By Damion Smalls
Relationships, religion and finance are common topics that people tend to enjoy talking about with others, but can easily delve into arguments once diverging opinions arise. A duo of local Black entrepreneurs intend on taking the hostility out of tough conversations and replacing it with compassion.
Stephan Smith and Joshua Grimball of Zone Out Entertainment are looking to introduce a new wave of communication and audience engagement with Charleston Wine & Discussion, an interactive panel talk complete with original characters, live entertainment and complimentary wine.
Smith and Grimball are using this upcoming event series to promote a freedom of expression in a welcoming environment where disagreements are not only heard, but worked on. They plan on stimulating the crowd with brain teasers, thought-provoking questions, “adult talk” and much more to be announced.
A deliberately positioned panel will lead the discussion. It will consist of people from different backgrounds representing specific roles while being particularly vital to the night’s topic (the couple, the activist, the single man/woman, etc.).
A lot of the intrigue that comes with the potential of Charleston Wine & Discussion lies within its use of the event’s crowd. The audience will wield power uncommon to the usual panel & discussion set-up as attendees are encouraged to share their feelings on the topic of the night. They will have the opportunity to engage with the panel in several ways, such as presenting their opinions, questioning the panel members, relating to the topic with personal experiences. Some topics many elicit more laughter and joy than others, but entertainment will remain a steady factor, the event organizers attest.
Live musical segments will be featured at each Charleston Wine & Discussion event. A lyrical breakdown with words from the panel will accompany every performance.
Smith and Grimball see this compelling business venture as a episodic journey, with varying topics and venues throughout the Lowcountry in the near future to be included. The first topic is sure to stir the pot: “Does chivalry stand a chance against the modern day woman?”
“Episode One” is slated to take place at new North Charleston nightspot Shisha UltraLounge (MAY 22 UPDATE: Episode One will take place Sunday, May 27 at Sushi Blue – 61 State Street) . To be informed of event dates and updates for the series, follow Charleston Wine & Discussion on Facebook (@chswinediscussion), Instagram (@charlestonwinediscussion) and Snapchat (chswinediscuss).