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Greenville, SC
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

City Council approves City Park land purchase

The land where City Park will be built is home to two smaller parks — Mayberry, which was created for the city’s African-American population during the Jim Crow era, and Meadowbrook, the home of the Greenville Spinners baseball team until 1972. Photo provided by MKSK.

Greenville City Council on Monday, May 14, gave initial approval to spending $3.5 million in tourism-related tax revenue to buy warehouses and wetlands for City Park.

Mayor Knox White said the land purchase is scheduled to receive final approval on Monday, May 21. The warehouses are on Welborn Street. The wetlands, which total nearly 0.8 acres, are on Meadow Street.

“This is one of several land purchases, sales, and exchanges that will be done for the park,” he said.

The City Council has already agreed to issue bonds for the park and set aside up to $2 million a year in hospitality tax revenue to pay the debt.

The park is expected to transform Greenville’s western flank much like Falls Park and subsequent projects transformed the West End. The park has already been a catalyst for commercial and residential development even though groundbreaking has yet to happen.

The city will seek private partners to contribute another $20 million for the park.

Plans for the park include a great lawn, a “sprayground” water feature, basketball courts, transformation of Welborn Street into a promenade, an observation tower, boardwalks and trails, a pedestrian bridge over the Reedy River, a destination playground, natural play areas, and a gathering hall and visitors center.

Improving the river’s health is one of the city’s top priorities for the park.

The first phase of the park could open in 2020.

White said the city has identified about 30 acres of additional potential parkland.

Salvation Army holds Operation “Wings of Hope 2018” to test preparedness for emergencies

Photo by Will Crooks

On May 7-9, The Salvation Army Greenville Area Command participated in Operation “Wings of Hope 2018.” Operation “Wings of Hope” is a national disaster full-scale exercise that evaluated the Upstate’s response, operation, and communication during times of crisis. The exercise also evaluates partnering agencies around the Upstate.

The three-day simulation took place on property owned by Greenville Spartanburg International Airport. The A C-130 U.S. Cargo Aircraft and a C-17 U.S. Military transport plane were part of the exercise.

Some of the participants included the Federal Communications Commission, the United States Army, the United States Air Force, Civil Air Patrol, Air National Guard, Greenville Community Emergency Response Team, Columbia Fire Department, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Fort Jackson EMS and the National Weather Service.

The exercise was designed to allow for maximum participation from federal, state, and local response agencies, while simultaneously providing an opportunity to prepare for emergencies.

The Salvation Army partnered with Bons Secours St. Francis Health System  to provide meals to the participants and first responders. The employees and volunteers served the meals over the course of the event.

Major Pete Costas, Area Commander, says, “We pray that nothing like this ever happens, but it is good to know that there are so many well-trained people ready to selflessly respond. The Salvation Army is always ready to have feet on the ground helping in any way possible.”

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SmartARTS: Arts integration at work

Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

By Carol Baldwin

Five minutes after I started talking to Gayla Day, the administrator of the SmartARTS program at the Metropolitan Arts Council, I knew I’d found a place to share my writing skills. This organization believed in integrating arts education into school curriculum — on a scale I had never imagined. SmartARTS uses artists — writers, painters, dancers, fiber artists, musicians, poets, actors, and actresses — to enhance math, social studies, science, and language arts instruction in Greenville County Schools.

In order to receive my first teaching assignment, I was required to attend the Arts Integration Training Institute. Last summer, I spent four days of immersive training in the SmartARTS vision and methodology. This included talks by Greenville County teachers who successfully enhanced their classroom instruction by teaming with artists. Along with 60 teachers who wanted an artist in their classrooms, I participated in acting exercises, a poetry workshop, a painting activity, and a dance lesson. I learned how the students’ needs would determine how my writing skills would be used in the classroom.

In March I met Melody Powell, the third-grade teacher at Stone Academy whom I was paired with. As we planned the unit, she said she wanted to prepare her students for the state writing assessment by focusing on narrative writing. Here was an opportunity to use my book, “Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8” precisely how I envisioned it. My excitement as an author and writing instructor soared.

Ms. Powell hoped I would reinforce concepts that she had previously taught, including the parts of speech, theme, and adding sensory details. Since the classes are teacher-driven, our planning didn’t stop at that initial meeting. She gave me feedback throughout the unit so that I continued to tweak upcoming lessons.

This type of collaboration is at the heart of SmartARTS. The give-and-take in the classroom between me and Ms. Powell was like a dance that may have looked choreographed, but in fact was a perfect example of collaborative work. As I taught the unit, “What Is a Story?” we played off each other’s skills and knowledge base.

The SmartARTS Training Institute reinforced the idea that linking a physical activity to content helps students retain material. Each day I opened the class with “Exercising Muscle Words.” Parts of speech and figurative language were combined with movements. Quickly students learned to pair vivid verbs with jumping jacks; specific nouns with deep knee bends; image-driven adjectives with arm circles; similes, metaphors, and personification with arm punches and leg kicks; and onomatopoeia and alliteration with finger dancing.

Another day I used tableaux, an activity that I had learned at the institute. This dramatic exercise helps students use their bodies and facial expressions to connect to a concept. In small groups, the students created tableaux that showed an emotion such as anger or sadness. It was exciting to see their enthusiastic efforts and the connections they made to portray a character’s emotions.

Teachers enjoy seeing “light bulb moments” — times when students link ideas to new concepts. I was privileged to experience several. A student recalled a passage in our mentor novel, “Because of Winn Dixie,” specifically because the author used the same figurative language the student was “exercising.” Others proudly incorporated muscle words into their work. After showing them several drafts of my work in progress “Half-Truths,” students realized how “real writers” revise. Several experienced the benefit of reading their work out loud to catch mistakes. One student recognized that although he didn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings while critiquing his work, feedback made the piece stronger.

I am thrilled that my book, “Teaching the Story,” was able to be part of the SmartARTS program. It was a privilege and pleasure to watch children shape their ideas and transform them into a story of their own.

When Carol Baldwin is not teaching writing or working on her historical young adult novel, she enjoys biking or walking the Swamp Rabbit Trail, golfing, and admiring her pansies or marigolds.

Community Briefs: Meals on Wheels, Clemson Miracle, and more


Wheels for Meals Charity Ride provides more than 26,900 meals for Meals on Wheels of Greenville

The 12th annual Wheels for Meals Charity Ride benefiting Meals on Wheels of Greenville, presented by Fluor Corporation, was held on April 28 at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. There were more than 400 cyclists who participated in one of the five events and then finished the day with a post-ride celebration. The event provided more than 26,900 meals for the homebound clients of Meals on Wheels. Funds from the Wheels for Meals Charity Ride are raised through sponsorships and peer-to-peer fundraising by participants. Since the first race, Wheels for Meals has provided more than 296,700 meals for the homebound in Greenville.

Clemson Miracle raises record total for Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System
The student organization Clemson Miracle came together during the 2017-2018 academic year to raise a record of $234,851 for the Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System. The gift was a record for Clemson Miracle and also a record contribution to GHS from any university organization.

Kidney Walk held at Furman University
LogistiCare, the National Kidney Foundation, and South Carolina’s kidney community recently came together for the 2018 National Kidney Foundation Walk in Greenville on March 10 at Fluor Field. Attendees represented every aspect of kidney disease, shared experiences, and helped create long-term support for South Carolina kidney patients. Over the last four years, LogistiCare employees have formed Kidney Walk teams that raised and donated a total of nearly $400,000 from operations centers across the country. Last year, approximately 2,300 LogistiCare employees nationwide raised more than $155,000, surpassing the company’s previous record of $129,000 in 2016. In 2018, the company has set a nationwide goal of raising $165,000, which would be its highest one-year total to date.

Circle 555 Greenville awards $30,000 to local family assistance ministries
Three Greenville aid ministries received a grant check of $10,000 from Circle 555 Greenville. Recipients of the grants included Robert Powell of David’s Table providing assistance to those with special needs and disabilities; Venus Dixon of Miracle Hill-Renewal, ministering to women overcoming addiction; and Zaina Greene of Switch, providing counseling and aid to women victimized by human trafficking. Circle 555 is a women’s giving circle focused on Christianity and giving to ministries that change lives. Each member pledges $555 a year, knowing that $500 goes directly to nonprofit ministries focusing on women, children, and families.

Greenville Federal Credit Union announces call for community grant application
Greenville Federal Credit Union announced a call for applications to begin May 1 for their Thanks and Giving Grants Program (T&GG). The purpose of the program is to identify and provide funding support for community-based 501(c)(3) organizations that promote education, community, and economic assistance across Greenville County. The initiative will award five grants of $10,000 each to nonprofit organizations committed to improving local prosperity in communities in Greenville County.

Applicants must be located in and do their work within Greenville County. Successful proposals for projects funded by a T&GG should be able to clearly demonstrate how the implementation of their proposed initiative will benefit and support education, improve child welfare, increase community and economic assistance, or provide relief in the local community. A panel representing Greenville Federal Credit Union will review applications and select the five recipients based on a set of criteria established by the T&GG committee. The criteria and application can be found on the credit union’s website at www.greenvillefcu.com/grant-application. The deadline for completed applications is Sept. 15. Grant recipients will be announced at the Greenville Federal Credit Union 50th Anniversary Celebration Food Truck Lunch on Nov. 16.

County Council vote gives $1 billion County Square redevelopment go-ahead

Rendering by Foster + Partners

Greenville County Council members on Tuesday night gave final approval to a deal with Atlanta’s RocaPoint Partners to redevelop County Square.

The Greenville Journal was the first to report that Greenville County chose developers RocaPoint Partners/The Georgetown Company, architects Foster + Partners and Wakefield Beasley & Associates, and commercial real estate firm KDS Commercial Properties for a billion-dollar transformation of County Square into a new mixed-use development that includes a new 250,000-square-foot county office building.

The final vote was unanimous with no discussion. A public hearing held before the vote only had one speaker — pastor Clarence Thornton, who said poor people and the middle class would be left out and it could contribute to gentrification, which is already a problem near downtown.

County officials have said it will take between seven and 10 years to build out the redevelopment, which they said would generate an additional $22.5 million in property tax revenue for the county and the City of Greenville.

