NEWS & Happenings

  • Mix and Mingle, Wine, Dine and Shop at Annual Vista Lights

    November 02, 2016

    Entertainment, a Tree Lighting, Special Offers and More as the Vista Guild Lights Up the Midlands Holiday Season

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 27, 2016) – The 31st annual Vista Lights, the Congaree Vista’s signature open house, kicks off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, from 5-10 p.m. with artistic performances, live music, dancing, shopping, dining and the annual Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m.

     

    More than 90 galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson., of Fort Jackson. Attendees should gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:30 p.m. to see holiday music and dance performances, including:

    • Trustus Theatre
    • The Dance Floor
    • Columbia City Ballet
    • Oraki Dance Company
    • Unbound Dance Company
    • Unleashed Hip Hop Company
    • Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons

     

    Following the 7 p.m. tree lighting, The Reggie Sullivan Band will play throughout the evening. The 282nd Army Band Victory Brass Quintet will also perform and roam throughout the Vista all evening, as will the Carillon Carolers and other musicians.

     

    For Vista Lights images, click here.

     

    More in store at Vista Lights 2016:

    • Members of the military and Fort Jackson and their families are invited to a VIP area outside of Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln Street) to enjoy complimentary light refreshments during Vista Lights from 5:30 – 8 p.m.
    • The Vista Guild will offer wristbands to Vista Lights attendees who are 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be for sale in the Whit-Ash parking lot off of Gervais Street between Lincoln and Park streets from 5 – 9:30 p.m. On tap for the evening are $5 drafts, including Stella Artois, Bud Light, Palmetto Huger Street IPA and Conquest Medusa Stout.
    • Emerald Artistry will offer free face painting for children at the corner of Lincoln and Gervais near Starbuck’s.

     

    Throughout the night, many businesses will offer complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and shopping discounts. Vista Lights attendees are invited to stroll through the Vista’s art galleries and businesses, restaurants and bars on this festive evening.

     

    “We’re so excited about what our Vista Guild members and neighborhood shops, galleries, restaurants, retailers and businesses are doing this year to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We have a great lineup of holiday entertainment and a fabulous show leading up to our annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. We’re encouraging everyone to stroll through the Vista taking advantage of special offers and discounts at our neighborhood’s businesses.”

     

    After the tree lighting, Vista Lights attendees are encouraged to stay on and enjoy the Vista’s nightlife with specials in many of the bars and restaurants.

     

    Mix and mingle and find Vista Lights-only specials with these participating businesses:

     

    New Vista Hot Spots:

    • 52 inc (504 ½ Gervais St.): Enjoy hot apple cider and play classic video games at this design and development studio that builds apps for iOS, Android and the web.
    • Casual Pint (807 Gervais St.): All merchandise and six packs offered at 15 percent discount in the store. Outside grab koozies and craft beers for $4 at this new Vista beer emporium.
    • City Bar (700 Gervais St.): Offering $1.75 domestic beers, $2 off all liquors and liquor drinks and $2 off all entrees and small plates.
    • CPR (506 Gervais St.): CPR Cell Phone Repair is offering $20 off all phone repairs over $100 and a 20 percent discount on all merchandise.
    • Grill Marks (711 Gervais St.): Offering a special treat with the purchase off the menu at the Vista’s burger hot spot.
    • Palmetto Twist (1225 Lincoln St.): Offering photos with Santa from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. and sales on a wide variety of monogrammed and custom-monogrammed gift items.
    • Sandler’s Diamonds and Time (1231 Lincoln St.) Pick up a special timeless piece of jewelry to ring in the holidays at the Vista’s fine jeweler. Offering discount pricing on select jewelry. WVOC/WCOS will broadcast live from the store.
    • SC Pedal Parlor (stationed on Lincoln St. during Vista Lights): Offering discount vouchers and free candy.
    • SC Pride (931-D Senate Street): Offering beer and wine and good times with a featured DJ at this Pride in the City event.

     

    Shop (locally) ‘til you drop:

    • BP Skinner Clothiers (1003 Gervais St.): Offering special holiday discounts in-store.
    • Carol Saunders Gallery (1003 Gervais St.): Kick off the holiday season and visit the gallery full of holiday gifts and ornaments. Featuring artwork by Columbia native Eileen Blyth.
    • City Art (1224 Lincoln St.): Featuring Susan Lenz’s “Building in Stitches,” which celebrates its opening in the main gallery. Cindi Saad will also showcase her original handmade jewelry. Other gallery spaces will be open, as will the art supply store.
    • The Backpacker Quality Gear (1215 Wayne St.): Offering refreshments and 15 percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise as well as free gift wrapping. Open until 8:30 p.m.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors (1012 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and exhibiting new paintings by Ellen Taylor Interiors artists. Also showing new furniture and accessories.
    • Eye on Gervais (1219 Lincoln St.): Offering light refreshments and a trunk show plus 20 percent off all frames and lenses.
    • If ART (1223 Lincoln St.): Offering refreshments and featuring works by Mark Flowers: “Washing the Dust.” Flowers lives near Asheville, N.C. and is a native of Greenville, S.C.
    • Imagine This Boutique (717 Lady St., Ste. C). Enjoy light bites and wine with 10 percent discounts on select items. Open until 8:30 p.m.
    • Lewis+Clark (1001 Huger St.): Featuring Clark Ellefson’s studio and recent work including handmade modern lighting and robots. Serving refreshments and craft beer and wine.
    • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.): Watch artists in live glass-blowing demonstrations. Offering light snacks and refreshments.
    • River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.): River Runner is the new Hobie Kayak retailer for Columbia. These special kayaks will be on display outside and inside the shop. Take this opportunity to sit in the kayak and pedal drive the unit.
    • Urban Outfitters (912 Gervais St.): Get your holiday shopping started early at Urban Outfitters.
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (808 Lady St.): Studio artists present new work.
    • Whit-Ash Furnishings (919 Gervais St.): Offering light refreshments and hot cider.

     

    Mix and mingle:

    • ByFarr (504 ½ Gervais St.): Will offer letterpress demonstrations, Christmas stationery sales and free parking. Offering an open air market in the grass lot facing Huger Street with several food vendors and live music.
    • The Dance Floor (717 Lady St.): Serving refreshments and offering a free class sampler including shag and line dancing from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Class packages will be offered at a 20 percent discount. Visitors will be entered to win free classes.
    • Regions Bank (1010 Gervais St.): Copper Horse Distilling will serve their Copper Cream Whiskey liqueur and USC’s Saint Thomas More Parish Choir will perform.
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady St.): Serving light hors d’oeuvres and live painting by resident artists with local entertainment.

     

    Eat, drink and be merry:

    • Art Bar (1211 Park St.): Enjoy an extended happy hour until 8 p.m. with a 25 percent discount at this eclectic party spot. Local craft beers available and stick around after Vista Lights for “Useless Trivia” with host Parthenon John. Rest your feet and charge your phone with one of our “Chargbots.”
    • Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln St.): Offering samples of Blue Marlin’s famous shrimp and grits under the Lincoln St. canopy and a special VIP area for military families from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The private room will be open with a cash bar.
    • Carolina Ale House (708 Lady St.) Enjoy live music and great holiday drinks on the rooftop.
    • Kaminsky’s (930 Gervais St.): Offering assorted cupcakes, various sweet treats and wine.
    • Liberty (828 Gervais St.): Enjoy discounted menu prices and hang out with beer trucks, food, coffee and hot chocolate outside.
    • Longhorn Steakhouse (902 Gervais St.): Selling beer and wine outdoors and offering free hot chocolate and s’mores on Gervais Street at the fire pit.
    • Mellow Mushroom (1009 Gervais St.): Meet Mel and have a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza and beer by the glass.
    • Oyster Bar (1123 Park St.): Live music by Etheridge & Kimpland.
    • Pearlz (936 Gervais St.): Offering shrimp sliders and house chips on the street in front of the restaurant.
    • SakiTumi (807 Gervais St.): Check out the annual “Gathering in the Alleyway.” Draft beer and wine to sample and purchase. Sample SakiTumi food and a local artist will also be painting a piece for onlookers.

