I'm George Patrick McLeer, Jr - but everyone calls me "GP". I was raised by two loving parents, George and Elizabeth - both special education teachers - along with my two younger siblings, Mairin and Michael. Mairin is also a teacher while Michael will graduate high school in 2020. My parents currently live in Quail Run right here in Fountain Inn along with my brother.
I married my beautiful wife, Taylor, in November of 2018. Taylor received her undergrad degree from Coker, her first Masters in education from Anderson University, and her second Masters in educational administration from Clemson. Taylor will be teaching in Greenville County come August. She is also a member of the Fountain Inn Chorale and a member of the HOA Board for our neighborhood, Fountainbrook. We have a dog, Mavis, and a cat, Pippa.
Taylor and I are active members at our church, St. Anthony's in Greenville, and find the source for life in our faith. While my family lives right here in Fountain Inn, Taylor's family is rooted in Union - we love visiting both of our families often. Our friends are scattered around the country and we enjoy traveling to see them - but some of our closest friends are right here in Fountain Inn. Community plays a big part in our lives - we enjoy participating and giving back to our community.
In our spare time we enjoy traveling, attending arts events, and being outdoors either hiking or biking.
In 2009 I got a call from my former high school theatre teacher asking if I wanted to lend a hand in getting a theatre company started at what would become the Younts Center for Performing Arts. I had already played a role in their first musical the year prior, and so I happily jumped on board and helped the City create what is now a blossoming arts center.
After graduating with honors from the College of Charleston with a degree in Arts Management, I moved back to the Upstate and worked just a few miles up the road getting the Mauldin Cultural Center up and running as their first full-time director. After three years of growth as a nonprofit, I worked with the City of Mauldin to create their Office of Cultural Affairs where I not only continued to develop the Cultural Center, but also played a role in economic development and policy work.
Since 2016, I have been the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. Every day I work on ensuring the creative sector of our economy has the support it needs at the local, state, and federal levels - you will usually hear me explain my work as "managing wherever the arts and politics intersect in our communities". I am lucky enough to travel across our state and observe and guide communities of all sizes as they use the arts as a tool for community vibrancy, safety, and development.
I also have had the great pleasure of serving on numerous boards and committees across the state, including:
Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce, Board Chair
St. Joseph's Catholic School
Fountain Inn Chorale
Arts in Basic Curriculum Project (statewide)
Palmetto State Arts Education (statewide)
College of Charleston School of the Arts Council
Mauldin Cultural Council
Additionally, I have been been honored to receive the following recognitions from my alma maters:
Alumni Heart Award - St. Joseph's Catholic School
Young Alumni Award - College of Charleston, School of the Arts
Hall of Fame - College of Charleston, School of the Arts