Since the Journal’s original story, additional details about the redevelopment and its financing were released:

•The new county office building will occupy 4 acres. Parks and open space will take up 3.74 acres. New roads will cover 10.16 acres. That leaves 22.7 acres of buildable land.

•The proposal calls for 1,125 units of multifamily housing, 450,000 square feet of retail space, 650,000 square feet of office space, and 350 hotel rooms. That mix may change depending on market demand.

•The development’s maximum building height is 10 stories.

•Family Court would have to relocate during the first phase of the project to allow construction of the new county office and parking.

•The new planned development zoning the county will seek calls for a floor area ratio of up to 3.5. The floor area ratio is the ratio of a building’s gross floor area to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.

•The county is considering leasing the 1,000-space parking facility, so the space is taxable. If the county owns the parking facility, the land does not generate property taxes.

•A portion of President Street will be abandoned, and University Ridge will be relocated and connected to an upgraded Thruston Street.

The Council’s approval directs county representatives to negotiate the terms of the deal and set up a University Ridge Public Facilities Corporation to “accept, buy, sell, own, hold, lease, develop, operate, mortgage, insure, pledge, assign, transfer, or otherwise receive or dispose of real and personal property in conjunction with the redevelopment.” The county will transfer property to the PFC, which is managed by the chairman and finance committee chairman of Greenville County Council and the county administrator, which will then release that property as deals are made.

This isn’t the first time the county has used a public facilities corporation to facilitate capital projects. PFCs, which are controlled by the county, were used for the Greenville County Detention Center, the courthouse, and the Matrix Business Park, which is now called Augusta Grove. One was used to help finance the University Center as well.

Currently, County Square is appraised at $32 million, County Administrator Joe Kernell said. Instead of selling, the county decided to partner with a developer who could drive up the value of the property, he said, essentially paying for the county’s facility.

The County Square property will be a part of a multicounty industrial park, which is a tool often used for economic development projects, and the county will collect all of the property tax revenue generated from the development for up to 20 years to pay for infrastructure there, such as grading; water, sewer, and stormwater lines; new roads and sidewalks; park space and trails; and curbing and lighting. The city and school district will receive their share of property taxes after the infrastructure is paid for.

“Nobody is losing anything, because right now, the property generates no tax revenue,” Kernell said.

Under the agreement, from now until 2021, the county would pay for predevelopment and construction costs of the county office building, estimated to be between $50 million and $70 million.

The county would pay 65 percent of land predevelopment costs for items such as zoning, design, permits, marketing, presales, and selection of users. The developers would pay the remaining 35 percent. Land predevelopment costs are estimated to be between $5 million and $6 million.

RocaPoint would fully fund commercial predevelopment such as design, preleasing, and marketing, estimated to be between $5 million and $6 million.

From 2020 to 2026, the county and developer have a revenue target of $95 million to $105 million from land development and sales. The county will get the first $40 million. After that, the county’s share decreases for each $20 million increment. Any revenue over $100 million is split 50-50.

The agreement calls for RocaPoint to invest at least $200 million of its own money. The developer could potentially make $35 million from the deal.

Kernell said if the county sold the land today for $30 million and built a new county office building and paid to relocate the departments being moved off the property, it would have to issue bonds that would cost $3 million per year for 20 years.

Under the agreement with RocaPoint, if no land were sold at all, the new county office building and relocation would carry an annual debt service of $5 million for 20 years. If land sales totaled $50 million, annual debt service would be nearly $1.47 million. If land sales total $70 million, it would cover the cost of the new building.

Taxes would not be raised to pay for the building, county officials said.

After County Council approves the deal, the next step would be to create the actual master plan for the development. The next step would be to get the property rezoned to a new planned development district. County Square is not in the central business district, so the development won’t have to get approval from the city’s Design Review Board.

It will take up to 18 months before construction of the new county building begins.

May 16: This post has been updated to reflect the Greenville County Council giving final approval to the agreement.

Artisphere showcases local culinary arts

photo by Will Crooks

The 11th annual three-day Artisphere celebration of the arts isn’t limited to the visual and performing disciplines.

“Visual arts are the lead character with performing and culinary playing supporting roles,” says Kerry Murphy, executive director of Artisphere.

Murphy says the goal of the festival held May 11-13 is to expose patrons to as many art forms as possible, and culinary plays a key role in that.

“It’s a unique experience to celebrate the arts in all forms,” she says.

The culinary arts will be on display at The Culinary Arts Cafe + Stage at East Broad Street downtown with a curated selection of local restaurants and live music all three days.

The eight main food providers include returning restaurants The Trappe Door, Barley’s, Larkin’s on the River, Cantina 76, Greenville County Schools Career Centers, Mimi’s Steakhouse of Japan, and for the first time, Chicken Salad Chick and Bacon Bros. Public House. Funneldelicious will also be providing treats in the children’s area.

“We are adamant about keeping it local restaurants,” Murphy says.

As part of her job, Murphy travels to multiple arts festivals around the country — Houston, Portland, Kansas City, Miami, and more — and she’s noticed that while they don’t exclude local vendors, there’s a large representation of traveling fair-food-type vendors on the culinary side.

“If you’re a visitor traveling to an arts show, you don’t get a taste of the area,” she says.

In order to give Artisphere visitors that local experience, the participating restaurants are carefully chosen, and they’re also encouraged to showcase dishes that represent their restaurants the best, Murphy says.

To make it even more worth their while, a $500 cash prize will be awarded to the restaurant whose dish is judged “Best in Show” by a group of visiting journalists.

Here’s a sampling of what to expect this weekend:

Bacon Bros. Public House

Boiled Peanuts, Bacon Caramel Popcorn, Pulled Pork Sandwich

“We are excited to be a part of Artisphere this year for the first time,” says chef Anthony Gray. “This month marks our five-year anniversary, so Jason [Callaway, COO] and I felt like it would be a good fit for us. We are not normally involved with the downtown events, but we want to make a statement this year and support our city.

We chose three items to serve this year, all of which represent the restaurant and can show the folks who have not made it out to B.B. yet what they have been missing. We think all of these are great festival-style foods and represent what we do.”

Cantina 76

Roasted Chicken Taco, BBQ Brisket Taco, Smoked Pork Taco, Veggie Taco, Chips and Salsa (single serving), Iced Tea

“We are very excited about participating with Artisphere again this year,” says Craig Wyatt, partner. “Last year was our first year, and we thoroughly enjoyed both participating in and attending the festival. We chose our menu items this year … primarily because they are some of our customers’ favorite tacos and they provide a nice variety of flavors. These tacos also showcase some of our local vendors, including Amick Farms and Brookwood Farms.”

Larkin’s on the River

Chicken Salad with Pita Wedges, Parmesan Truffle Chips, Pimento Cheese Short Rib Slider, Sriracha Bacon Mac n Cheese, Strawberry Lemonade, Sweet Tea

“Larkin’s Catering Events chooses menu items for the culinary that can be found in our restaurants and events,” says Kristina Murphy, vice president of catering and events. “Being part of this festival is so important for Larkin’s to showcase what we do. Our partnership with Artisphere has been wonderful this year. We were proud to be a sponsor for the poster reveal party and looking forward to preparing a special themed menu for the opening night gala.”

Greenville County Career Centers

Pulled Pork Taco with Corn Salsa and Slaw, Ceviche, Elote (Mexican Street Corn), Tres Leches Cake, Hibiscus Tea, Horchata

“A couple of years back, I was looking for a way to get my students real-world experience as well as get [the] word out into the community about our program,” says Drew Archer, culinary arts instructor, Donaldson Career Center. “Artisphere was a good fit because they have already partnered with Greenville County School District by showcasing students’ work. Our menu this year stems, in part, from the corn-themed menu we did last year. The two biggest sellers last year [were] our pulled pork taco with corn salsa and the elote, Mexican street corn. Based on those items doing so well and the fact that they won us ‘Best in Show,’ we decided to cater the menu to those items. So, this year our menu is Tex-Mex themed. Like I mentioned before, this event gives students loads of real-world experience. They are involved with the menu planning, costing, cooking, and set up and tear down. The students have a lot of fun with this event. In fact, we have way more students volunteer to work than we actually need.”

Visit artisphere.org/culinary-arts/ for the full menu offerings from each restaurant. The Culinary Arts Café will be open during festival hours: May 11, noon-8 p.m.; May 12: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and May 13: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Hop-In comes to downtown Greenville


A new transportation service has been announced for downtown Greenville. Hop-In is an on-demand electric vehicle that will help to reduce traffic and aid in transportation.

The service is powered by Locally Epic with a vehicle built by Star EV and Rogers EV.

The vehicle, called Star EV AP48-06, is an electric vehicle that holds up to six passengers. Its top speed is 25 mph, and it is equipped with seatbelts. The vehicle will offer free rides from the top of Main Street to Fluor Field and back from 11 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week. The service will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will accept tips for the driver.

The service is also available for private events, such as weddings, for a charge.

The individuals behind Hop-In are hopeful that it will provide a simple, fun travel experience unique to Greenville.

To learn more, visit hopingreenville.com or call 864-354-7069.

Op-Ed: With dismal access to care, mental illness to be addressed in upcoming Greenville symposium

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

By Jim Hayes, M.D.

We have a lot to be proud of in South Carolina. A storied heritage, diverse population, thriving economy, and vibrant landscape spanning mountains to ocean. Yet there is one area our great state can do better in: mental health.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 43.8 million Americans suffer from a mental illness — which is 1 in 5 adults. For South Carolina, our mission is even more urgent. The number of adults in South Carolina with a mental illness is a staggering 636,000 people, or 17.6 percent of our population, and the need for compassionate and qualified care has never been greater. According to recent reports, South Carolina ranks among the top 15 states in the nation for prevalence of mental illness among teens and adults, yet 37th for access to care. “The State of Mental Health in America 2017” measures South Carolina against 15 criteria, demonstrating the magnitude of a problem and the dismal access to care our mental health services struggle to provide, presenting a dire case.

The Upstate features something unique that is helping address this crisis — a collaboration between health care professionals, law enforcement officers, lawmakers, and community leaders — the Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health (SESMH). About to launch its third annual gathering, the Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health will be held on May 18 and 19 in downtown Greenville at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Past symposiums have attracted national attention with speakers such as Sen. Patrick Kennedy, best-selling author and journalist Pete Early, and former Second Lady Tipper Gore. This year, the Symposium is delighted to feature speakers such as Dr. Tom Insel from Mindstrong Health, one of the top neuropsychiatrists in the country on Friday night, and award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas from ABC network’s “20/20,” who is due to speak on Saturday afternoon. Five other regional and national health professionals will speak throughout the conference.

The Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health is a collaboration hosted by the Greenville Health System (GHS) Department of Psychiatry in partnership with GHS Health Science Center Partners — Clemson University, Furman University, and the University of South Carolina. Also, a part of this effort are community partners who include the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Greenville, NAMI South Carolina, The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Lundbeck, and Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR). The decades of experience from qualified individuals and organizations is astounding, yet they all gather for a specific purpose.

The goals of the Symposium are to promote community awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma and discrimination, improve equity for mental health care comparable to other health care, and inform public policy. Essentially, fostering an educated and empathetic community will result in better care, better laws, and a better quality of life for all. Because every voice matters — particularly those facing the challenges of mental illness, as well as the social stigma for its affliction — it is not only the smart thing to do, it is an obligation to address mental health disparities among the vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations in our community.

This year’s theme for the Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health is “Collaborations: Diversity and Inclusion – Integrating Research, Education, and Practice.” The SESMH features topics for community members and mental health professionals, as well as Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits and Continuing Education Units (CEU) for those studying mental health for their careers. The Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health is unique in that it is also offering legal professionals Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits during its Friday program as well. This exciting event is always enlightening, encouraging, and hopeful, as every social stratum of our great state gathers to learn more about mental health, the challenges faced by the mentally ill, and what we all can do to improve our communities. Find out more information or join us by registering at www.sesmh.org.

Jim Hayes, M.D. Director of Research Compliance Greenville Health System (retired) President NAMI South Carolina and Board Member NAMI National

Sharon M. Holder, Ph.D., MSc., MSW, Symposium Chair, Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health Research Assistant Professor, Department of Youth, Family, and Community Studies Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Clemson student Madison Williams’ short film ‘136’ to be screened at Cannes Film Festival

Photo by Ken Scar

Madison Williams, a 22-year old Clemson University senior, will be presenting her short film at the Cannes Film Festival in France in mid-May. She’ll be missing her graduation to do so.

Williams has been interested in filmmaking since she was a child growing up in Newbury, Mass. Though she has family in the Upstate, she had never heard of Clemson. Upon visiting, she was drawn to Clemson for its major in graphic communications, which exists in the college of business.

“I really liked the fact that I’d be getting more than just an art degree; it was in the business school and I was able to get a more well-rounded education and open up more doors to me — so really the major was a big pull,” Williams says. “Then obviously once you are actually here and can see what the Clemson family is all about, it’s incredible.”

Williams’ short film, “136,” tells the story of a new friend, Bryson Carter, who became blind during his time at Clemson and was not able to finish his education. Carter is a die-hard Clemson football fan, and the film’s name comes from the fact that he has attended (at the time, now more) 136 consecutive Clemson football games, despite the fact he is unable to physically see the game.

Williams explains she met Carter in a shared ride leaving the Fiesta Bowl in December 2016 in Phoenix. Carter had taken a bus all the way to Phoenix where the Tigers shut out Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinal. “It really hit me that we were taking him to a bus station to take a bus all the way back to Clemson,” she says. “I flew from Boston to Phoenix, and that was a long travel day, but not 48 hours of travel both ways. It really hit home for me, and he couldn’t even see the game.”

Williams created the film for Campus Movie Fest, a film festival that travels to college campuses and challenges students to make a short film in a week. She knew this was her chance to tell Carter’s story. “If I hadn’t had that opportunity, his story may have taken a lot longer to get out there, but he made that week so much fun,” she says.

Williams shot the footage in one day and spent the rest of the week editing. Her film won Campus Movie Fest at Clemson in 2017. She advanced to the national Campus Movie Fest competition in Atlanta, where the judges noticed her work. She later received an email that “136” would be one of 30 student films screened at Cannes’ Short Film Corner.

“When I got the email [from Cannes], I sent it to my boss and said, ‘Please tell me this isn’t a hoax.’”

“I am honored that I’m able to screen this film at Cannes because of the story I got to tell,” Williams says. “I feel so lucky that I’m the one who got to tell Bryson’s story, and he’s such an amazing fan and he’s the epitome of what it means to be ‘All In.’ He and I have become great friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Though Williams is a little sad to be missing graduation, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to go see the best of the best. “I’ve grown up admiring the festival and knowing how prestigious it is, and the people, the talent that goes there is mind-boggling,” she says. “The fact that I’m going is the coolest thing and honestly such an honor.”

She is proud to bring the spirit of Clemson to a world-renowned, international film festival. “This has been a really cool story to tell, especially the fact that it’s going to Cannes for the story that it is, it makes it all so much more rewarding,” Williams says. “The story is only a story because of his story.”

Williams plans to continue to work in film and has accepted a position with Clemson Athletics as a videographer.

