Archive for the ‘Spartanburg SC Visual Arts’ Category

City of Spartanburg, SC, Selected as Recipient of up to $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies for Public Art Project

June 29, 2015

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that the City of Spartanburg, SC, has been selected as one of four cities to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. The city’s project, “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light,” will highlight public safety and the relationship between citizens and law enforcement officers in Spartanburg, and will be developed and executed over the next 24 months.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of US cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. Proposals covered a range of issues, such as the revitalization of decayed downtown areas, underutilized waterfronts, and vacant neighborhoods. They also addressed social themes including neighborhood safety, environmental sustainability, and promoting city identity. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States.

“We are ecstatic to have been selected,” Spartanburg Mayor Junie White said. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant will allow the City to partner with the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg to develop a truly special public art project that I know will inspire our citizens. I want to thank the Bloomberg Philanthropies for this display of belief in our project and our city.”

“Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” is a partnership among internationally recognized light and digital media artist Erwin Redl, The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, and City of Spartanburg departments and civic leadership. The project will use a collaborative, neighborhood-based art-making process to enhance community policing and public safety efforts aligned with the annual National Night Out program. Its artistic objective is to provide residents and visitors with unique and dramatic aesthetic experiences of light breaking free of a purely functional role, to redefine public spaces, reduce crime, re-energize neighborhoods, educate and foster greater pride of place.

By bringing site-specific art into Spartanburg neighborhoods where residents may feel isolated from traditional cultural assets, the project will foster greater understanding of both the artistic process and the transformative impact of public art. The project will eliminate barriers to engagement as residents become part of the artistic process and help translate ideas into works of art. By de-mystifying art and artists, the project will deepen Spartanburg citizens’ personal commitment to art and culture as a shared value.

Spartanburg’s 21 neighborhood associations will be invited to submit a letter of interest to the City of Spartanburg as a demonstration of their interest in participating and their commitment to contributing to the collaborative process. Their application will outline their case for a light installation in their neighborhood and present the project team that will work with Mr. Redl and the other project partners. The intent is to select five neighborhoods that represent a diverse cross-section of Spartanburg’s residents and socio-economic backgrounds.

The Public Art Challenge grant will cover development, execution and project-related expenditures but will not fund 100 percent of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters.

Cities of all sizes applied to the Public Art Challenge. Nearly half of the 237 submissions were from cities with populations fewer than 100,000 residents; 38 percent had populations between 100,000 and 500,000; and 13 percent of the applicant cities had more than 500,000 residents. A variety of artistic disciplines were represented amongst the applications: 61% of the proposed public art projects involved visual art, 19 percent combined multiple disciplines, 17 percent featured digital media, and three percent focused on the performing arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies narrowed the application to 12 finalists, including Spartanburg, in February.

Submissions were evaluated on a number of factors, including their potential viability as dynamic public art projects, their impact on civic issues, and capacity to establish or strengthen public-private partnerships. More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found on (

More information about “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” can be found on (, and more more information about artist Erwin Redl can be found on (

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit ( or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

2015 Hub City Empty Bowls Kicks Off June 18, 2015, in Spartanburg, SC

June 7, 2015

Hub City Empty Bowls is now gearing up for its 2015 bowl-making sessions and Soup Day, which are a fundraiser to help feed hungry people in Spartanburg, SC. The first two bowl-making sessions will be Thursday, June 18, during ArtWalk at West Main Artists Co-Op, 6-8:30pm, and Saturday, June 20, 10am-noon and 1-3pm, at Spartanburg Art Museum’s (SAM) Art School at Chapman Cultural Center. The money raised through the public’s making of handmade pottery bowls will be donated to TOTAL Ministries, a charity dedicated to feeding local citizens who don’t have enough to eat. Hub City Empty Bowls is a project of Carolina Clay Artists.

Empty Bowls is an international fundraising project that has taken root in many communities as a grassroots effort to feed local and needy citizens. Over the course of a few months, citizens are invited to make handmade pottery bowls at no cost. Bowl-making sessions are always fun and family oriented events. Those bowls are then professionally glazed and fired. At the end of the project, the public is invited to Soup Day, where citizens may pick out the bowls of their choice for a $15 donation each and then enjoy unlimited soup that is donated by local restaurants. Other activities on Soup Day include live music, silent auctions, drum circles, and fellowship. Hub City Empty Bowls’ Soup Day will be Saturday, Sept. 26, 11am-4pm, at Chapman Cultural Center.

The other bowl-making sessions will be July 18, 10 

am-noon and 1-3pm, at Chapman Cultural Center; Aug. 20, 6-8:30pm, during ArtWalk at West Main Artists Co-Op; and Aug. 22, 10am-noon and 1-3pm at Chapman Cultural Center. All supplies and instruction are provided by Carolina Clay Artists. The public need only bring enthusiasm, creativity, hands willing to get dirty, and a canned food donation for TOTAL Ministries.

This is the seventh year that Carolina Clay Artists has sponsored Hub City Empty Bowls. Last year, the recipient of the funds was TOTAL Ministries, and the record-breaking net donation was $22,500. “Empty Bowls has become one of Spartanburg’s most favorite and most inclusive fundraising events,” Chairman Nancy Williamson said. “I think the keys to the success are the grassroots approach – making sure the money we raise gets to the people who need it, the public’s opportunity to make pottery bowls, and the accessibility of Soup Day. Where else can you donate $15 and get a nice pottery bowl to keep, all the gourmet soup you can eat, listen to live music, and socialize with like-minded people? It’s just a good deal; a win-win for everyone.”

“TOTAL Ministries is forever grateful to Hub City Empty Bowls for choosing us as the recipient of its labors,” the agency’s Executive Director Traci Kennedy said. “They have recognized a huge need, and we are so glad they believe in our work to help feed the community’s hungry. In Spartanburg County, 15 percent, or about 42,980 people, are in danger of not having enough to eat on a daily basis. The problem is especially bad for children and the elderly. Of all the people who ask TOTAL Ministries for help, 83 percent have a critical need for food. With the money we received last year from Empty Bowls, we were able to feed 4,687 people. All we can say is ‘Thank you!’”

This year, the bowl-making sessions are being grouped into three months, June, July, and August, with four of the sessions being within two days of each other and two being held during ArtWalk. All sessions will be held at either West Main Artists Co-Op or SAM’s Art School at Chapman Cultural Center. “I think part of our success is because of the close ties we have with the arts community. Spartanburg Art Museum and West Main Artists Co-op have generously opened their ceramic studios for our use and they both donate glazes and kiln firing. We could not offer the public bowl-making sessions without them.” Williamson said. “Plus, Chapman Cultural Center is the perfect venue for Soup Day. The large lobby and the outdoor plaza all make for a nice place for people to congregate.”

This year’s sponsors of Hub City Empty Bowls are Chris Williams, Carolina Clay Artists, Chapman Cultural Center, West Main Artists Co-Op, Spartanburg Art Museum, Action Printing, and Wheresville Productions. “We always need sponsors,” Williamson said. “If anyone wants to help or if any business wants to contribute, please contact me.”

For more information about Hub City Empty Bowls, please contact Williamson at 864/621-2768. More information can be found online at ( The project can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Proceeds from this event will be directed to the Hub City Empty Bowls Project Fund, a component fund of The Spartanburg County Foundation established to increase awareness about the issues of hunger and food security, and to raise funds to help local organizations fight hunger. This year’s beneficiary organization is TOTAL Ministries.

USC Upstate Student Interns at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC

May 28, 2015


La’Quasha Dixon, a senior at USC Upstate, is a student intern in the Marketing Department at Chapman Cultural Center for the summer 2015. A native of Camden, SC, she is using this internship to gain real world experience, while accumulating academic credit that will be applied towards her college graduation. With four years of college behind her, she has one more fall semester before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications, focusing in mass media.

Chapman Cultural Center is a non-profit organization that promotes the arts, science, and history of Spartanburg.

Dixon is currently a resident of Spartanburg but is most recently from Columbia, SC, where she found her interest in the arts. With her cognate being Women in Music, she will be able to apply her education to her internship. She hopes to get insight into the production of the arts and how she can apply it to her career goal of becoming an entertainment publicist. This internship will be a great addition to Dixon’s resume and a step in the right direction towards her career goals.

Dixon can be reached at 803.351-1461 or by e-mail at (

Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, Announces Art Scholarships Awarded to Two Local Students

May 23, 2015


Two high school students, both planning to major in art next year when they go to college, have been awarded $1,000 by The Mary Wheeler Davis Memorial Fund for the Promotion of the Arts. They are Kaleb Michael Dill of Landrum, SC. and Thaddeus John Troxell of Boiling Springs, SC. This annual scholarship program is administered by Chapman Cultural Center, and the fund is held by The Spartanburg County Foundation.

Each year, one or more $1,000 scholarships are awarded to students pursuing college degrees in the visual or performing arts. The selection is based on the character, financial need, and artistic potential. Also, the scholarships are awarded based on the recommendations of a panel of community leaders with interest and expertise in the visual and performing arts. This scholarship was established in 1989 to honor the memory of Mary Wheeler Davis, a native of Charleston and the wife of Dr. William McAlhany Davis. She was a local community leader and involved in many Spartanburg arts organizations.

Work by Kaleb Michael Dill

Dill is currently a senior at Landrum High School, and he plans to attend College of Charleston, next year to major in studio art with a concentration in photography. Eventually, he hopes to open his own photography business in Spartanburg. Dill’s accomplishments include a first-place in the Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation photography competition for the past three years, and participation in various exhibits in the Upstate, Western North Carolina, and statewide South Carolina. In addition, one of his photographs will be published this fall in “Photographer’s Forum Magazine”, showcasing national high school and college students photography. Other exhibitions he has been a part of include the Wofford College Sandor Teszler Library Glendale Shoals Photography Gallery, the SC Wildlife Harry Hampton Photography Gallery, the “Focus on Youth Juried Show” at Chapman Cultural Center, “Upstate High School Art Exhibit” at Greenville Technical College, “Evening of Excellence” at Tryon Fine Arts Center, Milliken Art Gallery, and the “Congressional Art Show”. This year Dill received the Spartanburg District One Milliken Art Award.

Work by Thaddeus John Troxell

Troxell is currently a senior at Boiling Spring High School and plans to major in either illustration or graphic design. He will also be attending Winthrop University with hope of transferring to Savannah College of Art and Design his sophomore year. His mediums so far have been pencil, digital, ceramics, and screen-printing. He would like to design movie posters or album covers of his favorite musical artists. His work has been seen in the “Boiling Springs High School Literary Magazine” and at Gallery East in Spartanburg. This summer he is the Graphics Manager for local Fine Arts Day Camp at Converse College and his work includes managing the camp’s social media sites. His private art teacher is Bailie of Spartanburg. He has also participated in live theatre, marching band, symphonic band, and will join the open mic club and radio station at Winthrop.

“Both of these young men are exceptional in their creativity,” Chapman’s Arts Education Director Ava Hughes said. “In looking at their work, I know they will go far in their careers, and it is my hope that this scholarship will make their educational journeys a little more secure. I believe Mary Wheeler Davis would be very proud to know she is being a part of these young men’s success.”

Applications to this scholarship program come due in April each year. For more information, please contact Hughes at 864/278-9693.

The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, SC, Receives National Grant to Build Creativity Spots on Northside

May 11, 2015

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 in Spartanburg, SC.

Artlets are public structures designed to encourage people to be creative in their community. Conceived as public places with a platform approximately eight to ten 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; 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 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, Evins said. 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, she said.

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.”

“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,” Tom Shields said about his enthusiasm for establishing a woodworking studio in Northside and working with the community to conceive, design, prototype, and install the artlets. “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.”

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to (

Carolina Parrot Prints Now Available at Spartanburg Regional History Museum in Spartanburg, SC

May 11, 2015

A reproduction of Alexander Wilson’s hand-colored scientific illustration of the Carolina Parrot from American Ornithology is now available for purchase at Spartanburg Regional History Museum at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, or at its online gift shop. This print, which depicts the Carolina Parrot as well as the Canada Flycatcher, Hooded Flycatcher and Green black-capt Flycatcher, was copied from an example in Spartanburg County Historical Association’s collection. The original was donated for the restoration of Walnut Grove Plantation.


Alexander Wilson, sometimes called the father of American Ornithology, was a Scottish-American ornithologist who published a nine-volume collection of illustrations of North American birds, which was the first major scientific work published in the United States. This illustration is from the first volume, published in 1808. Purchases of these prints are tax-free and proceeds from the sale support conservation of historic prints. Prints are available for $10 at the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, open 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5pm on Sunday, or for $15 online at (

For further information contact Julius Dargan, Operations & Programming Manager, Spartanburg County Historical Association by calling 864/591-5596 or e-mail to (

ArtMarket Returns to Sundays Unplugged at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC

April 30, 2015


Spartanburg, SC, is a city that takes pride in its unique arts and culture. With the reappearance of warm weather, patrons can now show that pride by purchasing a piece of affordable, regionalist art at Chapman Cultural Center’s ArtMarket, 1-5pm, every Sunday.

During the Center’s Sundays Unplugged program, which provides casual and cultural entertainment in the form of free concerts and free admission, local artists set up shop to sell their work. On any given Sunday, patrons may find photography, paintings, artisan jewelry, woodwork, pottery, metalwork, soaps and candles, edibles, and more.

