NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry community leaders and elected officials are hoping to create economic opportunities and promote peace. They’re hoping the goals will be accomplished through a sweetgrass basket display unveiling at the Charleston International Airport.
Two sweetgrass baskets will help welcome millions of people to the Lowcountry each year. Leaders say the sweetgrass basket display will also serve as a symbol of inclusion, heritage, and a way forward together.
Connecting the Lowcountry and its visitors to one of its longest and most important cultural traditions, sweetgrass basket weaving. The focal point of the display is two sweetgrass baskets. One of which was woven in Rwanda, the other locally in the Lowcountry.
“Having a message of peace and reconciliation is good for our community, is good for our world right now,” says City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.
Lowcountry leaders and elected officials say the display is meant to honor sweetgrass basket weaving both locally and across the globe. The group is hoping the new display will provide an economic boost for the artisan craft. Vanessa Robinson, a local weaver, called it a special day.
“Because we really need it here, not just in one state to another but just here individually,” says Robinson.
The display is in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Hands to Heritage to promote peace and reconciliation while highlighting the history of millions who visit charleston each year.
“We want them to know about our rich history and cultural tourism and to also know about the partnership we have with our friends in Rwanda,” says Helen Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston and Chairman for the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
Hill with Explore Charleston plans to set up a similar display at the visitor center in Downtown Charleston. Mayor Tecklenburg believes it’s a critical step for the City of Charleston.
“This has been an amazing initiative somewhat based on economic development and empowerment of women and artisans in the world,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.
The new display is set up between the terminal and baggage claim area. Explore Charleston is planning to set up a Sweetgrass Basket display in the Charleston Visitor’s Center.