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{November 27, 2012}   It’s Christmastime in the City…

Well Downtownies…the Thanksgiving dinner has been consumed, Black Friday deals have been had & you’ve gotten carpel tunnel syndrome from all the online shopping during Cyber Monday…so, what’s next? If you are a parent, keeping the little ones (& not-so-little ones) entertained can be a bit daunting – especially with the 2-week long Holiday break looming in the near future. But not to fret, my fellow DTGVL parental units, Downtown Greenville offers many excellent events for kids of all ages, sure to keep you & your family on Santa’s NICE list!

Ask any Downtownie & they will tell you nothing kicks off the Holiday season like the Greenville Poinsettia Parade & the Christmas Tree Lighting. This year’s city Tree Lighting takes place 5:30PM on Saturday, December 1 at City Hall before the parade. Then the floats and marching bands roll out at 6PM, starting at River Street & continuing down Main, ending at  E. North Street. A favorite for all ages, families often make a day of it – taking in the sights and sounds of Downtown Greenville, before settling in at a spot along the parade route, hot chocolate or apple cider in hand.  For more information and a map of the parade route, visit www.greenvillesc.gov.

Speaking of kid-friendly fun, The Children’s Museum plans several Holiday craft projects for little creative hands and minds to keep busy during the month of December.  From designing Christmas Ornaments, to crafting Tissue Holiday Trees and mixing up Reindeer Food, there will be so much going on that you may actually make it through the Holiday season without hearing “I’m bored” even once!  The Children’s Museum’s Holiday celebration culminates with their “Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus” event on Saturday, December 15. Visit www.tcmupstate.org for more information.

Not to outdone on the Holiday fun, the Hughes Main Library has its own calendar of Holiday happenings for kids. From the craft projects at Kindercraft & InBetween classes, to  the Holiday Open House Party for kids 5 & under (Thursday, November 29 at 10:30AM) and  Santa’s Christmas Party with the Columbia Marionettes  for ages 4 & up (Friday, December 7, 10-11AM), there are tons of fun for the kids. They can even explore Holiday traditions from other countries through the Library’s “Explore Your World” program on December 4. For more information on this and other Library events,  call 527-9248.

Are your kids into music, theatre & dance? Then these events will certainly jingle their bells! The Greenville Museum of Art will be hosting the Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Lollipops Concert for Kids on Saturday, December 8. The concert begins at 11AM and is followed by a Holiday Party at 2PM. This event is free to the public. For more info, see www.greenvillemuseum.org. The South Carolina Children’s Theatre is hosting its own Holiday Pajama Party on Wednesday, December 19 from 6:30-7:30PM. This Milk & Cookies themed event will feature a Holiday story time served up with…you guessed it …Santa’s favorite snack –  milk & cookies. The cost is $10 per child (adults are free) with pre-registration required at http://scchildrenstheatre.org. Ballet fans will have two opportunities to see “The Nutcracker” performed by two amazing ballet troupes at the Peace Center. The Carolina Ballet will be performing this time-honored favorite on November 30 – December 2 and the International Ballet will be performing it December 7-9. If your family prefers to see a theatrical performance of a Holiday classic, then catch “Miracle on 34th Street” performed at Centre Stage (http://centrestage.org)November 22 – December 22, “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Greenville Little Theatre (www.greenvillelittletheatre.org) December 7-16, “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” at The Warehouse Theatre (www.warehousetheatre.com) December 7-29, and a play inspired by that favorite childhood twist on the classic Christmas carol – “Junie B in Jingle Bells Batman Smells” with the South Carolina Children’s Theatre (http://scchildrenstheatre.org) at the Peace Center , November 30-December 16.

The Holiday season in Downtown Greenville offers even more opportunities for families to catch the Holiday Spirit. From Horse Drawn Carriage Rides from Whispering Winds (www.downtowncarriage.com), to ice Skating at Ice on Main in the Village Green (www.iceonmain.com) and the St Francis Festival of Trees at various hotels downtown, there is something for everyone throughout December. So, whatever you celebrate this Holiday season, spend some of it in our lovely, festive Downtown. Happy Holidays, Y’all!

For a list of Holiday Happenings taking place in Downtown Greenville, visit http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=427455850642353&id=371197456807

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It’s Sunday morning and you’ve awaken with the desire to do something. Not just anything, but something that’ll rev up your internal engine, wind up your weekend and kickstart a new week! Well, my friend, it sounds like a trip to Downtown Greenville is in order!

