Events & Activities


The Sumter Inspire! Committee is pleased to announce that the 2nd annual Inspire! Festival is coming your way March 26 – April 5, 2020. Our inaugural event was held last spring and was so well received we are excited to be able to bring this celebration of life and giving to the Sumter community again this year.

We are delighted with our lineup of events this year as they are more varied than, and equally as exciting as, those held last year!

(Click on the name of the event for more info and tickets)

Walk of Art / March 26 at 6:00-9:00pm

Featuring installations and artwork from more than 45 South Carolina Artists at 21 stops throughout Historic Downtown Sumter. An assortment of beer, wine or food will be available at each stop including a special edition beer from Sumter Original Brewery made just for Inspire! Tickets are $30 in advance online and $40 at the door. Check-in will be at Sumter Original Brewery located at 2 S. Main Street.

The Hobbit / March 26-29 & April 2-5 at 7:30pm (SLT Youth Theatre Production)

These are NOT your Disney fairy tales. Bilbo, one of the most conservative of all Hobbits, is asked to leave his large, roomy and very dry home in the ground in order to set off as chief robber in an attempt to recover and important treasure. It’s the last thing that any sensitive Hobbit would want to do, but great benefit eventually results – not only for Bilbo but for all of the Hobbits who inhabit Middle Earth – and the hearts of children and adults who continue to enjoy this kind of magic. Advance tickets are required. More info call 803-775-2150.

The True Wartime Escape / March 26-28 & April 2-4

This exhibit examines the incredible journey made by Curious George’s creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, to escape the Nazi invasion of Paris at the start of World War II.  It is based in part on the 2005 publication, The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey, written by Louise Borden and illustrated by Allan Drummond.  Featuring 25 first edition giclee prints by Drummond and supplemental archival images from the extraordinary holdings of the DeGrummond Collection of Children’s Literature at the University of Southern Mississippi, this is more than just the tale of a rousing escape from occupied France.  This exhibition celebrates a timeless survival story, one that serves as a potent reminder of the power of human creativity and the cost when voices and visions are silenced by the impact of war.  This exhibit will be on display March 26th through May 2nd. More info call 803-775-0908.

Gallery After Hours / March 27 at 6:30pm - EVENT CANCELLED

The Sumter County Gallery of Art presents an evening of art and jazz featuring the Queen City Jazz Trio and Nicci Canada. Cash bar and small bites available with a $12 donation at the door. This event is 21 and over. More info call 803-775-0543.

Dinner on Main / March 28 at 6:00pm

An elegant outdoor dinner on Main Street to celebrate the Inspire! Festival and Roger Ackerman's legacy — provided by Hampton's. This event is SOLD OUT.

Concert at La Piazza / March 28 at 8:00pm

The Jebb Mac Band live at La Piazza. Tickets are $15 for the concert or $30 for concert, plus 5 tickets for beer and wine. Tickets available online and at the door, if available. Cash bar available. 

Decoda Chamber Music Concert / March 29 at 2:00pm

Carnegie Hall affiliate Decoda returns for another beautiful chamber music concert as part of the Inspire! Festival.  The ensemble is a New York-based chamber collective dedicated to bringing meaningful musical experiences to all audiences.  This year’s event will feature four string musicians performing music composed by two Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Reception to follow in Ackerman Hall with refreshments and viewing of special exhibit The True Wartime Escape: Margret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France.  Tickets are $20 for public, $15 for museum members and  $5 for students. Tickets available online and at the door, if available. More info call 803-775-0908.

Unforgettable, Cecil Williams Book Signing / March 31, Reception: 5pm, Book Signing: 6:00pm

Professional photographer, videographer, publisher, inventor, author, and architect, Cecil Williams joins us for a talk about his latest volume, Unforgettable, his career, and the Civil Rights movement in South Carolina, which he captured poignantly through his photography.  The event is free but reservations are required.  Please reserve your spot here: Books will be available for purchase.  This event is in conjunction with the exhibit, Unforgettable: Celebrating a Time of Life, Hope, and Bravery showcasing Cecil Williams photography, which will be open for viewing prior to the talk during the reception from 5pm to 6pm.  Mr. Williams will begin promptly at 6:00pm. More info call 803-775-0908.

