Classes and Workshops

The Charleston Gaillard Center serves students and the others throughout the Lowcountry by offering curriculum-based workshops, masterclasses, pre-show lectures, and more. All of these programs are designed to bring the arts to the classroom, the community, to you.

Please contact Sterling deVries at with any questions.


Nashville Ballet Advanced Masterclass

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 | 5PM (Arrive by 4:50PM)
Dance Conservatory of Charleston
1632 Ashley Hall Road

Advanced Students, Age 13 and Above

Elevate your ballet artistry to new heights in this exclusive advanced masterclass led by Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director & CEO, Nick Mullikin. Throughout this exclusive class, Mr. Mullikin will encourage students to use the fundamentals of ballet technique as a foundation for artistic growth and development of movement qualities.


Since joining Nashville Ballet in 2015, Nick Mullikin has been an integral force. Under his leadership, the School of Nashville Ballet and NB2 have flourished. Promoted to Associate Artistic Director in 2018, and later Artistic Director in 2023, he has commissioned over 20 new works for NB2. He was the producer and assistant to the director on the regional Emmy award-winning Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2020, as well as Black Lucy and The Bard for the Great Performances production aired on PBS in the Fall of 2022. Mullikin’s advanced role in working with Nashville Ballet’s Company has been integral to recent programming choices and has strengthened the connection between the School and the Company. He also created multiple works for Nashville Ballet, and NB2, including work featured at the Memphis Dance Festival and multiple digital releases.

In his performing career, he danced with the Houston Ballet, and Ballet West. Performing works by William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, and many more. He toured nationally and internationally including at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2004.

Mr. Mullikin is a highly sought-after guest teacher and teaches regularly at summer programs, festivals, and schools across the United States. He is a judge on the international panel for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, coaches students for multiple ballet competitions, and acts as a consultant for schools and festivals across the country.

He is a University of Texas at Austin graduate in Government with a Communications minor and McCombs Business Foundations Program Certificate.


Open Soundcheck | Monday, October 23, 2023 | 5PM-6PM
Charleston Gaillard Center, Martha & John M. Rivers Performance Hall

Middle School – College Student Musicians

The Charleston Gaillard Education & Community Program invites middle school through college age student musicians and one chaperone to attend the Pink Martini open sound check. Read More…

Come listen and learn about what goes into setting up for the performance each night. Observe the artists as they warm up and get ready to perform. This will be followed by a ten minute question and answer session with the artists that make up Pink Martini!

*Please note the student sound check does not include a ticket to the evening Pink Martini performance. Student tickets are available for purchase. Learn more here.



Saturday, November 4 | 1:00PM – 3:00PM | Salon I, Charleston Gaillard Center

All High School Students and Educators

This is an opportunity for students and teachers to meet professional filmmakers and learn what it takes to make a great short film in preparation for their entry for the 23-24 S.C. Young Filmmaker’s Project.

The event is free and teachers, students and guests are all welcome! Charleston County School District educators are approved for three recertification hours for attending the workshop.

Students are invited to listen and learn but are also encouraged to volunteer to pitch their idea for their Young Filmmakers short film to a panel of filmmakers for feedback. Any students who’d like to pitch should be prepared to:

  • Verbally describe their concept for their Young Filmmakers entry in 1-3 minutes, including how they’ll incorporate the required prop (guitar pick).
  • This should also include their story, their main characters, and their style.
  • Think about how they’ll technically execute the project (camera, locations, cast, music, etc.).

The panel is excited to hear their ideas and give constructive feedback and get students ready to enter the The South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College’s Young Filmmakers Project.

The annual statewide filmmaking competition is open to all high school students in South Carolina (including public, private, and home school students).

To participate, students must create a short film (two minutes max) telling a cinematic story in any genre, following all rules and this year’s Creative Challenge — use a ‘guitar pick’ as a prop. Learn more here.



Sunday, October 22, 2023 | 2PM-4PM
Charleston Gaillard Center, Martha & John M. Rivers Performance Hall

High School Students

The Charleston Gaillard Education & Community Program in partnership with The City of Charleston’s Free Verse Festival and Poet Marcus Amaker invite high school students to our fourth annual Youth Poetry Slam. Read More…

First round: Everyone reads one poem (no time limit).
Second round: The top five from round one will read one poem (no time limit).
Third round: The top three will read one poem (no time limit).

Everyone’s poems will be published in a poetry anthology produced by Marcus Amaker. Contestants, please email your poems to

Please prepare to bring 3 poems (one poem for each round). In the event that there’s a tie for first place (very rare), we will ask for a fourth poem. No memorization required.

Judges will be picked randomly, and you will be judged for your poems on a scale of 1 to 10.

First Place: $450 + three poetry books
Second Place: $200 + three poetry books
Third Place: $150 + three poetry books



Workshops are offered both in-person and virtually.

In addition to poetry, Marcus is an award-winning graphic designer and musician. He’s published nine poetry books and has been recognized by NPR, the Kennedy Center, The Washington National Opera, PBS Newshour, and more. Learn more about Marcus here.

Poetry Workshop Opportunities

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students a poetry lesson that shines a light on each student’s personal story. During the lesson, students will learn the impact of the written word, and realize that their voice matters. During the experience, they will write two poems using guided prompts. At the end of the lesson, students will have the opportunity to share their work.

Ekphrastic poems are a common tool used by poets to make their poems come alive. Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use various images – famous paintings, album artwork, video game images, and more – to guide students in writing poems that are vivid descriptions of a scene.

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will teach students all about one of the most-used figurative language tools: alliteration. During the lesson, Amaker will show examples of alliteration in well-known poems and lead the students in writing their own fun and impactful pieces.

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will use figurative language tools (alliteration, rhyme and repetition) to guide students in writing poems inspired by music. Students will hear examples of spoken word and be given the tools they need to write their own!

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Marcus Amaker will guide students on a deep understanding of metaphors and how to use them in their writing.



Education Performances

Summer Camps

Educational Resources

About Our Education and Community Program

Our Impact

Our Supporters

Our Educators

Accessibility and Sensory Inclusion

COVID-19 Policies