Eunbyul Sabrina Lee via Flickr Creative Commons

On Aug. 18, representatives from the city of Greenville, VisitGreenvilleSC, and the National and Independent Gospel Music Association (NIGMA) gathered at the Hilton Hotel near Haywood Road to announce an exciting new partnership.

In June 2018, NIGMA will present their 10th annual Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards in Greenville, giving out 60 different awards to various independent gospel music artists, churches, and community leaders.

The awards ceremony is just the tip of the iceberg, though. From June 24-28, NIGMA will host a series of pageants, luncheons, outreach efforts, and banquets, bringing in an estimated 4,500 tourists to the city and creating around $1.2 million in revenue for the area’s hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

NIGMA CEO and Executive Director Dr. Mark Rogers also said that he has some surprises in store for the awards ceremony’s 10th anniversary.

“We’re planning on doing some events that are out of the norm for us,” he said at the press conference, “including our first-ever choir competition, which will have a $10,000 prize and a recording contract for the winning choir.”

City Council member Lillian Brock Flemming also attended the event, speaking passionately about gospel music and its value to the citizens of Greenville.

“We feel very honored to be able to capture your attention,” she said of NIGMA’s choosing Greenville. “This is a wonderful opportunity. I’ve attended just about every gospel music festival this town has ever had, and we pray that God is going to bring the songs and the spirit that’s going to make us all better people. Without the music, the preachers cannot preach.”

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