In Our Community: Habitat for Humanity, Artisphere, and more

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HEALTH

Autism podcast launches

Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health has announced the launch of “Converge Autism Radio,” a podcast in conjunction with Mental Health News Radio. The free weekly program features nationally renowned experts providing insights for families and professionals in the autism community.

“Mental Health News Radio has always been an ally in advocating for the autism community, and we are pleased to partner with them through the Converge Autism Radio podcast to give parents and professionals a purposeful resource for information about living with autism,” Mike Rowley, CEO of Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health, said in a release.

The podcast will feature autism activists such as Kerry Magro, Chase Bailey, and Jennifer O’Toole, as well as the leader of Springbrook, Matthew Fisher. Converge Autism Radio is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and 70 other podcast feeds. It can also be found on the Mental Health News Radio website at www.mentalhealthnewsradionetwork.com/our-shows/converge-autism-radio. Springbrook is a nationally renowned program for the treatment of behavioral issues experienced by children and adolescents ages 5-21 with autism.

ARTS & CULTURE

Artisphere 2019 calls for entries

The 15th annual Artisphere presented by TD Bank received an unprecedented 1,163 artist applications for the 2018 event, which is a 3 percent increase over 2017 applications. Artisphere is consistently one of the top-rated art shows in the country. Show organizers attribute the rise in applications to the festival’s track record for garnering meaningful sales for participating artists; 2018 exhibiting artists reported average sales of $8,100. This year’s jury review will be held Nov. 3-4. Artisphere 2019 will be on May 10-12 in downtown Greenville. There will be 135 artists chosen from the applicant pool, and cash awards totaling $15,000. Some of the many benefits offered to participating artists are free parking with 24-hour security, an artist awards breakfast, complimentary meals, and reduced hotel rates. In its short history, Artisphere has distinguished itself as a national and regional highlight in the arts. In addition to a Purchase Awards Program that provides an average of $12,000-$15,000 in art sales, Artisphere distributes $15,000 in prize money to nine award winners each year. Artisphere’s multimedia advertising campaign markets the festival throughout the Southeast in print, radio, and television ads.

Artisphere has been ranked No. 17 on the list of 100 Best Art Shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine; a Top 10 Fine Arts and Fine Craft Festival by the Art Fair Sourcebook; and No. 3 of 20 finalists for USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Art Festival. Applicants are being accepted until Oct. 4 through zapplication.org.

NONPROFIT

Habitat receives $60,000 grant

Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County has been awarded a Corporation for National and Community Services grant of $60,000 to support five Habitat AmeriCorps member positions for the 2018-’19 service year. AmeriCorps members will apply for and serve full time at Habitat organizations across the country helping families build stable homes. Award funds go toward corps member allowances and program administrative costs. During the 2018-’19 service year, Habitat AmeriCorps members are expected to contribute more than 600,000 hours of service toward building or improving Habitat homes in 130 communities nationwide. In Greenville County, AmeriCorps members will work in new construction, ReStore, neighborhood revitalization, and family services. The Habitat AmeriCorps program is in its 23rd year. Habitat for Humanity covers about half the cost of each service member, delivering results at a much lower cost than direct government services.

In 2017, Habitat AmeriCorps members served more than 5,800 individuals in 32 states; provided nearly 900,000 hours of service; and mobilized, trained, and managed more than 226,000 volunteers in community building efforts.

GRANTS

City of Mauldin receives Senior Center Permanent Improvement Project grant

The City of Mauldin has announced that it has been awarded $325,000 provided by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging’s Senior Center Permanent Improvement Project (PIP) grant program. The award is in addition to a required local match, as stipulated by the guidelines of the program. The PIP funds will be used to renovate an existing building to current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The senior center’s enhancements will include the installation of an elevator, hallway widening, and kitchen and bathroom improvements to accommodate a steadily growing number of seniors who utilize the center. The Senior Center Permanent Improvement Project (PIP) grant program was established by the General Assembly in 1991. Administered by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, the PIP grant program has since funded necessary construction and renovations projects at senior sites throughout the state. While the City of Mauldin is the recipient of the PIP funds, the Appalachian Council of Governments and Area Agency on Aging is the grantee. All funds are disbursed to the grantee through a reimbursement system when certified invoices are submitted to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging and approved. “An active senior lifestyle encourages independence and enhances overall quality of life,” says Lt. Gov. Bryant, according to the release, “These renovations and improvements will allow the center to expand its reach in the Mauldin community, and I am very appreciative of the state and local leaders who have worked so hard to make it happen.”

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