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Partnerships to match artists with public spaces

4 Oct


By Bernie Petit
Communications Specialist 

ArtPoplogoTwo new Arts & Science Council (ASC) projects will provide local and regional artists opportunities to contribute artwork for neighborhood and roadside settings.

The first opportunity is Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership, a community-based initiative, in conjunction with the City of Charlotte and the Public Art Commission, to bring public at to more neighborhoods in the city.

The other is ArtPop, a program in which ASC is partnering with Adams Outdoor Advertising to provide artists the chance to display their art on local billboards.

“This really is a great way for local artists to gain broader exposure within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community,” said ASC Vice President of Cultural & Community Investment Katherine Mooring.

Here’s an overview of how the programs work.

Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership

What You Should Know: Neighborhood groups within Charlotte city limits can apply for public art projects specific to their neighborhoods. Priority will be given to groups representing areas without city-funded public artwork. Five projects of up to

'Pieces of You,' a piece of public artwork by Robert Winkler found in Charlotte's Dilworth neighborhood. (Photo credit:

‘Pieces of You,’ a piece of public artwork by Robert Winkler found in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood. (Photo credit:

$23,600 each – with a total funding of $118,000 – will be awarded based on a variety of criteria, such as neighborhood participation, geographic distribution, the strength of the project idea and the potential impact on community growth.

Role of Local Artists: Representatives from the neighborhoods chosen for the grants will work with the Public Art Commission to select local or regional artists to design and construct public artworks in those communities.

To Get Involved: Neighborhood groups can find applications, guidelines and selection criteria here. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Guidelines and applications for local artists interested in being considered to create the public artworks will be posted on soon.


What You Should Know: Individual artists from any discipline and who live or work in Mecklenburg County can apply at beginning Friday, Oct. 11, to participate in the program. There are no guarantees on where selected artworks will be located; artworks can be placed anywhere in Adams Outdoor Advertising’s Charlotte coverage area and will rotate across available locations on a space available basis. ArtPop installations will begin the week of January 6, 2014, and selected artworks will be displayed throughout the year.

Local Artists Involvement:  There is no cost for artists to apply for or participate in the program. Selected artists images will be reproduced on vinyl to fit available billboards. Twenty artists will be selected to participate in the program through a competitive submission and jurying process. Artists ranked among the top 15 submissions will automatically receive invitations to participate. The remaining 10 submissions will be put to a public vote on from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, with the top five vote-getters to be selected as the final five participants.

To Get Involved: An ArtPop Information Session with Adams Outdoor Advertising and ASC representatives will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St., Charlotte. The deadline for all submissions is noon Friday, Nov. 1.

ASC to L.I.F.T. learning experiences for year-round schools students

2 Jul proejct lift

By Bernie Petit
Communications Specialist

Thanks to the Arts & Science Council (ASC), the learning won’t have to stop for students at the four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools year-round schools.

Last month, Project L.I.F.T. awarded ASC a $1.2 million grant to deliver free arts-infused programming to Pre-K to 8th grade students during intersessions at Bruns Academy, Druid Hills Academy, Thomasboro Academy and Walter G. Byers School. proejct lift

Project L.I.F.T. is the philanthropic initiative to accelerate academic achievement for children in Charlotte’s west corridor. The grant will allow ASC to potentially serve more than 2,800 students at the Project L.I.F.T. schools during intersessions, or two- to three-week breaks, in the 2013-14 continuous school year, which starts July 22 for Druid Hills and Thomasboro and July 23 for Bruns and Byers.

The ASC Scholars Academy will utilize science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM, programming that aligns with the core missions of their schools during time periods when positive gains could be lost, said Dr. Barbara Ann Temple, ASC Vice President of Education.

“Why we’re so interested in this is because it is allowing us to provide opportunities where students are making a connection from their in-school learning time to their out of school time,” Temple said. “Instead of them having this wonderful in-school thing going on for months and then going on break and losing their momentum, we’re going to step in and really fill the gap. And it’s going to be that creativity gap because we believe that the arts are transformative.”

Each scholar will experience four residencies – Visual Art, Performing Art, Digital & Media Literacy, and Writing. A “community as campus” approach will be used to enhance programming. ASC will partner with Discovery Place, for example, to offer a wider range of STEAM activities.

“The Arts & Science Council isn’t going to do this alone,” Temple said. “We’re going to be reaching out to the community partners and sharing with them our plans for the ASC Scholars Academy and how they can perhaps be able to help us achieve our mission.”

Teachers from these schools can apply to fill instructor positions for up to 52 academy classrooms and will be eligible for professional development credits and stipends for each session attended.

“They will be able to go back to school right after their intersession period,” Temple said, “and teach these units of study that they would have seen in action throughout the camp.”

Public art to signify change along North Tryon corridor


By Bernie Petit
Communications Specialist

It’s too early to compare the North Tryon Business Corridor to historic South End, the bustling urban neighborhood south of uptown Charlotte.

But that’s the type of long-term growth public art created in conjunction with the North Tryon Business Corridor streetscape improvement project could help encourage.

The Arts & Science Council (ASC), in partnership with the City of Charlotte and McColl Center for Visual Art, has commissioned artist Sheila Klein to create artwork to compliment the streetscape project, which will include Charlotte’s first Greenroad (a certification similar to LEED for buildings), just outside the I-277 loop.

Sheila Klein

Sheila Klein

Klein will develop permanent artwork, as well as temporary art and engagement projects, to draw attention to the potential urban agriculture center envisioned for the area.

“I think this all ties together and that’s what the community has been telling us,” said Tom Russell, project manager for the city’s North Tryon Business Corridor team. “They want to rebrand the area. We want this to be a destination.”

That’s where Klein, who calls Bow, Wash., home, comes in.  With a background in architecture and art, her expertise is in creating spaces where people want to be and want to see.

Her permanent artwork and temporary pieces in the North Tryon Business Corridor will hopefully serve as a catalyst for civic experiences that would not happen otherwise, she said.

“It feels like the edges are pushing out there and things are being connected,” Klein said. “This is going to be one of those things that threads it all together.”

Indeed, the corridor is poised and ready for growth, said Tony Kuhn of Vision Ventures and North End Partners, both of Charlotte. Kuhn was a member of the committee that selected Klein for the project.

The Greenroad will be located along the corridor from Dalton Avenue to W. 30th Street/Matheson Avenue. The project will be adjacent to the Lockwood, Graham Heights and Tryon Hills neighborhoods; the 30th & Atando and Rosedale areas; and the Intown & Railroad Area – generally bounded by I-277, Graham and North Tryon streets, Dalton and Matheson avenues and the railroad tracks along Brevard Street.

The permanent public artwork will be one of the first physical signs of the change happening in the area, Kuhn said.

“It’s symbolic,” he said. “This is going to be one of the starting points of the revitalization of the neighborhood so we want to make sure residents and the community is engaged so everyone takes ownership of the change that’s coming.”

Klein has already sought out community input to better understand the corridor and the people that live there. She will develop and refine her concept for the streetscape project in the coming weeks. Her permanent artwork is expected to be completed this fall or winter.

“I really try to learn as much as I can about the place itself – the position of the site, the physical attributes, the goals of the projects, the limitations – and then I try to expand upon what is possible and try to make connections between things,” she said. “I try to make an experience that is really special and unique to that place.”

Staff members from ASC and the City of Charlotte discuss the North Tryon corridor project with residents.

Staff members from ASC and the City of Charlotte discuss the North Tryon corridor project with residents.

ASC and the City of Charlotte were awarded a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant to support the artwork and place Klein in residence at the McColl Center through November. The grant supplements funds allocated from the city ordinance that appropriates one-percent of eligible capital improvement funds for public art.

Meet ASC Camp Director Crystal Lail

7 Jun Crystal

By Emily Rapport
Education Intern

Camp Director Crystal Lail would have graduated college with a degree in business had herCrystal roommate not needed a tutor. Lail had a knack for helping her roommate learn the material. “I was really good at helping people understand things in different ways,” she says. Lail switched her major to elementary education.

Now a veteran teacher and professional development leader, Lail is excited to step into her role as Camp Director for the Arts & Science Council’s Digital and Media Literacy Summer Camp. Lail will work with the camp’s master-level teachers to ensure that their unit plans incorporate Common Core standards, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) principles, and the Digital & Media Literacy Essential Competencies.

The camp serves students entering 1st-12th grade and includes three two-week sessions, each with a different theme. Over the course of the summer, campers will tell digital stories about farms and healthy living, create multimedia art about Charlotte’s history and diversity, and build a floating wetland that benefits the environment. Campers may sign up for individual sessions or for all three.

CampStudents spend most of the class day working on units that stretch across the entire two week session. These units, taught by master-level teachers, incorporate field experiences, arts and technology instruction, and service projects. Students also get time for lunch and physical education and an hour to participate in “breakout sessions” of their choice. These arts-infused breakout sessions are designed and led by the camp’s staff based on their own skills and interests. “We have an amazing variety of activities for students to choose from: dance, photography, writing, and more,” says Lail. “Just about any type of activity you could get at a camp that is focused on just one thing, you can do here.”

So why Digital & Media Literacy? “Students are bombarded with media messages every day, and we want to teach our students how to be smart consumers of this information,” says Lail. ASC campers learn how to decode these messages, which prepares them for digital citizenship and modern careers. Campers also learn how to use digital media to tell their own stories.

The camp includes a professional development program for teachers who want to incorporate more digital multimedia in their classrooms. “Our camp provides an opportunity for teachers to be engaged in professional development during the summer and to have a classroom lab where they see theory put into action,” says Lail.

Don’t miss the chance to give your child an educational and empowering summer. For more information and links to registration, click here. Questions? Email Camp Director Crystal Lail at

Have You Visited the ASC Education Network (

3 May

asceducation.orgBy David Currence, Marketing Manager

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) has launched the ASC Education Network ( – a resource for teachers, students and families concerning all things cultural education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  The ASC Education Network is a one-stop destination to find important news, relevant topics, cultural activities, as well as professional development and grant opportunities.

