Spartanburg, SC

‘Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light’ ready to shine

South Converse resident Abdul Ali and his neighbors can’t wait to see Spartanburg illuminated with public art.

Colorful suspended mobiles, floating light islands and brightly lit smokestacks are a few of the special light installations that Ali and the community will see turned on this week across the city.

“I’m looking forward to seeing it all happen,” Ali, a member of the South Converse Neighborhood Association, said with a big smile. “I’m looking for this to be a great inspiration for the whole community of Spartanburg and for them to see how they can grow, light up and shine on the inside.”

Nine light projects will make their debut Tuesday evening in 10 city neighborhoods, including the South Converse neighborhood, as part of “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light.”

In June 2015, Spartanburg and three other cities were selected out of 230 applicants nationwide to receive up to $1 million to develop light installations for a temporary art project supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge.

Kate D. Levin, who oversees the arts program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, said the art challenge picked cities with proposals that had the potential to create excellent art, the potential for impact on the surrounding communities and the local capacity to bring the projects to fruition.

“Some of the (cities’) projects address specific kinds of issues, but all of the projects are striving for some kind of community benefit,” Levin said. “The projects are bringing disparate stakeholders together and building the civic muscle around collaborating.”

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