Campus will host Arts International

Shanae Giles, Staff Writer

Artists from across the globe will gather at Francis Marion University on Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the annual Arts International celebration.

Kathy Johnson, the coordinator of special events at FMU, is currently working with a local Florence committee to plan Arts International. Johnson has been a part of the committee for 11 years.

“We’ve got all of our artists ready; we’re just working on logistics now.” Johnson said.

Johnson also mentioned a new addition to this year’s events.

With help from student workers and senior visual arts major Katherine Barnette, FMU art majors will get an opportunity to sell their artwork this year at Arts International.

Also, a new guest artist, Souleymane Compaore, is travelling all the way from West Africa and will sell his ironwork, jewelry, leather, cloth, and much more.

“It is actually to cultivate art and culture, performing and visual arts,” Johnson said. “It’s an appreciation for your neighbors.”

This annual celebration is a free admission event.  It’s a day of multicultural music, dance, art, and food.  Two long-standing festivals, Arts Alive and the Pee Dee International Festival, were combined to create Arts International. All events will be held across the FMU campus.

Almost all of the artists, chefs and dancers are local people representing their culture.  Thirteen performing artists, ranging from the local Sandhurst Youth Choir to The Blues Buckets of the UK and Virginia, will share their musical talents.

Kids can make Egyptian erasers, face paint, or their own fish prints, called gyotaku.  Chinese acrobats of the Bureau of Lectures and the Carolina Ballet Theatre will perform their cultural dances as well.

Food from  countries such as Greece, South Africa, the Caribbean, and Japan will be available for purchase.

A list of events and more information is available on their website,