Everything we do is about connection.
And connection makes anything possible.

Charlotte is Creative

Image

WHAT WE DO.

These days, the framework exists to communicate and connect with each other and with resources instantly. But, sometimes it feels harder to connect than ever. The pandemic has added new challenges to connection.

And, that’s what we do at Charlotte Is Creative. We create programs, initiatives, events, and grants that:

  • Connect emerging and disconnected artists creatives in Charlotte to each other and to resources they need to do their work and build their business.
  • Connect Charlotteans to the creative community around them, to the people and experiences that set Charlotte apart and excite them about their city
  • Connect companies to their employees, their customers
  • Connect our audiences to stories and information they can use to build their career or to enjoy and explore the community around them

We connect them to the people and places that
make our City a wonderful place to live, work
and build a business.

We make people fall in love with Charlotte.

When we’re connected to what we need, to what lights us up and to one another, creative energy is released. Anything is possible.

HOW WE DO IT.

Action. Movement. Gathering. Invitation. Collaboration. Experimentation. Asking questions.

When organizations and companies want to develop innovative projects that get the attention of their customers and the media and invite them to take part, they call on us.

While we bring our slate of programs and our history to the planning table, we start with a blank sheet of paper and an empty whiteboard to co-create an event that cuts through the noise, delivers the intended message, and, in line with our mission, puts local creatives to work.

You bring the destination. We’ll bring our crew of wildly inventive people to build an unexpected and inviting vehicle that gets you there while making the journey vibrant and memorable.

Creative Community Engagement

This happens with free programs like CreativeMornings/Charlotte or our Mentor Mixers or unique forms of community engagement like Queen City Quiz show, a program that can be used to share important information in fun ways for the general public or inside companies.

We are often asked to help organizations and companies create experiences that excite and inform their teams. We love doing that. We bring our experience, as well as our team of local creatives to help us create hands-in programs and internal events to leave participants excited about where they work and about Charlotte. 

Recent examples of this are a Quiz Show and Charlotte Scavenger Hunt for Highwoods properties employees and community art projects for Wells Fargo where volunteers worked side-by-side with local artists to spruce up small businesses Charlotte’s “Corridors of Opportunity.”

Creative Project Management

When organizations and companies want to develop innovative projects that get the attention of their customers and the media and invite them to take part, they call on us.

While we bring our slate of programs and our history to the planning table, we start with a blank sheet of paper and an empty whiteboard to co-create an event that cuts through the noise, delivers the intended message, and, in line with our mission, puts local creatives to work.

You bring the destination. We’ll bring our crew of wildly inventive people to build an unexpected and inviting vehicle that gets you there while making the journey vibrant and memorable. For example, the Art of Transformation project we managed with the Charlotte Rescue Mission and South End Blooms, a series of community pop-up events across six weekends in 2021.

Funding and Training

Through our HUG (“Helpful Unfettered Gift” ) program, we provide access to micro-funding ($250 and $1,000 strings-free grants), workspace, tools and resources, and promotion to for-profit and non-profit efforts. We also provide free classes to creatives teaching them small business tactics to help them thrive.

Companies like The LendingTree Foundation, NoDa Brewing, and Google Fiber help provide funding as part of their community engagement efforts – showing their customers and their employees that they value entrepreneurship and innovation.

And, many of our HUGgees are invited to work with us on creative community engagements. Companies also ask for references of artists to work with and our HUGgees are at the top of our list of recommendations. 

Recent examples are the Creative Entrepreneurs Initiative we developed with Wells Fargo and a space-based grant to embed a HUG grantee in the McColl Center’s new artist lofts for four-month residencies.

Creative Content Development

Three years ago, we started our weekly newsletter The Biscuit, and our social media channels to tell more stories about creatives at work in Charlotte. With arts and culture reporting waning at traditional media outlets, we took up the charge to tell stories of the creators, artists, and innovators who deserved more attention.

Along the way, we developed fun, innovative ways to tell the stories … of our sponsors.

When we work on sponsored content, we start first by determining what you need to say, who you need to say it to and how you want them to feel about it.

We work with you to develop messaging and stories that meet your objectives and ours, integrating local writers and creators to share what you need in surprising ways.

Recent examples are the “Equal Time” videos and the “Partnership Pairing” series we co-created with OrthoCarolina to share their mission by hiring artists to help us share their work in tangible ways.

WHAT IT CREATES.

Everything we do is to establish connections. 

Our programs tap into local creatives to develop delightful experiences and creative solutions to challenges in our community and inside of companies that work with us.

We create joy, a strong sense of belonging, and a deep sense of pride in those we help and support. Our work inside of organizations and companies fuels our mission and the free programs, grants, and promotion we give to creatives who need it to build their careers.

A special thank you to the Charlotte Rescue Mission for sharing the video with us.

Image
PHOTO CREDIT: The 5&2 Project

WHY IT MATTERS.

When people are excited about where they live and work...
When they’re exposed to new ideas and new people...
When they’re invited to jump in and join in…
When they’re asked to share what they know with someone who needs it..
When they’re taught a new way to approach an old idea…
When they’re contributing to someone else’s success and to the growth of the community around them…

When they feel connected and on the team.

they feel at home and welcome. They know they’re right where they need to be.

On the surface, our mission is about helping creatives in Charlotte to be more successful

But, it’s also about helping all Charlotteans to be happy here.

It’s to help them feel like they’re part of something bigger than they are. It makes them feel welcome.

We help keep businesses in Charlotte
to build their future.

And we help s creatives find what they need to grow their business and do their work. And, it helps companies and our community attract and retain happy people.

Collaboration
is key to our
success.

WHO DOES IT?

Our work started with Charlotte Is Creative founders, Tim Miner and Matt Olin. But, it doesn’t end there.

We look to partner with individual creatives and cultural organizations whenever we can. And, we provide opportunities for volunteers to get to work and support local creatives, whether they’ve lived in Charlotte their whole lives or they moved here last week.

While our in-house team is small and mighty, our creative family grows larger every day.

We want you on our team, whether it’s through sponsorship or a program we help you create.


Founders & Executive Directors of Charlotte is Creative

Image

Tim Miner

Co-Founder of Charlotte Is Creative. In his role as Creative Troublemaker, Tim organizes the local chapter of CreativeMornings and manages Queen City Quiz Show, the HUG (Helpful Unfettered Gift) Micro-Grant Program, and The Biscuit Daily Digest with his creative partner in crime, Matt Olin.

Prior to Charlotte Is Creative, Tim was the “Marketing Dude” at Brixx Pizza, Over his 20-year marketing career, Tim helped to shape the modern-day Charlotte brand at Crescent Communities, Charlotte Center City Partners, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tim serves on the Board of Directors for The Isabella Santos Foundations and the Nonprofit Advisory Committee at SHARE Charlotte. Tim is happily married to Kim Miner and has two daughters, Grace and Cate. They tell him daily he's an embarrassing nerd ... but they love him anyway.

Matt Olin

Co-founder of Charlotte Is Creative, a non-profit that develops and runs initiatives such as Queen City Quiz Show (winner of a 2016 Knight Cities Challenge Grant), the HUG (“Helpful Unfettered Gift”) creative microgrant program, and The Biscuit, a media channel covering the immense creativity and inspiring creators of Charlotte.

He also hosts CreativeMornings/Charlotte, a popular monthly breakfast lecture series celebrating the creative spirit of Charlotte and its citizens.

Matt spent the first 20 years of his career creating and producing theater in Charlotte and New York – productions garnering such honors as 14 Tony Awards, 50 Tony nominations, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and more. His wife, Sarah, and daughter, Mirabelle, also love calling Charlotte “home.”