FOCUSING ON THE GOOD NEWS

Life is stressful and we all seem to be reeling from the constant bad news about health, politics, crime and more.  I would like to step away from all the negativity we are facing these days and focus on some amazingly positive macro trends in the world for a change. Firstly, do you know how lucky we are to still have a local newspaper in print and online?  Jeff Whitten has been my editor at The Bryan County News for a number of years, and I am very appreciative of him.  I can tell you that he has one goal – to inform and entertain readers about happenings in this great community.  He does this as accurately as possible without trying to push a particular point of view.  When the newspaper does put forward their own views or those of a columnist – such as mine – it is clearly labeled as such.

Let’s focus on some other positives today.  National news and especially social media rarely places the emphasis on positives.  Divisive and pessimistic stories get more attention and, more click throughs online so because of this, there are a number of really fantastic, positive things that have been happening in the world over the past few decades that, in my view, simply do not get enough attention.  So, this week’s column is my very modest attempt to move the needle a little bit in the other, more positive, direction.

What macro trend shall we look at first?  How about worldwide poverty?  The UN defines “extreme poverty” as living on under $1.90 per day, a level unimaginable to Americans.  According to studies by The World Bank, a whopping 92% of Americans believe that extreme poverty is getting worse in the world.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  In 1990, 29% of the world’s population lived at this extreme poverty level, but just 25 years later The World Bank reported that this number had dropped to 10%. (Visit www.data.worldbank.org for more information). The UN has a stated goal to end extreme poverty completely by 2030

Here is another great one.  Fewer pregnant women are dying.  A century ago, women had about a 1% chance of dying every time they gave birth.  UNICEF reports that globally in 1990 deaths caused by or exacerbated by childbirth had dropped to about 0.4%, and by 2017 this number had halved again to about 0.2%.  This is attributed to better sanitation, availability of antiseptic products, blood transfusions and antibiotics.  On a related note, the World Bank says that newborn deaths in 2018 were down 52% from just 28 years earlier.  This massive improvement comes mostly from very low income countries which now have better healthcare, more midwives and nurses, and much improved immunization programs.

How about deaths from famine?  Scientific publication “Our World in Data” reports that out of every 1 million people in the world, 5,470 died from famine in the 1960s.  In the 2000s, this dropped to 460, and from 2010-2016, it dropped again to just 40.  How can this be?  Reduced poverty, better agricultural yields, and improved access to healthcare.  Also, since war and oppressive governments are big reasons for famine in the modern world, global improvements in democracy and stability have helped a lot.

Let’s talk about the other C-word apart from COVID-19 – cancer.  According to the American Cancer Society “the death rate from cancer in the United States has continued to decline. From 1991 to 2018, the cancer death rate fell 31%”. This includes a 2.4% decline in 2018 alone – a record for the largest one-year drop in cancer deaths.  The Cancer Research Network says that current cancer research trials in the US have given patients an extra 3.3 million years of life.  And one more great data point on this subject from the land of my birth: a couple of years ago, The Queen Mary University in London announced a new test for cervical cancer.  In their trials, pap smear tests were only 25% accurate in detecting invasive cervical cancers.  The new test is 100% accurate – wonderful news.

The 20th century saw the average American live dramatically longer after retirement.  In 1900, research firm Statista says most people died 29 years BEFORE they even got to the prevailing retirement age.  By 2010, this was up to 15 years AFTER retirement.

Women’s voting rights?  In 1930, only 18% of the countries in the world allowed women to vote.  Today?  99%.  The only country in the world that doesn’t allow women the vote today is the Vatican City.  Let’s hope it stays this way in Afghanistan.

I could go on and on and fill this newspaper with wonderful “big picture” achievements that have happened in recent years.  So, while we all have to acknowledge these tough times and difficult things we must deal with, as well putting up with the divisions sometimes created and magnified by social media, let’s not forget a core truth – the past few decades have seen some truly historic improvements in the human condition. 

Accordingly, I say goodbye this week with a quote from bright, bubbly, and ever-optimistic Mouseketeer and Beach Party fun girl from the 1960s and 70s, Annette Funicello.  “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful!”

God Bless America, and let’s stay positive!

