We don’t care about Social Distancing. We wanna’ HUG you.
Now is the time to know ourselves and to know our neighbors. It’s the time to realize that EVERYONE in Charlotte is our neighbor. Everyone has a right to be here. And, everyone is hurting.
Since 2016, HUGs (“Helpful Unfettered Gifts”) have been $250 strings-free micro-grants – aka “Love Bombs of Cash” – awarded by Charlotte Is Creative each month to nonprofit and for-profit creative initiatives in Charlotte. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the artists and creatives of Charlotte, we are adapting the HUG Program to meet their evolving needs. For now, HUGs will be $100 each with the goal of spreading out these financial resources to help even more artists during this challenging time. Furthermore, any HUG-funded project supported during this pandemic must be able to be shared, enjoyed, consumed or engaged with online within the next few months. We will also seek PR opportunities for their projects or their business with our established media partners (WBTV and WFAE) and other media, as well as giving them coverage in our online media channel, The Biscuit.
We are confident that if Charlotte artists are encouraged and empowered to keep creating throughout this international health crisis, their essential role in our society will be even more established once we emerge from the pandemic. We must invest in artists today so that their futures are assured tomorrow.
All good things,
Tim Miner & Matt Olin
Charlotte Is Creative
@CLT_laid_off_locals Puts a Face on COVID-19 Unemployment
When Charlottean Jen Withrow lost her job due to the COVID-19 outbreak, she wasn’t sure what to do. But, she soon realzied she wanted to help tell the stories of other Queen City residents in a similar situation. She asked her friend, Courtney Lowe, to help out and @CLT_laid_off_locals was born.
“We knew that this pandemic-imposed quarantine would cause a lot of people to be out of work, but we could not anticipate how quickly this page would take off,” said Jen. “Now, running the Instagram and Twitter has become a full-time job for both of us.”
Click here to Jen’s own account of what happened next.
20 e-Sports and Game Development Apprenticeships Available for CMS Students
PHOTO CREDIT: Carolina Fintech Hub
The Carolina Fintech Hub and Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, in partnership with the Bank of America Foundation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the City of Charlotte have pushed up plans to offer a first-of-its-kind workforce training program for CMS students called Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp.
Youth are encouraged to apply now for one of 20 available spots for thi program, which will combine “e-sports competition and game development, with a custom development curriculum that exposes high school students not planning to head to a four-year university to a career pathway in technology.”
Applications are open now and are due on April 17.
Building for the Day We Can All Play … Together
PHOTO CREDIT: KaBOOM!
KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that works to end playspace inequity, is offering funding for a playground build the Charlotte area. The funds are slated for a September playground build. Applications are requested by the end of April, but it is possible the deadline will be extended due to COVID-19. Groups interested in applying for funds to build a playground should apply here.
Thank you to Charlotte Community ToolBank for sharing this information.
The Mecklenburg County Launches two Funds for Small Businesses
At its April 7 meeting, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners established two new counds to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The funds were created through the County’s partnerships with Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Centralina Council of Governments.
The two funds are the $5M Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund and the $1M Micro Business Stabilization Fund. To expedite the impact of these funds on local businesses, Mecklenburg County has developed a simplified application process and will disburse approved payments within 10 days of a completed application.
Read more about these funds and apply here.
We’re collecting links to creative events and resources popping up all over the Queen City. If you’re ready to press “pause” on Netflix, check out our calendar of creative online events. Here are a few we’re really excited about.
Ab’strakt – A Virtual Reception by Charlotte Art League
Friday, April 10 at 6pm
Charlotte Art League knows you can’t come to them for an art exhibition, so they’re bringing it to you. This is our first on line exhibit. Starting at 6pm tomorrow, the League is hosting a live event at www.charlotteartleague.org, allowing attendees to view the work, learn about the artist, leave questions and purchase pieces. The exhibit will remain online for a month.
Applications for CATCh Sweded Film Festival
Due April 14, 2020
We’ve all been watching a lot of movies in quarantine, but have you thought about making one? The Comedy Arts Theater of Charlotte (CATCh) is challenging you to harness your #CreativityInCaptivity for their “Sweded Film Festival, a film fest that anyone with a cell phone camera and a creative spirit can join.” Participants are asked to re-make their favorite feature films using only the people and props they have with them in quarantine. Here are examples of famous “sweded” movies.
So be bold and say yes to this creative challenge. Submissions are due by April 14, 2020. Click here for more information.
CreativeMornings/Charlotte Goes Virtual on “Purpose”
Friday, April 17 – 8:30-10am
Where is CreativeMornings this month? It’s at your house! We sure hope you have enough room for us and 400 of our closest creative pals.
