Spartanburg, SC’s newly designated downtown Cultural District has received a $2,500 Elevate Upstate community vibrancy grant from Ten At The Top, a non-profit organization that fosters trust and collaboration through partnerships and cooperation that impacts economic vitality and quality of life across Upstate South Carolina.
The money will be used to implement temporary artwork that will introduce the Cultural District to the community and beyond. Spartanburg is the third city in South Carolina to receive a Cultural District designation from the South Carolina Arts Commission; it is the first in the Upstate. The four-square-block area is located in downtown Spartanburg, and it is a concentrated area with arts-related businesses, galleries, music venues, and public art.
“We are most grateful to Ten At The Top for this grant,” Jennifer Evins, President of Chapman Cultural Center, said. “This is one of the most exciting projects currently being pursued in Spartanburg. This is an opportunity for the arts to make a significant impact on the economic and social development of Spartanburg. We predict that more than one million people will see this artwork, and those people will be instrumental in letting the world know that Spartanburg believes in the power of creativity as a way to make our a community a better place to live and visit.”
Chapman Cultural Center made the application for the grant in partnership with Spartanburg Art Museum and the City of Spartanburg, and will be the coordinating agency for the District’s development during the next few months. The District is scheduled to be ready for public enjoyment in June 2016. The $2,500 grant will help fund the temporary public artwork that will launch the District. That artwork could manifest in many creative ways, but its primary purpose will be to let the public know where the District’s boundaries are.
Spartanburg’s downtown Cultural District was one of four Upstate projects to receive funding from Ten At The Top’s Elevate Upstate grant this year. The other projects were from Woodruff, Greenwood, and Greenville. There was a total of 26 applications for the 2015 grants from across the Upstate. Funding support for the grants is provided by Hughes Investments, an Upstate development company. Since 2013, a total of $43,000 has been awarded to 12 Upstate communities. The 2015 selections were made this past Thursday, Nov. 19.
In January, a Call For Artists will be issued, asking for artists to compete in the design of the temporary artwork. In February, the public will vote on the artists’ submissions. The artist will be picked in March, and fabrication and installation will begin in April and May. The official launch is planned for June. To keep costs down and to further identify with Spartanburg, the artists will be asked to make their designs using re-purposed materials readily available from Spartanburg’s manufacturing companies. The selected artwork will be on display for at least a year.
For more information about Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, please call 864/542-2787.