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Experts at the American Theater

Join us at the historic American Theater to hear from local experts about a variety of rich topics. Following each lecture will be the opportunity to meet the lecturer while enjoying refreshments in the lobby of the theater. 



Lectures at the historic American Theater on King St.
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

No events at the moment



Dr. Bernie Powers

Historian, Professor & Author

Bernard E. Powers Jr. has worked in higher education for approximately forty years. For twenty-six years he was a professor of history at the College of Charleston teaching courses in American, African American, and African diasporic history. In 2018 he became the College’s founding director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston. His first book, Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885, was designated an “Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice Magazine. Powers is a co-author of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, which contextualizes the city’s racially motivated murders of 2015. Dr. Powers has served as a board member or consultant to several historic preservation organizations. Bernard Powers earned the Ph. D in American history at Northwestern University and has been a board member for the International African American Museum since its inception and once served as its interim CEO and president.


Glen Gardner

Landscape Architect & Co-owner of
Charleston Gardenworks

Glen Gardner is a native South Carolinian with deep family roots in gardening and many generations of farming the Lowcountry’s land. A love for architecture led Glen to study Architecture at Clemson University, where he later added in the love of gardening with a major change to Landscape Architecture. Glen was awarded a Mickell Grant for Urban Studies in Italy in 1999, and was also a recipient of the Garden Club of South Carolina’s Hessie Morrah scholarship for five years. Glen’s Thesis project, based on the development of Palmetto Bluff, in Bluffton, South Carolina, won the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s 2001 national Grace Design Competition which included a travel grant to further his studies in the field. Glen opened the doors to his successful landscape architecture studio in 2006 and works with private clients to create gardens throughout the Southeast. Glen serves or has served in board and committee capacities with Preservation Society of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation, and Spoleto Festival USA and is a past president of the Charitable Society of Charleston.


Tara Guerard, panelist

Owner, Tara Guerard Soireé

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading tastemakers, Tara Guérard has earned a widespread reputation for her exceptional ability to create spectacular settings celebrating life’s most anticipated occasions. With a core business in event design, Tara has expanded her brand to include furniture design and her letterpress printing company, Lettered Olive. She maintains offices in both Charleston and New York City. Additionally, Tara is a regular on the speaking circuit, dispensing tips and advice on an array of design-related topics.


Heather Barrie, panelist

Owner & Florist, Gathering Events

As owner of Gathering Events, Heather spends her days transforming bare tents into resplendent garden parties and empty tables into lush tablescapes brimming with florals. She has set the stage for more than 300 special events—from weddings and welcome parties to charitable events and runway shows—many of which have brightened the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, and Harper’s Bazaar.

PHOTO - Aldous Bertram.jpg

Aldous Bertram

Interior Designer & Artist

Aldous Bertram is an Interior Designer and Artist living in Charleston. Originally hailing from the UK. Aldous obtained a PhD from Cambridge University, focusing on the historical influence of China upon English gardens and architecture. Building upon this subject, Aldous published Dragons and Pagodas, A Celebration of Chinoiserie' in 2021, which looks at all aspects of Asian influence upon the decorative arts. Having previously worked for Amanda Lindroth, Aldous now draws upon his British design sensibilities to create memorable and joyful interiors, mixing antiques with layers of color and pattern to achieve a timeless, collected look. A long-time artist, Aldous also produces room portraits and watercolor paintings for sale, as well as a number of product design collaborations.


Margot Shaw

Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Flower Magazine

Margot Shaw is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flower Magazine. Now in its 16th year, the magazine has grown to include features on homes, gardens, entertaining, and lifestyle. Margot is a sought-after speaker at antique & garden shows, museums, botanical gardens, interior design centers, and more. She is the author of Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers, published by Rizzoli.


Olivia Brock, panelist

Principle, Torrance Mitchell Designs

After years of living in some of the East Coast’s most historic cities – Boston, New York, & Philadelphia – Olivia Brock settled in Charleston, South Carolina. Having completed her M.S. in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, Olivia founded Torrance Mitchell Designs in 2012. Understanding that all buildings have a unique story to tell is the underlying philosophy behind Torrance Mitchell Designs. Despite their age, or architectural style, no two buildings are alike, and Olivia approaches each project with a fresh eye to interpreting a building’s story.

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