It’s been a bad year. You lost a lot of work because of the pandemic. You haven’t been able to pay the rent in months. And now your landlord tells you it’s either pay up or pack up.

So do you go? Right now? Pack up your home and leave, with an eviction on your record that will put you in another bad spot when you try to find somewhere else to live?

The truth is, a lot of people would go, mainly because they don’t know they might have options – and allies.

Bradley Fuller / South Carolina Public Radio

Those who insist that speaking about music is akin to dancing about architecture would do well to take a few preliminary steps with Columbia-based conductor Nisan Ak. A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ak knows that a little preparation before taking in a performance can go a long way.

S.C. Film Commission logo
S.C. Film Commission

The film industry provides much needed economic impact for South Carolina, netting $61 million in revenue for the state in 2018. The revenue is generated through the South Carolina Film Commission, which provides a $15 million dollar annual subsidy to filmmakers. The subsidy is funneled to the state's film commission through the state's government.

Bradley Fuller / South Carolina Public Radio

Traditionally, a night at the symphony has entailed dressing up. For performers and audience members alike, the sight of a sharply-dressed crowd is nearly as much of a given as the sound of orchestral music.   

But the move toward a more casual concert experience is becoming a tradition in its own right, including in the Palmetto State.

After two decades, the South Carolina Philharmonic’s annual “Beethoven & Blue Jeans” concert continues to offer classical music in a casual-clothes setting.

It’s not every day that the musicians of Fort Jackson’s 282nd Army Band have the opportunity to perform alongside an organist.

“This is very unique. This usually doesn’t happen,” Bandmaster George T. Bauer says of the ensemble’s upcoming Veterans Day Concert. With fifteen brass players, three percussionists, and an organist performing selections by composers ranging from J.S. Bach to Maurice Duruflé, the concert is far from what many might think typical for one given by a military band.

For conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky, keeping younger audiences engaged in the world of classical music doesn’t require a complete overhaul so much as a repackaging.

“We don’t need to change the repertoire. We don’t need to change the music itself,” Suzanna says. “But we need to come up with some sort of idea to keep the younger generations more active.”

Narrative: "Oh, Those Were Yummy Days!"

Apr 10, 2018
Ann Edwards and Thomas Edwards, Columbia 2016

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project that collects the voices of our times. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Columbia in 2016, Thomas and Ann Edwards sat down to talk about their marriage and the family they made together over 50 years. They both grew up in South Carolina, and here Ann and Thomas remember childhood in the 1950s and their own grandparents.

Narrative: Gary Goodman on 33 Years with the State Fair

Oct 10, 2017
Gary Goodman, South Carolina State Fair General Manager, in his office in Columbia, SC (2017).
Laura Hunsberger

This edition of Narrative features an interview with Gary Goodman, General Manager of the South Carolina State Fair. After more than three decades, Goodman is retiring this year. I spoke with him about his memories of his early years on the job and his first fair as general manager in 1986.

Narrative: Remembering Ward One in Columbia

Oct 3, 2017
Richard Caughman and Mattie Anderson-Roberson, Columbia, SC,  2016.

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project that collects the voices of our times. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Columbia in 2016, friends Mattie Anderson-Roberson and Richard Caughman talked about their work to preserve the Ward One community, a neighborhood in Columbia that was replaced, starting in the 1950s, with urban renewal projects.

Columbia Canal Rebuild Could Be Years Away

Aug 29, 2017
View of the Columbia Canal from Riverfront Park
Laura Hunsberger

During the 2015 floods, the Columbia Canal breached at the Congaree River. It took the National Guard and a team of engineers days to build a temporary dam and secure the city’s water supply. In the months that followed, the City of Columbia began considering how to rebuild the canal and make improvements, a process that is still ongoing.

Narrative: Cooking Sunday Dinner in Hoboken

Aug 8, 2017
Monica Kessler and George Kessler, Columbia, 2016.

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, a unique oral history project that collects the voices of our times. When StoryCorps visited Columbia in 2016, George Kessler and his wife Monica Kessler talked about their journey to open an authentic Italian restaurant in Columbia. Here, George Kessler shares how he first learned to cook.

Columbia Moves Closer to 100% Renewable Energy

May 31, 2017
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of 26 mayors to particpiate in the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of over 60 mayors across the U.S. who has joined with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign. The goal is to get 100 cities to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. During a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Benjamin said decisions made by President Trump highlights the need for local governments to work together on environmental policy making.

"It only underscores the importance of the true leadership at every level of government, pushing to make sure that we hand over to our children the country and the world that they deserve."

treet musician Matthew Dickinson plays his hammered dulcimer on a bright Saturday morning at the Soda City Market on Columbia's Main Street.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Many elements go into the quality of life of a city: business, the arts, education, outdoor activities and more. In Columbia, a longtime Saturday morning ritual gives residents and visitors alike a chance to stroll down Main Street and purchase food from peanuts to Mexican to fresh fudge; enjoy street musicians playing instruments from violins to horns to dulcimers; or shop for jewelry and other goods.

Dog walkers meet and greet one another, and sights, sounds and smells mingle to produce an experience to remember, or to look forward to. Either way, people keep returning to keep the event popular and part of the life of the Midlands.

"O" is for Owens Field

Nov 11, 2014

"O" is for Owens Field.

"R" is for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.