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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Reach out and touch someone at inaugural Charlotte Art Chat
Conversations about creating and connecting
 
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016 4:53 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

PHOTO/TARALYNN MCNITT
The inaugural Charlotte Art Chat combines artisans and thinking in South End.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get out into the world and connect with humanity.


The first Charlotte Art Chat at Common Market South End is January 21 from 5-7 p.m., with the invitation to engage with others. It’s free and open to the public.


“If you could think about, back in the day when thinkers got together at local cafes and really talked about their work and the politics of the time and what was going on in their locale, but also in the world, it’s like a combination of all that versus ‘what’s the next art event?’ or ‘what can I get out of this in terms of promoting myself?’” said organizer April Marten. “It’s not that at all.”


As the offspring of a weekly coffee chat that used to take place in NoDa, Marten has seen them take varying forms. While initially occurring on Thursday mornings, that time slot proved difficult to accommodate due to conflicting commitments.


“This is what’s so beautiful about it is it’s so unique,” Marten said. “The conversations are the conversations that no one else is having. You can only do that when you provide an environment that’s a safe place where people know it’s not about promotion and it’s not about typical networking. It’s really about come sit and tell us what you think.”  


Events such as this inspire nostalgic idealism to the days of writers like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald collaborating in a Parisian café, then going off to create works that remain essential to creative culture.


“The people that attend are already thinkers—intellectuals, creative-minded, people who love the arts, but don’t have the opportunity to be around artists talk about art,” Marten said. “It’s a very unique crowd in that sense, who have been attracted to the chat. I think we have a broader reach now [because of social media]. I don’t know who is going to show up."


With the Common Market South End location changing this year due to development, the question of what’s next arises for the adjacent art studios. However, Marten is confident such events will continue to focus on the people they inspire.


“I don’t know what’s next,” she said, “but I do know as it continues to grow some great collaborations and ideas come out of people sitting and talking with no pressure.”

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