Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Gascoigne Park - Epworth, St. Simons Island, GA

Sponsored by: St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition, Inc.

Contact: Festival Committee
P.O. Box 20145
St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Click here for more details and 2017 Vendor Application!

2017 Georgia Sea Islands Festival Poster


Village Cemetery 
Union Memorial (Strangers)
and African-American neighborhoods

Amy Roberts will guide you through the stories of the persons buried in these historic cemeteries including Bessie Jones who is buried at Strangers Cemetery. Each walking tour begins at 10 a.m. Cost $25 per person. Call 912-634-0330 for reservations and more information on meeting places. Hosted by St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition.

Tributes to the Musical Heritage of Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers

February 25-28, 2016

In October 1959 legendary American folklorist and musicologist Alan Lomax recorded Bessie Jones, John Davis, Peter Davis, Emma Ramsay and others at the Harrington School on St. Simons Island. With Lomax’s help, The Georgia Sea Island Singers went on to perform at The White House, freedom marches, folk festivals, the Olympics, and (their favorite) schools across the United States. Thanks to their efforts the musical traditions and stories of coastal Georgia have been shared with the world and saved through the archives for future generations. The following events have been planned on the occasion of the repatriation of the Lomax interviews and recordings from the collections of The Association for Cultural Equity and The Library of Congress to the archives at The Coastal Georgia Historical Society.

“Around the World and Back Again”

Recollections and Tributes for the Georgia Sea Island Singers
Thursday, February 25, 6 p.m. A.W. Jones Heritage Center

Hosted by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. Special guests include Anna Lomax Wood (Association for Cultural Equity), Todd Harvey (archivist, American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress), and Frankie Quimby (Georgia Sea Island Singers). Free and open to the public. Visit saintsimonslighthouse.org to register.

Symposium to Celebrate Gullah Geechee Traditions of Coastal Georgia

Friday, February 26, Noon-1:30 p.m. Stembler Theater, College of Coastal Georgia

Saving and Sharing Traditional Music of Coastal Georgia: Alan Lomax, Bessie Jones, Frankie Quimby, and the Georgia Sea Island Singers

Panel discussion featuring Anna Lomax Woods (ACE, Association for Cultural Equity), Todd Harvey (Curator, Alan Lomax Collection American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), and Dr, Eric Crawford, College of Coastal Carolina. Special guest: Frankie Quimby, leader of Georgia Sea Island Singers

The Georgia Sea Island Festival, June 4 and 5, 2016

Bessie Jones and Frankie Quimby started the first Georgia Sea Island Festival in 1977. For nearly forty years this annual event has highlighted the music, arts, crafts, and food of Georgia’s sea islands. Hope to see you at Gascoigne Park! www.ssiheritagecoalition.org.

Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday, June 5, 2016 - Noon - 6:00 PM

Gascoigne Park - Epworth, St. Simons Island, GA

Sponsored by: St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition, Inc.

Contact: Festival Committee
P.O. Box 20145
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
(912)-634-0330 or (912)-638-4866


Click here for more details and 2016 Vendor Application!

February 6 – March 7, 2015

The Big Read, a community-wide reading initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, returns to the Golden Isles in 2015 with Zora Neale Hurston's vibrant and achingly human novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. The syncopated beauty of Hurston's prose, her remarkable gift for comedy, the sheer visceral terror of the book's climax, all transcend any label that critics have tried to put on this remarkable work. First published amid controversy in 1937, then rescued from obscurity four decades later, the novel narrates Janie Crawford's ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.

The 2015 program will take place February 6-March 7, 2015 and includes discussions, performances, films, art exhibits, and school programs designed to get everyone in the community reading, discussing, and thinking about Zora Neale Hurston and her significant work. Free copies of the novel will be made available to the community. The full schedule of events will be posted at www.GoldenIslesarts.org by December 2014.

One of the events will be a special screening of the 1974 film Conrack. Filmed in Brunswick, this story is based on Pat Conroy’s book The Water is Wide, about a teacher determined to make a difference in the lives of his students who live in a Gullah Geechee community on a small island off the South Carolina coast. Tickets are $18/person and include a delicious tasting by Chef Kate of Indigo Coastal Shanty and an insightful talk about why this is a "must-see" film. Cinema Gourmet is scheduled for February 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm at the Historic Ritz Theatre. (Reservations must be made by the Monday February 9, 2015.)

Coastal Georgia Reads Their Eyes Were Watching God is sponsored by Golden Isles Arts & Humanities, The Marshes of Glynn Library System, The College of Coastal Georgia with additional support from The Communities of Coastal GA Foundation, The St Simons Island Literary Guild and The Brunswick News.

Please Contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out how you can be a part of this valuable and fun community-building initiative.