Winston Robinson Knows His Identity. He’s a Native Charlottean. And, He Creates Sparks.
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Lamar
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.
This is a time for self-reflection … a time to decide who we are today and who we are going to be when “stay-at-home” is over. How has this situation impacted our personal identity … and that of our city.
Winston Robinson knows his identity. He sees the Queen City with clear eyes. He sees the real Charlotte … and he’s working to make it better for everyone. He wants you to pitch in, too.
It’s hard to find someone who is more fiercely proud of being a native Charlottean, particularly his identity as a black Charlottean, than Winston. He is so tied to his community, his nickname is “Wilmo” — inspired by his childhood neighborhood of Wilmore.
On March 6, on the eve of social distancing going into effect, Winston, the founder of The Applesauce Group and A Vibe Called Fresh, spoke to a packed house at the monthly meeting of CreativeMornings/Charlotte. He addressed the global topic of “Identity.” Winston spoke plainly — and energetically — about his life growing up as a black man in the Queen City. He shared his experiences learning about the wealth and knowledge gaps he sees at work across the city. And, he shared his efforts to blend education and entertainment to give people the tools to pursue first-generation homeownership. In fact, in just two years, his annual event at Camp North End has inspired more than 40 first-time homeowners.
Now is the time to see Charlotte with new eyes, to meet Charlotteans we didn’t know before and to put our creativity to work at the service of others like Winston. You can watch his 20-minute video below, courtesy of Charlotte Star Room. You may also tune in for a companion podcast we recorded with Winston after his talk.
If you’re working on creative endeavors to help your neighbors, we want to know about it. Please tell us right here.
All good things,
Tim Miner & Matt Olin
Charlotte Is Creative
Shy Siren Isn’t Shy About Helping CLT Creatives
What’s better than creatives helping creatives? How about creatives helping creatives help creatives? And that’s exactly what Sara Schwittek, one of our favorite creatives in the Queen City, is doing with her brand, Shy Siren Jewelry.
Shy Siren is currently holding a promotion for their new Queen City necklace designed specifically to support CLT creatives. With every purchase of the necklace featuring a queen’s crown resting on a heart, Shy Siren will donate $15 towards Charlotte Is Creative’s HUG Micro-grant program.
Read more about the necklace, watch a WBTV segment about it and order right here.
WFAE Tunes In to PodQuest Academy
We are looking for a merry band of misfits who are willing to go on a quest for the ultimate power… the ancient (Doesn’t 2004 feel like an incredibly long time ago?) power of podcasting! WFAE has partnered with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to bring us the Queen City PodQuest Academy. Joni Deutsch, WFAE’s manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, will serve as “dungeon master” on your PodQuest as you venture into “Podcasting 101.”
The virtual workshop will focus on the basics of podcasting and tips and tricks for how to get started on your own auditory quest and begin sharing your story with the world.
The free classes are on April 7, 14, 21 & 28 at 6:30pm and will take place via Zoom. To learn more and save your virtual seat to a “Podcasting 101” workshop, click here. WFAE is a media partner of Charlotte Is Creative and The Biscuit.
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.
Everything in Charlotte is Our Favorite.
(Except Those Dang Traffic Barrels)
PHOTO CREDIT: Logan Cyrus
Co-Publishers of The Biscuit, Tim Miner and Matt Olin, sat down with SouthPark Magazine just before the COVID-19 outbreak to discuss a few of their favorite things about the Queen City including moonwalkers, wise historians, neighborhood hardware stores, and orange traffic barrels. (Okay, maybe that last one is on their LEAST favorite list.)
Wishing Mom a “Happy 95th Birthday” with Snickers Bars
It’s hard to be apart from our loved ones, especially not being able to celebrate milestones, like anniversaries, holidays and birthdays. Charlottean Micahel Matarazo faced just such a challenge in mid-March when he had to face facts: He was not going to be able to cross the 600 miles between he and his mom for her 95th birthday. He tapped into his creativity for a “sweet” (pun intended) solution and he told us about it 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.
Charlotte Ledger has welcomed a new editor to help them with their expanded coverage.
WFAE posted a story about Queens University offering a $10,000 scholarship to any CMS student admitted to the incoming freshman class this fall. The scholarship will be renewable for up to three years.
Charlotte On the Cheap is keeping close tabs on Charlotte-area companies that are hiring new workers.
QCityMetro reported that Mecklenburg County is considering launching low-interest loans for area small businesses at its virtual meeting tonight.
Charlotte INNO shared insights from two local experts on how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the availability of start-up financing for entrepreneurs.
Charlotte Five offered a photo tour of signs posted at local restaurants across town — those closed and those still very much open for business.
The “Gold Man” knows what’s up. Stay inside. Stay safe.
For a little backstory on Hugh McManaway, the inspiration for the “Gold Man” statue, Nick de la Canal covered it on an episode of WFAE’s FAQ City.
Mert’s Heart & Soul is our favorite spot in the Queen City to fill up with some savory soul food. (We know why it’s called Mert’s Heart & Soul. Because our heart and soul yearn for their food every day.) When we came across this “5 Queen City Recipes to Create While Social Distancing” article by Beth Castle at the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) that featured Mert’s famous Salmon Cakes, we were in foodie bliss.
Don’t feel like cooking? Don’t worry.
Mert’s is still open for online ordering and curbside. So, you can still get the genuine article.
You may be eating on a budget these days, but still want to help the restaurant and hospitality industry. The ultimate “win-win” is some curbside or take-out. As the CRVA says, “Pitch in. Take out.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Micah Brown
We don’t want to encourage you to leave your home, but if you absolutely HAVE got get out (or you’re an essential worker traveling for your job), make sure to look up.
ArtPop Street Gallery allows you to enjoy their gallery from the safety of your own car, as their pieces are on billboards all across Charlotte and the surrounding area. If you need to get your public art fix during these troubling times, ArtPop has you covered because their “street gallery never closes.” They believe (and we believe) that communities need art, especially now more than ever.
For a map of locations and more information on ArtPop, including how to donate and support local art, click here.
This Queen City exploration is powered by OrthoCarolina.
Explore other “Where Are We in CLT?” destinations here.
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