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Spartanburg Colleges Present 10th Annual SC Humanities Festival

Friday, March 14, 2003

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — “Changing Minds of the South” is the theme for the 10th Annual South Carolina Humanities Festival, to be held in Spartanburg April 7-12. The festival is sponsored by the new consortium of Spartanburg’s six colleges and universities: Wofford College, Converse College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Technical College, the University of South Carolina Spartanburg, and Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic.

“Spartanburg looks forward to welcoming guests from across our state as we join together to explore thought-provoking ideas and enjoy quality performances that embody the unique aspects of the Upstate,” says Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet.

The Humanities Festival is a weeklong series of lectures, panel discussions, concerts, art exhibits, dance performances, and a comedy interpretation of the “Changing Minds of the South” theme. Events will cover a broad spectrum of life in the South, including healthcare, education, the arts, business and the economy, and nonprofit organizations.

Events are free of charge and open to the public, and will be held on the campuses of the six colleges, at the Spartanburg County Public Library, and at the Spartanburg Day School.

The theme is borrowed from W.J. Cash’s social history, The Mind of the South. A native of Gaffney, SC, Cash explored the Southern class system and assessed the region's legacies of racism, religiosity, and romanticism in his book. His work has defined the way in which millions of readers have viewed Southern culture. The festival will explore Cash’s observations, looking to the past, present, and future of the South at how culture is changing and diversity is growing.

The SC Humanities Festival was established on the 20th anniversary of the Humanities Council when its board, chaired by Elaine Freeman of Spartanburg, decided that the council needed an initiative of its own in addition to the grants it gives to support external projects. The first festival was held in Beaufort, SC with a mission to highlight the history and culture of communities in the state.

“The Humanities Council SC is extremely pleased that the City of Spartanburg and its institutions of higher learning are hosting the tenth annual SC Humanities Festival,” says Randy Akers, executive director of the Humanities Council. “The humanities exist to bring people together and connect them to their educational and cultural resources, and to allow them to learn more about themselves and the community in which they live. Spartanburg has much to offer the rest of the state in its commitment to addressing the compelling issues affecting our region's future.”

The festival is funded by the six colleges, the City of Spartanburg, Hub City Writers Project, Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, South Carolina Humanities Council, the D. L. Scurry Foundation, and Extended Stay America Inc.

Additional information may be found on the SC Humanities Council website at www.schumanities.org and on each of the sponsoring college’s Web sites.

For a full schedule of events, click here: "Changing Minds of the South"