A local cultural stalwart for more than 60 years, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra now proudly boasts world-class wand-wielder Edvard Tchivzhel as its conductor and music director. During the Grand Finale concert, Tchivzhel will lead skilled musicians through the melodic maze of Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 and Mussorgsky's engaging Pictures at an Exhibition, which synthesizes the aural and the visual better than a loud tropical shirt. Audience members in the upper balcony seats may check out free MP3 players proffering a wealth of concert information to additionally enliven listening.
When mobility is limited, a person's home isn't always a sanctuary. Leaking roofs, unstable floors, even the mere presence of stairs can all be obstacles that render a home unsafe for the people living in it. But the team at ReWiGo Ministries sees how those obstacles impact well-being. It organizes volunteers from local community groups to help elderly people and people with disabilities maintain mobility in their homes. To do this, they build wheelchair ramps and safety railings that make it easier to get in and out of their houses and make it possible to support themselves in the bathroom. Volunteers also perform emergency home repairs that range from fixing a leaky toilet to re-roofing a home. In 2013 alone, the organization managed to improve the living environments for 62 families, or 250 people.
The Generous Garden Project works to combat hunger in local communities by growing a steady supply of fresh produce, which it donates to local ministries and food banks. Volunteers plant and harvest vegetables in a 4.5-acre garden in Greenville, and share their skills by teaching others how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Local farmers also call upon The Generous Garden Project’s volunteers to glean crops that would otherwise be left to rot in the fields or be plowed after a harvest.
Spirit Aviation inspires and educates amateur aviators, giving students in-flight experience behind the console of a brand new, state-of-the-art Cessna aircraft. The 20-minute discovery flight lets budding aerialists work one-on-one with a personal instructor, who will guide students through preflight inspection, taxiing to the runway, and sweet-talking surly seatbelts. After making final preflight checks, sky-students, with instructor assistance, will take off, then sit back and enjoy the 20-minute flight.
Feathered Friends Forever Parrot Rescue and Refuge houses more than 600 tropical birds that have been neglected, abandoned, or abused. Those that are not suited for adoption live at the sanctuary for the remainder of their lives, on a 9-acre site known as Parrot Paradise Park. The park boasts 16 outdoor flights where visitors can interact with the birds, as well as trees and blooming shrubs to enhance the habitat for both the birds and human park goers. Most of the birds reside in 23 outdoor aviaries and 200 interior cages, where volunteers provide fresh food, fruit, and water on a daily basis, in addition to working with the parrots, cleaning cages, and providing tours for the public.
A nonprofit organization designed to promote and improve the lively Columbia neighborhood, the Five Points Association has spearheaded many projects since the early 1980s, ranging from a large-scale streetscaping project to the construction of two fountains to yearly beautification updates. The group also organizes events to bring people to the landmark district—notably the Five After Five concert series and the city's Saint Patrick's Day festivities. Overall, the association, which comprises more than 100 members each year, works to balance the interests of the Five Points' merchants with those of residents and visitors.