sherill Milnes
Fabrizio Melano

SAVANNAH, GA – April 9, 2021 – Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) announces three virtual events taking place April 20-22, 2021 in collaboration with community partners.

In an exciting new partnership with Savannah’s Telfair Museums, SVF presents Mozart to Puccini: Opera Costume and Set Production – a Chat with Two Met Legends, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20. This expert panel is presented in conjunction with an exhibition from the McNay Art Museum’s Tobin Collection of Theater Arts. The program features acclaimed dramatic baritone Sherrill Milnes (654 performances with the Metropolitan Opera), and one of the world’s foremost stage directors for opera, Fabrizio Melano. The two will discuss stories from famous productions in addition to set design and costumes. The panel will be moderated by Maria Zouves, Executive Director of The Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience and Savannah VOICE Festival. This online event is free, but registration is required at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kdmPXwayRDe9j0yhaJKebw

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, SVF once again partners with the Jewish Educational Alliance to present a virtual Food For Thought program featuring Festival artists. In this “From Stage to Screen” presentation, artists and editors of the Savannah VOICE Festival will perform some of the segments they have produces during social distancing and discuss the process and stories behind the pivot the Festival made in music streaming. This session will be led by Savannah VOICE Festival Co-founder and Executive Director Maria Zouves.

To celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, April 22, SVF renews its partnership with Hospice Savannah with a one-hour online presentation at 11 a.m., which is repeated at 7 p.m. VOICES That Heal: For the Beauty of the Earth is part of a series of informative “listening labs” featuring music from various genres which comfort, soothe, and heal the soul. During this event, Chad Sonka and Kourtney Tigner, MT-BC, will explore music performed by Savannah VOICE Festival artists which relaxes and celebrates Mother Nature. To watch this virtual event, visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org/voices-that-heal.  Learn more about Hospice Savannah’s resources by visiting. Investment is provided by the City of Savannah’s Weave – A – Dream program.

“SVF continues to solidify its position in the Savannah community by extending our partnerships” said Zouves. “We’re proud to present these online spring events in association with leading arts, education and health organizations.”

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org

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Editor’s Notes

Sherrill Milnes is a five-time Grammy® nominated, three-time Grammy® winner and 2008 Opera News Award winner, Milnes is internationally recognized as the leading Verdi Baritone of his time. A world-renowned opera star who sang for over four decades, Milnes has conquered all of the great opera capitals of the world, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; La Scala, Milan; Berlin’s Deutsche Opera; the Paris Opera; Buenos Aires’ famed Teatro Colon; the Liceu in Barcelona; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; the Salzburg Festival; the Hamburg Opera; and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Milnes is Commendatore of the Italian Republic and a Chevalier of the French Republic and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy, the highest honor the State of Illinois can bestow. He has had the honor of performing for every United States President since Gerald Ford. Milnes has worked extensively with young singers throughout his career. He has led master classes at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, at most major universities throughout the country and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. More extensive teaching has been done at the Yale University School of Music; Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow; the Northern Royal College of music in Manchester, England (where he is a fellow); the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv; Montreal; Puerto Rico; and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy. The legendary artist and educator is now Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus from Northwestern University and continues to teach and judge vocal competitions around the world. Having founded the VOICExperience Foundation with his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, in 2000, they have mentored singers through training programs and built opera audiences throughout the nation, most recently creating the Savannah Voice Festival, launching in the summer of 2013.

Fabrizio Melano, stage director, is an established figure on the international opera scene, having worked in leading opera houses throughout the world for more than 40 years. He began a long-standing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in 1969 and has directed 21 operas there, among them seven new or revised productions. He directed Tony Randall in his last play, Pirandello’s Right You Are, with the National Actors Theater and staged a new musical, Asylum, at the York Theater Company. In April 2010 Juilliard presented his production of Dialogues des Carmélites, and the Met and Juilliard his production and staging of Armide in February 2012.

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com