Last night on January 26, Open Works downtown Greenville has hosted an event by 10-4 Good City about housing redevelopment in the West Greenville (where Scott Towers imploded one year ago). The 90 minute event was planned and facilitated by Ben Riddle of Furman University, Harlan Lovestone of Art Haus Greenville, and Cindi Herrera of the Housing Authority, Greenville local government.
10-4 Good City is a hub for social entrepreneurs in Greenville, SC. It holds monthly talks on topics that concern the Greenville community and brings up opportunities for social entrepreneurs and local artists to tackle.
10-4 Good City – a hub for social entrepreneurs in Greenville, SC
The Open Works space invoked the feeling of newness, innovation, and creativity with bright walls and contrasts with low key paintings on the walls. I had the chance to interview one woman named Caroline Harnish who had some of her paintings hung on Open Works, and she was open to share the art of wall murals as well as her experience in painting in churches from Europe to here in Greenville.
The event came out as friendly, communal atmosphere with casual conversations among local people. There were a diversity of individuals attending from local entrepreneurs like Phillip McCreight and Anthony Miller in Beer & Napkins, to artists like Caroline or Julie Hughes Shabkie.
At 7 PM, the talk began with Ben grabbing people’s attention, and introducing the topic and the speakers, Harlan Lovestone and Cindi Hererra. Ben kicked off the conversation with thought-provoking questions: “What if public housing was the talk of the town, for all the right reasons? How might we make the Westview apartments a place where people are empowered through art and entrepreneurship?”
Ben Riddle introducing the event and the speakers
Harlan Lovestone is one of Art Haus‘s founders. He is a visual artist and multi-media artist who has exhibited regionally in various parts of the United States. He is leading the Green Haus Project in Greenville with the belief that art is an important aspect of humanity for its ability to be used to educate, as therapy, and for community improvement.
Cindi Hererra, an interim director of the Greenville Housing Authority (GHA), is the consultant of the Brookhaven and Westview redevelopment. According to Cindi, the site would be redeveloped into homes for families and affordable housing units for seniors.
Harlan discussing the topic with his group.
Cindi presenting the redevelopment plan.
Most importantly, people gather in the event to help brainstorm ways to make the project a model for creative community transformation. That way, a community art space will be cultivated and tied with non-artist residents.
There were some questions raised during the Q&A session:
- Can they make space available for non-residents?
- Will this lead to the loosening of the definition of “artist”?
- Do people need to have a portfolio to be able to join?
Taken inspiration from where she lived, Chicago, Cindi brought up the idea of wall murals for this rebuilt site. She said, this new community will be available for mixed-income people, not only for low-income people. The space will also welcome people from different races or ethnicities.
Photos from the event
It remains unknown, however, that this newly-assembled studio whether serves as a space for local reputed artists to do artworks or as a stimulant for emerging artists to join in. Further discussions will be updated in 104good.
Here are some other photos of the event: