The Biscuit: Exploring Charlotte's Creative Community
Exploring Charlotte’s Creative Community


A New Wave of Architects Shaping Camp North End

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Camp North End Announces 4 Winners of Emerging Black Architects Design Competition

“All the designs we selected were grounded in our specific place. Some designers took inspiration from the neighborhood, some from graphics on-site and others from the heritage of some of the residents of the North End. But in one way or another, all found a way to make a design that is specific to this site.” – ATCO Properties’ Damon Hemmerdinger

Last fall, ATCO Properties & Management launched a competition for Black architects, designers and architecture students to design facades for new pavilions to be built at Camp North End.

In a Biscuit exclusive, ATCO reveals the four winners of the competition. Each earned a cash prize – and will get to see their designs come to life.

See their designs and meet the four winners here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo above from Mike Anthony

What’s The Future of Live Performance in Charlotte? – Part Two

It’s a new year. But, COVID is still here. While the desire to watch live performance is acute, some days it feels very far away.

That led us to ask: What’s the future of live performance in Charlotte?

To help us look ahead, we asked a diverse collection of performers and organizations to tell us what they’ve planned for the immediate future and what they think lies ahead. This week, we hear from:

  • JazzArts Charlotte
  • Three Bone Theatre
  • XOXO
  • Lauren Ansley Comedy Productions
  • Caroline Calouche & Co.

What are these creatives planning? Explore their answers here.

We’re Huggers (and Our HUGs Just Got Bigger):
Three Local Creatives Get $1,000 Grants for 2021 Projects

Sometimes, all it takes to get a great idea moving is a little nudge. That was the guiding principle when Charlotte Is Creative, publisher of The Biscuit, established the HUG (Helpful Unfettered Gift) program — $250 microgrants designed to help creative Charlotteans nudge a creative project forward.

Since 2017, these relatively small donations fueled a wide array of innovation from nearly 250 different Charlotteans. Now, thanks to a donation from the COVID-19 Relief Fund, Charlotte Is Creative is offering a limited number of $1,000 “Bear HUGs.”

Previous HUG grantees were encouraged to apply for the first round of “Bear HUGs” at the end of 2020. William McNeely, Bree Stallings and Demi Clark have won the first three.

Read how these creatives plan to out their funds into action.

VIDEO: Equal Time – Five Mesmerizing Minutes of Mandala from Harvi Panchal

OrthoCarolina has rolled out an online system designed to help patients make an appointment in minutes. Five minutes, to be exact. That got us wondering. What could Charlotte creatives make in five minutes?

It turns out that when mixed media artist Harvi Panchal picks up a paintbrush, she can create a beautifully intricate design in less than five minutes.

With experience as a software test engineer, Panchal wields science in one hand … and art in the other. She was born in India and moved to Charlotte about a year and a half ago with her husband. Now, she’s a full-time artist. We challenged Panchal to a five-minute creative challenge … and we were completely hypnotized by her process.

Watch it in full speed and time-lapse by clicking the button below.

This 5-minute creative sprint was powered by content sponsor OrthoCarolina. Use their new online appointment system here.

5 Ridiculous Questions with a (Former) Charlottean We Love

Conrad Ricamora: Actor, Singer, Grits Hater

Conrad Ricamora has starred on a hit TV show, in a Lincoln Center revival of The King and I and in Here Lies Love, Fatboy Slim and The Talking Heads’ David Byrne’s “poperetta” musical – in which the audience takes part – that played at New York’s Public Theater. (That’s where Hamilton played before moving to Broadway.)

Ricamora may divide his time between New York and L.A., but he got his start here in Charlotte as a student at Queens University and an open mic night at The Evening Muse. He’s a man in demand (he was just on an episode of The Resident last week), but he took time to be in Charlotte over the holidays and played a VERY private concert at Queens. We tracked Conrad down for five ridiculous questions … and three serious ones.

Read his answers — and find out, which mayonnaise he thinks is the best — here.

Hats Off to Our New Best Friend — Demond Richardson

Jan. 15 was National Hat Day, and in anticipation of that, we put out the call on social media: Who’s the best custom hat designer in Charlotte? Who creates the coolest crowns in the Queen City?

Thanks to you, we’ve made a new best friend.

We got an avalanche of comments. And, more than 100 of them suggested the same name: Demond Richardson of Firestone Valley Customs! Richardson is a Charlotte native with a background as an attorney focused on human rights and sustainability. That expertise informs his role as a sustainability and human rights consultant for Wells Fargo. And, it also guides his hat-making process. How exactly did Richardson fall in love with making custom hats?

Click here and read more about the King Haberdasher of the Queen City.


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:

  • An enchanting five minutes of musical magic from Noel Freidline & Maria Howell
  • A look at how The Artisan’s Palate’s Christa Csoka fuses food and art
  • And more!

Click here to dig in, yall.

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