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World Arts Expo (WAE)

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North Charleston Riverfront Park, 1001 Everglades Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405


This NEW flagship event is a celebration of visual and performing arts from cultures around the world! Enjoy the spring weather and experience a diverse array of music and dance performances by local and regional cultural groups, live art demonstrations and displays, multi-cultural food offerings, art & craft vendors, hands-on art activities, roving entertainment, and a kid’s zone. There’s even a pop-up Medieval Village!




11:00am – Noon — Moscow Nights offers a lively program of Russian folk music played on traditional instruments, such as the balalaika and Bayan Accordion.

12:15pm – 1:15pm — Enjoy a variety of Latin rhythms like salsa, merengue, cumbia, bolero, and more with Pachanga! The trio, led by Juan Buzo, will perform a mix of classic and contemporary Latin hits.

1:30pm – 2:00pm — Combining dynamic aspects of martial arts, dance, and percussion, the drummers of Taiko Charleston energize and inspire through powerful rhythms and vibrant choreography that pay homage to the myths and traditions of Japanese culture.

2:30pm – 3:30pm — Sirius. B presents the finest “Absurdist Gypsy Folk” that the world has to offer. Their repertoire of foreign folk tunes and upbeat originals is created with an eclectic mix of vocal harmonies and instruments including cello, accordion, violin, multi-cultural percussion, charango, flamenco and acoustic guitar, banjo, and melodica.

4:00pm – 5:00pm — Amani Smith & the Give Thanks Band delivers their brand of Roots Reggae with a heavy hitting rhythm section, guitar solos with rock flair, and smooth vocals. The group will perform covers along with originals from their latest release Songs from the Film of Life.

11:00am – Noon — Berdolé Flamenco Production presents Flamenco con Gusto, a dynamic Spanish Flamenco program featuring guitar, percussion, singing, dance, and rhythmic hand clapping.

Noon – 12:30pm — Wona Womalan West African Drum & Dance Ensemble shares the beauty of West African musical arts through their energetic and interactive performances. The group demonstrates unique West African drum rhythms and dances from Guinea, West Africa, using traditional percussion instruments, such as djembe, doundoun, sangban, and kenkeni.

12:30pm – 1:00pm — The Charleston Children’s Choir is a select treble choir comprised of 25 Charleston County School District students under the direction of Shelly Goughnour and Anna Reid. The choir will perform a program entitled Songs of Peace and Hope from Around the World, featuring musical selections from a variety of places, eras, and styles.

1:00pm – 1:30pm — Hiyas-Min Philippine Cultural Society of Charleston presents folk dances of the Philippines, including the high-energy “bamboo dance” known as tinikling.

1:30pm – 2:00pm — Clad in authentic German dirndls, the Walhalla Bavarian Dancers will perform a variety of traditional German and Austrian dances, including the two longest lived social dances in the world, Polka and Waltz.

2:00pm – 2:30pm — Deninufay African Drum & Dance Company performs ecstatic traditional West African dance accompanied by a live African drum ensemble.

3:00pm – 3:30pm — India Association of Greater Charleston presents folk, classical, and Bollywood dances of India.

3:30pm – 4:00pm —Puʻuwai Hoʻāno ʻo Leikela works to promote Hawaiian culture and history through hula and to build a community of aloha in the Lowcountry. The group will perform traditional Hawaiian hula along with other Polynesian dances.

4:00pm – 4:30pm — Buen Aché Afro-Latino Dance Company aims to highlight the African contribution to Latino culture, music, and dance. Their high-energy dances and choreodramas draw on folkloric dances of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean nations, and are often interactive.

11:00am – 1:00pm — Hunter Nash presents WRAPCON, a celebration of African American women and the wraps that adorn their crown. For centuries, headwraps have been a consistent feature in the daily lives of African women, worn for protection, to indicate status, or to signify respect. Historically in the US, headwraps were imposed on black women as a symbol of enslavement. Today, the accessory has evolved as both a fashion statement and as a form of self/communal identity and badge of resistance, proudly and publicly worn. This presentation will include a discussion of the history and evolution of headwraps, as well as African waist bead, and demonstrations on how they are both worn.

