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New public art project comes to Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District

The feet of people walking on a crosswalk


Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce the implementation of a new public art project that will bring unique crosswalk murals to three intersections in Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District. Chapman Cultural CenterFunding is being provided by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s One Spartanburg initiative and through a research grant from USC Upstate. The murals will be painted at the intersections of Main and King streets., Main and Spring streets., and Main and Magnolia streets on Sunday, July 21. The goal of this project is to create a more vibrant and walkable downtown – making Spartanburg roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Spartanburg Cultural DistrictEach installation is being designed and painted by a different local artist or artist team with Michael Webster painting Main and King streets, Matthew Donaldson painting Main and Spring streets, and Frankie Page and Adrian Meadows painting Main and Magnolia streets. The artists were chosen by a panel from the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District Steering Committee made up of businesses, residents, arts leaders, city officials and Chamber of Commerce representatives. To ensure the safety of the artists and the successful implementation of the murals, several roads in the cultural district will need to close to traffic at those intersections for 24 hours. The public is invited to watch the artists as they work on these vibrant additions to downtown that will create a safer environment for pedestrians and drivers. There will be a ribbon cutting and public celebration of the crosswalks on Monday, July 22 at 10 a.m. outside Little River Coffee Bar. Please contact Eric Kocher at the Chapman Cultural Center with any questions: ekocher@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9672.
Michael Webster is an artist whose focus is the built environments of cities, particularly the relationship of the spatial and the social.  He has completed site-specific projects in Chicago, Moorestown, NJ, Greenville, NC and Talca, Chile, and has participated in residencies at Hambidge Center, Elsewhere Museum, and Penland School of Craft. Recent exhibitions include Locust Projects, Miami, Paradise Palace, Brooklyn, Wiregrass Museum of Art, AL, and the Southside Hub of Production, Chicago. In 2012 he completed an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently an assistant professor at Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC. On his participation in this project he said:

“As a recent transplant to the area, I have been impressed with the recent growth of public art in Spartanburg. Beyond the impact of each individual artwork, the visibility of all public art within the city signifies a thriving cultural discourse. I am excited to contribute to Spartanburg’s public art collection through the development of this crosswalk, and to add a moment of visual stimulation for people walking or driving down Main St.”


Matthew Donaldson is a web & graphic designer, horror fanatic, and tattoo collector connoisseur. When he’s not working, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and seeing the world, having traveled to such destinations as England, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Thailand. Matthew has over a decade of experience in the design industry, working as a freelance designer, interactive designer, and design educator, and he is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at USC Upstate. Matthew commented on his participation, saying:

“The Creative Crosswalk Project is an opportunity for me to step away from my day-to-day work as a web and graphic designer and into the public art sector. It poses the challenge of removing myself from the digital realm and adapting to a real-world, physical environment. Three USC Upstate graphic design students will collaborate with me as we translate our knowledge of graphic design into public street art.”


Born in New York City and raised in Spartanburg, Frankie Page (aka Frankie Zombie) is a mixed media artist and music producer in Spartanburg. Frankie has collaborated with musical artists such as Pharrell, Miley Cyrus and John Legend to name a few. The collectors of custom Frankie Zombie apparel pieces span from New York City to Atlanta, to London and his art has reached influencers such as Jon Wexler of Adidas, and Pusha T. His current color balance style was birthed after his mother was suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, prompting his return to Spartanburg. Frankie’s art focuses around positive energy, race relations, spirituality, and health. He prescribes to the notion that individual energy determines how the world changes. Spartanburg born and bred Adrian Meadows (aka To Aspire) is a graphic designer, hand lettering, and mixed media artist. Adrian has collaborated with numerous companies such as Adobe Photoshop, Car & Driver magazine, BuzzFeed News and Makeup Forever. Adrian has also been featured in multiple national and international typography focused books such as GoodType: The Book, Vol 1. and Typism: Vol 3. He believes that art is the most impactful language we have and that people who like guacamole cannot be trusted. When asked of his artistic style and inspiration for the project, Page said:

“It literally came from watching the Jetson’s growing up. The colors, the patterns, the shapes, the monochromatic shades, it all came from the cartoon. The Jetson gave me a feel of everything I thought was just a cool dream at the time, and as I grew up, I started to see a lot of those dreams become reality.”


