Finalists Announced for ELEVATE UPSTATE Community Vibrancy Grants

    Upstate, SC [November 9, 2015] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, has announced the finalists for the 2015 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

    The five finalists were chosen from a total of 26 applications submitted for the two grants available in 2015. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate. The program began in 2013 in conjunction with a series of Community Vibrancy Workshops hosted by Ten at the Top.

    “The goal of the Elevate Upstate program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide some seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes. “In the two years we have done this program I have been amazed by the great ideas and passion of communities across the region to grow their vibrancy and sense of place. It was a real challenge to narrow the field to five finalists.”

    During the Ten at the Top Regional Forum on November 19th the five finalists will each provide a brief overview of their initiative before the two 2015 recipients are selected and announced. The cost to attend the forum is $10, prior registration is required. The forum will be held from 3-5 pm at the Greenville Marriott. To register go to www.tenatthetop.org.

    Here are the five finalists (applying organization and project name):
    Art in the Park: Woodruff – The Woodruff Living Arts Festival will be a downtown event which will bring art to life in the Upstate.
    Greer Made – A new project designed to honor Greer’s history and revitalize the maker’s spirit of our community, Greer Made will focus on highlighting companies and products that are made right here in the Greer area.
    celebrate agriCULTURE: Greenwood – The Arts Council of Greenwood County plans to celebrate national farmers market week with several activities: tailored pieces of art to exhibit and family fun day focused on our agricultural heritage, cooking demonstrations, etc. throughout the six week celebration.

    Music at the Museum: Greenville – In a partnership between the Children’s Museum of the Upstate and the Furman University Partners in the Arts Program, student and faculty ensembles will perform a series of mini concerts.

    Walkable Cultural District: Spartanburg – The Art Partnership (TAP) in collaboration with the Spartanburg Arts Museum (SAM) aims to create a temporary public art installation to uniquely launch the newly designated Spartanburg Downtown cultural District.

    The selection committee for the Elevate Upstate Grants Program includes Phil Hughes (President, Hughes Investments), Ingo Angermeier (SmartPulse), and Terence Roberts (Mayor, City of Anderson).

    Ten at the Top Announces 2014 Recipients of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants

    Ten at the Top Announces 2014 Recipients of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants

    Upstate, SC [November 17, 2014] – Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to foster collaboration, partnerships and strategic planning across the Upstate, has announced the 2014 recipients for the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants.

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    There were five finalists chosen from a total of 22 applications that were submitted for the two grants available in 2014. Hughes Investments is contributing $10,000 per year to the program with two recipients each year receiving $5,000 to support a new vibrancy initiative in the Upstate.

    During the Our Upstate Vision/Ten at the Top Forum on November 13th the five finalists provided a brief overview of their initiative. After all presentations were given, Phil Hughes, President of Hughes Investments and a member of the Ten at the Top Community Vibrancy Task Force, announced the two recipients of the grants.

    The recipients are:

    Let’s Keep Travelers Rest Beautiful – Before I Die Wall – The ‘Before I Die’ wall concept has been implemented all over the world to encourage healthy discussions regarding dreams and hopes. Travelers Rest will construct several different walls to spark discussion and actions across the community.

    Main Street Laurens – Finally Friday on the Square – Finally Friday on the Square will be a monthly celebration of all things Laurens with live music hosted in the historic downtown.

    “I was absolutely amazed by the number of great ideas submitted for the program. It was a real challenge to narrow the field from 22 applications to five finalists, to two winners”, said Hughes. “While we cannot fund all of the finalists, I would like to provide $1,000 to the other three projects in the hopes that this will allow your projects to come to fruition.”

    The other three finalists that will each receive $1,000 towards their project are:

    City of Gaffney – Unforgettable Gaffney – The Unforgettable Gaffney project will create a coherent and engaging system for communicating the esthetic and historic value of properties in two historic districts in the city.

    City of Clinton – Rhythm of the Rails – Rhythm of the Rails will be an annual celebration to be held the last Saturday of April as a finale of the Celebrate Clinton Month.

    Pickens Revitalization Association – Pickens Main Street Challenge – The Pickens Main Street Challenge is designed to attract new businesses into downtown Pickens by providing reduced rent in currently vacant storefronts.

    “The Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants are a great opportunity to provide seed funds to help communities increase the vibrancy and sense of place within their community,” said Ten at the Top Executive Director Dean Hybl. “Phil Hughes has been a great champion of the community vibrancy task force since the beginning and the idea for the grant program was his.

    “Last year he surprised everyone by presenting a third grant and this year he decided to give all of the other finalists $1,000 to help get their projects started. It just illustrates how committed he is to helping our local communities grow their vibrancy and sense of place”

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    TEN AT THE TOP AND HUGHES INVESTMENTS CREATE COMMUNITY VIBRANCY GRANT PROGRAM

    Upstate, SC– Ten at the Top (TATT), through a funding commitment from Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments Inc., has established the Hughes Investments Vibrancy Initiative: ELEVATE UPSTATE Grants (EU). The program is being announced in conjunction with the Ten at the Top Community Vibrancy Workshops being held at four locations across the Upstate this week.

    The purpose of the ELEVATE UPSTATE Grants is to identify and provide initial funding support for community based programs that promote community and economic vibrancy in local areas across the Upstate. The initiative will award two grants annually with each being for up to $5,000 (total of $10,000 per year for five years) from 2013-2017 to entities including neighborhood associations, civic or community based organizations, non-profit organizations or local governments that are committed to developing and implementing programs designed to increase local vibrancy in communities within the Upstate. The TATT Community Vibrancy Task Force will provide some guidance through the project implementation process if it is needed.

    “Communities often have great ideas for things they want to do to increase their local vibrancy,” Hughes said. “However, they often don’t have the seed money that can get an idea moving toward an action. We want ELEVATE UPSTATE to provide that initial support so communities can create new projects and grow the vibrancy within their community and thus within the Upstate region.”

    Applicants must be located in and do their work within communities in one of the ten Upstate counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Gaffney, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, or Union. Successful proposals for projects funded by EU should be able to clearly demonstrate how the implementation of the initiative that they propose will benefit and provide vibrancy in the local community. These proposals may seek to produce a physical result, such as a mural, sculpture or signage that will increase the vibrancy and sense of place within a community, or implement the first of a reoccurring or annual event or program that helps grow vibrancy within a community. Examples of projects that have provided vibrancy within communities across South Carolina and the United States are being highlighted as part of the Community Vibrancy Workshops and a list of nearly 50 vibrancy projects is available on the TATT web site (www.tenatthetop.org).

    “We are very fortunate to have leaders within our region like Phil Hughes who recognize not only the importance of promoting community vibrancy, but who are also willing to help provide funding support to help communities take projects from idea to action,” said TATT Executive Director Dean Hybl.

    The application for the first ELEVATE UPSTATE Grants will be available on the TATT web site by June 1st and the application deadline is September 15th. Recipients will be announced at the final TATT Forum of 2013 to be held in late November or early December.