Opportunity Fund Supports International Arts Exchange, Brooklyn Exhibition

2022-09-23 19:12:55 By : Mr. peng xu

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2022) — On Tuesday, the City of Charlotte, in partnership with the Arts and Culture Advisory Board, awarded grants to two local arts and culture initiatives: "Brooklyn: The Collective Memory" and the Charlotte International Arts Exchange.

The grants are available through the Opportunity Fund, a funding mechanism that supports near-term arts and culture projects, programs and initiatives in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area that may fall outside existing grant cycles or structures and that meet the goals and guidelines of the Infusion Fund. The Infusion Fund is a partnership of the city, Foundation For The Carolinas and private donors to support arts and culture for three years.

Advisory board members awarded the grants based on how the two initiatives align with the Infusion Fund's guiding principles. In particular, these initiatives foster collaboration among artists and arts organizations, and will create opportunities for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public to engage with arts and culture.

Set to open to the public on Sept. 29 as part of the Charlotte International Arts Festival and to run through Oct. 8, the "Brooklyn: The Collective Memory" exhibit commemorates and celebrates Brooklyn, Charlotte's once-vibrant Black Wall Street.

The immersive, interactive experience invites people to learn Brooklyn's history through life-size portraits, archival books and videos of former residents sharing their stories. Creative director and curator Justin Hicks, co-curator and experiences lead Tyler Capel, and strategist and photographer Sam Hoggs aim to shed light on urban renewal, displacement, and navigating the effects of moving people in and out of spaces as infrastructures grow.

Board members approved $35,000 from the Opportunity Fund to cover the exhibit's remaining costs for installation labor and digital and virtual reality components.

The exhibition's team is also partnering with Levine Museum of the New South, Studio 229 on Brevard, and Grooming Greatness Foundation, with additional support from several other local funders.

The new Charlotte International Arts Exchange program will take a group of Charlotte artists to Kenya in 2023, where they will engage with Kenyan artists and cultures. In turn, artists from Kenya will travel to Charlotte for a similar cultural exchange.

In Charlotte and in Kenya, artists will learn new skills, enhance their creativity, and increase their exposure by exhibiting and selling their works. Exhibits and educational opportunities in Charlotte will be accessible to the public. Additionally, the exchange program's coordinators, led by Joanne Rogers of Nine Eighteen Nine Studio Gallery, have committed to donating a portion of art sales to community-serving organizations in Charlotte.

The advisory board approved an initial $20,000 investment in the Charlotte International Arts Exchange, and an additional $30,000 contingent upon the exchange program securing the remaining $150,000 of its budget. Opportunity Fund dollars will support travel and lodging for the Charlotte artists, web design, and some marketing and fundraising activities.

The program is partnering with the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Center, Derrycole Investments in Nairobi, Kenya, and several other Charlotte-area organizations

The city and the advisory board continue to accept requests for Opportunity Fund grants. Interested applicants can go to charlottenc.gov/arts-culture to find a letter of intent form and learn more about eligibility.

Past recipients of the Opportunity Fund include organizers of the "I Am Queen Charlotte" project, and South Arts, which named JazzArts Charlotte among its inaugural cohort for the Southern Cultural Treasures program.