April 12, 2016
The Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s (ASC) mission is “ensuring access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable Cultural Community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region.” The ASC Board of Directors has adopted and communicated the following statement to Governor Pat McCrory, the Mecklenburg County Legislative Delegation, Charlotte City Council and North Carolina’s cultural community.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s cultural sector is a major contributor in building community, driving economic development and supporting educational attainment. Arts and culture enrich the quality of life of residents and visitors. Attracting talent to grow businesses requires a vibrant, welcoming and accepting community.
In 2014, through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Cultural Vision Plan, residents articulated to ASC and the cultural community that they want arts and culture to play a more intrinsic role in enlivening, engaging and enriching all of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s communities, helping to build strong bridges and increase dialogue and understanding across differences.
Our local nonprofit cultural sector generates more than $203 million in economic impact annually and is a primary hub for cultural consumers throughout the Southeast and beyond. In fact, over 50 percent of the 3.1 million members of our audience in 2015 traveled from outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg to experience innovative, relevant and diverse arts and cultural programming.
HB2 puts our cultural sector and its role in attracting a talented workforce, creative individuals, major exhibitions and performances, educators, tourists and other cultural opportunities at risk.
We urge city and state leaders to work together to find common ground and modify HB2 to build an even more vibrant, inclusive and equitable vision for our shared future.