For years, I’ve been traveling through Charlotte Douglas International Airport, noticing an increasingly busy terminal and thinking, “CLT seems like it is the place to be.” Late last year, I saw why. New in my role as Knight’s director for arts, I visited Charlotte for real, arriving with my colleague Jayne Butler to explore the city’s arts scene and better understand the opportunities and challenges that could shape Knight’s support of the arts in Charlotte.
I knew that Charlotte was one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, its second largest banking center, and a city experiencing the joys and pains that come with rapid transition.
What Jayne and I observed up close though, through interactions with nearly a hundred artists and organizations, was a glimpse of the dynamism, creativity, and generosity of spirit that permeates the city. Local artists and organizations are producing excellent art and striving to tell their stories in their own, unique ways. Some of them are supported, at varying levels, by local infrastructure, and some are struggling to produce their work and get the recognition they deserve.
Knight Foundation believes great art has the power to build community, connecting people to each other and to the places where they live. So we seek to help talented artists and organizations—big and small—realize their artistic visions, and we work to amplify what is happening organically in the cities where we invest.
We want to celebrate Charlotte’s creative energy, shine a light on it and give it another platform. So, we’re introducing Celebrate Charlotte Arts, an open call through which we’ll provide grants of up to $25,000 per project in support of the creation and presentation of art by Charlotte artists and organizations, in Charlotte. Projects can be in any artistic discipline or genre (or combination thereof). Those chosen for funding will have the opportunity to be shared with Charlotte audiences in spring 2020 in a Knight -sponsored showcase at Charlotte’s BOOM Festival. BOOM is a previous Knight grant recipient, and we’re thrilled to partner on this new opportunity.
If you’re a Charlotte-based artist, group, or organization (nonprofit or for profit) working on a piece in any genre, or organizing a show or exhibition, that will be ready to share in spring of 2020, this might be the right funding opportunity for you. Visit kf.org/charlottearts for more details, or contact [email protected] with questions.
Better yet, join us THIS WEEKEND, Sunday, April 28, for an info session or drop by BOOM Festival 2-3 p.m. or at one of our events in May to chat with us about your project and have your questions answered.
We can’t wait to see what you’re working on.