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Former SCAC grantee exhibits in Spartanburg

A new exhibition at Wofford College is dedicated to lithographer Jim Creal - one of the first recipients of an Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. AVI grantsJim Creal encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. From GoUpstate.com:

Another grant, one from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Artist [sic] Venture Initiative program, allowed him to set up to produce lithographs in his Spartanburg studio and to study under artist and lithographer Lynn Froelich of Charlotte, N.C.

"Lithography is a very twitchy print process, and many of these lithographs would not exist but for the collaborative help of Lynn to print them,” he said in a statement.

Lithographs are “stone prints” created using a large limestone slab on which to draw the desired image with “greasy tools” such as lithographic crayons and utilizes the fact that oil and water do not mix.

Creal created a 25-lithograph collection titled "The South Carolina Coastal Lithographic Project." The new exhibition shows 20 of the lithographs at the Richardson Family Art Museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College. This Thursday at 7 p.m., Creal will give a talk at the museum, and admission is free. The exhibition runs through Saturday, Aug. 4.

Arts Funding at Work: Five awarded sub-grants in Spartanburg

How Chapman Cultural Center puts SCAC funding to work Recently, Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center announced that five non-profits in their service area are recipients of community grants that are funded in part by grant funding from SCAC to the center:

  • Spartanburg Community College
  • Spartanburg Earth Day Festival (shown at right)
  • Spartanburg Repertory Opera
  • Speaking Down Barriers
  • Treefalls
The grants can be up to $5,000. With their grant, Spartanburg Earth Day Festival is incorporating music, poetry reading, and art contests into an "interactive, multi-generational festival." Read more from the Chapman Cultural Center here.

Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg seeks executive director

The Artists' Guild of Spartanburg is accepting applications for a part-time executive director. Job purpose:  The executive director’s position is at the heart of Guild activities and is paramount to the successful implementation of the organization’s mission of supporting local artists and advancing visual art in the community.  This is a highly visible position with many functions and tasks. Reports to: Four-person executive committee Duties and responsibilities: 1)      With the appropriate committee or officer conduct official correspondence of the Guild. 2)      Maintain all records and documents. 3)      With the president and treasurer, assist in revenue receipts for art sales, expense tracking, annual financial budget, year-end IRS and state filing. 4)      Promote active and broad participation by members in all areas of the Guild’s work projects. 5)      Assist the various committees in developing strategies and plans. 6)      Establish and maintain cooperative and working relationships with members of the community and partners of the Chapman Cultural Center. 7)      Manage the Guild Art Gallery in the Chapman Center and with committees organize monthly art shows and Annual Juried Show. 8)      Manage with committee all development activities, including the Guild annual fundraising plan, grant writing, grant applications, membership drives, fundraising events and mailings. 9)      Apply and write grant funding applications. Search out grant opportunities. Such funding will be through city, county, state and private organizations. Submit necessary documentation to respective entities on timely basis. 10)   Cultivate and steward donors and identify new donor resources. Maintain a diverse donor base of individuals, businesses, foundations and government. 11)   Manage marketing activities, including the Guild website, Guild newsletter, advertising, event and gallery opening announcements, mailing lists, and membership lists. 12)   Prepare Guild monthly trustee meeting agenda and report on past month activities and actions of the executive director. Qualifications:

  • Experience in art gallery management essential.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications as well as professional manner required.
  • Prior office administration experience and database record keeping required.
  • Ability to work with all members of the community both artistic and public.
Working conditions:
  • The executive director will have office facilities within the Chapman Cultural Center with a laptop computer and cell phone provided.  The Chapman Center provides a variety of resources including copying, mailing, postage, and marketing support.
  • The Artists’ Guild uses Constant Contact, DonorPerfect software and Square One and PayPal for sale of art, event tickets, and membership dues.
  • Some evening and weekend work.
  • This is a part-time job, 20 hours per week, limited time off.  Employee will be a contract employee.
  • Employee is paid bimonthly and given an IRS 1099 at year end reflection income earned.
Apply to: The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, 200 East St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306 Mark your application/resume:  ATTENTION GUILD PRESIDENT Via: Artists' Guild of Spartanburg

