Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, has announced the finalists for the 2019 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

    The five finalists were chosen from a total of 23 applications submitted for the two grants available in 2019. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate. The program began in 2013 in conjunction with a series of Community Vibrancy Workshops hosted by Ten at the Top. Since the inception of the grants program, Hughes Investments has contributed a total of $80,000 to community vibrancy initiatives across the Upstate.

    Prior to the Ten at the Top Celebrating Successes luncheon on November 20th, the five finalists will each provide a brief overview of their initiative before the 2019 recipients are selected and announced at the luncheon. The finalists’ presentation will be held from 10:30–11:15 a.m., and there is no cost to attend, although registration is requested. The cost to attend the luncheon is $50, and prior registration is required. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Greenville Convention Center, with Governor McMaster as the guest speaker. To register for either event, go to www.tenatthetop.org or contact Sharon Purvis at spurvis@tenatthetop.org.

    Below are the five finalists (project name, applying organization, and brief summary):

    Rhythm on the River – Powdersville Business Council
    The Powdersville Business Council (an extension of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce) is looking to promote and sponsor Rhythm on the River, an event designed to bring families and businesses together in an unprecedented manner for the Powdersville community. This event will take place in the spring of 2020 at a local county park.

    A Common Thread: Textiles Past and Present – Arts Center of Greenwood
    In Greenwood, textile mills began to dominate the business scene in the late 1800s and throughout the 1900s. The mills and mill villages played a vital role in the life of this county. The Arts Center and The Museum will present exhibits and events in the fall of 2020 to honor our textile history and to educate and entertain visitors and residents. The themed event, A Common Thread: Textiles Past and Present will be a review of the institution of textile mills, village life, and more current trends in the commercial and artistic realm of textiles.

    Piedmont Blues and Roots Music Festival – Main Street Laurens
    The Piedmont Blues and Roots Music Festival will be a celebration of the rich past Laurens has with blues, jazz, and even rock music genres. The event will be held in Downtown Laurens and will focus on the traditional piedmont blues music, mill hill blues, and other types of music that have played such an important role in music history. There will even be an opportunity to highlight local record companies and local bands who produced their own records back in the day!

    Trains on Main – Main Street Clinton
    The young and young at heart all love to stop and watch the trains as they roll through the City of Clinton, parallel to Main Street. Trains have long been a part of Clinton, so what better way to showcase this history than with Trains on Main. Model trains provided by the Copper family, the participation of downtown businesses, and Main Street Clinton volunteers, can all make this possible. The model trains will be on display and operating along the top perimeter walls of local businesses, in hopes of attracting local Clintonians and visitors from afar to step in and take a gander.

    Peg Leg Bates Dance Showcase – City of Fountain Inn
    The Peg Leg Bates Dance Showcase will be an exciting opportunity for local dance groups to participate in a free and fun event at the Fountain Inn Activities Center. This Showcase is open to all dance groups, however, the purpose of this project is to create a premiere dance event for groups who may not be able to afford or have access to traditional dance events/competitions. The goal is to have at least ten local dance acts participate throughout the day of the event. The idea is not necessarily to compete, but to highlight extraordinary local talent in the area of dance while creating an opportunity to celebrate an amazing native of Fountain Inn and his accomplishments.

     The selection committee for the Elevate Upstate Grants Program includes Phil Hughes (President, Hughes Investments), Ingo Angermeier (Retired, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System), and Terence Roberts (Mayor, City of Anderson).