Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival: “Reinventing America” – September 3 – 12, 2021 – All Free!

    Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival: “Reinventing America” – September 3 – 12, 2021 – All Free!

    Over a year in waiting, the Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival – “Reinventing America” starring Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Hedy Lamarr and Rosa Parks, has been finally scheduled for September 3 – 12, 2021. Reinventing America – what topic would be more appropriate after a deadly disease has turned our entire world upside-down? After all, after the Plague came the Renaissance.

    This ten-day, two-weekend festival offers non-stop live history and fun for the whole family. Get ready to laugh, cry and flat out have a great time. Daily live shows are performed in costume by nationally acclaimed historical interpreters. There will be great story-telling, lots to laugh about, and deep secrets revealed. You’ll laugh – you’ll cry – you’ll have lots of questions. And they’ll be answered. Bring your stories. Share your experiences. Get inspired. Because you’re a part of the show. It’s not just history – it’s personal.

    Step back in time and meet these brilliant American game changers – hear their stories – ask them how their world changed. Create a new nation with BEN FRANKLIN. Turn darkness into light with Thomas Edison. Spark the Electrical Revolution with NIKOLA TESLA. Set the stage for WiFi and cell phones with Hollywood’s HEDY LAMARR. And like ROSA PARKS demand your Civil Rights.

    To provide a safe environment for our audience all main shows will be held outdoors – daytime and evening. If inclement weather prevents an outdoor event, the performance will be aired virtually at

    America has always been – and remains – a work in progress. Each generation has reinvented itself, often in the face of extreme challenges. What happens next? Find out this September at the Chautauqua History Comes Alive Festival – Reinventing America!  There’s nothing like experiencing history outdoors in a beautiful setting.  There will be great story-telling, lots to laugh about, and deep secrets revealed. You’ll laugh – you’ll cry – you’ll have lots of questions. And they’ll be answered. Bring your stories. Share your experiences. Get inspired. Because it’s not just history – it’s personal.

    What can you expect at Chautauqua? Historical interpreters dressed in costume will bring each character to life and to speak in the character’s own words. But then the audience becomes a part of the show with their questions. The replies will be historically authentic, based on research using letters, diaries, journals, and published writings. Finally, the performer will step out of character and answer the audience questions the character either couldn’t or wouldn’t answer.

    Who are the performers? A cast of nationally acclaimed historical interpreters.  There are simply no better interpreters of these powerful and fascinating historic figures. Ben Franklin (Larry Bounds, Greer, SC) – Thomas Edison (Hank Fincken, Indianapolis IN) – Nikola Tesla (Ian Ruskin, Los Angeles, CA) – Hedy Lamarr (Judith Kalaora, Boston MA) – Rosa Parks (Becky Stone, Fairview NC.)

    Where can I see the shows? Outdoor live shows are (September 3 – 12) – Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater, 101 City Center Dr, Mauldin, SC 29662. Bring lawn seating. No reservations needed. Discussion series to be held indoors at the Upcountry History Museum, 540 Buncombe St, Greenville, SC 29601 (Registration required for Discussion Series –

    When can I see the shows? Evening outdoor shows at 7pm Friday Sept 3 – Sunday Sept 12. Daytime outdoor shows at 10am Saturday Sept 4 and Monday Sept 6 through Sunday Sept 12.

    ASL Interpreted Shows at Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Auditorium (bring lawn seating) – Free.

    Wednesday September 8 at 7pm – Thomas Edison
    Thursday September 9 at 7pm – Nikola Tesla
    Friday September 10 at 7pm – Rosa Parks

    Saturday September 11 at 7pm – Ben Franklin
    Sunday September 12 at 7pm – Hedy Lamarr

    School Outreach programs

    As a part of the 2021 History Comes Alive Festival, Chautauqua will also perform the Reinventing America shows at seven Greenville County Schools.

    Greenville Chautauqua 
    More than history. More than a performance. More than a story. We are Chautauqua, a nonprofit, experiential oral tradition that brings history to life through interactive theater and compelling discussion that stimulates critical thinking. We believe stories should be told and histories deserve to be heard.  We’re committed to bringing great communities together to celebrate culture, conversation, and critical thought. We celebrate the diversity of our culture through a variety of voices from the past because history belongs to all of us. As a non-profit dedicated to bringing history to life, our events are and always will be free, fun, and family-friendly.



