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Arts and Culture


Arts and culture are central to providing a vibrant quality of life for all people, and play an important role in economic development by attracting businesses, new residents and visitors to a city.

To ensure local arts and culture have a healthy future, the City of Charlotte is developing policies and strategies that stabilize the arts and cultural sector, incentivize growth opportunities for artists and arts and culture organizations, grow the industry ecosystem, and respond to community needs and opportunities.

In January 2021, Mayor Vi Lyles created the Charlotte City Council’s ad hoc Arts and Culture Committee to develop a policy for arts and culture as an economic development strategy for Charlotte. The committee was charged with identifying a new investment strategy to support the creative community.





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Guiding Principles

Seven guiding principles direct the city’s strategies for arts and culture:

  • Equity, inclusiveness and transparency in the city’s processes.

  • Meaningful engagement at multiple levels of the community.

  • Data-driven decision-making, and innovative and implementable approaches to supporting arts and culture.

  • Valuing the full breadth of the cultural ecosystem, including artists and creatives, nonprofits, creative businesses, partners, funders, educators, audiences and participants.

  • Removing barriers to help the public engage with arts and culture, and to help artists and groups access funding and opportunities that have been less accessible to them historically.

  • Sustainability, growth, resiliency, opportunity and collaboration across the arts and culture sector and beyond.

  • Educating the public on the economic and social impact of arts and culture, and exciting residents and visitors about playing their role.






Public-Private Partnerships


In 2021, the city increased its annual investment in arts and culture to $6 million per year, and Foundation For The Carolinas led a fundraising campaign to match funding the city has committed for a three-year period. With a goal of $18 million for this Infusion Fund, the foundation ultimately raised $23 million from generous private-sector donors. Foundation For The Carolinas has a complete list of the arts and culture contributors.




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Arts and Culture Advisory Board


Led by Priya Sircar, the city's new arts and culture officer, an 18-member Arts and Culture Advisory Board is responsible for developing a comprehensive arts and culture plan for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and allocating Infusion Fund dollars to support local artists, arts and culture.







Funding Opportunities


A key objective of the plan is developing sustainable funding for arts and culture in Charlotte while maximizing the economic impact of this crucial sector. The city and its partners offer funding and creative opportunities for local artists and arts and culture organizations. Active opportunities will be listed below when available.







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Cultural Planning Process


The city and its public and private partners are crafting a long-range vision and near-term plans for arts and culture in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. This process will determine how resources and funding can achieve sustainability and growth across the entire sector. It will also find opportunities for inclusive collaboration among individuals, organizations and other partners.
Planning is anticipated to begin in April 2022 and finish in the spring of 2023


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Watch Advisory Board Meetings

The Arts and Culture Advisory Board generally meets every other Tuesday, from 9-11 a.m. Members of the public can access the meetings via the city’s online calendar, which provides a link to the virtual meeting.