Brunch is an excellent way to get your Sunday moving in the right, adventurous direction. Several Downtown establishments offer brunch and the choices are as varied as your tastes. Want a brunch that has a certain laid-back sophistication? Then, try the Jazz Brunch at High Cotton. With a mouth-watering selection of Southern classics (my personal favorite is the Crab Cakes Benedict), many foodies deem this a weekend necessity.  Serving brunch from 11AM until 2PM, this Sunday’s musical entertainment will be provided by local talent and High Cotton regulars, The Ian Bracchitta Trio. Some other great choices for brunch include The Green Room (serving brunch all day from 9AM until 5PM), The Bohemian (serves brunch from 11AM until @2PM), Mary Beth’s (especially good for early risers, serves brunch from7AM until 3PM), American Grocery Restaurant (Fresh, local ingredients, brunch served 11AM-2PM) or the Spoonbread Restaurant at The Poinsett Hotel (a Greenville institution, serving brunch from 10AM until 2PM).

After brunch, stroll down College Street to Heritage Green and the Greenville County Museum of Art. Every Sunday at 2PM, the art museum offers a wide range of special events and programs at their appropriately named “Sundays @ 2”. The schedule includes artist and gallery talks, special tours, music, and demonstrations. These events are free and many are designed with families in mind. The next two Sundays feature “Music in the Galleries” with the Pride of Greenville Men’s Chorus on the 29th and Celtic Singer Judy McKenney on August 5th. After the performance, take a few moments to tour the evocative, ever-changing exhibits on display. The Greenville Museum of Art is open from 1PM until 5PM on Sundays.  For more information, visit http://www.greenvillemuseum.org.

If you wish to continue your “artsy vibe”, then consider checking out Greenville’s thriving theatre scene. Many of Downtown’s community theatre’s feature matinee times for recent performances. Currently showing at Centre Stage is the 60’s inspired musical, “Beehive”. The play runs through August 11 and matinees are at 3PM, Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and available through the Box office or online at http://centrestage.org. If Shakespeare is more your thing, then head over to Falls Park at 7PM for Shakespeare in the Park. This “motley crew” of players tells the Bard’s tales, with a modern twist. Currently showing is a contemporary adaption of “Henry V”, complete with “mosh pit” battle scenes to the Celtic-punk tunes of Dropkick Murphys!  Even your bored teens will get into this! Performances are free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

If the evening finds you with the urge to be in air-conditioned comfort, then look no further than Coffee Underground. For some sick rhymes taken with some medicinal caffeine, join other wordsmiths for the Wit’s End Poetry Slam. Regional artists, including the renowned poets from Unified Sol, heat up Sunday nights with some cool poetic insight during this open mic event. Doors open at 7:30PM, everyone is welcome and there is a $5 cover charge. For more information, visit: www.coffeeunderground.biz.

No matter what your interests are, there’s always something to do Downtown. From the many shops and art galleries and museums such as the Upcountry History Museum and The Children’s Museum, to a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail or a Drive game at Fluor Field, there’s always an event to suit your mood. For a detailed list of daily Downtown happenings, check out the Downtown Greenville Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/DowntownGreenvilleSC.

Here are some more fun Sunday Things to do Downtown:

Upcountry History Museum:  A family-friendly interactive museum showcases the diverse history of Greenville and the Upstate. Sunday hours are 1PM until 5PM and Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 4-18. www.upcountryhistory.org

The Children’s Museum: A kid-friendly, interactive museum that encourages creative play. Special daily events, programs and classes offered, usually at no additional cost. Sunday hours are 11AM to 5PM and Admission is $9 for children 2-12 and $10 for adults. www.tcmupstate.org

Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville:   Featuring work from local artists that are available for sale, this gallery also hosts receptions and other special events open to the public. Admission is free and Sunday hours are 1PM until 5PM. http://artistsguildgalleryofgreenville.org

Greenville Zoo: Located near Cleveland Park, this small Zoo is very family-friendly. Sunday hours are 9AM until 5PM. Admission is $7.75 for adults, $4.50 for kids 3-15. For a list of special Zoo events, see www. greenvillezoo.com

Greenville Drive: Greenville’s minor league baseball team, who plays home games at Fluor Field. Sunday home games usually start at 4PM. Tickets are $5 – $8 and are available through the box office or online. For tickets or game schedule, see http://www.milb.com.