– ENDS –

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

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL STREAMING OF SEASON NINE – OCTOBER 1-16, 2021

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL STREAMING OF SEASON NINE – OCTOBER 1-16, 2021

SAVANNAH, GA. – September 21, 2021 – The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) announces the virtual streaming of six episodes highlighting performances from Season Nine, “LIVE” which took place in Savannah during August 2021. These episodes can be purchased at www.savannahvoicefestival.org for an individual streaming link to be delivered by email before each show. from Oct. 1-16, 2021, beginning at 7 p.m. EST. For patrons’ convenience, the stream will be available for access for 72 hours after the initial streaming date. Each episode costs $25 to stream or $20 for members.

The events will begin at 7 p.m. EST and most episodes consist of 50 minutes of edited highlights showcasing some of the best performances from season nine “LIVE-online”. La Bohème will be a recording of the 75-minute production as presented during season nine and Liz Lang’s recital is a reproduction of her August concert at The Telfair Academy. The six episodes will be streamed as follows:

  • Friday, October 1, 7 p.m. – Kickoff: Together Again
    • After a year of virtual work together, the artists of the Savannah VOICE Festival go back on some iconic stages of its beloved city for live audiences. Take a journey through the performances of this season and enjoy opera, musical theatre, and song.
  • Saturday, October 2, 7 p.m. – Broadway
    • Join us for an evening of Broadway new hits and classic tunes! See our 2021 Festival Artists instantly transport you to the Great White Way!
  • Friday, October 8, 7 p.m. – A Night at the Museum
    • Enjoy an elegant curation of arias & songs performed by our 2021 Festival artists coupled with the beautiful artwork that lives in the Telfair Rotunda.
  • Saturday, October 9, 7 p.m. – La Bohème
    • The Savannah VOICE Festival brings Puccini’s masterpiece La Bohème to life on stage with a stellar cast of Festival artists under the direction of Fabrizio Melano and Andrew Bisantz. This abridged production will have you enraptured in beautiful music with a night at the opera!
  • Friday, October 15, 7 p.m. – Headliner: Liz Lang, soprano with Howard Watkins, piano
    • Tune in to watch the stunning recital of Liz Lang, soprano with Howard Watkins, piano with special guest John Tisbert, trumpet. You don’t want to miss these incredibly talented artists. _
  • Saturday, October 16, 7 p.m. – Finale: Until We Meet Again
    • Celebrate a collection of amazing moments and performances over the 2021 Savannah VOICE Festival! With highlights and behind the scenes moments, we can’t wait to close this season with this incredible Finale!

“We are so thrilled to be able to offer this streaming opportunity for our patrons that maybe couldn’t travel to our in-person festival this year,” said Executive Director, Maria Zouves. “We want everyone to have the chance to see the hard work and abundant talent of our SVF artists during our recent ninth festival.”

– ENDS –

Editor’s Notes 

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. Donations are tax-deductible. 

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

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RESUMES REGULAR OPERATING HOURS, LIMITS CAPACITY AND TOUR SIZES

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RESUMES REGULAR OPERATING HOURS, LIMITS CAPACITY AND TOUR SIZES

SAVANNAH, GA – September 20, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) has resumed normal, pre-pandemic operating hours but will continue to limit capacity inside the museum as well as group sizes for each tour. SAAM opens its doors each week from Wednesday to Saturday, welcoming guests from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The West Africa gallery tours start on the hour, every hour, with the first tour beginning at 11 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 4 p.m. The Central Africa gallery tours start every hour on the half our, with the first tour beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Masks are required for all visitors and staff while inside the museum. Signage is placed throughout the museum to direct the flow of traffic and encourage social distancing. Sanitizer stations are also located throughout the building for guests and staff. All public areas will be sanitized throughout the day.

“The ability to resume our normal business hours is a welcome change to both our staff and our guests. We are so pleased to offer our visitors more time to learn about the history of African art and the cultural influences it had, and still has, around the world,” said SAAM Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator Billie Stultz. “We are still leaving in place some social distancing and other protection measures, but that also indicates that we are able to offer a clean and safe environment for everyone.”

The Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution devoted to spreading awareness and appreciation of African culture. It touts an art collection of over 1,000 objects from West and Central Africa. The museum’s collection spans over 28 countries and represents over 180 cultures.

Admission is free; donations are welcomed and appreciated.

For more information about the museum or to access virtual tours and initiatives, please visits www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org  or follow SAAM on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest using the handle @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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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.

SAVANNAH CLASSICAL ACADEMY’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BARRY LOLLIS INDUCTED INTO THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH CLASSICAL ACADEMY’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BARRY LOLLIS INDUCTED INTO THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH, GA –Sept. 20, 2021 – Today, Savannah Classical Academy’s (SCA) Chief Executive Officer, Barry Lollis, was inducted as a member of The Rotary Club of Savannah.

The Downtown Rotary Club of Savannah is the city’s largest Rotary Club and was established over 100 years ago. Rotary club of Savannah is an affiliate of Rotary International, a worldwide service organization that brings together business and professional leaders and encourages them to become involved in their communities through humanitarian services. Members observe high ethical standards and work to advance goodwill and peace around the globe.

A graduate of Georgia Southern University and Piedmont College with a master’s in education, Lollis is an innovative educator who has worked in the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) since 2004.  A former high school Principal at Windsor Forest, Lollis came to SCA in 2017 and has overseen significant improvements in the academic achievements of the school. The Savannah Classical Academy opened in fall of 2013 and their mission is to provide every child with a classical and academically rigorous education while installing a commitment to civic virtue and moral character.

“I am very honored to represent SCA and to be inducted into The Rotary Club of Savannah. I look forward to serving the city of Savannah through this organization. The Rotary Club of Savannah encourages acts of service that have built and grown the success of the city, and I am pleased to be a part of that,” said Lollis.  

It is the philosophy of Savannah Classical Academy that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, educational program that develops academic potential and personal character. The school provides an environment that fosters academic excellence through the habits of thoroughness, the willingness to work, and the perseverance to complete difficult tasks. Through a defined traditional, Classical-Liberal curriculum, students are prepared to become active, responsible members of their community.

For more information about Savannah Classical Academy, 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).

ASBURY MEMORIAL CHURCH WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRIES, ELLIE COVINGTON

ASBURY MEMORIAL CHURCH WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRIES, ELLIE COVINGTON

SAVANNAH, GA – September 16, 2021 – Asbury Memorial Church has welcomed a new member of their staff: Ellie Covington, the Director of Children and Family Ministries.

Covington has volunteered with All things Farmers Market, Loop it Up Savannah, River Keepers, Surf Rider, and eBird. She also graduated from Savannah State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and worked for the Georgia Shellfish Laboratory as a research technician. She now works for the United States Army of Engineers as an environmental planner.

“I love kids! I am looking forward to becoming part of the ministry team. This is an exciting time to re-connect and meet new families at Asbury and Wesley Oak!” Said Covington. “Sharing God’s love, creating care, and hearing what kids think about things always inspires and teaches me!”

The Director of Children and Family Ministries works to develop and nurture children in the Christian faith and build a strong sense of community among families, increasing the Church outreach and faith formation with families and children. This role focuses on implementing programs and empowering individuals to use and grow their gifts by volunteering time and resources to support children’s ministry.

“We welcome Ellie to our team with open arms and great enthusiasm. We are very much looking forward to the ways she is going to impact the children and families that are a part of our congregation,” said Rev. Hester. “We are very thankful for the ability to extend our staff and our message into molding the minds of these children.”

Asbury Memorial is a Christ-centered, forward-thinking, all-inclusive congregating that celebrates the joy of God creatively and is committed to remaining a welcoming and affirming congregation for all. For more information about Asbury staff and their worship services, please visit their website at www.asburymemorial.org.

– ENDS –

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).

THE HISTORIC BEAUFORT FOUNDATION’S FALL FESTIVAL OF HOUSES & GARDENS

LFPR

Historic Beaufort Foundation

By Mary Thompson 

THE HISTORIC BEAUFORT FOUNDATION’S FALL FESTIVAL OF HOUSES & GARDENS

Have you ever wanted to step back in time and experience the history of beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina?

Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF) would like to invite you to our Fall Festival of Houses & Gardens. Explore Beaufort’s history, architecture, and landscape in one unforgettable weekend as HBF introduces you to the Beaufort Style.

Friday Luncheon and Lecture
October 22nd 11:30am-1:00pm
Members: $65 | Nonmembers: $75

Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Executive Director, Cynthia Jenkins, 2021 recipient of The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Preservation, will discuss The Beaufort Style and Beaufort’s impact on architecture in the South.

Friday Walking Tour of National Landmark Historic District*
October 22nd 2:00pm-6:00pm
Members: $65 | Nonmembers: $75

We invite you to join us for a rare peek into Beaufort’s history as gracious property owners welcome you into their private homes and gardens to experience the history, architecture, and style of historic Beaufort.  Each of the homes on this year’s tour are representative of The Beaufort Style— ranging from a mid-19th century manor to a charming Victorian cottage.

*A Walking Tour Bundle is available for this event. You’ll receive $10 off when you book the Friday Walking Tour in combination with the Saturday Afternoon Country Retreat and Lowcountry Picnic.

Lowcountry Art Celebration
October 22nd 4:30pm-9:00pm

Beaufort’s Annual Fall Artwalk through historic Downtown Beaufort features 13 of Beaufort’s premier galleries. This thriving arts community represents more than 400 artists celebrating the Lowcountry.

 

Saturday Afternoon Country Retreat and Lowcountry Picnic
October 23rd 1:00pm-4:00pm
Members: $75 | Nonmembers: $85

If you are seeking a uniquely southern experience, look no further. Enjoy a picnic at a beautiful southern estate tucked in the banks of the Combahee River in Prince William Parish.  A delicious Lowcountry picnic lunch is included in this event. The estate is a short 30-minute drive from downtown Beaufort.

Sunday In the Beaufort Style-A Part of HBF’s Scholar Series
October 24th 9:30am-12:00pm
Members: $100 | Nonmembers: $125 Tickets are limited for this exclusive event.

Spend your morning immersed in the Lowcountry with a visit to the Barnwell Gough House and enjoy a truly southern brunch in the home’s formal gardens. This magnificent house showcases the influence of Adams and the burgeoning Federal style of architecture. With its southern facing orientation, T-shape design, hipped roof, two-story portico, and raised foundation, this home is a perfect example of the tabby form of architecture. Notable experts in the field will provide in-depth interpretations of this beautiful home In the Beaufort Style. Together, we’ll celebrate The Beaufort Style and its unique contribution to the southern landscape.

The Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Fall Festival promises to be an enchanting weekend celebrating the beauty, influence, and community of historic Beaufort. We would love for you to join us for any-or all-of our unique and informative events as we come together to learn about the history and impact of Beaufort, South Carolina.

Register today!

TRAVELS TO NANTUCKET

I adore history and actually majored in this subject at university.  I have long wanted to visit the Cape Cod peninsula in New England and explore the history of the area, especially where the Mayflower ship landed in Massachusetts 401 years ago.  The pilgrims named the area where they landed Plymouth, after the British town from which they had sailed 66 days earlier.  I found it thrilling to learn about my British ancestors who had preceded my own emigration to the USA by settling a new land four centuries ago, most of them were in search of religious freedom.

I was able to persuade my husband to visit New England in August mainly because he knew that the high temperatures would be in the seventies!  In addition to the historical aspect, I was keen to see Cape Cod and some of the natural beauty of the Eastern seaboard.  I have also enjoyed many novels by an author who lives on and sets her books on Nantucket so was determined to make the journey by ferry from Hyannis – just like in her books – and discover more.

Nantucket is an island about 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide.  It is 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, to the south east of its bigger and more high-profile neighbor, the island of Martha’s Vineyard. My husband pointed out while we were on Nantucket that I was as close as I have been to the land of my birth since before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Nothing eastwards but the Atlantic Ocean until you hit Europe. 

Nantucket was discovered by European settlers to America early in the seventeenth century, but was not settled until 1659 by the Quakers.  Its heyday was in the 19th century when ships based there were sent around the world to hunt whales for their oil and blubber.

Nantucket has a year-round population of approximately 12,000 but a summer population of around 50,000 – I think they were all getting off the ferry with us when we arrived!  There are three lighthouses on Nantucket, which were much needed as over 700 shipwrecks in the area caused the surrounding waters to be called “the graveyard of the Atlantic”

The gory business of whaling created a great deal of wealth for the island in the 18th century.  Whaling captains would leave their wives at home on Nantucket for years at a time to travel as far as the Pacific Ocean to hunt the mighty whale. Meanwhile their wives enjoyed the luxurious homes built with whaling money and ran their husband’s business affairs.  As someone whose modern-day husband used to travel a lot on business, I cannot imagine saying, “Be careful dear, see you in 5-7 years!”

Herman Melville’s famous novel of 1851, Moby Dick, was based on whaling ships whose home harbor was Nantucket, but the author didn’t actually visit the island until 1852!  After oil – the fossil fuel variety – was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859, the demand for whale oil decreased dramatically and within a decade the Nantucket whaling industry was all but dead.  The population of the island quickly declined by nearly 70% and the expensive houses built by the whalers were mostly bought as summer homes by wealthy people in Boston and New York.  Tourism began during the later years of the 19th century and by the middle of the 20th century was booming

The Kennedy family, known as Cape Cod royalty in decades past, summered on the Cape and owned property on the mainland.  Although they sailed the Nantucket Sound, they did not spend any significant time on the island

Most of the buildings on Nantucket are a “weathered gray” color, mainly because of very strict building regulations and the wooden gray siding widely used which can stand up to the winter fogs, rain, sleet, storms, and freezing temperatures.  The cost of a modest 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom house on Nantucket ranges from $1.5 – $12 million, depending on location and condition of the property. According to the Massachusetts Department of Consumer Affairs, the cost of living on the island is 21% higher than in the rest of the state, although to us tourists it seemed even more.  There is more information at www.history.com

We enjoyed our time in Cape Cod, where we did some seal watching, toured the Mayflower II, a replica of the original, and I had my first lobster roll and some good fish and chips.  Not quite like back in England, but New England is a great place and there is a lot there to remind me of the land of my birth.

I say goodbye this week with a quote from Melville’s Moby Dick. “Nantucket in a nutshell: a pile of sand, a glacial afterthought, but also a corner of the world, connected and connecting the small with the vast, an insignificant nothing that is part of the main.”

God Bless America and Nantucket!

– ENDS –

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

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL STREAMING OPPORTUNITY OF SEASON NINE AND THEME OF NEXT YEAR’S SEASON

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL STREAMING OPPORTUNITY OF SEASON NINE AND THEME OF NEXT YEAR’S SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA. – September 2, 2021 – The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) announces a virtual streaming opportunity to share six archived performances from Season Nine, “LIVE”, online, along with the theme for SVF Season X: “GHOST.

 “LIVE-online” is scheduled to be live-streamed on SVF’s Facebook account @SavannahVOICEFestival from Oct. 1-6, 2021, beginning at 7 p.m. EST. Viewers can go directly to the SVF Facebook page or go on the Savannah VOICE Festival website to use the link provided. No Facebook account is necessary to watch.

The events will begin at 7 p.m. EST and will last 50 minutes each during week to present season nine “LIVE-online”:

  • Friday, October 1: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 1
    • 7 p.m. | Kickoff: Together Again: After two years of virtual work together, the artists of the Savannah VOICE Festival go back on some iconic stages of its beloved city for live audiences. Take a journey through
  • Saturday, October 2: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 2
    • 7 p.m. | Broadway: an elegant curation of arias and songs that are coupled with the beautiful artwork that lives in the Telfair Rotunda
  • Sunday, October 3: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 3
    • 7 p.m. | Headliner: Liz Lang, soprano with Howard Watkins, piano
  • Monday, October 4: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 4
    • 7 p.m. | A Night at the Museum
  • Tuesday, October 5: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 5
    • 7 p.m. | La Boheme: SVF brings Puccini’s masterpiece live on stage with a stellar cast of Festival artists under the direction of Fabrizio Melano and Andrew Bisantz.
  • Wednesday, October 6: SVF “LIVE-online” – Episode 6
    • 7 p.m. | Finale: Until We Meet Again

“We are so thrilled to be able to offer this streaming opportunity for our patrons that maybe couldn’t make the travel to our in-person festival this year,” said Executive Director, Maria Zouves. “We want everyone to have the chance to see the hard work and abundant talent of our SVF artists in this last festival season.”

