Tag Archives: arts & science council

Civic Leaders Jim and Mary Lou on the Arts and ASC

25 Mar

Charlotte civic leaders and honorary 2013 ASC Campaign Co-Chairs  Jim and Mary Lou Babb talk about the importance of the arts and the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte.

Artist Prepares for McColl Center Residency

1 Mar

Artist Natalie Bork received an $875 2013 Regional Artist Project Grant to support the rental of studio space during an upcoming residency at McColl Center for Visual Art.  To find out more about the Regional Artist Project Grant, click here.

By Natalie Bork

I’m honored to be one of the Regional Project Grant recipients.  The funding provides for my studio costs at the McColl Center during my Affiliate Artist Residency this summer.


Photo by Mark Osborn

I’ll be able to work on my sculptures in a creative and temperature controlled environment. It is also a great location for members from our community to swing by, view and be a part of the process of creating. The space will allow me to create a solid series of artwork to prepare for my museum and gallery proposals – The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh being one of them. The grant will also free up funds to purchase more paints, glass and cutting tools.

During my residency, I plan on using the spacious studio space to work on several of my sculptures at once. The layout of the studio is perfect for ping-ponging between paintings, sculptures and carvings. As I move amongst the artwork, during the process each piece will be informing the next. Eventually a dialogue will emerge amongst the sculptures housed in the studio.


Photo by Mark Osborn

It is my intention to create a set of seven, various sized, hollow cylinders that suspend from a steel cable and float above the ground at different heights. Shaylor Knight will be assisting me with the development and creation of the cylindrical forms. The other body of work will focus on colorful, fused glass pieces that are slumped into various forms and telescope off the wall at various depths. It will still have the same under-lying meaning, “Letting go or Revealing Memories?”

Currently, my body of work explores an abstract approach to painting, concentrating on alternative processes and the physicality of the material. The work combines a two dimensional painted surface with a three dimensional form. The main emphasis of the work focuses on memories which are visually conveyed through layers of paint. Some layers of paint are permanently buried. Other layers are aggressively eradicated leaving only small ghost traces. How much a preceding paint layer reveals itself depends on its impact, both visual and emotional. In this way the works become a vehicle to convey a struggle between holding onto memories and letting go, both in life and art.

To learn more about Artist Natalie Bork, click here. 

It’s Speed Dating Time Again!

21 Feb

We know what you’re thinking, “Speed Dating? ASC?” Well, every year our Cultural Leadership Training Program (a program to train 30 community members interested in board leadership) comes together with cultural organizations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to “Speed Date” and identify good board matches.

NAP and CLT 017

Class members and the Charlotte Symphony during CLT Speed Dating.

The format, not unlike the “Speed Dating” you’re probably familiar with, has class members each given 10 minutes with members of organizations’ board and executive leadership teams to ask questions and be asked questions. It’s an opportunity for CLTers to find what organization they might like to serve with and for organizations to find the best fit.

This year, 30 class members will “Speed Date” with 27 organizations.

Following the session, each side of the table gets to identify top picks, and both sides are matched up.

The program has become a mainstay in Charlotte’s cultural sector, with former class members serving on boards, even some as board chairs, throughout the community. Even ASC’s current board has members from past CLT classes, including Bill Bollinger, metro circulation manager at the Charlotte Observer, and current board apprentice William Hawkins of the North Highland Group.

Applications will soon be available for next year’s class. Keep your eyes peeled and check this out for more information on the program: click here.

The City of Charlotte Makes Its Mark

12 Feb

By Catherine Miller, Associate Director, Workplace Giving

National Arts Program at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center

National Arts Program at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center

The employees of the City of Charlotte kicked off another exciting campaign year last Friday. Employees gathered in the lobby of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center for their First Friday breakfast and were treated to an expo of cultural organizations that are supported by the Arts & Science Council. These organizations ranged from the Carolina Raptor Center with their special guest Estrella, the bespectacled owl, to Opera Carolina, the Levine Museum of the New South, and the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.

The City of Charlotte is ASC’s 5th largest employee campaign, raising over $150,000 annually to support arts and culture in our community. These employees not only raise significant funds, they have a lot of fun doing it. Activities planned by their 28 In house Coordinators include bake sales and art classes.

These exciting events are an example of the enthusiasm that creates a hugely successful campaign for the City of Charlotte each year. ASC is grateful for their ongoing support. They are truly Making their Mark on our cultural community.

The Power of A Challenge

17 Jan

By Laura Sharpe, Associate Director, Community Giving

Sandra and Leon Levine know the power of a challenge.  Their philanthropy is not a one-time gift, but rather a gift that keeps on giving, by inspiring and challenging others to donate.  The Leon Levine Foundation’s Cultural Education Challenge for individual projects on power2give.org, ASC’s on-line fundraising site, did just that.


