From the Ground Up: Black Charleston and the Reconstruction Era – Friday, February 23 at 7pm at Cannon Street Arts Center

From the Ground Up: Black Charleston and the Reconstruction Era

Friday, February 23. Doors open at 6:30pm, program begins at 7pm

Pure Theatre at Cannon Street Arts Center

134 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403


Join the MOJA Arts Festival Artistic Director, Charlton Singleton, and the City of Charleston’s Poet Laureate A$iah Mae on Friday, February 23 at 7pm for a unique Black History Month program called “From the Ground Up: Black Charleston and the Reconstruction Era.” Leaders of the Charleston community will highlight important South Carolina dignitaries from the Reconstruction Era who revolutionized the education system and the political landscape.


After the program, the MOJA Arts Festival organizers will be available to speak about upcoming MOJA programming as well as the 2024 MOJA Arts Festival.


We are looking forward to seeing you.




MOJA Arts Festival

The MOJA Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary festival produced annually and directed by the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the MOJA Planning Committee, an all-volunteer group of community arts and cultural leaders.


Charlton Singleton

Two-time Grammy Award Winner Charlton Singleton is a native of Awendaw, SC. He began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. Throughout his youth, he studied the organ, violin, cello, and trumpet. In 1994, he graduated from South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. After college, he taught music at all grade school levels, and was the adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. In 2008, he co-founded and became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18-piece jazz ensemble of professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. In November of 2016, he was named the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Gaillard Center in Charleston. He remained in this position until July 2019; and was subsequently named Artist in Residence Emeritus where he continues to lead the Summer Youth Jazz Orchestra Camp as well as lead the “Jazz Through the Ages” assembly. Mr. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston, SC.

As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style and has performed across the nation and internationally. He is a founding member of the two-time Grammy Award Winning group, Ranky Tanky. Mr. Singleton has also received the 2021 South Carolina Governor’s Award, which is the highest honor for the arts in the state. In March 2023, Charlton was appointed by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Charleston as the Artistic Director of the MOJA Arts Festival.

In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of the most talented entertainers in the world, including Lisa Fischer, Bobby McFerrin, Ruby Dee, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few.


A$iah Mae

AsiahMae, stylized A$iahMae, (they/she) is a Black, non-binary Southern poet, humorist, and cultural worker with roots in Georgia, South and North Carolina. A multi-hyphenated artist, their background spans across film, curation, production, performance, and language arts. Her poem “Figurative Language” is featured in This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets – a breathtaking collection of contemporary poems by Black poets and writers, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander. She has been the City of Charleston’s Poet Laureate since 2023.