Columbia, SC (WLTX) Jim Thigpen, a well known member of the Midlands arts community, has died.

Thigpen and his wife Kay launched Columbia's Trustus Theatre in 1985. He also served as the original artistic director at Trustus.

Thigpen was an actor and director and taught drama at Columbia's Spring Valley High School in the 1980's.

Trustus Theatre posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon, "The vision he and his wife Kay had over thirty years ago has changed what theatre is and can be in Columbia, and so many who have worked on our stage or sat in the audience have been changed forever by his work."

The post goes on to say, "Come celebrate Jim at Trustus Theatre on Thursday 5:00pm-6:30pm. As Jim wanted it, this will be casual dress, open bar, and Santana will be playing on the speakers."

Jim Thigpen was 75 years old.