Spartanburg wins Bloomberg Philanthropies grant for public art

The City of Spartanburg, in partnership with The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, has been awarded up to $1,000,000 from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of its Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. (Related: Spartanburg named finalist for public art grant.) From Bloomberg Philanthropies:

In October 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited U.S. mayors to collaborate with artists and arts organizations on developing innovative public art projects that engage residents and attract visitors. After receiving 237 applications that covered a wide range of local and civic issues, Bloomberg Philanthropies selected four winning projects to receive up to $1 million each as part of the Public Art Challenge – a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development. The four selected cities are: Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY, which proposed a collaborative project; Gary, IN; Los Angeles, CA; and Spartanburg, SC. https://youtu.be/0aHSa0q2UA8   Learn more about how each project intends to use public art to transform their city:
  • Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NYBreathing Lights
Through a collaborative effort, the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, plan to illuminate up to 300 vacant homes over several months. Working with lead artist Adam Frelin, lead architect Barbara Nelson, and more than 25 community and private sector partners, including the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, this multi-site installation aims to regenerate interest in once-vibrant neighborhoods that currently have high vacancy rates. This consortium will culminate the project with a regional summit on vacant homes and abandoned buildings to engage local residents, prospective buyers and investors, and policymakers. 
  • Gary, INArtHouse: A Social Kitchen
The City of Gary will transform a vacant downtown building into a cultural hub that showcases visual and culinary arts. ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen is a partnership with artist Theaster Gates and the City to create a civic center that features three commissioned works of visual art, offers culinary training, and provides cultural programming that uses food as a medium for community engagement.  The City will use this public space as a catalyst to develop a cultural district and promote urban revitalization. 
  • Los Angeles, CACURRENT: LA River
The City of Los Angeles will commission up to 15 multidisciplinary artworks and public programs that focus on the city’s environmental concerns and engage residents for its inaugural Public Art Biennial. These installations will include locations alongside the Los Angeles River as well as other sites throughout Los Angeles, increasing awareness of the city’s need for water conservation. 
  • Spartanburg, SCSeeing Spartanburg in a New Light
The City of Spartanburg is planning temporary art installations on city-owned public spaces in five targeted neighborhoods. The project builds on National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, police-community partnership and neighborhood camaraderie. Artist Erwin Redl is collaborating with the city’s police and fire departments, and neighborhood associations selected through a competitive process, to design and develop LED light installations that transform open spaces and create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods. We congratulate the winning cities, and look forward to partnering with them as each project takes shape over the next 24 months. Please join us in watching as the projects develop at publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.  

