A new consortium of Spartanburg’s six colleges and universities are joining forces to sponsor the 10th Annual South Carolina Humanities Festival. The week-long festival, to be held in Spartanburg April 7-12, will feature 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.
“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,” said Bill Barnet, Mayor of Spartanburg.
The “Changing Minds of the South” theme is borrowed from W.J. Cash’s social history, The Mind of the South. A native of Gaffney, S.C., 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 S.C. 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, S.C. with a mission to highlight the history and culture of communities in the state.
“The S. C. Humanities Council is extremely pleased that the City of Spartanburg and its institutions of higher learning are hosting the festival,” said 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.”