Sandra and Leon Levine – photo courtesy of The Leon Levine Foundation

The $150,000 challenge inspired 590 individual donations to 89 individual projects.  More than 30 organizations benefited from the Levine’s generosity.  Community School of the Arts is able to provide 1600 music lessons to under privileged youth; English as a second language students at three more  high schools are learning English and photography through The Light Factory’s My Family, Our Stories; and  Opera Carolina’s Opera Express preformed 10 times in Project L.I.F.T. and Title 1 Schools because of the Levines and donors that answered the challenge.

The benefits gained were more than simply funding for the projects they posted but also the introduction of potential new donors to their organizations.  Of the donations received through the site an average of 46.81% were from donors who had never supported the organization previously.

On behalf of all of the organizations and Charlotte-Mecklenburg students, many thanks to The Leon Levine Foundation and everyone who rose to the Challenge.

Changes Coming to Cultural Project Grants

6 Jan

Throughout the year, cultural project grantees increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and strengthen the quality of cultural programming in neighborhoods and towns. From Charlotte Folk Society’s folk heritage events to the Human Triptych Collective’s multi-media dance performances, the grant provides enriching experiences throughout our community. 

ASC-YMCA Neighborhood Residency

Past Cultural Project Grant project

This year, the program will undergo changes, increasing opportunities for funding and altering the application process.

In prior years, Cultural Project Grants were awarded once during the fiscal year for requests up to $7,500. There will now be two deadlines throughout the year for requests up to $5,000. Grantees are eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year. Dollar-for-dollar matching funds are required.

In addition, applicants will be required to submit a “Letter of Intent” and meet with an ASC staff member prior to submitting a full application.

Deadlines for the first step of the application process are March 1 and September 6.

Eligibility for the grant includes individual artists with Mecklenburg County based fiscal agent, neighborhood associations, and non-profits with an arts, science, history or heritage project.

To find out more information about Cultural Project Grants and to apply, click here.

Cultural Festival Grants

dragon festival

Charlotte Asian and Dragon Boat Festival

Cultural Festival Grants, a program in its second year, will continue unchanged. This program provides a competitive process specific to festival support while continuing to increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and quality cultural programming in neighborhoods and towns throughout Mecklenburg County.

Festival grants are open to any Mecklenburg County based non-profit seeking funding for an existing festival (festivals in their first year are not eligible) with a programmatic focus on arts, science, history, or heritage. Eligible applicants are not asked to submit a requested amount for the grant. Funding will be made based on defined sponsorship levels supplied by the applicant.

Eligible projects must occur between July 1, 2013 and June 15, 2014. The deadline to apply for the Cultural Festival Grant is Friday, April 12.

To find our more information and Cultural Festival Grants and to apply, click here.

Heaven Sherman’s Studio 345 Journey

4 Jan

Heaven ShermanBy Glenn Burkins, Studio 345 Teaching Artist

For as long as her family could remember, 19-year-old Heaven Sherman has wanted to perform – as an actress, or maybe as a singer.

In mid-December, just before the Christmas break, Heaven joined dozens of other high school students in a closing-night performance celebrating the completion of Studio 345’s first trimester.

Inspired by the nonprofit Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, Studio 345 was launched by the Arts & Science Council in the fall of 2012. It uses digital photography and multimedia arts to educate and inspire students to stay in school, graduate, and pursue goals beyond high school. The program is open to all high school students in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

Heaven, a senior at Hawthorne High School, enrolled in the 10-week multimedia class, where she recorded her own songs in a custom-built studio and worked with others in her class to produce music videos. But as she prepared to take the stage for a solo performance on closing night, family members who had come to cheer her on were unsure exactly what to expect.

Heaven Valerie“I’ve never heard her sing, other than in the shower, so this should be interesting,” her mother, Geneva Sherman, said.

In Studio 345, Heaven earned praise from her teaching artists, both for her vocal talent as well as for her determination. Just hours before her performance, she was still busy in the studio, working with one of the teaching artists to make last-minute adjustments to her recording.

Heaven said she enrolled in Studio 345 with high expectations – and she said she wasn’t disappointed.

“I actually received more than I thought I was going to receive, she said. “I learned more than I thought I was gong to learn. We experienced new things that I didn’t think we were going to experience.”

When asked what she liked most, Heaven was quick to respond: “The highlight out of everything to me is just being around people who care…people who recognize me for the talent I have…just being in a caring environment.”

On stage that evening, Heaven showed no outward signs of nerves, and she received wild applause from others in her class. But her highest praise came from members of her family.HEaven Singing

“I’m so proud of her,” said her grandmother, Marian Sherman. “She loves acting and signing, and she loves writing songs. I think she will go further because of this program.”

Heaven said her goal is to pursue a career in music.

“I know I have a talent,” she said. “In fact, I know that I have a gift, actually.”

Heaven’s mother said she supports her daughter’s musical aspirations.

“I believe all children should go after their dreams if that’s what they want,” she said. “Shoot for the stars; you might land somewhere.”

To learn more about Studio 345, click here.


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