Proms of the Past

HUB-BUB’s spring fundraiser is this weekend – Just Like Heaven: Second Chance Prom – an 80’s Dance Party!  In anticipation of this event, we asked a few friends of HUB-BUB about their past prom experiences.  What we received were a variety of responses, from the good to the bad to the unexpected.  People went solo, went with friends or groups, or their own date.  One interviewee had even been to six proms total! That’s a lot of dresses.  And most of them agreed that the after party is what they remember most.

The great thing about HUB-BUB’s Second Chance Prom is that it’s like the after party: you can bring who you want to bring; you can relive the 80’s (and if you didn’t go to prom in the 80’s, you can still enjoy some Duran Duran and Cyndi Lauper); and you have an excuse to get all dressed up.  With your ticket, you’ll get two drinks, snacks, and a night of dancing to your favorite 80’s tunes.  Cribbs Kitchen will also be offering a special prix fixe menu.  Now’s your chance to go for the Madonna look one last time!

Just Like Heaven is this Saturday, April 20th at 9pm at The Showroom.  You can purchase tickets in advance or buy them at the door.  Either way, make sure you’ve got your outfit ready and your dancing shoes on (preferably sparkly ones).


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“Silent Majority” art exhibit

AmeriCorps VISTA and regular HUB-BUB volunteer, Sarah Hager writes a guest post about the reason behind this week’s art exhibit at The Showroom – the “Silent Majority.”  Hager is the organizer behind the exhibit.

the silent majority picture

“It’s no secret that women have made, and continue to make, extraordinary contributions to not only the local community, but the worldwide community as well. In many countries around the world, women make up the majority of the population. But even though statistics show an equal representation in society, women continue to go unheard.

Specifically in the United States, women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media but comprise 83% of consumer purchases. Additionally, the United States is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures, with women holding only 17% of the seats in the House of Representatives. Ironically, women in the US are more likely to graduate from college and have a lower unemployment rate than men.

Concentrating more globally, it’s important to note that 70% of the world’s people living in poverty are women, yet women spend twice as much time, or more, than men on unpaid work. World-wide women on average earn 2/3 of what men earn.

This exhibit is meant to give women the voice they deserve by highlighting women’s contributions and innovations as well as the existing and continuing challenges women face today. Please join us for the reception on Thursday, March 14th, from 7pm-9pm at the Showroom to give a voice back to the ‘Silent Majority’.”

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The EXPECTING GOODNESS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is nearly here. If you don’t have your tickets yet, you might miss out if you don’t get them asap right here. Experience the goodness!

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The Sparkletones at The Showroom

The Sparkletones played on February 16th to a sold-out crowd at The Showroom.  I was taking tickets at the door, so I know how much the audience wanted to see the band (let’s just say that when someone’s in a hurry to see someone, the tickets fly at you from all angles).  The enthusiasm and excitement the crowd had for The Sparkletones was palpable, and the show didn’t disappoint expectations.  People got up to dance around and enjoy the music out of their seats – those are the best kind of concerts, in my opinion.

As a little background: The Sparkletones formed in Spartanburg in 1955.  They have a great history that travels outside of Spartanburg – they’ve appeared on TV shows such as The Nat King Cole Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and Dick Clark’s American Band.  The band is famous for their influence on Rock & Roll and Rockabilly music.  The group performed in Sparkle City after recently being honored on the Spartanburg Music Trail.   They’ve even made Sparkle City shine a little bit brighter by earning three gold and one platinum record!

Below are some pictures to recap a great show.  Thanks again, Sparkletones!  Until next time!

sparkletones 1 sparkletones 2 sparkletones 3 sparkletones 4 sparkletones 5 sparkletones 6

sparkletones 7

You can also go to for Dan Armonaitis’ review of the show.

P.S. The Mill Billy Blues (pictured below) opened for The Sparkletones.  They’re playing at The Showroom on March 1st, so if you enjoyed their show you can see them again!  You can even purchase tickets in advance.

sparkletones 9

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Expecting Goodness Teasers

Incredibly, the 2013 Expecting Goodness project films are due to me in exactly one month. My, how the months fly!

But this is an exciting time to be a part of the project because, as they move into post-production, the filmmakers are starting to share teasers of their films in photos and videos.

Here’s filmmaker Durham Harrison directing Grammy, played by Kathy Hartzog, in “Grammy’s Keys” (based on the story by Melinda Cotton).

Grammy's Keys

And here’s a shot from Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron’s “Pretty Pitiful God” (based on the story by Deno Trakas).

Pretty Pitiful God

And here’s a little featurette from Abe Duenas’ “Donde Come Uno, Comen Dos,” based on Lindy Keane Carter’s story “Sucker.”

And click here to see filmmaker Julie Sexeny, writer John Saylor, and organizer Kari Jackson (that’s me) on this morning’s Carolina Now talking about the Expecting Goodness project.

There’s more to come!

So if you want an experience like none other, and you want to see all of the 2013 films premiere, then you must, must, get your tickets soon for the March 23 festival at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg.

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“Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau: Giving the homeless a voice

faces of the homeless

HUB-BUB focuses on building and strengthening our community, with a particular focus on the arts and new ideas.  We’re always interested in learning more about Spartanburg’s needs and how we can all come together to address them.  In the guest post below, Lyn Radke shares with us her thoughts on homelessness in the Upstate.

