“Without art, life is just existing.”
Meet Priya Sircar, Charlotte’s First Arts and Culture Officer
“Over the last several months, there has been more of a community conversation going on that’s been really exciting to me, and I hope we can keep that momentum going … I intend to put in the effort to make sure we are hearing from folks who are really representative of the full breadth of the Charlotte community. That is going to help us address some of the challenges.” — Priya Sircar, Charlotte’s arts and culture officer
The subject of arts funding and preparing the future of the creative community in Charlotte has been a frequent topic of conversation within government and arts organizations and among business leaders and individual artists in recent years. One of the most discussed topics is “Who will lead the charge?”
Now, we have the answer.
Priya Sircar, Charlotte’s first arts and culture officer, seems tailor-made for everything this new role requires. She’s the former director of arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami and has spent lots of time in Charlotte.
She has 20 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management and consulting and is a champion for the arts, inclusion and equity.
Oh, and she’s also a dancer, filmmaker, pianist, occasional poet and one-time saxophone player.
The Fuse Project — CREDIT: Brooke Brown
One of Our Most Historic Buildings Is Cloaked in Modern Art
The building that houses the Brooklyn Collective at 229 Brevard St. in Uptown has a proud history … and now it has a new look.
Built in 1922, the building was originally known as the Mecklenburg Investment Company (MIC), founded by Thaddeus Tate. It’s one of the last remaining buildings in Charlotte’s historic Brooklyn neighborhood. Nearly 100 years old, the building has enjoyed new life of late thanks to creative community events arranged by the Collective and fellow occupant, Studio 229.
Now, thanks to artist Kenny Nguyen and Angela Kollmer of Upcycle Arts, the exterior of the building matches the creative vibe of the interior.
Working with more than 50 volunteers and funded by Wastequip, Ngyuen and Upcycle Arts created an art installation of more than 2,200 plastic bags woven together off the corner of the building. The installation, called The Fuse Project, took two months to create and will hang on the building until January.
The work was designed as a companion piece to another exhibition curated with SOZO Gallery – Reconstructing Deconstruction – on display inside the Collective.
“Firsts That Last” Film Festival — CREDIT: Visit NC
Creative Fuel (and Funds) for Fall
Available Grants and Project Opportunities
Creatives always need resources to take that next step. Here are a few open opportunities to put your creativity to work in the community with support and funding.
ONE: Cultural Vision Grants (Arts & Science Council)
These grants are open to Mecklenburg County creatives executing community-based art, science and history programming focused on celebrating cultures, addressing complex issues, building community and more.
TWO: “Firsts That Last” Film Festival
Visit North Carolina is looking for “emotional stories that are impossible to forget, stories that are romantic, raw, heart-warming, awe-inspiring, enchanting, or thought-provoking” for an upcoming festival of short documentaries about a first experience had by the filmmaker (or someone the filmmaker knows) while traveling in North Carolina. Finalists will receive $25,000 in funding to create a 3-5 minute film. The festival’s Grand Prize is $30,000.
- HOW TO APPLY: Click here.
- DEADLINE: Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST
THREE: Artist Support Grants (Arts & Science Council)
Established to help creatives impacted by COVID-19, Artist Support Grants are designed to fund both professional and artistic development for creatives seeking to sharpen their artistic and business skills. Unlike the Cultural Vision Grant, this is open to creatives living in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Rowan Counties.
FOUR: Request for Proposals:
CPCC Student Success Center and Library Art Mural
Central Piedmont Community College’s Mural Commission is seeking proposals for an art installation designed to share the history of the college and celebrate students’ aspirations and ability to “Conquer Possibility.” The work is for the new Student Success Center and Library on the Central Campus. The project budget is $30,000 for a spring 2022 completion. A timeline and rubric are available here.
- HOW TO APPLY: Click here.
- DEADLINE: Sept. 30 by 11:59 p.m. (EST)
And, as always, you can apply for a $250 HUG Micro-Grant from Charlotte Is Creative, sponsored by NoDa Brewing, Google Fiber and Wells Fargo.
“Nested Hive” by RE:site — CREDIT: Brooke Brown
Five Destination Ideas for Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day tends to be seen as the end of summer. But, we’d like to think of it as an “Appetizer of Fall Exploration.” (Autumn “officially” starts Sept. 22 this year.) If you‘re more of a “glass is half empty” type, then this is the last real stop until Thanksgiving. So we suggest you get out this weekend and explore the creative community in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.
Thanks to OrthoCarolina, we’ve shared five creative excursions (with more coming) to choose from. Click it … then head out, walk it and click it again (take pictures and send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org):
The tours above are from a new exploration series sponsored by OrthoCarolina that encourages everyone to get out and walk creative communities across the Charlotte region and North Carolina.
|The Biscuit is proudly sponsored by: