Serving Barnwell County and it's neighbors since 1852

13th annual Blackville Music & Arts Festival brought two-days of fun


The weekend of May 17th and 18th brought the continually growing, creative Blackville Music and Art Festival (BMAF) back to town for its 13th year. The annual springtime event produced two days of fun-filled family events for the more than 2,000 residents in the Town of Blackville and its guests.

As children played and adults gathered, the aroma of culinary arts provided by food vendors drifted through the air, enticing lines of customers despite a few early morning clouds and drizzles.

Festival tents covered Main Street with an abundant variety of sale items catered for all ages to enjoy. Various community organizations handed out information and smiles while talented live performances took place. A growing number of local South Carolina artists showcased their works, displayed in the BMAF Art Exhibition, located for the first time in both the fire station and Blackville Museum.

“The public was treated to the artwork of James Wilson, Earnest Brown, Harry Williams, Earnest Lee, Donna-Maria Conzalina, Terrance Washington, and students from Macedonia Elementary-Middle School, Williston-Elko High School and (Orangeburg’s) Felton Laboratory Charter School.

Everyone displayed great artwork and we are so thankful for their participation and support during the festival. Those who came for the music enjoyed the sounds of people like Christian recording artist LouAnn Lee who arrived in town for a scheduled concert at Blackville First Baptist Church, Tim Sims, Chucky Man, Me Me Yashal, Marcus Allen, Pr3scott, Glyshae and ATL Dream Vision Band.

This year we added two new things to the festival: a puppet show and a full on cowboy fashion show!” said BMAF President Terrance Washington. “Everyone behind the scenes came together and worked hard to bring the community together for this annual event.”

Washington was inspired to create the festival in 2011 as a way to give artists locally and within the CSRA a platform to display and showcase their talents via visual and performing art.

“It’s a way to bring the community together to grow the importance of art in the community. It gives the community something to look forward to each year that they can come sit back and enjoy with their family while enjoying beautiful art and music,” said BMAF secretary Charmane O' Berry.

“Overall, the main purpose of the festival is to educate the community about the arts and for young people to know that they have the opportunity to make a career through the arts. ‘Bringing Blackville Alive, A Place for Enjoyment.’ We are proud to have had civil rights photographer Ceile Williams and the late artist Jim Harrison to showcase and be a part of the Blackville Music and Art Festival,” said O’Berry.

The program is a 501c3 non-profit organization. “We seek financial support through grants, sponsorships, community giving, donations, and out of pocket funding. For community members interested in volunteering, we welcome individual volunteers, community organizations, local schools, etc. This is definitely one of the areas in which we struggle to get support,” said O’Berry.

Washington’s goal for future festivals is to “expand and grow the community's knowledge, understanding, and love of the arts and its importance. It is a way to bring such a small community together through music and art,” he said. “As an organization we continue growing and creating networking relationships with community leaders and camaraderie with the businesses in downtown Blackville and local schools.”

BMAF hopes to inspire interested Barnwell County and Denmark High School graduating seniors to apply for the EEW Music and Art Festival Scholarship if they desire to major in music or art in college. Scholarship information can be obtained through each school’s guidance counselor department.

Washington and O’Berry, united partners in this program as well as being an engaged couple, wanted to conclude this year’s festival by saying, “We are thankful and appreciative to everyone who believed, supported us and everyone who attended the Music & Art Festival. We thank God, the Blackville Music & Art Festival Committee, Blackville and everyone who loves & believes in the music and arts. Huge thank you to our volunteers this year and everyone who came out and supported us! Love & blessings!”

The current team of BMAF Officers are:
President: Terrance Washington, Vice President: James Cook, Treasure: Ethel Washington, Secretary: Charmane O' Berry

BMA Committee Members: Nancy Perry, Chante' Washington, Shellie Khatod, Terresa Williams, Zakia Nix

Sponsors 2024:
Gold: SRP Federal Credit Union
Bronze: Dominion Energy, Augusta Fiberglass
Artist: Eastern Motorcycle, Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance, Southeastern Housing & Community Development, Subway of Blackville, Southern Palmetto Regional Chamber of Commerce, Swiss Krono, The People-Sentinel

Volunteers: Neil Khatod, Callie Bumgarner, Darius Washington, Lashonda Williams

Contact Information:
Facebook: BlackvilleMusicAndArt Festival