From the Free Times – July 4, 2018
by Patrick Wall, Photos by Thomas Hammond
Back in January, at the public unveiling of Amplify Columbia, the effort to create a unified cultural plan spearheaded by the city and the city-backed arts nonprofit One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin opened his address by reading a poem: William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus.” Translated from Latin, invictus means “unconquered,” and its most famous couplet — “I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul” — is a well-worn mantra for communicating importance and purpose.
“We stand here by choice, not by chance,” the mayor said on the steps of the Township Auditorium, the historic concert hall whose history is uniquely intertwined with the city’s. “[W]e’re going to direct Columbia in being what we believe and know it can be: the most talented, most educated, most entrepreneurial, the strongest cultural asset that America can possibly have. Amplify will make sure that that happens.”