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Celebrating our Cultural Advocates this Black History Month

February 27, 2020 | Features

Chapman Cultural Center is dedicated to supporting the arts in Spartanburg and promoting artists within our community. In honor of Black History Month, we’re excited to highlight three cultural advocates and community leaders who currently serve on our Board of Trustees. We are honored to have trustees who are dedicated to promoting the arts for all in Spartanburg County!

Dr. Carlotta RedishCarlotta_Redish_photo.jpg

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Carlotta Redish and I serve as the Chief of Diversity & Inclusion for Spartanburg School District 7. We are only one of four school districts in the State of South Carolina with departments dedicated to advancing diversity and multicultural inclusion. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is committed to promoting our motto “Strength Through Unity.” Upon graduating from high school, I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Master of Education Degree, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in CD-12 Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of South Carolina, respectively. Additionally, I earned the Certified Diversity Professional certification from the Society for Diversity at the Purdue University Technological Research Center. One achievement that is dear to my heart is previously being named a recipient of the NAACP Freedom Fund Award from my hometown.

With respect to interests and hobbies, I enjoy spending quality time with my daughter, Sydney who is a rising senior honors scholar at Howard University, as well as traveling and hiking. I am the only person, that I know of, who has experienced a “Medicane,” a Mediterranean hurricane, upon landing in Greece for vacation. I enjoy white water rafting down the Chattooga River whenever I can round up my friends to go with me. I know that the adage “It Never Rains in Southern California” is simply NOT true.  I prepaid for what would have been my third set of scuba diving lessons in advance of traveling to Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles.  Well, it had rained for 3 consecutive days.  The diving instructor advised me to take a rain check on the lessons BUT I didn’t want to delay as I was scheduled to fly back home the next day.  I ended up having a panic attack underwater because I could not see my hand in front of my face due to the murky waters. As every educator can agree, the moral of this story is LISTEN to your teacher.

2. What would you like to tell us about celebrating and honoring African American history in our community? 

As a former AP U.S. History teacher, I believe it is imperative that celebrating and honoring the rich history of African Americans and all cultures remains vitally important to progress the obtainment of “The American Dream.” Every story and historical account passed down from generation to generation and the lessons gleaned from them are relevant to our daily life experiences. This sharing of history and culture strengthens people’s resolve to endure and overcome. Diversity simply put means being different. It is our diversity and rich cultural tapestry that makes America, specifically Spartanburg, truly unique. Our diversity is our strength. As we embrace and respect our cultural differences, strength through unity creates opportunities for success to be realized in Education, the Arts, and every facet of society. 

About Carlotta Redish

Dr. Carlotta D. Redish services as the Chief of Diversity & Inclusion in Spartanburg School District Seven. She began her career as a teacher and has worked as an assistant principal, dean of students, and elementary principal at the school building level. At the district level, she served as Secondary Literacy Specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District and Director of Personnel in neighboring Cherokee County prior to being named Associate Superintendent of District Seven. She has also served as Acting Superintendent in Cherokee.

Dr. Redish has been a very active member of her community having served on Boys and Girls Club of America, Inc. Board, Spartanburg Community College/Cherokee Campus Advisory Team, Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Committee, First Steps Advisory Board, Links, Inc., and Jack & Jill, Inc.

Dr. Redish is on the Board of Trustees for the Chapman Cultural Center, a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg, and is a member of the Downtown Spartanburg Rotary Club. She is the Youth Advisor at Island Creek Baptist Church in Cowpens.

Bill Robinson

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is John W Robinson Jr. however I go by Bill. I am married with two children and four grandchildren. I graduated from Wofford College in 1995. I am a CPA with Gosnell Menard Robinson Infante, CPAs PA. I have been with the firm for 21 years and partner with the firm for 18 years. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, working out, playing golf and refereeing football. My hometown is Union and I came to Spartanburg to attend college at Wofford College in 1991. My greatest achievement is being a father, husband, and grandfather.

2. Tell us about an African American artist that you admire and why.

I admire Langston Hughes because when I young man in junior high school, some of his poems spoke to my spirit and where I was at that time in my life.