     

    Fun for all ages:

    • Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special cupcake just for Vista Lights.
    • The Peanut Man (1215 Lincoln St.): Offering free warm praline samples, discounts on holiday gift orders and live music. Children under age 12 can decorate ornaments for $2. Preview holiday trays, gift baskets and more.

     

    Revel and relax:

    • Columbia’s The Salon and Giftique (620 Gervais St.): Enjoy 15 percent discounts in the Giftique, on products and future beauty appointments booked that night
    • Glowout Salon (1202 Park St.): Stop by for bubbly and bites.
    • Pura (807 Gervais St.): Offering discounts on Botox and microdermabrasion treatments, free chair massages and hand chemical peels. Also offering discounts on holiday gift cards and free swag bags.
    • Southeastern Esthetics Institute (823 Gervais St.): Offering $20 skin rejuvenation facials with a free microdermabrasion or chemical peel and swag bags with free gift cards.
    • Studio O2 (801 Gervais St.): Check out what Studio O2 offers and get free samples of Topper’s Rhum.

     

    Free parking is available in Vista garages at 820 Washington Street and behind the Hilton Hotel. Gervais Street, from Assembly to Gadsden, will close to automobile traffic at 6 p.m. and reopen at 10 p.m.

     

    Special thanks to Vista Lights 2016 sponsors including: Bacardi, Grey Goose Vodka, City of Columbia, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carolina International Trucks, Stella Artois, Grace Outdoor, Sowell Gray, Lewis + Clark, Garvin Designs, Capital Waste Services, Research Planning, Inc., Whit-Ash Furnishings and Southeastern Esthetics Institute. Thanks to 701 Whaley, River Runner Outdoor Center, The Casual Pint, Carolina Ale House, Lorick Office Products, NAI Avant, McCrory Construction, Arnold Companies, Hyatt Place, Cohn Construction Services, South State Bank and Kali Render State Farm.

     

    To learn more about Vista Lights 2016 and keep up with the growing list of happenings, visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow @VistaGuild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights16 or e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

     

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    CONTACT:
    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

  • Congaree Vista Guild Launches New Website

    October 28, 2016

    The Vista Guild redesigns website to focus on providing Vista visitors and tourists with information about the arts and entertainment district.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 20, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild, the membership organization for business and property owners, as well as residents, art galleries and museums in the Vista, has launched its new website, VistaColumbia.com. The new site features information on the Vista’s businesses, entertainment, dining and lodging options as an event calendar, designed to help thousands of annual visitors to the district and longtime fans of the Vista navigate and find the Vista experience that suits them.

     

    The site’s Eat & Drink, Shop & Explore, Stay & Relax and Events & Entertainment navigation options help site visitors decided exactly what to do and where to go while in the Vista. There are also pages for annual events, Artista Vista and Vista Lights, as well as a map of the district, a downloadable visitor’s guide and information on parking. The Vista Guild recently released a new video to provide an overview of the Vista’s history and recent growth and announced new branding, which are both integral parts of the organization’s vibrant new website.

     

    “The new website really gives the thousands of visitors we see in the Vista each year a full picture of everything this historic neighborhood has to offer,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re also excited about increased functionality for Vista businesses whose events will be featured on the site’s calendar and whose businesses have a detailed listing and are categorized so that patrons can find them easily. Members and potential members can also learn more about opportunities with the Vista Guild.”

     

    The Vista Guild worked with local web developers DuBose Web to design the new site.

     

    For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

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    CONTACT:

    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

  • 31st Annual Vista Lights Kicks off the 2016 Midlands Holiday Season Thursday, November 17

    October 15, 2016

    The Congaree Vista’s signature open house kicks off the holiday season with artistic performances, live music and dancing. More than 60 galleries, shops and restaurants in the Vista will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before and following the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson.

     

     

     

     

    CONTACT:

    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

     

    31st Annual Vista Lights Kicks off the 2016 Midlands Holiday Season Thursday, November 17

     

    WHAT: The Congaree Vista’s signature open house kicks off the holiday season with artistic performances, live music and dancing. More than 60 galleries, shops and restaurants in the Vista will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before and following the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson.

     

    WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday, November 17 (Gervais, Lincoln and Park streets closed to traffic from 6 – 10 p.m.).

     

    WHERE: The Congaree Vista, with pedestrian-only traffic on Gervais Street from Assembly to Gadsden; and Lincoln and Park Streets, between Senate and Lady Streets.

     

    TREE LIGHTING: The evening’s highlight will be a tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Gervais and Lincoln. Be there by 6 p.m. to see the music and dance performances before the main event, the tree lighting. The Reggie Sullivan Band will play on stage immediately following the tree lighting.

     

    SPECIAL: Free parking available in City of Columbia garages in the Vista.

     

    MORE: Vista Lights 2016 is sponsored by Bacardi and Grey Goose Vodka.

     

    To learn more and stay updated with Vista Lights and see a full list of all Vista Lights happenings, visit VistaColumbia.com. Also, follow @VistaGuild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights16, e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

  • The Vista Guild Clean and Safe Team is Hiring!

    September 27, 2016

    Join the Vista team and apply today!

    Congaree Vista Guild Safety and Hospitality Ambassador
     
    General Description:
    The Safety and Hospitality Ambassador is a part-time position and is responsible for ensuring that the Vista  visitors, residents, and employees have an enjoyable experience while in the Vista district. The ambassador is responsible for providing a visible presence within the boundaries of The Vista. This team member will serve as a goodwill ambassador while completing necessary tasks to keep The Vista clean, safe, and a friendly place to be. The ambassador is expected to engage visitors and provide information, directions, and assistance to Vista residents, workers, and guests. The ambassador is instrumental in reporting conditions adversely affecting The Vista. This position is responsible for maintaining constant and open communication in addition to reporting illegal activities to local law enforcement. This person reports to the Vista Guild Clean and Safe Operations Manager. Duties of the team member minimum requirements and abilities include, but not limited to the following:
    • Complete basic duties associated with keeping the Vista clean, safe, and friendly
    • Good verbal communication skills
    • Clean driving record
    • Work outdoors and effectively carry out duties in extreme heat and cold conditions
    • Knowledgeable of the Vista and downtown Columbia
    • Proactively completes tasks and problem solving
    • Documents activity on appropriate forms
     
    Responsibility
    • Maintain a clean and professional appearance including jacket, pants/shorts, shirt, hat, shoes, gloves, and belt
    • Attend all mandatory in service training and required meetings
    • Accurately document all required forms of data collection
     
    Personal Relations
    • Meet with Operations Manager on a regular basis, briefing on status of assigned work
    • While on patrol, update team members to exchange work related information or to assist in completing a task
    • Contact police officers and other civil servants to pass on work related information and to assist them in their duties
    • Actively greet citizens while on patrol
     
    Physical Requirements
    • Patrol (walk) on foot for and eight-hour shift exposed to all weather conditions
    • Must be able to wear shoes, socks, shirt, pants and cap during entire shift
    • Must be able to lift 25 pounds
     
    Qualifications
    • High school diploma
    • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
     
    Experience
    • The team member will at all times demonstrate cooperative behavior with colleagues, managers, visitors, and guests
    • Customer service experience preferred but not required
    • Excellent attitude and professional demeanor
     
    For more information or to apply, please contact Bobby Gillespie at bobby@vistacolumbia.com.
  • Congaree Vista Guild Unveils New Logo and Video

    September 14, 2016

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 13, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild, the membership organization for business and property owners, as well as residents, art galleries and museums in the Vista, unveils new branding and a new video for the organization.

    The organization’s new marketing materials are designed to pay homage to the district’s artful history and its recent designation as an official South Carolina Cultural District, while also acknowledging the Vista’s growth as an entertainment, dining and business epicenter in the Midlands. 

     

    With the new branding, the Vista Guild also releases a new video, designed to highlight stakeholders in the district sharing their love for the growth and development the neighborhood has experienced recently, as it is now home to nearly 5,000 residents. With its large volume of hotel rooms, restaurants and nightlife, the Vista also now sees thousands of tourists and visitors annually. 

     

    “We’re always mindful of the Vista’s roots: the artists and galleries that moved into our warehouse spaces, and our new branding and this video offer a snapshot of how important the arts are in the Vista. And the brick-red color of the logo, for example, is an homage to our brick-paved street and this area’s history,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re also in a time of tremendous growth, from new residents and new developments, to new businesses choosing to make the Vista home, and our new branding reflects the energy here in the district.”

     

    As the Vista Guild was recently named one of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s official S.C. Cultural Districts and the organization is planning its annual Vista Lights for Nov. 17, 2016, the Midlands’ largest holiday celebration, the organization will use its new branding broadly. 

     

    The Vista Guild worked with local creatives The Half and Half to design the organization’s new branding and Cinema Couture, which filmed and edited the Vista Guild’s new video.

     

    For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

     

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  • Congaree Vista Guild Welcomes More Than 2,000 New Residents to the District

    August 22, 2016

    COLUMBIA,S.C. (August 22, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild welcomes more than 2,000 new residents to the district, which has experienced steady growth in recent years.

    These new residents, many of them students, moved into housing developments recently constructed as the fall semester at the University of South Carolina commences, effectively doubling the resident population in the Vista, estimated to now include approximately 5,000 residents.

     

    New housing developments in the Vista include part of The Apartments at Palmetto Compress (612 Devine St.),Greene Crossing (708 Pulaski St.), Park Place (506 Huger St.) and 650 Lincoln (650 Lincoln St.), which all offer residents an urban environment convenient to the University of South Carolina, shops, restaurants, nightlife and more.

     

    “The Vista has been planning for this influx of residents for quite some time,” said Fred Delk, Vista Guild board member and executive director of Columbia Development Corporation. “Doubling the number of Vista residents adds to the fabric of this historic, artistic neighborhood, and it strengthens the Vista’s ties with USC.”

     

    With this influx of residents, the Vista has also long been working on its plans to keep the neighborhood safe and clean for owners, residents and the millions of visitors that visit annually. The Vista Guild has reorganized its safety ambassador program and now the organization employs two Clean and Safe Ambassadors, whose daily duties include:

     

    • Keeping the neighborhood clean and safe in the heart of the Vista, by picking up light trash and responding to needs and concerns of Vista business and property owners.
    • Distributing Vista Guild brochures and maps and offering a friendly face to answer questions from passersby in the neighborhood.
    • Remaining in contact with the Vista Guild executive director and board of directors to make them aware of any safety or cleanliness issues in the district.
    • Offering assistance to residents and visitors to the Vista.

     

    The Vista Guild’s Clean and Safe ambassadors will work nearly all hours of the day. Ambassadors will wear Congaree Vista logos and hats, and now report directly to and are employed by the Vista Guild. Until recently, the Vista Guild shared the ambassadors (“Yellow Shirts”) with City Center Partnership.

     

    “We’ve been managing the Clean and Safe ambassadors in the Vista for a few weeks now, and we’re so pleased with the ways they have offered our new residents bottled water as the moved in over the weekend, for example, and are working to keep the Vista’s tidiness and safety a top priority,” said Atkinson. “Managing the ambassadors ourselves allows us to address needs that affect the Vista directly, like this influx of new residents and development, and optimize our resources.”

     

     For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

  • Vista Guild Installs New Sculpture at Vista Greenway Tunnel Entrance

    July 18, 2016

    The Vista Guild is proud to announce its most recent public art sculpture installation, a 12-foot-tall, powder-coated steel sculpture by artist Doug McAbee titled, “Curtis & Bob.”

     

    “Curtis & Bob,” public art sculpture by Doug McAbee, Cheerfully Greets Greenway Users

     

    The sculpture is at the Taylor Street entrance to the tunnel adjacent to Finlay Park, which opened July 13 after completion of Phase II of construction. The eye-catching yellow sculpture adds to the list of Vista Guild-commissioned public art pieces and is whimsical and approachable, according to the artist. The sculpture also follows McAbee’s current body of work, which utilizes humor with formal and conceptual qualities to create a visual conversation with the viewer.

     

     “Curtis, the taller figure, may signify the Columbia or the state of South Carolina historically as we have risen with strength and technology again and again throughout our past,” said McAbee, a graduate of Winthrop University who is also an assistant professor of art at Lander University. “Bob sits high up on Curtis’ shoulders proudly looking toward the future. These two pals, though very different in appearance, work together in partnership to accomplish their goals.  Curtis & Bob represent the people and the state I know and love.”

     

    The Vista Guild has worked diligently to fund, support, commission and install public art sculpture in recent years. With “Curtis & Bob,” the Vista now has five sculptures throughout the neighborhood. This commitment is part of the reason the South Carolina Arts Commission recently named the Vista an official South Carolina Cultural District.

     

    “The Vista as we know it today is rooted in galleries and artists, and we’re pleased to be able to add even more character to the neighborhood with the addition of Curtis & Bob. The sculpture is cheerful and adds to the fabric of its urban surroundings,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “Our board is dedicated to keeping the history of the neighborhood and the arts front and center with every decision we make, and we look forward to adding even more public art to the Vista.”

     

    One Columbia for Arts and History aided the Vista Guild with logistics and communications in the installation process. "It has been a privilege to work with the Vista Guild, Doug McAbee and the City of Columbia to install another piece of public art. Sculptures like ‘Curtis & Bob’ continue to enhance the uniqueness and artistic talent of the Vista, Columbia's first recognized cultural district, but also physically represent how Columbia is a hub of creativity," said Lee Snelgrove, executive director of One Columbia.

     

    For more information about the Vista Guild, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946.  Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

     

     

  • Now Hiring: Vista Guild Summer/Fall Intern

    April 04, 2016

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, is looking to hire a summer/fall intern!

    As an intern you will get to work with various city officials, members of the Vista Guild, influential business leaders in the community, and our Board of Directors, all while working on real projects that will help the Vista grow. The ideal candidate will be someone who has the ability to walk into a room of people and cannot leave without making new friends. The candidate must also be obsessed with social media and event planning, is creative and thoughtful when interacting within the community, and also wishes to build relationships.

     

    What You Will Learn:

    • How to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
    • How to work with and for city and state officials, Board of Directors and members of our organization.
    • Relationship building within the Vista District and the City of Columbia.
    • Eventand non-profit management.
    • How to create creative content for social media and advertisements.
    • Plenty of additional opportunities.

     

    What We Require:

    1. Background in Marketing, Communication, non-profit management or other related discipline.
    2. Strong communication skills. 
    3. Proficient in Microsoft Suite Office. 
    4. Organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments. 
    5. Creative and Flexible. 
    6. Very strong interpersonal skills. 
    7. Familiarity with social networking sites desired. 
    8. Interest in nonprofit management and community development. 
    9. An attitude where you are willing to rollup your sleeves for whatever the job may require. 
    10. Willingness to have fun!

     

    We value our interns and will go the extra mile to make sure you receive a learning experience that fits your career goals. You will become extremely knowledgeable in marketing techniques, a master of social media, have an understanding of non-profit and event management, and have an amazing time doing it! You will also learn how to work in a professional environment and have ample opportunity to network with city and state officials and other business professionals.

     

    Details:

    This is an unpaid internship that begins May 2 (or to accommodate your school schedule). You are expected to work 15-20 hours a week. A stipend at the end of the internship may be available.

    To apply please submit your resume with a cover letter telling us why you would be the best intern for the Congaree Vista Guild to Meredith Atkinson at Meredith@vistacolumbia.com.  Please include “Vista Guild Intern” in the subject line.

  • Vista Guild Plans 25th Annual Artista Vista, April 21-23

    March 22, 2016

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns from Thursday, April 21 – Saturday, April 23, 2016. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 21 (for Art Night), and for regular gallery hours April 22-23 for this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

    In its 25th year, Artista Vista will feature regionally and nationally renowned artists, as well as local artists from the Midlands. Attendees can chat with gallery owners and artists while taking in paintings, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. The event will also feature live music artists at their craft on the streets in the Vista during Thursday night’s Art Night party. Several galleries are also planning special talks and lectures by artists on Friday and Saturday of the event. Visit ArtistaVista.com to view the full Artista Vista schedule.

     

    Art Night (Thursday, April 21):

    Participating Artista Vista galleries include:

    • Carol Saunders Gallery 
    • City Art 
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors+ Design
    • if ART Gallery
    • Lewis + Clark
    • One Eared Cow Glass
    • Studio Cellar
    • The Gallery at Nonnah’s
    • VistaStudios/Gallery 80808

     

    New this year: Members of the public are invited to participate in Libera Me: A Lantern Parade and Group Performance with 701 CCA artist in residence Janke Klompmeker. The parade will gather at 8 p.m. at the entrance to the Vista Greenway tunnel at Lady and Lincoln Streets. The parade will leave as the sun sets at 8:15 p.m. and make its way through a short route in the Vista. Members of the public can participate by making lanterns in workshops at 701 CCA before the parade (more information on workshop dates and times at ArtistaVista.com) or carrying lanterns that have been made already. Members of the public are also encouraged to just watch the parade as it makes its way through the Vista.

     

    Klompmaker, an artist from the Netherlands, will be the CCA artist in residence from early April through the end of June. Her lanterns, produced at Furman University, will be in the exhibition Dadaesque, which will open at 701 CCA April 13.

     

    Installation Art:

    The Vista Guild has commissioned artist Michaela Pilar Brown to curate “Consider the Revolution,” several installation and temporary performance pieces by artists that will be in place for Artista Vista. The exhibit features South Carolina artists looking at change mediated through mark making, objects, performance and movement.

     

    Participating installation artists include: Susan Lenz, Shannon Lindsey, Kenneth Eric Adams, Sara Schnecloth, Roni Nicole Henderson, The Nia Company, Jason Kendall and Kara Gunter. A map of installation locations and curator’s notes is available at ArtistaVista.com.

     

    Public Art Sculpture dedication:

    As in recent years, the Vista Guild will also install another permanent sculpture, by artist Mike Williams, near 707 Gervais Street between Newk’s Eatery and theTwisted Spur. The short dedication will take place at 5:30 p.m.

     

    More Artista Vista on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23:

    Free, guided walking tours of the installation art and sculpture will be offered by volunteer guides and One Columbia on Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and2 p.m. Tours will meet and depart from the corner of Lady and Lincoln Streets.

     

    Participating Artista Vista galleries will be open for their regular gallery hours and several are offering special artist talks. For a full schedule of special gallery events and talks on Friday and Saturday, visit ArtistaVista.com.

     

    “The ArtsCommission recently officially designated the Vista a South Carolina Cultural District. We can think of no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Artista Vista than by celebrating the arts in our cultural district with fresh installations curated by one of our favorite artists, lectures in the galleries and mixing and mingling with art lovers in the Vista,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild.

     

    Artista Vista is free for attendees, and free parking is available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street near Lady, Park Street near Pendleton andLady Street near Wayne Street on Thursday, April 21 from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

     

    Stay tuned to ArtistaVista.com for event maps and plans as galleries finalize their Artista Vista shows and as the Vista Guild announces installation artists and sites complete gallery and installation exhibition information. For more information about the Vista, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

  • Congaree Vista Guild Welcomes New Board of Directors

    February 02, 2016

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – February 2, 2016 –The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprising a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business and gallery owners, as well as homeowners in Columbia’s Vista, has elected a new Board of Directors for 2016.

    Hal W. Stevenson, partner of Grace Outdoor Advertising, will serve as president. Merritt McHaffie McNeely, marketing director at South Carolina State Museum, will serve as vice president. Michael Evans, general manager of Carolina International Trucks, will serve as secretary. Richard Burts, property owner and developer, will serve as treasurer. Vista Guild executive board members will each serve a one-year term.

     

     “Our Board works to fosterlong-term growth and success in the Vista,” said Congaree Vista Guild ExecutiveDirector Meredith Atkinson. “We have a variety of experience and expertise onthe board that will continue to improve Columbia’s arts andentertainment district, while also ensuring responsible growth and developmentin our neighborhood.”

     

    Other board members include: Todd Avant, Kelly Barbrey, J. Britt, Stephen Chesley, Lea Cooper, Rosie Craig, Fred Delk, Clark Ellefson, David Erbacher, Beth Frost, Cathy Jansen, Guy Jones, Alexis Lindsay, Dale Marshall and Rick Rowe.

     

    “I am excited to work with such a great group of board members who are passionate about the potential of the Vista,” said Stevenson.“With 3,000 new residents moving in and $700 million of new development, the Vista Guild looks forward to helping steer responsible growth. We’re excited to promote and expand our new businesses while staying focused on our legacy of being a home for arts and culture.”

     

    The Vista has long been Columbia’s creative center, and is now the Midlands’ place to go for nightlife and entertainment. The Congaree Vista Guild board strives to encourage healthy development in the Vista, while seeing that the Vista is a vibrant symbol of progressive culture in Columbia.

     

    For more information about the Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com or contact Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946 or info@VistaColumbia.com. Follow the Vista Guild on FacebookTwitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

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  • Mix and Mingle, Wine and Dine and Shop at 30th Anniversary of Vista Lights

    November 06, 2015

    The 30th annual Vista Lights, the Congaree Vista’s signature open house, kicks off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, from 5-9 p.m. with artistic performances, live music, dancing, shopping, dining and the annual Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m.

    More than 90 galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Major General Roger Cloutier, Jr., of Fort Jackson. Attendees should gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:30 p.m. to see holiday music and dance performances, including:

    • Trustus Theatre
    • The Dance Floor
    • Oraki Dance Company
    • Unbound Dance Company
    • Unleashed Hip Hop Company
    • Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons

     

    Following the tree lighting, children can come on stage and have their photos taken with Elsa from Frozen, and Mark Rapp Jazz Quartet will play throughout the evening. The 282nd Army Band Victory Brass Quintet will also perform and roam throughout the Vista all evening. 

     

    New this year:

    • Members of the military and Fort Jackson and their families are invited to a VIP area outside of Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln Street) to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres during Vista Lights.
    • The Vista Guild will offer wristbands to Vista Lights attendees who are 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be for sale in the Whit-Ash parking lot off of Gervais Street between Lincoln and Park streets.
    • Attendees can also purchase hot chocolate, sold by the Vista Guild, for $2, also in the Whit-Ash parking lot.

     

    Throughout the night, many businesses will offer complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and shopping discounts. Vista Lights attendees are invited to stroll through the Vista’s art galleries and businesses, restaurants and bars on this festive evening.

     

    “We’re so excited about what our Vista Guild members and neighborhood shops, galleries, restaurants, retailers and businesses are doing this year to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We have a great lineup of holiday entertainment and a fabulous show leading up to our annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. We’re encouraging everyone to stroll through the Vista taking advantage of special offers and discounts at our neighborhood’s businesses.” 

     

    After the tree lighting, Vista Lights attendees are encouraged to stay on and enjoy the Vista’s nightlife with specials in many of the bars and restaurants.

     

    Mix and mingle and find Vista Lights-only specials with these participating businesses:

    • Shop (locally) ‘til you drop:
    • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.): Watch artists in live glass-blowing demonstrations.
    • The Backpacker Quality Gear (1215 Wayne St.): Offering refreshments and 15 percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise as well as free gift wrapping. Shop to the bluegrass of Double Trouble.
    • Imagine This Boutique (717 Lady St., Ste. C): Enjoy light bites and wine with 15 percent discounts on select items.
    • Urban Outfitters (912 Gervais St.): Get your holiday shopping started early at Urban Outfitters.
    • River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.): Enjoy apple cider by the Vista tree and 10 percent discounts on merchandise and free gift wrapping.
    • Whit-Ash Furnishings (919 Gervais St.): Offering light refreshments and hot cider and discounts found throughout the store.
    • City Art (1224 Lincoln St.): Feautring original handmade jewelry by Cindi Saad and the main gallery exhibit, “US: A Civil War, artwork by Dan Smith.”
    • Lewis+Clark (1001 Huger St.): Featuring Clark Ellefson’s studio and reent work including handmade modern lighting, robots and tinwear in a show called, “Incandescent Activities and Metallic Fabrications.” Serving refreshments.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors (1012 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and exhibiting new paintings by Ellen Taylor Interiors artists. Also showing new furniture and accessories.
    •  Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (808 Lady St.): Studio artists present “Vista Studios @ 25, new and collaborative work,” where studio artists have created new work and many of them have chosen to collaborate with other artists, family members, students or musicians for one piece.
    • Imagine This Boutique (717 Lady St., Suite C): Enjoy light bites and wine while you shop 15% off selected items.
    • Todd & Moore Sporting Goods (620 Huger St.): 10% off all Nathan Light products, flashlights, & the Whamo Twilight Blast Frisbee.

     

    Mix and mingle:

    • ByFarr (504 ½ Gervais St.): Will offer letterpress demonstrations, stationery sales and showing vintage Christmas movies on the brick wall facing Huger Street. Offering an open air marketing in the grass lot facing Huger Street with several food vendors and live music.
    • The Dance Floor (717 Lady St.): Serving refreshmets and offering special discounts for holiday party rentals. Visitors will be entered to win free classes.
    • Regions Bank (1010 Gervais St.): Enjoy Christmas carols by the St. Thomas More Parish Choir and find giving opportunities with Sistercare. Enjoy a Copper Horse Distilling liquor tasting and caramel corn and candy canes.
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady St.): Serving complementary wine and light hors d’oeuvres and live painting by resident artists with underground international music.
    • Strategic Staffing & Supply (801 Gervais St.):  Enjoy a Mad Men themed office with a photo studio and purchase local art! All donations and proceeds will be given to the United Way of the Midlands.
    •  Columbia Fireflies Baseball Official Team Store (807 Gervais St., Suite 100): Open just in time for the holidays! Get your glow gear in time for the 2016 inaugural season!

     

    Eat, drink and be merry:

    • Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln St.): Offering samples of Blue Marlin’s famous shrimp and grits under the Lincoln St. canopy and a special VIP area for military families.
    • Carolina Ale House (708 Lady St.): Just Another Distraction with Amanda Reigle will perform on the rooftop from 5-7 p.m. and the Big DM radio will be on location from 8 – 11 p.m. Offering drink specials all evening.
    • Kaminsky’s (930 Gervais St.): Offering assorted cupcakes, various sweet treats and hot Kaminsky’s coffee.
    • Longhorn Steakhouse (902 Gervais St.): Selling beer and wine outdoors and offering free hot chocolate and s’mores on Gervais Street at the fire pit.
    • Mellow Mushroom (1009 Gervais St.): Specials on Highland Brewery beers from Asheville, N.C., including Gaelic Ale, Thunderstruck Coffee Porter and Oatmeal Porter on draft.
    • Pearlz (936 Gervais St.): Offering seafood gumbo, pulled pork sliders and draft beer on the street in front of the restaurant.
    • SakiTumi (807 Gervais St.): Check out a DJ in the SakiTumi alleyway with an outdoor bar with samples of food and craft beers. Also selling beer and wine.
    • Salsarita’s (916 Gervais St.): Offering specials on nachos, burrito bowls, chips and queso, chips and salsa, margaritas and domestic and import beers.
    • Starbuck’s (831 Gervais St.): Sample holiday beverages and enjoy special decorations.
    • World of Beer (902 Gervais St.): Featuring holiday beers, including Delirium Noel and Anchor Christmas, along with Belgian waffle s’mores, and German pretzel appetizer specials.
    • 302 Artisans at Senate’s End (302 Senate St.): Serving hot tea and tastings of SC Certified food products. Also a dropoff site for Toys for Tots.
    •  Copper Horse Distilling (929 Huger St.): Unveiling a brand new spirit for the 30th anniversary of Vista Lights. Try a sample at Regions Bank (1010 Gervais Street) or stop by the Copper Horse distillery tasting room at 929 Huger Street. Purchase bottles at the distillery from 5 -7 0pm.
    •  M Vista (701 Lady St., Suite C): One complimentary shot of premium chilled sake with any purchase of a sushi roll or dinner $9.95 or more.

     

    Fun for all ages:

    • Rita’s Italian Ice (800 Lady St.): Offering Italian ice, popcorn and hot chocolate for $1. Also offering activities for kids, including music, bubbles and sidewalk chalk.
    • The Peanut Man (1215 Lincoln St.): Offering free warm praline samples, discounts on holiday gift orders and live music. Children under age 12 can decorate ornaments.
    • Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special cupcake just for Vista Lights. 
    • Harvest Hope Food Bank (corner of Lincoln and Gervais Streets): will be collected monetary and food donations for those in need. Give back this holiday season!

     

    Revel and relax:

    • Bliss Massage Therapy (at Nonnah’s, 923 Gervais): Enjoy relaxing chair massages with free gifts and a chance to win a free massage.
    • BLO II (1312 Pulaski Street): Serving light hors d’oeuvres and tours of the salon with BLO technicians.
    • Capelli Salon (701 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and enter drawings for giveaways.
    • Glowout Salon (1202 Park St.): Braids, bubbly & bites. Visit one of the Vista’s newest salon/spas and enjoy discounts on products, gift certificates and services and a hot chocolate bar.
    • Pura (807 Gervais St.): Offering hot chocolate and wine and chances to book holiday appointments and purchase gift cards.
    • Southeastern Esthetics Institute (823 Gervais St.): Offering student facials, waxing and airbrush tanning with services from $10-20. Also enter to win gift cards for future services.
    • Studio O2 (801 Gervais St.): Live acoustic music, appetizers, a Topper's Rhum tasting and a complimentary oxygen bar along with Glomineral lipstick applications and enter to win Studio O2’s holiday giveaway.
    • Occo Luxury Spa (1218 Pulaski St.): Offering mini manicures, brow services at the brow bar, a braid bar by Metropolis Salon and Dry Bar and chair massages. Wine tastings from Vino Garage, complimentary champagne, food provided by M Grille.
    • Vista Tanning & Nail Salon (514 Gervais St.): $10 Gel Polish, 1 FREE Tan, $10.00 OFF one month Level 3 Bronzing Bed Unlimited Tanning Package and enjoy complimentary refreshments. 
    •  Paul Mitchell The School Columbia (700 Gervais St., Suite D): Free hot chocolate and decadents and free holiday hair styles, holiday “eyes” and fun, holiday face paint for the kids!

     

    Free parking is available in Vista garages at 820 Washington Street and behind the Hilton Hotel. Gervais Street, from Assembly to Gadsden, will close to automobile traffic at 6 p.m. and reopen at 10 p.m. 

     

    Special thanks to Vista Lights 2015 sponsors, including: Long’s Drugs, Republic National Distributing Company, Arnold Companies, Carolina International Trucks, Grace Outdoor, Stella Artois, Schroeder’s Towing, Columbia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, 701 Whaley, Grill Marks, NAI Avant, Carolina Ale House, Regions Bank, Vista Studios 80808, Columbia Fireflies and River Runner Outdoor Center.

  • S.C. Arts Commission has named the Vista an official South Carolina Cultural District

    October 30, 2015

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a membership organization of Vista supporters, announces that the S.C. Arts Commission has named the Vista an official South Carolina Cultural District.

    The City of Columbia and the Vista Guild will use the new cultural district designation to attract visitors and residents to the neighborhood and continue to promote the Vista as a hub for arts and culture.

     

    A cultural district, defined as an easily identifiable geographic area with a concentration of arts facilities that support cultural, artistic and economic activity, was created by the S.C. General Assembly and Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014. The S.C. Arts Commission awards the designations after communities prove their desire to retain artistic identity and creativity that will encourage responsible economic development and growth in tourism.

     

    “The arts have been and continue to be a vital part of the development of the City of Columbia and we have made significant strides in the past several years,” said Steve Benjamin, mayor of Columbia. “We are seeing tremendous growth in the Vista because of the efforts of so many artists and arts organizations that have led the way in establishing the unique, creative identity of that area of the city.”

     

    Over the past year, the Vista Guild, One Columbia, city leaders, business owners, artists and residents of the Vista worked together to craft a cultural vision for the future of the Vista. A five-year cultural plan for the district includes goals of attracting tourists and visitors, encouraging responsible economic development, attracting artists and creating opportunities for the public to experience the rich arts and culture the Vista offers. The Vista is only the fourth entity to receive a cultural district designation. Previous cultural district designations have all been awarded to the cities of Spartanburg, Lancaster and Rock Hill, South Carolina.

     

    “Those non-arts businesses are important pieces of a cultural district, says Ken May, S.C. Arts Commission executive director. “A successful cultural district attracts creative enterprises, such as galleries and theaters, whose patrons want to dine out and shop, so nearby retail and other businesses benefit from that increased economic activity.”

     

    According to the cultural district designation guidelines as set forth by the S.C. Arts Commission, a qualifying district is made up of galleries, live performance venues, theaters, artist studios, museums, arts centers, arts schools and public art pieces, all of which are located and thriving in the Vista.

     

    “With more than 5,000 programs offered last year and 117,000 people who participated, Richland Library is a portal for those who want to explore the arts and improve their craft and as a destination for all ages for high quality entertainment,” said Melanie Huggins, executive director of Richland Library. “We are so proud to be a part of one of the most creative and vibrant arts and entertainment districts in the state and look forward to what this designation will mean for future developments.”

     

    The Vista Guild is planning a special announcement about its designation as a cultural district for Vista Lights, the neighborhood’s annual holiday open house, which takes place Nov. 19, 2015, from 5-9 p.m.

     

    “The Vista as we know it today is a hub for entertainment and tourism because of the artistic aesthetic and vision that artists and the arts community founded many years ago in this neighborhood,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re proud that responsible growth in the Vista through the years has retained the character of the neighborhood, continued to support the arts and led to this cultural district designation.”

     

    For more information about the S.C. Arts Commission’s cultural district guidelines, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or contact Rusty Sox at (803) 734-8899 or rsox@arts.sc.gov. For more information about the Vista Guild, please visit VistaColumbia.com or contact Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946 or info@VistaColumbia.com.

    About the S.C. Arts Commission

    The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

  • Flood-related information for the Vista

    October 08, 2015

    From the office of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham:  The office of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham will be hosting a Disaster Assistance Forum with FEMA, SBA, and South Carolina relief agencies following the historic flooding.

     

    WHO: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), SC Department of Insurance, Small Business Administration (SBA), SC Department of Employment and Workforce, SC Emergency Management Division

    WHAT: Disaster Assistance Forum designed to provide an update on available assistance and answer questions from individuals affected by the storm.

    WHEN: Wednesday, October 14th, 5:30 PM

    WHERE: Columbia Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street, Columbia, South Carolina 

    NOTE: Attendees should RSVP at rsvp@lgraham.senate.gov if you plan to attend.

     
    Updates from the City of Columbia regarding disaster management:

    Incident Response 6 (October 14)

    Incident Response 5 (October 13)

    IncidentResponse 4 (October 11)

    IncidentResponse 3 (October 10)

    IncidentResponse 2 (October 9)

    IncidentResponse 1 (October 8)

     


     

    Dear Vista Guild members and friends:

     
     
    As we've all experienced unprecedented rain and flooding in recent days, we're reminded of what it really means to come together as a neighborhood and a community to work together and serve each other. And, as always, we value our members greatly and want to do what we can to help you. 
     
     
    First and foremost, if there's anything the Vista Guild can do for you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director Meredith Atkinson at meredith@VistaColumbia.com or by calling (803) 269-5946.
     
     
    We also want to help publicize, through our far-reaching social media channels and media outlets, if necessary, information about your business. For the most part, the Vista and its businesses are operating as usual, and we want to let the public know that we're here and open for business. 
     
     
    - If you have special operating hours, a limited menu, are temporarily closed or any other information you want the Vista Guild to publicize, please email Meredith. 
     
     
    - Additionally, if your business is offering any kind of relief or special offer for flood victims, please email Meredith so that we can help spread the word about the good work you're doing.
     
     
    Helpful information:
     
    - Yellow Shirts and public safety
    The Yellow Shirts are on duty in the Vista and on Main Street and they are working hard to keep our neighborhood presentable for customers and residents. If you need their assistance, please call 803-309-7758. If you need police assistance, please call 911 or the non-emergency number, 803-252-5292.
     
     
    - Lingering damage to your business
    City of Columbia street, sanitation and public services crews are hard at work all over the city repairing storm-related damage. If your business has lingering damage related to the floods, please contact Meredith so that she can help you contact an appropriate city/county official.
     
     
    - Water/sewer utility disruptions
    The Vista Guild, to the best of its ability, will inform you by email of future water/sewer utility disruptions. Water citywide is currently non-potable. Please heed all boil water advisories for the safety of your diners and the public.
     
     
    - Road closings
    Please be aware that Gervais and Huger streets may be periodically closed for brief periods of time to allow for repairs at the Columbia Canal. Areas around the South Carolina State Museum and Columbia Canal are currently closed to traffic. Please urge customers and employees to heed police instructions and warnings.
     
     
    - Columbia Canal repairs
    This canal is the primary water source for the Columbia area. The City of Columbia is working with the National Guard and private contractors to make repairs to the canal. These dedicated and heroic men and women are involved in a dangerous undertaking making these repairs. Because of the breech in the canal, water in the Vista and citywide is non-potable. 
     
     
    - Special operations and road/utility repair
    Many of these operators are working in our neighborhood. Please steer clear of their work sites. Likewise, many workers are staying in our hotels or are dining in our restaurants. Please extend a warm welcome and be courteous to thank them for their efforts. 
     
     
    - Emergency water
    Water is available at the Columbia Regional Convention Center on Lincoln Street or at many locations around the Midlands. Because availability at distribution sites frequently changes, please visit local media outlets including WIS, WLTX and The State for up-to-date information.
     
     
    - Local and national media outlets 
    Members of the media are on the ground and potentially interviewing business owners and customers in the Vista. If you encounter media, we encourage you to respond positively and let the reporter know just how the community is coming together. Customers spotting media in your business will only increase your business and presenting an upbeat message is encouraged. The Vista Guild and Meredith would be happy to attend any interviews or help with interviews. 
     
     
    Please continue to check our social media channels and your email as we will continue to update you as soon as we hear from city officials.
     
     
    Most sincerely, 
    Meredith Atkinson &
    The Vista Guild
  • Shops and Galleries Open Late for October Vista Nights

    October 08, 2015

    Shops and galleries in the Vista welcome shoppers and offer extended hours on the third Thursday of each month

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 8, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of a wide variety of restaurant, shop, business and gallery owners, homeowners and museums in the Vista, announces its plans for October 2015’s Vista Nights. This event, which is free and open to the public and takes place on the third Thursday of each month, is Thursday, October 15, 5-8 p.m. 

     

    The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at the neighborhood’s most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars. 

     

    October Vista Nights participating galleries include:

    • 302 Artisans at Senate’s End, 302 Senate Street. Offering Dabble and Drink art classes by Brenda Konitzer of Gates of O’brillin from 6 – 8 p.m. This month, participants will have the chance to create a “Steampunkin,” using foam pumpkins. Participants can bring in old jewelry, watches or other small items to create their pieces. This class is $45 (all supplies and light hors d’oeuvres are included). Register in advance by calling 803-238-6019.
    • City Art, 1224 Lincoln Street. Featuring a solo exhibition, “US: A Civil War, Artwork by Dan Smith,” including mixed media paintings, photographs and installations inspired by the American Civil War.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors, 1012 Gervais Street. Serving complimentary beverages.
    • if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street. Featuring “David Yaghjian: Scenes,” a solo exhibition.
    • Lewis+Clark, 1001 Huger Street. Featuring “Tin Things,” a selection of Clark Ellefson’s bracelets, robots and what nots. All of Ellefson’s modern lamps and robots are made in Columbia and crafted of paper, steel, glass and wood. 
    • One Eared Cow Glass, 1001 Huger Street. Offering a glass pumpkin-making class from 6 – 8 p.m. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling (803) 254-2444. Members of the public are invited to watch.
    • Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street. Offering 10 percent discount on painting class during Vista Nights. Instructors will walk participants through painting step-by-step. Register in advance at studio-cellar.com
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street. “Lasting Impressions” featuring printmaking and handmade books by artists Cynthia Colbert, Claire Farrell and Grace Rockafellow. Members of the public is invited to come try printmaking from 5-7 p.m. The show will run from Oct. 8-19.

     

    “Thursday evenings are always alive in the Vista with diners packing our restaurants and tourists in our hotels,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild Board. “Shoppers and gallery visitors can wind their way through the Vista and stay to eat at one of our restaurants or attend a special event at one of our museums.”

     

    Parking, as always, is easily accessible in the Vista’s parking garages at 820 Washington Street and at the corner of Senate and Pendleton Streets behind the Hilton hotel.

     

    For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

  • Shops and Galleries Open Late for September Vista Nights

    September 11, 2015

    Shops and galleries in the Vista welcome shoppers and offer extended hours on the third Thursday of each month.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 9, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of a wide variety of restaurant, shop, business and gallery owners, homeowners and museums in the Vista, announces its plans for September 2015’s Vista Nights. This event, which is free and open to the public and takes place on the third Thursday of each month, is Thursday, September 17, 5-8 p.m. 

     

    The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at the neighborhood’s most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars. 

     

    September Vista Nights participating galleries include (download images by clicking here):

    • 302 Artisans at Senate’s End, 302 Senate Street. Offering Dabble and Drink art classes by Brenda Konitzer of Gates of O’brillin from 6 – 8 p.m. This month, participants will have the chance create mixed media on canvas in classic steampunk style. Participants can bring in old jewelry, watches or other small items to create their pieces. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided and there is a food truck on site to purchase food. This class is $35 (all supplies are included) and attendees can bring their own alcoholic beverages. Register in advance by calling 803-238-6019.
    • City Art, 1224 Lincoln Street. Showing new paintings by Thomas Crouch.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors, 1012 Gervais Street. Serving complimentary beverages and showing new art by Laura Palermo and Jarid Lyfe Brown.
    • if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street. Featuring “if ART in BETWEEN: From the Vault,” with works by Kees Salentjin, Michaela Pilar Brown, Leslie Hinton and James Busby.
    • Lewis+Clark, 1001 Huger Street. Featuring “Girl Bots are Here,” a selection of Clark Ellefson’s newest robot charging stations. All of Ellefson’s modern lamps and robots are made in Columbia and crafted of paper, steel, glass and wood. 
    • Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street. Offering 10 percent discount on painting class during Vista Nights. Instructors will walk participants through painting step-by-step. Register in advance at studiocellar.com. 
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street. New art by Vista Studios artists and enjoy old-time mountain string music by Kathy B and Friends.

     

    “Thursday evenings are always alive in the Vista with diners packing our restaurants and tourists in our hotels,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild Board. “Shoppers and gallery visitors can wind their way through the Vista and stay to eat at one of our restaurants or attend a special event at one of our museums.”

     

    Parking, as always, is easily accessible in the Vista’s parking garages at 820 Washington Street and at the corner of Senate and Pendleton Streets behind the Hilton hotel.

     

    For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

     

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  • Now Hiring: Congaree Vista Guild Intern

    September 10, 2015

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, is looking to hire an intern!

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, is looking to hire a summer/fall intern! As an intern you will get to work with various city officials, members of the Vista Guild,influential business leaders in the community, and our Board of Directors, all while working on real projects that will help the Vista grow. The ideal candidate will be someone who has the ability to walk into a room of people and cannot leave without making new friends. The candidate must also be obsessed with social media and event planning, is creative and thoughtful when interacting within the community, and also wishes to build relationships.

     

    What You Will Learn:

    •How to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.

    •How to work with and for city and state officials, Board of Directors and members of our organization.

    •Relationship building within the Vista District and the City of Columbia.

    •Eventand non-profit management.

    •How to create creative content for social media and advertisements.

    •Plenty of additional opportunities.

     

    What We Require:

    1. Background in Marketing, Communication, non-profit management or other related discipline.

    2. Strong communication skills. 

    3. Proficient in Microsoft Suite Office. 

    4. Organized,with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments. 

    5. Creative and Flexible. 

    6. Very strong interpersonal skills. 

    7. Familiarity with social networking sites desired. 

    8. Interest in nonprofit management and community development. 

    9. An attitude where you are willing to rollup your sleeves for whatever the job may require. 

    10. Willingness to have fun!

     

    We value our interns and will go the extra mile to make sure you receive a learning experience that fits your career goals. You will become extremely knowledgeable in marketing techniques, a master of social media, have an understanding of non-profit and event management, and have an amazing time doing it! You will also learn how to work in a professional environment and have ample opportunity to network with city and state officials and other business professionals.

     

    Details:

    This is an unpaid internship that begins May 2 (or to accommodate your school schedule). You are expected to work 15-20 hours a week. A stipend at the end of the internship may be available.

    To apply please submit your resume with a cover letter telling us why you would be the best intern for the Congaree Vista Guild to Meredith Atkinson atMeredith@vistacolumbia.com. Please include “Vista Guild Intern” in the subject line.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Welcomes Meredith Atkinson as Executive Director

    September 01, 2015

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a variety of restaurants, hotels, businesses, galleries and homeowners in Columbia’s Vista, has hired Meredith Atkinson as its new executive director.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 27, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a variety of restaurants, hotels, businesses, galleries and homeowners in Columbia’s Vista, has hired Meredith Atkinson as its new executive director.

     

    Atkinson come to the Vista Guild from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, where she was responsible for the agency’s public relations and communications efforts and promoting South Carolina agribusiness and Certified South Carolina Grown. Previously, Atkinson served as the marketing director for Columbiana Centre and Augusta Mall with General Growth Properties, where she was in charge of mall events and advertising and promoting the malls’ restaurants and retail. 

     

    Atkinson, who grew up in Columbia, earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Clemson University. 

     

    “We are excited to have Meredith lead the Vista Guild as our executive director in this time of unprecedented growth for the neighborhood,” said Richard Burts, president of the Congaree Vista Guild’s board of directors. “Her enthusiasm is contagious and her love for this city are evident in all that she does. We’re looking forward to having Meredith’s leadership as the Vista Guild focuses on smart growth that will benefit our member businesses, the neighborhood, residents and the thousands of visitors that shop, dine and enjoy the Vista.”

     

    The Vista has long been known as Columbia’s creative center and is now the Midlands’ place to go for nightlife, dining and entertainment. The Congaree Vista Guild board of directors strives to encourage healthy growth in the Vista, while seeing that the Vista is a vibrant symbol of progressive growth in Columbia.