“You won’t find any ‘Made in China’ stickers here,” Melissa Earley, ArtMarket and Ticket Office Manager at Chapman Cultural Center, said. “Why have a stock image from a chain store on your wall that’s a carbon copy of a million others when you can easily buy a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and support your local economy?”

All items in the ArtMarket are locally handcrafted and designed to be affordable for all budgets. All proceeds from individual sales go directly to the local artist.

“We’re invested in local artists,” Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman, said. “We don’t claim any of their sales. The ArtMarket is about connecting regional artisans and local residents to show everybody what amazing creative talents are in our community, and it’s about giving artists another opportunity to support themselves and be successful.”

Chapman Cultural Center’s ArtMarket has been occurring seasonally since 2013, inviting the public to engage the arts every Sunday in Zimmerli Plaza, weather permitting.

Artists interested in participating should search “ArtMarket” and select “Sundays Unplugged” on (, then review and complete the artist contract. Participation is a minimal annual fee, and all products for sale must be locally handmade.

For more information on the ArtMarket, please call 864/542-ARTS.

Headquarters Library of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries in Spartanburg, SC, Calls for Entries for “3rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition” – Deadline June 1, 2015

April 10, 2015


The Spartanburg County Public Libraries are sponsoring the “3rd Annual Juried Exhibition” that will be on display from Aug. 14 – Oct. 18, 2015. The competition is open to all artists, ages 18 and over, professional or amateur, who reside in Spartanburg County (SC), Cherokee County (SC), Laurens County (SC), Union County (SC), Greenville County (SC), Rutherford County (NC), and Polk County (NC).

Amber Smith, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum, located in Charlotte, NC, will serve as juror for this year’s exhibition.

ENTRY DATES: Apr. 13 – June 1, 2015

Cash and purchase awards exceeding $2,500.00 will be presented in this year’s exhibition. Entries may be submitted digitally through our online submission form at ( that will open Apr. 13 and continue through June 1. There will be a reception and awards ceremony open to the public on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, from 7-9pm at the Headquarters Library. Live music and hors d’oeuvres will be provided during the reception.

Please download the prospectus for full details on eligibility and submitting artwork at (

For more information regarding this event contact Miranda Mims Sawyer by calling 864/285-9091 or e-mail to (

The Headquarters Library of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries in Spartanburg, SC, Announced Winners of the “3rd Annual Collegiate Invitational Art Exhibition”

April 9, 2015


The Headquarters Library of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries in Spartanburg, SC is presenting the “3rd Annual Collegiate Invitational Art Exhibition”, on view in the AT&T Exhibition Lobby, through May 7, 2015. Stop by to view student and faculty artwork on display. The schools participating are: Anderson University, Bob Jones University, Converse College, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, North Greenville University, USC Upstate and Wofford College.

1st Place Award – K.C. Christmas of Bob Jones University

2nd Place Award – Angela Hargrove of USC Upstate

3rd Place Award – Alyson Record of Anderson University

The awards were selected by Winston A. Wingo, an artists/educator who lives in Spartangurg, SC.

The award winner include:

Honorable Mention – Victoria Hodge of Converse College for “Patrick of Colorado” a screen-print

Honorable Mention – Parks Schoen of Wofford College for “Admirable Freedom” an acrylic on canvas

Honorable Mention – Amy Galloway of Anderson University for “Falling Ballerina” an oil on linen

Honorable Mention – Deanna Finley of Greenville Technical College for an “Untitled” woodcut

Merit Award – Caren Stansell of Converse College for “Asphyxia” a two color lithograph

Merit Award – Kayla Frost of Lander University for “Remnants” for raku fired stoneware

Merit Award – Victoria Horne  of North Greenville University for “Sleepy Sailor” a linocut

Staff Award – Katie Harmon of Wofford College for “Pioneer Peak” an acrylic on canvas

Librarians Award – Andrew Blanchard, Faculty at Converse College for “Dixie Totem, IV” a screen-print on Magnani Pescia

Friends of the Library Award – Braden Burns of Lander University for “Allocation” wood, steel

Library Purchase Award – Kayla Frost of Lander University for “Remnants” raku fired stoneware

Faculty Award – Carly Drew, Adjunct Instructor at Greenville Technical College, for “Old Tom Turkey” acrylic, graphite, watercolor

3rd Place Award – Alyson Record of Anderson University for “Unpainting: Soda-Fish” recycled aluminum cans on panel

2nd Place Award – Angela Hargrove of USC Upstate for “Family” acylic/mixed media

1st Place Award – K.C. Christmas of Bob Jones University for “Broken” oil/mixed media

For further information contact Miranda Mims Sawyer by e-mail at ( or call 864/285-9091.

