Go Columbia

How I Go Columbia: Lee Snelgrove

Lee Snelgrove
Lee Snelgrove provided photo

Since taking the position as executive director of One Columbia for Arts and History, Lee Snelgrove has overseen the creation of a process for commissioning public art, along with the installation of 16 new pieces.

He also has overseen the creation of a cultural passport program to grow Columbia’s audiences, the establishment of the position of a city poet laureate, coordinated the development of a strategic plan for the Vista’s formal cultural district designation and has been a leader of citywide events including the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Burning of Columbia and the upcoming Solar Eclipse in August. He is overseeing the development of 18 new permanent public art projects, cooperating with partner organizations to identify innovative ways to enhance the city’s public spaces, and developing a citywide cultural plan to unify the arts community in a common vision.


I’m still recovering from the fantastic Indie Grits Visiones Food Truck Parranda this past weekend, and fortunately all of those food trucks and restaurants are local. I’ll be eating a lot more Real Mexico, Tacos Nayarit, Mary’s Arepas and Manny’s for sure. I am also a regular at Hampton Place Cafe, Swanson’s and Immaculate Consumption for workday lunches.


Mornings are for coffee, and that is primarily Drip on Main because I enjoy the short walk from my office to get my thoughts together. The new Curiosity Coffee Bar is also serving a great cup. The evenings (and sometimes afternoons) are for beer, so I can often be found at the bar at The Whig or The War Mouth and also at Grapes & Gallery, which has a great craft beer selection.


It’s festival season, so I’ve heard some great music at Hip Hop Family Day and Indie Grits recently. I’m looking forward to hearing DJ GLDFNGR spin again this year at the Design League’s Runaway Runway, as well as seeing what I can find in the stacks at this weekend’s Greater Columbia Record Fair. June is Music Month in Columbia, and we’re planning some neat stuff for Make Music Day Columbia on Wednesday, June 21.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest that everyone go see all the murals and sculptures that One Columbia facilitated, including the ones in the Lincoln Street Tunnel, the 2017 Artista Vista sculpture at Lincoln and Lady, the murals on the two parking garages on Taylor Street, and especially the Millwood Mural. I’m also looking forward to Osamu Kobayashi’s upcoming show at 701 Center for Contemporary Art and the Elizabeth O’Neill Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement Exhibition of Laura Spong and Leo Twiggs at if ART.


I have a 2-year-old son, so we’re often enjoying the activities and books at the spectacular Richland Library. The Design League’s Runaway Runway is a must-see fashion show by Columbia’s talented designers using recycled materials. It’s going to be big party because this is the 10th year that they’ve been strutting their junk. Other upcoming things that are going to be good include “Sharks and Other Lovers,” a staged reading as part of the Jasper Project’s Play Right Series and the First Thursday in May, which is themed to recognize Fort Jackson’s Centennial.