Date & Time: Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Location: Pat Conroy Literary Center | 601 BLADEN ST BEAUFORT, SC 29902 (limited to 7 attendees)
Wrap Party at the Pat Conroy Literary Center and preview of the Witness Tree Park, with guest MCs Jeanne Meserve and Jeffrey Blount, with a musical performance by the Beaufort Mass Choir. Refreshments. Ticketed, $35. (Pat Conroy Literary Center, 601 Bladen St., Beaufort)
About our MCs:
Jeanne Meserve is an International Security Analyst for Canada’s CTV News, and is host of the NatSec Tech podcast for the Special Competitive Studies Project. She has been an anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News, winning two Emmy Awards, and an Edward R. Murrow Award. She also contributed to two CNN Peabody Awards for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill, and anchored CNN’s award-winning coverage of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination and the death of Princess Diana.
Meserve moderates on a wide array of subjects for groups including AtlanticLIVE, the Munich Security Conference, the International Women’s Forum and many other organizations.
Meserve currently serves as a member of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a bipartisan consortium of leaders from the US and Europe in the fields of politics, technology, media and business. The group works to identify emerging threats to free and fair elections, and develop strategies to mitigate them.
She is also a member of the Homeland Security Experts Group, serves on the board of directors of the Space Foundation, and is an honorary member of the Red Cross Tiffany Circle.
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks Meserve established the homeland security beat for CNN. On the ground in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, she was the first to report on the devastating flooding inundating portions of the city. Among her other assignments: the Washington snipers, the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, and the Virginia Tech shootings. As State Department Correspondent for ABC News she reported from China, the Middle East and Europe.
Meserve received a B.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College, and is a recipient of the college’s Alumni Achievement Award.
Jeffrey Blount is the award-winning author of three novels, including The Emancipation of Evan Walls, winner of the 2020 National Indie Excellence Award for African American fiction, and the forthcoming Mr. Jimmy from Around the Way. He is also an Emmy award-winning television director and a 2016 inductee to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. During a 34-year career at NBC News, Jeffrey directed a decade of Meet the Press, the Today show, NBC Nightly News, and major special events. He is the first African- American to direct the Today show. Born and raised in Smithfield, Virginia, he now lives in Washington, DC.
About our entertainers:
The Beaufort Mass Choir was formed in 2008 and is made up of members from the Fellowship Concert Choir, which consists of various churches and religious affiliations in Beaufort and Islandton, South Carolina, the St. Paul Baptist Church Adult Choir, the Gullah Kinfolk, and members of the Unity Diversity Choir. The Beaufort Mass Choir has performed at many annual community and historical events. They are under the direction of Scott Allen Gibbs.
Photos as well as short bios of all festival presenters are on the Presenter Page.