George Patrick [GP] McLeer, Jr is the Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC (elected November 2019). He is also the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide arts advocacy organization. GP leads the organization in efforts to ensure that all South Carolinians have access to quality arts experiences and arts education at the state and federal level through public policy initiatives, public awareness, and leadership development for creative professionals.
Previously, GP served as the Administrator of the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of Mauldin, SC, where he was responsible for leveraging the cultural and artistic assets within the community for the purposes of economic development and quality of life improvement as well as managing all city-wide marketing. Most notably, GP was responsible for managing the Mauldin Cultural Center, a 1937 school building repurposed for the arts; starting the Railroad Concert Series, an annual free concert series featuring national and local acts; managing the Mauldin BBQ Cook-Off, the signature community event for Mauldin; and creating the Mauldin Public Art Trail, a 10-year continuous cycle of public artwork installations in the community. A new office within the city’s government, GP was responsible for developing the framework for the Office of Cultural Affairs, along with its mission and vision.
GP is currently on the Board of Trustees for St. Joseph’s Catholic School (Greenville, SC), and a member of the College of Charleston’s School of the Arts Council; both of which are his alma maters. He also serves on the board of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce, the Fountain Inn Chorale, Palmetto State Arts Education, and as a Steering Committee Member for the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project.
He has previously served as a board member of the Mauldin Cultural Council; as president of the Alumni Board for St. Joseph’s Catholic School; a member of the 2014/15 SC Arts Commission’s “Arts Education Task Force” (whose recommendations were released in April of 2015); a member of Upstate International‘s Advisory Board; and was vice chair of Art Wall Music Hall, a small collective dedicated to fostering emerging artists.
GP currently resides in Fountain Inn, SC where he is an active community volunteer. GP holds a BA in Arts Management from the College of Charleston, where he has been recognized with the 2016 School of the Arts Young Alumni Award, the Julie Jett Arts Management Citizenship Award, and placed in the School of the Arts Hall of Fame. He also was awarded the first-ever Alumni Heart Award from St. Joseph’s Catholic School for his contributions to the arts community.
His areas of interest and expertise include: nonprofit management; government relations; economic development; advocacy; artist management; marketing and branding; graphic design; venue management; and event coordination.
Past positions include: Administrator, City of Mauldin Office of Cultural Affairs; Executive Director, Mauldin Cultural Center; Development Assistant, Charleston Stage Company; Arts Management Intern, Younts Center for the Performing Arts.
CLAIMS TO FAME
Played a song with members of Hootie & the Blowfish who were performing at the Mauldin Cultural Center. They played John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery”. Here’s a blurry picture as proof.
Was once featured, for three seconds, on APM’s Marketplace due to a Twitter response to the radio show’s question.
Still has his name spray painted in his high school theater’s scene shop over the doorway.
Once “met” the drummer of his favorite band, awkwardly tapped him on the shoulder to say hello, and the drummer immediately walked away. But GP saved the moment by pretending to take a phone call so “no one would notice”.
Gave input for a local news station during their 2012 election coverage from 3pm-12am.
Thanks to an awesome college class, GP sat in on the drums for REO Speedwagon while the crew was loading in. Next day, he and three other classmates were the only ones in the coliseum as they watched Styx perform a few songs for their soundcheck (yes…’Come Sail Away’ was one of them) in the 10,000 seat venue.
His tweets have been called “prolific”. Once. Like four years ago.
Went backstage at a concert. He and some friends walked through a door that, in their defense, said “Exit” when it actually led backstage. The three of them were quickly shown the “correct” way out.
Went backstage at a Broadway show on his high school senior trip thanks to the Lincoln Center’s tour guide who, when GP asked if she could get them backstage later that evening, replied, “Just tell the guys in the sound booth that your mother knows Jeff, the lighting guy, and they should let you get a tour after the show.” It worked. Thanks Jeff, wherever and whoever you are.