(HUFFINGTON POST) -- I grew up in Clemson, South Carolina. It was a terrific way to grow up -- we shopped at Judge Keller's General Store, we watched movies at the Astro Theatre on Main Street, the sheriff's car wasn't above being used as the town taxi cab. And, while a bagel was as foreign as an alien spaceship, life was good.
When I was twelve, I was lucky enough to find the Oconee Community Theatre. For all of us who were part of that community, it was a link to a broader cultural world. Today, both my brother and I make our living in the arts. And it all started for us with that small community theater, which stays afloat with local support, the herculean efforts of volunteers and periodic small grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission.