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Charlotte Observer

Over 200 events set for the Blumenthal’s new Charlotte International Arts Festival

The festival runs from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2, featuring international and local artists in performances and showcases at indoor and outdoor venues, including local parks. Photo: Jessica Dunston

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Charlotte artists aim to break boundaries in new nontraditional gallery exhibit

More than two years ago, Charlotte artist Kyle Mosher gave a lecture about fine art and commercial art at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art. He explained how traditional exhibits limited the viewers’ experience. PHOTO: Christian Duprez

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Women in recovery find creativity and healing in a Charlotte author’s class

Dove’s Nest resident Sabrina Jones wrote “live by faith not by fear” in response to her teacher’s writing prompt. Dove’s Nest is part of Charlotte Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization for addiction recovery.

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Charlotte, Chicago youth dancers join forces in film about being seen for who they are

“A Chance to DanceOn” will premiere in Charlotte on Jan. 8 at Ayrsley Grand Cinema to a sold-out crowd. The nearly two-hour documentary, produced by Chicago-based producer and Emmy Award-winning editor Richard Hemmingway, features 25 dancers from A Chance to Dance and DanceOn.

PHOTO: Phil Roccuzzo

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‘Violins of Hope’ return to Charlotte, with more stories to tell about the Holocaust

On April 26 and 28, “Intonations” will be performed by an ensemble of students from the UNC Charlotte Orchestra, Queens University of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College, as well as by Karpov, a high school sophomore in the Charlotte area.

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How can young Charlotte musicians get started, easier? Symphony Orchestra has a plan

In February, the youth ensemble will begin Saturday rehearsals at First Baptist Church-West at 1801 Oaklawn Ave. Students accepted into the program will participate weekly through June. This short season will conclude with a performance at an uptown Charlotte venue.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

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Empty Stocking Fund Series 2021

Charlotte dad recovering from car wreck grateful for holiday help for his kids

A simple trip to the store to get milk for their children turned into a major crisis for Fernando Guerrero and his wife, Cynthia Caro-Guerrero. The couple’s car was hit from behind on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte, causing damage to Fernando’s knees.

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After saying yes to a life-changing request, Charlotte mom needs holiday season help

One Monday in late July, a neighbor asked Brown to take custody of Raven Green, a 13-day-old infant who was the neighbor’s god-daughter. Brown provided few details about the reasons behind the neighbor’s unexpected request. Brown asked to be the last resort and suggested family and friends.

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Angel Tree program helps Charlotte couple from the Congo with kids’ Christmas gifts

More than 6,000 children will receive gifts. In cases where donors don’t step up, Charlotte Observer readers cover the expense by giving to the Empty Stocking Fund, which the Observer has sponsored since about 1920.

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Charlotte theater company, now in its 10th season, strives to be a catalyst for change

In October, Three Bone kicked off its 10th season in The Arts Factory at West End Studios with “Open,” written by Crystal Skillman. Tynes-Miller also became the nonprofit’s first full-time employee as the artistic and operations director.

PHOTO: The Charlotte Observer

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This teen has been on Charlotte stages since he was 5. Now, he’s on Broadway.

At 4, Atticus Ware was too young to participate in his sister’s tap class, but he’d stand in the doorway to watch. When he was almost 5, the dance instructor invited him in. Nine years later, Ware is tapping across the stage in his first Broadway production.

PHOTO: Alisha Raquel Photography

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A Charlotte singer-songwriter’s company empowers and develops business-savvy artists

Charlotte-based singer-songwriter Arsena Schroeder didn’t think her career path included music until she was a freshman at Pfeiffer University. A classmate who’d heard her sing asked Schroeder to help write and record a duet on a mixed tape. PHOTO: Andrea Orr

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He wrote his first love song in third grade. Now 25, he’s teaching others to love singing.

Vocal performer Jonathan “Jay” Smith wrote his first song, “Only Once,” when he was in the third grade. It was heavily influenced by singer-songwriter Ray J’s “One Wish.”

PHOTO: Daniel Coston

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Charlotte Ballet returns to the stage amid COVID with a twist on a popular program

When the coronavirus pandemic threatened to cancel Charlotte Ballet’s annual Innovative Works program, artistic director Hope Muir came up with a new concept that highlights in-house talent.

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Spoken word artist creates poetry by drawing from pain — to help others cope with theirs

Spoken word artist Jah Smalls texted poems to his teenage daughter to help her cope with depression last year. Smalls had experienced depression just months before and a poem he wrote changed his outlook, he said. PHOTO: Tyrone Combs

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Empty Stocking Fund Series 2020

She helps fill a big need for volunteers at holiday gift program that once helped her

Patricia Williams knows what it’s like to ask for assistance during the holidays. When her daughter was in elementary school more than 25 years ago, Williams applied for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte’s angel tree program. Her daughter received toys, shoes and an Easy-Bake Oven courtesy of the program.

