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


Captain Jack Sparrow Will Have to Argue with Boba Fett Somewhere Else in 2020

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by Tim Miner

I’ll see no orcs on cell phones
I’ll taste no London Broil
I’ll hear no quotes from Game of Thrones
I’ll put away my fencing foil

The turkey legs are cold
The beer kegs have run dry
The king’s hung up his crown
The jester’s starting to cry

The Tortuga Twins went home
No crossbows will be shot
No mermaids, centaurs and no gnomes
The Renaissance Fest will happen not

This year has taken many things from us. Some of them have been trivial. Far too many have been tragic. One that’s in between is yesterday’s announcement that the 2020 Carolina Renaissance Festival has been canceled entirely. On the face of it, this may seem like a frivolity. It may seem like I’m making more than is necessary. But, for me, this one is personal.

If you want to read more of Tim’s nerdy musings about yearly Ren Fest memories and his serious thoughts on creatives being out of work due to the canceled festival, click here.

Another Mural Blooms on Beatties Ford Road

The second wall in the #BeattiesFordStrong Project is an absolute beauty. If you want to know more about the artists involved and learn how you can participate in the movement, read the information below. And keep an eye out for even more murals appearing on Beatties Ford over the coming month.⁣

This information is from Ricky Singh, a community leader organizing a month of projects on Beatties Ford Road with the help of local artists, organizations and area property owners:

“An African proverb says that if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.⁣ The 2nd wall of the #BeattiesFordStrong project is under way and there’s no stopping the movement.⁣ If you want to GO TOGETHER with us, DM @mrrickysingh [on Instagram]. If you want to see and follow the movement, check @acjphoto for photos.⁣”

Artists involved in this project:

Asa Kryst’s Visions of Charlotte Seen in LA

Creatives lead the way! Amazon has contracted with Charlotte Photographer, Asa Kryst, to use an image he took during the recent demonstrations here in the Queen City for an Amplify Black Voices campaign they are running in Los Angeles. There are at least 8 billboards up now right now. Kryst thinks there may be more.

Kryst grew up in Fort Mill before moving to Columbia and Australia. He returned to the Queen City three years ago and says, “I love it here! Always have and will consider it my home.”

See Asa Kryst’s original post and follow him on Instagram.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sharon Dowell

This Air Stream Needs a Name

She Built This City is committed to giving young women the tools to build Charlotte’s future… literally. After 20 years in the construction industry and often being the only woman in the room, Demi Knight Clark founded the non-profit organization as a way to get women and girls aged 9-17 interested in construction and trade work.

After COVID-19 struck and the organization’s summer camps were canceled, Demi got creative. If the community couldn’t come to her, then she would just have to take her organization into the community. This line of thinking resulted in the purchase of an Air Stream and its subsequent conversion into a mobile lab. Starting in July, the Mobile Tool Lab (Powered by Generation T) will carry She Built This City’s mission and education far and wide throughout the community. The lab is ready to roll but she needs one more thing… a name!

Read more on the ways the Mobile Tool Lab aims to create an impact and how you can help choose her name.

Creativity Is Still Pulling Into Dilworth Artisan Station

The Dilworth Artisan Station’s hundred-year-old building on East Kingston is known for being packed with creativity every day. Before COVID-19, 24 artists were paying rent and putting out their art for sale in their studios. Now, according to painter Paul Hastings (known as “Mayor” by his creative colleagues), only about six are leaving home to come into the studio to work.

Read about three artists whose creative fire won’t be quenched by the current conditions.

Gau Gupte Takes Matt to the Ballpark (Figuratively)

Gaurav (Gau) Gupte is a Principal at Odell Associates, and his talent as a designer and architect can be seen all along the East Coast. During his two decades (and counting) as a Charlottean, this self-proclaimed introvert has been making his mark on our city as a creative and as a leader — from serving on the city’s Public Art Commission to serving as a board member for many organizations.

On this batch of the Biscuit Blitz, Matt blitzes Gau about the pandemic’s impact on his field, and about the role of public art during our community’s most challenging times. But, the real Barbara Walters moment comes when Gau is asked what it’s like to see his celebrated architectural baby — the Charlotte Knights’ AAA Minor League Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte — sitting empty during the Summer of Social Distancing. Spoiler Alert: “It looks a little lonely.”

Diversity On and Off the Stage
Online Monday, July 13 at 7pm

Next Monday, the Charlotte theatre community is taking part in a virtual conversation, organized by Queen City Comedy, about discuss diversity in the local arts community. They will touch on topics and delve deeper into how our Charlotte arts community can implement and ensure sustained changes not only on our stages, but also in our everyday lives. Partners include Open Cage Productions, Blumenthal Performing Arts, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, NC Dance District, Inspire the Fire, and Brand New Sheriff Productions.

To RSVP and register for the zoom link, click here.

All we can say is, if you see “Snippy” AKA “Mr. Pookie,” please tell him he is missed and somebody loves him very much. We recommend starting with his known associate, Frankie Pebbles.

If you asked us to name the most iconic firehouse of all time (we know you didn’t ask but please humor us), we’d say the Ghostbusters headquarters. BUT if you asked us to name the most iconic firehouse in the Queen City, we’d say Charlotte Fire Station #6.

The charming (it’s not every day you call a firehouse charming) station was built in 1928 in a pre-depression era Charlotte. As the city was expanding outwards from the Center City, Charlotte needed new fire stations to provide fire safety in newly developed neighborhoods. Once the Eastover, Myers Park, Crescent Heights, and Elizabeth neighborhoods were annexed as suburbs in 1928, the station was built to serve these newly added areas.

Charlotte Fire Station #6 was designed by renowned North Carolina architect Charles C. Hook who designed many notable buildings in our city that are still around today (including the Gateway and Century Buildings).

It is one of three fire stations designed by Hook in the late 1920s under an expansion program initiated by Charlotte Fire Chief Hendrix Palmer. Palmer served as Fire Chief for 21 years until 1948 and was widely heralded as a progressive innovator in the world of firefighting. He helped Charlotte reach a nationwide level of admiration for firefighting leadership in the 30s and 40s.

Directions: 249 S Laurel Ave, Charlotte, NC 28207

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:

  • A Wet Paint introduction to artist Jen Hill AKA 2Hills
  • A look back at June from Matt Olin
  • An interview with Henry Rock of City Startup Labs
  • A “Who Built Me” story from Eric Ndelo
  • A performance from Charlotte Symphony flutist Erinn Frechette

Click here to dig in, yall.

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