Charlotte Art Institutions Team to Combat Racism

Building Bridges Program Seeks to Help Eliminate Racism Through Art
By: Charlotte Art League
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Oct. 18, 2020 - PRLog -- In June, property management company Cushman and Wakefield reached out to the Charlotte Art League to find ways to beautify 86 wood panels covering the windows of businesses on their property. The windows were initially boarded to prevent damage to the buildings during demonstrations in Uptown following the killing of George Floyd.

As a result, more than 20 artists came to S. Tryon Street between Third and Fourth streets to paint the boards with messages of hope and progress. The goal of the artwork was to build bridges and to use artwork to heal the community.  However, the artwork did more than provide a few moments of reflection for admirers.  As part of preserving the murals, the Charlotte Art League in partnership with The Levine Museum of the New South, The Mint Museum, The Harvey B. Gantt Center, The Arts Empowerment Project, and Charlotte Center City Partners were inspired to create Building Bridges - Eliminating Racism Through Art, a community effort to continue a dialogue about systemic racism in Charlotte afterward.

"This body of work, subsequent exhibit and future arts-based programming focused on eliminating racism, are important for all voices in Charlotte to be heard in a new way.  These messages allow us to view the artists' message and listen with our eyes and help facilitate communication," says Jim Dukes, CAL Executive Director.

The program will offer two upcoming community events to demonstrate how art can both reflect the ills of our society as well as help move us forward to address them.

Art in Action (

Virtual Panel Discussion – Hosted by Levine Center of the New South

Sunday, October 25, Noon—1 p.m.

A discussion among the artists of how they use art to propel change in the community.  Moderated by Natalie Frazier-Allen, Founder, The Arts Empowerment Project, the panel will include Dukes and Artists Deneer Davis and John Hairston.

Exhibition on the Pedestrian Plaza – Hosted by Charlotte Art League and Charlotte Center City Partners

200 Block of South Tryon Street

10 a.m.—6 p.m. Saturday, October 31—Sunday, November 1

The plywood murals return to Uptown.  The public can view and learn more about the collection created by more than 20 artists. The exhibition will also serve as a launch for an online auction for the individual pieces. Saturday will include a two-hour open mic poetry event hosted by local poet Jah Smalls and On Track DJ, Sound and Lighting from 2-4 pm. Entertainment is being scheduled for Sunday from 1-3pm.

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