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Christmas program helps reduce holiday stress for grandmom helping raise 3 grandsons

Brenda Struble credits her western New York upbringing for her love of Christmas. “Every time one of us kids were born, (our parents) planted a Colorado Blue Spruce,” said Struble, 57. “We had seven big Blue Spruces and dad always put blue lights on them. We always had more than we needed when we were kids, but we just didn’t realize it.”

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‘Blessing’ of a program helps mom struggling with bills get kids Christmas presents

Iyashia Davis makes Christmas feel special with family traditions. The single mom and her children bake sugar cookies for Santa, open a gift at midnight and watch movies on Christmas day. Davis serves candied yams, collard greens, ham, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and dressing with gravy.

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CMS math teacher praises angel tree program helping her daughter at Christmas

Siddiqah Cooper didn’t have to rush out on Christmas morning to head to her retail job this year. That’s because she started work as a middle school math teacher at Renaissance West STEAM Academy in August.

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Pregnant mom grateful for help again from Salvation Army’s Christmas program

Guadalupe Ortiz remembers how she felt when her nearly 2-year-old son received diapers, shoes and a Radio Flyer tricycle on Christmas Day last year.

PHOTO: The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte

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‘The Saxman’ who plays on uptown street corners channels his setbacks into his music

Will “Saxman” Smith wears a three-piece black suit with a bright white button-down shirt, red leather Stacy Adams shoes and two earrings, each in the shape of a phoenix. 

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Dr. Ray Feaster helped to convert the Michael Jordan Clinic to a COVID testing site

Dr. Ray Feaster starts Monday mornings with a staff huddle at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic, a COVID-19 testing site in West Charlotte. Most days, patients are already waiting to be seen.

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The Charlotte Art League wants to be more inclusive. Its new director will lead the way.

On June 1, Jim Dukes became the second executive director of Charlotte Art League. His goal: to make CAL into one of the most diverse and engaged creative studio spaces in Charlotte. PHOTO CREDIT: Chandler Snipe

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These uptown museums welcome your crying babies and fussy toddlers. For free.

Moms and dads hesitate before bringing little ones to a museum. Photo: TYRUS ORTEGA GAINES 2017, Gantt Center

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‘City within a city’

Learning about our city’s history doesn’t have to be boring. Visitors to Levine Museum of the New South can uncover Charlotte’s past and current issues through interactive discussions with authors, augmented reality apps, artifacts and photographs.

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This ASU professor combines technology and design to create 3D works of art

Richard Elaver’s interest in design started in his twenties while following the Grateful Dead in the mid-1990s. 

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The latest Mint Museum show pairs old and new to showcase ‘Classic Black’ sculptures

During his first year as curator of decorative arts at The Mint Museum, Brian Gallagher stumbled upon a couple of items while searching the museum’s storage area...

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At age 26, this Charlotte artist is trying to set herself up for long-term success

Katherine Boxall isn’t waiting for someone to tell her she’s an artist. Outside validation doesn’t fuel her practice, and she’s not interested in fitting into other people’s definition of art.

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This program uses art to inspire teens to stay in school, graduate – and chase dreams

Shelley Reed-Wallace found the Arts & Science Council’s Studio 345 when she realized her daughter, Savaan Wallace, needed a place to connect with other art-minded teens.

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A new Mint exhibit uses light and technology to explore links between man and nature

Art and tech collide in the latest exhibit at the Mint Museum Uptown and it may change your mind about experimental art.

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A banker turned his passion for Latin American art into an NC ‘cultural institution’

LaCa Projects owner Walter Dolhare still has the Wassily Kandinsky and Joan Miró posters he purchased for $8 each in 1986.

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This Charlotte artist is about to head to the Arctic. ‘My life is going to be changed’

For almost a month now Charlotte artist Ruth Ava Lyons has been taking cold showers to prepare for her trip to the Arctic.

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KNOW: At reopening Mint, ‘I like to call myself a “type A” artist’

Is there a specific career moment that makes you proud? I recall creating my first site-based work, when I was about 20. I was very shy about sharing my work and almost didn’t go through with it but entered the piece in an all-student show.

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She’s used a special tool for decades to lift her students: It’s a farm.

The sound of the brass meditation singing bowl is the signal for 18 students and five staffers to gather for meditation at the morning’s writing circle at Airy Knoll Farm Art Class.

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What’s improv comedy doing in Charlotte? We test-drive five troupes: Take a look

If you haven’t dug into Charlotte’s improv comedy scene yet, now’s a great time to do it.

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