When it was founded in 1862, the Penn Center's primary focus was education.
One hundred and fifty years later, that focus is unchanged.
The center, formed on St. Helena Island to educate freed slaves as the Civil War tore the nation apart, will celebrate its 150th anniversary Friday and Saturday.
All events are free except the fish fry on Friday and banquet on Saturday. Reservations for those events must be made by this evening by calling 843-838-2432 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $20 for adults; $12 for children ages 6 to 12; and $5 for children 5 years and younger.
Here is a list of activities and events:
Regional artist's showcase: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the York Bailey Museum.
Guided Tours of the Penn Center grounds: At 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Book signing: Author Bob Rogers will be signing "First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier's Story." The book's illustrator, John W. Jones, will also be there. Noon to 3 p.m. at The Shed.
USDA & NRCS Short film: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be showing two 30-minute premieres of a documentary detailing the connection of native St. Helena Islanders to the land through fishing and farming. The title of the piece has not been released. Showings are at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at The Shed.
Fish Fry and live music: Bill DuPont, known as the "the Blues Man," will play as a fish fry is served. Noon to 3 p.m. on the Frissell Grounds. Registration required.
Penn School memories exhibit: Noon to 3:30 p.m. at Frissell Hall.
Youth craft table: Crafts will be led by Winthrop University art student Christopher Smalls of St. Helena Island. Noon to 3 p.m. near The Shed.
Penn Center Community Forum: A panel composed of members from St. Helena, the Penn Center Board of Trustees and Beaufort County Council will lead a discussion about the center's past, present and future role in the community. Beaufort County School Board Chairman Fred Washington Jr. will moderate the discussion. 4 to 6 p.m. at Frissell Hall.
Opening Ceremony: 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the Penn Center grounds: