Lawrence Toppman

ASC gives more than $100,000 to local artists this winter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 30, 2017) – From dances in outer space to modern art on Monroe Road, from a surrealist walking tour to a play the audience casts every night, the Arts & Science Council’s 2017 Cultural Vision Grants will boost artists’ coffers by more than $100,000 this winter.

The ASC announced these new grants in summer 2015. They provide up to $10,000 for Mecklenburg County individuals or nonprofits that connect communities, celebrate and support cultures or creative expression in specific neighborhoods, activate nontraditional performance or exhibition spaces close to where people live, or provide groundbreaking and participatory experiences that reflect changing communities.

More than 40 groups and individuals applied for the first round, and recipients got a total of $102,420. All projects must begin by June 30, 2017, and conclude before June 30, 2018. Here they are:

Caroline Calouche & Co. – $7,000 for “Star Gazer: A Trek Into Outer Space,” which will include interactive astronomical experiences, in April 2017 at Booth Playhouse.

Central Piedmont Community College Foundation – $5,000 to produce “Dances of India,” which celebrates Charlotte’s Indian community by presenting classical and folk performance traditions.

Charlotte Jewish Film Festival – $5,000 for experiences that engage diverse, non-Jewish audiences with universally appealing stories, characters and themes in the film festival.

Charlotte Museum of History – $1,250 to perform traditional African drum music and connect East Charlotte audiences with African-American culture that was part of early Mecklenburg County.

Community Education Project – $4,695 for “Utrennik,” the annual International New Year Celebration for children that showcases Russian-speaking cultures.

The Cornelius Cultural Arts Group – $5,000 to support Tawba Walk, a community arts festival that celebrates historic downtown Cornelius by uniting artists, businesses and residents.

Della Freedman – $5,000 to produce “Humanizing Homelessness,” a performance, photo exhibit and video about homelessness in Charlotte and elsewhere.

Donna Scott Productions – $6,000 to produce “Eat the Runt,” a play that challenges gender and race differences by utilizing a diverse cast and letting the audience cast the show each night.

Girls Rock Charlotte – $5,000 to launch a Kids’ Summer Camp program for girls and gender-diverse youth, using rock music education to teach social justice leadership.

HistorySouth – $5,000 to produce “Legacy Narratives,” a video that will feature the oral histories of 12 long-time residents of Charlotte’s McCrorey Heights neighborhood. It’ll be presented in a variety of public forums in 2018.

Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works – $5,000 to support a partnership with Changed Choices to present “The Sessions.” This two-day series includes dance-making workshops for non-dancers, recorded performances of “Moving Stories/Changing Lives” and public discussions.

MoRA (Monroe Road Advocates) – $10,000 to support Monroe Road residents’ and stakeholders’ collaboration with artist Leslie Scott on a public artwork project.

Nicholas Napoletano – $6,500 to support a collaboration with Time Out Youth and Aerial CLT for a mural representing a racially diverse, LGBTQ-inclusive community along the North Tryon corridor.

Queen City Forward – $7,000 to support the ZIP Code Project, a collaboration with the 100 Love Notes Foundation and Read Charlotte. It’s designed to build connections among neighbors through photographs and digital storytelling.

Que-OS – $10,000 to produce the BOOM Festival, an artist/community-led fringe arts festival centered in Charlotte’s Plaza-Midwood neighborhood.

Three Bone Theatre – $4,975 to engage prospective audience members during rehearsals to create performances that “bind people to the art they help create.”

XOXO – $10,000 to produce “#CAKE,” a multiplatform interdisciplinary performance that will occur throughout uptown Charlotte and consist of an art installation, an mp3-enhanced surrealist walking tour and a theatrical performance at Goodyear Arts.

Applicants for the next round must submit a letter of intent by noon on Friday, March 3, 2017. Full application guidelines are available at

Toppman: 704-358-5232