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Last updated: July 11. 2014 6:26AM - 206 Views

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SPARTANBURG — Chapman Cultural Center is leading a county wide effort called “Culture Counts” to identify and map all cultural resources, creative industries, and creative people living and working in Spartanburg County. A comprehensive identification of the communities’ cultural resources is the first step in any planning process. Public meetings will be held in several communities in the County in July, August, and September to gather data from citizens on what cultural resources exist.


The public is invited to attend meetings in their communities held on Tuesday, July 15 at Timken Community Center in Cowpens; Thursday, July 17 at Woodruff City Hall; Thursday, July 31 at Campobello Gramling Elementary School; Thursday, August 7 at James F. Byrnes Fine Arts Center in District 5; Tuesday, August 12 at Upstate Family Resource Center in Boiling Springs; and Thursday, September 4 at Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg.


There will be two meetings each day, one at 11 a.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m. Both will last one hour. Scheduled activities will encourage collaboration and allow attendees to network.


The public meetings will provide an in-depth description of the project, allow citizens to discuss what resources exist, and engage participants in a creative activity. Refreshments will also be served.


Counting cultural resources will allow Spartanburg County to build community, use culture as an economic driver, identify public resources, and prepare for cultural planning. What makes Chapman Cultural Center’s “Culture Counts” project unique is that it includes a census-like count of creative people in addition to facilities, organizations, and businesses in the arts, culture, and creativity. This census will help engage talented people throughout Spartanburg County.


Those who cannot attend may visit Chapman Cultural Center for a physical survey or complete the survey online at www.goo.gl/DNjyrL.


“Every community in Spartanburg County has its own rich cultural heritage,” Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, said. “By meeting with citizens throughout the County, we hope to identify previously unknown resources, people, and activities. We want those communities to know that everyone’s culture counts, and that Spartanburg has a lot to offer.”


The process will also use federal standards to map the locations of all non-profit and for-profit arts-related businesses. Spartanburg County has not completed a cultural inventory or census of creative people since 1993 during the last cultural plan.


Successful communities in the United States and abroad have used their creative and cultural resources to their economic benefit. Once Spartanburg’s data has been collected, it will be used to grow economy, increase tourism and hospitality revenues, and celebrate “quality of place.”


“Everyone’s voice counts,” Evins said. “Together, we can identify what we have and work together to use our cultural resources and engage our creative people to the betterment of Spartanburg and all of our citizens.”


Attendance at these public meetings is free. Citizens of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds are encouraged to participate.


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