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Jason Rapp

Inaugural Southern Studies fellows announced

Visual artist, writer selected

Chapman Cultural Center and Hub City Writers Project are pleased to announce the selection of writer Morgan Thomas and visual artist Ben Winans as recipients of the first Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters.

The pair will begin their nine-month residency in Spartanburg this September and will collaborate on a joint project addressing the culture of the American South. The Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters is a three-year initiative jointly hosted by Chapman Cultural Center and Hub City Writers Project and funded through a three-year $150,000 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation.

Morgan Thomas

Morgan Thomas (they/them) is a writer from Gulf Breeze, Florida. Their work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Electric Literature, them., the Kenyon Review Online, and Storyquarterly. They’ve received support from the Bread Loaf Work-Study Program and the Fulbright Foundation. Manywhere, their debut story collection, is forthcoming from publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s MCD imprint in January 2022. Morgan earned a bachelor's in English and a bachelor's in zoology from the University of Florida in 2014 and a master of fine arts in fiction from the University of Oregon in 2016. In addition to their work as a writer, they has advocated for Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities for three years.

Ben Winans

Ben Winans (he/him) of Raleigh is an interdisciplinary artist who engages in old and new media to tell stories regarding his upbringing in Southern evangelical Christianity. Through his multimedia works, Ben offers a broad discussion on Christian nationalism, a mediation of cultural and national identity informed by his family’s missionary work in Africa and Japan, and the assertion that what we believe matters. Ben has earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan in 2021. His work began in 2014 as an artist assistant for Ben Sloat and at a gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Ben is currently an exhibitions assistant for Stamps Gallery and was a graduate student instructor for several art classes at Stamps School of Art & Design. Winan’s hard work has been recognized throughout the years through the John Roos Memorial Scholarship for Artists Working in the Humanities in 2017, the Smucker-Wagstaff Grant in 2019 and 2020, and the Jean-Paul Slasser Award for recognition of excellence, M.F.A. Thesis Project.
“We are so pleased to offer this unique opportunity to Morgan and Ben,” said Hub City Writers Project Executing Director Anne Waters. “Of all the outstanding candidates we interviewed for the Southern Studies Fellowships they were the most compelling. To have two such gifted individuals come to Spartanburg to create a project and share their talent with our community feels momentous.” “I’m thrilled about this selection of creative minds. We had dozens of talented and passionate people apply for this opportunity and it was a long and difficult task to bring together the two creative spirits we felt were on similar wavelengths. Ben and Morgan will need to work closely together and collaborate every step of the way. It’s going to be fascinating to see what evolves with these two deep thinkers and I can’t wait to experience the finished product,” said Chapman Cultural Center Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley. The fellowship is a nine-month residency of research, creativity, teaching, and travel to collaborate on a project informed by the region. The fellows will live and have studio space in Spartanburg and are tasked with immersing themselves in the culture of the American South, along with participating in community service for educational purposes. A key component of this unique fellowship is the opportunity to interact with leading scholars, artists, and writers throughout the Southeast and to conduct research at prominent cultural and educational institutions. This research will inform their work and will be critical in the development of their collaborative project to expand their understanding of the modern South.

Submitted material

Spartanburg artist, arts org receive community grants

Chapman Cultural Center awards two

Chapman Cultural Center is committed to broadening and strengthening Spartanburg's Cultural community.

Chapman Cultural CenterBecause of this commitment, a major part of the work we do is centered around funding Spartanburg's arts and cultural community. One of Chapman Cultural Center's major funding opportunities comes in the form of our quarterly Community Grants Program. The Community Grants Program awards up to $5,000 per application and is open to both individual artists and non-profits/government agencies. We're proud to announce we've awarded the following artists and organizations a Community Grant for our Q1 2021-2022 grants cycle! Learn more about their projects and programs below.

Speaking Down Barriers

Black man sits, eyes close, with his right hand over his chest listening to poetry Speaking Down Barriers was awarded a Community Grant for their event "An Evening of Transformation." An Evening of Transformation will feature 8 artists: culinary artists, visual artists, spoken word artists, and musicians. Each will create art for the event that will examine our mission "Equity for all." The artists will present their art and the participants will engage the artist and each other around themes that emerge from each piece. All of the artists will be representing marginalized communities and perspectives. (The tentative date is November 13, 2021, 5:30-8:30 at the United Universalist Church of Spartanburg.)

Quinn Long

Local artist Quinn Long was awarded a Community Grant to help with purchasing a high-end printer to produce copies of her art from home, which will enable her to sell high-quality prints of her original artwork.
Chapman Cultural Center receives general financial support for cultural projects impacting Spartanburg County, funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. The full version of this story appears on the CCC website here.

Jason Rapp

Arts development opportunity in Spartanburg


Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center, front view of the building from street.

Chapman Cultural Center is hiring a development officer.

The development officer is responsible for assisting with the fundraising of the United Arts Annual Fund Campaign for Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. The development officer works closely with the VP Resource Development position in creating and implementing an annual fundraising and stewardship plan with goals, objectives, and strategies for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting individual gifts. Read the full job description here. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to LOconnell@spartanarts.org. There is no deadline to apply, but don't delay. The Hub was told the process might move quickly.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Good news, sad news, and artist rebrand

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...

The Good

Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art announced that the College of Charleston-based art gallery/museum is back to normal hours! (Thunderous applause goes here.) "We continue to operate with CDC and College of Charleston protocols in place for our collective safety. Adding to a growing sense of normalcy, the College of Charleston recently announced that face coverings are no longer required for vaccinated visitors to the campus. Our rich program of events will continue to be offered in a virtual format as we all navigate the months ahead." Science, baby! If you're curious, and we know you are, those hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. (And we know some of you are wondering, so know that distancing protocols remain and precautions to protect staff will too.)

The Sad

As The Hub shared recently, Jennifer Clark Evins of Chapman Cultural Center fame is collecting her winnings and moving on (up?) in her storied career. The center is throwing a farewell celebration Monday, June 7 from 5-7 p.m. Go here for some additional information.

And the artist rebrand

Here's an interesting note recently submitted to The Hub: the notion of the artist rebrand. To wit:

Lacey Hennessey, a Greenville artist and muralist, recently debuted a new name, @Lacey_Does, with the launch of her new art collection. Previously known as Hennessey in the Home, Lacey’s art journey has evolved over the last five years into a combination of commissions, murals and through word of mouth referrals from customers recommending her to their friends saying "see if Lacey does it.” The rebrand of her business to @Lacey_Does reflects her entrepreneurial spirit and mission of spreading beautiful art throughout the country.

“I am thrilled to debut my new name, @Lacey_Does,” said Lacey Hennessey. “Over the past few years I have really honed in on my passions and my art has truly become a reflection of my outlook on life- bold, bright and colorful. I wanted to be able to combine this lifestyle into one brand name, @Lacey_Does, and have it flow throughout my entire business of art, murals and entrepreneurial advice.”

The Greenville-based self-taught artist, muralist, and entrepreneur has more than 50 murals throughout the Southeast to her credit and recently launched a 15-piece online art collection. To learn more about Lacey and her work, visit www.laceydoes.com or follow @Lacey_Does. Is this something we'll see more and more? Social media allows artists to take more and more control over their brands—and make no mistake, everybody has one now. We'll keep an eye on this.

One more thing...

Do you follow the SCAC on IG? We're following Executive Director David Platts as he (and Jane Przybysz of McKissick Museum for Folk Heritage Award recipients) presents South Carolina Arts Awards to the 2021 recipients. Our Insta followers get exclusive peeks of the presentations through Reels. Did you miss Monday evening's livestream? Fear not; the ceremony is on-demand through the SCAC YouTube Channel.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Awards: Jennifer Clark Evins

