Tag Archives: charlotte

A High Flying Vanguard Event

28 Mar

High flying fun brought the Arts & Science Council’s Vanguard Society to the Booth Playhouse in March.

The quarterly event for Vanguard members featured a special performance from dance group Caroline Calouche & Co. Calouche and her dancers, in their first year as an in-house company at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, perform aerial dance using fabric and harnesses.

Vanguard members enjoyed networking and a cocktail hour prior to the performance.

Vanguard Calouche Preview 019Vanguard Calouche Preview 002

Vanguard Calouche Preview 013 Vanguard Calouche Preview 014Vanguard Calouche Preview 012 Vanguard Calouche Preview 015

Yearly, 1,400 Vanguard Society members collectively give more than $2.3 million to support ASC.

Beyond the intangible benefits of helping our arts and cultural community and enhancing the quality of life for this generation and the next, members of ASC’s Vanguard Society also receive special recognition in the Blumenthal Performing Arts’ playbill as well as special ticket offers, invitations to behind the scenes cultural events, and access to lectures covering hot topics in arts, science & history.

The Vanguard Society is open to donors who contribute $1,000 or more per year to the Arts & Science Council. To learn more, click here.

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.

It’s Spring Festival Time in Charlotte

28 Mar

dragon festivalSpring is upon us in Charlotte and that means that festivals are right around the corner. From Festival in the Park’s annual Kings Drive Art Walk to the Charlotte Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Festival, there is something for everyone in the coming months.

Here is a look at a few of the upcoming festivals supported by your investment in ASC:

Ulysses Festival
April 4-May 19
The 2013 Festival Theme is Brave New Worlds: Technology & Art, and brings the theme to life with interesting lectures, exhibits and performances that use the latest in modern technology to merge the visual power of art with the beauty of music and dance.
Click here to learn more.

Kings Drive Art Walk
April 27 – 28
Festival in the Park presents the Kings Drive Art Walk, the annual spring event held along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway focusing on fine and emerging artists.
Click here to learn more.

Charlotte Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Festival
May 4
The 13th Annual Charlotte Asian Festival is an annual family-oriented event for the Asian and non-Asian community in and around Mecklenburg County and throughout the Carolinas. The festival celebrates Asian cultures, diversity, ethnicity, roots and history. The 7th Annual Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival Race is an exciting team competition. An important part of the Chinese traditional calendar, dragon boat racing originated over 2,300 years ago on the life-sustaining rivers of southern China. The Charlotte race is an open competition to anyone 15 years of age or older.
Click here to learn more.

For more festival and event information, visit CharlotteCultureGuide.com.

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.

Circle de Luz Radically Empowers with the Arts

28 Feb

Radical empowerment, according to Rosie Molinary, is what drives the mission of the non-profit Circle de Luz, an organization she helped found five years ago. Circle de Luz works with young Latinas in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to transform their lives through mentoring, scholarships to further educational opportunities and holistic programming.

CDL 1“One of our guiding beliefs is that exposure to opportunity matters and can be a significant difference maker in a young person’s life,” said Molinary. “One area of importance to us is the arts as our [participants] often aren’t able to enjoy any arts experiences outside of what is offered at school.”

The group, with the help of a $1,490 Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council, is providing those arts experiences through pottery workshops and theatre outings at Blumenthal Performing Arts.

Molinary said participants have gone to the Blumenthal every year, but with the support of ASC, they were able to buy theatre tickets on the orchestra level.

This may seem like a small thing, but Molinary says it allows the participants to have a more impactful experience.

“It brings them into the performance in a way that our balcony seats never could, making them realize that they aren’t just able to access the arts, but they are welcome,” Molinary said. “Moreover, it amplifies the experience of each show in a way that will intensify the magic of each performance.”CDL 2

Circle de Luz, founded in 2008, currently serves 15 young Latinas graduating in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The organization provides monthly programs that seek to empower participants to be more academically successful, encourage them to be responsible for their health and well-being and allow them to contribute to their communities.

When participants graduate from high school and the program, they receive a minimum $5,000 scholarship to help with their education.

“We believe exposure to unique opportunities expands one’s perspective about what is possible in life while building confidence,” Molinary said. “Our goals for the program are to offer our [participants] experiences that broaden their perspective and give them a sense of both wonder and satisfaction.

To learn more about Circle de Luz, click here.

Nominate a Great Teacher Today

13 Feb

Know a great teacher? Of course you do! Nominate him or her for a Cato Excellence in Teaching Award. The award annually recognizes six creative teachers. Each recipient receives a $1,500 award.

