Compiled by Bernie Petit
Not a day goes by when we don’t celebrate the arts in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
There’s good reason: Arts and culture mean more than $200 million dollars in economic impact each year in our community. They provide more than 14,000 jobs in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
And more than 3 million people attended performances, exhibitions, classes, lectures and films supported by ASC funding in the past year.
But, while the arts are central to our everyday lives, we take the whole month of October to commemorate the arts in a big way during National Arts & Humanities Month – the largest annual celebration for the arts and humanities in the nation.
National Arts & Humanities Month is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. Since 1985, October has been designated to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts.
In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the city and the county have proclaimed October Arts and Humanities Month and commend its observance to all citizens.
So, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Month, we’ve got 30 ways you can celebrate arts and culture locally.
1. Read a book. The 2015 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Community Read encourages us to learn about what we’re reading, but also about the people with whom we’re reading.
2. Discover the Wall Poems of Charlotte. Here’s a great guide.
3. Stop and listen to a street musician.
4. Put your child’s artwork up on the refrigerator.
5. Take an art lesson.
6. Take in a theatrical production. There are too many options to list.
7. Go hear the symphony. The Charlotte Symphony’s “KnightSounds: Bachtoberfest III” pairs local beer with classical music.
8. Snap your picture with a new piece of public art. There’s Dana Gingras’ Ascension in East Charlotte, Jaume Plensa’s Ainsa III at UNC Charlotte Center City, Tom Joyce’s Thicket at Mint Museum Uptown and Hoss Haley’s Old Growth, being installed this month at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Fixed Base Operator Facility.
9. Take a public art walking tour. It’s a great way to get a new perspective of uptown.
10. Plant something. Wing Haven’s Fall Plant Sale happens Oct. 8-10.
11. Explore a local art gallery.
12. Sing in the shower…
13. …Or sing in the car. “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a classic. So is “Nothing Compares 2 U,” though you probably won’t admit singing it.
14. Ask ASC President Robert Bush a question. Our 10 @ 2 Facebook question-and-answer series, which allows our Facebook friends and followers to ask Robert Bush their questions about the cultural sector, returns later this month. Like us on Facebook to watch for details.
15. Advocate for the arts. Advocating for the arts is essential in keeping our communities culturally enriched. Have your voice heard and stay current on legislation that directly impacts you by registering for the free advocacy tool VoterVoice.
16. Stay up-to-date on the latest cultural happenings. Sign up for weekly Culture Picks! powered by CharlotteCultureGuide.com.
17. Dress up for Halloween. Show off your costume creativity, conduct spooky science experiments and more at Science on the Rocks: Fright at the Museum.
18. Buy art from a local artist.
19. Attend a concert.
20. Go dancing. The Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night is a good choice.
21. Involve the family in the arts. One way is by going to Family Day at the Bechtler.
22. Check out a festival. There’s the Gandhi Unity Fall Festival, the 25th Annual Latin American Festival, the UNC Charlotte 40th Anniversary International Festival and Biketoberfest.
23. Make science. Check out the Charlotte Mini-Maker Faire Oct. 10 at Discovery Place.
24. Hoot N Howl. The Carolina Raptor Center combines Dia de Los Muertos traditions with traditional Halloween games and crafts. And raptors.
25. Participate in the National Arts & Humanities Month #ShowYourArt Instagram campaign. Share your cultural life on Instagram with the tags #ShowYourArt, @ASCCharlotte and @Americans4Arts.
26. Learn what Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte is all about. Vol. 14 is Oct. 14 at The Chop Shop NoDa.
27. Stay on pointe. Join Charlotte Ballet for its season premiere, “Fall Works,” Oct. 15-17.
28. Board the ark. Or get swept up in the one-act performance “Noah’s Flood.” Three principals from Opera Carolina will be joined by 100 choristers from The Choir School at St. Peter’s and an orchestra of Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO) instrumentalists and CPCC Early Music Ensemble members.
29. Support the cultural sector. Support culture for all by giving to ASC, give to specific cultural projects through power2give.org and to the cultural organizations you care about.
30. Do The Worm or The Robot. Then head to the Breakin’ Convention at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts on Oct. 9 and 10.