Arianne King Comer and Very Special Arts (VSA) South Carolina Selected To Create Ornaments for 2012 National Christmas Tree Display

Celebrated textile artist, Arianne King Comer, and Very Special Arts (VSA) South Carolinahave been chosen to design and create ornaments for South Carolina’s tree for the 2012 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C., the National Park Foundation announced today. Ms. King Comer and VSA South Carolina join local artists and youth from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia who were selected to design and create 24 ornaments for their respective state or territory tree. 

“It is an honor to be selected and we are really looking forward to collaborating with Stall High School students, Gregg Mathis Charter School students, and area seniors and veterans, some with disabilities and some without, to create these special ornaments,” said Julia Brown, Executive Director of VSA South Carolina.  “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the artistic talent we have here in North Charleston and we are delighted that our community will be representing our state in this year’s National Christmas Tree display,” added Marty Besancon, Cultural Arts Director for the City of North Charleston.

Arianne King Comer, master batik and teaching artist for VSA South Carolina, will lead an inclusive textile workshop to create the ornaments on Friday, November 9, from 9:00am to noon at the Felix C. Davis Community Center, located at 4800 Park Circle in North Charleston. Other local textile artists assisting with the workshop include Peggie Hartwell, Cookie Washington, and North Charleston’s current artist-in-residence, Kristy Bishop.  Ornaments will be made using batik, quilting, and other textile design processes. The workshop is presented as a component of the City of North Charleston’s Veterans Day celebrations and is open to students from Stall High School and Gregg Mathis Charter School, as well as local seniors and veterans. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Brown at (803)603-4450 or before the workshop date, as space is limited.

“We are very pleased that Arianne King Comer and VSASCwill represent South Carolina in this year’s National Christmas Tree display,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “This time honored tradition is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.”

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park will kick off with the 90th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The exact date of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be announced in mid-October.

As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park.  Since 1923, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service.  In addition to the National Christmas Tree display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, such as the Santa’s Workshop, nightly holiday performances, a Yule log, nativity scene, and model train display. 

For ticket information and talent announcements, as well as other event details, please visit  

ABOUT Very Special Arts (VSA) South Carolina
VSA South Carolina is a non profit organization that was incorporated in 1986.  Formerly known as Very Special Arts, the organization was created to provide children, youth and adults with disabilities quality arts experiences. Founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, VSA has an international network which includes 37 state affiliates and 51 international affiliates.  VSASC is affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts under the VSA /Arts Accessibility Program. VSASC mission is to promote quality accessible art experiences for people with all types of disabilities throughout the state of South Carolina.

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System and its 395 National Park sites for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.  For more information, visit     

You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. 

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