It may be a surprise to some to learn that both the state and national Main Street organizations identified arts and culture as a key strategy to downtown Charlotte’s revitalization efforts. Through extensive research, both organizations concluded the arts and culture have a big presence in Charlotte.

But, how many people are aware of all of the talent in the area?

A group of local community members, including representatives from CharlotteRising, CanDo!, Windwalker Underground Gallery, and Charlotte High School students have formed to show that art really is at the heart of downtown Charlotte.

The group created Art of Charlotte, a five-hour celebration of the arts that will take place in the parking lot behind Windalker, located at 125 S. Cochran Avenue, from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. The event will feature a live performance by folk trio, Whoa Nelly!, which kicks off Windwalker’s popular Open Mic Night format that will keep people entertained throughout the night.

In addition, local artists have been given the opportunity to set up shop around the perimeter of the parking lot to display and sell their work. Families can also walk away with their own work of art, thanks to Crosswalk Teen Center, which created small wooden key chains featuring the Art of Charlotte logo. Each key chain can be custom painted by participants and taken home free of charge. The evening will close with a “Fire Flow” led by local flow artist, Nat Spinz.

“It’s always been a part of my dream to be able to have a great big party like the city’s never seen before,” said Richard Turbin, owner of Windwalker Underground Gallery.  “I’m as excited as all get out. It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to come have fun. It’s things like this that are really why I do what I do.”

All of this is offered to guests free of charge, thanks in large part to a mini-grant from CanDo!’s 2017 Charlotte Soup event. The idea behind Art of Charlotte was created during Charlotte Soup, and received the second-most votes from those in attendance that night, earning a $300 grant.

“As we have preached for some time now, arts and creativity remains at the forefront of downtown’s growth,” said Dillon Rush, executive director of CharlotteRising. “To see student and community leaders come together to celebrate ‘Art of Charlotte’ is just amazing and I look forward to more creative activity like this in the near future.”

In the case of inclement weather, Art of Charlotte will be moved inside Windwalker Underground Gallery.

More information can be found on the Art of Charlotte event page on Facebook.