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer Clark Evins

Individual Category | Governor's Awards for the Arts

As president and CEO, Jennifer Evins heads South Carolina’s oldest arts agency, formed by Nita Milliken and other visionary leaders in the late 50’s and early 60’s after visiting the Winston-Salem Arts Council in 1958. Evins leads the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center—Spartanburg County’s local arts agency—and Mayfair Art Studios. She supervises a staff of 15 full time employees and oversees a $2.5 million annual operating budget with assets exceeding $36 million. Along with county-wide arts coordination, Evins provides visionary leadership for the arts and engages multiple stakeholders on a regular basis. Evins has been heavily involved with the arts in Spartanburg for nearly 22 years. Under her leadership, CCC has partnered with cross-sector agencies including the city and county of Spartanburg on multiple successful public art projects involving coordination among multiple stakeholders. Most notably, she spearheaded the capital fundraising campaign that built the Chapman Cultural Center, raising more than $42 million. Her volunteer leadership of this project spanned ten years of service. Evins authored and lead the winning Bloomberg Philanthropies $1 million Public Art Challenge “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” and helped the city of Spartanburg earn the South Carolina Cultural District designation for Downtown Spartanburg—the second in the state and the only official S.C. Cultural District in the Upstate. Most recently, Evins led the successful fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Chapman Cultural Center brand through its newest arts incubator, Mayfair Art Studios. Through her visionary leadership, Mayfair open in 2020 and is a space designed to make the arts accessible to all by providing studio spaces for both professional and amateur artists in a range of artistic and creative disciplines. In volunteer service, Evins is chairwoman of the Spartanburg Academic Movement, serves on the OneSpartanburg Inc. Vision Advisory Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Board of SC Arts Alliance. She serves on the Noble Tree Foundation Board and the President’s Advisory Board for Wofford College and the USC Upstate Johnson College of Business and Economics. Evins is a retired Trustee and past Chairwoman of the Spartanburg County Foundation. Jennifer is a Diversity Leadership Fellow of the Riley Institute and a Hull Fellow of the Southeastern Council on Foundations. Evins has received numerous awards including The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award by Wofford College; Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce; South Carolina Woman of Achievement by the South Carolina Business and Professional Woman; Leadership Spartanburg Alumnus of the Year; Duke Energy Service to the Community Award; Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities; and the Leadership Honoree of the Mary L .Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change by Spartanburg County Foundation. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Evins had a 15-year professional career in marketing and public relations.  Her last assignment was as public affairs director at WSPA-TV.


...Jennifer has helped shape the future of our statewide organization and help set the tone for many of the statewide trends in the arts now in play. She asks the hard questions, helps develop appropriate solutions to issues, and celebrates accomplishments with true joy. Jennifer’s active participation in our work has made our organization stronger, and continues to make our state more creative...

GP McLeer Executive Director South Carolina Arts Alliance Fountain Inn

The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Submitted material

Call for Artists: WOVEN / Juneteenth Juried Show

The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, in partnership with the Chapman Cultural Center, seeks to highlight the work of outstanding BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists in the southeastern region through their upcoming juried exhibition, WOVEN.

Artists working in all mediums are invited to apply, with a special emphasis on folk art and craft. Woven is an exhibition that will highlight works of creatives such as quilters, weavers, musicians and visual artists from the southeast region. This exhibition and accompanying event seeks to celebrate and commemorate the visual storytelling and traditions in conversation with the African Diaspora. Through this presentation of visual storytelling and craft-based works we seek to broaden intergenerational narratives of BIPOC experiences and creative practices. Accepted works will be exhibited in conjunction with the Guild’s Summer Solstice Art Market and Juneteenth Festival, taking place on June 19, 2021. This exhibition will be held in the first-floor gallery space at the Chapman Cultural Center, which receives high foot traffic and is open to the public Mon-Sat.



Jason Rapp

Evins to lead Florida arts organization

Will depart Chapman Cultural Center in June

Citing "the immense success that the arts and cultural community has enjoyed" under her leadership, Chapman Cultural Center (CCC) Board President Brant Bynum, Ph.D. announced that Executive Director Jennifer Clark Evins is departing the Upstate arts organization this summer.

