History

entering our 9th year

We Are Westobou

Ambitious and innovative, Westobou is an ever-evolving multi-arts festival dedicated to enriching the cultural fabric, economic sustainability and social vitality of the region. Over the course of five fantastic days every autumn, the festival transforms downtown Augusta into a vibrant, creative playground where friends, family, neighbors and visitors connect and celebrate infinite creative possibilities.

The five-day gathering’s performances, exhibitions and screenings represent the very best in music, dance, film, spoken word and visual arts – the world stage comes to Augusta.

Westobou events – be they engaging and accessible or pushing creative boundaries and encouraging conversation – are all planned, designed and staged with a single goal in mind – a richer regional understanding of creative impulse.

Our History

The Porter Fleming Foundation was created in 1963 by Barry Fleming to honor his father – painter and writer Porter Fleming. The Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County work on behalf of the Porter Fleming Foundation, administering grants and fellowships to organizations and individuals who demonstrate excellence in education, literature, art, science, history, music and culture.

In 2005, the Foundation received a bequest from Shirley Fleming’s estate. Ms. Fleming, an artist like her father and grandfather, was a highly regarded music critic in New York City until her death in 2005. During her career in New York, she maintained a home in, and a passion for, Augusta. In 2005, the Trustees had a vision of creating a festival that would, according to the wishes of Ms. Fleming, culturally enrich Augusta’s residents and visitors. There began the planning for the first Westobou Festival, produced in the fall of 2008. That first festival became the blueprint for an annual event that continues to evolve and engage today.

Our Name

The Westobou Festival was named for the Westobou River, as the Savannah River was formerly known. The Westobou was named after the Westo Indians, who migrated to Augusta in the 1660s.