Spoleto selling well

The Associated Press reports that since tickets went on sale last month, sales for the 2009 Spoleto Festival are up by 17 percent over the same period in 2006, which was the last time a ticket sales record was set. So far, so good for the annual festival, which is bracing itself to be in the red by the end of the fiscal year due to fund-raising shortfalls and lower-than-expected government grants.

Shepard Fairey goes to Washington

The Charleston native and creator of the “Obey” sticker campaign (featuring Andre the Giant) has been honored with the acquisition of his portrait of Barack Obama by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. The portrait is well-known for being on billboards, T-shirts, hats, and magazine covers throughout the 2008 election season. Last year, Time magazine (on whose cover Obama Hope appeared) called Fairey the Image Maker of the Year.

Fairey was jailed during the presidential campaign for distributing the images. As Sonar of Spaced Invaders (an art collective) put it on City Paper‘s website: “There’s some sort of weird irony about all this. The same man that is arrested for spreading iconic images of Andre the Giant, is the same man being praised for spreading iconic images of Obama. The same type of work that he was condemned for is now being hosted in the National Portrait Gallery. It’s great to see the underdog succeed!”

More cheap theater tickets

The League of Charleston Theatres offers a new way to get discounted tickets on a weekly basis. The E-Saver is like the discount lines in New York and Las Vegas, only it’s online. Go to www.theatrecharleston.com. Enter your e-mail address. Every week, starting on Feb. 5, the League will tell you what discounts are being offered by eight of Charleston’s most active theater groups.

“With the economy in the state it’s in right now, ticket sales are down around 20 percent for most of our member theaters,” Emily Wilhoit, executive director, said in a press release. “Our new E-Savers give theaters the opportunity to share special discounts with patrons on a budget.”

She added: “E-Saver discounts will vary from week to week and range in amount, including regular savings of 10 to 50 percent, plus special offers like two-for-one deals, special pay-what-you-can nights, and discounts on season memberships.”

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.