Union’s Environmental Art and Music Festival Celebrates Art and Nature

Union’s Environmental Art and Music Festival Celebrates Art and Nature

In 2018, Union’s Piedmont Physic Garden applied for an Elevate Upstate grant to help pay for a unique kind of festival: an art and music festival, but one that focuses on conservation and environmental awareness. For the first time in the five years that Hughes Investments had been awarding the grants, in addition to the winning projects, the PCC was awarded a matching grant of $3000 for the festival—and that was the impetus for raising the remaining funds ($1500 each from Union City Council and Union County Council) and getting the community behind the project.

Coie Switzer, director of the Piedmont Physic Garden, says, “We want to thank Ten at the Top and Hughes Investments for giving The Environmental Art and Music Festival its start. The $3,000 matching grant gave us the boost we needed to start this positive community vibrancy initiative in Union.”

In addition to the Piedmont Physic Garden, six other groups have come alongside to partner in this endeavor: USC-Union, Union County Tourism, Union County Arts Council, Union County Historical Society, Union Carnegie Library, and Union County Chamber of Commerce. The fruits of their labor will be realized this weekend, with the first-ever Environmental Art and Music Festival.

The festival celebrates Union County’s natural beauty and culture. It will take place in the heart of historic downtown Union, SC. The Vendor Village will take place on the campus of USC-Union’s Patrons Park, including food trucks and a mix of craftsmen, artists, and others whose works are based on sustaining natural products and resources. Click here to read more about it, from Linda Wilburn Weber of the PCC.

The festival will also include art exhibits at USC-Union’s Main Building, the Union County Museum, the Piedmont Physic Garden, the Union County Arts Council gallery and the Union Carnegie Library in addition to a Main Street Arts Stroll.

FREE outdoor music concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday nights at USC-Union’s Patron’s Park.

Schedule of Events

THURSDAY, SEPT. 26th Union County Arts Council 2019 Annual Art Exhibition Award Ceremony & Opening Reception @USC-Union Main Building 6 PM

Vendor Village @ USC-Union’s Patrons Park 10 AM – 5 PM
UCAC 2019 Annual Art Exhibition @ USC-Union’s Main Building 10 AM – 5 PM
Sculpture Exhibit @ Piedmont Physic Garden 10 AM – 5 PM
Children and Teen Art Exhibit @ Union Carnegie Library 10 AM – 5 PM
Art Exhibit featuring Eola Dent at Union County Museum 10 AM – 5 PM
Art Exhibit featuring Thomas A. Tucker at UCAC Gallery 10 AM – 5 PM
Main Street Art Stroll 10 AM – 5 PM
Free Family-Friendly Bluegrass Concert featuring Tri County Express @ USC-Union’s Patrons Park 5 PM – 7 PM
Free Rock Concert featuring Dazed Renegade @USC-Union’s Patrons Park 7 PM – 9 PM

Vendor Village @ USC-Union’s Patrons Park 10 AM – 5 PM
UCAC 2019 Annual Art Exhibition @ USC-Union’s Main Building 10 AM – 5 PM
Sculpture Exhibit @ Piedmont Physic Garden 10 AM – 5 PM
Children and Teen Art Exhibit @ Union Carnegie Library 10 AM – 5 PM
Art Exhibit featuring Eola Dent at Union County Museum 10 AM – 5 PM
Art Exhibit featuring Thomas A. Tucker at UCAC Gallery 10 AM – 5 PM
Main Street Art Stroll 10 AM – 5 PM
Live Music featuring Jordan Lawson 12 PM – 2 PM
Free concert featuring Nashville musician and Grammy nominated songwriter, Robert Arthur and Union band, QUEST @ USC-Union’s Patrons Park 7 PM – 9 PM


Position Announcement: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director

Position Announcement: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director


Position Title: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director
Status: Full-time, salaried, exempt position
Location: Office located in Greenville, South Carolina, but scope is the 10-county Upstate
Application Deadline: September 27, 2019

Who We Are:
Ten at the Top (TATT) is a regional organization that works to develop strategic partnerships and enhance the collective capacity across the 10-county Upstate South Carolina region on issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life.

In June 2017 TATT began convening a group of transportation service providers in the Upstate with the ultimate goal of enhancing the movement of people and goods across the region. This effort now includes public, private and nonprofit partners.