Beginning June 21st, she will take on a new role as the president and CEO of the United Arts of Central Florida. Based in Orlando, UACF is the second largest United Arts organization in the U.S. and provides more than $6 million in grants to over 60 arts, science and history organizations, and provides arts education programs to more than 1 million children. "We are elated for this next chapter in her career and wish her tremendous success and know that the Spartanburg community will miss her dearly," Bynum said. In February, the S.C. Arts Commission announced Evins will receive the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Arts in the individual category at next month's South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony.
Evins will continue to lead CCC through June 8. An executive search committee has been formed by the Chapman Cultural Center Board of Trustees and will be led by Stacy McBride. The committee’s work has already begun as they are committed to finding the next visionary leader to advance the mission to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening and promoting the scope, excellence, and educational role of the arts, humanities, and sciences, to further their significance in the life of our community. Despite the impact of COVID-19, Bynum said in the announcement letter that Evins "will leave the organization in a strong financial and structural position with key strategies for sustained success through the recent completion of Chapman Cultural Center’s 2024 strategic planning process." Strategies include planning for the future with a new county-wide cultural plan, engaging new audiences through next-generation education and arts engagement, promoting equity through increased diversity and inclusion in the arts and cultural sector, and helping creatives thrive professionally through increased advocacy and financial support.
As president and CEO, Evins led the day-to-day operations and management of Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg City and County’s local arts agency, and the cog that allows the broader arts, science, and humanities community to thrive. Through her work over the last ten years, she has increased the total sustainable annual funding of the arts and cultural community by $250,000, a 17% increase while also growing operating endowments by 70%. One key achievement was developing a sustainable business model for operating Chapman Cultural Center with equitable allocation of its resources including expanding the general operating grants program to include more local arts, science, and humanities organizations and expanding the pool of grants available to local artists. Along with county-wide arts coordination, Evins provided visionary leadership for the arts and engaged key stakeholders through advocacy, facility operations, finance, marketing, cultural tourism, resource development, arts education, grantmaking, and public art facilitation. Evins has dedicated 26 years to strengthening the cultural sector as a volunteer and arts professional.  Most notably, as volunteer chair, Evins led the capital fundraising campaign that resulted in the successful construction of the Chapman Cultural Center facility, securing more than $42 million in the process. Throughout Evins’ service in the arts, she has partnered and built successful collaborations with multiple community stakeholders including the City and County of Spartanburg, OneSpartanburg, local and regional foundations, corporations, and higher education institutions. Evins' work and leadership were focused on a vision that Spartanburg be nationally recognized as a unique and vibrant cultural community that inspires creativity and collaboration. Evins achieved this vision as she authored and led the winning Bloomberg Philanthropies $1 million Public Art Challenge “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” and aided the City of Spartanburg in receiving an official South Carolina Cultural District Designation for downtown Spartanburg – the second in the state and the only official Cultural District in Upstate South Carolina. She also authored and served as the project director for two winning National Endowment for the Arts grants. Evins was a key facilitator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for the cultural sector and encouraged the adoption of the organization's Cultural Equity Statement and diversity policies and procedures. Evins' passion to bring the arts to people outside traditional cultural venues has resulted in her vision for Spartanburg Soaring International Kite Festival and downtown Street Musician program that employs over 150 local musicians and helps downtown Spartanburg be more vibrant and welcoming.  In addition, Evins developed Culture Counts, the first cultural asset mapping and inventory initiative in South Carolina that utilizes and promotes Spartanburg’s cultural assets to promote it as a national arts and cultural tourism destination. Most recently, Evins led the successful $1.2 million fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Chapman Cultural Center brand through its newest arts incubator, Mayfair Art Studios. Through her visionary leadership, Mayfair opened in 2020 in a repurposed textile mill designed to help artists thrive as professionals and make the arts accessible to all. Mayfair Art Studios provides affordable studios for both professional and amateur artists in a range of artistic and creative disciplines while providing additional resources for the entire cultural sector. Evins is a Diversity Leadership Fellow of the Riley Institute and a Hull Fellow of the Southeastern Council on Foundations and has received numerous awards because of her leadership, including:
  • the Women of Influence 2020 by GSA Business,
  • The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award by Wofford College;
  • Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizenship Award by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce;
  • South Carolina Woman of Achievement by the South Carolina Business and Professional Women;
  • Leadership Spartanburg Alumnus of the Year;
  • Elaine Harris Tourism Award, Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau;
  • Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities;
  • and the Leadership Honoree of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership & Community Change by Spartanburg County Foundation.

Submitted material

Spartanburg artist needed for mural

'Hope in the Burg' to transform building

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, May 28, 2021, 5 p.m. ET

Spartanburg artists are encouraged to apply to design a public art project to include a large destination mural in downtown Spartanburg.

The mural is meant to become a destination for people who live in or visit Spartanburg, much like the “Love Where You Live” mural currently is. The Come Closer group would like to see clever and dynamic design that will naturally encourage people to take selfies in front of it and thus help spread the word about the Hope in the Burg project. The mural will be installed on the back brick wall of the SC Legal Services offices. Their official address is on Main Street, in downtown Spartanburg, but the back wall mural will be facing Dunbar Street. The mural, or parts of it, will likely be used as a logo, coloring sheet, and may be used for stickers, t-shirts, posters, etc. Mural and other related items will be used to promote the Hope in the Burg project throughout the Spartanburg community.


