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back of her car. “From that first book came another book, and another, and eventually, it became important to people to have a copy of the newest Hub City book on their coffee tables.” Modeled after the Depression era’s Federal Writers Project, Hub City took its name from the city’s moniker as a nineteenth century railroading center, titling its first collection of essays, Hub City Anthology:  Spartanburg Writers and Artists. Subsequent books would address topics ranging from nature conservation to Christmas stories, with healthy helpings of place-based poetry and fiction. The group commemorated early publications with unique celebrations at sites often specific to the publications’ contents – canoeing along a river or dancing in an abandoned railroad station – and the entire city was invited, guaranteeing for everyone a sense of ownership in the endeavor.  “We felt like every book we released was cause for celebration,” explains Teter, who eventually married partner John Lane and serves today as Executive Director of Hub City Writers Project. Acquiring non-profit status from the beginning also helped assure supporters that their donations were being put to good use, validating the integrity of the enterprise.  “I don’t think we would have made it two years had we not gone non-profit,” Teter says.  “Our people needed to know their contributions were going directly to the Writers Project and I think, in many ways, that’s why we were successful.” Fifteen years and 42 books later, Hub City Writers Project has published more than 300 writers and sold in excess of 70,000 volumes, but the group’s greatest accomplishment is the revitalizing energy it has generated in the city and its local arts culture.  Once a typically dusty downtown on its way to

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obsolescence, Spartanburg’s streets now host art galleries, cafes, and boutiques. Its calendar is filled with art walks and pub crawls, concerts and festivals, many boasting the name ‘Hub City” – an interesting development given that prior to the emergence of the writers project, few people were aware of either the sobriquet or its history. The success of the writers project prompted Spartanburg city officials in 2004 to consult with the organization on how best to persuade members of the creative class, the young and the talented, to stay in the city rather than moving on to find greener, more stimulating and youth-friendly pastures. Given a generous budget to work with, Teter enlisted the help of, among others, fellow Spartanburg native, Alix Refshauge. “Phase one was to build a website and collect information about young people in town who were doing interesting things, and to promote events happening in the city – music, film, arts, etcetera,” Refshauge explains, crediting Spartanburg residents Kerry Ferguson and Steve Adams for their work on the site. “HUB-BUB banners started showing up at events around town and HUB-BUB.com was stenciled on the city’s sidewalks.  There was a website launch at the Montgomery Building and tons of young people showed up. The site went live and people started to connect.”  Locating and renovating a downtown building to serve as a gathering place for the newly connected artists and supporters was phase two of the group’s plan.  They decided on the old Nash Rambler automobile dealership building near the heart of the city, and renovation efforts got underway.   Before long, a new program and place was born, appropriately called HUBBUB.

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Profile for Mark Pointer

undefined magazine Book 7  

No fluff, no filler. Just Columbia and the outstanding artists, musicians, architects, chefs, designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen and...

undefined magazine Book 7  

No fluff, no filler. Just Columbia and the outstanding artists, musicians, architects, chefs, designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen and...

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