“The Board of Commissioners is devastated to hear of the passing of Sandra Turner-Barnes. She was a staple in the arts community; publishing several books, winning multiple awards and mentoring young artists across the county. She was a visionary when it came to her contributions to the arts, culture and education with decades of work dedicated to building and leading the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Furthermore, her inspiring work with myriad other projects, like the Camden County Historical Society’s slave marker initiative, inspired thousands and now stands as a lasting legacy to Sandra.
For years, Sandra hosted events that were aimed at encouraging young artists, such as the Poetry in the Park series at the Hopkins House in Cooper River Park and A Place in Time, the open-mic series at the historical society. Sandra worked tirelessly to inspire, mentor and educate artists in any way that she could. Prior to her passing, Sandra was serving on the board of the Camden County Historical Society where she educated residents about the history of enslaved peoples in the region. Sandra was a fierce advocate for equity and justice, with much of her writing and poetry being based off experiences and struggles often faced by the Black and Brown community. Sandra has left a lasting imprint on the lives of us here in Camden County and her legacy of love, passion and creativity will live on indefinitely. Words cannot express the good works Sandra did over her career, nor can they do justice to her tireless commitment to our community. We will miss her presence and take solace in the fact that her portfolio of projects will continue to live on in through the commission, her writing and the education of thousands of our youth over lifetime. In short, Sandra left large shoes for all of us to fill, a task that will take the combined efforts of our entire county.”