With the end of Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto, summer has truly arrived on the arts scene.

That means artists, thespians, musicians and their tech crews are taking a well-deserved summer break.

But even though there's a break until August, there are still artistic things to do.

And one of the most stylish is likely to be the Hat Ladies of Charleston's Summer Hat Giveaway promptly at noon Thursday in Marion Square.

Archie Burkel, grande dame of the Ladies, says the Bollman Hat Company has donated hats to help emphasize that wearing a hat is not just fun, but good for the complexion, too.

A hat worn daily is great protection from the summer sun, something Southerners have known for centuries.

Should you wonder where the art comes into this, Burkel says the Hat Ladies will be giving a sort of Hat Wearing 101 to those who show up, both men and women.

She describes the donated hats as the practical kind designed for everyday wear, and since she's not sure what the hats will look like when they arrive, there definitely will be a need for suiting the hats to the proper heads.

It all sounds like a lot of fun for keeping off the sun.

The Hat Ladies will be at Calhoun and King streets and will give away hats while supplies last.

Theater auditions

A different sort of hat comes in the form of a reminder: The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre auditions will be noon-8 p.m. Tuesday at the new theater at 164 Church St.

Haven't heard of them? They are new to town and will be creating mystery plays. Darrell Wade has been creating mystery plays for corporate environments for 20 years, but has finally moved to town with his wife, Sherry, and 5-year-old daughter to create a theater where the plays will run nightly.

Construction is starting on their space this week. Sherry Wade says that they plan three types of plays: a mystery play, a pirate mystery play and a history mystery play. She says they are looking for about 15 actors and actresses to start.

Email auditions@charleston mysteries.com for more information and to set up an audition time.

Ballet movie

If you have a balletomane in the family, there's a documentary playing at Citadel Mall called “First Position.”

The movie covers six young ballet students, all from different backgrounds, as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix.

It's a competition in which the major dance schools and companies scout for new talent.

Doing well can mean the difference between staying in a regional company or advancing to the important schools.

“First Position” takes audiences on a yearlong journey around the world. The film reveals the struggles and successes, the pain and extraordinary beauty of an artform so many children across the globe are determined to dedicate their lives to despite the odds.

Slave Dwellings tour

On a different topic, the Charleston Museum will host Joseph McGill, program officer for the Southern Office, National Trust for Historic Preservation, for a presentation Friday on the Slave Dwellings Project.

McGill has stayed in former slave dwellings all over the United States in an effort to bring awareness to the preservation of the historic structures.

He will present his work at the Heyward-Washington House during a special evening.

The historic house will be open for tours between 6 and 7 p.m., and then he will talk.

Afterward, he will spend the night in the house's kitchen building, a small 1740s brick structure that served as a home to slaves well into the 19th century.

The house tours are $10/adults, $5/children, under 3 free (free for museum members), and the Slave Dwellings Presentation is free. Reservations are not required.

For more information, go tocharlestonmuseum.org or call 722-2996 ext. 235.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at sharvin@postandcourier.com or 937-5557.