The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art:
One Man’s Vision Becomes Regional Event

Dr. Lee Minton
Dr. Lee Minton

As the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art kicks off its 22nd season, Board Chairman, Fred Newby, remembers his introduction to the charismatic founder of the popular event, the late Dr. Lee Minton. “I received a phone call in 2001 from a friend of mine who was already on the board. He asked if I might be interested in serving. Not long after, Dr. Minton called and invited me to lunch at his Pawleys Island home.”

Newby did join the board after that meeting, and, in 2006, became chairman. Since the first one-performance event in 1991, the Festival has grown from a small community event into a two-week, regional celebration of the arts anticipated and attended by thousands. While he has no background in the arts, Newby, an attorney, and his wife, Cheryl, have owned and operated an art gallery in Pawleys Island for the past 29 years. “We both believe that the arts have an important role in advancing and perpetuating civilization,” said Newby.

Fred Newby
Fred Newby

That long-ago lunch planted a seed of friendship between the two men. “Lee Minton was a cosmopolitan, urbane guy who had an appreciation of the arts and felt a need to share that with others,” Newby began. “I remember when the now defunct Pawleys Island Symphony would play outdoors, at different locations – the Symphony itself was an invention of Lee’s.” Losing Dr. Minton to cancer in 2002 was a great loss to the Pawleys Island community, but Fred Newby feels he would be proud of what the Festival has become. “One person can make wonderful things happen.” – Leslie Moore

The Festival Board members, staff, and volunteers are committed to the mission of the Festival and will competently, ethically and responsibly act in the best interest of achieving the organization’s mission at all times.


Our Mission

The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and enhance cultural awareness and enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors by providing quality performances, programs, and educational opportunities in music and the arts.

Our Values

We believe in the value of the arts as an essential part of civilization and in its role of preserving accomplishments of humanity. We believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be exposed to the arts and that the Festival has a significant role and responsibility to the community in supporting the growth and development of the people we serve and in enhancing their quality of life by furthering their equality of opportunity to the arts.


Board of Directors

  • Gretchen Downer, President
  • Geoff Groat, Vice President
  • Amy Miller, Secretary
  • Barbara Kee, Treasurer
  • Rick Baumann
  • Billy Cave
  • Ilka Doubek
  • Elizabeth Eisenberg
  • Richard Heusel
  • Fred Newby
  • Don Thomas
  • Peggy Stokes

Festival Management

Festival Supporters

If you would like to contact a member of our Board of Directors…
please call 843-626-8911, use the contact form, or email the Festival office.

  • Jackson Family Donor Advised Fund of Waccamaw Community Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • South Carolina Arts Commission
  • South Carolina's Hammock Coast

The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and South Carolina Arts Commission.