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

    The five finalists were chosen from a total of 30 applications submitted for the two grants available in 2013. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year over the next five years to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate.

    The program was announced earlier this year in conjunction with the Community Vibrancy Workshops conducted by Ten at the Top across the Upstate. The workshops showcased examples from across the state and nation of communities that have created innovative programs to enhance community and economic vibrancy.

    “The goal of the Elevate Upstate program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide some seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes. “I was absolutely amazed by the number of great ideas submitted for the program. It was a real challenge to narrow the field from 30 excellent applications to five finalists.”

    During the Our Upstate Vision/Ten at the Top Forum on November 19th the five finalists will each provide a brief overview of their initiative before the two 2013 recipients are announced. The forum is free and open to the public and will be held from 3-5 pm at the Embassy Suites in Greenville.

    Here are the five finalists:
    City of Anderson – Transforming utility and traffic signalization boxes and crosswalks into public art based around the book “Little Wren Lost and the Teakettle Call.”
    Town of Calhoun Falls – Lighting project in the Blue Hole Recreational Area on Lake Russell.
    Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism – Swamp Rabbit Trail Mural project.
    City of Greer Parks and Recreation – “Greer: An International Destination Festival” would be a one-day event in Downtown Greer as part of Upstate International Month
    Blue Ridge Arts Council – “3 Part Public Art” project includes murals, custom and hand built street furniture and interactive sculptures in downtown Seneca.
    The selection committee for the Elevate Upstate Grants Program includes Phil Hughes (President, Hughes Investments), Betsy Fleming (President, Converse College), and Terence Roberts (Mayor, City of Anderson).