This guest post is written by Tammy Stokes, HUB-BUB Advisory Board member, Director of Converse II and Special Programs at Converse College, and all-around community all-star for Spartanburg.
When I was first asked to do a blog entry about why HUB-BUB is important to our community, I immediately said, “Sure!” How hard could this be for me—a truly diehard Hub-bubber? Piece of cake, right?
Then, I sat down to write it. Needless to say, I have really struggled. Saying just the right thing to a mass audience is never easy especially when you are talking about something you love so much.
I was first introduced to HUB-BUB.com 6 or so years ago. I will never forget that Friday afternoon. I had the day off and just happened to sign on to check email. There in my inbox was an email that would change the way I looked at Spartanburg. As I read the manifesto (with sheer delight, of course) little did I know on that day how much it would change my entire spirit and belief in the future of our community.
We are young painters, actors, sculptors, skaters, drummers, poets, photographers, graphic designers, and songwriters.
We love indie films, comfy coffeehouses, and edgy entertainment.
We want cool music venues and a place to share our poetry.
We want spaces that showcase our work and places to gather over good food and great drinks.
We want studios, galleries, movie theatres, pubs, and museums.
We want Spartanburg to support and acknowledge us, because even though we have been quiet in the past, we are here.
And now we’re making noise.
Yes, here is what all the buzz has been about:
We are Hub-Bub.
I was familiar with Richard Florida and his book, The Rise of the Creative Class. I understood the growing need for struggling communities to not only recognize but to capitalize on the contributions of artists, educators, designers, scientists, engineers and poets—people who are major contributors in our society but often go ignored. I knew Spartanburg was chock-full of these people, but, I have to admit, I never thought Spartanburg, SC, would catch on so quickly to this new found ideal and actually begin to celebrate these overlooked members of our community much less take it step further and begin to listen to what they had to say. Yet we did with HUB-BUB.
It was the day I realized that Spartanburg no longer had to be behind the times. This was one sign that our time had come.
HUB-BUB means so much to so many. For a community activist like myself HUB-BUB offers hope that our community recognizes the need for alternative, out-of-the-box thinking that is so needed to grow communities who are still struggling to find a place in our now global community.
From the grassroots level of helping an artist learn to believe in their own art to helping a community offer more to attract business and become more economically viable in the overall rat race…HUB-BUB is truly a part of it all.
Over the years, I have met so many great people who have enriched my life. Friends who have made it easier to swallow the often hard times that accompany the struggles we face in our community. HUB-BUB serves as a reminder to why I stay here, why I continue to stay dedicated to my community and why I will always work hard for her future.
The most important thing that I have found through my HUB-BUB experience is my friend, Betsy Teter. I know she will cringe when she reads this because that is just how she is. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know her over the past 7 years and I know…she doesn’t want attention. She doesn’t want me to praise her. She never toots her own horn. She’s not doing this to pad her resume for future ventures or to make a million dollars. She is simply a lover of Spartanburg who wants her community to be all it can be. Everything she has given has been to Spartanburg. She is an incredible mentor who teaches me every day that all of this is not about me…it is about US and for that life lesson alone, I am incredibly thankful and so proud to call her my friend.
I could go on and on about the individual events and people who make me love HUB-BUB so much but I won’t because I’ll get even more mushy than I already have. I just hope each of you look deeper and think hard about why we need HUB-BUB and understand that it will take each us to stand up and put our money where our mouths are.
We must ensure it is funded for future generations because unfortunately, there will be no magical fairy that comes down from afar and blesses it with unlimited funds.
The NEXT BIG THING is one attempt to raise money for this great organization so please support it! Also consider making a yearly or even a monthly gift—commit $10 a month if you can. The HUB-BUB staff can help you set that up. If you have any creative fundraising ideas, please don’t hesitate to send them our way!
HUB-BUB is OUR organization and needs all of our efforts. Every little bit counts when it comes to ensuring the future of this organization. Spartanburg needs us.
Go HUB-BUB and Go Spartanburg!