Dedication of Black Housing with Isaiah Washington

Former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington comes to Charleston on Feb. 28 to speak at the Magnolia Plantation for a dedication of five newly renovated slave cabins. The cabin project, called From Slavery to Freedom: The Magnolia Plantation Slave Cabin Project, funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation, will be the start and focus of a nationwide educational project to “interpret the African-American experience at a Southern plantation from slavery through the civil rights movement.” Washington, who will be giving the dedication keynote speech at 11 a.m., founded the Gondobay Manga Foundation, which provides aid and clean water to 1,000 children in Sierra Leone. Bunce Island near Freeport, Sierra Leone, was one of the main ports of African enslavement to Charleston. Starting March 1, the renovated cabins will be part of an interpretive learning center that will regularly host programs to further the project’s mission. —Hadley Lyman

Sad News for Local Arts Journalism

Dottie Ashley, the long-time arts reporter for The Post and Courier, was laid off Feb. 6. She was among 25 people, some in the newsroom, who were tapped for departure only months after the daily newspaper offered buy-outs to employees. She was the paper’s sole reporter dedicated to arts and culture coverage. So we called to find out how Ashley’s absence is going to affect the paper’s coverage of arts, culture, and entertainment, especially its coverage of theater, classical music, and dance. Publisher Larry Tarleton told City Paper there was nothing more to say aside from a statement already issued. “It’s been a tough day here,” Tarleton said. “We’ll figure everything else out later.” —John Stoehr

Get Yer Poesy On

The Charleston County Public Library presents three poets for its monthly poetry reading at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Main Library on Calhoun Street. The readings are open to the public and copies of the poets’ books will be available for purchase and signing after the reading. Expect to hear from Jim Lundy, a featured poet for Piccolo Spoleto’s Stories for Life Festival, and Scott Owens, author of The Fractured World and three other chapbooks. Also reading is Pat Riviere-Seel whose book No Turning Back Now was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, The Serial Killer’s Daughter, was a finalist in Main Street Rag’s 2008 contest. —Candice Summers

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