SVF has also announced the dates and theme for its tenth season. SVF Season 10 will be slated to run Aug. 8-27, 2022 and the theme is “Season X: “GHOST””. Next year’s season will be featuring “Alice Ryley” and “Anna Hunter”, two operas written by SVF’s very own Michael Ching.

“SVF is grateful for Michael Ching and his hard work and dedication in creating two wonderful compositions to showcase to next year’s patrons,” said Zouves. “We believe that these two operas will showcase the history and mystery of Savannah and embody our tenth season of the Savannah VOICE Festival.”

Alice Riley” debuted at the Charles H. Morris Center during Halloween weekend in 2015, a fitting time for the deliverance of a woeful ghost story peppered with murder, passion and history. This contemporary opera, performed and sung in the English Language, centers on the tragic story of Alice Ryley, an Irish indentured servant in the 1700s who, along with her lover, is accused of killing her master. “Anna Hunter, The Spirit of Savannah” debuted in Nov. of 2017 at the Davenport House with immersion performances that featured a live instrumental ensemble. This comedic ghost opera takes audiences on a journey through the Davenport House as they portray the story of the woman who changed the future of Savannah by preserving its past.

– ENDS –

Editor’s Notes 

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. Donations are tax-deductible. 

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

MARITIME BETHEL SAVANNAH AND PARTNERS VACCINATE THEIR 2,000 SEAFARER

MARITIME BETHEL SAVANNAH AND PARTNERS VACCINATE THEIR 2,000 SEAFARER

SAVANNAH, GA. – Sept. 2, 2021 – Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS) and their partners reached a huge milestone by administering their 2,000th COVID-19 vaccination to seafarers at the Port of Savannah on August 24, 2021. To date, MBS has vaccinated 2,166 seafarers across 161 ships.

The Rotary Club of Savannah, Georgia Department of Public Health, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), Georgia Ports Authority, the Colonial Group, Inc., and MBS worked together to provide free access to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for seafarers who call on the Port of Savannah. These partners work together to provide facilities that ensure the safe and proper dissemination of the vaccine within the gated Ports of Savannah. The medical team, provided by CORE, administers these vaccines on board the vessels, escorted into the port by the MBS team.

Many seafarers come from underdeveloped nations and are typically on board their vessels from 6 – 9 months and COVID protocols restrict the majority of them from leaving their ships. Most come from countries where the COVID vaccine is not readily available. This inoculation opportunity helps to keep seafarers safe and healthy while onboard vessels and ensures that they arrive home to their families after months at sea.

“Ninety percent of everything we consume is transported on ships operated by seafarers. People don’t often realize that without these seafarers, their quality of life would be much different than what they experience today,” MBS Executive Director John Houchens said. “Seafarers are essentially invisible. They are on ships, out at sea, and in highly secured environments for months, so we never see or think about them. But they are essential to the daily lives we live. Without them, our lives would be completely different.”

According to the Georgia Ports Authority, the Port of Savannah is the largest single-operator and fastest-growing container terminal in America, with over 78,000 seafarers and 4,200 ships visiting Savannah each year. In terms of total volume, it is the fourth-largest port in the nation. Seafarers worked throughout the entire pandemic, growing cargo volumes by 20 percent in 2021.

For more information about Maritime Bethel Savannah and its vaccination initiative with its partners, please call John Houchens at 912.398.0896, email john@maritimebethelsavannah.org or visit the website at www.maritimebethelsavannah.com.

Since 2007, the faith-based Christian nonprofit organization has been providing “far away from home” personal, spiritual, emotional, and practical support to seafarers who come into the Port of Savannah on ships from all over the world. MBS is not affiliated with any one church or denomination and serves all seafarers regardless of creed.

– ENDS –

For media inquiries, please contact Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the LFPR office at 912-417-5377.