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.
Photo by ISABELA NAIARA MATILDE from Pexels

Tuning Up: Myriad opportunities for artists + grant writing

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...


This one's for you, #SCartists...

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="aligncenter" width="563"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] A spate of calls for art and/or fellowship opportunities came through in recent days, so we're letting you know what we've seen (which, dear reader, is not to be assumed is an exhaustive list of opportunities). Please visit links for deadlines and requirements/restrictions/guidelines! And now, here they are:
  • Submissions are being sought for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2019, the center's fifth survey exhibition of work by contemporary South Carolina artists. The exhibition will be held at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. The 701 CCA S.C. Biennial 2019 will be presented in two parts with openings in September and November. Artists working in all media and styles are encouraged to apply. Artists must be a current resident of South Carolina. Please visit the website for specific details regarding the submissions.
  • Greenville Center for Creative Arts announced that 2019/2020 Brandon Fellowship applications will open June 7, 2019. The Brandon Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the ages of 21-30. Brandon Fellows receive a university style studio space at GCCA, a $250 stipend for art supplies per six-month period, an artist mentor, access to one 6-week class per session, and participation in group shows & community events. Please visit the GCCA website for Brandon Fellowship information.
  • Spartanburg/Upstate musicians are encouraged to sign up for live street performances in the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District. Currently, performances are scheduled to be held near four street intersections: Liberty & East Main streets, Church & East Main streets, Magnolia & Dunbar streets, and W. Main St. Pocket Park by The Coffee Bar. The live performances will take place Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, concluding in October. You must be a Chapman Cultural Center registered musician to perform. A link to join the registry and more information is on this page.

Oh, yeah, grant writing

The Central Midlands Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Columbia, June 17-18, 2019.  This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.  Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county, and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend. Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment. Tuition is $455 and includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals.  Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary. Click here for full event details.

Tuning Up: Blythewood poet laureate, mural SZN, SEPF

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...


Surprise poet laureate named in Blythewood. Perhaps known most for horses and signifying to I-77 southbound travelers that their sojourn through the back country from Rock Hill is transitioning to civilization, Blythewood is embracing arts and culture of late. The first Doko Film Fest was just last weekend, Doko Meadows Park features community concerts through the summer, and Tuesday the town named Sara Corn its first poet laureate. Never heard of her? It's probably because she's 11. Read more about Sara and her honor from ColaDaily. Congrats, Sara! Say it with us: #BecauseOfArtsEd (Post continues below image.) [caption id="attachment_39999" align="aligncenter" width="600"]McCormick mural Jeffrey Callaham mural in McCormick. Image by McCormick County Coordinator La Ruchala Murphy/SCAC.[/caption] Welcome to MURAL SZN. Murals are time-honored public art displays that community planners and citizenry in search of a rallying point enjoy in equal measure. Two new ones came across The Hub's radar:
  • "Lady Vista" now resides in the Congaree Vista (an official South Carolina Cultural District) courtesy of Columbia artist Cait Maloney.
  • Another official South Carolina Cultural District also has a new mural: Spartanburg Downtown checks in with a work by Lucy Boland (w/ an assist from Russel Bannan).
  • With help from an SCAC grant, the McCormick Chamber of Commerce, Willington on the Way, and McCormick Arts Council (MACK) debuted a mural (above) celebrating the history of the Willington area. This mural consists of a series of panels created by McCormick artist Jeffery Callaham and included the support and enthusiasm of more than 120 local elementary, middle, and high school students.
"Keys" to the kingdom? Piano lovers take note: tickets are now on sale to all events of the 2019 Southeastern Piano Festival. Artists known the world over will descend on South Carolina for concerts June 16-22. Artists the world will soon know compete in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition and give a recital on the 22nd.