Over the last two years, the group has developed the Upstate Mobility Vision, identified specific mobility themes, and a set of actionable strategies to support the vision.

The first actionable strategy is to develop the Upstate Mobility Alliance, which will serve as the convening and coordinating entity for advancing the Upstate Mobility Vision. The Alliance includes interested stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors and has a leadership team as well as four task forces.

Whom We Seek:
The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director will be a prominent voice illustrating the valuable role mobility plays in the overall success of the Upstate while also promoting collaboration and community investment around mobility initiatives. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, engaging, and able to build connections with a wide range of stakeholders. The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director is an external facing position, but will also have responsibility for program and task force management.

Ideal Experience:
As the lead staff member for the Upstate Mobility Alliance, the Director will have an interest in advancing mobility issues across the Upstate region. Additional requirements include:

  • Minimum of five years of full-time experience at a management or supervisor level
  • Proven track record of consensus building as well as developing and implementing initiatives that address specific objectives
  • Experience in public speaking and articulating an organization’s mission and vision
  • Ability to manage multiple projects or initiatives simultaneously
  • Knowledge of South Carolina’s Upstate region with specific understanding of mobility and transportation in the region being desired, though not required
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Understanding of general government processes
  • Knowledge of existing grants or other funding sources for transportation in South Carolina
  • Experience writing briefings, strategy documents, initiative summaries and related materials
  • Well organized and detail-oriented
  • Bachelor’s Degree

Key responsibilities:
The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director will be a staff member of Ten at the Top and report to the TATT Executive Director. Responsibilities include:

  • Lead day-to-day operations of the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Coordinate the efforts of the Alliance Leadership Committee and Task Forces, to include: organizing meetings, working with the co-chairs on meeting content, facilitating meetings, and leading follow-up and next steps
  • Participate in external mobility meetings and serve as the primary spokesperson representing the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Conduct presentations and regular updates on the Upstate Mobility Alliance to interested stakeholders across the Upstate
  • Develop and implement strategies to increase awareness of and participation in the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Coordinate regional mobility events developed as part of the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders within the mobility network across the Upstate
  • Project management of task force initiatives
  • Communicate with the Ten at the Top Executive Director and Board of Directors on the progress of the Alliance
  • Participate in fundraising activities to support the Alliance as needed
  • Write reports, white papers, summaries and support material
  • Provide content for and support the web site and social media platforms
  • Write and coordinate the mailing of correspondence to funding partners and stakeholders across the Upstate
  • Other duties as assigned

Personal Characteristics:
The successful Upstate Mobility Alliance Director candidate should be:

  • An individual who believes in working across jurisdictional and stakeholder boundaries to address issues that impact our region
  • Eager and able to learn, understand and work on a broad array of issues; reflective, with strong conceptual, critical, and creative thinking abilities
  • Approachable, knowledgeable, and able to develop meaningful relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Comfortable receiving input from many sources and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan
  • Professional with a demeanor demonstrating empathy, humility, respect, good judgment, cultural sensitivity and flexibility to represent the Alliance in diverse forums and organizational relationships
  • Able to serve as both a “leader” and a “doer” in working with the leadership team and task forces to produce results-oriented outcomes\
  • Flexibility to travel across the Upstate and participate in occasional evening meetings and events

Ten at the Top offers a competitive salary and benefits package including health insurance, paid vacation & holidays and a cell phone stipend. The expected salary range for this position is $75,000-$90,000, but will be finalized based on the experience of the selected candidate.

Application Process:
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top at dhybl@tenatthetop.org. Resume and cover letter must be received by September 27, 2019. In your cover letter, please address the following questions: 1. Based on the job description, why are you a good fit for this position? 2. What appeals to you about being involved with achieving the vision of the Upstate Mobility Alliance? We anticipate conducting initial phone interviews with selected candidates followed by in-person interviews. Candidates will be notified by email of our acceptance or decline to schedule an initial phone interview by October 14th.

Historic District Puts History on Every Street of One Upstate Town

Historic District Puts History on Every Street of One Upstate Town

One Upstate town is situated completely within a National Historical District, so history—literally speaking—can be found on each one of its streets.

