SC State’s IP Stanback and Museum presents “The Meaning of Tea”

Friday, November 21, 2008


The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium on the campus of SC State, presents The Meaning of Tea, with producer/director Scott Chamberlin Hoyt, as part of the Southern Arts Foundation's Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The film will be shown at the Stanback, Thursday, Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planetarium. Following a screening of the film, Hoyt will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and his work as a filmmaker. Following the film there will be a traditional English tea by Olwyn Mayo.

This film takes viewers on an exploratory journey around the globe to divine the true meaning of tea by investigating the role it plays in various cultural rituals throughout the world and how these traditions are threatened by today's marketplace, ranging from afternoon tea in the Midwestern United States to tea estates in India, from the traditional tea ceremony in Japan to modern tea life in Morocco. The film uses an intriguing mix of interviews, archival footage and music to shed light on the many cultures that incorporate tea into their values, practices and traditions. The common thread weaving together these individual stories is the question of whether there is an inherent meaning to be found in tea, particularly in an era increasingly dominated by mass marketing, fast food and corporate coffee. By visiting places where tea is still revered and by investigating its role in these societies, The Meaning of Tea suggests the profoundly positive role tea may play in the future of humanity.

The Meaning of Tea has been screened at the Maine International Film Festival, Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival, Globians Film Festival in Berlin and Potsdam, Germany, International Film Festival in South Africa, Northwest Tea Festival in Seattle, WA, Renderyard Film Festival in London, Wisconsin Film Festival, Garden State Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, and the World Tea Expo.

As founder of Tea Dragon Films, Scott Chamberlain Hoyt brings a wealth of business experience to a film project about a ritual he has treasured since childhood - tea. His perspective is augmented by years of travel throughout the world and deepened by decades of exploration into Eastern thought. Hoyt is on the board of directors for Global Learning Across Borders, a member of the Director's Circle for the American Botanical Council and serves as President of the Tibetan Classics Translators Guild of New York. He holds both a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from New York University, NY. The Meaning of Tea is his first feature film.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. Southern Arts Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. For more information about the Southern Arts Federation and its programs visit

For additional information, contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174.