Whoa! There’s a Lot of Creativity Going On Around Here!
8 Creatives Get HUGGED in April
Every month, Charlotte Is Creative, publisher of The Biscuit, awards local artists and creatives with H.U.G. (“Helpful Unfettered Gift”) micro-grants to help them move their passions and projects along. In April, eight artists got H.U.G.s from us.
Muralist Abel Jackson got a $1,000 Bear H.U.G. to assist in the creation of a new permanent mural depicting a Black Queen Charlotte on the Bank of America Plaza building at 101 N. Tryon Street. Located in the alley between Chima Steakhouse and Tupelo Honey restaurant, this mural’s creation was commissioned to be part of Charlotte SHOUT! Jackson said that painting our city’s namesake as a Black woman had been a longtime goal of his. See above photo of the work in progress.
Seven other artists were awarded $250 H.U.G.s:
- Hasheem Halim will purchase 10 design books for the Derita Design Library, his neighborhood maker space.
- Katrina Cherry is buying body paint, brushes and tarps for a body art networking event.
- Chalice Meikle will source paint and supplies for a 2,000-square-foot mural at the VAPA Center.
- Ismaly Ortega’s H.U.G. will cover the cost of filaments, multi-colored flexible LED strips, wiring, soldering material and power bricks to be installed at the OBRA Collecting Gallery space in the VAPA Center.
- Megan Payne will rent a special camera lens needed in the last scheduled shoot for her upcoming dance film.
- Dylan Lloyd needs the funds to repair a cracked clarinet he plays for events and concerts.
- Corey Lovelace covered the expense of rental space and a pianist for a dress rehearsal and performance of HerStory, featuring performances of new compositions by women composers, on March 31.
The H.U.G. Grant program is funded by the LendingTree Foundation, Google Fiber, Wray Ward and Hot Sake Sound Audio Branding Studio. This month, special contributions from Blumenthal Performing Arts and the Mint Museum also aided in funding H.U.G.s.
Federico Rios Awarded Bolt of Inspiration
In addition to H.U.G. micro-grants, Charlotte Is Creative, with help from the Savage Way and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, also awards a Bolt of Inspiration each month.
The Bolt (a work of moss art designed by the Savage Way) was created to recognize Charlotteans who consistently apply their passions, talents and creativity in service to the community around them.
At the March 31 meeting of CreativeMornings/Charlotte, Federico Rios was honored with a Bolt of Inspiration for his work to make all who live in Charlotte feel welcome and supported, particularly those moving from other countries. Rios has called Charlotte home for 17 years.
Interestingly, March 31 was Rios’ final day serving as assistant director of the Office of Equity, Mobility and Immigrant Integration for the city of Charlotte. A week later, he took up his new mantle as senior vice president at the Foundation for the Carolinas. There, he will provide strategic planning and management for the Robinson Center for Civic Leadership, developing strategy, conducting research, convening stakeholders and communicating critical information with the greater Charlotte community.
When asked about his proudest accomplishment in Charlotte, Rios said, “Establishing the Equity in Governance Framework [for the city of Charlotte] and becoming the first Certified Welcoming City in the Southeast.”
Learn about past Bolt of Inspiration recipients here.
New Sidewalk Mural in Ballantyne’s Backyard
Working with Charlotte Is Creative, Northwood Office hired local artists MyLoan Dinh and Michelle “Bunny” Gregory (a.k.a. The Mural Ninjas) to paint a 36-foot-long stairway mural in Ballantyne’s Backyard just in time for spring events. MORE INFO.
UNBOUND Opens at Charlotte Art League
Last Friday, artist and curator Meredith Connelly opened her latest exhibition, UNBOUND, at the Charlotte Art League. The collection includes more than 50 works from 45 artists, all of whom are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Connelly intended UNBOUND as an experiment in using art as a way to heal trauma. Supported by US Bank, Safe Alliance, the Arts & Science Council and Charlotte Is Creative, UNBOUND was originally scheduled to remain on display through the end of April. MORE INFO.
Final Weekend of Charlotte SHOUT!
This weekend is the last of Charlotte SHOUT! 2023. It features a wild array of local and international interactive art, the Charlotte StrEATs food festival in Gateway Village, local music on three main stages and more. Most events are free. MORE INFO.
See the SHOUT! Letters and Charlotte Crown
Speaking of Charlotte SHOUT!, Charlotte Is Creative assisted in organizing local mural artist and shoe designer, DeNeer Davis, to paint a giant Charlotte crown in The Green, across from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Six CMS art teachers also got in on the act, painting giant letters spelling “SHOUT!” on display in the Wells Fargo Atrium, next to the ArtPop Street Gallery exhibition featuring local art for sale and hands-on screenprinting from MacFly Fresh. MORE INFO.
The Drop Featured in QC Nerve
Many thanks to Ryan Pitkin and the team at QC Nerve for their story on the second gathering of The Drop, a series developed by Charlotte Is Creative and Divine Barrel Brewing. With funds from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Spark the Arts grant, The Drop features the unveiling of a 12-foot-wide mural developed by artists from historically under-supported groups. After being displayed at Divine Barrel for four months, the mural becomes the label of a beer distributed throughout the state. The first mural was created by artists representing #BeatiesFordStrong. The second, unveiled in March, was made by 14 creatives from Namaste Artist CLT. MORE INFO.
After the SHOUT! … it’s Time to BOOM!
BOOM Charlotte is back for three days of cultural experiences at Camp North End April 21 – 23. Featuring everything from performance art to visual art, music and spoken word, BOOM consists of two main components:
- BOOM Fringe – a collection of original edgy/experimental art experiences performed in intimate settings
- BOOM Intersection – the epicenter of the festival, BOOM Intersection featuring a range of live art performed on a covered, central stage
The festival offers a mix of indoor and outdoor venues. See a full schedule of events here. While most activities are free, some require tickets. PURCHASE TICKETS.
The Knight Art + Tech Expansion Fund Reopens
The Knight Foundation has opened the second of three rounds of funding for its Charlotte-based Art + Tech Expansion Fund. This new grant “seeks to support Charlotte artists and arts organizations by equipping them to carry out their work in an interconnected world in ways that engage audiences in innovative ways.” A total of 29 local organizations were granted in the first round. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual consultation workshop from 4 to 5 p.m. on April 18. The deadline to apply is April 28. MORE INFO.
ASC Initiates Founders Grant
The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is currently accepting applications for Founders Grants, a new funding option. According to the ASC, this new grant is aimed at “visionary leaders in the creative sector who are engaging directly with Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents.” Those eligible for these funds may be creative entrepreneurs or founders of grassroots and emerging cultural nonprofits. The ASC intends to award five $50,000 Founders Grants in 2023. The deadline to apply is April 21. MORE INFO.
Beyond Open CLT Round Two Opens Soon
The second round of funding for the Beyond Open Small Business Grant Program, supported by Wells Fargo and administered by FFTC Partners For Empowering Communities, a supporting organization of the Foundation For The Carolinas. Nearly $6 million was awarded to 175+ diverse-owned small businesses and select nonprofits organization in round one. The opening of Round Two is expected in May. MORE INFO.
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