Located in the northwest corner of the Upstate, the Pendleton Historic District covers an area of over 6,300 acres and includes the entire town of Pendleton, its immediate surroundings and a large tract of land that stretches west towards Lake Hartwell. One of the largest historical districts in the nation, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

In all, the Pendleton Historical District includes more than a dozen historic sites, and over 50 buildings of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century significance remain, the majority of which are within the town limits of Pendleton.

The Village Green is used for a variety of community events.

A community of approximately 3000 residents, Pendleton remains relatively unchanged from when it was first laid out as the county seat of what was originally known as Old Pendleton District (present-day Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties) in 1790.

In the center of town, the charming Village Green, surrounded by a lively business district of shops and restaurants, serves as the focal point. Dogwoods line many streets, and massive cedars and oaks are dominant throughout the area.  

On one corner of the Green is Hunter’s Store, the heart of commerce in 1850 and now home to the Lake Hartwell

Hunter’s Store houses the Lake Hartwell Country visitors center.

Country visitors center. The commission, which serves a three-county region, houses a visitor information center as well as the largest collection of local history and genealogy north of the city of Columbia.

In 1826, construction began on Farmers’ Hall, which stands on the southwest corner of the Green. It was initially designed to serve as the then Pendleton District’s courthouse, but the county seat was moved before the building was completed.

Local farmers completed construction of the building as the Farmer’s Society Meeting Hall in 1828, and it has been in use by the organization ever since, making it the oldest continuously operating Farmer’s Hall in the nation. The historic building also features a restaurant – 1826 On The Green.

Farmers Society Meeting Hall

Events are held on the Green throughout the year, the most notable of which is the annual Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee. Held the first full weekend in April, the Jubilee—which has become a sort of rite of spring—is an award-winning, juried art and crafts show that attracts thousands of visitors each year.  According to event organizers, over 300 artisans vie for each of the 100 coveted spaces.

Historic walking tours are available every 2nd Friday and Saturday of the month, and self-guided walking tour brochures of the town of Pendleton are available at the visitor center in Hunter’s Store.


Getting there:

Pendleton Historic District Village Green is located at 125 E. Queen St. in Pendleton, S.C.

Old Stone Church

Worth a look:

Located just outside Pendleton, the Old Stone Church and Cemetery and the plantation homes of Woodburn and Ashtabula, each of  which are listed individually on the National Register, are part of the Pendleton Historic District. 

by James Richardson

Tickle Your Funny Bone—Comedy in the Upstate

Tickle Your Funny Bone—Comedy in the Upstate

If laughter is the best medicine, have we got a dose for you! This weekend alone, there are three comedy shows to choose from in Greenville: America’s Got Talent  winner Terry Fator, with an act full of characters and musical impressions, will be at the Peace Center on Friday night; at Comedy Zone Greenville, physical comedian Arnez J—dubbed the “Black Jerry Lewis,” appearing on the Comedy Club Network, his own BET comedy special, and numerous other shows—will perform five shows; and Alchemy Comedy will host Atlanta comic Damon Sumner, who co-hosts the podcast “Forth and Ten.”

Comedy Zone Greenville has more shows on the calendar on upcoming weekends as well, including “In Living Color” cast member Tommy Davidson and Carlos Mencia, whose show “Mind of Mencia” was one of Comedy Central’s strongest original shows. And for more home-grown comedy, Comedy Zone Greenville hosts The Joke Show, a stand-up comedy open mic, every Thursday night.

In addition to its comedy shows in Coffee Underground’s theater, Alchemy offers improv classes for anyone interested in learning the art of sketch comedy—the classes are not at Coffee Underground, but at their training center at 400 Birnie Street. No comedy or theater experience is necessary to begin, but each class is a prerequisite for the next. An added perk is that students get free admission to Alchemy shows!

Sparkle City Improv in Spartanburg performs on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Growler Haus (parental discretion advised), and they offer improv workshops as well. These are somewhat sporadic, and there’s not one on the calendar at the moment, but if you’re interested, follow their Facebook page so you can be alerted when one pops up.

For more home-grown comedy in and around Greenville, check out Stone Grown Comedy, No Expectations Comedy,  and the New South Comedy Festival, which happens every November.

by Sharon Purvis

Small Town, Big Talent—Get In on the Act!