Sumter's Got Talent / April 2 at 7:30pm - EVENT CANCELLED

We're showcasing more than 20 acts from some of the top talent from around Sumter — including vocalists, bands, choirs, dance groups, musicians and more! Tickets are $10 at the door. More info call 803-436-2260.

Ruben Studdard / April 3 at 7:30pm - EVENT CANCELLED

R&B superstar and American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard takes the stage at Patriot Hall! Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. 

Ruben received a Grammy Award nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Superstar". Studdard has released six studio albums, including his platinum-selling debut, Soulful, and the top-selling gospel follow-up, I need an Angel. He is most well known for his recording career, which has produced hits including "Flying Without Wings", "Sorry 2004", and "Change Me", but he has also segued into television and stage work. Most notably, he toured with Robin Givens in the comedy-drama I Need a Hug and in 2008 starred as Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain't Misbehavin, which spawned a Grammy-nominated soundtrack. Advance tickets available online and also in-person at Patriot Hall, Sumter County Museum, Sumter Opera House and the Swan Lake Visitor's Center. More info call 803-436-2260.

Ink and Watercolor Workshop with Sarah Jones / April 4 at 1:00pm

This workshop is in conjunction with the exhibit, The True Wartime Escape: Margret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France.  Talented portrait artist, designer, and owner of Brindle+Black Magazine, Sarah Jones, will be teaching this workshop.  It will take place in the exhibition space and the art created will be informed by the exhibit. $45 for museum members and $55 for the public.  Minimum 6 students, Maximum 12 students.  All supplies included. Advance purchase online necessary. More info call 803-775-0908.

Sons of Mystro / April 4 at 7:30pm

Have you ever been serenaded by a musical duo that plays over ten different genres of popular music using the violin instead of their voices to literally express the lyrics of a song? If not, then get ready for a real treat. These brothers, Malcolm and Umoja, use their classic violin skills to play contemporary music. Born to a Barbadian mother and Jamaican father they honed their skills in the south Florida public school system, but are now touring and sharing their Reggae style music with the world. Join us on April 4th at 7:30 pm when the Sumter Opera House welcomes their unique music to our stage! Tickets available online and at the door, if available. More info call 803-436-2616.

Temple Sinai
Jewish History Center

Temple Sinai Jewish History Center features an introduction to Jewish traditions, exploration of Jewish immigrants, stories from Sumter residents, lessons from the Holocaust, and oral histories.

Learn about Passover through the interactive Seder table, view the new display of art from Shlomo Katz’s Passover Portfolio, create butterflies to remember the over one million children who died in the Holocaust, and don’t miss walking through the beautiful 1913 sanctuary to marvel at the breathtaking stained glass windows.

Thursday and Friday, 1:00-4:00pm
and Saturday, 10:00am-1:00pm



11 Church Street

Sumter, SC 29150

(803) 775-0908

The Sumter
County Museum

Sumter County Museum features a 1916 historic home, exhibits related to Sumter County, an interactive 1750-1850 homestead, and the beautiful Martha Brice Gardens. 


Be an archeologist and dig for Sumter County treasures in the permanent history exhibit, learn about General Thomas Sumter who is the namesake of the city and county, and wonder through c. 1800 structures to discover what life was like in this part of the state at that time.  

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
10:00am to 5:00pm




122 N. Washington Street

Sumter, SC 29150

(803) 775-0908

Sumter County
Gallery of Art

Explore the halls of the Sumter County Gallery of Art and experience some of the most exquisite contemporary art in the nation.

The Gallery also offers art classes including an adult acrylic painting class and a youth comic book class that begin on the Thursday of the festival!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday
11:00am to 5pm



200 Hasel Avenue

Sumter, SC 29150

(803) 775-0543

Ackerman Legacy Foundation
P.O. Box 1713
Sumter, SC 29151
Ackerman Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
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