Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
It’s time for Art In the A.M. to find a home.
The Crossroads initiative started in November as a showcase for Charlotte artists before an audience of early risers, held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and generally on the third Friday of each month. The sites have rotated from Amelie’s in NoDa to Story Slam in Plaza-Midwood to Dilworth Coffee on East Boulevard, with the hope of introducing the event to as many parts of town as possible.
And it’s worked, to a point, but that approach creates a downside: People who’ve experienced it and want to come again get confused about the location. So on April 29, organizer and spoken-word poet Quentin “Q” Talley arranged for the April Art In the A.M. to occupy the Common Market location on South Tryon Street in South End, a central location that may become permanent.
“There’s been buzz” about Art In the A.M., Talley said. “But people have told me they’re coming to Art In the A.M., and then they don’t show up … having a consistent place will help.”
Talley said he’s trying to set up one more new location before the event settles down and the weather gets too hot: The Green in Uptown, where a morning crowd is guaranteed and a roster of spoken-word poets and musicians will pique people’s interest. “Hopefully, once we do that one,” he said, “We can have more awareness.”
On the evening of Friday, April 8th at Winterfield Elementary off Central Avenue, students from three CMS elementary schools came together to celebrate the heritage of Latino culture through dance and to embrace the diversity of the Charlotte community. In its third year, Dancing for Diversity is the culminating event of a year long Latin American Women’s Association program called Padres Y Padrinos (Parents and Godparents) that focuses on mentoring and community building between Latino parents, children and their schools.
Some stories worth sharing this week:
- One of Charlotte’s longest-tenured local officials may be on his way out: Harry Jones, Mecklenburg County’s chief executive since 2000, is a finalist for the first professional manager’s job in Jefferson County, Ala., the state’s largest. Do you think it’s time for a change in county leadership?
- Some stunning (in a good way) news from the Levine Museum of the New South, which halfway through its 20th-anniversary fundraising drive has raised nearly double its goal. It’s a remarkable feat considering how difficult it’s been for nonprofits and cultural institutions to raise money the last couple of years.
- Some stunning (in a bad way) news from Central Piedmont Community College, where budget cuts have forced the elimination of the executive director position at the college’s widely praised Center For Sustainability. Come July 1, Ernie McLaney – who has coordinated green programs at the college for more than five years – will be out of a job.
- Want to feel a little better about your fellow bipedal primates? Read this story about Charlotte’s “Mystery Man.”
- And here’s a lovely story about a couple whose common history, rooted in the Civil Rights movement, helped bring them together again in Charlotte after more than 40 years.
In his powder-blue shirt and brown corduroy jacket, the boyish, 32-year-old Rye Barcott hardly looks the part of a former Marine captain, let alone crusader for social and economic change in a Nairobi slum.
But Barcott, who lives in Charlotte, founded Carolina for Kibera, a nonprofit organization trying to promote leadership development, reduce poverty and establish a network of programs advancing health, ethnic cooperation, gender equality and economic empowerment in Kenya.
He was at Owen’s Bagel & Deli on Saturday to sign his book, “It Happened on the Way to War.” It chronicles his experiences as a young Marine who finds himself in war-torn Kenya, one hand holding a rifle and the other outstretched in peace. Barcott joined the Corps after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000, then asked to be assigned to violence prevention in Africa because of a surfeit of lieutenants in the Middle East.
Barcott, a native of West Greenwich, R.I., acknowledged struggling with the duality of his missions. After stumbling through training at Quantico, Barcott learned to embrace his role as a leader of fighting men battling to maintain order in a pre-9/11 African nation fraught with civil war, violence and extreme poverty.
“The sheer volume and injustice of it can be overwhelming,” Barcott told the crowd of 30 or more who gathered to hear his presentation.
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