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Arts and Entertainment

Home-grown support for Charlotte artists
Queen City Urban Art Showcase Dec. 30
 
Published Wednesday, December 28, 2016 7:07 am
by Ashley Mahoney

PHOTO/T. MONIT SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
The Queen City Urban Art Showcase highlights the works of Charlotte artists. The showcase is a response to cuts in urban arts funding and its impact on artists. The season ends Dec. 30 at Industry in the Music Factory with a showcase from 7-10 p.m.

Charlotteans have a new narrative for supporting local artists.


Queen City Urban Art Showcase emerged in July 2016 as a response to budget cuts.

“We started the Queen City Urban Art Showcase as a response to a lot of the urban art programs being cut back through funding and budget cuts,” founder Michael Calloway said. “We thought this would be a nice way to help showcase local talent that was being affected by the cuts.”

On Dec. 30, the season concludes at Industry in the Music Factory from 7-10 p.m. The showcase is free, but attendees must be 21 or older and provide a valid ID. There will be live performances and painters, food, vendors, and fashion show.  

“The ideal goal is to create more of a show business atmosphere as far as live performances,” Calloway said. “It’s a place for people to come and see a show—a free show. All types of visual and performing arts. We also have a partnership with Paramount Pictures and a lot of different movie studios in Hollywood. So we’ll be doing promotions with new movies that come out in 2017. We’ll have events that are aligned with those.”  

Initially intended for painters, Calloway and his team held the first showcase at Advent Coworking in Plaza Midwood.

“The response was so strong that we had to add other mediums,” Calloway said. “We had to add in spoken word, people who make crafts and performance art as well. We’ve had a dance team. On Dec. 30 we’ll have a fashion show. People wanted more.”

Those who set up to sell their work, such as live painters and other vendors, must pay a $25 participation fee. Others, such as spoken word artists or dance teams can participate free of charge. Since the launch in July, Queen City Urban Art Showcase has expanded to include over 50 painters, more than 30 small business vendors, over 50 spoken word artists, as well as a dance team with more than 20 members.

“They’ll end up contacting me, and then we have to review their art,” Calloway said. “I can’t allow anything offensive. Even though artists [are entitled to] their own creations, there are certain things that I stay away from. So I have to view it first, but after that we just pick participants based on their overall creativity and their overall involvement in the creative community here in Charlotte. They have to meet this criteria.”

For more information: www.createamazingllc.com/events

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