Spartanburg’s Home for Arts, Culture, and SO much more!

    Spartanburg’s Home for Arts, Culture, and SO much more!

    Spartanburg’s Home for Arts, Culture, and SO much more!

    Chapman Cultural Center is Spartanburg’s one-stop shop for arts and cultural events, performances, exhibits, and educational programming in Spartanburg County. If you’re unfamiliar with the center, it features a variety of independent museums, galleries, and other cultural organizations located inside the three-building campus. From live reptiles at Spartanburg Science Center and the Center for Dance Education at Ballet Spartanburg to performances and thought-provoking exhibits of Spartanburg Little Theatre, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and Spartanburg Art Museum, you can experience it all at Chapman Cultural Center!

    This year, we are excited to say that many of the arts and cultural experiences are safely returning for the public to enjoy once again. Below are just a few of the arts and cultural experiences that will be taking place.

    Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg will feature another year of monthly local artist exhibitions! 

    This year the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg is also proud to offer The Judy and Brant Bynum Art Award for 2022. Thanks to the generosity of Judy and Brant Bynum, the amount of the award has increased from $500 to $1,000!  This award is offered annually to rising college juniors majoring in Fine Art (2D or 3D) at a college or university in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Accepting applications beginning February 1, 2022. The deadline to apply is April 29, 2022, at 5 PM. For details, please visit:

    Ballet Spartanburg will present An Evening with Carlos Agudelo on March 24th and 25th.

    Join Ballet Spartanburg for a beautiful evening highlighting ballets from their 2020 collaboration with the Hub City Writers Project. The evening will include champagne, chocolate, and toasts to the visionary excellence that Artistic Director, Carlos Agudelo, has shared through dance with our community and beyond for over 30 years. 

    Chapman Cultural Center is ecstatic to announce the 8th annual Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival will be on October 8th, 2022! Stay tuned for more details and updates of the festival coming in the Fall!

    Spartanburg Art Museum will present their upcoming exhibition, Black Anatomy from February 17th through June 30th. This dynamic exhibition features artists who bring intimate and charged bodies of work that represent their present-day voices while simultaneously keeping a toe dipped in the waters of their collective past experiences. Sculptures, installations, paintings, and drawings illustrate their shared understanding of the Black experience in contemporary culture and reveal work that unfolds in tones of universal truths.

    Spartanburg Little Theatre will present The Great Gatsby on March 4 through 13!

    Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to Long Island, is drawn into their world of obsession, greed, and danger. The breathtaking glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age come to the stage in Simon Levy’s adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, approved by the Fitzgerald Estate.

    Spartanburg Philharmonic will present Awakened: Classical Music’s Original Influencers on Friday, February 18 at 6:30pm (Happy Hour starts at 5:30pm).

    Influencers aren’t just on social media telling people what to buy. In classical music, the original influencers were named Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven and their mastery continues to inspire composers even today. Join us for a musical exploration of new and familiar composers, and the spark that ignited their creativity. Who knows, maybe one piece will inspire your own muse.

    Spartanburg Youth Theatre will present Disney’s Freaky Friday the Musical on February 11th through 13th.

    Based on the novel Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films, when a super-organized mother and her spontaneous teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to figure out how to break the spell and switch back. By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another in a way they never could have imagined. Based on the beloved 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney Channel Original movie, this heartfelt and hilarious new musical explores the true power of love and the strength of the bond between a mother and daughter.

    However, Chapman Cultural Center is more than a destination, the organization serves as Spartanburg County’s leading Local Arts Agency, as we advocate for the arts to ensure they are relevant and supported in the public and private sector. We provide support for both organizations and artists so Spartanburg County can continue to enjoy high-quality cultural experiences.

    As a grantor, we typically provide more than $500,000 in annual General Operating Support grants to arts, science, and humanities-based non-profit organizations. In addition, we provide quarterly grants up to $5,000 to Spartanburg County creatives and non-profits to expand arts and cultural experiences to broader audiences.

    Chapman Cultural Center also facilitates community vibrancy by encouraging diverse offerings, growing audience engagement, and measuring support for the arts. Our cultural leadership extends to the oversight of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, by providing street music and public art programming that enhances the vibrant downtown experience. It also fosters and celebrates the arts in the unique neighborhoods and towns in Spartanburg County.

    One of our most recent initiatives includes the Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters in conjunction with the Hub City Writers Project and the Watson Brown Foundation. The Southern Studies Fellowship is a first-of-its-kind program that brings one early-career artist and one early-career writer to Spartanburg, South Carolina, for a nine-month fellowship of research, creativity, teaching, and travel, culminating in a collaborative project informed by the South. Fellows Ben Winans and Morgan Thomas’ final presentation on May 12th, from 6 to 9pm, will consist of a multimedia presentation of their research. Using the ritual of baptism as a device to explore Southern evangelical Christianity, ecological toxicity, and gender fluidity.

    Finally, we are excited to continue our work and especially look forward to welcoming our new President and CEO, Dan Mayer. Mayer brings over 20 years of leadership experience in various roles in the arts and cultural sector including his work as an attorney through the country’s largest pro bono art and entertainment law organization in New York City. Additionally, he has served in numerous executive and advisory roles across the nation including the Spectrum Dance Theater, Photographic Center Northwest, and Seattle Jewish Film Festival. We look forward to his leadership as he progresses the future of arts and cultural experiences in Spartanburg County.

    We hope you will take a trip to Spartanburg soon and experience all that the Chapman Cultural Center has to offer. See what other experiences you can enjoy at

    The Spartanburg Art Museum

    The Spartanburg Art Museum

    The Spartanburg Art Museum is a regional institution focused on inspiring and engaging people of all ages through contemporary art exhibitions, affordable education, and more! From free admission and affordable art classes to professional development programs and public art projects, SAM is committed to making art accessible for every member of our community. SAM is also the only art museum in the Upstate that exclusively shows contemporary art. We change out our exhibits four to five times a year so there will always be something fresh on view when you visit the museum!

    Our current exhibit, Tina Freeman: Lamentations (on loan from the New Orleans Museum of Art), contains a powerful series of photographs taken over a period of 7 years. The photographer, Tina Freeman, traveled between the wetlands of Louisiana and the glacial landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica to capture these breathtaking images. Paired together as diptychs, Freeman’s photographs reveal a haunting connectedness between spaces that are 5,000 miles apart. This exhibit will only be on view until Saturday, February 5, 2022 so be sure to come visit us before then!

    Just looking at a work of art has been proven to increase blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% – the equivalent of seeing someone you love. And even if you don’t like or understand the piece you’re looking at, your critical thinking skills are subconsciously at work, searching for a common thread; searching for meaning. In fact, it’s been rumored that looking at works of art can help cure writer’s block. So if you ever find yourself in a creative rut or simply need to boost your mood, swing by SAM and find inspiration in our gallery. We’re open to the public 5 days a week and admission is always free!

    Similarly, creative expression also has a positive effect on the mind. Making art has been shown to enhance brain function, raise serotonin levels, and reduce stress. It has also been found to promote self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment in both children and adults. At our museum, we believe all humans need an outlet for their creativity, which is why the Art School at SAM offers a range of classes from ceramics, painting, and drawing to lectures, self-care programs, and more.

    Become one with nature this Spring during our Sketching in the Garden class or discover strange new facts when you attend our lecture The Weird History of Soap Carving. You can also mold your sculpting skills with our Ceramics and Wheel Throwing classes or spend Saturday getting creative at SAM during our monthly Family Fundays. If you’d rather make art from the comfort of your own home, our to-go kits have got you covered! The Art School at SAM is proud to provide local learners of all ages and skill levels with a space to express their creativity.

    SAM’s recently-announced Professional Development program is just another way our museum enriches the local community. This program helps regional educators stay up-to-date on trends in the ever-evolving world of art education, equipping them with the tools to keep their students creative and engaged. From exploring new technologies and research to discussing recent methodologies and materials, SAM’s Professional Development program instills confidence in its participants, empowering them to educate a generation.

    In 2020, we as a culture were radically altered. Our narrative of who we are as a community continues to change, strengthened by our individual and collective experiences. SAM’s latest public art project, Go Figure, is inspired by current events and the desire to connect safely with each other again – without COVID-19, without racial injustices, and without exclusion. Our goal for Go Figure is to create a project that expresses how we want to re-emerge together as a community: united.

