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Cornelius News

Arts & Sciences Council announces grants; 2 have local impact

The Charlotte Dragon Boat and Asian Festivals at Ramsey Park in Cornelius. Photo by Jon Strayhorn | ASC

Dec. 12. The Charlotte Dragon Boat Association, which holds the Dragon Boat and Asian Festival held at Ramsey Creek Park each year, has received a $15,000 from the Arts & Sciences Council.

Meanwhile, Smithville Community Coalition received a $12,850 grant from ASC to support “Don’t Lose Heart,” a live storytelling production that uses poetry, digital media and music to unearth and amplify untold stories about Black communities in Mecklenburg County.


ASC grants support high-quality arts and culture projects presented within Mecklenburg County by Mecklenburg County-based creative individuals or nonprofits.

Seventy-eight groups and individuals applied for this round of Cultural Vision Grants, with 46 recipients selected to receive a combined $759,975 in funding. Grants awarded range from $6,000 to $20,000.

Twenty-seven of the projects are led by and/or serve communities that have historically been under resourced, including African, Latin-a/o/x/e, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA), LGBTQ and disability communities.

The first Cultural Vision Grant recipients of FY24 are:

  • American Capoeira Foundation—$17,000 to support Sua Casa, a festival highlighting the importance of the African Diaspora through food, interactive activations, literary arts, Capoeira and Samba.
  • Arsena Todd—$20,000 to support recording arts workshops and youth camps at Eastway Regional Recreation Center and Huntersville Recreation Center from February to June 2024.
  • Arts+—$6,000 to support the development of digital design and product creation skills in middle school students in pursuit of entrepreneurial ventures at Do Greater Charlotte’s Creative Lab in the spring of 2024.
  • ArtWalks CLT—$6,000 to support a series of Art is for Everyone ArtWalks with mixed-media performance art geared toward those with vision or hearing loss.
  • PJ Barnes—$10,250 to establish a central hub for comedic performances and nurture talent on the all-new Charlotte Comedy Network.
  • Black Girls Film Camp—$20,000 to support the education, curation and showcase of short films directed by adolescent Black girls during The Black Girls Film Camp Premiere Weekend in spring 2024.
  • BNS Productions—$15,500 to deliver lessons and experiences through the award-winning stage play, August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”
  • BreatheInk—$20,000 to support a two-day youth poetry festival in Charlotte in April 2024 as part of National Poetry Month that will bring together youth poets and poets laureate from throughout North and South Carolina. 
  • Caroline Calouche & Co.—$10,000 to support the annual International Circus and Dance Celebration at the Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center on April 27, 2024.
  • Charlotte Dragon Boat Association—$15,000 to support the annual Charlotte Dragon Boat and Asian Festivals in May 2024 in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
  • Charlotte Journalism Collaborative—$20,000 to support new mediums of distributing news and information about critical issues in our community by partnering with local artists to create zines about affordable housing, local government and gun violence. 
  • Charlotte Museum of History—$20,000 to support the installation and creation of the exhibition “Open Wide the Door: The Story of Mary Cardwell Dawson and the National Negro Opera Company.”
  • Charlotte Pride Band—$20,000 to support two Charlotte Pride Band concerts focusing on music by diverse composers – including LGBTQIA+ composers, BIPOC composers and female composers – to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion and cultural understanding.
  • Charlotte Symphony Orchestra—$20,000 to support an artwork design contest and the first use of the symphony’s new mobile stage.
  • Charlotte’s Off-Broadway—$10,000 to support “Everyone Has a Story to Tell,” a one-person play showcase featuring the work of four to six local actors in spring 2024.
  • CineOdyssey Film Festival—$12,500 to support the CineOdyssey Animafest, which celebrates and gives voice to filmmakers, animators and content creators from the African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, and Indigenous diasporas, as well as the U.S.
  • Culture Queens—$20,000 to support the inclusion of BIPOC women in the arts and culture community in the Queens March Women’s History Month celebration at the Bechtler Museum on March 6, 2024.
  • Dionne D. Hunter—$9,500 to support the building of community by nurturing, celebrating and supporting creative expressions from community-minded artists while exposing historically excluded BIPOC communities, women, girls and others to the beauty of the fine arts.
  • Embrace All Latino Voices—$10,000 to support the bridging of cultural divides by capturing and sharing diverse childhood memories, games and arts through the BrincART initiative, culminating in a community event in East Charlotte and a playbook with curated cultural products.
  • Epoch Tribe—$20,000 to support the re-creation, rehearsal and performance of Epoch Tribe’s original stage production, “The Men Inside.”