With the help of Skookum, Zoomapalooza — CreativeMornings/Charlotte’s first-ever digital event — Will take place on Zoom. The event will explore the global topic of “Purpose.” The event will feature a mix of some of the regular features of CM/CLT, like live music, games and micro-grants, but make extensive use of breakout rooms, to allow attendees to explore the topic together and make new friends.
The event is on Friday, April 17 at 8:30am. Tickets go live Monday, April 13 at 9:00am. When the time comes, register here!
Extravaganza Events Thanks Charlotte Healthcare Heroes
No one will argue that the medical professionals on the frontlines of the heroes. But, Charlotte-based Extravaganza Events is taking it to the next level, by creating Superhero standees to show their thanks.
“We started brainstorming ideas last week of something we could do to bring a little light to our community,” said Parks Thompson, Marketing/Creative Director for Extravaganza Events. “Novant and Atrium are two of our favorite clients, so we thought who better do something for than those who truly are on the front lines of all of this.”
“It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation to the real heroes of our community and hopefully put some smiles on the faces of our #CLTHealthcareHeroes.”
Extravaganza worked with Delargey’s Print Solutions to create the standees, which have already been placed at 8 Charlotte-area healthcare facilities. The company is also planning to share images of medical professionals at work in the Charlotte area on social media twive a week. They invite you to nominate a healthcare worker you know by using the hashtag #CLTHealthcareHero and tagging @extravaganzaevents. They’d also appreciate anyone who wants to contribute to the effort.
“We depend on each other to make it a better place …”
When you’re ordered to stay at home, where do you go if you have no fixed home? While COVID-19 has forced the team at Crisis Assistance Ministry to temporarily close their facility, they are continuing to serve at-risk families in Charlotte, especially those in danger of being evicted. Crisis Assistance has produced videos of people they’re helping, like Tangejula, who suffers from COPD and now has a safe place to stay.
About her experience, Tangejula said: “At the end of the day, we depend upon each other to make it a better place. If that is not done, we’re all going to fall. Let’s all rise.” Read more about Tangejula’s story and watch her video.
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.
QCMetro shared that African-Americans compose more than 50% of the COVID-19 fatalities in Mecklenburg County. This is a sobering report, but important for everyone to read and know.
A few days ago, Charlotte Ledger wrote about the experiences of a Charlotte-area photographer, Kelly Chalmers Carter, who is chonicling the impact of COVID-19 in her neighborhood.
WFAE has launched Songversations, live performances by Charlotte-area musicians every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, featuring conversations between the artist and host Joni Deutsch.
QC Life gave us all reason to be excited about the future by reporting on the announcement of the upcoming season at Blumenthal Performing Arts.
You’ve All Heard the News … We’re Sweeping Up the Crumbs
We’ve decided that the news is way too serious these days. Just like Mary Poppins, we believe “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” But what if the medicine didn’t taste so bad in the first place?
That’s why we’ve started our own news segment called “The Biscuit News Crumbs!” We’ll bring you all the hard-hitting stories of Charlotte happenings and Queen City creatives with our own unique spin to hopefully get you laughing, with some real stories about Charlotte’s creativity and kindness sprinked in! After all, laughter is the best medicine. Watch the first episode on our IGTV here.
Our buddy, CMS teacher and past HUG Micro-Grant recipient, Benjamin Hurst of Ben’s Plant Based Kitchen, is an incredible source of health, inexpensive, easy and … most importantly … tasty recipes. And, he shows you just how to make them on his high entertaining YouTube channel.
This week, he dropped a reciupe for Black Bean Soup that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for herbivores and omivores alike. Watch Ben’s video for a recipe and instructions here.
Charlotte Mecklenberg Libraries may be closed for the time being (except for their wide variety of digital resources, which we hope you take full advantage of) but there are still dozens of ~much smaller~ libraries in full operation all across the Queen City.
Next time you go for a neighborhood stroll, keep your eyes open for one of these tiny birdhouse-esque buildings and you’ll find a small assortment of books ready and waiting to be read. Pick up a book to take home or pay it forward by adding a few from your personal collection. These little free libraries are a part of a very appropriately named nonprofit, Little Free Library.
This blue jay inspired Little Free Library can be found on a section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway at the corner of Westfield Road and Fieldbrook Place just behind Park Road Shopping Center. Click here to find a Little Free Library near you.
Be sure to wipe down any books and wash your hands when you get home!
This Queen City exploration is powered by OrthoCarolina.
Directions: 3327 Westfield Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209
Explore other “Where Are We in CLT?” destinations here.
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