Hamilton’s two-week run at the Peace Center would have made 2018 a big year in the arts all on its own. But that wasn’t the only big story for Greenville’s art scene. Here are some of this year’s most notable arts and culture stories.
Hamilton comes to Greenville
As soon as it was announced two years ago that the touring show of “Hamilton” would have a two-week run at the Peace Center in 2018, it became the hottest ticket in recent Greenville theater history. The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning smash hit that tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, sold out within hours. South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities graduate Wonza Johnson was in the cast and played the lead role in the Dec. 11 performance. There’s good news for those who were not able to score a ticket to this run. Peace Center officials said the show would be back sooner versus later.
SCCT Headquarters announced on Augusta St.
Construction of the South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s new headquarters on Augusta Street has begun. The new multi-million dollar campus will include a 300-seat theater, a separate Second Stage space, education classrooms, administrative space and a large lobby. The 37,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020. The new facility will allow the theater to expand its stage and educational offerings.
“Afro Art” comes to Greenville
In late 2018, a photography exhibit came to Greenville that had gained worldwide attention from media and celebrities. CreativeSoul Photography’s series “Afro Art” seeks to empower young women of color to embrace the beauty of their natural hair texture. One of the minds behind the collection, Kahran Bethencourt, is a Greenville native. CreativeSoul Photography plans to continue their series in an upcoming book as well as to show their project internationally. The collection gained notice from Vanity Fair, DailyMail, Glamour, Buzzfeed, CBS, BET, BBC News, as well as from celebrities like Taraji P. Henson, Alicia Keys, and Common.
Greenville’s Public Art continues to grow
2018 brought new public art across the city. Former S.C. Governor and U.S. Education Secretary Dick Riley was honored with a sculpture downtown commissioned by the Arts in Public Places Commission. The statue, created by sculptor Zan Wells, will honor Riley’s commitment to quality education for all children and his public leadership. Artisphere’s fourth sculpture will come to the Village of West Greenville in spring of 2019. The sculpture will be illumination and draws inspiration from the area’s textile heritage. Additionally, the Stone Mural Project added three more murals along Stone Ave. by local artists Michelle Jardines, Annie Koelle, and Bannan Blasko, LLC.
Greenville Symphony Orchestra welcomes Laura Colgate
The Greenville Symphony Orchestra welcomed Laura Colgate as concertmaster in 2018. Colgate is the symphony’s first-chair violinist, an honored spot to the left of conductor Edvard Tchivzhel. Colgate is often featured as a soloist and also participates in auditions for new members of the orchestra. While Colgate actually lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, she performed on every Masterworks program and in most of the smaller chamber and Spotlight Series concerts.