CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 23, 2022) — On Tuesday, the City of Charlotte, in partnership with the Arts and Culture Advisory Board, awarded grants to two local arts and culture initiatives: Brooklyn: The Collective Memory and Charlotte International Arts Exchange.
The grants are available through the Opportunity Fund, a funding mechanism that supports short-term arts and culture projects, programs, and initiatives in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area that may fall outside of existing grant cycles or structures and that meet the goals and policies of the Infusion Fund. The Infusion Fund is a partnership of the city, Foundation For The Carolinas, and private donors to support arts and culture for three years.
Advisory Board members awarded grants based on how the two initiatives align with the Infusion Fund’s guiding principles. In particular, these initiatives promote collaboration between artists and art organizations and create opportunities for the public in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to engage with art and culture.
“Brooklyn: The Collective Memory”
The Brooklyn: The Collective Memory exhibition, which will open to the public September 29 as part of the Charlotte International Arts Festival and runs through October 8, commemorates and celebrates Brooklyn, Charlotte’s once vibrant Black Wall Street.
The immersive, interactive experience invites people to learn about Brooklyn’s history through life-size portraits, archival books and videos of former residents telling their stories. Creative Director and Curator Justin Hicks, Co-Curator and Experiences Lead Tyler Capel, and Strategist and Photographer Sam Hoggs aim to shed light on urban renewal, displacement and navigating the impact of people moving in and out of spaces with growing infrastructure.
The board members approved $35,000 from the Opportunity Fund to cover the exhibition’s remaining costs for installation work and digital and virtual reality components.
The exhibition team is also collaborating with the Levine Museum of the New South, Studio 229 on Brevard and the Grooming Greatness Foundation, with additional support from several other local funders.
Charlotte International Arts Exchange
The new Charlotte International Arts Exchange program will take a group of Charlotte artists to Kenya in 2023, where they will engage with Kenyan artists and cultures. In return, artists from Kenya will travel to Charlotte for a similar cultural exchange.
In Charlotte and Kenya, artists will learn new skills, increase their creativity and raise their profile by exhibiting and selling their work. Exhibits and educational opportunities in Charlotte will be open to the public. In addition, the coordinators of the exchange program, led by Joanne Rogers of Nine Eighteen Nine Studio Gallery, have committed to donating a portion of art sales to Charlotte charities.
The Advisory Board approved an initial investment of $20,000 in the Charlotte International Arts Exchange and an additional $30,000 subject to the exchange program securing the remaining $150,000 of its budget. The Opportunity Fund dollars will support travel and accommodation expenses for the Charlotte artists, web design, and some marketing and fundraising activities.
The program works in partnership with the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Center, Derrycole Investments in Nairobi, Kenya, and several other organizations in the Charlotte area
About the Opportunity Fund
The city and advisory board continue to accept grant applications from the Opportunity Fund. Interested applicants can go to charlottenc.gov/arts-culture to find a Letter of Intent form and learn more about eligibility.
Past recipients of the Opportunity Fund include organizers of the I Am Queen Charlotte project and South Arts, which JazzArts selected Charlotte to be its founding cohort for the Southern Cultural Treasures program.