Creative Mornings / Charlotte

Helpful, Unfettered Gift (HUG) Creative Micro-Grant Program

HUGs can be used for a wide array of creative projects, initiatives or businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) in Charlotte. We announced a new set of HUG grantees will be announced publicly at the monthly CreativeMornings/Charlotte gathering.


Apply Now!

Donate Now!Give support to a Charlotte creative!

Charlotte needs creative ideas and projects.

Creative ideas and projects need financial to move forward.

And, the creatives behind them need to know they’re seen, appreciated and supported.

In short, they need a HUG. And, that’s where we come in.

Already Got a HUG?Share your story here!!

“Love Bombs of Cash”

HUGs (Helpful Unfettered Gifts) are $250 strings-free micro-grants – aka “Love Bombs of Cash” – awarded monthly to non-profit and for-profit creative initiatives in Charlotte to help propel the project forward or remove a small obstacle to its overall success. This is real money, making a real difference. All of it is at work today in the Queen City.

Propelling Big Ideas with Little Nudges

Charlotte is an incredibly creative community. A town bursting with passion and ideas in every corner. And, we are fortunate to have a number of generous grants and funds.

But, they can be difficult to apply for and, sometimes, more than a creative need to JUST. GET. STARTED. Sometimes, all you need is a little nudge to move your idea forward.

We asked ourselves, “What if we used a little cash and a lot of love to start as many creative fires as possible as quickly as we can here?” 

That’s how the HUG Micro-Grant program was born.

The Fire Spread Quickly

Our first month - July 2017 - we gave one grant at the monthly meeting of CreativeMornings/Charlotte. It was awarded to Shakespeare in a Chair.

Immediately, two sponsors jumped up. In August, we gave out three. And, it went from there.

Thanks to our incredible sponsors --  Google FiberNoDa Brewing, Wells Fargo and the LendingTree Foundation -- and generous private donations, we’ve awarded more than $80,000 in HUGs to 290+ Queen City creatives since we started.

Today, HUG Recipients (we call them HUGgees) are doing work across Charlotte in the categories below:


If you’re interested in helping, you can donate in any amount. To do so, please reach out to us at

If you’d like to be an official HUG sponsor at the partner level ($300 a month), please reach out to us here.

At this time, HUG micro-grants will be awarded exclusively to projects that can be executed and shared online by June 1, 2020. If your submission is not able to be completed by June 1, please note that in the next boxes below. We will hold it an consider for a $250 grant when current stay-at-home orders have been recinded.