Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Artist Q&A: Anita Pacylowski-Justo

Posted 6/19/2013 11:24:00 AM

Anita Pacylowski-Justo is a special gem in Greenville’s crown. She is the Ballet Mistress and Coordinator of Community Engagement and Outreach for the Carolina Ballet Theatre, where she was the first member hired for the professional company. She brings a wealth of experience and accolades to the ballet company, having been selected as a finalist in both the New York International Ballet Competition and the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. She has been honored as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and with the Princess Grace Award and Nancy Reagan Award for Dance.

Pacylowski-Justo has played numerous memorable roles, but her most famous was as the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker” at The White House for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. This is obviously a woman who possesses a very special talent and grace, which has been recognized throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

I was thrilled when she agreed to share her thoughts on the Palmetto State with us:

Q: What do you love about pursuing your craft in South Carolina?
A: The people and their willingness to learn, support and help those who need it and for a good cause. Greenville has all the charms of a small city yet the metropolitan and philanthropic site lines that a professional dance company needs. If I need to travel to New York, San Francisco or out the country, I am a short trip down (Interstate) 85 North to get to our International Airport. Really the best of both worlds. 

Q: Where is your favorite place to enjoy the arts as a spectator/audience member in South Carolina?
A: For an intimate setting in the Greenville area, I enjoy the Warehouse Theatre or Centre Stage. For the old charm of a local theatre house, Fountain Inn Center for Visual and Performing Arts (link: The Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre and Concert Hall is our main stage and the TD Bank Amphitheatre is a wonderful outside venue with a backdrop of a vibrant city life. 

Q: What is your favorite South Carolina restaurant?
A: Nantucket Seafood Grill

Q: Where is the first place you would suggest to a guest who is visiting the state for the first time?
A: A trip through Greenville's Gardens and a walk of Liberty Bridge at Fall Park on the Reedy River. And an ice cream cone from Spill the Beans.

Q: In six words, tell us why you love South Carolina.
A: Small town charm with cosmopolitan sites.