Swamp Rabbit Trail: This17.5 mile multi-use trail system runs along the Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville. For a map of the trial, visit http://greenvillerec.com/parks/swamprabbit/

Reedy Rides: Dedicated bicycle rental business located in downtown Greenville. Can deliver bikes right to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Sunday hours are 8AM to 8PM. For more info, call (864) 419-2944

Downtown Trolley:  The trolley runs Downtown on Sundays from 1PM until 8PM and rides are free of charge.  Download a map of the trolley route at  http://www.greenvillesc.gov

 



During the hot, scorching days of the typical Carolina summer, there are few things I enjoy more than escaping to the air-conditioned comforts of an art museum. Our very own Greenville County Museum of Art offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to view world class art, right here in the heart of our own Downtown. This summer’s exhibits are no exception.

Perhaps one of my favorite collections currently on exhibit at GCMA is “Dark Corners / Appalachian Ballad” by Asheville artist, Julyan Davis.  Although English by birth, Davis has developed an intense bond to the Appalachians and its ties to Celtic origins. This bond is revealed in his collections, which he calls ballads in honor of the folksongs that resonate throughout the mountain regions. Reflecting the dilapidated beauty and simple dignity amidst the poverty of the rural areas, Davis’s collection touches the part of one’s soul that makes us who we are.  If you only do one thing Downtown this week, let it be visiting the Art Museum to view this thought-provoking collection – it will be leaving Greenville July 1st.

The collection that helped put our humble little art museum on the map has found a permanent home here in Greenville and continues to increase in size. The Andrew Wyeth Greenville Collection is now the largest and most complete collection of Wyeth’s works owned by any public museum in the world. A realist painter in what is known as the regionalist style of painting, this son of artists best known works reflect the people and places he met throughout his life. His grand-daughter, Victoria Wyeth, is a frequent visitor to our city to lead tours and discussions of her grandfather’s legacy.  On July 8th, docent Mike Murphy will host a tour of Wyeth’s work in celebration of the late artist’s birthday.

The newest exhibit to grace the Greenville County Museum of Art is Winfred Rembert: “Amazing Grace”, which just opened last week. Rembert’s colorful and evocative folk art, worked in beautifully carved and painted leather pieces, tell the African-American tales he grew up with in Georgia. The artist himself will be at the museum on July 15th to discuss his art and its inspiration.

Those who love the art, history and architecture of Charleston will be pleased by The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston”.  One of the primary artists of the Charleston Renaissance, this collection features over 60 works that reveal the charming landscapes and ordinary people of Hutty’s life in Woodstock, NY and Charleston, SC. This exhibit will be on display until July 15th.

Other collections currently on display at GCMA include both travelling and permanent collections. Among these are the Southern Collection – an assortment of American art from colonial times to the present, with an emphasis on examples with relationships to the southern United States, Portrait of Greenville – which has returned with paintings by national and regional artists who were invited to share their inspiring depictions of our beautiful city, and the works of Spartanburg native, Helen Dupre Mosely –a  fantastical crew of characters plucked from the artist’s imagination, but that some believe are a satirical view of local society.  No matter what your artistic tastes are, a stroll through the Greenville County Museum of Art is just the thing to feed your heart, soul and creative inspiration!

More Information:

The Greenville County Museum of Art is located on College Street at Heritage Green – sharing space with The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville Little Theatre and the Hughes Main Library. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11AM until 5PM and on Sunday from 1PM until 5PM. Admission is FREE (although donations are appreciated). On Sundays, join them for Sundays at 2, special events and programs designed with art lovers and the “art-curious” in mind. Many of the events are created to appeal to families and children. For more information, visit: http://www.greenvillemuseum.org



Summer’s coming…that time of year school kids count down to with great anticipation.  After the initial elation of “No more pencils, no more books”, summertime boredom sets in.  But with this fun assortment of summer classes and camps for kids and teens, you may never have to hear “I’m bored” even once!

With interactive, kid-friendly exhibits and activities, it’s no surprise that The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is a favorite with kids year-round. When the temps get warmer, the fun factor gets amped up…BIG TIME! Offering weekly day camps that have delightful themes such as “Build It”, “Let’s Move” and “Passport to Fun”, kids of all ages will happily discover something to spark their interest! Camp sessions begin mid-June and the cost ranges from $125 for the Lil Sprouts Camps (ages 4 & 5) and $250 for the Big Kids Camp (K5-5th graders). Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit: www.tcmupstate.org.