All artists over the age of 18 who live or have a studio in Spartanburg County are eligible. Applicants should be aware that the artist selected for this project will not be able to retain intellectual property rights to their selected design(s). The mural and related images created for this project will become the intellectual property of the Come Closer group, a Spartanburg-based Christian organization (read more below) who plan to reproduce the work with little or no profit. Any profits made from the sale of related merchandise will be donated to local charities who provide essential services in Spartanburg County, such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education. However, the group agrees to include the artist’s name or signature on all commercial reproductions, if the artist requests it. This public art project, an initiative of Come Closer, is being managed by Chapman Cultural Center. The submission deadline is Friday, May 28 at 5 p.m. ET. Read more in the artist call. Please contact Melissa Earley if you have any questions: mearley@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9685.

Hope in the Burg, presented by Come Closer

Spartanburg is a place where hope exists. It is present in our community and available to everyone. For people of faith, we know that there is hope in Jesus who has the power to change lives. We see hope at work in our schools, hospitals, prisons, businesses, neighborhoods, churches, shelters, and other organizations. Whether you are seeking spiritual truth, assistance during one of life's storms, or a new way of life altogether, there is hope in the 'Burg! The HOPE mural is meant to be a gift to the residents and visitors of Spartanburg from the Christian faith community. It is meant to direct people who are struggling in our community to services that can help them and bring them hope.

Come Closer Group

Come Closer is a city movement made up of a group of pastors, ministry workers, business and civic leaders who desire to love the city of Spartanburg to life in Christ. Come Closer focuses on important areas of need in the community such as poverty & homelessness, children & orphans, prisoners, internationals & refugees, racial reconciliation and fighting against human trafficking.

Jason Rapp

Chapman Cultural Center, Hub City Writers Project announce initiative

$150,000 helps create three-year partnership project

Chapman Cultural Center and the Hub City Writers Project have jointly received a $150,000 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation for a new, three-year initiative, the Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters.

This first-of-its-kind program will bring one early-career artist and one early career-writer to Spartanburg for a nine-month residency of research, creativity, teaching, and travel, culminating in a collaborative project informed by the region. The program, which will begin accepting applications this month, will be marketed nationally to artists and writers who are interested in immersing themselves in the culture of the American South. Creatives interested in the program can learn more and apply at www.southernstudiesfellowship.org. “By bringing dynamic creative people together with dynamic arts organizations and scholars through the region, we will set in motion new explorations of the modern South that will reverberate beyond our community,” said Jennifer Evins, Chapman Cultural Center president and CEO. “This grant is designed to create a life-changing experience for the fellows, to provide engaging intellectual opportunities for local students and citizens, and to create a model program for community cultural study through art and literature,” said Anne Waters, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project. Over the three-year period of the grant, each Southern Studies Fellow will be provided with a furnished apartment with paid utilities in downtown Spartanburg and a monthly stipend. Applications for the program will be available online in early 2021, and the first fellows will come to Spartanburg from September 2021 to May 2022. It is open to residents of the United States. The initiative replaces existing residency programs by Chapman and Hub City. In addition to focusing on their own creative projects, the Southern Studies Fellows will have opportunities and requirements for educational community service in Spartanburg County; these will include regular college and high school classroom visits/lectures, readings, open studios, workshops, and projects affiliated with the host organizations. The fellows will be expected to contribute up to 20 hours per week in the following areas: community service, artist-writer collaboration, and out-of-town travel for project research. A key component of this unique fellowship is the opportunity to interact with leading scholars, artists, and writers throughout the South. Each fellow will have opportunities to travel in the Southern region to conduct research at cultural and educational institutions, which will inform their work and will be critical in the development of their ideas for a collaborative project that expands the understanding of the modern South.
Named for Thomas E. Watson and J.J. Brown, the Watson Brown Foundation invests in education and historical preservation, annually awarding more than $2.4 million in merit and need-based college scholarships to students from an eighteen-county region of Georgia and South Carolina. The foundation, based in Thomson, Georgia, also operates a grant program that encourages responsible scholarship on the South and supports historic preservation. Additionally, it owns and operates three historic sites in Georgia. With roots that stretch back more than 50 years, the Chapman Cultural Center’s mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. It serves as the official South Carolina Arts Commission-designated arts agency of Spartanburg County. Chapman provides general operating support for nine cornerstone cultural institutions, including the Hub City Writers Project, through its United Arts Fund and provides project grants to local artists and organizations. The Hub City Writers Project, founded in 1995, serves its mission to cultivate readers and nurture writers through its independent press, community bookshop, and diverse literary programming. Its flagship program, Hub City Press, is one of only three Southern book publishers funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is focused on finding and spotlighting new and extraordinary voices from the American South.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