Chapman Cultural Center and Barnet Park in Spartanburg, SC, Host Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival – Mar. 21, 2015

March 13, 2015


Thousands of kites representing the colorful diversity and sky-high spirits of the community will fly above Chapman Cultural Center and Barnet Park during the Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival, in Spartanburg, SC, on Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015.

More than 2,000 people, including hundreds of out-of-town visitors, flew to the fields surrounding Chapman Cultural Center in the spring of 2014 for the inaugural festival, which featured food, music, arts & crafts, and kite-flying. Professional fliers attended, sending kites of impressive sizes and designs into the air, as well as children who ran enthusiastically with simple, handmade kites.


“The sky was full of kites, and the city was full of joy,” Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, said. “Kite-flying brings people together. The festival is a great place for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience what Spartanburg’s all about. We want people to show their community pride and come play with us!”

This year, Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville initiative will have a presence at the festival to promote wellness and community pride in an effort to lead to a healthier Spartanburg. In addition, Partners for Active Living and City of Spartanburg will feature plenty of “no wind” activities, such as Frisbee throwing and face painting. “Kites might be the symbol of Spartanburg’s community pride, but we’ll have many other activities going on just in case there’s no wind,” Evins said.

To promote good health and exercise, attendees are encouraged to walk or ride bicycles to the event. As an added benefit to this year’s festival, City of Spartanburg will waive public bus fares for the day to give residents transportation to the festival free of charge. “The whole city is on board with Spartanburg Soaring,” Evins said. “Whether you walk, bike ride, or ride a bus, just come. It’s going to be a glorious spring day to be healthy and celebrate Spartanburg.”

Fun-fly ribbons will be awarded throughout the day to people flying kites in the “free fly zones” in categories such as Biggest Kite, Most Creative, Highest Flyer, Prettiest Kite, and Straightest Up to the Sky. Children and adults alike are eligible for awards. “And we expect to have some professional and high-end enthusiasts here again this year,” Evins said. “Last year, we had professional kite flyers from North Carolina and Georgia, and giant kites that looked like blue whales in the sky. Someone even had a kite with a camera on it.”

Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring their own kites, but inexpensive kites will be on sale for those who wish to purchase one at the festival. Spartanburg Soaring! Kite Club, which formed last year in response to the inaugural festival and campus-wide kite exhibition, will be on hand to help festival goers assemble their kites. Chuck Holmes, a Spartanburg resident and master kite maker who established the club, was the catalyst for the Spartanburg Soaring! initiative.

“Chuck and his kites are what started Spartanburg Soaring!,” Evins said. “He is certainly the go-to guy in Spartanburg, and probably the state, when it comes to kites. We are forever grateful for his guidance and participation in this project.”

Attendees can expect to see and do much more than fly kites. Live music will be provided by Rock and Roll Reunion, a band lead by local news anchor Tom Crabtree, noon-2pm, as well as Wentzler Butler’s New Orleans-style jazz band The Rockers, 3-5pm. In between, people can participate in an energetic drum circle lead by Melisa Emkjer.

Dozens of regional artisans will be on hand as well, selling their affordable handcrafted wares in Barnet Park. Artists from an array of genres will showcase what makes the local arts scene soar in Spartanburg. “It is the perfect opportunity for both the artists and the public to sell and buy locally made works of art,” Evins said.

Food trucks will be on hand as well, pairing healthy activity with healthy fares. Asheville-based Taste and See, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Kesha’s Mobile Food Truck, The Nomadic Few shaved ice, K BBQ, and Greenville favorite The Chocolate Moose, which will serve hot chocolate and coffee, will provide options for everyone along Liberty Street.

“Kite flying is an international and intergenerational activity,” Evins said. “Spartanburg Soaring is all about celebrating Spartanburg, taking pride in our community. What better way to do this than to get out on a spring day and look upward to the blue sky as hundreds of kites of many different kinds and colors fill the heavens?”

In case of inclement weather, the festival’s rain date is the following day on Sunday, Mar. 22, 1-5pm.

Sponsors for this event include WSPA-TV, “Spartanburg Herald-Journal”, City of Spartanburg, Price’s Menswear, and Partners of Active Living, as well as Upstate International that will blanket the area with flags of nations around the world, many with their own kite-related traditions. As well as “Carolina Arts” for bringing you this information.

Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit ( or call 864/542-2787.


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