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Sound of Charlotte Blog

Take Action for Vibrant Arts! A Plea from the Past and the Present

Originally Posted: August 2010

On Sunday, Dennis Scholl, the Vice President for Arts for the Knight Foundation, called the Charlotte community to action. Those who love culture and this city have "taken a big step toward fostering a creative environment by making a significant investment in its arts infrastructure," he wrote in The Charlotte Observer. The new Levine Center for the Arts, which includes the Knight Theater, the new Mint Museum, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Harvey Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, is an extraordinary addition to the city's cultural facilities a set of architectural jewels.
Scholl congratulated us for investing in the arts infrastructure, but he challenged us to "redouble" our efforts. "You have a plethora of world-class buildings that now need to be filled with world-class programming," he wrote. (Read more:http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/08/29/1650780/now-charlotte-must-take-the-next.html#ixzz0y7f5xKTU)

The plea to fund programs as well as buildings is not new. In 1963, the then-new Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony, Richard Cormier, addressed the Charlotte Rotary Club, issuing the same challenge:
"If we are to maintain a vigorous, vital cultural life in our cities, we must think not only of buildings, but of people artists, actors, musicians, writers, performers, teachers, students, philosophers, and administrators in every area of the cultural spectrum.... The big problem, as I scarcely need tell you, is money. Money not merely for theaters, concert halls, and museum buildings, but money to develop the public in its role as patrons and appreciators of the products of an artistic civilization....We must come to accept the arts as a new community responsibility."

Nearly half a century later, we still need to hear those words. The Charlotte community must demand and support excellent culture: "fight for vibrant arts programming that engages the community and brings it inside these incredible structures to have an equally compelling cultural experience," Scholl wrote.
The Charlotte Symphony is ready to do its part. New this season, the Symphony launches KnightSounds, a set of three concerts that aim to fill the new Knight Theater with "vibrant arts programming." We challenge the community to be a part of this process. Come join us!

For more about KnightSounds, visit /concerts-tickets/knight-sounds/

Tagged as Culture, knight foundation, Levine Center for the Arts, Money.

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