Spartanburg receives national grant to build “artlets” in Northside neighborhood

The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg (TAP) has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to design, site, and construct artlets in the city’s Northside neighborhood. Artlets are public structures designed to encourage people to be creative in their community. Conceived as public places with a platform approximately eight to 10 feet in diameter and supporting a moveable vertical fence approximately six feet high, they were created during the development of the Northside Community-Creative-Cultural Arts Master Plan in 2014.  “The Northside artlets will be permanent, innovative, and replicable markers of connectivity and shared space for impromptu creativity sited throughout the community. Artlets are where residents make music, read, escape, converse, teach, draw, and share; they are magnets for increasing cultural exchange,” TAP President Jennifer Evins said. These artlets will be sited throughout the Northside; each will accommodate one to 10 people at a time. “Visually and functionally derived from the neighborhood ‘front porch,’ these physical punctuations of community life will be designed, prototyped, and sited in Northside,” Evins said. “This project develops woodworking and design skills for residents, opportunities to learn urban planning strategies, and creates neighborhood portals for artistic enjoyment and appreciation.” Currently, the City of Spartanburg is embarking on an extensive redevelopment plan to revitalize Northside. TAP is leading the effort to include the arts in the redevelopment plans, using the arts as a means for  social and economic change in the neighborhood. From June 2015 to May 2016, design and siting of four artlets will be directed by artist Tom Shields and Art-Force, a nonprofit organization that will manage the project. Northside residents designated as “Voyagers” will help refine artlet locations identified in the Northside Master Plan, contribute to their design aesthetic, learn woodworking skills through artist apprenticeships, and participate in community evaluation for permanent sites and design refinements. Public spaces will be revitalized through these design activities for site-specific installations, or art created only to exist in one specific space. New partnerships will be facilitated and supported by TAP, including art students at Wofford College, The Cleveland Academy of Leadership, and Spartanburg Community College. The project will transform the landscape of Northside by emphasizing community values and traditions in innovative three-dimensional forms. “As an artist who finds social responsibility and connectivity with a broad audience as important as historic and intellectual artistic dialog, I am incredibly excited to be part of the Northside Artlets project,” said artist Tom Shields. “Art is something that should extend beyond the gallery, museum, and classroom and engage every member of our society through personal daily interactions. Working with community members on the design, prototyping, construction, and installation of these artlets will allow us to create public arts spaces, which are exactly what I feel art is intended to be -- by the people for the people. “The carpenter in me is also enormously excited to share my knowledge of tools, materials, and building techniques through the establishment of a woodworking studio in the Northside community,” Shields said. “Twenty years of woodworking experience has shown me how empowering the skills of a builder/maker can be. Whether you are crafting a gift for a friend, repairing an old chair, or building a house, all of these things remind us of the power of our own hands, and skilled hands working together can accomplish anything.” Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across the United States to experience the arts and exercise their creativity. This grant to TAP is in the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round. “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” NEA Chairman Jane Chu said. “Funding these new projects like the one from The Arts Partnership represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.” To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.

Spartanburg named finalist for public art grant

From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Story by Daniel J. Gross
spartanburgnight300Spartanburg has been named one of 12 finalists for a $1 million grant for public art.
Los Angeles, Atlanta and Albuquerque, N.M. also made the list, whittled down from more than 260 initial submissions. For Hub City, that funding would be used for five to seven temporary “light art” installations throughout the city. The initiative is to promote safety and vibrancy, coinciding with the annual National Night Out, which draws communities together to take a stand against crime. Jennifer Evins, president of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, spearheaded the application to Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charitable giving organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The $1 million grant is for public art projects that address civic topics. “At a time when imaginative ideas are redefining every industry, cities increasingly realize how important it is to embrace and encourage creativity,” Bloomberg said in a statement released Thursday. “There was a great response to the challenge we issued, and we hope these projects spur new excitement about the ways public art can strengthen neighborhoods, inspire residents and fuel local economies.” Evins said with Spartanburg as a finalist, she and others in the city will work closely to formulate a more in-depth grant application that focuses on how the project will be implemented and the benefits gleamed from it. “To be in the national forefront with arts and public safety, it shows you how relevant the arts community is that it's open to arts being a solution to things like crime prevention,” Evins said. Evins selected Australia native and artist Erwin Redl to create the light installations for local public spaces. He is currently based out of Ohio, and his work can be seen in cities such as Charlotte, N.C., Toronto, New York, Pittsburgh and Istanbul. The grant would bring the artist to Spartanburg to work with selected neighborhoods within the city on how each art installation would be presented. She said the residents would make the artist aware of specifics that make their neighborhood unique so that themes would be incorporated into the work. Evins said adding light in public spaces reduces crime in dark areas and promotes safety. “It's projects like this that bring people out of their homes, and they meet each other,” Evins said. “It's about citizens being actively involved in a project. It's so much about community policing and part of public safety and crime prevention.” She said the installations would be created beginning in July and unveiled during the National Night Out event in April 2016. National Night Out historically has been a call to residents in cities and towns across the country to turn on their porch lights and take a stand against criminal activity. Evins partnered with the Spartanburg Police Department and other city departments while crafting the grant application. Deputy Chief Jennifer Kindall said she is thrilled that Spartanburg is a finalist. “It's just another opportunity to engage, and it's a wonderful thing with the idea of having it tie in with National Night Out,” Kindall said. “Of course, you know, one of the main emphasis on National Night Out is encouraging residents to turn on porch lights as a symbol that they're making a statement to take a stand against crime.” The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant winner will be named in June. If Spartanburg is selected, the light art would remain on display for six to nine months, Evins said. Will Rothschild, a spokesman for the city of Spartanburg, said the distinction as a finalist among other major cities has brought excitement. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is a very big deal,” Rothschild said. “To be one of 12 finalists in a challenge that included a couple hundred applicants is impressive. We're excited about it, and I hope that we can pull this thing off.”

