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Best Neighborhood Rabble-Rousing 

Jill Hunter vs. Vangie Rainsford

Staff Pick

If any neighborhood needs to have the stick removed from its collective ass, it’s Mazyck-Wraggborough. Also known as the Garden District, Mazyck-Wraggborough is marked by beautiful Victorian-era mansions, large lots, and a very active neighborhood association, led by president Vangie Rainsford. Nothing against civic activism, but we couldn’t help but chuckle when Boston transplant Jill Hunter moved into their midst last year, turned her home into a makeshift art gallery, and set up a DJ and keg in the backyard for a couple of gallery events. Despite her intention “to bring absurdity, hilarity, and frivolity to the Charleston area” with her Gallery 57, Jill Hunter did not amuse her neighbors. When she announced a Day of the Dead event with art, skeletons, a mariachi band, and fire dancing, the city was contacted and Hunter was threatened with visits by vice and the fire marshal, so she canceled it and then proceeded to tease her neighbors with signs telling her side of the controversy and then taunting them with a newsletter that promised future events like a gay-pride parade. The “joyless freaks” (her words) of Mazyck-Wraggborough were not laughing, but we sure were.


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