3. In your professional and volunteer leadership work in our community, have you experienced change that has removed barriers for you to be more successful?

 In my professional and volunteer leadership work there has been a change that has removed barriers.

4. What can we do to improve equity and inclusion in the arts for all people?

We must improve how we sell equity and inclusion. We are perceived the Chapman Cultural Center is for affluent individuals in the community. 

5. Is there something within the African American culture that has been lost and that you believe should be celebrated again and taught more in our community?

I feel we should celebrate our local African American community and individuals who continue to provide a great economic impact on our community. I feel like we don’t celebrate the African American successes that are happening in our community enough. 

6. What would you like to tell us about celebrating and honoring African American history in our community? 

Considering CCC is the arts center of Spartanburg County, it would be great if there was a celebration for local African American artists both past and present.

Thomas A. Tucker

IMG_1926.jpeg1. Tell us about an African American artist that you admire and why.

I admire Dr. MacArthur Goodwin and Mr. Raymond Floyd. They were trailblazers in the field of art education in the state of South Carolina. They both taught me and encouraged me to become an art educator.

2. In your professional and volunteer leadership work in our community, have you experienced change that has removed barriers for you to be more successful?

Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on my birthday in 1968. The assassination changed the way I viewed the world. I decided to attend Berea College in Berea, KY. The college that Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month graduated from. I chose to be an art teacher by profession and volunteer my services to build bridges between people, cultures and communities through leadership in the arts.

3. What can we do to improve equity and inclusion in the arts for all people?

The fluidity of art as a universal form allows humankind to recognize differences in cultures and also help us to embrace and appreciate the common threads that are in every culture. Art is one of the vehicles to improve equality and inclusions simply through advocating.

4. How have you seen the arts change during your leadership? 

The fluidity of art as a universal form allows humankind to recognize differences in cultures and also help us to embrace and appreciate the common threads that are in every culture. Art is one of the vehicles to improve equality and inclusions simply through advocating.

5. Is there something within the African American culture that has been lost and that you believe should be celebrated again and taught more in our community?

African American culture has not lost anything but an opportunity to thrive.

6. What else would you like to tell us about celebrating and honoring African American history in our community?

African American History Month is noteworthy; however, the inclusion of African American History in American History would warrant a greater celebration and may prove the month unnecessary. 

About Thomas Tucker

Thomas Asberry Tucker, photographer, artist, art educator, and art director was born in Spartanburg County. 

Thomas was educated in Spartanburg City Public Schools. Thomas received a B.A. degree in Art Education from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. He continued his education at the University of South Carolina receiving an M.A. degree in Art Education and then 30 hours above from the University of South Carolina and Furman University.

Thomas retired from Spartanburg School District Six as an Art Director and Instructor after 42 years in education. He has also worked in the Greenville County School system, the Greenville Museum and as an Adjunct Art Professor at Presbyterian College.

Thomas has won numerous awards for art and photography. He has exhibited his work throughout the state of South Carolina. In 2000 Thomas was chosen as one of the photographers in the photo-exchange between Spartanburg and Winterthur, Switzerland.
Thomas’ work has been published in “Artist Among Us” 2011, “Hub City Anthology 1” 1996 and “Hub City Anthology 2” 2000.

Thomas served as a member of the Spartanburg Arts Council Board of Directors (1986-1989, 1992-1993). Presently Thomas is serving a three-year term as a member of the Chapman Cultural Center Board.

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CCC Cultural Equity Statement

To support a full creative life for all, Chapman Cultural Center commits to championing policies and practices that empower a just, inclusive, equitable cultural community.

Chapman Cultural Center values diversity and inclusion in all that we do and strives to have leadership as diverse as the community we serve. In addition to the trustees above, the following African American community leaders currently serve on our Board of Trustees.  

Erica Brown, Spartanburg City Council, District 6

Sheila Henderson, Vice President, 4 You Custom Gifts & Awards

Margarette Miller, Physical Education Teacher, Spartanburg District 7

Glenda Simms, Dean of Nursing, Summit Hills

Carole Summers, Life Insurance & Annuity Sales, Capital Bank

Winston Wingo, Professional Artist

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