Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants Recipients

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Ten at the Top (TATT), an organization created to enhance economic vitality and quality of life across the Upstate by fostering collaboration and strategic partnerships, has announced the recipients for the 2018 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants. The two recipients, each receiving $5,000, are the Ninety-Six Mill Village Association for their Movie Night at the Park project and Spontaneous Productions for the First Annual Charles Townes Arts & Technology Experiment.

Toccoa “Coie” Switzer, Piedmont Physic Garden, Phil Hughes, Hughes Investments, Mary Ann Goodman, Ninety Six Mill Village Association, Jeff Sumerel, Spontaneous Productions

The grants, which began in 2013, annually provide “seed funds” to support vibrancy initiatives in communities across the Upstate region. There were 26 applications for the 2018 grants and five finalists gave brief presentations before the selections were made during the Celebrating Successes Brunch presented by Piedmont Natural Gas on Wednesday, November 14, at the Greenville Marriott as part of the Our Upstate Vision Forum Series presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

“The goal of the Elevate Upstate program is to get communities thinking about what types of initiatives or programs might help spark vibrancy within their area and then provide some seed money to get some of them started,” said Hughes Investments President Phil Hughes. “In the six years we have done this program, I have been amazed by the great ideas and passion of communities across the region to grow their vibrancy and sense of place. It was a real challenge to narrow the field to five finalists and to select the recipients.”

In addition to providing $10,000 to the two winners, Hughes also pledged a $3,000 matching grant to the Piedmont Physic Garden in Union County to start an Environmental Arts Festival.

In the six years of the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grants program, Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments has provided a total of $80,000 to help with 24 different vibrancy initiatives across the Upstate region.

The two $5,000 recipients for 2018 are:

Movie Night at the Park – Ninety Six Mill Village Association The Ninety Six Mill Village Association (MVNA), in collaboration with the Town of Ninety Six and local residents, is seeking to build a sense of pride in the community by offering a series of free outdoor events to showcase the community park. MVNA is requesting assistance to help fund the purchase of equipment and supplies to host a regular Movie Night at the Park, which stands on the site of a former textile mill.

1st Annual Charles Townes Arts & Technology Experiment – Spontaneous Productions The 1st Annual Charles Townes Art & Technology Experiment intends to generate awareness and gratitude for Charles Townes, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, who was a Greenville native and graduate of Furman University. The project also aims to be a catalyst for the acceptance and encouragement of experimentation and curiosity—in technology as well as the arts— reflecting some of Townes’ ethics.

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