  • Friday’s Dope—$20,000 to support the launch of the Melanated Moguls program series that includes monthly mixers, workshops and pop-up community events and culminates with a festival celebrating Afrofuturism.
  • Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte—$20,000 to support a pilot project aimed at gauging demand and cultivating a dedicated audience for LGBTQ+ narratives in theater.
  • JazzArts Charlotte—$13,000 to support Nuestro Tiempo Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble spring 2024 session, celebrating the music and culture of Charlotte’s Latino community.
  • La Casa de la Cultura—$20,000 to support the “Cultural Afro Latinx Celebration,” which celebrates Afro-Latinx heritage while promoting a sense of inclusion and diversity through traditions and folkloric manifestations regarding history, music and dances.
  • Loose Leaves Legacy—$20,000 to support diverse dance artists’ creation of innovative and groundbreaking work by holding two choreographic showcases in 2024.  
  • Lorien Academy of the Arts—$20,000 to support the sustainment of seven after-school art clubs at Title 1 schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools through the spring semester of 2023-24 school year and to launch three additional clubs.
  • Nadia Meadows—$20,000 to support the Charlotte community by displaying sculptures quarterly that will be interactive and meaningful while encouraging a positive impact and equitable gain for youth and artists programs.
  • Movement Migration—$16,000 to support movement cultures and nurture the creative expression of the dance and non-dance populations in Mecklenburg through movement classes, workshops and an informal showing.
  • North Carolina Baroque Orchestra—$20,000 to support the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra’s historically-informed performance of 17th and 18th century music on period instruments to bring new life to old music and enhance engagement for all audiences.
  • Open Door Dance Foundation—$20,000 to support Expand Movement’s Fall Inclusive Dance Performance and the classes that will perform at the event.
  • Performing Arts And Literary Society—$7,000 to support the promotion and showcase of culturally-based stories using the performing arts as a means to raise awareness of Black communities, history and talents.
  • Playing For Others—$20,000 to support PFO’s winter/spring 2023-2024 arts programming, including rehearsals, workshops, outings and pop-ups designed for a diverse group of teens and children with disabilities
  • Promise Resource Network—$18,500 to support exposure and healing through art outlets to people who are unhoused and those with mental health and/or substance use challenges.
  • QC Family Tree—$18,250 to support QC Family Tree’s Culture Bearers artist residency, a 12-week program for community-engaged artistic practice taking place February-April 2024.
  • Queen City Concerts Corporation—$20,000 to support the cultural exploration of Judaism in the Deep South through a production of “PARADE, The Musical,” in May 2024 at the Booth Playhouse.
  • Queen City Robotics Alliance—$20,000 to support an equitable science culture by empowering low-income youth through community outreach and STEAM interest exploration.
  • Que-OS—$20,000 to support the BOOM Fringe as part of Charlotte’s annual BOOM Festival in April 2024 at Camp North End.
  • Irlanda Ruiz—$6,325 to support the stories of Latino Women Cancer Survivors through a series of writing workshops, publishing their work in a book.         
  • SHAE Movement African Arts—$10,000 to support exploration and connection of cultural celebrations of Black History Month and Juneteenth to traditional West African practices through history, dance and drum. 
  • Smithville Community Coalition—$12,850 to support “Don’t Lose Heart,” a live storytelling production that uses poetry, digital media and music to unearth and amplify untold stories about Black communities in Mecklenburg County. 
  • The Light Factory—$16,300 to support a series of photo workshops exploring unique photographic processes that would otherwise be unavailable to most Charlotte photographers and will result in new groundbreaking work.
  • The Royal City Collaboration Corp—$20,000 to support the development and facilitation of “Pulse,” a streamlined series of culture events led by Charlotte BIPOC creatives culminating in a two-day BIPOC indie festival spotlighting the city’s rich talent in music, art, fashion, film, dance and cuisine.
  • Three Bone Theatre—$20,000 to support community building of audiences in West Charlotte through shared theatre experiences and facilitated conversations around complex community issues.
  • Tosco Music—$20,000 to support “Viva La Música,” a series of free public music performances with an emphasis on inviting, welcoming and engaging Charlotte’s large and diverse Hispanic/Latino(x) community, designed to increase access to the arts and foster experiences of inclusion.
  • Laura Waringer and Sequina DuBose—$20,000 to support the development of a new interdisciplinary musical theater work based on the rich local history of the Loray Mill Strike of 1929.
  • We Rock Charlotte—$20,000 to support and celebrate We Rock culture and creative expression through We Rock Charlotte’s student album and music video creation, “Rock n’ Reel.”