Mission and History


Tapps Outpost is a business and production incubator in Columbia, South Carolina for emerging cultural entrepreneurs. We help realize cultural projects and initiatives by pooling resources and providing administrative support to artists.

Since 2011, Tapp’s Outpost (Formerly Tapp’s Arts Center):

  • PRESENTED over 105 major exhibitions, and served approximately 1000 artists.
  • PRODUCED over 650 concerts and performances including dozens of local and traveling performers.
  • PROVIDED 30 low-cost studios to a variety of exceptional artists whose talents have resonated throughout the southeast and beyond. 
  • COLLABORATED WITH THE COMMUNITY by partnering with First Thursdays on Main, Artists U, The Jasper Project, The Watering Hole, Tiny Coven, Owlette Academy, Infinite Room, Carolina Film Network, University of SC, McKissick Museum, Deckle Edge, POV, Savvy Musician, “Songversation” with Al Black, The Nickelodeon, Trustus Theatre, 701 CCA… and so many other independent makers and creators. 


For the first eight years, Tapp’s Arts Center was situated in its namesake building at the corner of Main Street and Blanding Street in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The Tapp’s Building is an old department store that still reflects the “Depression Modern” style, which celebrated the streamlined form and kinetic lines of the, then, new industrial age. Sitting unused since 1997, the city, developers and the arts community came together and revitalized the building to become the Tapp’s Arts Center, answering the need for a multi-purpose gathering place for creative exploration in the downtown area. 

From 2011 to 2019, Tapp’s Arts Center acted as the fulcrum for artistic experimentation in all fields. It boasted three performance venues, a gallery, a darkroom and 28 artist studios. In 2019, the art center lost its lease to the building and was invited to re-situate in Five Points, Columbia on Saluda Avenue. Introspection throughout this transition clarified the essential goals of the art center: to provide experience and practice for emerging artists to develop their projects; to provide a community of peers to help artists realize their vision; and to provide a safe space for our community to translate the infinite possibilities of the human condition. With this revelation, the art center transformed its identity to become the Tapp’s Outpost Art Space, seeing itself as a harbor for artists to collect experience, resources and confidence for the wayward journey of life.