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Cultivating vibrant public places

After a short hiatus, "Downtown Programming" is back in the streets of Spartanburg's Downtown Cultural District. Spartanburg Cultural District"Downtown Programming" was launched with the intentions of increasing pedestrian and visitor activity, boosting residency and occupancy, attracting new creative enterprises, fostering art and performances in public places, and celebrating Spartanburg’s cultural identity. After more than 140 gigs since its inception – including 54 unique musicians and over 1,700 people stopping to enjoy music – it's safe to say "Downtown Programming" is a hit! During the month of August, from Wednesday through Saturday, 66 Spartanburg musicians and artists will take to the streets of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District to showcase their talents in the performing arts and a variety of musical genres. "This program has become one of the best gigging opportunities in Spartanburg in my opinion. The program has done a great job of including musicians of all skill levels," said Ian O’Donnell, one of the many downtown buskers.

As we think about vibrant public places, the SCAC is helping The Riley Center for Livable Communities spread the word about the new Riley Mayors’ Design Fellowship, which was created to help equip South Carolina mayors with the tools necessary to implement projects that have a positive impact on their communities. They can gain knowledge to improve city design and foster economic development through things like "Downtown Programming" in Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District. But your city or town doesn't need an officially designated cultural district for its mayor to take part. "The Riley Mayors’ Design Fellowship is about seeking excellence and together elevating the municipalities that fuel our state,” former Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said. Eight mayors across South Carolina will be selected from a pool of nominees. The program culminates in a two-and-a-half day conference during which each mayor presents the challenges and opportunities of a project. From this presentation, mayors receive feedback as well as information on relevant design and planning topics from a group of expert faculty. South Carolina is currently the only state in the nation with this type of program. Nominations for the inaugural class are due by noon on Aug. 15. The conference takes place Feb. 20-22, 2019. A nominee should be a current mayor with at least two years remaining in his or her term as of January 2019. Self-nominations are welcome. A nominating committee will select a diverse class of mayors. Selection is based upon potential for innovative and visionary leadership, cooperative spirit and the ability to rally diverse interests around a common goal for the good of the community. More information and the nomination form are available from the Riley Fellowship.
Feature image courtesy of Chapman Cultural Center, which contributed to the first portion of this story.

Tuning Up: Busking is back in Spartanburg + NEA Jazz Masters concert

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Not to go all meta on you, but today we bring a "Tuning Up" solely about... music. These entries are longer than normal "Tuning Up" entries, but we really, really felt like it was the perfect deployment of the feature. Enjoy! -Ed.

Busking returns to downtown Spartanburg

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series is returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District starting this week! The CCC special events coordinator describes the program like this: "Street Music, or busking, is meant to be an intimate experience, not a large event. They are like micro, pop-up performances that are meant to enhance your experience downtown and encourage you to stay longer. You will be able to walk from one end of East Main Street at Liberty all the way to The Grain District and hear a variety of musical instruments, genres, and styles." The Street Music Series launched in August 2017 and ran for 13 weeks. In that time, the Cultural District was host of  145 gigs featuring nine genres of music that more than 1,800 people stopped to enjoy along Main Street.  

Free events celebrate masters in jazz

The National Endowment for the Arts is paying tribute to the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters – Todd Barkan, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, and Dianne Reeves – with a free, Kennedy Center concert in Washington on Monday, April 16. The concert, which will also be webcast live, will bring together many stars of the jazz world in performances that will highlight the NEA Jazz Masters’ careers. The concert will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for jazz, and include remarks by the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, as well as Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center. The concert will include performances by:
  • Terri Lyne Carrington,
  • Nir Felder,
  • Sullivan Fortner,
  • James Francies,
  • Pasquale Grasso,
  • Gilad Hekselman,
  • Angelique Kidjo,
  • Christian McBride,
  • Camila Meza,
  • NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet,
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant,
  • Antonio Sanchez,
  • Helen Sung,
  • and Dan Wilson.
And oh, by the way, you're invited. Up to four (4) tickets per household may be reserved for this free concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by dialing 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home (note: these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 7:45 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018. Print-at-home tickets are unavailable for this concert. Those with ticket reservations should bring their printed reservation confirmations to the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office on Monday, April 16, 2018, between 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to receive their tickets with seating locations. All reserved tickets not picked up by 7:45 p.m. on April 16 will be released and distributed to a ticket giveaway line. If you're not up for a trip to D.C. (those cherry blossoms, though!), the concert will be video-streamed live on the NEA and Kennedy Center websites, among others. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov. In addition, SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz will audio broadcast the concert live.