Hilton Head has juice to become arts hot spot

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 23, 2014 

I was a bit perplexed by the newspaper's April 18 editorial opinion that our "small island" cannot support an enhanced arts destination strategy that the paper considers suitable only for a medium-sized city.

Consider Eagle County, Colo. (population 52,000) compared to Beaufort County (population 162,000). Vail has an open-air amphitheater with seating capacity of nearly 2,600, half under cover. It hosts the two-month long Bravo! Vail music festival each summer with almost daily performances by the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony and the Philadelphia Symphony. In addition, there are free Tuesday night Bud Light concerts featuring popular music and dance. The symphonies are followed later in the season by the Vail International Dance Festival.

The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek is a 535-seat theater with performances during the winter (more than 50 this past season) and during the summer from well-known artists in rock, pop, country, jazz, classical, and opera.

Hilton Head and Vail/Beaver Creek are both renowned resort destinations with millions of visitors each year. We have an ocean; Vail has mountains. Both have an abundance of golf courses and outdoor activities. But Vail has the more effective arts strategy to bolster its economy and quality of life.

Vail's performing art events and facilities are supported by two non-profits, by the way, not government. Maybe we aren't Carmel, but with broader community vision, perhaps we could be more like Vail.

Tim Leveque

Hilton Head Island

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service