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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.

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg artist explores mental illness, including his own

‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’


Spartanburg artist Bailie will debut his latest body of work—In The Midst of a Trauma, an extensive collection that probes the minds of people with mental illnesses—May 4-29 at Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

[caption id="attachment_46918" align="alignright" width="225"] Bailie | Bipolar disorder. Click image to enlarge.[/caption] “After suffering through a mental block and finding help through therapy, I’ve spent the past two years working on this exhibit,” the one-name artist said. “I’m telling everyone that ‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’ That phrase or slogan is my mantra, and I want to bring mental illness out of the dark and explore it in a way that people can come to understand that we all have problems, that we all need a little help from time to time, that we can do better and even thrive.” This multifaceted exhibition includes photography, paintings, multimedia sculptures, video, and creations that defy definition. To create much of this exhibition, Bailie worked with his therapist to interview five people diagnosed with various mental health problems, such as split personalities and manic depression. From those interviews he created six encaustic wax photographs (including one of himself) that depict the person’s mental health. Also, he asked each person to describe his or her worst state of mental health, and from those descriptions, he made six sculptures, including one about his own state of mind. When the photography and sculptures are exhibited, they will be accompanied by the actual questions and answers. All but one person will use his or her real name. “It takes true bravery to put your mental health problems on display for the world to see,” Bailie said. “However, speaking from experience, it is also freeing. It’s like telling the world you are not ashamed. In most cases, people with cancer are not ashamed. Or people with diabetes. Or people with COVID-19. Mental health problems are really no different than physical health problems. If you have a problem, get help, and live your life!” In addition, Bailie will display Scribble Man, a sculpture of a man’s upper body made of wire; a video of an animated white figure crab-walking backward as the body is torn apart and blown away; and a plexiglass box full of pill bottles that represent the many type of mental illnesses and the drugs used to treat them. [caption id="attachment_46911" align="alignright" width="225"] Bailie | Encaustic portrait | 10x10. Click image to enlarge.[/caption] To give people insight into his own state of mental health, Bailie has painted several large canvases that depict times in his life that he either struggled with mental illness, looked for answers, and accepted the cards that life had dealt him. In what is probably the most telling creation, Bailie has painted a profile self-portrait that shows him in deep contemplation, emerging from darkness into light. “That painting has more story behind it than what the average patron might get to know,” Bailie said. “Originally, the painting was done about 10 years ago, right after my parents died within two weeks of each other. To say the least, that was a hard time for me. I painted a dark picture with an anguished and agonized face in the center. It was pretty disturbing. To make it even more personal, I had mixed some of my parents’ cremation ashes into the paints that I used. “After going through therapy and discovering some repressed memories about my family, I had to express myself in the most profound way I could,” Bailie continued. “So, I painted over that picture with my self-portrait, a picture that shows me finally coming to grips with why I felt so angry, so hurt, so damaged. Behind my exterior, there are some dark things. But I recognize them. I deal with them. I am passed them. I’m okay.” Establishing professional credibility for this exhibit, Bailie has received both moral and financial support, including that of Mental Health America of Spartanburg, The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, the Phifer-Johnson Foundation (a family foundation based in Spartanburg that gives primarily to the arts, education, health and human services), and various unnamed individuals.
In the Midst of a Trauma will open for public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 4. Free. A free and public reception will be held Thursday, May 20, 6-9 p.m., during Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk, now returning to its regular third Thursday schedule.

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.

Eligibility

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.

Submitted material

Spartanburg Art Museum calls for 2021-2022 artists

Submission deadline; Friday, October 30, 2020


Spartanburg Art Museum is seeking proposals for solo and group exhibitions for 2021/2022.

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="225"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] We're interested in all types of work that address contemporary issues and concerns, use traditional materials in unusual ways, and elevate our visitors' experiences to new levels of participation and engagement. Any individual, collective, or group of artists (age 18+) who reside in the United States or Canada may apply. All media and themes will be considered for exhibition. Artists may submit a full exhibition concept, a cohesive body of work, or a general sampling from their portfolio. Our exhibition history illustrates that SAM has exhibited more white artists than any other ethnic group. In an effort to be a more responsible institution moving forward in regard to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, we are especially interested in emerging and mid-career artists who identify as Black, POC, LGBTQ, and those with physical disabilities.

Applications MUST include the following materials to be considered:

  • 8-10 examples of artwork (please send any multimedia as a link)
  • artist statement
  • short biography
  • résumé and/or CV
  • $35 application fee
  • completed official application form

Visit this page to learn more.

For more information, please contact our Associate Curator Ashleigh Shuler at apayne@spartanarts.org or call 864.582.7616 x 254.


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
  • THEMADDDARTIST
  • 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.

Submitted material

Spartanburg streets to come alive with music again

Downtown programming returns for new season


Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series will be returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District this week starting tonight.

Spartanburg Cultural DistrictSince its launch in August 2017, Downtown Programming has provided over 800 entertainment experiences through weekly live music and performance “buskers." Downtown Programming is 100% funded by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce through the One Spartanburg initiative. The City of Spartanburg is also a valued supporter of the program. The goals for downtown programming include increasing, pedestrian traffic, retail sales for local businesses, use of downtown parking garages, awareness of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, and diversity of both performing artists and audience. We encourage the public to safely interact with musicians while out in public by observing social distancing and through the use of face coverings when possible. Please also consider directly supporting musicians through mobile payments and tips when possible. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded cultural district status in 2015 to the City of Spartanburg for downtown Spartanburg. The district is about four square blocks from Barnet Park to Spartanburg Community College’s downtown campus on Kennedy Street, west on Kennedy to the Grain District, and bordered on its northern edge by the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
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.

Submitted material

Landmark exhibition of Southern women artists coming to the Upstate

[caption id="attachment_45117" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Soft color oil painting of women packing peaches in 1938. Wenonah Bell. Peach Packing, Spartanburg County. 1938. 38 1/8 x 48 1/8 inches. Oil on canvas.[/caption]

The critically acclaimed, nationally touring exhibition Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection will be on view at The Johnson Collection in Spartanburg starting next month.

The exhibition will run from Sept. 7, 2020 to Dec. 18 at Wofford College. Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, Central to Their Lives examines the particularly complex challenges Southern women artists confronted in a traditionally conservative region during a period in which women’s social, cultural, and political roles were being redefined and reinterpreted. After opening at the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, the exhibition traveled to the Mississippi Museum of Art (Jackson), the Huntington Museum of Art (West Virginia), the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (Memphis), and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College in Spartanburg—the Johnson Collection’s hometown—is the fifth stop on the exhibition’s six-state, three-year tour. Among the works on view, several are of local interest. Wenonah Bell’s Peach Packing, Spartanburg County captures the importance of women to South Carolina’s thriving peach industry during the 1930s and 1940s, and works by Spartanburg natives Margaret Law, Josephine Couper, and Blondelle Malone speak to the artists’ indelible legacy in their hometown and beyond.
Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday from 1-5 p.m. Please check the museum and gallery’s web page prior to your visit to review the latest campus health protocols. Free.

Jason Rapp

On the passing of Heather Hulsey

Arts teacher perishes in aviation tragedy


Official Statement from the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission notes with sadness the tragic passing last week of Heather Hulsey, a middle school arts teacher in Spartanburg County School District Six. According to media reports, the airplane carrying Hulsey, her husband, and her brother and his girlfriend was involved in a midair collision with another aircraft in Alaska. Seven people died, and there were no survivors. In noting her passing, the South Carolina Art Education Association called her a "great art educator, member, and friend." District Six Superintendent Dr. Darryl Owings, in a statement, called the tragedy "beyond words" and that Hulsey was an inspiring teacher, well-loved by the Dawkins Middle School community. The commission board of directors and staff offer our most sincere condolences to Hulsey's family, students, colleagues, and the community of arts educators throughout the state during this time. An obituary is not available at the time of publication.

Jason Rapp

Public art promotes mask usage in Spartanburg

Public call for art also issued


In response to increased COVID-19 cases and as part of the Bringing Back the ‘Burg initiative, Chapman Cultural Center is partnering with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on a county-wide public art campaign that promotes the use of face masks by encouraging residents and businesses to place temporary face masks on public art.

The public is encouraged to participate by placing temporary face masks on pre-identified pieces of public art. Eligible pieces of art can be found here. Businesses may also participate by placing temporary masks on privately-owned visible works of art. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” Masks are available for purchase at many local pharmacy retailers, grocery stores, box stores and boutiques.

Public call for art

In addition to placing masks on existing public art, the campaign includes a call for proposals for a new public art project that promotes the importance of wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Local artists should submit inquiries and proposals by June 26. The selected proposal will receive an award of $1,000 in addition to funding the cost of materials for the project. Artists interested in submitting a proposal, or who would like more information, should contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley at mEarley@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9685.
Chapman Cultural Center realizes that the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change as evidence from previous public art campaigns addressing serious issues in the community such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. As an extension of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light sought to improve police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie through the arts.   Chapman Cultural Center and the Spartanburg Chamber are committed to prioritizing public health and reducing the spread of COVID-19 while carrying out their respective organizational missions. "Bringing Back the 'Burg" is Spartanburg's COVID-19 recovery effort. Other initiatives include a Business Recovery Task Force, Open for Business Guidebook, Combating COVID-19 Commitment and marketing campaigns.