For 17 days this spring, Charlotte SHOUT! will invigorate Uptown Charlotte, bringing performances, installations, food trucks, interactive art and engaging conversations to plazas and venues in the center city. The annual festival aims to inspire Charlotteans with creative and culinary innovation, turning the center of town into a forum for new ideas and experiences. And for the first time, UNC Charlotte is a partner in that aspiration.
Presented by Charlotte Center City Partners with key sponsors Bank of America and Atrium Health, the festival programming is organized into four pillars: art, food, music, and ideas. Each pillar has a unique sponsor; UNC Charlotte is the Ideas Pillar sponsor.
The festival, which runs March 31-April 16, offers nearly 100 activities and installations, but we’re especially excited about the many UNC Charlotte faculty, student, and alumni presenters and performers. Here are the highlights.
Charlotte IDEAS Festival
Recognized for their thought leadership, UNC Charlotte faculty and alumni will shape vital conversations during the Charlotte IDEAS Festival, a “festival within a festival” that opens the SHOUT lineup. In addition, dance professors Kim Jones and Tamara Williams will perform as part of the Flourish! performance, and The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center will host keynote presenter Shannon Vallor. Both events are on April 1.
- April 3 at 6 p.m.: English professors Janaka Lewis and Mark West join a panel to consider the question “Should classic texts be rewritten for modern audiences?”
- April 4 at 6 p.m.: Master of Urban Design Director Sekou Cooke and architecture alumni Melanie Reddrick and Kristina Held will discuss the future of architecture in Charlotte.
- April 4 at 7:30 p.m.: History professor Karen Cox will join a conversation about what histories should be taught in schools and how.
In partnership with the Catawba Riverkeepers and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the College of Arts + Architecture will address crucial topics of urban water quality and sustainability in a series of Ideas Pillar events.
- April 5 at 12:30 pm: Arizona-based architecture Courtney Crosson presents “Net Zero Urban Water: Reinventing Water Infrastructure for Self Sufficient Cities in the US Southwest”
- April 5 at 2:30 pm: In “Net Positive Watershed Development in the City of Creeks,” College of Arts + Architecture Dean Brook Muller will lead a conversation exploring creative ways to reconcile water conservation and quality with urban growth in Charlotte.
- April 6 at 7 p.m.: The Bechtler Museum hosts a screening of Psychohydrography, a film that tracks the flow of water, step-by-step, through Owens Valley, aqueducts, and concrete troughs in the city of Los Angeles, to Long Beach delta and the Pacific Ocean. A panel discussion with Brook Muller and Courtney Crosson follows.
Charlotte is the first city in the U.S. to host Pianodrome, an amphitheater made entirely from upcycled pianos. The installation will fill the Historic Grace Church to create a unique, intimate listening room for acoustic music. Tune in to hear UNC Charlotte musicians at these concerts:
- Charlotte Strings Collective, April 8 at 4 p.m.: Organized by Professor of Cello Mira Frisch, the ensemble will perform historic and contemporary music by Black composers.
- Clarinetist Jessica Lindsey and Friends, April 12 at 8 p.m.: Associate Professor of Clarinet Jessica Lindsey is joined by other faculty and alumni to perform music for clarinet and a constellation of other instruments in a celebration of women composers.
- Soprano Sequina DuBose, April 16 at 5 p.m.: Assistant Professor of Voice Sequina DuBose and guest pianist Gregory Thompson present “Blurred Lines,” a program of 21st-century “hybrid” vocal music that blends elements from a vast array of musical styles – from opera to musical theatre and art song to jazz and blues.
In addition to the Pianodrome concerts that feature faculty performers, the UNC Charlotte Orchestra will perform music by Beethoven and Phillip Glass at the Bechtler Museum on April 12.
Organized by dance professor Tamara Williams, LAVAGEM! is a multi-day celebration of Brazilian Indigenous and Black arts and culture that includes classes, performances, and a procession through The Green (April 13-15).
Charlotte Earth Day 2023
Produced by UNC Charlotte dance alum Hardin Minor ’79, the Charlotte Earth Day celebration will take place in First Ward on April 15. Among the family-friendly activities and performances is A Hatful of Dragons, a children’s play created and performed by UNC Charlotte students under the direction of theatre education professor Beth Murray (1 p.m.)
Accessory Dwelling Unit Build
Sponsored by the Charlotte SHOUT! festival, a group of architecture students led by professor Marc Manack is constructing a prototype accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which will be staged on 8th Street between First Ward Park and The Dubois Center on April 15 during the Earth Day event. The project has its roots in a request from Warren Wooten, assistant director for affordable housing at the City of Charlotte, who approached Manack with a design/build challenge for his students. ADUs, small homes that typically sit in the back yard of another house, can provide an affordable place for someone to live and an income stream for a low-income property owner.
Working with a modified design developed in class this past summer, Manack and the students have begun building the ADU on campus and will transport it uptown for SHOUT. Once it’s completed, the plan is to locate the home in a low-income neighborhood in Charlotte.