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Poster sale brings in traffic and money to Chapel Hill Street Scene Teen Center

CJ Alfonso, a junior majoring in global studies and public policy, browses the poster sale at the Teen Center on Rosemary St. This poster sale has opened the UNC school year for over twenty years.
CJ Alfonso, a junior majoring in global studies and public policy, browses the poster sale at the Teen Center on Rosemary St. This poster sale has opened the UNC school year for over twenty years.

The poster sale will run until Sept. 2 at Street Scene, below the U.S. Post Office on Franklin Street. The sale has been taking place at Street Scene for over 20 years, said Samathryn Witham, the Street Scene supervisor.

Witham said the center uses the proceeds from the sale to support their youth council, to fund evening and weekend programs and to purchase new equipment.

Street Scene partners with Beyond the Wall, a Pennsylvania-based fundraising company that sells posters. Eliza Espy, one of the team leaders for the poster sale in Chapel Hill, said clubs or schools that bring in Beyond the Wall receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale.

Selling the posters not only brings in revenue to Street Scene, but also a lot of foot traffic, Witham said in an email.

“We are in the process of rebranding and starting several new programs, so the additional attention is great as we get ready to launch our new image,” she said.

Street Scene was established in 1985 as a local hangout for teens, Witham said. The center offers a middle school after-school program and high school programs on Friday and Saturday nights, which can include anything from slam poetry to karaoke.

“Currently, we are a teen-driven programming collective that amplifies and affirms youth experiences through opportunities for creative expression, peer-to-peer connection and community engagement.” Witham said. “We also house a small non-profit incubator, The Hive, which supports youth-serving nonprofit organizations who need a home-base for their offices or programming.”

Espy said Beyond the Wall prints their own posters, making them more affordable than ones purchased elsewhere. The company is over 30 years old, and some of the stock is nearly that old as well, Espy said.

“We actually have some of the original stock from the 80’s and 90’s,” Espy said. “You can find some rare vintage stuff in there, like Michael Jackson, Elvis, stuff like that.”

Beyond the Wall sells posters nationwide. Espy said this year, there are about 50 teams on the road. She said she has traveled from Pensacola, Fla. for the past several years to work at the Chapel Hill location.

According to their website, Beyond the Wall has an assortment of over 1,000 images in all sizes and categories. Additionally, Espy said they will frame posters for 20% off and also offer tapestries in a variety of patterns and colors.

CJ Alfonso, a UNC junior, said although it was his first time at the actual sale, he had heard about it previously and decided to stop by while he was on Franklin Street. He said that he was in need of a new poster to liven up his room.

Witham said that the poster sale is legendary for UNC students due to its solid reputation and word-of-mouth support.

“One unique aspect of the poster sale is that it connects UNC students and the local community,” said Witham. “From my perspective, it brings many, many potential student volunteers in the door.”

@skileyy

city@dailytarheel.com

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