Do What You Love & Pay The Bills
The Business of “Do What You Love”
An Editorial by Bryan Li
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
That’s an inspiring quote we’ve all heard many times. And it’s a quote that Bryan Li, the co-owner of Open Rice, has spent a lot of time pondering. How do you balance “doing what you love” with a business mindset to ensure you can continue pursuing your passion?
This is part of an editorial series from Charlotte creatives about the “Business of Creativity.”
Foundation For The Carolinas Raises $7.2 Million to Support Arts
Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) announced Monday that it had secured 40% of its goal to match $18 million in arts funding pledged by the City of Charlotte over the next three years. This is part of a new funding plan proposed by City Manager Marcus Jones as a result of recommendations from the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Arts & Culture committee. FFTC was recruited by the City of Charlotte to serve as a third-party administrator for these funds, a role historically filled by the Arts & Science Council.
While increased arts funding is exciting to us at Charlotte Is Creative, we continue to have questions about how much input the creative community will have on plans and spending decisions, and what funding will be available to smaller, grassroots arts organizations and individual gig creatives.
With the help of the innovation and strategy team at EY wavespace, we recently convened a group of 43 creative individuals and representatives of grassroots arts organizations to share their thoughts on what is needed to sustain a thriving creative community in Charlotte. Review a report of our conversation here. We’ll be sharing this again in a special Biscuit next week.
Wells Fargo Announces $3.2 Million in Grants Focused on Economic Mobility and Entrepreneurship in Charlotte
At a special event held in historic Biddle Hall on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) on May 6, Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf announced that his organization is designating more than $3 million in grants to local nonprofits in the Charlotte region. With Governor Roy Cooper, Congresswoman Alma Adams and Mayor Vi Lyles in attendance, Scharf explained that the funds would support organizations addressing economic mobility, minority-owned businesses and racial equity efforts with a focus on advancing entrepreneurship.
JCSU, a Historically Black College, and United Way will each get a $1 million grant and the Small Business Resource Center at Central Piedmont Community College will get a $625,000 “Open For Business” grant.
We at Charlotte Is Creative, the publisher of The Biscuit, are humbled to have received $100,000 for a new program that will provide funds for creative projects in Charlotte, as well as business training and mentorship to help them execute their project and move on to greater success. We’re thrilled to be funded alongside our community partners and friends at Aspire Community Capital, City Start-Up Labs, Latin-American Chamber of Commerce, Prospera and the Women’s Business Center (pictured above). We will be sharing more information about how we, and the community nonprofits above, plan to use the funds above.
From Gamer to Developer to … the Sky’s the Limit
Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camps give high school students a head-start on tech careers
“As a country, we’ve approached science and math and technology like it’s nerdy, and it’s not. It’s what will dominate the future.” – Tariq Bokhari
What began last year with 20 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students taking part in a month-long technology camp for high school seniors not planning to go to college has grown. A lot. Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camps’ (YTAC) most recent cohort included 275 high school students – many of them college-bound – who learned how to create their own video games. High-paying jobs await. In fact, they’re already getting high-paying jobs before they officially start their careers.
ASC to Hold Listening Sessions on Cultural Equity Report
May 11 at 7 p.m. & May 13 at Noon
Somewhat related to the item above, the Arts & Science Council is playing host to two online conversations next week about the results of their Cultural Equity Report, which analyzed decades of arts funding managed by the organization. Called “Beyond the Sound Bites,” the May 11 session will be facilitated by Tom Hanchett, Ph.D. and Janeen Bryant. Dr. Ricky A. Woods and Kristin Hills Bradberry will moderate the second.
Off The Plantation: The Emancipation at Elder Gallery
Open through May 22
“[T]here is a conversation that has been ongoing for years, about the lack of representation of artists of color across the board, in those traditional spaces, and a gallery is a representation of those traditional spaces.” – Carla Aaron-Lopez
Last October, a group of artists worked with the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art to present Off The Plantation, a three-day mixture of art and performance that addressed the capitalist values dating back to antebellum America, the “unspoken musts” and the messages of exclusion that still persist. The second part of that effort, Off The Plantation: The Emancipation opened last weekend and features the work of Carla Aaron-Lopez, Dammit Wesley, Fart.PDF, Kiana Mui, Kyle Mosher and Sir Will. All are continuing the exploration of those themes and realities.
Tre. Charles Shares His Perspective in “Stressin”
Charlotte musician Tre. Charles dropped his debut song and video called “Stressin,” a track that “embodies personal and social struggles that (Tre. Charles) has experienced throughout his life as a young black man in America.” Charles adds that the visuals used in the video “are sure to capture the isolation that many have felt through this pandemic.”
The visually arresting video emanates an inescapable sense of loneliness, but the song’s sonic layers — vocals and instruments alike — offer a kind of meditative solace for a COVID-weary world. This track is reflective of what our society needs as it emerges from a year of detachment, uncertainty and grief.
Charlotte “ARTivist” Rosalia Torres-Weiner has turned a private home into a work of art.
Torres-Weiner, along with help from Felicia Sutton (an artist Torres-Weiner has worked with since she was in high school) and Edith Covarrubias, were asked by homeowners in the Elizabeth neighborhood to transform their home into a community work of art. Over four days in April, the artists painted colorful flowers on the exterior of the home while neighbors and visitors watched.
“While we were painting, we were constantly amazed by people yelling, ‘We love it!’,” said Torres-Weiner. “My favorite story is the landscaping guys (who were Latino) who stopped to take a selfie in front of the house. They said to me, ‘We come to cut the grass in this neighborhood and we leave. Now we see art, and it makes us happy!’”
We’re not going to tell you exactly where this home is. Instead, we encourage you to cruise the community in search of this jolt of happiness and enjoy a special treat hidden in one of Charlotte’s most historic neighborhoods.
Don’t go ’round hungry. If you missed the last batch of The Biscuit, don’t worry. We’ve kept it warm for you. This batch featured:
- A behind-the-scenes look at tattoo storytelling program, Behind The Ink
- An introduction to Our New Best Friend: artist Naji Al-Ali
- A speedy, superhuman sketch from Eraklis Petmezas
Click here to dig in, y‘all.
|The Biscuit is proudly sponsored by: