In an area known for its creativity, here are some winners when it comes to taking advantage of space:
• Shakespeare in the Park, performed on Finlay Park’s island stage, where the actors’ voices are carried by the water.
• The April 2012 art installation “Ghost Trees.” Artist Kara Gunter created stumps of trees from layered paper and adhesive in a partly sunny alley off Gervais Street as part of that year’s Artista Vista.
• EVERYONE’S use of the Columbia Music Festival Association’s ArtSpace on Pulaski Street. (Although the Festival of Doom, Alternacirque’s bawdy alt-vaudeville show, is perhaps the coolest user of them all.) Under director John Whitehead, the rentable ArtSpace serves as an incredible incubator for Columbia’s startup performing arts groups.
• Thirsty Fellow and the Palmetto Pig, neighboring fun spots in a sea of asphalt between the Carolina Coliseum and Huger Street