Twenty-four groups and individuals receive a combined $136,300 in funding for cultural projects that build community and increase relevance and innovation.
From connecting local news and artists to creatively tell stories about the impact of COVID-19 to a project to help teens explore racial and social equity through the arts, Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents and visitors will have opportunities to experience more community-focused and innovative cultural programs thanks to ASC Cultural Vision Grants.
Cultural Vision Grants respond to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community’s interest in arts, science, history and heritage programming. The awards provide funds of up to $10,000 for Mecklenburg County-based creative individuals and nonprofit groups to pursue projects that do one of the following:
Build community by:
connecting individuals across points of difference to increase understanding, acceptance and positive regard between communities; or
nurturing, celebrating and supporting the authentic cultures and creative expression of specific neighborhoods.
Increase relevance and innovation by:
activating nontraditional performance or exhibition spaces close to where people live; or
providing groundbreaking and participatory experiences that reflect the changing communities in which we live.
Thirty-one groups and individuals applied for the latest round of Cultural Vision Grants, with 24 recipients selected to receive a combined $136,300 in funding. All projects are anticipated to conclude by June 30, 2022.
Thirty-three percent of the grantees are first-time Cultural Vision Grant recipients and 83 percent of the projects are led by and/or serve communities that have historically been under resourced, including African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA), LGBTQ and Disability communities.
“Creative individuals and cultural organizations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg continue to prove how invaluable arts and culture is in connecting residents and strengthening our communities. They are also finding innovative ways to engage us during this time,” said ASC President Jeep Bryant. “We are thankful for the vital support of our public and private donors. Their investments in ASC allow us to fund projects that use arts and culture as a pathway to address community needs.”
Award recipients are:
Carla Aaron-Lopez – $4,600 to support “LOCAL//STREET,” an exhibition at Mint Museum Randolph featuring 50 artists of color and white allies.
Bennu Gardens – $5,500 to build community and authentic conversation around the art of growing and cultivating rice and demonstrate how Black farmers are regaining food sovereignty and teaching young people to grow the crop.
Carlos Alexis Cruz – $7,200 to support the development and subsequent community tour of Nouveau Sud’s newest community driven circus theatre experience, “BESTIA.”
Charlotte Journalism Collaborative – $9,000 to support engagement and address the information needs of Charlotte residents by connecting local news and local artists to creatively share the stories surrounding the impact of COVID-19.
CrownKeepers – $4,900 to partner with The Power Plate for a community garden to support communities in close proximity and around Charlotte’s Camp North End.
Dear Soul Music Company – $4,600 to support a summer recording arts camp and music preview day at the Eastway Regional Recreation Center in June 2021.
Ronald Dolphus – $3,000 to support the production of “Lessons from Ebenezer Creek,” a documentary about how, during the Civil War, a large number of runaway slaves drowned in the obscure waterway.
Janelle Dunlap –- $9,000 to support a public art installation reimagining the history of Johnson C. Smith University in the form of sculptures across the campus that act as micro museum exhibitions and outdoor classroom spaces.
Hannah Hasan – $3,300 to support documenting the history and sharing the stories of Charlotte’s Optimist Park community, which is in the process of being displaced and impacted by gentrification.
Health Empowerment Renewal – $3,000 to support SummerStock Festival in Camp Greene Park in May 2021.
InReach – $9,000 to create a Spanish version of its touring puppet troupe’s production of “Barnyard News” and produce both English and Spanish versions for online use to reach socially isolated populations.
Inspire the Fire – $4,600 to support “The Xperience,” which will offer artistic coaching and develop creative expression in students.
Latin American Coalition – $4,600 to collaborate with ArtSi Charlotte to support and advance Latino artists and increase representation of Latin American art in Charlotte’s greater arts community.
Lorien Academy of the Arts – $7,200 to support the continued artistic expression and development of youth living in low-income households through an after-school open studio.
Movement Migration – $4,200 to support the authentic movement cultures and nurture the creative expression of the Latinx population in Mecklenburg through dance workshops and a performance in June 2021.
Ashley Nickens – $4,200 to build community around the historical and contemporary narratives of Black women and insert local voices into national discourse on the impact of the global pandemic and police violence.
Playing For Others – $7,600 to support teens exploring racial and social equity, including the Black Lives Matter movement, through the arts by participating in Playing for Others’ new program, “Art for Social Change.”
Project Scientist – $9,000 to support under-invested girls in Charlotte by providing a high-quality, equitable enrichment experience through the Project Scientist Virtual STEM Club.
The Roll Up – $5,500 to continue activation of The Roll Up CLT artist in residence program in Charlotte’s historic Camp Greene neighborhood.
Town of Huntersville Parks & Recreation – $3,000 to support arts, science, history and heritage programming that strengthens communities and demonstrates innovative, relevant and transformative cultures.
WDAV Classical Public Radio – $5,100 to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the local music scene by creating a series that features BIPOC artists giving free concerts in predominantly non-white neighborhoods.
World L!T – $5,500 to produce an online event to connect Charlotte’s immigrant communities to a wider audience to increase understanding and acceptance of cultural and creative expression.
Michelle Wyms – $7,200 for a documentary to support the ALLturnaTIVES Drumline which provides free music education, instruments, character development, community building opportunities and meals to disenfranchised Charlotte youth and young adults.
ZABS Place – $5,500 to support the creativity of individuals with special talents and their typically-developing peers by teaching them how to create masterpieces using everyday items.
The next round of ASC Cultural Vision Grants for Mecklenburg County-based creative individuals and nonprofit organizations will open later this month.