BMW Plant Spartanburg announced as the 2019 Cultural Champion

Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:30 pm

Chapman Cultural Center is pleased to announce that BMW Plant Spartanburg was awarded the “2019 Cultural Champion” at the annual Champions luncheon on Thursday, November 7th.

Each year, Chapman Cultural Center honors its corporate donors with a celebration luncheon at which the Cultural Champion is announced. Over 110 companies doing business in our community and region have contributed more than $514,000 this year to support the mission of Chapman Cultural Center. As part of the recognition, the corporation received an original award designed by artist Eli Blasko.

Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, presented the award to Oliver Haase, Senior Vice President Purchasing, Quality, Supplier Networks America for BMW Manufacturing. Evins recognized the 25-year celebration of the opening of BMW Manufacturing and during that time the more than $1.5 million investment to the Chapman Cultural Center. Evins remembers BMW making one of the very first lead corporate donations to United Arts Campaign in 1994. BMW’s commitment to the arts in Spartanburg has never wavered. Contributions have been made to the annual United Arts Campaign to strengthen the cultural sector and provide critical arts education programs throughout Spartanburg County schools. BMW Manufacturing has sponsored the Spartanburg Philharmonic at Barnet Park and the Spartanburg Science Center, provided board leadership, and a $1 million capital gift to help build Chapman Cultural Center. 

“BMW Manufacturing is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, a catalyst for innovation in education and cultural activities. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community —strengthening it socially, educationally, and economically. The Chapman Cultural Center fits perfectly within BMW’s philosophy,” said Oliver Haase, Senior Vice President Purchasing, Quality, Supplier Networks America for BMW Manufacturing. 

Additionally, Cindy Riddle was presented with the 2019 Educator of the Year award. In addition to being an active artist, Riddle fights for arts education through a number of mediums. Locally, Riddle is the Assistant Superintendent of Visual and Performing Arts, Gifted and Talented Services for Spartanburg County School District One, where she improves the growth of arts programs through community partnerships, advocacy for the arts, and curriculum development. Riddle also represents Spartanburg County on a state and national level. As the president-elect for the South Carolina Art Education Association (SCAEA), Cindy helps connect art educators across South Carolina so that they can collaborate and inspire creativity in the classroom. Cindy is also on the board of directors for Palmetto State Arts Education (PSAE), which strives to expand art education as a vital part of every child’s education. Cindy also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program as a member of the South Carolina 1996 Team. 

Cindy said, “I am both proud and humbled to be receiving the Chapman Cultural Center Art Educator of the Year Award. Beginning with my first art class, my art teacher, Liz Smith, was such a positive influence on me. I immediately knew that I too wanted to teach art someday. Art, taught with passion and purpose, encourages a child’s creative spark and is an essential part of the fabric of a child’s education. I believe that all children should experience such a spark. Arts education fosters the discovery of our innermost creative selves. They deserve it.” about receiving the award.

Chapman Cultural Center Board of Trustees Chairman, Bert Barre, welcomed over 140 guests to the luncheon. Music was provided by local musicians Ray Jackson and Mary Norris. The luncheon was sponsored by Carolina Alliance Bank, Secondary Solutions, and WSPA.

About the Chapman Cultural Center

Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

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