Too often, imaginative and creative projects are held back by reality — lack of funds, lack of awareness or lack of encouragement. Little obstacles can keep big ideas from moving forward.
With the help of individual donors and corporate sponsors, Charlotte Is Creative helps creatives move their passions and projects along by awarding them $250 HUG (“Helpful Unfettered Gift”) micro-grants. These funds aren’t enough to keep a project going in perpetuity, but often they’re just enough to nudge an idea out into the world.
In February, two local creatives — author Kurma Murrain and Greg Russell of .in* and — each received a $250 HUG grant to help them realize their creative dreams. Learn more about them below.
What is Murrain’s HUG Project?
Kurma Murrain is a local poet, author and educator. She’s using her $250 HUG to help with costs related to self-publishing a book of stories and poems, Café, Amor y el Sueño Americano (Coffee, Love and the American Dream).
“The book is a compilation of my blogs and poems, some of them never published. In it, I talk about my experiences coming to America (from Colombia), being an Afro-Latina, the year I lived in China, the pandemic and how COVID brought me love,” said Murrain.
“It is written in Spanish, but I’m already working on the English version to be published shortly after this one.”
How Can Chalotteans Get a Copy?
When published, Café, Amor y el Sueño Americano will be available for purchase on Amazon and Murrain’s live events.
Greg Russell – .in* Comics
What is Russell’s HUG Project?
Greg Russell publishes a black-and-white quarterly book/magazine publication called .in* distributed in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Wilmington and Atlanta.
Currently, he prints 1,000 copies and with this HUG grant, he will increase the quantity produced each quarter.
“Writers and artists contribute regularly and look forward to seeing their work in print,” Russell said. “It’s extremely satisfying to give these incredibly talented creatives a platform for their work. My goal is to get their work in front of as big an audience as possible and pay them fairly for their hard work.”
How Charlotteans Get a Copy?
Give a HUG or Get a HUG
HUG Microgrants are open to both nonprofit and for-profit projects and initiatives at work in the greater Charlotte area. To make a donation in any amount to the HUG program or to apply for a HUG, click here.
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