Category Archives: Guest

“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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“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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EXPECT ARTISTRY: Abe Duenas

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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A Word to the Novel-Adapting Movie Maker

By: F.B. Wood
Part of the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival

F.B.’s Twitter.

F.B. is currently a student at USC Upstate and a prolific writer. To quote his Twitter page, F.B. uses the written word to “smith together sentences for both fiction and ad-copy while simultaneously tending to the needs of my 3 year old daughter.”

I have seen many movies that were based on or adapted from a novel or short story–A Clockwork Orange, Watchmen, and Children of the Corn. In each and every case I understand that there is a new creative director at the helm of the project. They want their ideas to be expressed alongside the ideas already presented in the story or novel. In some cases there is no choice but for this to happen as sometimes the author has passed on and in other cases the author is too busy. This passing of the “wand” is something that should happen as fresh eyes always help bring to light new perspectives. With that being said, I wanted to share a few guidelines that I, as an avid book reader and movie viewer, would like to share about adapting the novel for the silver screen.

    1. Maintain the original plot.

This is the base for both the novel and the inspiration that drove you to want to make the movie. In the movie making process, there are a lot of decisions to be made in regards to the final product. Many parts of the novel have to be removed. But don’t let someone talk you out of the original plot. In some cases, the backdrop of a story is the inspiration of the film and a new plot is generated; such was the case with Children of the Corn. If this does indeed happen, avoid future condemning from book enthusiasts and just pick a new title for the movie.

    1. Do not introduce new main characters.

Many times you want to help explain a protagonist’s choice in certain circumstances. So, instead of embracing the inner monologue that prose gets to many directors choice to add in a scene of dialogue to help explain. This in turn generates a new character in order for the protagonist to bounce ideas off of. It’s fine if you create a gas station attend that hears the protagonist mumble and then questions him, but please do not add a whole new sidekick like in Children of the Corn thus completely changing the dynamic of the main character and his decision making process.

    1. Have characters make new decisions based on their old personalities.

If you do decide to take the plot in a new direction, but find the characters to irresistible to let go make sure and keep them true to who they were originally written as. If the character is faced with a new choice to make research how they might act on this to help better decide which way they would go. Alex in A Clockwork Orange breaks into the Home residence by himself in Kubrick’s movie, but does it with his droogs in the novel. This launches the protagonist into a new height of absurdity in the movie.

    1. Change the ending as little as possible.

This is a problem that runs rampant through quite a few movies. Directors feel that because they add so much to a story that they are then free to create how they choose. This is fine as long as you change the title of your movie. The reason you’re turning the book into a movie is because so many people were moved by the novel as a whole. Try to keep that in mind when presenting it for the silver screen. Many times characters’ personalities are destroyed by a new ending; take Watchmen, for example.

    1. Keep as much of the original dialogue as possible.

If the character was written with a Scottish accent then he should maintain the same speech patterns in the movie that he was given in the book. He should use the same slang in the same manner. When you take creative liberties with something like this, it radically changes how the character is perceived by the audience.

If you are only using a portion of the story, like just its characters or setting, make sure to stay as faithful to that character or setting as you can. The changes you make beyond that are yours. My biggest piece of advice would be to change the title and say it was inspired by this novel. However, if you are trying to stay faithful to the novel in its truest form, make sure to keep these guidelines in mind.

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They enter, they exit

Erin

Spartanburg Gothic: Mark and Erin

This post is written by Erin Haire, manager of the Hub City Bookshop.

As we approach the opening of the HUB-BUB Artists-in-Residence Exit Show, I am wont to wax poetic about the past months.  This has been a year of firsts for  HUB-BUB.  The first time we had three men coming to fill the apartments above The Showroom.  The first time an artist has left us midyear.  The first time we’ve ever had two writers-in-residence, thus the first time we’ve ever had four boys rounding out the roster.  An exciting year is coming to an end.