Small Plates with Ariel Turner

13 Stripes Brewery at Taylors Mill turns 1 this week. Will Crooks/Upstate Business Journal

Go shawty, it’s ya birthday

13 Stripes Brewery at Taylors Mill turns the big 1 this week, and they’re pulling out all the stops to make it the weeklong celebration not to miss, releasing seven new beers throughout the week and hosting live music Friday through Sunday. Brooks Dixon Band will be playing Friday night; The Wobblers play Saturday during the day; a DJ will be spinning Saturday night after the kiddos are in bed; and on Sunday, Total Astronaut will rock the parking lot.

And in case you’re not aware, the seven 13 Stripes partners and their families deserve some major props for all they’ve accomplished in their first year. First of all, they finally realized their dream of opening a brewery, which is no small feat when you’re also raising a collective total of 21 (and counting) children. Their opening day on May 13, 2017, was an even bigger success than they could’ve imagined.

“You hope it’s half as good as in your head, but then you show up, and it’s twice as good,” says Kenworth Reeves, co-founder and partner responsible for sales and marketing.

Secondly, they’ve forged some great partnerships with local organizations, not the least of which is with the Greenville Drive, which is celebrating its 13th season (how’s that for serendipity?) and with whom they’re brewing a Legends never Die Craft Lager as a nod to the team’s Boston roots. Among constant milestone celebrations and corporate events, the brewery also recently hosted the kick-off for the inaugural year of Greenville Football Club.

Thirdly, and there could be numerous more on this list of accolades, they’ve rolled out a distribution plan that they’re proud to continue growing.

Of course, now that we’ve entered May, every weekend is jam-packed with events, but if you want to avoid the downtown crowds of Artisphere this weekend, head to Taylors Mill with the whole family.


There’s a whole lot happening in the Village of West Greenville. The biggest news this week, however, is that favorite hang and caffeine purveyor The Village Grind is moving across Pendleton Street in June to a new 1,300-square-foot space that will give owner Lindsey Montgomery’s staff room to breathe and space for even more customers. Never fear, the rose cardamom latte will remain on the menu. The only changes will be in space and potentially collaborating with a new ice cream shop next door to serve affogatos (coffee poured over ice cream).

So about that new ice cream shop. Montgomery’s brother, Alex George, who is the chef/owner of restaurant GB&D, with whom the Grind currently shares space, is opening up his second concept, Carol’s Ice Cream. And while his nostalgia for his paternal grandmother is the inspiration behind the new shop, this ain’t your mama’s ice cream shop. Picture liquid nitrogen at -320-degrees Fahrenheit poured into a Kitchen Aid mixer spinning the milk and egg mixture that will freeze so quickly, there are no ice crystals. It’s the stuff of science nerd dreams for sure. He’ll also be serving soft-serve cones on the cheap and warm doughnut ice cream sandwiches.

Back across Pendleton Street, GB&D will be expanding into the space vacated by the Village Grind, and the terms “’80s lounge-esque” and “pink neon and dark wood” have been thrown out as design elements for the new full-service bar George is creating. Expect renovations to start on that the week of July 4. The bar will have its own separate food menu and serve sparkling, fermented drinks along with a curated selection of mid-grade base liquors.

Greenville centenarian Anna Marie Burts reads to fellow Rolling Green Village residents

Anna Marie Burts, a resident at Rolling Green Village who recently turned 101, reads to fellow resident Marjorie Griffin. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Dr. Anna Marie Burts has lived in Rolling Green Village for more than 20 years. But in the grand scheme of this 101-year-old’s life, that is only a small portion of her journey.

Burts and her late husband, Dick Burts, lived and worked for universities and colleges all over the country after they met and fell in love while in the same graduate program at Columbia University.

After spending many years moving around, they settled for 15 years at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and then Davidson College in North Carolina, the last leg of their professional journey. The Burtses knew they would need a place to call home for their retirement, and since their daughter and her husband lived in Greenville, they settled on Rolling Green Village.

Burts and her husband were always a presence in the community, both inside and outside of Rolling Green. They were heavily involved in a local food rescue nonprofit, Loaves and Fishes, and helped other residents of Rolling Green get around.

When Burts’ husband developed dementia, he moved into the EverGreen Unit for dementia patients. Burts moved into her current apartment, where she has continued to live since Dick Burts passed away last September.

Burts now spends her free time continuing to work with other residents by reading to those who can’t. She has been a long-time lover of books and academia, as well as helping others. For Burts, sharing her love of reading has provided her with a continued sense of purpose.

Anna Marie Burts. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

“It is a way I can be of help to someone while I’m living out the rest of my years,” Burts explains. “I am somewhat limited in what I can do. But this is something that I can do, and I enjoy the relationships that I make.”

Burts regularly reads to two blind Rolling Green residents. “The first man I began reading to is 25 percent Native American,” Burts says, “and he has a book on Indian history, which I knew nothing about, so I have profited and enjoyed it just as much as he has. His wife is here, but she can’t read for extended periods of time because of her voice.”

“The other woman has Parkinson’s, but she is interested in mystery stories,” Burts adds.

Burts speaks highly of the community at Rolling Green Village and even more highly of the people there. She is humble in her accomplishments and says, “All this attention to me is much to do about nothing, but I guess when you’re almost 101, and still have your marbles and still are active, it’s a little noteworthy.”

