Symphony in the ParkFounded in 1932, the Charlotte Symphony is the largest and most active professional performing arts organization in the central Carolinas, giving nearly 100 performances each season and reaching an annual attendance of 200,000 listeners. This year marks the 30th anniversary of their Summer Pops series, which kicks off Saturday, June 9 at Symphony Park and closes July 3 with Celebrate America — a patriotic concert with canons, the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and fireworks. www.charlottesymphony.org
Movies Under the Stars As the symphony comes to a close, the silver screen shines in its place Friday evenings in August at Symphony Park. Pre-event music and activities kick off at 7 p.m. followed by a movie at dusk. Bring the kids, bring a blanket and BYOB if you’d like. See you under the stars. www.simon.com/mall/southpark
Light Factory 41st Annual Members Show and Sixth Annual Juried AnnualeOne of only four museums in the United States for photography and film, The Light Factory is a sometimes overlooked gem buried in Spirit Square. Expand your skill with their classes in digital photography, darkroom and film, and admire the work of artists nationwide during their showings and competitions. Their 41st annual Members Show and sixth annual Juried Annuale both kick off with an opening reception June 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. and run through Sunday, August 11 and Sunday, September 15 respectively. The juror for the Annuale is Mint Museum Executive Director Kathleen V. Jameson, Ph.D., making it a truly local affair. www.lightfactory.org
Open Studio Saturdays at the McColl Center for Visual ArtWhen you’re new to the art world, it’s sometimes hard to understand the techniques or inspiration that fuels the very work you’ve come to see. The McColl Center for Visual Art bridges the gap between onlooker and artist during Open Studio Saturdays, when artists in residence from around the world open their doors and invite the public to talk shop and see pieces in progress. Opt for a free docent-led tour at 11:30 a.m., or swing by and see what’s happening on your own anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. www.mccollcenter.org
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Summer Love Festival Anyone who’s lived in Charlotte for more than a minute can see that NoDa is growing. What used to be four corners at 36th and Davidson is sprawling beyond the tracks toward Amelie’s, NoDa Brewing Company, Birdsong Brewing and now 15th and Davidson, an area aptly dubbed Area 15. In an effort to bring together young upcoming artists and local business owners, the community is, well, spreading the love with the Summer Love festival, Aug. 10. Buy your tickets now for a day of entertainment, music, art and food worth sharing. www.facebook.com/summerlovemusicfest