MAKING UP IS HARD TO DO – THE HISTORY OF COMESTICS

I like the summer heat, much preferring to be a bit too hot but avoiding the freezing winters. However, this summer our beautiful Coastal Georgia is hot, rainy, and humid, like a sauna on the planet Venus! One of the things that I hadn’t considered when we moved to this great part of the world was the melting effect on my makeup on these steamy summer days.

I have become quite the expert at repairing melting makeup during the course of my working day in between meetings.  I often remember my old fashioned school ‘head-mistress’ (principal) back in England in the 1970s and 80s, who always told us girls that “horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow”. She had clearly never visited Coastal Georgia in August!

So, what is the history of makeup or to paraphrase my husband – ‘why do you always bother to do this, and why does it take so long’?  The short answer is that I like to feel and look my best before facing the world. History shows that this is true of people through the ages, with women sometimes risking their health and wellbeing to enhance their looks by the standards of their time. 

The use of cosmetics dates back to the ancient world around 10,000 BC with Egyptians using scents and creams made from natural herbs and oils to protect their skin against the hot sun and to mask body odor.  There is evidence that the use of some perfumes were also related to religious rituals.  Six thousand years later, Egyptian women were applying pastes to their faces and black powders around their eyes – think of Queen Cleopatra’s image. Meanwhile, ancient Chinese and Japanese people were whitening their complexions with rice powder, and more dangerously the ancient Greeks were using lead to achieve the same result.  There is also evidence that ancient Indian and North African cultures started the use of henna, a tropical shrub used for color dying, to decorate their hands and feet for weddings and other special occasions.

During the Renaissance, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, aristocratic European women – including famously Queen Elizabeth The First of England, lightened their complexions with dangerous white lead and copper paint, and sometimes even arsenic powder! Meanwhile, France became a center of perfume making.  By the 1800s, zinc oxide replaced more dangerous ingredients in facial powder, but during Queen Victoria’s long reign from 1837-1901, she declared the use of make up “vulgar” and only acceptable for use by actors on the stage.

Over here, Americans of the upper classes wore makeup during the 18th century but after the American Revolution, the use of what was commonly called “paint” became socially unacceptable and associated with ladies of the night.  For most of the nineteenth century, women relied on home-made recipes to lighten and improve their complexions and appear naturally pretty. By the end of the nineteenth century entrepreneurs began to produce lines of “natural” looking cosmetics and this is when a New York based called “The California Perfume Company”, began an agent system for distribution, targeting housewives as their sales agents.  This turned into the company Avon Products, now a $6 billion business, which allowed women to combine socializing and making their own money.  As more women entered the workplace, especially during the First World War, there was a rising demand for cosmetics.

By the time the roaring 1920s came along, flapper fashion featuring dark eyes, red lipstick, and nail polish along with the suntan became popular; think Coco Chanel.  Makeup became socially acceptable and aspirational. Spending on cosmetics increased dramatically when millions more women entered the workforce during the Second World War, gaining greater social and financial independence.  Makeup was used to reassert femininity, and when nylon stockings became unavailable because of war-time shortages, women turned to leg make-up—paint-on hosiery! Cosmetics, especially lipstick, had become such an essential part of American femininity that the federal government retracted its wartime materials-rationing restrictions on cosmetics manufacturers in order to allow and even encourage the use of makeup. As Kathy Peiss writes in her book “Hope in a Jar,” the use of makeup had become “an assertion of American national identity.”

After the war, most women wore lipstick, and companies like Avon and Revlon capitalized on this fashion trend. By the 1950s and 1960s, teenage girls were commonly wearing makeup, and by the late 1960s, using makeup became politicized. Counter-cultural movements celebrated ideals of natural beauty, including a rejection of make-up altogether. Cosmetics companies returned to advertisements that claimed that their products provided a “natural” look. Then, by the 1980s when I started to experiment with makeup, things seem to have gone full circle as my teenage friends and I started wearing heavy layers and bright colors – just like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper in their heydays.

There is more information at www.cosmeticsinfo.org , an information site sponsored by the trade group Personal Care Products Council.

I say goodbye this week with a quote attributed to the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. “A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.”

God Bless America and stay cool out there!

– ENDS –

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