Hub City Writers Project celebrates 20 years of shaping a Southern literary community

From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Story by Laura J. Perricone, photo by Tim Kimzey

[caption id="attachment_18710" align="alignright" width="285"]Hub City Writers Project anniversary At top, front row from left to right, John Lane and Betsy Teter; back row, Meg Reid, Anne Waters, Michel Stone and Rachel Richardson.[/caption] Spartanburg was on the threshold of an artistic renaissance when a small group of writers launched a plan for a literary awakening that would preserve the essence of a town poised for creative growth. The year was 1995, and the movement was so successful that eventually anything involving homespun writers, artists and even musicians became synonymous with a single brand name — The Hub City Writers Project.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the three friends who had a hand in the inception of Hub City Writers Project said they never imagined the independent publisher would grow into a nationally recognized literary enterprise. But with 70 books and 700 writers published under its name (a few having cut their teeth on its label), even bestselling authors are lining up to share in the success of this former dream-child of visionaries. Betsy Teter, executive director of Hub City Writers Project, and her husband John Lane, Wofford poet and author of a dozen books, are two of the early founders of the nonprofit group located in the historic Masonic Temple building in downtown Spartanburg. For them, the 20-year mark is a huge accomplishment given that few organizations of this type exist in the country. The literary model they adopted has three components: Publishing, programs and an independent bookstore, with proceeds going right back into the organization. As simple as it seems, Teter said the only way it works is with the backing of the community. “Literary groups in other places have tried to follow our model, but they don't have the community support,” Teter said. “I'm very proud this happened in Spartanburg. I tell people this is a very unlikely story in a very unlikely place.” The early days The idea for Hub City was conceived in a coffee shop just a stone's throw away from the organization's current downtown site. It was there Lane met up with Teter, a former business writer for the Herald-Journal, and journalist Gary Henderson to discuss ways of turning Spartanburg into a center for literary arts while preserving the town's rich history through “place-based” writing. Lane, himself, had recently moved back to the area to teach at Wofford, but his travels made him yearn for a literary community, a stomping ground where like-minded people could exchange ideas. Back then, that stomping ground was this coffee shop where all three writers laid out their ideas on a single napkin. “We were sitting there talking and Betsy reached over and picked up a napkin and wrote down how to structure Hub City and what to call it,” Henderson said from his home in Costa Rica. “It's really a legend how it started.” The brainstorming resulted in what Lane called the “first wave of public creativity,” which resulted in the publication of Hub City Anthology in April 1996. The book was a resounding success not just for its literary content, but for the foresight the group had to resurrect the town's old nickname. Back then, the Hub City moniker that once alluded to Spartanburg's history as a crossroad for trains, was nearly extinct. Lane's vision for a literary arts community enticed the group to join the name with the Depression era Federal Writers Project. Thus, Hub City Writers Project was born as a nod to both historic references. On the day of the book release, which was held at the train depot, more than 600 books were sold. Henderson said people were lined up to get their copy and meet the band of authors that contributed to the book. “There were people everywhere. There must have been 1,500 people there. It was just amazing,” Henderson said. Initially, there was never a discussion of putting out another book after Hub City Anthology, but the swell of public interest changed all that. Soon more place-based books were being pumped out by Hub City and met with as much fanfare as the first. There were books written on peaches, textiles, music and military training camps, and the pool seemed endless. “In the early days, we didn't know how many books (we would publish),” Lane said. “We were working in a literary vacuum and had a complete history to draw from.” It became obvious at the train station that the small independent publisher was headed for more than a single book release. No place like home Teter's house was where much of Hub City's business took place initially. Her dining room table was a makeshift desk and the fax machine, which ran day and night, sat beside her bed. Five years later, Hub City Writers Project moved into a single room in a slowly deteriorating Montgomery Building and then into a former car dealership on South Daniel Morgan Avenue, now known as the Hub Bub Showroom. In 2006, the City of Spartanburg allocated $500,000 to open The Showroom Gallery and Performance Hall, where musicians, artists and writers shared a single venue. Teter suddenly found herself at the center of the arts and entertainment business. Through her efforts, Hub Bub was pushed into the limelight, generating another creative movement in the community. With two successful entities vying for her attention, Teter longed to concentrate on developing the literary community she, Lane and Henderson had hoped for. At this point, Teter said, Hub City was still in want of an independent bookstore, which was vital to the organization's survival. The sale of books was the only way Hub City could continue offering creative writing programs and place-based