Cultural Life

Street art celebrates Don Gibson's music in Shelby. Photo: Nancy Pierce

Downtown Shelby turns to music for a revival

Music has helped power the revival of downtown (or uptown, as the locals call it) Shelby. The Earl Scruggs Center and Don Gibson Theatre draw on the town’s musical history.

Is there a leadership deficit in rural communities and small towns?

“The more successful towns have a champion. The really successful ones have multiple champions.” We visited Liz Parham, director of North Carolina’s Main Street Program, to learn about how communities across the state are capitalizing on their cultural and natural assets to revitalize local economies. But it was a different type of asset – people […]

‘Horrifyingly beautiful:’ An architect and designer turns his attention to borders and walls

Ronald Rael gained national attention this summer for installing teeter-totters through the U.S.-Mexico border fence, allowing children on either side to play, but the architect and designer has been studying borders, walls and their meaning for much longer. Rael, based at UC Berkeley and principal at design studio Rael San Fratello, with partner Virginia San […]

Review: In ‘A Delicious Country,’ an author rediscovers the Carolinas

Author Scott Huler will be interviewed on the “Charlotte Readers” live podcast at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Charlotte Museum of History. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here. Earlier that day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the museum will host a free symposium showcasing research by museum […]

Immigrants play a big role in Charlotte’s growth, new study shows

Almost one in six Mecklenburg residents were born outside the U.S., and immigrants make an outsized contribution to the local economy and many key industries. That’s according to a new study examining the economic impact of immigration in the “Gateways for Growth” series. Conducted by the pro-immigration think tank New American Economy, in partnership with […]

Should Charlotte’s “brand” emerge organically or be something aspirational?

Common rush (Juncus effusus) is often used in riparian restoration projects. It provides cover for wildlife and helps stabilize soil and filter stormwater runoff, and it can be found throughout the Uwharries. Jim Matthews, professor emeritus at UNC Charlotte and founder of Habitat Assessment and Restoration Professionals, calls it the “Cadillac of wetland plants” because it can grow in standing water but also tolerate dry spells.

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 […]

No flood in your city? Lessons from New Orleans still apply

When New Orleans flooded 10 years ago last month, it looked to many people in America as though the city could never recover. Today, when the word “resilience” dots virtually every scrap of writing on urban policy around the globe, New Orleans provides iconographic proof that a city is, in fact, a hard thing to […]

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 […]

What’s in a name? Defining ‘urban’ in the South

It’s a quirky fact about all three of the most recent directors of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute: We all came, not from large urban centers, but from small, rural communities. Jim Clay, director from 1979 to 1984, was from Crum, W.Va. Bill McCoy (director 1985-2001) hailed from Ekron, Ky. And me? My friends are […]