1:30pm – 3:00pm — Yasu Ishida, Magic Story Artist, presents Story Circus!, an interactive storytelling show featuring Balloon Haiku (balloon animals coming to life with Haiku), Story-gami (storytelling with Origami), and magic. Following the performance, Ishida will offer a hands-on origami workshop where audience members can learn to make 3-4 Action Origami designs, which animate to fly, flip, jump, and snap!

3:30pm – 5:00pm — Private Chef and Masterchef Season 8 Contestant Jennifer Williams will offer a live cooking demonstration of the classic Cajun/Creole dish Crawfish Étouffée. In addition to providing instruction on how to prepare the dish, Williams will discuss topics such as the history of étouffée in Cajun and Creole cuisine, what it’s like to be a chef, and her Masterchef experience. The audience will be able to sample the finished dish at the end of the demonstration.



Gullah Rag Quilting
A cultural trade passed down from generation to generation of Gullah women, the textile tradition of rag quilting began during the Antebellum Period (1781-1860) when women used feed and grain sacks along with rag strips to make quilts for warmth during inclement weather. Sit a spell with Sharon Cooper-Murray, aka “The Gullah Lady,” and watch her create a rag quilt using this folk art technique. In addition to her demonstration, the artist will also display an assortment of rag quilts, share the history of this Gullah textile tradition, and answer any questions visitors may ask. Cooper-Murray is credited with creating both the Community Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative and the Gullah Enna & Sweet Pan & Ting, a cottage industry specializing in Gullah fiber arts and crafts. 

Chinese Painting
Known as guóhuà or native painting, traditional Chinese painting is considered one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. The practice is similar to calligraphy in that a brush is dipped in ink and strokes are then applied to silk or rice paper. Columbia, SC, based artist and educator Yisha Wang will demonstrate the ink and wash technique of Chinese painting known as shui-mo. This freehand style technique allows one to express their creativity, calm their mind, and appreciate the beauty of art and nature.

Members of the India Association of Greater Charleston will be working on three Rangoli designs throughout the day. Rangoli is an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand, or flower petals. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions like festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations, and other similar milestones and gatherings.  Rangoli art is a traditional form of welcoming good luck and it has remained popular over several hundred years. Designs are often passed from one generation to the next and are usually taken from nature.

La Calavera Catrina
The Calavera Catrina was born in 1912 from the imagination of Mexican artist and satirist José Guadalupe Posada, who depicted her as an elegant female skeleton sporting an extravagantly plumed hat. Posada published the first illustration of this great dame of death, who he called La Calavera Garbancera, as a social criticism of the indigenous Mexican women who rejected their roots and tried to pass as European. It was Mexican painter Diego Rivera who placed a full-bodied version of Posada’s skeleton lady at the center of his mural, Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central, and called her La Catrina, the feminine version of the Catrin, a bon vivant dandy in Mexican culture. Today, Rivera’s colorful rendition of La Catrina has become the referential image of Death in Mexico, synonymous with Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations and the inspiration for a number of Mexican handicrafts. Sara Montero-Buria of the Hispanic Alliance in Greenville, SC, will display a collection of Catrinas, including her most recent one called Mariana, a 12′ papier maché and wood structure that incorporates a traditional seven-level altar. The artist will also demonstrate how she makes the crepe paper flowers that adorn her Catrinas.


Get into some magical mayhem with Professor Whizzpop, Western North Carolina’s premier, laugh-a-minute children’s entertainer! Fun and giggles are guaranteed with his roving comedy magic show.

Good Clean Fun is sure to make you smile with their strolling variety act. Their jugglers, one-man band, and bubble fairy stilt walker will engage WAE patrons with live music, kazoos, creative artistic juggling, games, and more!

Island Paradise Balloon Art will amaze both children and adults with their incredible and creative balloon designs.