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HOPE Mural Project

October 28, 2021 | Features

Written by Melissa Earley, Outreach Director, Chapman Cultural Center

So, what’s the deal with this new HOPE in the Burg mural? Let us fill you in…

Come Closer, which is a group of local Christian clergy as well as business and civic leaders, came up with the idea of this mural to remind locals and visitors that there is hope to be found here in Spartanburg. This 3 story, brightly colored mural contains a web address, www.hopeintheburg.com, which features stories of local people who have recovered from addiction, found shelter and jobs, and have otherwise improved their lives through help provided by our local churches, the United Way, and other local organizations. It also links to the United Way of the Piedmont’s resource pages which provides direction to those facing homelessness, hunger, addiction, joblessness, health issues, mental health issues, and other difficult circumstances.

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Come Closer approached the Chapman Cultural Center to assist with finding the right local artists, a location for the mural, and for overall management of the project. We went to work by advertising the mural opportunity to hundreds of local artists, fielding questions from them, collecting their proposals, finding a great spot to install the mural, and then following through with the logistics, City permits, and other things required to make the mural happen. The local Legal Services building was selected, and the staff there were so supportive of the idea. The location happens to be just across from the main bus station downtown, so many people arriving in Spartanburg for the first time will now be greeted by this cheerful, bright artwork. 

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The artists selected are well known in Spartanburg. Jeremy Kemp and Stephen Long have produced, whether individually or together, many of the iconic and popular murals we all know: the Love Where You Live mural at W Main and S Spring streets, and the Willy Taco mural on E Main, for example. They worked for weeks on a lift, even through rain and wind, to get the mural finished in time for the day of service on October 9. That day dozens of church members throughout Spartanburg County came out to lend a hand and pick up a paintbrush, to help finish the bottom part of the mural.

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Next time you’re downtown, stop by Dunbar Street, between Yogalicious and Smith Drugs, to take a selfie in front of the mural. Be sure to tag it with #hopeintheburg, to keep spreading the word and keep helping Spartanburgers find hope.

And, if you need help managing your own public art project, contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Outreach Director, Melissa Earley at mearley@spartanarts.org.

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