CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 27, 2023) — The City of Charlotte on Monday released the
State of Culture Report, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area's most up-to-date study of local arts and culture conditions. Residents and all local arts and culture participants are invited to provide additional input on the city's cultural planning efforts through a
survey and during a
virtual public meeting about the report.
The State of Culture Report is a common foundation of information for artists, cultural organizations, policy makers, patrons, funders and residents to understand the issues and conditions facing local arts and culture. Its findings will inform the strategies and action steps that will be included in the future Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan, due to be released later this year. The plan will be the culmination of the city's
ongoing initiative to support economic sustainability and growth in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg arts and culture sector.
State of Culture Report Findings
Nine months of in-depth research and analysis by the city, its
cultural planning consultants, the
Arts and Culture Advisory Board, and a steering group made up of arts and culture practitioners and community members, resulted in eight high-level findings known as "emerging insights" about the state of local arts and culture:
Sustainable funding for arts and culture in Charlotte-Mecklenburg requires public-private planning, collaboration, and commitment.
Recognizing the historic and continuing leadership of the private sector, the public sector must play an active leadership role in building Charlotte-Mecklenburg's arts and culture ecosystem.
Access to affordable space is challenging, both for producers and consumers of arts and culture experiences.
Access to arts and culture is needed throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg — meeting people, artists and arts organizations where they are.
An equitable and inclusive approach to support is critical to realize sustainability and growth in the ecosystem; this includes balancing support for small, mid-size and large organizations; and resourcing BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and other local artists.
Stronger communication—about and among the arts and culture community— is needed to increase awareness.
Increased collaboration and greater cooperation throughout the creative ecosystem are imperative to break silos.
Arts education — lifelong, K-12 and post-secondary — experiences should be expanded for greater access and exposure to arts and culture, enhancing quality of life, workforce development, and retention and cultivation of future artists and supporters.
These insights rose to the top from the input of more than 3,200 residents; an evaluation of local arts and culture funding; a mapping exercise pinpointing
nearly 1,000 cultural assets across the county; and a study of the practices of eight comparable communities nationwide. Details on each of these research activities are in the full State of Culture Report, which is available to read on
the city's website.
"As we now go back to our community and confirm whether our findings resonate with their experiences, we need residents to keep showing up and to help us turn this information into action," said Priya Sircar, the city's arts and culture officer.
Residents can also review a snapshot of the report's findings in the
State of Culture Report At a Glance.
Additional Opportunities for Input on the Report and Cultural Planning
Residents are invited to read the report and provide additional input on the next phase of the cultural planning process. The next phase will focus on forming the priorities, strategies and actions that will be included in the Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan.
The city will host a virtual public meeting on March 8, 6-8 p.m., to walk residents through the State of Culture Report and to solicit feedback. Residents should
register on Eventbrite to receive a Zoom meeting invitation from the city's consultants, Lord Cultural Resources. Registrants will be asked to indicate which of the eight insights they would like to discuss during a breakout session at the meeting.
online survey is also available to provide input on the cultural planning process. The deadline to complete the survey is March 15.
Cultural planning efforts are supported by the Infusion Fund, a partnership of the City of Charlotte,
Foundation For The Carolinas and private donors.