Cultural Center invites community to anniversary celebration

The Chapman Cultural Center will celebrate its five-year anniversary with an all-day festival on Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend this free event that includes programs and performances in music, dance, science, history, and art.

Engaging the public in artistic activities will be one of the main goals of the day, and it will again come into play when everyone will be given the opportunity to dance. “We’re having a flash mob,” Ballet Spartanburg dance teacher Susan Woodham said. “At noon, the music will blare in the plaza and a core group of dancers will do their thing—they will dance in the crowd and hopefully everyone will join in.” A flash mob is fairly new cultural event where people seemingly out of nowhere and for no reason start dancing. The impression is that the dance happened randomly, when in reality a core group of dancer had prepared in advanced. The goal is to get the public to join in. “Don’t be shy,” Woodham said. “The steps are easy and the music is fun. Dance is something everyone can do.”

Throughout the day, there will be live music, dance performances, food vendors, the opportunity to see how a theatre set is built, face painting, ghost stories, history and science demonstrations, and free admission to the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and the Spartanburg Science Center. Normally, adult admission to each of these exhibits is $4.

Chapman Cultural Center Five Year Anniversary Festival“This festival will celebrate the Chapman Cultural Center as the community’s focal point of all things cultural,” the Center’s President Jennifer Evins said. “Five years ago, we opened these doors with a bang, and this year, we invite everyone to come back and see what has been accomplished in this short period of time. Most of all, it will be a day to have creative fun.”

Making creativity accessible and fun is what the Chapman Cultural Center is all about. Last year, a quarter million people attended hundreds of performances, classes, exhibits and other programs at the Center. By bringing together the most creative and productive cultural organizations in the community, the Center has established itself as Spartanburg’s artistic and cultural epicenter “Our partners provide creative and educational experiences daily,” Evins said. “From extravagant Broadway musical plays to making simple clay bowls for a grassroots fundraiser. The impact this Center has had on Spartanburg and the surrounding region is tremendous in terms of creativity, economics, education, and social responsibility. What goes on here doesn’t stay here: It flows back out into the community and improves the lives of everyone and creates a vibrancy that did not exist before the Chapman Cultural Center was built.”

One of the expected highlights of the festival will be some-60 local artists who will display and sell their work in the outdoor plaza of the three-building campus. “Giving our local artists a venue to show and sell their work is one of the most strategic offerings of this festival,” Marketing Director Steve Wong said. “We believe this will serve dual purposes: help the artists and make local art accessible to the community. Every community has an arts festival where people can buy local art. Here’s that opportunity in Spartanburg—and depending on how things go, maybe again in years to come.” Most of the artists will be members of the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, one of the Center’s partners.

Another activity that is expected to be especially engaging will be “Wow!,” a hands-on art project where donated canned goods will be used as the medium for a work of art to be built during the course of the day. “We are leaving the creative process up to the people and local artist Vivianne Carey,” Wong said. “All we ask is that people bring canned goods that will be given to local food pantries after the festival. During the festival Vivianne will help create a temporary work of art in the plaza. Will she build a statue? Will she make a design? I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.” Carey is known for her larger-than-life metal sculptures of flowers in local parks and green spaces. She is also an art teacher at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church School.

“In these first five years, we have accomplished so much, and now is the time to celebrate,” Evins said. “Just last year, we had visitors from 157 zip codes, 70 cities, 30 states, and six countries. Through various educational programs, we provide art to every student in Spartanburg County—that’s about 47,000 students. We awarded $588,000 in grants to 17 organizations and five local artists. There were 146 performances here, reaching 49,838 people. Ballet Spartanburg taught 2,351 dance classes to 29,202 people. These numbers only just begin to show the impact the Chapman Cultural Center has on this community. What is really important to know is that the cultural arts are alive and well and thriving here, and we want to share this with anyone who has a creative bone in their body. Come out on Saturday, Oct. 27, and let us share in the joy.”

The rain date for this event is the following Saturday, Nov. 3.

For more information, please call (864) 542-ARTS or visit

Via: Chapman Cultural Center

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