To make navigation within the site intuitive and easy, it is divided into four focus areas: Educators, Students and Families, Teaching Artists and Cultural Partners.  Each area allows visitors to quickly find the information that directly pertains to them.

The site is managed by highly-qualified educators, and it gives visitors access to the latest culturally-related information from Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS).  Events posted on Charlotte Culture Guide, a directory of teaching artists and information about out-of-school youth development programs can also be found on the site.

As an added bonus for teachers, the website also features an educators-only section in which they can upload cultural education lesson plans and discuss relevant education topics in a forum.

“The ASC Education Network is a go to source for information on cultural education in our community,” said ASC Vice President of Education, Barbara Ann Temple, Ph.D. “We look forward in the coming weeks and months to the collaboration and idea generation we expect from the network.”

ASC is proud that its partnership with CMS is strengthening our community’s educational system, and the ASC Education Network is one of many projects that will continue to solidify this great partnership.

The Hottest Ticket in Town

3 May 8511-ASC LevineCenterLogo

GanttBy David Currence, Marketing Manager

In a one-block radius of Uptown Charlotte, you can be immersed in modern art, feel the passion of inspiring global artwork, and explore the many facets of the African-American experience.  That one-block destination is the Levine Center for the Arts (LCA), and thanks to the new Levine Center for the Arts Access Ticket, visiting the amazing museums within the center has never been easier or more economical.

The LCA Access Ticket gives residents and visitors the opportunity to experience the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Mint Museum Uptown for only $20.  Even better, the ticket allows accessto these great institutions for up to 48 hours of the initial entry time.  Plainly, that means residents and visitors not only get into all three museums at a discounted daily rate, but they also get an extra day completely free.  It is most likely the biggest cultural/entertainment bargain in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

BechtlerCurrently, the three museums contain not only their private collections, but are hosts to a wide array of exhibits.  For instance, Mint Museum Uptown is displaying a fascinating exhibit that explores the use of
salt-inspired/themed/constructed artwork called Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto.  Equally impressive, the Harrvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture is displaying a generational exploration of the Gullah/Geechee culture of the eastern shorelines of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida with David Herman, Jr.’s Etched in the Eyes exhibit.  Not to be overlooked, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has the works of Emilio Stanzani that highlight the era in which he transitioned from representation art to abstract art.

Though all of the aforementioned exhibits may sound like a lot, they only represent a small portion of the permanent and visiting collections at each museum in LCA, and to truly experience them in their entirety, a minimal visit of two days is definitely required.  Hmmm, sounds like a good reason to take advantage of the LCA Access Ticket’s perks, doesn’t it?

MintClick here to learn more and get your ticket.

CMS Fifth Graders Find Endless Possibilities

28 Mar

“Endless Possibilities” is more than the title of the performance more than 11,000 fifth graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools experienced two weeks ago – it is a mantra for the arts opportunities available to students in and out of school.

5th Grade Field Trip 145Collaborating on the experience that sought to open the eyes of the CMS students were the Charlotte Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina. The tailored performance featured the art form of each organization woven together with videos from students at Mint Hill Middle School, exploring the arts activities available in CMS middle schools.

Symphony Guest Conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos led the performance. From Johan Sebastian Bach to hip-hop and Latin music, Bairos showed students the adaptability of different genres. The performance from the Symphony musicians had students dancing in their seats.

Singers from Opera Carolina performed various songs from the organization’s winter production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This included the powerful ‘Queen of the Night’ aria and the joyful ‘Papagena/Papageno’ duet.5th Grade Field Trip 151

Incorporated into all of it was the dance of North Carolina Dance Theatre’s DT2 group. Eight dancers showcased varying styles to the music throughout.

The performance won plaudits from students, teachers and administrators alike.

Teacher Kristen Johnson told the Charlotte Observer:

“In class, I used a lot of video clips so that kids could actually hear and see ‘The Magic Flute’ and orchestral pieces,” said Kristen Johnson, a music teacher at Irwin Academic Center. “I could see the kids during the performance saying, ‘Wait! We’ve heard that!’ This reinforces what we’ve been learning for years and pulls it all together.”

This year, ASC is supporting arts, science and history related field trip experiences for more than 120,000 students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In addition to the 5th grade field trip, the experiences, which align with grade level curriculum, have brought the Taraddidle Players out to area elementary schools, taken 3rd graders to historic sites throughout the county, allowed 6th graders to get hands on with science at Discovery Place, and shown 7th graders all the the Levine Center for the Arts has to offer.

5th Grade Field Trip 063ASC’s commitment to restoring cultural field trips was born out of the Cultural Education Blueprint. The Blueprint is a strategic guide for ASC and CMS to better serve students, parents and teachers with quality education resources of the cultural community that align with the Common Core State Standards and the N.C. Essential Standards.

To learn more about ASC’s efforts in education, click here.


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