Podcast: Hub City Writers Project's Betsy Teter awarded state's highest arts honor
Award recognizes Teter's role in establishing Spartanburg as regional literary hotspot
It's easy to forget sometimes, with our city's accelerating downtown development boom and the associated exponential increase in activity and buzz, but the Spartanburg that birthed Hub City Writers Project back in 1995 was a very different place from the one we see today. Decades of decline had turned what once had been a dynamic upstate urban core into a hollowed-out shell, its vibrant post-war bustle replaced by a turn-of-the-century malaise, with shuttered storefronts and crumbling facades serving as the only reminders of what once was.
With that as their backdrop, a group of local writers intent on giving Spartanburg a new sense of itself (and reviving a long-dead nickname in the process) met in a coffee shop and created what would eventually become one of the South's premier publishing houses, along the way selling over 150,000 books, winning 14 Independent Publisher Awards, and adding some downtown brick and mortar to their ink and paper in the form the fantastic Hub City Bookshop. Steering the ship through that remarkable run has been Betsy Teter, Executive Director of Hub City Writers Project and one of Spartanburg's greatest champions of local arts and culture.
This year, in recognition of the enormous place-building cultural contributions she's made to Spartanburg and to literature throughout South Carolina, the South Carolina Arts Commission awarded Teter the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts, our state's highest arts honor. Today on the podcast, we sit down with Teter to talk about the award and about the pivotal, decades-long work she's spearheaded to earn it. Listen below and enjoy.
Want to listen to our podcast on your iOS device? Follow this link to subscribe through iTunes. Got Stitcher? Follow this link to listen. Podcast music provided by Spartanburg singer-songwriter, David Ezell.