U.S. Travel Association's National Travel and Tourism Week is upon us once more! This year's theme, the Faces of Travel, focuses on the people who make the tourism industry warm, welcoming and thriving. Stay tuned this week as we get to know some of Columbia's Faces of Travel a little better.

Today, we have Lee Snelgrove with One Columbia for Arts and History!

 

 

 

Lee Snelgrove is the Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History. Since taking the position, he's overseen the establishment of a process for commissioning public art and the installation of 18 new pieces, the establishment of the position of a City Poet Laureate, coordinated the development of a strategic plan for the Congaree Vista's formal cultural district designation and has been a leader of multi-organizational city-wide events including the Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia and the upcoming Solar Eclipse in August 2017. He is currently overseeing the creation of 17 new public art projects, cooperating with partner organizations to identify innovative ways to enhance the city's public spaces and developing a city-wide cultural plan to unify the arts community in a common vision.

We asked Lee to share his top picks from around the Columbia region. Here's what he had to say:

1. Where do you like to bring out-of-town visitors?
I like to show off all of Columbia's public art and especially the murals and sculptures that One Columbia has facilitated: the 2017 Artista Vista sculpture at Lincoln and Lady, the Gong in the Vista, the murals on the two parking garages on Taylor Street, the drums on Main Street and especially the Millwood Mural. I also usually take folks to the Columbia Museum of Art and the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. And, to make out-of-towners truly jealous of something really awesome about Columbia, I'll take them to the Richland Library because we're lucky to have such a great library that's on the leading edge of how libraries serve their community.


2. What/ where is your favorite hidden gem?
The Lincoln Street Tunnel between Lady Street and Finlay Park that's part of the Vista Greenway is a personal favorite of mine. I love the fact that it's in the center of a vibrant part of the city and is a place that not so many people really know about. It's usually quiet and several degrees cooler inside the tunnel. And, it's gotten even better over the last few years as two classes of Leadership Columbia have made improvements to both ends through landscaping, lighting and the addition of art.


3. What are some of your favorite events and festivals to attend?

I'm proud that Columbia has such a wide range and high number of great events happening all the time. It's such a hive of activity right now, which gives the city this feeling of constant energy. I am particularly fond of the way that Indie Grits continues to forge new ground every year in exploring key themes about living in Columbia and the South. And, I feel that Hip Hop Family Day and Jam Room Music Festival are two music festivals that are so full of positivity and bringing together community. Historic Columbia's Jubilee has amazing food, music and vendors all while offering a chance to learn about the city's history. And Artista Vista and Columbia Open Studios are wonderful annual opportunities to connect with our city's talented artists and find new works of art to purchase.


4. What's your favorite can't-miss Columbia dish?
If I were ever to leave this city (which I'm not planning to do any time soon for sure), I'd always come back and eat flautas from Real Mexico with their special homemade hot sauce, the Berger Burger from The Whig, ribs from The War Mouth and a chocolate chip cookie from Immaculate Consumption.


5. Why do you love Columbia?
I love Columbia because it's a city where if you have a good idea and a passion for it, you can make things happen. The city isn't so big that it swallows you up and it's not so small that there's nothing to do. You can always find new and interesting things to do and when you're there, you'll still run into at least one or two people you know.


Thanks so much for checking in with us this week and getting to know our Faces of Travel!