Historic DuBose Heyward House on Folley beach Opens Doors for Island Heritage Festival

For Immediate Release, March 2007

A 1924 article in the Charleston daily newspaper told the story of a notorious, crippled Gullah man who rode around the city in a cart pulled by a goat. This contentious figure, no stranger to love and war on his own terms, inspired DuBose Heyward to write the novel Porgy, and co-write the opera Porgy & Bess on Folly Beach. Now, 83 years later the doors to the historic Heyward house will open again to host the Opening Reception of Island Heritage Festival, June 28th. The Festival pays tribute to “Goat” Sammie Smalls, a native island son, and explores the lives of the men who created the phenomenon with the theme, Comin’ Home to Porgy.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Island Heritage Festival to Folly Beach”, noted Carl Beckmann, Mayor. Folly has its own unique chapter in the story of Charleston’s rich history, and this event helps to illustrate some of that wealth, he added. “The bridge to the beach connects us to James Island and our shared history. I thought opening the house for the Festival was the most appropriate way to celebrate both the extraordinary legacy of Porgy as well as establish our brotherhood in history with the Festival.”

For five (5) exciting days, June 28-July 2, James Island will experience an explosion of history, culture, education, commemoration and celebration with twelve (12) programs at various venues on James Island. A gala and musical presentation of Porgy & Bess Under the Stars at McLeod Plantation headlines the Festival. “James Island is one of Charleston’s true historic treasures, with extraordinary chapters of history that we are proud to honor and celebrate”, noted native James Islander, Founder and Executive Director, Eleanor Kinlaw-Ross.

An entertaining and educational line-up of festival events includes an outdoor showing of the 1929 classic movie, Porgy & Bess, A Conversations program with members of the Smalls family, An Island Heritage Tour, A Symposium on Heyward, Gershwin & Porgy, A Sunset Gullah Cruise, among others will be showcased. Retuning this year is the annual Taste of Gullah Celebration, featuring food, cultural entertainment and vendors. Having earned a national reputation as a destination for cultural tourism, the Festival expects visitors from across the U.S. again this year. For information on programs, Vendor opportunity and the cultural talent showcase, contact the Festival Office at 843-727-1875 or visit the website at www.islandheritagefestival.com. Tickets for Festival events are available at www.tix.com and at 1-800-595-4TIX.