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Where Are We In CLT?

Explore some of our favorite spots in Charlotte. Use #WhereAreWeInCLT to share where you are in the Queen City. Want to see more?  Click here!


"The World Should Know ..." - Meet Tommie Robinson
By Winston Robinson (@bigwilmo1)

Growing up, I never truly understood my father.

This is, until I was old enough to understand how this nation was developed by the marginalization and exploitation of Black creatives. Creatives like my father.

Tommie Robinson is brash, confident and unapologetic about how good an artist he is. When I was a child, those characteristics would often make me cringe. The narrative I was force-fed by the world was: “Don’t spike the football. Don’t bask in your own glory.”

What I had to realize was that my father’s brashness was necessary. It paved the way for me to have the luxury of being more low-key. That’s a luxury he paid for by how he lived his life and how he built his career.

EDITORIAL NOTE: This is just the beginning of the story. To read the rest of Winston's editorial, hear a special podcast interview between he and his father and to read/listen to an original spoken word piece written by Hannah Hasan (@iamhannahahasan) in Tommie's honor, click the link in our bio.

This series was sponsored by the NC Humanities Council (@nchumanities) and created by Winston Robinson, Tom Hanchett and Charlotte Is Creative.


We are excited to announce that we have awarded Elle Walsh of @ellestudioarts $1,000 Bear HUG. She is working with DeNeer Davis (@neerperfection) and residents of the Anuvia Treatment Center to design and paint a mural in the facility's interior courtyard. The work will feature design elements suggested by the community at Anuvia.

Many thanks to The LendingTree Foundation (@lendingtreefoundation) for their financial support of Bear HUG grants. We award at least one a month to an existing HUG grantee to help them tackle a larger, community-facing project.

Learn more at

𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟: “𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆” 𝗮𝘁 𝗥𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗻’𝘀⁣

As a child, Rudean Harris didn’t learn how to smile. ⁣

After the death of her mother, her father moved she and her siblings to Charlotte where extended family could help raise them. Fighting through poverty and bigotry, the family stayed together, but there was little to smile. But, through the kindness of those in her community, Ms. Harris learned to smile. ⁣

Remarkably She opened a restaurant as a teenager. And, for 60 years, she opened her doors, her heart and – often – her kitchen to show love to those who walked in the doors of “Rudean’s” morning, noon and late night. It was a place where, as Rudean says, “...everybody was somebody.”⁣

𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗡 𝗠𝗢𝗥𝗘 𝗢𝗙 𝗥𝗨𝗗𝗘𝗔𝗡’𝗦 𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗬 -- told through the written word, a podcast interview with her and a photo portraits taken by Will Jenkins @sirwilltheartist – at the link in our bio.⁣

Rudean’s story is part of “The World Should Know …” a special series developed by Charlotte Is Creative in partnership with Tom Hanchett and Winston Robinson and sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council (@nchumanities).⁣

𝗘𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. 𝗥𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆. 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝗹𝘀𝗲.⁣

Today is the LAST DAY to view works from more than 60 local artists on display at the Mint Museum. You better bet that LOCAL/STREET will strike back in 2023, but this is your last chance to drink in this incredible array of talent cultivated by @iamkingcarla for this year!

@TheMintMuseum Uptown is open 1 to 5 p.m. today. This installation was created with help from The Mint Museum and support from the NC Arts Council, the Arts & Science Council and Charlotte Is Creative.

A Social Experiment in Fleeting Beauty

Hey, Charlotte … It's Matt. I told my wife a few weeks ago that there’s really just one thing missing in my life right now: playing music with others.

I was in bands for years, including Charlotte bands like Shadowflag (those of you who were around in the early/mid-aughts might remember how serious we looked). And even with all the amazing blessings and joys and opportunities in my life right now, I’ve still found nothing that quite replicates the experience of creating music live with other people. It’s a truly inimitable feeling.

PHOTO ABOVE: Matt Olin with his Shadowflag bandmates, Jason Maner and Ben Jackson, in 2005.

So here’s a mad idea for a new series that I thought I’d run by y’all today. Working title: “OneBand.”

Basically, it would work like this: Once a month, I’d post a three-song setlist. Anyone who wants to play those songs with me would sign up. And I mean anyone. Amateur musicians and professional players; newbies and veterans; hacks and savants. Any instrument; any skill level. The only qualifications would be a desire to play music with others, and a willingness to learn and perform three songs together on a stage.

One month, we might have three singers, four drummers, two accordionists, a pan flutist and a cellist. The next month, we might end up with 14 bass players and a yodeler.

It doesn’t matter, because the simple point of it all would be for diverse, passionate people to come together and create something fleeting and, perhaps every once in a while, beautiful. These days, I think we all might need a little more of that.

Charlotte’s creative community is a ceaseless source of similar inspiration to me. Look at Carla Aaron-Lopez’s LOCAL/STREET, Ricky Singh’s #BeattiesFordStrong, or Shafalee Patel’s Namaste Artists CLT. Just three examples of countless local projects in which creative Charlotteans rally around a vision – to stir their community and to feed their own souls.

What’s not to love?

So that’s it. One setlist. One rehearsal. One performance. OneBand — and all are welcome. Let me know what you think.

Matt Olin
Co-Founder & Emcee of Creativity
Charlotte Is Creative