    The Spartanburg Art Museum’s public art projects foster local pride, boost tourism, and connect members of the local community. In fact, studies have found that the health and well-being of a community is deeply connected to the ability of its individuals to come together to work towards a common goal. Public art projects like Go Figure can act as this common goal, promoting cooperation, collaboration, and communication as well as demonstrating a town’s commitment to growth, development, and unity.

    SAM is also excited to be offering memberships that come with some truly incredible perks! Every new member receives a t-shirt designed by local artist and SAM board member Adrian Meadows, exclusive access to four members-only events throughout the year, 10% off our online gift shop, and reciprocal membership access to 150+ museums across the Southeast through SEMC’s Southeastern Reciprocal Membership program.

    This means that when you become a member at SAM, you also get free access to amazing institutions such as Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in Nashville, TN, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art, and more. Plus, a membership to SAM is 100% tax-deductible (as applicable by law)! Want to learn more about the Spartanburg Art Museum? Visit our website at, reach out to us on social media @spartanburgartmuseum, or email!

    TATT Chat Recap – Economic Update 1.13

    TATT Chat Recap – Economic Update 1.13


    David Feild, TATT Chairman

    Economic Update – Video recap linked here | Presentation linked here

    Scott Baier, Professor and Department Chair of the John E. Walker Department of Economics within the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University Questions:

    1. Do you have stats on DTC Retail vs brick & mortar sales? – Stronger growth in DTC with brick & mortar slower to rebound.
    2. Is that also stimulated by inheritance – funds from deceased family?
    3. Is this unemployment national or state? – Answered in presentation
    4. Are those 3 MM lost jobs the ones that people have left the labor force completely?  Are these a certain sector of people?  Are some just retiring? – Answered in presentation
    5. If we seem to see so many companies advertising for workers, why does the employment number not rebound back toward the 131k number? – Answered in presentation
    6. Any metrics/categories come to mind where SC trends differ from the national trends?  Either good or bad? – SC is trending with national numbers, and in some cases, SC is a bit ahead. Before the pandemic, SC numbers were better than the national average. Scott says it’s a continuation of SC being a place people want to be.
    7. Does this analysis show that the idea of a universal basic income that has been proposed by Andrew Yang and others, would likely hurt GDP growth and be inherently inflationary? – “Devil is always in the details.” It all depends on how it’s introduced: as a substitute for another entitlement programs, it would possibly help GDP. If it’s in addition to those programs, it would be more inflationary.

    Resource Update             

    Rhonda Rawlings, Village Launch – Village Launch is an enterprise under Mill Village ministries to equip under-resourced entrepreneurs to help get word out about their business. There is a 10-week academy, 3-week get started workshops, 3rd Thursday market for women and minority owned businesses to build clientele. The VL mentorship program is to have 1 mentor per entrepreneur. Mentors attend the 10-week academy as well. Please contact for opportunities: Rhonda Rawlings ( or 914-325-2187).             

    Larry Block, SCORE – SCORE is a group of mentors, with varying skill sets, to help entrepreneurs or relatively new business owners navigate the business world. Currently, the Upstate SCORE chapter does not have minority or female mentors. Please contact for opportunities: .         Adjourn                                                                                                          

    David Feild

    PWCC Senior Wellness and Development Program

    PWCC Senior Wellness and Development Program

    Phillis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) founder, Hattie Logan Duckett’s mission in life was to help uplift those who were less fortunate, and the fruits of her labor are seen today in the activities and impact of the PWCC. This center has played a vital role in developing the social, economic, and artistic skills of the people of Greenville, South Carolina, for more than 100 years. It is seen also in the PWCC Community Senior Wellness and Development Program.

    The Community Senior Wellness and Development Program

    The Community Senior Wellness and Development Program is designed to meet the six dimensions of wellness – Physical, Social, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Vocational to promote and improve the health and quality of life of the senior citizens (aged 55+) within Nicholtown and other Upstate communities.

    The program is voluntary and aims to serve as a baseline measurement to determine physical progress, evaluate residential needs, and serve as a reference point to participate in wellness and educational classes to assist in improving the overall training, flexibility, and independent lifestyle.

