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MUSIC AND ART FESTIVAL JAZZES UP THE CITY IN MAY

If your perfect day includes visiting a fine art gallery or museum, chatting with local artisans, listening to talented musicians or enjoying live theatre, dance or comedy, you need to head to Greenville in May.

The city’s Artisphere festival takes over downtown’s Main Street from May 11-13, showcasing 17 different mediums and more than 250 artists. The weekend also features more than 20 concerts by visual and performance artists, demonstrations, an “Artists of the Upstate” exhibit, and Artist’s Row, featuring 135 artists selected by a jury from more than 1,200 applicants.

Hands-on experiences at the free festival include jewelry-making and sculpting, while the Culinary Village offers samples from some of the best restaurants in town, supplemented by food and drink vendors.

In recent years, Greenville has emerged as a top arts and cultural destination and arts incubator, with more than 50 museums and galleries — including the new Carolina Music Museum, a homegrown symphony, two ballet companies, six theaters and the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere. The jewel in the city’s crown is a 2,100-seat performing arts venue that hosts more than 300 performances a year, including Broadway shows like “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.”

GREENVILLE FUN FACTS

  • The Liberty Bridge in Falls Park on the Reedy in downtown Greenville is the only single-cable suspension bridge of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Greenville was home to “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, who has the third-highest career batting average in major league history.

  • Greenville’s Fluor Field at the West End is a replica of Fenway Park in Boston — though on a smaller scale.
  • The city of Greenville was once known as the textile capital of the world.
  • There are more than 120 locally owned restaurants throughout the 10-block stretch of Main Street in downtown Greenville. 
  • While strolling the streets of downtown, look for colorful paintings on the sides of buildings on River Street and Stone Avenue, part of the Stone Mural Project.

Start with a stroll through Arts Crossing, a riverfront stretch of galleries showcasing local artists’ work. And the Greenville County Museum of Art houses the world’s largest public collection of watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century.

Walk the streets of downtown to see more than 70 pieces of public artwork, all part of Greenville’s Art in Public Places initiative. The sculptures include nine bronze mice, part of “Mice on Main,” and the "Rose Crystal Tower," all created by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Other pieces include “Octo 2,” a kinetic, wind-powered stainless-steel sculpture made up of linked shapes rotating around a circular axis.

Just outside of downtown, the Greenville Center for the Creative Arts hosts seasonal exhibits, an artists’ in-residence program and dozens of classes each week in jewelry-making, painting and other activities.

No matter how you chose to explore the city, you’re sure to find something to delight.

WHERE TO STAY

  • Those who enjoy the finer things in life will enjoy staying at The Westin Poinsett, Greenville. The historic luxury hotel is located in the heart of downtown Greenville. Details: westinpoinsettgreenville.com
  • Travellers with pets should check out Aloft Greenville Downtown. Through Aloft's Arf Program, your dog will receive a bed, toys and treats. Those not travelling with pets will still enjoy the hotel’s extensive art collection showcasing local artists. Details: www.aloftgreenvilledowntown.com
  • Travelling with kids? Book a suite at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown Riverplace. Unmatched views of Greenville from the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar include a new mural that can only be seen from that angle. Details: www.embassysuites.com