One-Stop Open Studios Retrospective showcased at Artisphere


An Upstate art retrospective will be part of the 2018 Artisphere lineup this weekend, allowing attendees of the city’s hallmark arts festival to look back at 15 years of notable, local artwork. The exhibit will remain on display through the end of May, showcasing more than 95 artists whose work has been part of the long-running Metropolitan Arts Council’s Greenville Open Studios event.

The One-Stop Open Studios Retrospective exhibit will be open throughout Artisphere weekend between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Metropolitan Arts Council gallery, located at 16 Augusta St. in downtown Greenville. Greenville Open Studios artists who have participated between 2002-2017 were invited to submit a 12-by-12-by-12-inch piece.

Greenville Open Studios is a weekend-long event that opens the studios of local visual artists to the public each November. The Artisphere retrospective commemorates Open Studios’ notable growth since its inception; it began as a good idea, then grew to a casual conversation between a small group of artists, and eventually became a full-fledged event designed to raise awareness about the tremendous creative energy in Greenville.

In addition to celebrating Greenville’s premier arts festival and 15 years of Open Studios, the retrospective is intended to grow even greater exposure and awareness of Greenville-area visual artists.

Sarah Collier’s pop-culture-inspired pieces evoke mid-20th-century nostalgia

"Atomic Number" by Sarah Collier. Provided by Sarah Collier

Sarah Collier didn’t jump right into her career in art. Although she studied it at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, she took a 15-year hiatus as a high school guidance counselor.

Collier explains, “The art always stayed with me. I had studied graphic design and painting, and it just never really left me.” She entered the art world slowly, with the help of her husband, Aaron, before taking the plunge into full-time. “My husband and I started to do art shows every now and then, and local things. Then my mom became ill in 2009, so I had to quit my job, but that ended up segueing into, ‘Maybe we can do this as a full-time thing,’” Collier says.

She has explored her art and style but has always come back to inspiration brought by a high school art project assigned to her years ago, and that was the style that stuck. “I did a graphic design project in high school where my art teacher gave me a vintage ad that we had to replicate with our own painting and design work,” Collier says. “Then I got more into fashion and the general era of the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s.”

Collier and her husband tag-team the business: She creates the pieces while he helps with the heavy lifting and creates frames for her work.

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  • "Girl Likes Old" by Sarah Collier

  • "WOMEN!" by Sarah Collier

  • "New Math" by Sarah Collier

She describes her work as “walking through a thrift store and you look at the record albums, old books, fabrics, and materials, and it is spun into the piece of art I make.”

Her bright, fun, pop-culture-inspired pieces are meant to have both a serious side and a sense of humor. Whether inspired by fashion, music, or political movements, her pieces evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Collier has consistently been interested in the mid-20th century. “I’m drawn into that era of design and pulp fiction, and all the old paperback novels,” she says. “There’s something about it that transcends the time in which they were made. I like the color schemes and really everything about it.”

Through a partnership with Getty Images, Collier has access to a variety of old images and ads, and she also draws inspiration from her collected items, including fabrics, books, drawings, and photos. Collier’s mother worked in a fabric shop when she was growing up, which she jokingly admits heavily influences her art.

Collier speaks highly of Greenville. “Artisphere has been one of my favorite shows for a long time. They have great show organization, a great variety of artists, and they treat their artists well,” Collier says. “It’s not too huge, and I love coming there for this show. Greenville seems to have a good amount of town pride where they support the show and promote the show really well.

“I just dig Greenville, and I’m not just saying this, but it would be my pick-up-and-move-to city. It has a great location,” Collier says. “It’s a beautiful town; there has been obvious forethought in the revitalization of the town. There’s good food; there’s a good artist community there. I just think it’s a supportive town that seems to love the arts.”

Sarah Collier
Wilmington, N.C.
Booth No. 34

Painter Michelle Jardines’ latest series is a reflection in loss and grieving

Michelle Jardines is one of two Emerging Artists at this year's Artisphere festival. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

By Joshua Kelly

Michelle Jardines can’t avoid painting. “I like to think that painting chose me; I didn’t choose it,” she says. “My life has always brought me back to this place of painting.”

Jardines puts more effort into her work than an average painter. “The Old Masters painted with oils. They mixed their own palettes and formulas like a mad scientist to a canvas, as I like to think, and that fascinates me. I mix my own pigments like they did,” she explains.

Yet she balances this laborious task with time spent outside of the studio, with family or fly-fishing. In fact, for Jardines, fly-fishing is a key part of her studio process. “This is very much needed for my work,” she says. “I need the solitude and nature for inspiration.”

For Jardines, painting is not just an art form or a time-consuming chore; it is a language, the way she connects with others, and her way of belonging. “It’s how I express my emotions and ideas through a physical form and not just a thought. It’s how I speak, my form of language — it’s how others understand me,” she says.

Art is often the language of expression for deep emotions, particularly emotions dealing with loss and the wondering and reconstructive periods that follow those times. “I experienced an incredible loss a little over two years ago that sent me into a spiral of healing,” Jardines says.

Jardines paints with oils and mixes her own pigments. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Her latest series, “Forlorn Fog,” was a meditation on not just loss but also the process of grieving that follows. “In this series, my hope is to express the process of finding, accepting, and healing,” she says.

The works, teasing familiar shapes and silhouettes, just obscured by the haze of the fog, provide an odd comfort and the idea of moving past and thinking about what is to come after, rather than being bogged down in the emotional weight of the past. “All that comes and goes away is the heart of beauty, and the dissipation of this fog eventually clears a new path,” Jardines says.

For Jardines, the reconstructive time following her loss is starting to come to an end, and although she feels there is still more work she could do in her latest series, she is considering putting it aside after Artisphere.

“Sometimes you just have to let go and move on, even if you think you’re not ready,” she says. “You just need to jump that cliff and dive straight into life and see what is underneath the murky waters.”

She recently returned home to Cuba and wants to introduce that experience in her works soon. “Going back to my roots grounded me when I was in the midst of healing, and I’m excited to see what comes from it,” she says.

Michelle Jardines
Booth No. 88 

Photographer Walter Arnold finds beauty in abandonment

Clayborn Temple in "The Art of Abandonment" by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold

Walter Arnold first picked up a camera in 2005 when he moved to Hendersonville, N.C., and became enamored with the area’s natural beauty and scenery. But the creative spark that has ultimately shaped his body of work was found at an airplane graveyard in St. Augustine, Fla., in 2009.

“It was a private piece of land that had eight old naval aircraft, and they had just been sitting there on the side of the road for about 25 years or so,” Arnold says. “I was like a kid in the candy store taking photos. It was a fun, creative challenge, vastly different than what I was used to.”

That initial pursuit of “finding beauty in a very unexpected place” inspired Arnold to create an expansive photo project called “The Art of Abandonment.” Through partnerships with historic preservation groups and suggestions from the people he meets at art shows and festivals, Arnold has documented various abandoned sites across the country, which range from a theme park (Dogpatch USA in Marble Falls, Ark.) and a library (Cossitt Library in Memphis, Tenn.) to a theater (The Columbia Theatre in Paducah, Ky.) and a brewery (The Tennessee Brewery, also in Memphis).

Arnold describes his photographs as featuring “hyper-realistic color detail, some of it verging on surreal.”

“I use HDR [high-dynamic range] photography that allows me to capture a huge range of light in these scenes,” he says. “I capture multiple exposures that range from very dark to very light and combine them into one image. That procedure brings out a lot of color and the detail in a way that people aren’t used to seeing.”

Arnold also prints his photos on aluminum, a technique that adds further depth to the images. “They’re bright, luminous, vivid images that kind of jump off the wall,” he says.

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  • "Face of Death" – St Augustine, Fla. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

  • "The Final View Airplane Graveyard" – St Augustine, Fla. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

  • "Time Enough At Last" – The Cossitt Library – Memphis, Tenn. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

  • "Grossinger's Abandoned Resort." Liberty, N.Y. Catskills New York. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

  • "Grossinger's Abandoned Resort." Liberty, N.Y. Catskills New York. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

  • "Such Great Heights" - The Tennessee Brewery - Memphis, Tenn. Photo by Walter Arnold. Photo provided by Walter Arnold.

Through this aesthetic, Arnold hopes his photography can shine a light on the potential that these places — though largely forgotten with the passage of time — still hold.

“From a practical standpoint, it would be nice to save some of these historic locations that I photograph,” he says. “I want to communicate the beauty — and yes, there’s lost purpose in some of these places, but there’s still some hope, and if people can see beyond the … veneer or façade of what condition it’s physically in, they’ll see there’s still a lot of hope for these places. It’s not just an eyesore, not something that needs to be torn down; we can repurpose this. That has happened in several instances.”

One building featured in “The Art of Abandonment” that has recently been restored is the Clayborn Temple in Memphis. The African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the building in 1949, and its legacy is deeply tied to the civil rights movement. Clayborn Temple served as a primary meeting spot during the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike; in fact, the “I Am a Man” picket signs carried by protesters were distributed at the church. The church’s congregation declined in the ’70s and ’80s, and in 1999, Clayborn Temple was shuttered.

But in fall 2015, a small group of community members purchased Clayborn Temple for $65,000 from the AME Church, and the following summer an organization called Clayborn Reborn was formed to support the restoration efforts. In 2016, Arnold was able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the renovation’s progress. And this year, one day after the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, the city of Memphis unveiled the I Am a Man Plaza, located next to the church.

“It’s a beautiful testament to a virtually lost historic location that’s come … 180 degrees to be back in a major significance in the community,” Arnold says.

Aside from the Clayborn Temple, another location in “The Art of Abandonment” that stands out to Arnold is his photography from Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, located in Liberty, N.Y. Grossinger’s, which permanently closed in 1986, was a popular summer resort for mostly Jewish clientele from New York City. (It’s also the location that served as the inspiration for the resort depicted in the film “Dirty Dancing,” Arnold notes.)

“Every single show I go to, a handful of people or more recognize the photos or recognize the location,” he says.

“That’s what kind of really opened my eyes to the personal relation people can have to these different locations and the significance they held,” he adds. “It ties people’s own history into the work so that they have an immediate connection.”

Walter Arnold
Hendersonville, N.C.
Booth No. 134

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