About the Village

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The Highland Neighborhood “Video Village” Media Arts Project is an exhibit of Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, a large–scale public art project funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. This is part of a new program that supports temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.

This public art project is made possible through incredible community partnerships and collaborations with Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, White Elephant Enterprises, and the Bethlehem Center. The object of the exhibit is to explore the medium of video with the residents living in the neighborhood. These short video pieces will be projected onto the second story windows of the vacant housing structures located at 317 Highland Avenue. Visible to viewers during the evening hours these videos will be programmed to run at varying sequences and programmed by 52 small Raspberry Pi computers. The physical space is centrally located within Highland’s neighborhood. Its close proximity to the Bethlehem Center is an ideal location to stage special programming such as mini film festivals during warmer months and other activities.

White Elephant Enterprises is co-Directing the Highland #VideoVillage installation for Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. In order to collaborate with as many individuals as possible, in July of 2016, Spartanburg Art Museum and White Elephant Enterprises created a Media Art Lab in the basement of the Bethlehem Center where digital video and editing skills can be practiced in order to share stories. A long-term goal for this project is to use the technology, expertise and enthusiasm created by this public art project as a springboard to create a media communication network that will last long after the exhibit is over.

The Bethlehem Center is a Mission Institute that has served as the beacon within the neighborhood for 85 years. It has been involved in the community through many outreach services and community support programs that provide nurturing relationships to strengthen families physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, educationally, and intellectually.  For this project, the Bethlehem Center was used to film the residents of Highland to capture their stories and put them into digital form in order to preserve the identity of the neighborhood, as well as the role of the residents in its history.