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Pitch: DIY Punk Community Thrives in Greenville, SC

Greenville, South Carolina is perhaps best known as the buckle of America’s Bible Belt, the home of Bob Jones University, an enclave of religion and political conservatism. But over the past several years a strong, tight-knit group of punk musicians and activists have worked to build a social counterpoint to the local status quo: a DIY multi-use art and performance space and a growing community of young outsiders willing to sweat for an alternative.

 In 2009 Ryan Talty, Kerry Beth Santangelo and some friends moved into a hangar in Greenville, turning the space into an all-ages punk venue. Difficulties with the city led to several moves, but the community has continued to grow, with more bands constantly forming and supporters opening their homes to house shows. It’s an ongoing story of struggle and growth, community-building and organizing. It’s a story of people who refuse to wait for anyone else to make their music scene happen.

 As former music editor for Metrobeat, Greenville’s long lost alt weekly, an activist and musician with access to Ryan and many others who are working so hard to put our music scene on the map and provide a safe space for creative youth, I am ideally suited to write this article. I can also provide photographs.

Thank you for consideration,

 

James Wesley Nichols

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