The Greenville Zoo is another wonderful place for kids anytime of the year. Like the Children’s Museum, when summer comes, the Zoo offers exciting and educational camps for kids from pre-school to middle school. Camps are scheduled for several weeks, starting in early June, with morning and afternoon sessions available. There is even an overnight camp for teens. Rates range from $45 – $105 for Zoo Members and $50-$115 for Non-Members. Pre-registration is required, and some dates may be already be full. This year’s theme is “Animal Mythbusters: Truth or Myth”. With behind-the-scenes adventures, exciting games and crafts and discussions with zookeepers, kids will have so much fun, they won’t realize they’re learning! For more information, visit www.greenvillezoo.com

For the future Oscar winner in your family, Greenville’s theatre community offers several opportunities for your young thespian to earn their acting chops. The South Carolina Children’s Theatre has long been a source for theatrical entertainment and education for theatre enthusiasts of all ages. Summertime is no different. Preschool and young elementary schoolers can discover their hidden fairy selves or release their inner pirate with fun day camps that encourage young ones frolic in their imaginary worlds. 1st-5th graders will get to don their superhero capes and save the world in SCCT’s Superhero Camp and Teens and Tweens will have the chance to creatively “think on their feet” in a fun and exciting Improv Camp. The cost for these camps vary, starting at $150, and pre-registration is required. To find out more, visit:  http://scchildrenstheatre.org.

The Greenville Little Theatre has been the “jumping off point” for many talented young actors, including Oscar winner (and Greenville native) Joanne Woodward. GLT strives to continue that impressive tradition with theatre classes for teens and tweens that cover such important subjects as movie-making, musicals and play-writing. Classes begin in June with “Let’s Make a Movie”. Costs vary from $150-$200 and pre-registration is required. To learn more about GLT’s programs, visit www.greenvillelittletheatre.org.

For your budding Monets and Picassos, the Greenville County Museum of Art offers an array of imaginative art classes in many mediums. K5 – 5th graders will be encouraged to explore the watercolors of Andrew Wyeth, make a hamburger bigger than their head, and learn about 3-dimensional art, all under the tutelage of some of the Upstate’s finest artists. Teens will have the opportunity to fine-tune their drawing skills with Bruce Bunch, dabble in fashion design with Emily Clarke, and tap into the wonders of wool and fiber art with Deb Potter. Classes begin in June and the cost is $99 per class. Pre-registration is required. For a list of classes and more info, visit: http://artclasses.greenvillemuseum.org.

Children with autism often have difficulty expressing themselves and also find it difficult to locate summer programs that fit their unique needs. A new writing program, Ugly Words, inspires and empowers Upstate children ages 8-18 to write frequently and with confidence through a combination of workshops and tutoring. This unique program encourages these kids to explore their imaginations and write about their experiences in THEIR words, without fear of being corrected.  Three pilot programs have been scheduled for this summer to take place at Hughes Main Library and cover a broad range of subjects from fort-building and urban archaeology to teen literary favorite, “The Hunger Games”. These workshops are free, but registration is required and opens May 31. For more information about this wonderful program, please visit: http://HYPERLINK “http://uglywordsgreenville.tumblr.com/”uglywordsgreenville.tumblr.com.

In addition to the Ugly Words programs, the Hughes Main Library offers many activities for kids of all ages. From Summer Reading Programs and Storytime to Craft Time and Theatrical Productions, the library offers a little something for kids of all ages. For a schedule of programs and classes, visit the Greenville Library System’s website at www.greenvillelibrary.org.

Greenville’s Parks and Recreation also has a variety of fun activities designed just for kids. Their Super Summer Day Camp for boys and girls age 5-12 takes place Monday-Friday at each of the City’s Community Centers. The campers get to enjoy arts and crafts, fitness and sports, music, field trips and much more. Cost is $225 for this 10-week camp (Greenville residents get a 20% discount) and pre-registration is required. In addition to the Summer Camps, the Community Centers also offer an eclectic mix of activities and classes for kids and teens that range from Art & Design and Music Classes to Tennis and Fitness Camps. Cost varies depending on the class. For more information, visit the Greenville City page at: http://www.greenvillesc.gov/ParksRec/CommunityCenter.