These men have been such a boon to our town and to me personally, I’m not sure how to start thanking them for everything they’ve given.  I’d like to thank them for their creative commitment and unfailing diligence to Spartanburg, but we all know that these boys work incredibly hard.  They dream up ambitious projects and execute them in every aspect.  They devote seemingly endless energy to leaving Spartanburg a little more culturally rich than they found it.  Their talent is vast, each of them produce work of astounding breadth and quality.

These are all things that make for a great year of our beloved AiR program.  I will miss the work of these artists, but what I will miss most is the simple fact of their presence, their company.  They are all singularly exceptional people with whom I am grateful to have spent these past months.  Collectively, they are four of the funniest people I have ever met.  Two out of the four are incredible dancers (boys, you know who you are).  They are easygoing and kind, and my friendship with each is effortless.  I have loved watching them get to know each other as well, their friendship with each other is a testament to why this program is so special.

If there is one thing I hate, it’s inevitability.  I knew Season Six (as it is fondly known to me and only me) of the AiR program would reach its final episode and we would cast Season Seven.  I wish these men luck and great adventures when they leave us, even though I wish they would stay always.  Gentlemen, may your jokes always land, may there always be someone to give you free cases of cheap beer, and may you always have communities that love you as much as we do.  Travis Blankenship, Eric Kocher, Mark Rice, Steve Snell, I’m going to miss the hell out of you.  Visit often.

–Erin Haire

exit show

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Food, Farming, and the Blues

Samantha Wallace

Samantha Wallace

This guest post is by Samantha Wallace, the co-founder and publisher of edible Upcountry magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to telling the local, seasonal food stories of our region.

Perhaps the coolest thing that has happened to me in starting edible Upcountry magazine is I now have Mac Arnold’s cell phone number programmed in my phone.

Mac Arnold

Mac Arnold

I met him at last year’s Potlikker Film Festival in Greenville where the Southern Foodways Alliance screened a short segment of Stan Woodward’s documentary of this stellar bluesman and serious farmer, and I was, in a word, compelled.  Compelled to visit his farm in Pelzer a few weeks later, sit at his kitchen table, walk his rows of organically grown collards, just be near this prince of a man.  Mac has this effect. If you’ve read Scott Gould’s centerpiece article Edible Rhythm: The Stuff Mac Says in our recent spring issue you know it can happen. (Article available online here)

And now you have a chance to enter his orbit as well. We are delighted to co-sponsor a special night with HUB-BUB at The Showroom this coming Thursday that provides a full circle of experience. We will screen a 50-minute segment of Stan Woodward’s documentary film Nothing To Prove, host a facilitated discussion between filmmaker and subject, and then let Mac’s music reign as he and his longtime Plate Full O’ Blues band take the stage.  Please join us.

Mac ArnoldFood, Farming & The Blues
@ The Showroom
Thursday, 3/22  6-9pm
149 S Daniel Morgan Ave
Tickets $25

Sold at the door or purchase in advance: www.macarnoldfam.eventbrite.com

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On “Where is William, Now?”

Jason Kruczynski

Jason Kruczynski

Jason Kruczynski, filmmaker of Jeremy L.C. Jones’ “Where is William, Now?” as part of the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival, is a former resident of Brooklyn who grew up in Georgia and considers Oslo his favorite town in the world. Jay is a curious soul trying to find the best in every situation. He enjoys being involved in music, art, and of course travel.

Making a film has turned out to be a unique challenge to me. As a photographer who most covers events, I am used to seeing something happen and capturing it with my camera. Being a film maker is taking something I see in my head and making it an “event” to capture with my camera.

This really takes a lot more planning, but has so far been a lot of fun.

Another challenge for me is capturing motion without moving the camera too much. After taking some video I found that the scenes I saw in my head were more stills than motion and the video seemed too jerky and unfocused. I feel like I am overcoming this issue and the final product will be something I am proud of.

When I was reading over the original story I loved the scenes of a young girl playing in the woods and the beauty of it all. Here is a still of one of the beautiful scenes I found to hopefully capture the beauty I saw in the story, “Where is William, Now?”

–Jason Kruczynski

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