Like many Greenville natives and tourists over the past several weeks, I’m proudly standing with the Wings of the City exhibit in Downtown Greenville – and more importantly, I’m standing with our friends and partners at the Hispanic Alliance.
EP+Co is an advertising agency headquartered in Greenville but one that competes on a national scale. For us to do that effectively, it is essential to recruit talent that not only reflects our country’s increasingly diverse demographics, but also promotes the cultural impact of underrepresented voices in our nation. The brightest candidates are often looking to major cities or increasingly to emerging cultural hubs in other parts of the country, and the energy of our town is a major factor in their decision to join our company. In this challenge, our company is not alone. We’re a market that was defined by textiles, reborn with automotive, reinvigorated by redevelopment and is now facing questions that put us at a crossroads of whether or not our creativity and ingenuity can be our greatest export.
So, as we consider the meaning of Jorge Marín’s exhibit on display in downtown Greenville, I urge us to look up. Yes, if the human anatomy of one of the statues offends you, feel free to literally look up and focus on his wings instead. But more importantly, I mean look up and think about the broader message of freedom and the desire to take flight these wings symbolize. Look up and see all of the faces of those gathered to enjoy and discuss this exhibit and the surrounding beauty of being outside together after one of the hardest years we’ve faced together. Look up and realize you’re not alone. We’re different and we’re together. And we’re better that way.
Look up and consider the effort that so many of our fellow community members – from the Hispanic Alliance, the City of Greenville, VisitGreenvilleSC, the Arts in Public Places Commission, the Mexican consulate in Raleigh, and countless other partners, local businesses and private donors – put in to bring this internationally-acclaimed exhibit to our hometown. This effort should be celebrated, not defunded.
Look up. And then stand up. Join us at the County Council meeting on Tuesday night, June 1 at 6 p.m. or visit HispanicAllianceSC.com for more ways to support their ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive and vibrant Greenville.
— Chris Plating, chief strategy officer, EP+Co