Well, there you have it – plenty of activities to keep little hands busy and young minds focused. And Downtown Greenville also has many other attractions that thrill the little ones. From the Upstate History Museum to the Mice on Main, and all the fun and funky shops and restaurants, parents will find a plethora of family-friendly activities that are fun for kids and kids at heart. Have fun!

 



To art lovers, Spring in Downtown Greenville means one thing…ARTISPHERE! Each May, our lovely city plays host to one of the South’s premier art festivals. But  art lovers shouldn’t limit themselves to this one event only, DTGVL has plenty of opportunities for novices and connoisseurs alike to experience Greenville’s rich art culture.

We should begin our artistic journey with some insider info on one of DTGVL’s favorite events, Artisphere.  Held in the heart of our fair city, this outdoor festival showcases some of the best artists this region has to offer. Beginning with a fancy Opening Gala at Courtyard by Marriott and Nantucket Grill on Thursday, Artisphere launches into full swing on Friday, May 11th. Featuring not only exhibits from local and regional artisans, this arts extravaganza also spotlights performances from local musicians, theatre groups, dance troupes and other performing artists.  Saturday and Sunday’s festivities  also include Wine Tasting, Artists’ Demonstrations and Classes, as well as fun events for the kids at Kidsphere. And, as always, restaurant vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of choices in food, beverage, beer and wine. Hours for this festival are 4 -8PM on Friday, 10AM – 8PM on Saturday, and 11AM – 6PM on Sunday. There is no admission to this event held on Main Street and Broad near Falls Park. For more information, visit http://www.Artisphere.us.

Local visual artists will showcase their talents at  the “Artists of the Upstate” exhibit. Work from more than 40 artists who hail from the Upstate will be featured at Centre Stage, located on River Street. The exhibit is open to the public from 2PM to 6PM on Tuesdays through Fridays, and all during Artisphere. The works, including “Best in Show” winner, “My Friend Vanetta” by artist Judy Verhoeven, will be on display until June 19th. Call 864-233-6733 for more information.

The Greenville County Museum of Art has proudly been the home of the Andrew Wyeth: Greenville Collection for some time. Recently expanded to thirty-five paintings with the gift of the 1946 watercolor “Four Poster”, it now includes an example from every major period of Wyeth’s career. Victoria Wyeth, grand-daughter of the celebrated painter, will be on hand May 8th through 10th to lead guided tours and discussions of her grandfather’s legacy. These free tours will take place at 11:30AM and 1:30PM each day, but space is limited and reservations are required.  For more information, visit www.greenvillemuseum.org or call 864–271-7570, ext. 44.

While you are strolling down Main Street, take time to notice the many sculptures that are part of the city’s “Art in Public Places”. From the cute little Mice on Main that peek out from underneath shrubbery and depictions of famous Greenville citizens to sculptures that embrace the artists’ imagination and flights of fancy, these works range from the profound to the whimsical. For more information on this project and maps to the various works, visit (www.greenvillesc,gov/Culture/ArtinPublicPlaces.

Downtown Greenville is also home to a diversity of art galleries and studios. From the showcasing of local talent at the Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville (on Main Street)  and the Matthew Campbell Gallery (on E. North), to little unexpected galleries like the ones located at Coffee Underground (on Coffee Street)and Art Bar on Main (also on Main Street), DTGVL’s art community offers a little something for all tastes. To see the artists’ creativity in action, visit the galleries and studios located at Art Crossing at RiverPlace.  Occupied by artists selected by the Metropolitan Arts Council, these creative souls often engage onlookers in their creative process.

If your idea of art is little more “BoHo”, then venture down to Pendleton Street and the Far West End (formerly known as the Pendleton Arts District). This funky little neighborhood, in the heart of the historic Village of West Greenville, is home to an eclectic assortment of more than 30 artists’ studios and galleries. Plan to visit the first Friday of each month to take part in the aptly named “First Fridays” art event and gallery crawl. For more information, visit http://thefarwestend.com.

Well, there you have it – from Artisphere to art galleries and more, Downtown offers several opportunities to view some amazing artwork that will hopefully leave you feeling a little more inspired and creative yourself! You might even feel the urge to grab a sketchbook or canvas and paints to capture the beauty of Greenville in your own work of art. Whatever you decide, you are encouraged to put your heart in the arts this weekend and beyond!



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