About Hub City Writers Project

The Hub City Writers Project is a non-profit organization in Spartanburg dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent small press, community bookstore, and diverse literary programming that serves our community and beyond. For more information please visit www.hubcity.org.

Jason Rapp

‘Black Artists of Spartanburg’ exhibition goes live

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce the Black Artists of Spartanburg exhibition.

After conversations with our community, the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition was formed to amplify the voices of Spartanburg’s Black artists in response to the racial injustices that are taking place across the nation. The multi-media exhibition features 17 artists from across Spartanburg County and will be on display through Sept. 30. The event will feature a virtual panel discussion with select artists on Sept. 17 from 6-7 p.m. during Spartanburg Artwalk. The artwork will be on display inside the Carlos Dupre Moseley Building on the Chapman Cultural Center Campus, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p..m and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who are unable to attend the exhibit in person can view the exhibition virtually on the Chapman Cultural Center website. The artists featured in the exhibition include:
  • Kayla Cromer
  • Mylows Customs
  • James Goff
  • Spark Howard
  • Josh Jackson
  • Moses "Galaxy" Jenkins
  • Patricia Kabore
  • Chris Kelly
  • Smitha Lee
  • Quinn Long
  • Antonio Modesto Milian
  • Ariel Moore
  • Rosetta Nesbitt
  • Lady Pluuto
  • Arialle Kennedy Smith
  • Frankie Zombie
The exhibition was juried by 2020 HUB-BUB Artists-in-Residence Masimba Hwati and Shuk Han Lui. More information about the jurors can be found here. “As a Black artist, but especially as a Black female artist, it's challenging to gain exposure and make connections in the art community. Therefore, the opportunity to be a part of this exhibition is an amazing experience and I definitely think it's a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the fact that there's a need for a larger community that supports artists of African diaspora,” Kayla Cromer said of her inclusion in the exhibition. Local artist Josh Jackson said, “I am blessed and honored to be chosen as one of the artists represented in the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition. To me, this exhibition means that my community understands what’s going on, and cares enough to support Black artists through trying times. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m inspired by how the arts are being used for positivity in our community.”
The virtual panel discussion will be moderated by Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Spartanburg School District Seven, and Chapman Cultural Center Trustee, Dr. Carlotta Redish. The panel will discuss their experiences as Black artists, their work, and the overall importance the arts play in regards to social justice issues. Participating artists include: TheMadddArtist, Lady Pluuto, Patricia Kabore, Ariel Moore, Smitha Lee, Spark Howard, Antonio Modesto Milian, James “Edras” Goff, and Arialle Kennedy Smith. The panel will be streamed live on the Chapman Cultural Center Facebook page from 6-7 p.m. “This exhibition comes in response from the recent publicity of injustices done to the Black community across the nation. Although I know that one exhibition will not solve all issues, I hope that this can help spark conversations that will create change in the community,” said Jennifer Barskdale, Outreach Coordinator for Chapman Cultural Center. Through this exhibition, Chapman Cultural Center hopes that Spartanburg County will use it as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the perspectives of our Black community while building bridges toward understanding. “Our mission is to provide cultural leadership and we have many people of color working in our organization and serving on our Board who help us make important decisions to advance equity and inclusion in the arts locally. It is during difficult times that it is most important for the arts to provide hope and healing. This can be done in so many ways and lifting up our local professional Black artists through this public exhibit is hopefully a positive step,” said Jennifer Evins, president & CEO of Chapman Cultural Center.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center provides cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Chapman Cultural Center is located on East Saint John St in downtown Spartanburg. Please visit www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org for more information.