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NEH Summer Institute Venue. The Institute will take place on the campus of the College of Charleston. Located in the heart of the historic district of the city of Charleston, the campus offers a combination of graceful architecture, relaxed ambiance, and cutting-edge facilities.



The Institute will take place on the campus of the College of Charleston. Located in the heart of the historic district of the City of Charleston, the campus offers a combination of graceful architecture, relaxed ambiance, and cutting-edge facilities. The College of Charleston is a public sea-grant and space-grant university with over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1770, it is the oldest college in South Carolina, the 13th oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and the oldest municipal college in the country.  

The directors will do all they can to help NEH summer scholars with their research needs. The College will also provide on campus accommodation. Please check the logistics page for details about housing, parking, dining, getting around, and more. Faculty and participants will convene at the Tate Center (5 Liberty Street) in room 202, which will serve as the venue for the Institute. Tate Center is a short stroll from the main campus library and only half a block from one of Charleston’s main thoroughfares, King Street, giving participants and visiting faculty the advantage of a central location.


The most obvious on-site benefit of institutes is the opportunity that they provide for discussions outside the formal seminar meetings. The Blacklock House lounge and landscaped garden will be available as a convenient meeting place and will help to facilitate casual interaction between NEH summer scholars and guest faculty.


The Institute will partially overlap with the Spoleto Festival USA, and participants will have the opportunity to enjoy Charleston during one of the best arts festivals in the country. In addition, we will host several social events to allow participants and staff to interact in a relaxed environment. The group will also meet informally for an evening cruise on the Charleston harbor. Information about art exhibits, concerts and theatre shows, including copies of the Spoleto Festival program, and opportunities for various outdoor activities will be provided to institute participants in advance of their arrival.

Charleston is a premier art colony with well over 50 art galleries in the French Quarter alone (check out the French Quarter Gallery Association at 119-A Church Street).  The Gibbes Museum of Art contains some representative American artists with connections to Charleston. The Charleston Renaissance Gallery is the nation’s premier dealer in fine art of the American South. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College also has regular exhibits. For theatre and music check out the Charleston Stage and Charleston Jazz. The Gaillard Center is Charleston's premier concert hall, and home to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Touring bands play at the Charleston Music Hall, now housed in the former Tower Depot. One of the best ways to explore the city is to join a walking tour (try Charleston SoleOld Charleston, and Charleston Itineraries).


One of America's best preserved cities, Charleston offers an impressive array of architectural styles, particularly in the historic district. The Historic Charleston Foundation owns several representative antebellum mansions, which are open to visitors. Beyond the peninsula, Drayton Hall, the earliest and finest example of Palladian architecture in the United States, offers a window into Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World during the colonial period. For an excellent collection of all things Charleston head to the Preservation Society of Charleston bookstore at 147 King Street.


Outdoor enthusiasts have a great variety of ways to enjoy the city and surrounding areas: check out the best places to hike in Charleston. For those who wish to get on the water, Coastal Expeditions offers kayaking, paddle boarding, ferry, and boat charter tours. The Ravenel Bridge has a bicycle-pedestrian path, and offers spectacular views of Charleston Harbor and surrounding areas (parking and restroom located at the Visitor Center on the Mt Pleasant side of the bridge). The closest beach is a short twenty minutes drive from downtown on Sullivan Island (make sure to drop in at Poe's Tavern, a popular watering hole decorated with Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia). Other attractions: the Aquarium, Charleston Museum, Fort SumterPatriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.