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Spoleto is rapidly approaching, and Charlestonians celebrated the renowned arts festival’s 36th year at the annual Spoleto Festival Auction. The Memminger was filled with the familiar faces of veteran Spoleto supporters, all dressed in their cocktail finest for what was sure to be a lovely evening on the town.

Servers circulated with trays of appetizers, including bites of chicken and waffles, and many people gathered around the platters of sushi as they mingled and discussed the evening’s upcoming performance. Guests chatted about this year’s festival over cocktails, marveling over how Spoleto and Charleston have grown over the years. “It’s amazing what both the Festival and this town have become,” one guest mused. “Spoleto has brought so much to Charleston.”

Partygoers were invited to bid in Spoleto’s online auction during the cocktail hour, but a live auction was paired with the private concert. The cocktail hour drew to a close, and guests filtered into the main dining area for tapas and an incredible live performance by The Nicole Henry Jazz Quintet.

The Spoleto Auction benefits the Spoleto Festival USA in order to support the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Spoleto Festival USA is an annual, internationally recognized 17 day festival of the arts which takes place in Charleston, SC. While providing performances of the highest caliber, Spoleto Festival USA maintains a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists.