Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Sat May 30 2015

Where To Get Your Culture Fix During The Month Of June

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | May 30, 2015

Where To Get Your Culture Fix During The Month Of June

Photos courtesy of their respective festivals.

The summer brings us outside of the home and at the same time brings artists, musicians and performers outside of their spaces to help celebrate the warm days and the cool nights.  Here are five great places to catch a little culture while enjoying everything else the summer has to offer.

Charleston, South Carolina - Spoleto Festival USA

Since 1977, visitors have flocked to Charleston for the city’s annual Spoleto Festival USA showcasing opera, theater, dance and puppetry, as well as chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. For 17 days each year (this year from May 22-June 7) the festival takes over historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces throughout the “Holy City” and has presented more than 200 world or American premieres.  

Providence, Rhode Island - Inaugural Providence International Arts Festival

From June 11-14, FirstWorks and the city of Providence are teaming up to produce the first-ever Providence International Arts Festival.  Witness innovative and inspirational culture, hand-selected performing arts, sculpture and food offerings, as well as a performance from the largest stringed instrument on the planet, Earth Harp (1,000 feet in length).  Confirmed acts include the “undisputed Queen of African Music” Angélique Kidjo and Grammy-Award winning and Mali native Sidy Maiga.

New Haven, Connecticut - International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas has commissioned a performance of the 1990’s from Taylor Mac’s 24 Decades of Popular Music as well as an East Coast exclusive of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Acis and Galatea.  The festival runs from June 12-27 and offers musical performances, theatrical productions, lectures, and conversations from top artists and thinkers from around the world. 

The best part is that more than 80 percent of festival programs are free and open to the public with jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists performing live on the New Haven Green. Also performing are Darlene Love, Kurt Elling and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra paying tribute to the Sinatra Centennial as well as Lucinda Williams.

Sonoma County, California - Art at the Source

The folks at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts really know how to cram a lot into just two weekends. This year on June 6-7 and June 13-14, more than 165 artists in almost 100 studio locations will open up their studios to the public. Painters, sculptors, potters, jewelers, photographers, glass, wood and fiber artists participate from villages of  Bodega Bay, to the inland communities of Valley Ford, Monte Rio, Guerneville, Forestville, Graton, Sebastopol, Occidental and West Santa Rosa.

Montreal - Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is in its 36th season this year and will draw more than two million visitors to what is known as the “world’s biggest jazz festival.”  The festival runs from June 26 – July 5, has more than 1,000 concerts and activities with more than two-thirds of them free, and features more than 3,000 artists and musicians from 30 countries. Headlining this year are Chris Botti, Jesse Cook, along with other award-winning performances by Booker T. Jones, Erykah Badu, Steve Miller and more.

These are just a few of the many places that you can take in some culture across the country this summer.  Everyone can afford a little time away from the barbecues and the beaches to celebrate the finer things in life!


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