publications. That would happen in 2010, when Hub City received enough donations and financial assistance to renovate the ground floor of the historic Masonic Temple for The Hub City Bookshop. The store is now the face of Hub City and is stocked with more than 5,000 titles that Teter said appeal to serious readers. Little River Coffee Shop and Cakehead Bakeshop are located in the same space, increasing the foot traffic for both locations. Hub City has moved beyond concentrating on local writers, though that is still the heart and soul of the organization. Anne Waters, manager of the Hub City Bookshop, said the store attracts authors of national appeal like Dorothea Benton Frank and Ron Rash, who are frequent visitors to the area. Often, she said, visiting authors end up participating in future programs. And in recent years, Hub City has published top writers from Richmond and Charlottesville in Virginia, Greensboro and Wilmington in North Carolina, Atlanta, and Montgomery, Alabama. “Each thing builds upon the other,” she said. “The momentum is so strong and the notoriety keeps increasing.” Planting the seed One of Hub City's biggest success stories took place in 2012 with the publication of Michel Stone's debut book, “The Iguana Tree.” Today, Stone is a nationally acclaimed novelist who credits Teter for helping the novel sell all over the United States and become Hub City's best-seller. “I could not have had a better experience. Betsy is so unique and wonderful, and she is so good about supporting her authors,” Stone said. “Hub City Press publishes six books a year and because of that they are so invested in each book. I'm sure the great reviews “The Iguana Tree” got was in part because Betsy was so good in pounding the pavement in getting the book out there.” Stone, a Spartanburg resident, said it was actually Hub City who inspired her to write a novel in the first place. Her introduction to Hub City began years ago when she entered the group's annual short story competition and won. Her prize was a free admission to the Hub City's Writing In Place workshop held at Wofford College. While there, the instructor asked participants to think of an object and describe it. Stone said she immediately thought about a rocking chair in her daughter's room, and she started writing about it. As the lessons continued and the subject matter grew more intense, Stone ended up describing a scene that she would later use in “The Iguana Tree.” “So, Hub City was instrumental in the very first sentence of my novel,” she said. Having received excellent reviews for her book, Stone found herself traveling across the country to give talks and sign books. Stone said “The Iguana Tree” was selected to be used by four colleges in their curriculum and as a community read in a small town called Hermiston, Oregon. “They flew me out there and treated me so kindly. All the kids in the high school ... all read the book and they had my name on the marquee welcoming me to Oregon. It was the most incredible experience in my life.” Now, Stone, who has completed a second novel, serves as chairperson on Hub City's 15-member board. She has also taught youth writing groups for the organization and is hands-on with other Hub City writing programs. “Hub City is very important to Spartanburg,” she said. “It's my favorite thing about Spartanburg.” The small publisher/bookstore is also catching the attention of other nationally recognized names. Just recently, the prolific bestseller James Patterson gave Hub City Bookshop a $6,000 grant in his efforts to support independent bookstores. It was just another shot in the arm for Hub City and another example of how authors have become the organization's advocate. Programs for writers Hub City also prides itself on introducing young writers to the area. Meg Reid, assistant director of Hub City, said the organization receives 100 applications from across the nation each year for its writers-in-residency program, which is housed in a bungalow on Spring Street in Hampton Heights. Only three candidates are selected for the year. Reid, who moved from Wilmington, N.C. to work for Hub City, said she is amazed at how the community has rallied around the Hub City Writers Project and is in awe of the continued growth of a program that focuses on authors, writers and readers. “People here care and are working hard (to keep it going),” she said. “This shouldn't work but it does ... it's difficult to say how because nothing like this ever existed before.” Teter agreed, saying no one could have predicted Hub City would have grown from an idea on a napkin to a nationally recognized literary center. “If someone told me 10 years ago that we would have a storefront on Main Street, I'd say they were insane. But now people say they move here because of Hub City Writers Project.” 20-year celebration To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Hub City is planning a street party for the public and a weekend of literary activities May 8-10. For Spartanburg natives and friends Teter, Lane and Henderson, it seemed like a good way to honor their Southern roots, even if one of them moved on. “I have left Spartanburg but part of me is still there,” said Henderson. “Hub City was the best thing that happened to me. If nothing else, Hub City Writers Project gave Spartanburg a new identity and put back energy into the town.” Friday, May 8 Lit Crawl, 5–7 p.m. (Growler Haus, Delaneys, and Hub City Bookshop) Book release event for “Minnow” by James McTeer, 7:30 p.m., Hub City Bookshop Saturday, May 9 Anniversary Street Party 5–8 p.m., West Main Street in front of Hub City Bookshop Music, Kids events (free books for children), Author signing tent, silent auction Sunday, May 10 Benefit Brunch for The Writers House Residency Program, 10:30 a.m. Indigo Hall Tickets: 864-577-9349  

