CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston Wine + Food has called for the removal of the John C. Calhoun Monument located in Marion Square and will cease use of the space to host events until the monument has been removed.
This statement from communications director, Alyssa Smith, arrives on the heels of the NAACP and National Action Network’s condemnation of the John C. Calhoun monument and South Carolina’s Heritage Act.
Charleston Wine + Food is a local non-profit that, “supports Charleston and the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary and hospitality community through financial contributions to organizations or persons that directly benefit our local foodways initiatives and strengthen our local community," Smith says.
The organization believes this boycott of Marion Square will have serious repercussions for the city as the group’s popular Culinary Village event is traditionally hosted there.
The Culinary Village is an integral part of Charleston Wine + Food’s annual March festival, which drew nearly 28,000 total attendees and created a measured economic impact of $19.9 million in 2020 for the Charleston economy, according to Smith.
The organization not only plans to boycott use of Marion Square, but as Smith writes, “with support of its Board of Directors, plans to take action to work with community leaders, local nonprofits, and lawmakers to see [the statue] removed.”
To fulfill the spirit of this boycott, Charleston Wine + Food has banned the use of plantations as venues for any future festival events.