    Program Support

    There are several resource avenues and partnerships established through this program to aid in accomplishing the mission, vision and goals of the Senior Wellness and Development Program. Various businesses, corporations, foundations, and organizations are given the opportunity to assist with the success of the program and its participants. The business community is presented with the opportunity to support the Senior Wellness and Development program on several levels including general contributions, donations of time and materials, and opportunities to sponsor other PWCC programs and services.

    The Community Need and Opportunity This Program Will Address

    The Senior Wellness and Development Program is designed to collaborate with other programs and municipal and social service agencies to provide invaluable, structured learning opportunities for the rapidly growing senior population in the Upstate. The Phillis Wheatley Community Senior Wellness and Development Program is unique by offering:

    • Increased physical activity through utilization of our upcoming senior fitness playground
    • On-site in the PWCC kitchen healthy cooking and meal preparation courses and services
    • Instructor led chair exercises
    • Cognitive Exercises (memory, hand and eye coordination, meditation, etc.)
    • Bingo with Prizes

    Current Happenings with the Senior Wellness and Development

    Program Weekly Senior Program

    The core programming consists of weekly meetings with the seniors which involve various activities and events.  Meetings occur each Friday from 10:00am to Noon.

    Senior Fall Harvest Festival

    A recent event for the seniors was the Senior Fall Harvest held on October 29, 2021.  The seniors were transported to the office of a corporate, collaborative partner where they had the pleasure of playing games such as Bingo and Trivia and had the chance to win amazing prizes. They enjoyed a delicious lunch, took pictures, and overall had a momentous day being celebrated. Each senior also received a gift bag for their participation.

    Senior Appreciation Holiday Luncheon

    Another recent celebration was the Senior Appreciation Holiday Luncheon. During this luncheon we watched holiday movies, enjoyed a delicious lunch, sang Christmas carols, danced, played bingo, and won amazing prizes. Overall, each of the seniors had an amazing time and fellowship with one another.

    Upcoming Workshops

    Upcoming events in the Community Senior Wellness and Development Program consist of Medicare workshops, Social Media Awareness, Safety Awareness Classes, Financial Literacy, Conflict Resolution, and Effective Communication classes.

    If you want to learn more about how you can become involved, volunteer, or a corporate sponsor of the PWCC Community Senior Wellness and Development Program, reach out to Tiffany Boyd, Program Manager at tjboyd@philliswheatleysc@org or 864-240-4242 x203.

    A Chance to Make a Difference

    A Chance to Make a Difference

    Written by: Jerry Smith, SCORE Mentor

    Who doesn’t remember the person who was a major influence on their career – a teacher, a first boss, a wise colleague? They are never forgotten, and that person also gets to feel the gratification that comes with knowing they had a meaningful, long-term impact on another human being.

    What if you could be the one who has the opportunity to have a significant impact on a person who is starting out in a new business career? You can, by becoming a part-time volunteer in Piedmont SCORE!

    What is SCORE? It was founded almost 60 years ago by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), with the goal of providing free mentoring support to small business startups and existing small businesses via a highly experienced volunteer organization.

    There are SBA supported SCORE chapters all over the United States, with more than 10,000 volunteers. In 2020 alone, SCORE mentors helped start 45,027 new businesses and create 119,562 new jobs. In the same year, 60% of SCORE’s clients were women, 46% were minorities, and 9% were veterans.

    SCORE contains a wide variety of volunteers, from their 20s to 80s, including retired corporate executives, and small business owners, as well as volunteers who are actively working regular jobs in large and small businesses.

    There are four ways you can volunteer. The majority of volunteers are Mentors, who help small business startups and existing small businesses with every aspect of starting and running a small business. Additionally, there are Subject Matter Experts in a wide variety of subject areas including critical specialties like information technology, finance, sales and marketing, and manufacturing, just to mention a few.

    Mentors bring expertise in many specific business areas like office management, banking, healthcare, transportation, restaurant management, and numerous others. In addition, there are volunteer Presenters who provide a myriad of educational programs, as well as Administrators for every aspect of each chapter’s program.

    The Piedmont SCORE chapter, located in Greenville, started 50 years ago, includes 11 upstate counties from Union in the east, to Oconee in the West, Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the north, to McCormick in the South. With close to 50 members, ranging in age from 23 to 82, most of them mentors, literally hundreds of small business clients are served each year. New clients arrive almost every day, and the chapter is always seeking qualified mentor and other volunteer candidates.