USC Upstate to launch downtown art gallery

From GoUpstate.com:
An art gallery will be the University of South Carolina Upstate’s second facility located in downtown Spartanburg.
UPSTATE Gallery on Main, at 172 E. Main St., will open to the public for the first time for Thursday’s ArtWalk. The gallery will feature contemporary and original exhibitions from Upstate’s permanent collection by artists Andy Warhol, Jerry Uelsmann and Beatrice Riese, according to university officials. “We are excited to bring our art to downtown Spartanburg and look forward to showcasing the contemporary works by visiting artists and USC Upstate students and faculty,” said Jane Allen Nodine, USC Upstate art professor and director of art galleries, in a written statement. Nodine said the gallery will also serve as an experimental learning lab, and students will work at the gallery. For ArtWalk, visitors may view Nodine’s sculptural assemblages, which she creates using wax, paper, fibers and fabric. She also is showing encaustic paintings and wax prints. Chancellor Tom Moore said in a statement that having a gallery downtown supports the university’s mission and complements the Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery on the main campus. “This downtown facility will enable us to make our permanent collection and exhibitions available to a much larger audience,” Moore said. The gallery is USC Upstate’s second downtown space, in addition to the George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics on St. John Street. The UPSTATE Gallery on Main will be open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. Admission is free and open to the public. A grand opening is planned for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11. For details, contact Nodine at 864-503-5838 or jnodine@uscupstate.edu.

New Wofford College class connects students to community arts organizations

From Wofford College's The Old Gold and Black (student-run newspaper) Story by Sarah Madden

What do six seniors, a junior, six freshmen and community arts professionals have in common? The newest art history course, Community Engagement in the Arts seminar class, draws these people together to provide students with hands-on experience and changed perspectives on the arts community and its organizations. The class meets once a week for discussions with guest speakers from Spartanburg arts organizations, but the core of the course is centered around 40-50 hour practicums, which are similar to internships. In a practicum, students are “working on an individual mission related to the organization’s mission,” says Dr. Karen Goodchild, associate professor of art history. According to Goodchild, the class focuses on exploring how and why arts organizations are founded, funded, programmed and maintained. First-year student Michal Busbee says that this course has encouraged her dream of becoming a museum curator. “The course, while enabling me to see the practical side of art and get hands-on experience in my dream career, is also pushing me to go outside my comfort zone and get involved with the community outside of Wofford,” she says. Senior Sarah Baldwin finds this class, with its mixture of discussion, guest speakers and hands-on experience, to be her most applicable course taken at Wofford. “It bridges my educational experience and future career plans,” she says. “I have not just learned the material, I have also acquired experience working independently with an organization on a project that allows me to practice and apply what I have learned in class in a ‘real-world’ setting.” These individualized practicums range from working with Wofford’s archivist cataloging art pieces to helping Hub City Writer’s Project interview artists for a soon-to-be-published book on regional public art to collecting and transcribing oral histories of Northside residents for the Northside Initiative’s “Porch Stories” project. Senior art history major Sari Imber has been working with Hub City Press in downtown Spartanburg. “The experience has been incredibly eye-opening in terms of my career search this year, and I have learned a lot about the many aspects of the art industry…that I otherwise would have never been exposed to in a traditional lecture-based setting.” While the seniors tend to point to the applicability of the class to the real world, the younger students attest to a new perspective on Sparkle City. First-year student Julie Woodson, for example, says that before taking this class she had no idea how much there was to do in Spartanburg. “[The city] really has a lot to offer. There are so many arts organizations in Spartanburg, and they are always hosting gallery openings, art shows or other events (which usually offer free food).” The long-term benefit is clear to Woodson. “We have all gained a ton of experience, contacts and skills that will most definitely be beneficial when we graduate. I would love to see more classes and areas of study that encourage students to get involved in Spartanburg,” she says. This class also has been well received in the community, says Jennifer Evins, CEO and president of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg. “One of the greatest benefits came from dialogue with students about how the local arts community could engage college students more. Some very good ideas resulted, and we hope to implement them with their assistance,” she says. “I believe that this new engagement seminar will continue to help develop a closer relationship with the Wofford College community, and it will give students practical experience in arts administration and arts program development.” “Community Engagement in the Arts has undoubtedly been the most useful, meaningful and challenging class I have had the opportunity to take at Wofford,” says Imber. Baldwin agrees. “Not only that, but it has allowed me to network and establish myself in a work environment, an experience I would have lacked if I had not been given the opportunity to leave the classroom." Image: "The value of the arts on communities is immense,” says former Spartanburg mayor Bill Barnett, one of the many guest speakers.

#1Spark! to celebrate all things entrepreneurial and creative

Chapman Cultural Center is calling all creative and entrepreneurial people, including artists, inventors, business start-ups, craftsmen, food vendors and others, to participate in its #1Spark! festival Saturday, Sept. 6, in downtown Spartanburg. #1Spark! -- where creativity and innovation collide  -- is a festival of ideas bringing together all the creative forces of the community, especially those associated with business and the arts. The goal is to ignite creativity and innovation by connecting people and ideas. Chapman Cultural Center is seeking artists, entrepreneurs or inventors who are looking for opportunities to interact with the public or who desire feedback from potential customers in a low-risk environment in product/service development. Jennifer Evins, Chapman’s president/CEO, said: “Spartanburg is already known throughout the region as a vibrant arts community. We are known nationwide as a pro-business community. What better way to celebrate two of our most valuable assets than to combine them into a single concept and event? It will be a unique experience, and one that I’m sure the general public will find informative, creative, and fun.” To be a creator (entrepreneur, artist or inventor) and to have a booth to demonstrate and/or sell goods or services there is a simple application process and a $30 fee. To apply, please call (864) 591-5604 or email jPickens@SpartanArts.org. The outdoor festival will start at 11 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. between Chapman Cultural Center and “The George,” along North Liberty Street. Major partners in the festival include USC Upstate’s The George (the Johnson College of Business and Economics) and the Iron Yard, the downtown business accelerator. “We are about entrepreneurship. We’re about art. We’re about education. We’re about ideas. What better way to encourage innovation and creativity than to bring arts and business together?” Evins said. Via: Chapman Cultural Center