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


Eight Musicians Work Together to Help Charlotte “Work It Out”

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“Bringing the community together through music to help spread a little love and with the hope the message of this song can reach those who need to hear it most.” – Gillian Zambor

On the same day that Charlotte artists were painting a Black Lives Matter street mural on the 200 block of South Tryon Street on three days’ notice, a group of eight musicians, organized by Gillian Zambor, gathered on two day’s notice to record a cover of The Beatles’ classic tune, “We Can Work It Out.” Many of them had never met before they played together — a testament to how creativity can build instant connections.

Image via Live From The Print Shop

Live From The Print Shop Gives Us Something to SHOUT About

“Live From The Print Shop,” a virtual music series from the minds of Rhasaan Smith and Terance Murray is a harmonious blend of live music, spoken word, screenprinting, video and audio production, and a strong desire to share the creative minds and people of the Queen City. The show launched in May and currently has 5 episodes under its belt.

This virtual concert series has a unique spin. While the artists are performing, Eric Ndelo of MacFly Fresh (the local screenprinting shop where the event is held) is in the background printing a unique shirt that was designed specifically for the performer. The cameras cut between shots of the musicians and shirts being pressed. It’s like two different storylines racing against each other to see which will be done first.

Learn the story behind “Live From The Print Shop” and how Rhasaan and Terance are uplifting Charlotte’s music scene.

The City Green-Lights a Pedestrian Plaza

Back on June 9, 17 Charlotte artists and dozens of creative allies came together to share their talents in the creation of an inspirational “Black Lives Matter” street mural on Tryon Street between 3rd and 4th streets. Not long after it was finished, the City of Charlotte decided to block off this area of the street, so that visitors to the mural could come and view it safely as well as preserve it from the wear and tear of vehicles.

Now the City has decided to pilot a program that would keep this section of Tryon as a pedestrian plaza until September 30th. The City of Charlotte and Center City Partners will assess additional ways that individuals can visit the street mural, continue to enjoy the retail spaces in the area, and encourage people to get out and exercise to better their physical and mental health while social distancing.

To read more about the new pedestrian plaza pilot program, click here.

And, while we’re talking murals …

While murals are having a bit of Renaissance of late, the artists involved are quick to note that they are participants in a long tradition in the Queen City. Last year, Queens University professor and one of the founders of Talking Walls, Mike Wirth, created a visual map of Charlotte’s evolution of hand-painted signs and murals. Click on the image below for an “embiggened” version you can print at 17″ x 11″ size to explore the broad strokes of mural history in our city.

Kevin Malone Says: Chili Cures All

Each week, Matt Olin and Tim Miner, co-publishers of The Biscuit, visit with Kristen Miranda and WBTV’s QC Life team to talk about three creative initiatives or individuals that are exciting them. This week, they shared a special message of support for the Isabella Santos Foundation from Brian Baumgartner, the actor who played “accountant” and inventor of the numeral the “keleven” Kevin Malone, on The Office.

Like many nonprofits, ISF is working to find new and creative ways to fundraise in the time of COVID-19. To do this, they’ve assembled a large team of summer interns who are working in teams to develop new methods to drive attention and donations. One team – the “Cure-saders” – was able to secure the love and attention of none other than the “lead drummer” of Scrantonicity II. (NOT, Scrantonicity, with whom he is no longer affiliated.)

Click the button below to watch Brian’s special testimonial and to learn about the work of Little King Art and Charlotte’s urban sketch artist, Mike Daikubara.

SNEAK PREVIEW: SHOUT! Zoom Backgrounds

So, it looks like Zoom meetings are here to stay. Under the current conditions, we’re all going to be looking at our friends, co-workers and entertainers from the waist up for a while yet. So, it’s time to accessorize.

With the help of Charlotte SHOUT!, we’ve worked with 14 different Charlotte artists to design gorgeous and unique visions of the Queen City you can download and use as your Zoom background to show your community pride. We’ll release them all next week, but here’s a teaser — a South End background by Amber Thompson.

Click here to download this background in 1280 x 720.

BROKEN NEWS! Earlier this week, local nonprofit Friends of Queen’s Park released new renderings of their proposed plans for creating Charlotte’s own version of Central Park on a 220-acre industrial railyard site north of Uptown. While perusing the plans, we couldn’t help but notice our old pals, the Charlotte SHOUT! bunnies making a surprise appearance in one of the renderings.

That caused us to dig a little deeper into the renderings and we were surprised by what we found. It left us with many questions. As yet, we haven’t received confirmation or denial regarding the rumors that the MIB are relocating to Charlotte and taking up residence in the giant globe/earth/ball thingy shown.

And, we’re wondering about how expensive it would be to relocate the ever-elusive “Normie” monster from Lake Norman to 28206.

PLEASE NOTE: Of course, we’re kidding here. If you’d like to see the original renderings and videos proposed by Friends of Queen’s Park, click here.

Saturday, July 11 at 4pm

Artists know how to externalize many of the emotions that we are all feeling on the inside. BOOM Charlotte, in partnership with BLKMRKTCLT, Charlotte Is Creative and The Roll Up CLT, asked Charlotte’s creative community to respond to the racial inequality crisis in our nation and express their emotions in any way they see fit.⁣ Two weeks ago the call for artists was made.

They were overwhelmed with submissions. A one-night event quickly turned into a three-act series and ACT:NOW was born. This three-part virtual event will highlight visual art, literary art, poetry, film, dance, and music. Act I will be held on July 11, Act II on July 18 and Act III on July 25. All performances will be held at 4pm on YouTube Live.

Learn more about the event and see a lineup of Act I’s artists here.

We don’t see many road trips in our future this summer, so we’re going to leave the highway adventures to the butterflies this year. These butterflies get to take an expressway that cuts straight through the heart of Uptown, never has traffic jams, and has plenty of rest stops to grab a snack and spread a little pollen. They’re traveling on the Butterfly Highway!

The NC Wildlife Federation program began in Charlotte in 2015 with a handful of gardens serving as “pollinator pit stops” for monarch butterflies, bees, birds and other pollen and nectar dependent wildlife. The pit stops are home to milkweed and other flowering plants that these critters need for food and shelter to help reproduce. Over the past 20 years, the natural habitat of the monarch butterfly has greatly decreased, reducing the population of the butterflies by nearly 90%.

The Butterfly Highway program was created as a way to cultivate and protect a dedicated network of pollinator pit stops to help our winged friends safely travel and increase their numbers. As of September 2018, there are 30,000 acres of registered habitats on the Butterfly Highway in North Carolina.

This pit stop on the highway can be found behind the Old City Hall on E. 4th Street, directly across the street from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. Learn more about the Butterfly Highway here.

Directions: 651 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

This Queen City exploration was powered by OrthoCarolina.

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 features:

  • An Ode to a Lost Ren Fest by Tim Miner
  • A closer look at the #BeattiesFordStrong Project’s mural
  • A Biscuit Blitz featuring Gau Gupte of Odell Associates
  • A historical glimpse of Charlotte Fire Station #6

Click here to dig in, yall.

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