    Friday 9/3
    7:00p   Ben Franklin, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Saturday 9/4

    10:00a Rosa Parks, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater
    7:00p   Thomas Edison, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater
    Sunday 9/5
    7:00p   Nikola Tesla, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Monday 9/6

    10:00a Thomas Edison, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater
    7:00p   Rosa Parks, Mauldin Amphitheater

    Tuesday 9/7

    10:00a Nikola Tesla, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    2:00p   Rosa Parks Discussion (reservations required,) Upcountry History Museum
    7:00p   Hedy Lamarr, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Wednesday 9/8
    10:00a Ben Franklin, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    2:00p   Nikola Tesla Discussion (reservations required,) Upcountry History Museum
    7:00p    Thomas Edison, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Thursday 9/9
    10:00a Hedy Lamarr, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    2:00p   Ben Franklin Discussion (reservations required,) Upcountry History Museum
    7:00p   Nikola Tesla, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Friday 9/10
    10:00a Thomas Edison, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    2:00p   Hedy Lamarr Discussion (reservations required,) Upcountry History Museum
    7:00p    Rosa Parks, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Saturday 9/11
    10:00a Nikola Tesla, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    2:00p   Thomas Edison Discussion (reservations required,) Upcountry History Museum
    7:00p    Ben Franklin, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    Sunday 9/12

    7:00p    Hedy Lamarr, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

    For more Information: or phone 864-244-1499.

    LEAD Upstate

    LEAD Upstate

    About LEAD

    The goal of LEAD Upstate is to bridge the local community and law enforcement together in the name of appreciation and gratitude. LEAD Upstate provides an opportunity for residents to say thank you to all law enforcement personnel in Greenville County, including Greenville, Greer, Traveler’s Rest, Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn. Our sponsors are honored to host this event and participate by serving breakfast and handing out prizes. It truly means so much to the men and women who courageously dedicate their lives each day to serve and protect the citizens of their communities every day.

    LEAD Upstate History

    Seabrook Marchant, the founder of LEAD Upstate, has always held a special appreciation for law enforcement officers. As a previous member of the Civil Service Commission for Greenville, Seabrook was responsible for helping to hire police and firefighters for the city of Greenville. Through his service, Seabrook became well-acquainted with the needs, concerns, and triumphs of those within the law enforcement profession.

    It was Seabrook’s numerous encounters with officers at Tommy’s Ham House that conceived the LEAD Upstate event. After witnessing an inordinate amount of police personnel at Tommy’s Ham House waiting for breakfast, Seabrook and a friend decided to buy their meals as a token of their appreciation. This was the small catalyst for the event, growing larger every year as Seabrook found appreciative sponsors to continue this tradition. There came a need for a bigger venue as “the law enforcement breakfast at Tommy’s Ham House” amassed more popularity amongst different municipal offices. After arranging accommodations at Westin Poinsett, officers were invited to come between shifts to enjoy breakfast and fellowship with one another. In addition to meal accommodations, each officer received “valor bags” filled with gifts from local businesses, organizations and sponsors, a tradition that is still kept today.

    The LEAD Upstate Event

    In its early years, LEAD Upstate was hosted as a sit down breakfast at The Westin Poinsett in Downtown Greenville. However, due to COVID-19, LEAD was transformed into a drive-through event in 2020, organized at the Greenville Convention Center and was the most successful function to date! The drive-through format allowed officers to stop by in between their shifts, allowing more officers to be served. Due to the overwhelming positive feedback received from last year’s event, the 2021 LEAD event will be hosted again at the Greenville Convention Center!

    Upon arriving, officers will receive a complimentary breakfast box, coffee, a LEAD t-shirt, and valor bag filled with giveaway items. The reusable tote bags are graciously donated by an event sponsor, as are the contents inside. Items often include gift certificates to local restaurants, coupons, and various promotional items from local businesses. Another fan-favorite of the LEAD Upstate event is the various prize drawings. A large portion of the funds raised are used to buy big-ticket items to give away to officers registered for the event. In past years, items such as flat screen televisions, iPads, Apple Watches, Amazon Alexas, free rounds of golf, and much more have been gifted.

    How to Get Involved

    As the LEAD Upstate event continues to grow, any support is greatly appreciated and encouraged. To ensure this LEAD 2021 is a success, we are in need of volunteers to help facilitate this event. We are also

    actively seeking donations, either in the form of monetary sponsorship or donations to the valor bags or giveaway prizes. Without your support, we would be unable to show our immense gratitude to the men and women who courageously dedicate their lives each day to serve the citizens of their communities.

    Please visit our website to learn more about what we do, why we do it, and who we are serving. You can also find more sponsorship and contact information there as well.

    Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG)

    Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG)

    Written by: Brandon Worley, UCAG Founder/Executive Director

    Brandon Worley signed up for the Army after graduating high school in 2010 from Clinton High. Brandon served active duty as an artillery mechanic from July 2010- July 2014. Worley founded Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) in October 2018 while working on his Master of Science in Positive Psychology at Life University.  Worley was inspired after volunteering for a Georgia State Golf Association adaptive golf program for visually impaired children hosted by David Windsor and now operates UCAG as the Executive Director.  Worley has attended 2 national adaptive golf coach workshops hosted by David Windsor and is dedicated to the mission of UCAG to serve individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities and provide opportunities for adaptive golf. UCAG serves veterans, individuals recovering from physical or mental trauma, adults and children with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities.  Brandon hosted an adaptive golf coach training at Clemson University in April 2019 and UCAG been operating consistent adaptive golf clinics since July 2019.  Brandon just recently graduated in Dec 2020 with his Masters in Positive Psychology with a concentration in coaching.

    The mission of Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) is to serve individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities and provide opportunities for adaptive golf. UCAG serves veterans, individuals recovering from physical or mental trauma, adults and children with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities.
    UCAG’s programming improves physical & mental health, overall wellness, and access to innovative therapy for adaptive athletes in our community. UCAG believes anyone can discover their abilities (not their disabilities) when given the opportunity, we exist to provide that opportunity for everyone.

    UCAG’s therapeutic approach to adaptive golf coaching establishes a “no-fail” environment for those new to golf and utilizes adaptive equipment to maximize all levels of abilities. Our coaches implement mindfulness-based cognitive strategies to increase confidence, establish independence, and positively impact mental and physical health. The involvement in a community of people overcoming obstacles and pursuing common goals is therapeutic, and the opportunities to socialize and learn together that we provide are paramount. Our clinics provide benchmarks for improvements in physical health, psycho-social status, cognitive status, and recreation activity within the community to measure our impact on length and quality of life in the greater Greenville disabled Veteran and special needs communities. Galvanized by the ability to enhance lives, UCAG passionately pursues continued development and growth of our programming and capability to increase opportunities to make an impact on and provide a community for the participants we serve.

    Youtube channel:

    Our monthly Veteran & Community Adaptive Golf Clinics:
    Every 3rd Monday of the month at Topgolf 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    Every 4th Monday of the month at Shanks driving range 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

    Uncharted waters make brave adventurers

    Uncharted waters make brave adventurers

    Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top

    By Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top

    There is a sign in the window of the ROMA Ristorante Italiano in downtown Laurens that I think perfectly captures the strange and challenging journey that was 2020.

    It says, “Uncharted Waters Make Brave Adventurers.”

    While certainly the level of difficulty has varied based on individual circumstances, in one way or another we all became adventurers in 2020, doing our best to navigate a world that was suddenly flipped upside down by disruptions including a global pandemic, social unrest and economic hardship.

    When 2020 began, the course for the year appeared to be generally straightforward. With unemployment across the state and country at record lows, the focus was on talent attraction and reducing barriers to employment (most notably access to transportation and skill training).

    Then suddenly, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, the landscape totally changed. The declaration of a global pandemic quickly resulted in stay-at-home orders, shortages of essential goods and a rapid rise in unemployment to historically high levels. The corresponding strains on our economy are still being felt and have created additional instability for many.

    Adding another level of tension and uncertainty were highly publicized incidents of police brutality that also brought the issues of personal safety and equality to the forefront.

    While we all have spent the last nine months maneuvering the same storm, we have each been in our own boat (spaced out 6 feet apart).

    Some of us quickly adjusted to working from home while our kids also had to deal with the challenges of virtual school. For others, unemployment, sickness or general instability have made the journey even more difficult.

    Throughout this time, we have been quite fortunate here in the Upstate, as I am sure is the case in other parts of the country and world, to have a brave group of adventurers who have overcome the challenges of uncertainty to instead take on the difficulties head-on.

    We recognized more than 130 of our “Upstate Unsung Heroes” during a Ten at the Top event in November, but there are undoubtedly many more people within our region who have been at the forefront of ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents over these challenging times.

    Whether as community leaders or front-line essential workers, there have been many “Brave Adventurers” who are leading the way into what is still an unknown and uncertain future.

    As we leave 2020 behind (thankfully), it sure would be nice to have a crystal ball that could help us sneak a glimpse at what the future has in store.

    As a nonprofit organization focused on building regional collaboration and increasing our collective capacity around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life, we at Ten at the Top are specifically focused on understanding how we can work individually and collectively to navigate the challenges ahead.

    To help us gain a clearer understanding of the impacts being felt across our region and state as well as what might be coming moving forward, Ten at the Top has solicited the input of 25 business, government and community leaders as part of an initiative we are calling “Focus on the Future.”

    Throughout 2021, we will regularly be reaching out to these community leaders asking for their input around ongoing issues as we look to maneuver through the continued uncharted course ahead.

    The first insights from this group can be read now on the Ten at the Top website, and the group will continue to share its perspective throughout the year.

    While an uncharted future that will certainly include more rough waves is intimidating and concerning, I believe we can take comfort in knowing that as an Upstate region we are blessed with many insightful leaders and brave adventurers that will help us get through this tough time and continue to stay on course for making the Upstate a leading place for all residents to live, learn, do business and raise a family.

    You can learn more about Ten at the Top and the Focus on the Future initiative at

    You can read the article in Upstate Business Journal here.

    TATT Chat Recap, December 17, 2020

    TATT Chat Recap, December 17, 2020

    Welcome – Terence Roberts, TATT Chairman

    Year in Review 

    TATT 2020 Overview – Dean Hybl, TATT Executive Director

    Upstate Mobility Alliance – Michael Hildebrand, UMA Director

    Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem – Erin Ouzts, Ecosystem Coordinator

    TATT Initiatives – Justine Allen, TATT Program Manager

    County Updates

    Abbeville – Stephen Taylor, Economic Development Director

    Decrease in ROIs and unemployment hit 13.9% in May but decrease to 4.2% in October

    Marketing focus in 2021 with assistance from Department of Commerce

    Promise Campaign and workforce to be highlighted

    Water study and public transportation study also in 2021

    Oconee – Christine de Vlaming, Marketing Director, Keowee Key

    Real estate is sold out at close to 4,000 residents

    Keowee Key’s model of engaging volunteer professionals includes a videographer with drone capabilities, photographer, landscape designer, and project manager (see presentation during video recording for examples of their work)

    Union – Annie Smith, Marketing & Development Director, USC Union

    USC Union received a 88.2% success rating

    Started a Bachelor of Science/Nursing degree with 16 upper division juniors and 16 upper division seniors on campus this fall

    Granted 100K dollars for upgrades to facilities, including projecting microscopes

    10K grant to stock a student food pantry (large need)

    Athletic department competes in the national junior college league, NJCAA, and has added a women’s volleyball team

    Acquired an old high school gym in Jonesville to be renovated into an indoor training facility which is huge for recruitment (only one in the league)

    Union County has designated many new development regions to attract new families and business

    The Status of Christmas Parades Throughout the Upstate

    The Status of Christmas Parades Throughout the Upstate

    The holidays are nearing and given the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Christmas events and parades have had to be adjusted, postponed, or cancelled. As an organization that focuses on connecting the Upstate region, we wanted to provide a comprehensive list of the status of Christmas parades throughout our 10-county region. For further information and updates, be sure to continue to check with individual county and parade websites and Facebook pages.

    Holiday Parades Scheduled in December:

    1. Boiling Springs: December 5th, 10:00 am
    2. Clemson Parade: This year’s event is entirely digital. Businesses and organizations have opted to compete in a window-decorating contest which will be featured online.
    3. Denver Downs: December 20th at 3:00 pm
    4. Duncan Christmas Parade: December 6th, 2:00 pm
    5. Fountain Inn: December 9th, 5:30pm
    6. Greer: December 6th, 2:30pm
    7. Landrum: December 12th, 2:00 pm
    8. Liberty: December 5th, 6:00 pm
    9. Lyman Duncan Wellford Christmas Parade: December 5th, 4:30pm
    10. Mauldin: December 5th, 2:00 pm
    11. Pickens: Tentatively scheduled for December 12th at 11:00 am
    12. Simpsonville: Check out their drive-thru Christmas Parade, December 6th at 3:00 pm at Heritage Park.
    13. Traveler’s Rest: The annual Christmas parade in Traveler’s Rest will take place December 12 at 11:00am with several restrictions. Parade director Diana Kilgore is advising attendees to remain socially distant and wear masks or stay inside their vehicles. The event will also be live streamed on the Travelers Rest Christmas Parade Facebook page.
    14. Williamston: December 12th, 3:00 pm

    Cancelled Parades:

    1. City of Greenville – Poinsettia Parade
    2. Spartanburg Jaycees Christmas Parade
    3. Clinton
    4. Pendleton
    5. Uptown Greenwood
    6. City of Anderson
    7. Easley Christmas Parade of Lights
    8. Woodruff
    9. Inman
    10. Chesnee

    Even though many events have been cancelled, there is still a great air of Christmas spirit in the Upstate. If your annual parade has been cancelled, check out a live-streamed option or venture to another county for a new experience. Stay safe this holiday season!

    *The above schedule is subject to change. If you have any additions or changes, please send them to directly to For more information on area Christmas parades, refer to our Upstate Vibe 365 Calendar.