Free Times may have changed in the last year, but the power of the city’s culture remains.
And the people who work to make the city’s arts, music and food scenes what they are still deserve recognition.
So we present this complement to The Post and Courier Columbia list of important political, government, business and university leaders.
Jordan Lawrence and David Clarey, the team that plans, writes and edits Free Times each week, got together and debated, and settled on this list of 30 important influencers on the cultural landscape of the Soda City. Navigating the pandemic was a major consideration throughout, but each person included contributes to Columbia in a variety of other ways.
13. Mark Rapp
Rapp brought Wynton Marsalis to Columbia. As the leader of the scene-boosting nonprofit ColaJazz, booking one of the genre’s most famous living musicians for the organization’s annual festival would be enough for a spot here. But growing that festival coming out of a pandemic (and continuing the group’s other influential efforts) gives him an even higher spot.