2012 Cato Award Winner

2012 Cato Award Winner

Nomination applications are available on ArtsAndScience.org and the deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013.  The finalists and recipients will be announced during ASC’s annual Impact + Investment event this summer.

“There are so many outstanding teachers in our community,” said ASC Vice President of Education, Barbara Ann Temple, Ph.D.  “We are thrilled to be able to recognize those who are excelling in their fields and improving the educational opportunities of our students.”

Three years ago, ASC established the Cato Excellence in Teaching Award to recognize teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching Art, Science or History, or who have demonstrated creative infusion of arts, science or history into the core academic curriculum. The award is made possible through an endowment gift made to ASC from The Cato Corporation.

To be considered eligible for the award, individuals must be a Pre-K through 12th grade teacher working for a public or independent school in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln or Union counties in N.C., or Lancaster or York counties in S.C.

Click here for more information and to nominate a teacher. 

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.

National Arts Program Returns to Charlotte

4 Feb

The National Arts Program was established in 1983 by the National Arts Program Foundation to give artists – young and older, amateur to professional – the opportunity to exhibit their work publicly and to be recognized for their artwork with prizes and awards.

Every year for the past 13 years, ASC has partnered with the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries to bring the National Arts Program to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. The program is open to government employees, retirees and their families.

The artwork at the show was judged in 5 categories by a panel of art professionals.

Routinely, the show is the first time many participants have shown their work publicly. This year nearly 200 pieces of art were submitted ranging from photographs, to paintings and sculptures.

The artwork is on display at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center until Friday, February 22. It is open to the public and free to attend.

Meet two winners from this year’s show, Jennifer Everson (Best in Show) and Kelsey Millet (People’s Choice Winner).

Jennifer Everson:

Kelsey Millet:


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.

It’s Friday, Friday, Friday…

11 Jan

With just hours left in the work day and two full days ahead to do whatever you want, we’re offering our services up to help you out! CharlotteCultureGuide.com is your free go-to source for all things awesome in Charlotte this weekend (quick note: we’re a little biased). There are 36 exhibitions, performances and events in the next two and a half days. Here are a few of those events…

Carrying It On: Charlotte Folk Society 12th Annual Young Talent Showcase
Charlotte Folk Society at Great Aunt Stella Center
Fri., Jan. 11 @ 7pm
Each season the Charlotte Folk Society highlights the talents of young acoustic musicians who are carrying forward our musical legacy.

Science After DarkDiscovery Place Improv Night
Discovery Place
Sat., Jan. 12 @ 6pm
Adults have the chance to make it up as they go along when Discovery Place hosts Improv Night on January 12 with partners the Chuckleheads and Sinergismo. The evening will offer adults the opportunity to take part in improv exercises and games led by professionals in a relaxed social atmosphere full of laughter and creativity. Improv Night is the final regularly scheduled event in the Museum’s Science After Dark series,  which periodically features fun evening events for adults only. Science After Dark explores contemporary science topics in a setting that is part intrigue and part fun, offering the intellectually curious adult crowd a new mix of diverse learning opportunities.

Sister Act
Blumenthal Performing Arts at Ovens Auditorium
Fri., Jan. 11 – Sun., Jan. 13
SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT is reason to REJOICE!

Carolina Actors Studio Theatre
Fri. Jan. 11 – Sat., Jan. 26
CAST presents FROST/NIXON. British talk-show host David Frost has become a lowbrow laughing stock. Richard Nixon has just resigned the United States presidency in disgrace. Determined to resurrect his career, Frost risks everything on a series of in-depth interviews in hopes of extracting Nixon’s apology. CAST presents this political drama sizzling with a hot bed of wit, humor, and sarcasm.

The Maltese Falcon
The Warehouse Performing Arts Center
Fri., Jan. 11 & Sat., Jan. 12
For three performances only, Jim Esposito directs a stellar cast in a 1940s radio show version of the classic film, The Maltese Falcon. Join us for a thriller evening inside the studio where all sound effects and recordings come at ya’ live. Will Sam Spade help his clients locate the treasured falcon? Will murderers and crooks be brought to justice? Will someone–anyone–get the girl?

Family Day
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art at Levine Center for the Arts
Sat., Jan. 12 @ Noon
Art activities will illustrate the methods and materials addressed by Alberto Giacometti whose work is on view in the exhibition “Giacometti: Memory and Presence.” Children ages 5 and older can create oil pastel monochromatic portraits, watercolor still life and pipe cleaner dancers. Interact with art in the collection by participating in a museum-wide scavenger hunt and family-focused tour.

That is just a small sample of all that’s going in the QC this weekend! Check out CharlotteCultureGuide.com for more… and don’t forget to take advantage of your ASC Connect with Culture Card!


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