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.

Spartanburg ready to officially launch cultural district

Spartanburg Cultural DistrictThe official launch of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District takes place Nov. 17 with an opening ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at Morgan Square. The event will run through 8 p.m. with open galleries, live music, and public art installations in other parts of the district. A cultural district is a specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities and assets. Legislation ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Nikki Haley authorizes the South Carolina Arts Commission to grant official state designation to cultural districts in the Palmetto State. With the help of the Chapman Cultural Center’s Culture Counts initiative, which began in 2013, the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District was approved by the City of Spartanburg and designated by the S.C. Arts Commission in 2015. “It is wonderful to receive state and national recognition of the sheer quantity and diverse cultural assets that exist in our city," said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center. "The launch of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District allows us to wrap a ribbon around those assets and activities and make them even more accessible, not only to our local residents, but also to visitors coming to Spartanburg. This designation allows us to distinguish Spartanburg as a culturally diverse and vibrant downtown.” The Chapman Cultural Center was awarded three grants to fund the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District launch by the S.C. Arts Commission, City of Spartanburg and the Hughes Investment Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grant provided by Ten at the Top. Fiber artist and graphic designer Ashleigh Shuler received a grant to create and install several temporary textile-based artworks that will serve as visual identifiers, setting the Cultural District apart from the larger downtown business district. The temporary public art project is a partnership between Chapman Cultural Center, The Spartanburg Art Museum, City of Spartanburg and the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District Steering Committee. Spartanburg Art Museum’s executive director, Elizabeth Goddard, curated the temporary public art installation along with the support of Melissa Earley and Alissa Heckle of the Chapman Cultural Center. For more information, visit the Chapman Cultural Center's website.

Chapman Cultural Center welcomes Rachel Williams as marketing and communications director

Rachel WilliamsGreenville native Rachel Williams has joined the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg as the marketing and communications director. Williams will create and implement communication, advertising, and marketing strategies across diverse platforms to support the mission of the Chapman Cultural Center and the growth of the Spartanburg Cultural District. Williams' previous experience includes working in marketing for Hartness International, Coldwell Banker Caine, and most recently as the marketing and communications coordinator for Paxton Access. “We’re thrilled to welcome Rachel Williams to the Chapman Cultural Center," said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO. "Rachel's role will be integral in implementing a marketing and communication plan that will help support the Chapman Cultural Center’s strategic goals. It’s our role at Chapman Cultural Center to make sure Spartanburg’s cultural story is told locally, regionally, and nationally.” Via: Chapman Cultural Center    

Call for art: Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District

Submission deadline is June 10. The Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District seeks proposals for temporary public art for its newly designated cultural district, a concentrated and diverse area of arts and creative enterprises that includes rapidly growing visual and performing arts as well as creative businesses. The public artwork placed within this district should visually communicate and celebrate Spartanburg’s cultural vibrancy. The temporary public art project is a partnership between the South Carolina Arts Commission, Chapman Cultural Center, The Spartanburg Art Museum and the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District Steering Committee. This call is open to local and regional individual, collectives or groups of artists living and working in the Southeast. This call is a juried process that involves professionals working in the visual arts as well as the Spartanburg Cultural District Steering Committee. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 10, 2016. Criteria:

  • Artwork that utilizes existing structures from public benches, lamp posts, electrical boxes, street curbs, etc.
  • 2D and/or 3D artwork will be installed outside within the 4 block radius of the Cultural District, thus it must be able to withstand the elements for 90 days.
  • Artwork that invites and can withstand public interaction.
  • Not required, but strongly desired, is artwork that utilizes repurposed or upcycled materials
Find the application and submission details online. Via: Chapman Cultural Center