This guest post is written by Phillip Stone, Wofford archivist, historian HUB-BUB Advisory Committee member, and community all-star.
There’s always something interesting afoot at HUB-BUB.
As a college archivist and a historian, I study the history of the American South, of South Carolina, and of Spartanburg. I grew up here, and now I live just a seven minute walk from The Showroom. It’s a place where there’s always an interesting exhibit, some good live music, a thoughtful presentation, a film you won’t see anywhere else, a quirky performance, or some other eclectic activity. A year or so ago, after a particularly good Friday night concert at The Showroom, one of my faculty colleagues noted that she felt like she could buy a ticket for any concert there and know it would be good. I think she was right.
In short, HUB-BUB is a place where creative people who care about ideas get together to build community. It’s a place where artists and people who enjoy and appreciate creativity support each other.
So where does a local historian fit in to the HUB-BUB community? I’m not an artist or a musician (as the folks who’ve heard me sing at karaoke might attest). I’ve never made a film, written a play, or been an actor. I guess I write a little. Yet it’s not hard to be part of the conversation. Last winter, during the closing event for Hub City Music Trail month, I sat in almost stunned silence as I heard stories of the musical groups that had been active in our city. Sure, I knew about the Sparkletones, Uncle Walt’s Band, and the Marshall Tucker Band, but putting it all together, hearing about the places right in our downtown where they rehearsed and played gave me a new appreciation for Spartanburg’s musical heritage. I told someone afterward that I thought the city had such a complex, multi-layered history that I figured I’d spend the rest of my life trying to understand it. Those are the kinds of thoughts I have after a Hub-Bub program.
As a historian, though, I can offer an observation about the importance of HUB-BUB in Spartanburg’s modern development. HUB-BUB, along with its sister organization, the Hub City Press and the Hub City Writers Project, has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Spartanburg. The Showroom is at the center of what I expect will become the city’s entertainment district. None of this would have happened without some shared vision – a vision that the arts and artistic people matter. Outsiders might not think that a medium-sized southern city would have this kind of community, but oh boy, do we.
There really is always something going on at HUB-BUB, and that makes Spartanburg a more lively, more interesting, and more engaging place. My life is better because of HUB-BUB. And I’m glad to be a part of it.