This might sound crazy, but we’re thankful for 2020
Prepare yourselves for a massive understatement …
No one will ever want to relive 2020.
Really going out on a limb there, right? From a rancorous Presidential election to unspeakable acts of racism and injustice, to a pandemic, economic ruin, global sandstorms, murder hornets, fire tornados, flash floods, we’ve all been put through the wringer. And, it looks like 2021 is going to be a bit of an “after-party,” with a great deal of uncertainty ahead. The work is far from done.
And, yet … there have been bright spots. We’ve seen the flashes of Charlotte’s creative brilliance revealed. Time and again, the best of our creative community showed up to combat the worst life has to offer.
At every moment and every step along the 2020 way, Queen City creatives, local nonprofits and social entrepreneurs showed up.
They used their talents to help others. Whether helping to keep businesses or our collective spirits alive, creatives brought their passion to bear. Whether raising funds or raising consciousness (we’re looking at you “Black Lives Matter” muralists), the creative community rose to the challenge.
It’s been our honor to share those incredible stories here in The Biscuit. Thank you for reading. We assure you, creatives are just getting warmed up … and so are we.
We knew that Charlotte is a creative city. You knew it, too. Now so many more people see it.
They see that our local creative community is committed to collaboration. We support one another. We talk to one another. We celebrate each other’s successes. When we can help one another, we do. When our colleagues succeed, we all do.
Our creatives love this city, but it’s not a blind love. They see the cracks. They see the disparities. They see the opportunities given and the opportunities withheld. They see the support where it exists and also where it doesn’t.
The last 12 months have revealed the character of Charlotte’s creative community. We’re here to work. And, we’re not easily satisfied. When we see something we don’t like, we don’t walk away from it. 2020 could have easily pushed creatives apart, but it pulled us closer together.
And, for that … we are thankful.
Tim Miner & Matt Olin
Co-Founders of Charlotte Is Creative
Co-Publishers of The Biscuit
Calling young, Black architects (or architecture students)!
This Camp North End design competition is for you.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The link to the full story was broken in our email last Friday, so we’re sharing this story again, you know … so you can read it.]
“From the beginning of Camp North End, we’ve been trying to … make it successful inside its boundaries, but also ensure it has a positive impact on the community. And the Black Lives Matter movement this summer challenged us to up our game, to think more deeply about how we could make choices that respond to injustice and inequity in our society.” – Damon Hemmerdinger of Camp North End
ATCO, the developer of Camp North End, is holding a competition open to young, Black architects (and aspiring architects) to design the exterior elements of a new restaurant and retail pavilion. Two Zoom information sessions – on Dec. 2 and 3 – are being held to provide more information.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
When Todd Smith became the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s executive director in early September, it was a homecoming of sorts. Smith lived in Charlotte early in his career – when he worked as a curator at the Mint Museum. But he’s lived a lot of places in between his stints in Charlotte. Most recently, he made his home in the OC. He served as director and CEO at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) for the past six years.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in art history and political science from Duke University and a master’s degree in art history from Indiana University.
What’s Some Good Advice That You Just Didn’t Take (But Wish You Had)?
Maya Angelou once commented, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I have gotten better over the years at heeding that advice. If only I would have taken that advice more regularly, I could have saved myself many unfortunate decisions.
We thought we’d add a little extra spice to your Thanksgiving week … and the last week of Dancing with the Stars. (What!?!?! We already miss it!)
The turkey in the oven ain’t the only thing cooking that’s muy caliente right now! Our new best friends, Rodrigo and Wendy Jimenez, professional Latin dancers and instructors, share dance videos on Instagram that are so hot, you’ll need pot holders to handle your cell phone.
Originally from Chile, Rodrigo is an adjunct lecturer in the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte. Since 2003, he’s performed across Charlotte with Opera Carolina and Charlotte Symphony, as well as creating events devoted to promoting Latin culture with his wife and dance partner, Wendy. Together, they dance Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Flamenco and Kizomba, but they’re known for their expertise in fusion styles “SalsaTango” and “BachaTango.”
Their fun, passionate and energetic videos are entrancing, captivating us as we scroll through our feed. And now, they’ll entrance you, too.
Over the past few years, Uptown Charlotte has become a hotbed of mural art, thanks to artists from Talking Walls and many others. In fact, TWO new murals have been painted on the 7th Street side of Duckworth’s and Spirit Square (across from Victoria Yard), one from Duarte Designs and the other from Caitlin McDonagh.
If you’re not careful, you’ll miss the mural above nestled in between them. And, that would be a shame as it is the absolute granddaddy of Uptown murals. It may be faded and a little weather-worn now, but this piece represents a significant event in the cultural life of the Queen City.
Entitled “Man Feeding Poor Man,” the mural has adorned the side of Spirit Square, unveiled to the public on Feb. 6, 1992. It was painted by 15 students from University Park School under the supervision of artist Allen “Big Al” Carter. While in town for a short, three-week working tour, the artist worked with the community to create community murals at local recreation centers, in addition to this piece at Spirit Square. He provided the vision and the students filled in the design according to his instruction.
While in Charlotte, “Big Al” displayed his work in the Knight Gallery and participated in a panel discussion, “Public Murals Through Community Involvement” — which sounds like it could easily be scheduled for next week. Local artists Tommie Robinson, Ruth Ava Lyons and other pillars of the local art community joined him on the panel.
The role of public art in community-building was an important topic in the 90s, as it still is today. And, that’s what we think of every time we see “Big Al’s” legacy on 7th Street.
Directions: 330 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202 [On the side of Duckworth’s]
** Thanks to Charlottean Karen Beach and the 1992 paper, “A Report on an Arts Administration Internship with Spirit Square Center for the Arts” by Karen L. Thompson for information used in this story.
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:
- Information about the creatives impacted by the flooding of LaCa Projects and how to help them
- Thoughts from @CLTBlackOwned about idea theft
- A look at the three biggest creative challenges facing Charlotte Star Room
- A “Who Built Me?” Podcast episode with Greg Jackson of Heal Charlotte
- An update on creative projects HUG micro-grant recipients are undertaking right now
- A sneak peak at a new mural from Georgie Nakima at East Town Market
Click here to dig in, y‘all.
|The Biscuit is proudly sponsored by: