“We are not giving ourselves credit.” Charlotte’s arts scene is growing, changing.

Charlotte’s arts scene is growing, as well as becoming more diverse and even, some say, edgy. It’s a big change in a city long known more for its financial firms than its cultural assets. But the city still lacks what many see as a dedicated arts district, and some advocates say the Charlotte arts community […]

Charlotte’s arts scene is growing – and at a crossroads

Thousands are expected to gather in Charlotte’s historic Plaza-Midwood neighborhood this weekend, attracted by bold visual art and nontraditional performances representing a diverse array of artists. The three-day BOOM festival, a self-described “movement born from a belief in the explosive power of art to unite and strengthen our community,” enters its fourth year buoyed by […]

The Earth works well for N.C. artist Sayre

Categories: General News Tags: Arts, Cultural Life

“I love the sight of red clay.” Those words, from a professional colleague of my wife’s as he showed her the view from his high-rise office in uptown Charlotte, were jarring for her as a newly arrived preservationist. She had recently moved to Charlotte from Washington, where she had worked for the National Trust for […]

Charlotte arts districts face challenges, study finds

Since the 1990s, the NoDa neighborhood surrounding North Davidson and 36th streets in Charlotte has been branded as the city’s arts district. But in recent years the galleries that once clustered there have dwindled. Is NoDa still an arts district? Or has South End, along South Boulevard near uptown, overtaken it? Morgan Hamer, an artist […]

‘City of Creeks’ debuts March 27, launches KEEPING WATCH second year

FOR UP-TO-DATE EVENT INFORMATION ABOUT KEEPING WATCH, PLEASE VISIT KEEPINGWATCH.ORG What creek is in your neighborhood? Where did it come from, and where is it going? Why was Charlotte settled amid so many creeks? Are urban streams important? Where does rainwater go? Can we do anything to help with pollution or flooding? Why should we […]

Enthusiasts envision an arts district emerging in Cornelius

Could a bottle shop and tap room be the stimulus Cornelius needs to follow in the footsteps of Charlotte’s NoDa arts district, Raleigh’s Warehouse District, or Asheville’s River Arts District? The Old Town Public House will open Sept. 13 on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, a onetime cotton mill hamlet in fast-growing north Mecklenburg County. The […]

South End Rail Trail vision gets boost for art

More than two years ago, the idea emerged from workshops sponsored by Historic South End to plan and develop a new system of parks and public spaces along the LYNX Blue Line. As of last month, the idea of creating more beauty and excitement in the area is closer to materializing. Charlotte Center City Partners […]

A new skyline view is asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. (See our first installment in this series here and our most recent installment here.) Urban designers Keihly Moore and Alex Borisenko have launched a website,, where they’re proposing a series of urban design retrofits, many of them nominated […]

Gastonia working to lure artists downtown

An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? Sounds far-fetched. But after studies, surveys and a yearlong fundraising campaign, it’s getting closer to reality. In May, the Community Foundation of Gaston County signed a pre-development contract with Artspace, a Minneapolis nonprofit that builds and maintains affordable live-work units for artists, to build a project in Gastonia by […]

Artist's rendering of the proposed redevelopment of Gastonia's Loray Mill. Image courtesy City of Gastonia

Mills on the Mend

Redevelopment of textile mills across the Carolinas has increased in the past decade as local officials have been able to offer state tax credits for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In Charlotte and across the region, mills have been turned into condos and apartments, senior housing, offices, shopping complexes and restaurants. […]