"This is our festival, there are many others like it, but this one is ours!" The mission is simple. This festival belongs to Freedom, Freedom of Artistic Expression, Freedom of Independence, and Freedom of Inclusion!
What makes us unique is that we not only highlight underrepresented groups, but we also promote equality and those who sacrifice for Freedom! With live screenings, social network events, workshops, and live entertainment, you don't want to miss this festival!
There will be Q&A panel discussions with industry professionals and one-of-a-kind workshops such as Fight/Stunt Choreography, Musical Composition/Scoring, Writing, and SFX Makeup! There will also be original art exhibitions and our coveted Torch Awards Ceremony!
The History of the Building
Tapp’s Arts Center is situated in the singularly iconic Tapp’s building at the corner of Main Street and Blanding Street in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The History of the Tapp’s Building is particularly noteworthy for its long and storied past. The building was constructed in 1940 specifically for the namesake, James L. Tapp, a local entrepreneur who founded a series of upscale department stores in the tri-state area. The architecture of the building still reflects the “Depression Modern” style, which celebrated the streamlined form and kinetic lines of the, then, new industrial age.
The department store quickly became a destination, as it was the only one east of the Mississippi River to offer its customers an air-conditioned shopping experience. Additionally, Tapp’s offered in-house dining via a restaurant located in the basement. Its popularity facilitated the permanent advertisement ‘Meet Me At Tapp’s’ on the rear exterior wall of the building, still present on the facade to this day. Another original feature of this landmark building still greeting visitors as they arrive on Main Street is the clock face, a common architectural accent in the 30s and 40s, and now the emblematic symbol of Tapp’s.
In 1979, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Generally, there is a fifty-year minimum, but this was waived due to the building’s architectural significance. Tapp’s continued to serve downtown Columbia, until 1995, when the store closed due to a declining consumer interest in large department stores. It wasn’t until 2011 that Tapp’s would once again delight the Columbia community, this time as a multi-functioning contemporary art center.
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