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or contact Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on FacebookTwitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

  • Shops and Galleries Open Late for August Vista Nights

    August 05, 2015

    Shops and galleries in the Vista welcome shoppers and offer extended hours on the third Thursday of each month

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 5, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of a wide variety of restaurant, shop, business and gallery owners, homeowners and museums in the Vista, announces its plans for August 2015’s Vista Nights. This event, which is free and open to the public and takes place on the third Thursday of each month, is Thursday, August 20, 5-8 p.m.  

    The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at our most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars.  

    August Vista Nights participating galleries include (download images by clicking here):

    ·      302 Artisans at Senate’s End, 302 Senate Street. Offering Dabble and Drink art classes by Brenda Konitzer of Gates of O’brillin from 6 – 8 p.m. This month, participants will have the chance to decorate their own steampunk-style necklace. Participants can bring in old jewelry, watches or other small items to decorate their necklaces. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided and there is a food truck on site to purchase food. This class is $35 (all supplies are included) and attendees can bring their own alcoholic beverages. Register in advance by calling 803-238-6019.

    ·       Ellen Taylor Interiors, 1012 Gervais Street. Serving complimentary beverages and showing new art by Debra Paysinger and Lucinda Howe.

    ·       Gallery 80808/ Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street. Featuring “Cut From the Same Cloth,” an exhibit hosted by Susan Lenz and Robert Kennedy, this show is on loan from the South Carolina/Georgia region of Studio Art Quilt Associates. The show will feature 20 original contemporary works created of tie-dyed fabric sent to all members of the organization.

    ·       if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street. Featuring a preview of “Peter Lenzo: New Works 2013 – 2015.” The exhibition will officially open Friday, Aug. 21.

    ·       Lewis+Clark, 1001 Huger Street. Featuring “Lamp Craft,” a selection of Clark Ellefson’s newest jumbo handmade lamps. All of Ellefson’s modern lamps are made in Columbia and crafted of paper, steel, glass and wood.

    ·       Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street. Offering 10 percent discount on painting class during Vista Nights. Instructors will walk participants through painting step-by-step. Register in advance and use coupon code “August20” for discount atstudiocellar.com

    “Thursday evenings are always alive in the Vista with diners packing our restaurants and tourists in our hotels,” said Richard Burts, president of the Congaree Vista Guild Board of Directors. “We’re excited that Vista Nights has become a regular monthly events, where many of our businesses will stay open beyond their regular business hours. Shoppers can wind their way through the Vista and stay to eat at one of our restaurants or attend a special event at one of our museums.” 

    Parking, as always, is easily accessible in the Vista’s parking garages at 820 Washington Street and at the corner of Senate and Pendleton Streets behind the Hilton hotel.  

    For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook. 

     

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  • Shops and Galleries Open Late for July Vista Nights

    July 09, 2015

    Shops and galleries in the Vista welcome shoppers and offer extended hours on the third Thursday of each month

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 8, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of a wide variety of restaurant, shop, business and gallery owners, homeowners and museums in the Vista, announces its plans for July 2015’s Vista Nights. This event, which is free and open to the public and takes place on the third Thursday of each month, is Thursday, July 16, 5-8 p.m. 

    The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at our most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars. 

    July Vista Nights participating galleries include:

    • 302 Artisans at Senate’s End, 302 Senate Street. Offering Dabble and Drink art classes by Brenda Konitzer of Gates of O’brillin from 6 – 8 p.m. This month, participants will have the chance to decorate their own steampunk bracelet with a sculpey clay face. Participants can bring in old jewelry, watches or other small items to decorate their bracelets. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided and there is a food truck on site to purchase food. This class is $35 (all supplies are included) and attendees can bring their own alcoholic beverages. Register in advance by calling 803-238-6019.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors, 1012 Gervais Street. Serving complimentary beverages and showing new art and merchandise.
    •  if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street. Featuring “Angular Existence,” a summer exhibition featuring Roland Albert, Michaela Pilar Brown, Michael Brodeur, Ashlynn Browning, Beverly Buchanan, James Busby, Steven Chapp, Jeff Donovan, Klaus Hartmann, Sjaak Kirstein, Reiner Mahrlein, Sam Middleton, Eric Miller, Edward Rice and Tom Stanley.
    •  Lewis+Clark, 1001 Huger Street. Featuring “Recent Incandescent Activities,” a selection of Clark Ellefson’s newest handmade lamps. 
    •  Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street. Offering 10 percent discount on painting class during Vista Nights. Instructors will walk participants through painting step-by-step. Register in advance and use coupon code “july18” for discount at studiocellar.com.

    “Thursday evenings are always alive in the Vista with diners packing our restaurants and tourists in our hotels,” said Richard Burts, president of the Congaree Vista Guild Board of Directors. “We’re excited that Vista Nights has become a regular monthly event, where many of our businesses will stay open beyond their regular business hours. Shoppers can wind their way through the Vista and stay to eat at one of our restaurants or attend a special event at one of our museums.”

    Parking, as always, is easily accessible in the Vista’s parking garages at 820 Washington Street and at the corner of Senate and Pendleton Streets behind the Hilton hotel. 

    For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

     

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  • Shops and Galleries Open Late for June Vista Nights

    June 10, 2015

    Shops and galleries in the Vista welcome shoppers and offer extended hours on the third Thursday of each month

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (June 10, 2015)—The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of a wide variety of restaurant, shop, business and gallery owners, homeowners and museums in the Vista, announces its plans for June 2015’s Vista Nights. This event, which is free and open to the public and takes place on the third Thursday of each month, is Thursday, June 18, 5-8 p.m.  

    The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at our most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars.  

    May Vista Nights participating galleries include:

     

    • 302 Artisans at Senate’s End, 302 Senate Street. Offering Dabble and Drink art classes by Brenda Konitzer of Gates of O’brillin from 6 – 8 p.m. This month, participants will have the chance to decorate their own Steampunk trinket boxes and can bring in old jewelry, watches, lace, photos or other small items to decorate their boxes. Light hors d’oeuvres are provided and there is a food truck on site to purchase food. This class is $35 (all supplies are included) and attendees can bring their own alcoholic beverages. Register in advance by calling803-238-6019.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors, 1012 Gervais Street. Serving wine and showing new works by Blue Sky.
    • City Art Gallery, 1224 Lincoln Street. Hosting an opening reception for “Rhythm, Balance and Space,” celebrating Eva Carter’s 50 years of creating iconic images on canvas.
    • if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln Street. Featuring “Origins 2000-2002,” by Peter Lenzo and Joe Scotchie-Lenzo, a father-son collaboration of face jugs.
    • Lewis+Clark, 1001 Huger Street. Featuring Robot Electric Belly: The Royal Claw, Green Bot and Bot Standard: new charging stations for your devices. 
    •  Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street. Offering 10 percent discount on painting class during Vista Nights. Instructors will walk participants through painting step-by-step. Register in advance and use coupon code “june14” for discount at studiocellar.com.
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street. Presenting an opening reception for “Faust’s Photography: From the Realistic to the Abstract,” photography by Faust Pauluzzi. Compelling images by Pauluzzi, a former USC professor of Italian, shot in Italy, Chile and the United States, are printed in large format for this show. 

     

    “Thursday evenings are always alive in the Vista with diners packing our restaurants and tourists in our hotels,” said Richard Burts, president of the Congaree Vista Guild Board of Directors. “We’re excited that Vista Nights has become a regular monthly events, where many of our businesses will stay open beyond their regular business hours. Shoppers can wind their way through the Vista and stay to eat at one of our restaurants or attend a special event at one of our museums.” 

    Parking, as always, is easily accessible in the Vista’s parking garages at 820 Washington Street and at the corner of Senate and Pendleton Streets behind the Hilton hotel.  

    For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.