Small Town, Big Talent—Get In on the Act!

Broadway theater in New York City is the pinnacle of success for stage actors who dream of making it big—and there’s no doubt that seeing one of those big city productions is an unforgettable experience. The closest thing to that around here is the traveling Broadway shows at the Peace Center, and those shows are worth seeing if you can get tickets.

Those actors and actresses decided to pursue acting for a living, which is a choice that comes with a lot of sacrifice—there’s no question about that. But there are talented people who stayed in their own communities, too, making different choices but not losing their talent.

For every famous actor or singer who says they got their start singing in their church choir or doing school theater, there are a hundred more who still sing and act beautifully while being teachers and car salesmen and nurses and stay-at-home moms by day. And a lot of those people are acting in plays and musicals right here in the Upstate, giving some really remarkable performances.

I went to see Fun Home put on by the Proud Mary Theatre Company last weekend, which performs in a small space in the West Main Artists’ Co-op in Spartanburg—and in front of a crowd of 50 people or so, the cast performed their lines and songs with every bit as much emotion and nuance as they would have in front of a packed house at a larger theater. Dean, our executive director, took his daughter to see M*A*S*H at the Abbeville Opera House, and they were pulled into the characters’ story as much as they would have been with a traveling Broadway show. My husband, who never thought he would enjoy a musical play, now is the one to suggest that we go see the latest offering at the Spartanburg Little Theatre. And there are lots of other theaters in towns all over our ten counties putting on great shows.

Supporting local theater keeps the arts alive in your community. It’s an affordable evening out. You may see someone you know in a production and get to see a different side of a neighbor or co-worker. You might even be inspired to join the cast or crew yourself! There are a lot of plays listed on our calendar, so why not go check one out this weekend?


Article by Sharon Purvis

Ten at the Top Is Hiring!

Ten at the Top Is Hiring!

Ten at the Top is seeking an individual to serve as Collective Capacity Coordinator.

Job purpose: The mission of Ten at the Top is to foster collaboration and increase collective capacity across the 10-county Upstate SC region around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life. The Collective Capacity Coordinator is responsible for coordinating, facilitating and implementing meetings, initiatives, activities and programs focused around key regional issues within the five driver areas of the Our Upstate Vision.

Basic Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Minimum of five years of full-time work experience in a professional setting
  • Experience coordinating work groups, volunteers or committees
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Writing proficiency (please provide samples)
  • Attention to detail and the ability to produce quality work in a timely manner
  • Ability to manage multiple projects or initiatives at one time
  • Ability to work independently and accomplish tasks with minimal daily supervision
  • Knowledge of South Carolina’s Upstate
  • Strong organizational and customer service skills

Key responsibilities:
1. Coordinate regular meetings, activities and initiatives for task forces and committees around the five driver areas of the Our Upstate Vision.
2. Regularly communicate with task force, committee members and other volunteers.
3. Conduct research related to projects, initiatives and driver areas.
4. Write reports, white papers, summaries and support material as needed.
5. Regularly update web site components with information related to task forces and committees.
6. Facilitate committee and task force meetings.
7. Conduct presentations and represent organization in a professional manner at meetings and community events.
8. Become familiar with key stakeholders within task force areas and across the ten Upstate counties.
9. Flexible schedule that allows for occasional attendance at early morning or late afternoon meetings as well as travel across the Upstate and occasionally to other parts of South Carolina.
10. Writing and coordinating the mailing of correspondence to funding partners and stakeholders across the Upstate.
11. Manage mailing lists including task forces, elected officials, board of directors and other stakeholder groups.
12. Coordinate community workshops and regional forums.
13. Regularly share TATT information through social media.
14. Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Position Information:

  • Full-time 40-hour per week salaried position
  • Salary Range: $40,000-$50,000 (depending on experience and background)
  • Benefits include company health insurance, paid vacation, cell phone stipend and paid holidays
  • Applications will be considered when received until position is filled

Submission Information:

Interested candidates should send cover letter (including specific experience as a capacity builder), resume and support materials by e-mail or standard mail to:
Dean Hybl
Executive Director
Ten at the Top
150 Executive Center Drive, Suite 202
Greenville, SC 29615