Hub-Bub Student Consulting Project

Interview with Cate Ryba, Executive Director, HUB-BUB

by Caroline Winn '15
Cate Ryba 
Wofford students pose with members of the HUB-BUB Board of Directors. From left to right: Lizabeth Zack, Ximena Herrera, Kerry Ferguson, Jonathan Franklin (student), Becky Salami (student), Will Cappelmann (student), William Ross (student), Lindsey Baker (student), Dana Nobles (student), Cate Ryba, Colleen Ballance, Andrew Green and Eric Kocher. 

A small team of Wofford students recently completed a consulting project for HUB-BUB, a local Spartanburg organization that actively seeks to promote the arts by encouraging community engagement. HUB-BUB began with a guerrilla marketing campaign – which has led thousands to its website – and has grown to be wildly successful. Currently, HUB- BUB hosts over 100 nights of art, culture, and entertainment a year. 

Cate Ryba, a Spartanburg native, is the Executive Director at HUB-BUB. She has a thorough background in arts, communication, and urban planning. She is an innovator who has created multiple events for the local community. We asked Cate to talk with us about her experience working with Wofford and The Space to Consult.

What is HUB-BUB’s mission? 

"HUB-BUB was created by the city of Spartanburg in 2005. It was an initiative geared to draw and keep more young people in the Spartanburg area. In order to accomplish this, we work to boost the arts community. Our performance venue and art gallery, The Showroom, hosts music, film, and art events throughout the year. Through our artists-in-residence program we bring emerging artists from all over the country to live in downtown Spartanburg and complete community projects. Essentially, we are here to serve the community of Spartanburg." 

What did the consulting team do for HUB-BUB? 

"HUB-BUB has not evaluated how we meet our mission in a scientific way. We will be going through a strategic plan in February, and we need information about how effective our efforts have been. We need to know who comes to our events, how often people visit, and what people have enjoyed. The students found out how and if we were meeting our goal. They gave us a really fantastic, polished presentation of their work and the survey that they did. We will be using the data as part of our strategic planning process. We received a lot of valuable information from this consulting project. It was really helpful for us, and it was nice to hear feedback from college students, who are a large part of our demographic. Their research helped connect us further to the college community. For example, one of the students in the consulting group runs the open-mic night at Wofford, SKATE, and next spring they are going to do a session here at HUB-BUB. It is very exciting for us to grow those connections, as well." 

Why did you choose to work with Wofford students?  

"Working with The Space helped us meet our goal of supporting young creative people. We love to have community partners. We’ve worked with Wofford on few other projects and we hope to continue to harness the brainpower and knowledge of the Wofford community."   

Would you partner with The Space again?  

"Oh, for sure. In fact, two Wofford students are doing their 2014 Interim with us. One student is a finance major, and she will be looking at our cash flow procedures and helping us figure out inventory and processing. Another intern is cataloging the public art opportunities in downtown Spartanburg. We are looking forward to more interns from Wofford in the future! We are also partnering with The Space, The Iron Yard and the Chamber of Commerce on the Upstate’s first Startup Weekend event next month."