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July Happenings

Plays & performances

Kristin Griffis’s Magical Music Tour
By Carolyn Males

Synesthesia – music or voices seen as colors. When Kristin Griffis hears music, the notes begin dancing in her head, popping up in a rainbow of colors. As the sounds of guitars, piano, saxes, didgeridoos, or any number of instruments swirl around her, she dips her paintbrush into acrylic reds, greens, yellows, indigo or whatever hue she feels coming on.

Spontaneity rules. “I never know what I’m going to paint ahead of time,” she explains. “I never draw it out on canvas. I don’t know the colors.” Her work process is just to choose a musical selection at random from her eclectic playlist. It could be reggae, folk, finger-style guitar work, classic or roots rock, jazz or something entirely different — you name it. Then go where the paint takes her. The result is funky, exuberant portraits of musicians caught up in the joy of making music –– jamming, improvising and performing –– along with paintings of instruments that seem to pulsate right off the wall.

In Audio Visuals, her new show this month at the Art League of Hilton Head Gallery, the Hilton Head native has made it her mission to delight and lift spirits after our difficult year of facing down the pandemic with its attendant economic distress and isolation. So… if you love music and need a picker-upper, check out the Art League show, or head over to La Petite Gallerie in Bluffton or ZenDen in Port Royal. Good time, guaranteed.

Kristin Griffis: Audio-Visuals
When: July 6-30, Opening reception July 7
Where: The Art League of Hilton Head Gallery

Mamma Mia

Running now through Aug. 22 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, enjoy this five-time Tony nominated musical that uses the music of ABBA to tell the story of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads.

Lean Ensemble Theater

Lean Ensemble Theater is back in full swing with their 2021-2022 season. Tickets for live theater events will go on sale in August. Here’s a look at the performances for this season.

2021-2022 season

October 21-31: The Thanksgiving Play

December 9-19: Art

January 20-30, 2022: Other Desert Cities

March 17-27, 2022: Mitchelville

April 21-May 1, 2022: Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody

Local Makers & Markets

2019 Grand Prize Winner – William De Torre

Crafted in the Lowcountry Awards

LOCAL Life is recognizing and rewarding local businesses that handcraft goods that reflect the Lowcountry tastes and lifestyle. Businesses in Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Okatie are welcome to enter, as long as items are made in the area and are already sold here. After the category winners are determined, a grand prize winner will be selected by judges and LOCAL Life team members. The grand prize includes being featured prominently in an issue of LOCAL Life, as well as a feature story, cash, a social media campaign, professional photography and videography, potential additional distribution and more. Enter at

First Thursdays Art Market at The Shops at Sea Pines Center

Enjoy the works of over two dozen local artists who create a variety of mediums on the first Thursday of each month. Stroll the plaza of The Shops at Sea Pines Center to see the exhibits, talk with the artists and visit the shops, all while you enjoy live music, special merchant offers, complimentary wine samples and more.

Bluffton Farmers Market

Every Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., the Bluffton Farmers Market will be open at 71 Green Street. Vendors include 7th Heaven Spices, Clark & Sons Farm, Palmetto Pops, Myers Family Farms, Sprout Momma and Tuten Farms, just to name a few. Check the market’s Facebook page the morning of the market for a complete list of vendors.

Other markets:

Hilton Head Island Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesdays, Coastal Discovery Museum

Farmers & Markers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,
Tuesdays, The Shops at Sea Pines Center

Port Royal Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-noon,
Saturdays, Naval Heritage Park

Forsythe Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.,
Saturdays, Savannah

Festivals & fun


HarbourFest has returned for its 32nd year at the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Now through September 3, Shannon Tanner will be performing every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 and 8:00 p.m., as well as July 4. Enjoy fireworks every Tuesday night (except July 6) and on the 4th of July at dusk. On fireworks nights, kids can enjoy train rides around the marina promenade. Guided kayak tours and boat cruises will leave from Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina to view the fireworks from the water. On Thursday nights through August 19 and additionally Labor Day Weekend starting at 7 p.m., Shannon Tanner and his Jimmy Buffet tribute band, the Oyster Reefers, will turn Harbourfest into a Caribbean paradise with a special Parrot Palooza event. Through September 3, and additionally the 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Cappy the Clown will be at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina from 6-9 p.m. every Monday through Friday. On July 4, you can park and catch free shuttles in the Hargray lot, lots near Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and the Singleton Beach lot.

Outdoor Movie Nights

The Outdoor Movie Night series at Shelter Cove Towne Centre is free and open to the public. Dogs are welcome, and be sure to arrive with lawn chairs or blankets. Grab a bite to-go from surrounding restaurants or Kroger. Here is the schedule for this month:

Outdoor Movies

Jumanji: July 1
Minions: July 8
The Secret Garden: July 15
Free Willy: July 22
Hook: July 29

Fundraising events

The Sunset 5K

Presented by the Bluffton Trading Post, this 5K will kick off May River Shrimp Fest. The race will start at Oyster Factory Park and finish at Bluffton Trading Post. At the post-race party, participants will receive snacks, water and adult beverages. A percentage of proceeds will benefit a local charity.

Palmetto Dunes Turtle Trot 5K 

The Palmetto Dunes Property Owners Association will host the annual Turtle Trot 5K Summer Series every Wednesday now through Aug. 25. The five-kilometer run/walk will take place in the Palmetto Dunes Resort, where courses will alternate weekly from beach course to road course due to low and high tides.

Fashionable & fun

Sethi Couture Trunk Show

Join the team at Forsythe Jewelers for their trunk show from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., July 7-9. The three-day event will feature the intricate work and design of Sethi Couture’s rare and unusual diamond jewelry collection. Enjoy a complimentary gift with your Sethi Couture purchase.

Spartina 449 Warehouse Sale

Spartina 449’s 9th annual Warehouse Sale will be taking place this year from July 9 to July 12 at Hilton Head High School. Tickets will be available to purchase for a $5 charitable donation.

Enlightening conversations

John Bolton

World Affairs Council in-person speakers are back

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head’s live events are back after a year of speakers and discussions over Zoom. For details visit

2021 WACHHI Speaker Program

Oct. 1: John Bolton, “National Security Challenges & Opportunities”
Ambassador Bolton will review the national security challenges and opportunities facing the Biden Administration  — political, military and economic  — and the positions it inherited from its predecessors. Throughout his distinguished career, Ambassador Bolton has been a staunch defender of American interests.

Oct. 22: Deborah McCarthy, “Russia and the Baltics”

Nov. 5: John Tierney, “Questions that Congress is Failing to Ask”

Nov. 19: Anand Menon, “UK in a Changing Europe”

Dec. 3: Nury Turkel, “The Future of Uyghurs”

2021 WACHHI Community Global Forum

Sept. 10: Todd Wright, “The Future of Nuclear Energy.”

Sept. 17: Dr. Larry Valero, “Cyber Threats and the Evolution of
Cyberwarfare: Russia and China as Case Studies.”

Sept. 24: Blair Streitenberger, “What is Bitcoin?”