The long-awaited debut of the International African American Museum is still on hold, but it’s offering a lineup of programming for future visitors in the interim.
The waterfront Charleston museum plans to holds a series of virtual and in-person educational programs in February and March that tell stories of different generational legacies within the African American community.
“While we look forward to welcoming visitors to the museum in the coming months, in the meantime we encourage folks to engage with our programming honoring how African American labor, resistance and ingenuity has shaped our country and our world,” Malika Pryor, chief learning and engagement officer for the museum said.
IAAM officials said an announcement about the new opening date is coming soon. The planned grand opening for last weekend was postponed in December because of issues that arose with the building’s heating and cooling systems that could affect temperature-sensitive artwork and artifacts.
A Black History Month webinar series kicks off the programming lineup, featuring three panel discussions about the challenges of African American genealogy research and how people can start researching their own ancestry.
Also planned are talks about the Charleston domestic slave trade and the Civil War-era United States Colored Troops.
In March, the museum will partner with First Baptist Church of James Island to honor Gullah Geechee culture during its annual “Awakening of the Ancestors” program. Sunn m’Cheaux, an instructor of the Gullah language in Harvard University’s African Language Program, will explain the styles, meaning and culture within the language.
During Women’s History Month, there will be a weekly storytelling series called “Her Voice, Our Story,” in the museum’s African Ancestral Memorial Garden featuring stories about African American women throughout history.
Pryor said that the museum hopes the events can give visitors a sneak peak of the type of educational content museum officials plan to regularly curate once its doors open.
For a list of upcoming programming, visit www.iaamuseum.org.
- Palmetto Carriage Works is hosting its annual “locals ride free” day on Jan. 29, where residents who live in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties can take a free tour with proof of residency.
- Firefly Distillery is marking its three-year anniversary at its Park Circle site in North Charleston on Feb. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. The free outdoor event will feature special one-day-only champagne cocktails, music from DJ Thomas, and an array of Latin food trucks at 4201 Spruill Ave.
- Reminder: The Folly Beach Pier remains closed this week to accommodate a refurbishment of the parking lot, with an expected reopening in early February.
Cuts at Vacasa
A large vacation rental company with operations up and down the South Carolina coast is cutting back on its labor force.
Vacasa recently laid off about 1,300 employees nationwide, or roughly 17 percent of its workforce, in an effort to rein in costs, according to regulatory filings.
The publicly traded company operates in more than 400 rental destinations across the country. In South Carolina, it manages more than 300 rental properties, according to its website. Most are in or around Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island and Folly Beach.
Vacasa spokeswoman Tracy Pogrelis would not give specifics on the number of affected Palmetto State employees, if any, but she said that the impact in each individual market was weighed in the decision.
“We recently adjusted our staffing levels across all departments at Vacasa, both in corporate and in the field,” she said. “The specific positions impacted varied based on current staffing, the size of our portfolio and guest demand in each market, and ranged from housekeepers to maintenance technicians to local operations managers.”
Vacasa is based in Portland, Ore.
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