Charlotte has plenty of arts magic to offer

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of the magic that happens when you experience art.

I was attending Theatre Charlotte's production of "Doubt" and got caught up in the story, which challenges the audience to take sides in a conflict between a nun and a priest at a Catholic parish school in the 1960s.

In the play, school principal Sister Aloysius accuses Father Flynn of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. As the characters offer explanations for their behavior and build cases against one another, the audience must decide who to trust.

My allegiance seesawed between the two characters, and, at one point toward the end, I heard those in the seats around me gasp and mutter, "No, don't listen to her."

For those 90 minutes in the theater, I got lost in the story unfolding before me and in sharing that experience with an audience.

Artists create this kind of magic every day. And that's what I'd like to explore as the new ArtsAlive editor.

I have been lucky enough to participate in the arts throughout my life, and I know the importance of nurturing a love for the arts at young age.

In middle and high school in Virginia, I joined my school's band program, first playing the clarinet and then the flute. During a summer trip, I heard the New York Philharmonic rehearse. I remember being amazed that this professional group of musicians had to practice - just like me.

As a student at UNC Chapel Hill, I majored in literature and creative writing and studied art history and studio art on the side. My studies took me on a semester abroad in London, and I got to see some of the great works I had studied in museums in England, France and Italy.

I've found that Charlotte has plenty of arts magic to offer in many formats. Our city is full of artists and has a community of supporters looking for opportunities to engage with artwork. Every day there are arts events happening in Charlotte that provide opportunities to learn, discuss and share ideas.

In the two years I've lived here, I've enjoyed performances by Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. I've attended plays and concerts, viewed art and heard amateur voices come together during a flash mob. With each experience, my view of our city and the world expanded.

In ArtsAlive, we focus on stories that show the creative process and highlight people in the arts community.

I am pleased to be a part of ArtsAlive, and I'd love to hear about your ideas and experiences.