Nearly 200 members of the extended family of Crossroads Charlotte participants and partners streamed into Extravaganza Depot for dinner and a new-year celebration on Sunday, January 27. Set in a converted train depot and themed All Aboard!, the festive event marked an important milestone for Crossroads Charlotte, which remains on track in steering focus to the year 2015.
With the start of 2008, Crossroads entered its fourth year of operation and announced plans for a communitywide scale-up. The celebration comprised a barbecue supper, live music, spoken-word poetry, greetings from civic leaders and fellowship among new and longtime project participants. Vibrant displays of Crossroads' mosaic of community "faces" as well as its signature themes and questions adorned the room while lively jazz and conversation filled the air. Vintage train cars off the depot's platform transformed into the "Crossroads Poet Express" and overflowed with guests eager to hear the improv poetry and music of Q, Laurence, Melissa, Bluz and other performing artists. Michael Marsicano, Ph.D. and Brian Collier of Foundation For The Carolinas addressed event guests, sharing their excitement about the Foundation's 50th anniversary and Crossroads' growing momentum. Susan Patterson of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation encouraged the audience to be proud of their collective accomplishments and announced a $3.3-million Knight grant to take Crossroads to scale.
Culminating the event, a musical ensemble paid tribute to the Crossroads family with an inspiring performance of the project's theme song, "Proud." The cross-section of Charlotteans taking part in the celebration and their organizations and networks reflect the wide appeal and abundant promise of Crossroads Charlotte. The spectrum of children and teens in attendance provided not-so-small reminders that the choices we make today truly do matter.