@CLTBlackOwned Has Purpose, Passion and a Plan
“We really are in this to serve others and support and highlight their business so it can increase their sales.” – Ashley Creft
Amidst demonstrations about the death of George Floyd, discussions of how to dismantle systemic racism, ensure conversations don’t die, bring about meaningful policy change and create more opportunity Black entrepreneurs and creatives, many of us have been left asking, “What do I do? How do I help?” Charlotteans Jeff and Maddy Carothers and Ashley Creft were there, too.
And, they had an idea: Support Black-Owned Businesses.
Others had similar thoughts, but Maddy, Ashley and Jeff went to work. On May 31, they launched @CLTBlackOwned on Instagram with the message below. They had no idea what would happen next.
The trio set an initial goal of getting 1,000 followers on Instagram they could use to promote Black-owned Charlotte businesses. This one post blew up and they reached 10,000 in under a week and have been using their audience to profile a new business every day.
Read more about what @CLTBlackOwned is doing right now and what they’re planning for the future.
Biscuit Blitz: 5 Minutes with Melody Gross
Melody Gross is a communications strategist, a speaker, a coach for women who have suffered domestic violence and a mom. And, she quit her job to start her own company on December 31. She’s struggling with COVID-19 as the rest of us are. She has her moments, but she hasn’t let it keep her from moving forward. On this batch of The Biscuit Blitz which was recorded a few weeks ago, Melody chats with Matt Olin about staying sane, helping others, listening for what’s not being said and her longing to gather with others and give out hugs.
Take five minutes and watch this. We guarantee you’ll want to give Melody a hug, too. She’s a brilliant creative who has been making Charlotte a better place for years.
The Racial Wealth Gap is Real
As if to bring the story of @CLTBlackOwned into perspective, Ely Portillo, Assistant Director at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, posted the graph above today, Juneteenth, to remind all of us of the real financial disparities that continue to exist in the United States. This shows exactly why it is critical to support Black-owned businesses and support entrepreneurs of color.
On a day that should be about freedom, this reminds us of the very real financial bonds that continue to exist in our country. Please click here or the image to read the reports that complement this graph.
Opera Carolina Presents Juneteenth | A Vision of Equity and Inclusion
Friday, June 19 @ 6PM
Tonight from 6-7PM, Opera Carolina will be streaming iStream: Juneteenth | A Vision of Equity and Inclusion. Performed by resident artists, they will share their diverse perspectives and reflect on what Juneteenth means to them. Featuring Opera Carolina Resident Artists: Jonny Kaufman, Jennifer Wiggins, Lauren Russell and Johnnie Felder. Click here to learn more about the event and how you can watch.
And, speaking of Jen Wiggins …
SHOUTing from the Rooftops with Jennifer Wiggins
When COVID-19 gets you down, sometimes you just have to sing. In this edition of our neighborhood performance series, “SHOUTing from the Rooftops,” Mezzo-soprano opera singer Jen Wiggins with Opera Carolina performs ‘When I am Laid in Earth’ from her open window. Her song will move you today and leave you ready for creatives of all kinds to take over the city during Charlotte SHOUT!
Tosco Music Is Hosting Their Next Party in Your Living Room
Saturday, June 20 @ 8PM
With the success of the first Tosco Music Party – From Our Living Room to Yours raising over $20,000 for area musicians, a second virtual party is hitting the airwaves tomorrow night at 8PM. Local, regional, and nationally touring talent will be featured and as always, Tosco Music Party highlights various music styles and performances. To learn more about the event, how you can donate, and the lineup of musicians, click here.
The local media community is working incredibly hard to provide accurate, uplifting and actionable information to assist with the new realities we face. Here are some stories from this week we think are worth your time.
WFAE connects with Greg Collier, the James Beard award-nominated chef and owner of Leah & Lousie, to discuss why “food has always been activism.”
WBTV reports on Mayor Vi Lyle’s proclamation to officially declare June 19 as Juneteenth in the Queen City.
QCityMetro covers how the Mint Hill-based Silver Shield Security is handling its sudden spike in business. Many are turning to the Black-owned security company after canceling contracts with CPI Security due to comments made by CPI’s CEO Ken Gill.
The Charlotte Ledger shares how salespeople in Crown Town are adjusting to “selling in a time of social distance.”
The Block introduces us to Queen City creative Arial Robinson and her extraordinary photo series called “The Black ABCs.”
Charlotte on the Cheap keeps us in the loop on Juneteenth celebrations happening today and later this weekend.
The Charlotte Post shared the story of Kayden Hunt, the Ardrey Kell High School graduate whose Black Lives Matter painting on the school’s rock was vandalized … and restored.
We aren’t sure what the record for the largest team of artists to work on one project in Charlotte is, but we think this piece at 5200 Park Selwyn is a strong contender for the crown.
The stunning mosaic titled “Unfurled” is a combination of mosaic pieces from over 52 international artists. With support from 23 grouters/installers and 39 financial contributors, this feels like an Avengers: Endgame level of collaboration.
“Unfurled” was conceived and managed by Charlotte-based mosaic artist Pam Goode and designed by Lin Schorr of Michigan. Here is what Pam had to say about the project:
“The goals were to provide artists with a public art portfolio piece and to educate the public on the impact of large scale glass mosaics.
Artists were invited to showcase their individual style, adding tremendously to the dynamic presence of the mural. Consequently, the mosaic is filled with unexpected elements that capture the imagination and inspire viewers. We love to play ‘can you find the …’ with visitors!”
Click here to see a full list of everyone who participated in the creation of the mosaic.
Directions: 5200 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209
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 video by Charlotte Star Room on the creation of Charlotte’s Black Lives Matter mural
- A photo gallery from Jim Dedmon showing “Visions of the Not Normal” in Matthews
- A call to create from BOOM Charlotte
- An animated conversation with Charlotte artist Taylor Lee
- A Twist & SHOUT cocktail recipe video with Stefan Huebner
Click here to dig in, y‘all.
|The Biscuit is proudly sponsored by: