Saturday Night Love

There are two things in this world I know I love for sure: the arts and events with open bar.
Saturday Night Love--The Palmetto Peaches

Last Saturday, I joined the PeekABoo PrettyGirl Foundation, Inc. in celebrating the arts through music, spoken word, live painting and oh yes…open bar! Although it was a night of full of fun and champagne, the main reason for this celebration was to raise money for the Pretty Powerful Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior attending a 4-year college/university in South Carolina. The scholarship’s goal is to “allow more women to complete their degree programs and graduate with minimal debt, so that they may move forward to become an inspiration to others and leaders in their communities.” (
Saturday Night Love--The Palmetto Peaches
I don’t think anyone had to actually go to college to know the student loan struggle is maaaaaaaaad real. So it was fulfilling to not only support local artists, but to support a future game changer.

Saturday Night Love--The Palmetto Peaches

PABPG founders: Jessica Tee & Kindra Moné Photo by V.Aura

Performers included spoken word artist Queen T, musical performances by Niecy Blues and Goose Rage and live-painting by Fart.PDF and Distortedd (nationally accredited artist). Call me simple, but the concept of live-painting blows my mind. I was that girl in writing class who made the font extra small while I was typing, so no one would walk up behind me and read my draft. The confidence levels of performing artists impresses me, and the SNL artists were no exception! It’s one thing to create something and post or publish it for an audience to see, but another to create and share something right in front of an audience live!

Saturday Night Love--The Palmetto Peaches

Nationally accredited artist: Distortedd

Saturday Night Love-- The Palmetto Peaches

Singer/songwriter Niecy Blues Photo by: V. Aura

You know what else is impressive? The energy level at Saturday Night Love. What I thought was going to be a night of swaying and finger-snapping, turned into a lituation. Lituation = a situation that is lit, or in other words: a blast!

Saturday Night Love--The Palmetto Peaches

Oh hey, Bey!

If you or someone you know would like to apply for the Pretty Powerful Scholarship, visit For more information about PeekABoo PrettyGirl, or to donate to their efforts, visit!

PABPG is a non-profit based in Columbia, South Carolina, promoting self-esteem and self-love to women and girls.


Legends of…2016

Each year during Black History Month, the Auntie Karen Foundation hosts a concert and silent auction in Columbia, South Carolina. Legends of… is a tribute to the contributions African American musicians have made to history. “The series profiles a jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel or blues artist who has made a lasting contribution to the history of music.” (

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Gordon the Jamaican Yam, Auntie Karen and Olivia the Octopus

Thanks to my Auntie Karen I, along with many other music lovers in Columbia, was able to see musical legends: Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Babyface and Ashford and Simpson (to name a few) perform live over the years. This year’s concert featured Al Jarreau with the South Carolina Philharmonic. Out of all the artists I’ve seen, Jarreau appeared to be the most passionate about the Auntie Karen Foundation and the importance of the arts.

“You must teach children to be sensitive, and the arts are a workshop in human sensitivity. Any programs of that sort, we need to be supportive. Karen and her organization understand what is so wonderful and so basic about the arts.” -Al Jarreau via Free Times

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Olivia and Al Jarreau Photo courtesy of Auntie Karen Foundation

The past 3 years I’ve been lucky enough to live tweet the Legends of…Concert & Silent Auction. In addition to falling in love with the open wine bar and yummy eats provided by local vendors, I’m also inspired by the guests’ energy level. They’re just so artsy! It’s great to see the community support the arts, as well as Black History Month. Not to mention how cool it feels to hear them say, “Oh wow! You’re Karen’s niece!”

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Auntie Karen and I at Legends of 2015

My Auntie Karen was the first person to take my writing seriously. When I was about 5-years-old, I wrote a series of poems about the meaning of life, freedom and Dr. King. My mom sent them to my aunt (who still has them), and it was history from there. She made sure every single person she knew, also knew I was a young poet. Thanks to her, I participated in any opportunity she stumbled upon. Opportunities like reading my poems (with my cousins and sister as interpretive dancers) at Spoleto events, played a big role in my School of the Arts acceptance…and y’all know how much I love my arts education!

When I read those poems now, I can’t help but laugh because they’re awful, but AK still had my back! Even though I’d love to have her attention all to myself, she shares the same enthusiasm with kids all over the world. Who uses Jamaican Yams to teach kids about sickle-cell anemia and diabetes? Who uses a jazz-singing octopus to give hugs to kids effected by natural disasters and deployment? Auntie Karen does! Her legendary acts in the community don’t go unnoticed, and I’m so proud of her and the Auntie Karen Foundation!

If you would like more information on how you can help Auntie educate, empower and enlighten through the arts, please visit!


Earth Without Art: National Arts & Humanities Month


Earth Without Art - National Arts & Humanities Month - The Palmetto Peaches


Imagine a world without music, a world without books, or a world without dance. Imagine a world without Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. Now I was just referring to the famous artists, but perhaps like some of you, my only exposure to these men in my youth were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who were named after them.  We wouldn’t have them either if we didn’t have art.  Go further and imagine not being able to watch your favorite TV show because no one wrote the script. Think of the chaos that would ensue without being able to read your child their favorite nighttime story. In the United States, the arts mean multiple things for a variety of people. It encompasses many of the things we use and do on a daily basis. Many aspects of our cultures, entertainment, and the diversity of America involve the arts. If we removed all of the arts from our lives the gaps would be tremendous.

October is National Arts & Humanities Month. It has been designated as a “coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. Since 1985, the month of October has been designated to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts.”

I think about all the ways the arts has impacted my life and it’s a little overwhelming.  So let’s back up a bit and let me explain why I’m such an advocate of the arts. I’m an only child that grew up with a huge extended family. I mean cousins for days. It’s easy to get lost in such a multitude of personalities. How can you be seen or be heard? When I started dance at age eight (which in the dance world is quite late), I think I really started becoming myself. I started dancing once a week at Trudy’s School of Dance and that studio quickly became my home away from home. Before you knew it, I was an assistant teacher, I joined the dance company and I started attending the Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA).  I lived and breathed dance.

As I grew older and continued to immerse myself in my art – I became more confident, more open to other people and new experiences. Dance made it easier for me to make genuine connections with new people. As I began choreographing it challenged me to be more creative – and the more creative I was the more courageous I became – inside and outside of the dance studio. It was also such a great experience to see how art affected others and changed their lives. The one thing I loved the most about SOA was seeing the talent and creativity of my peers. It helps you understand people who aren’t like you. It also pushed me to be a better artist.

National Arts & Humanities Month - The Palmetto Peaches

In America, culture, diversity, and entertainment are all expressed through the arts. People can easily share aspects of their culture by allowing someone to hear a song that is popular in their culture or learn a tradition native to their country or culture.  This exchange of culture is so vital to the vibrancy of our country and why National Arts & Humanities month is so important.  Sometimes folks just think of “the arts” as this thing that happens on a stage or is hung on a museum wall. Art can affect a life in such a positive way and I encourage you to learn how arts in education is such an amazing experience for students.

I think there will always be someone who questions “what is art and do we really need it“. There are no clear distinctions on where to draw the line. The fact such a range of types of art can exist is a small testimony to America’s diversity. Popular culture and the fine arts are similar because both have the questions of freedom of expression, censorship, and the impact of words and images on impressionable minds stamped on its content. Your exposure to the arts may not be as expansive or direct as someone else, but because of the broad categories of the arts everyone can be considered artists or at least be involved in the arts on some level. Think about that the next time you go shopping, admire a really cool design of a new product or laugh at a funny commercial on TV. You just supported the arts…now can you live without it?


National Arts & Humanities Month - The Palmetto Peaches


Join in on the celebration of National Arts & Humanities Month and show your art or your love of art! If the arts have impacted your life, I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share it in the comments below.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches