Charlotte, will you be our Valentine?
If it isn’t already apparent, we love Charlotte. Deeply.
We try to show that love daily in lots of little ways. But, it’s Valentine’s Day. So, today we want to say it a little louder.
We love you Charlotte. We love our creative community here.
It’s not puppy love.
It’s not “Love, ya’ … mean it” kind of love.
It’s not, “Ummmm … Charlotte said it to me and now I need to say it back” kind of love. It’s not that Hollywood Rom Com kind of love that started as “hate-at-first-sight” where we later agreed to be friends begrudgingly and then we became besties and then we had a ridiculous fight based on a disastrous misunderstanding in the fourth act and then we realized, “Oh my … I’ve been in love with Charlotte all along!!!!!”
It’s real love. It’s that “you have broccoli in your teeth” kind of love. That means it isn’t blind. It sees everything.
THE INGREDIENTS ARE HERE.
We hear you. We know we’re cheerleaders. We’re enthusiastic. We’re optimistic. We’ll admit it. But, what will pessimism get us? We celebrate the wins, but we acknowledge the obstacles.
We see the cracks. We see the silos. We see the inequities. We see that not all promises are kept. We see that not everyone is happy. And, we see that for every new development, something established and precious may be destroyed or, worse yet, take another step to being forgotten if we’re not careful.
We see all that. But we also see the potential.
We see a future where – if we put the work in – Charlotte is known far and wide as a beautifully creative city, where innovators and makers and artists of all shapes, sizes and disciplines are welcome and supported. We see a future where you don’t have to have already made it to make it here – a time when creative entrepreneurs start, build, sustain and grow their business here, whether it’s painting on walls or painting with ones and zeros on a computer screen. A time when people want to come here, stay, create and collaborate.
WHAT WE DREAM, WE DO.
Who remembers when the Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau (now CRVA) changed their logo in 1999? Raise your hand.
We do. And, there’s still an aspirational power to the can-do tagline of “What we dream, we do” (created by Elberson Senger Shuler back in the day) that hits us in the heart.
As a community, Charlotte can dream big. And, we have the creative power and talent to make those dreams reality … when the will and the resources are available. That’s the hard part. Staying focused. That’s the part that takes constant vigilance.
And, it means acting, whether it’s as large as the cultural plan the City of Charlotte is developing or a conversation around the dinner table or a cup of coffee about how you can invest in or support the creative community with your financial capital, your social capital, your talent, your time … or all four.
As a city and a region, we have what it takes to support a creative ecosystem that’s envied across the country. Let’s work together to get it done. Let’s make sure that everyone is accounted for … that everyone is invited and seen and heard.
WHAT’S TODAY’S MISSION?
That’s not a “today” mission. That’s a “forever” mission. There’s no “mission accomplished” banner in our future. The reward for today’s accomplishments is a question, “What’s the next mission?”
We love Charlotte. We know you do, too.
How does that love translate into action? Hard work. Frustration. Setbacks. Challenging conversations. Maybe even some apologies. But, in the end, a commitment to doing what we dream.
After all, real love ain’t easy. But, it’s worth it.
Tim Miner & Matt Olin
Charlotte Is Creative
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