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Arts and Entertainment

A feast for Charlotte's culture scene, and a birthday, too
Culture Feast at Levine Center for The Arts
 
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:05 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | JON STRAYHORN
The fifth annual Culture Feast is Oct. 4 at Levine Center for the Arts in Center City as Charlotte’s arts district is transformed of food and performers..

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Monifa Drayton is celebrating her birthday in style.


The fifth annual Arts and Science Council Culture Feast coincides with the longtime arts supporter’s birthday on Oct. 4 from 6-9 p.m. The Levine Center for the Arts will transform into a family-style dinner, with tables lining the streets, as performers illuminate the night.

“I have a background in performing arts, and I love, love the arts,” Drayton said. “When I was in third grade, I started playing the flute. I studied classical music. I was a very energetic child, and they had to figure out how to keep me still, quiet and occupied, so they gave me a flute to play. I studied classical music until I left high school. That’s why Culture Feast is so important to me, because the money goes back to arts and science programs, which are absolutely necessary.”

Drayton’s favorite part about Culture Feast is the diversity.

“We don’t see a lot opportunities for authentic and organic diversity in Charlotte,” Drayton said. “If you come Uptown any weekend, you don’t see diversity. It’s heartbreaking, but with Culture Feast, it brings everyone to the table—literally, everyone to the table.”

A Buffalo, New York native, Drayton has been in Charlotte since 2000. Growing up playing the flute, which she attributes to teaching her discipline as well as helping her develop her ability to think critically.

“Arts should be just as critical as reading, writing and arithmetic,” Drayton said. “It is the exact same level as critical need in our school system for our children, because the arts teach discipline. It provides exposure to children who would otherwise not get it. It teaches you to think with a different part of your brain. It is absolutely critical for the arts programs to be in school.”

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