Through a program called the “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau, Lyn Radke works with currently and formerly homeless people to dispel myths about homelessness. Based out of The Haven Shelter in Spartanburg, she spends her days educating the public and helping speakers share their experiences at churches, schools, and other local places. In return, they share their wisdom with her—and through their words, always remind her to see the proverbial glass half-full.

Spartanburg Speakers’ Bureau on Facebook

As an undergraduate and Creative Writing minor at Wofford College, I spent a lot of time crafting stories. With the help of some truly wonderful writers (who also happened to be professors), I learned the creative writing basics: avoid purple prose, don’t let your plot get away from you, and remember that the reader can’t read your mind.

So when I accepted a job as a Speakers’ Bureau coordinator for National Coalition for the Homeless, I thought I was more than ready for it. After all, I had a lot of experience helping (and being helped by) writers—surely helping currently and formerly homeless people tell their stories couldn’t be much different. But let me say something that I don’t say very often…I was totally wrong.

And it didn’t take me long to figure it out. One day, I met a potential speaker for coffee. He asked me to describe a typical speaking engagement, and I explained that he would have about ten to fifteen minutes to tell the audience about his experience of homelessness. “Only 10 minutes?” he asked. “How am I gonna do that? I was homeless for almost 10 years!”

I realized then that what I’m asking people to do is really hard. Not only does it involve converting years of struggle into mere minutes of story, but the telling requires speakers to relive some of the hardest parts of their lives. At Speakers’ Bureau panels, some speakers describe their experiences in shelters—still others remember life on the street. But always, they speak about a place that most of us can only imagine. After 3 months of coordinating a Bureau, I now realize the strength of the speakers. Because of the bravery of currently and formerly people across the country, communities are gaining a more accurate understanding of homelessness—one that goes beyond facts and figures.

Typically, Speakers’ Bureau panels last about an hour and feature three speakers—but this Friday, the Upstate community is invited to hear just one at a special community event. Local organizations are partnering with the UU Church of Spartanburg to host a silent auction that will benefit the Ali Forney Center in New York City.  The AFC provides LGBT homeless youth with critical services, including medical care and housing referrals.

In addition to helping vulnerable youth (LGBT homeless youth are seven times more likely to be victims of a crime than their heterosexual peers), the events’ sponsors are hoping to educate the public. At the event, member of the Speakers’ Bureau will share his story about homelessness. After coming out, he was forced to leave his home at the age of fifteen—sadly, his story is all too familiar. Although LGBT youth make up only 3-5% of the entire youth population, they represent 20-40% of the homeless youth population.

As a Spartanburg native, I’m happy and proud to coordinate a program that gives members of the Upstate community a voice—and I can’t wait to see more projects combine the arts and social justice issues here in the Upstate.





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Abe Duenas is a returning Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival filmmaker for the 2013 festival. Director of last year’s festival entry “The Widower’s Pearls,” Abe is a seasoned short filmmaker and plans an ambitious project for this year’s festival. Therefore, Abe Duenas has selected the slogan “Expect Artistry” for his project.

Follow Abe on Twitter.

Abe’s Facebook Page.

Abe’s Indie GoGo Campaign.

Every time I meet a new artist or someone who appreciates art in the Upstate, I think “wow, great– someone new who may appreciate what filmmakers in our area are doing.”

Last year, the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival gave seven filmmakers the great opportunity to showcase their talent. I was overjoyed the night of the festival– right here, in our backyard, we were sharing what our crews had painfully crafted for the past three months. No one really knew what to expect from the other entries, but judging from the sold out crowds, we knew it would be a great night for this emerging medium in Spartanburg.

Last year, we produced “The Widower’s Pearls,” a film about how a father must carry on as a widowed man, raising three daughters. The story takes place in a familiar diner where he deals with the different challenges that three different ages come with. He ultimately faces a life changing challenge that very night with one of his daughters.

Last year’s film was a strict adaptation of the original story. This year, the story I selected was “Sucker” by Lindy Keane Carter. I strongly recommend following the link to the story, since I will be shooting a film based on it. I wanted to do something different this year. I wanted to shoot a film that was inspired by the characters of the original story. In “Sucker,” the story ends with the reader not knowing exactly what will happen. My film will pick up from where those characters were and give my own interpretation of “what if?” The title of my film is “Donde Come Uno, Comen Dos” (Where One Eats, Two Can Eat). It’s based on an old saying my father would always tell my brothers and me when he wanted to teach us the importance about sharing and what we gain from doing so. In the film, we will see how our main character learns how one can never be too old to come to some of life’s most important lessons. Those lessons are the importance of having friends (even if they are not what you expected or wanted) and how important it is to tell those close to you how you feel about them.

As part of this year’s project, I am also reaching out to the community and offering opportunities for them to get involved. I have an indiegogo campaign that I have launched to raise a little bit of funds to cover my actors and crew’s travel expenses, plus set design and equipment. For those involved, there will be perks and chances for sponsorship. Also, businesses that are interested will get additional perks, such as a video made by me and graphic design work.

With so many being part of this year’s film festival, the excitement and anxiousness will be double from what it was last year. But I think this is a good thing. I know everyone will be bringing their very best to the show. I plan to put every ounce of artistry I can into this project. I wish that every film I see that is not mine is better than what I produced; if this is the case, we’re all in for an awesome night.

I will be posting updates frequently, so please follow me or contact me if you would like to be involved with my film.

–Abe Duenas

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