Spoleto Festival 2022 in Charleston, SC

Let the celebrations begin. Well, almost. | Photo by @spoletofestivalusa

We’re officially two days away from the kickoff of Spoleto Festival USA 2022. While this annual festival is often recognized as a staple of Charleston history + culture, Spoleto is also internationally acclaimed as America’s premier performing arts festival.

Let’s dive into how Spoleto began and what the next 17 days will look like during the event’s 46th season.

Founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti + American conductor Christopher Keene, with the help of others, Spoleto Festival was established as an American sister festival, per se, to the Festival of Two Worlds founded by Menotti in 1958.

The Holy City’s charm + intimacy influenced Menotti’s choice — no surprise there.

With the help of Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. + former CofC President Theodore Stern, the 17-day celebration held its first season in 1977. Since then, Spoleto has led the charge on renovations to local performance spaces, including Dock Street Theatre and the Charleston Gaillard Center.

The mission is to offer programs of high artistic caliber while remaining dedicated to young artists, performance opportunities, innovation, and performing arts — hence the all-encompassing nature of the events.

The poster for this year’s festival was revealed on Monday, showcasing the work of New York-based artist Christopher Myers. Featuring a work of stained glass, the poster is said to hold stories of the world, according to the artist. Check out the design.

So, what can we expect to see this year? Between this Friday and June 12, our city will be filled with opera, theater, dance, chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music productions, featuring both emerging and renowned artists.

Event venues vary — including Festival Hall and Sottile Theatre. Take a peek at the schedule and the performances for a rundown on each show. We’ve got our eyes on the Ballet Encore feat. New York City Ballet.

Feeling inclined to support the effort? Learn how.

Did you know? You can apply for a short-term internship opportunity with Spoleto. While this year’s applications are now closed, mark your calendars for the 2023 Apprenticeship Programdetails will become available in September.