Friday, May 17, 2019
8 – 11 a.m. 

Covenant Presbyterian Church
1000 E. Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28204

Registration is $10. Please register by Wednesday, May 15, 2019. 

Registration for This Event is Closed

As Charlotte-Mecklenburg grows, how can we leverage creativity to build strong communities and keep our region affordable?

Join us for a morning of learning and discussion regarding the many ways art and artists can help strengthen and support equitable affordable housing and community development initiatives.

Artists, researchers, and facilitators from ArtPlace America and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice will share examples from around the country of how creative community development projects and placemaking strategies are helping to meet affordable housing goals. Artists and civic leaders from Nashville and Charlotte will also add their voices to the conversation, sharing poetry, photography, and more.

We invite affordable housing advocates, developers, policymakers, artists, civic leaders and community members for an interactive community building and learning session. Join us to strengthen our collective knowledge about these innovative new forms of partnerships, and brainstorm how we might build work together in Charlotte-Mecklenburg that benefits all.


Simone Boyd is a writer exploring what makes relationships and neighborhoods thrive or die. Whether its academic research shared as creative non-fiction or a workshop…she tells stories. At least once a week, people—some incarcerated—share that her novel, The Day Sonny Died, has made them hopeful. Currently, she is an artists-in-residence at Metro Nashville Public Health Department and the recipient of the 2018-2019 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Presentation – How Artists Can Help Heal Communities

Kim Graham is Executive Director of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association (GCAA), the trade association for the Charlotte region’s multifamily housing providers and suppliers. Prior to joining the GCAA, Kim was the Senior Vice President of Outreach and Fund Development for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership. In this role, she served as project lead for more than $1.8 million in community stabilization grants to benefit neighborhoods in the Statesville Avenue Corridor and coordinated critical partnerships with national and local organizations including NeighborWorks America® and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. These partnerships resulted in the first environmental art installations within the 98-acre BrightWalk campus, public art being slated for the Northwest Corridor and renovations to Anita Stroud and Druid Hills parks. Additional professional experience includes stints with the North Carolina Parent and Teachers Association, United Way of Central Carolinas, GreerWalker and the former Arthur Andersen. A Philadelphia native, Kim holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a B.A. from Johnson C. Smith University.

Presentation – A Revival in Double Oaks

Hannah Hasan is a spoken word storyteller who uses the art of the spoken word through poetry and storytelling to create change, build bridges of connection, and shed light on some of the most pressing social issues of our time. In addition to writing commissioned poetry, leading story sharing master classes, and public speaking–through her business Epoch Tribe– Hannah plans and executes events, master classes, and workshops that are centered around using stories for social impact. Her Muddy Turtle Talks are a series of live story-sharing events– conceptualized, written, and produced by Hannah — that showcase the true stories of a community impacted by gentrification and erasure. Hannah obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 2006 and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Full Sail University in 2012. She has extensive professional experience working in programming for nonprofit organizations, social ventures, and arts-based programming.

Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr., a native of Rockford, IL, is a professional photographer and image activist, based in Charlotte, NC. As a transplant to the Queen City, he spent time honing his craft through experiences on the front lines of local and national social justice movements. He has since emerged on the scene as a premier photographer and photo-documentarian. He specializes in social documentary, professional sports, portrait, editorial, and fashion photo-graphic projects. His distinctive aesthetic is marked by a propensity for highlighting stark contrast and in dealing in the black & white – both in photography and in the world. Jacobs has been commissioned for and has collaborated on various projects across the nation – including stints with the NFL, NBA, NASCAR – and has contributed social commentary via interviews on CNN, HLN, and Fox News networks and various local outlets. In one of his most recent endeavors, he is a featured artist in the co-curated exhibit, entitled K(no)w Justice, K(no)w Peace at the Levine Museum of the New South. Additionally, Davidson College hosted his first solo photography exhibition, entitled Three Steps Back: A Call To Action. After wrapping up a commissioned event photography assignment on Jay-Z’s 4:44 tour, Jacobs has returned to his social justice roots with his 2018 exhibition, Welcome to Brookhill, commissioned by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture. Jacobs is also a 2018 Charlotte Magazine Charlottean of The Year recipient and Best Photographer – Exhibition award winner by Creative Loafing.


Rebecca Martinez is a Brooklyn-based theatre artist with the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and the program director of Learning Lab and Catalyst Initiative. Her work focuses on co-designed arts-based strategies. As a member of Sojourn Theatre, she has worked as a director, choreographer and facilitator for multiple national projects and with the company she has worked as a lead artist on projects including DON’T GO (USC), How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes  (Cleveland Public Theater & Vanderbilt University), On the Table, Finding Penelope, Islands of Milwaukee, and keynote performances for several national conferences, including Americans for the Arts, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and Independent Sector.

Presentation – Articulating a spectrum of art-making in relation to impulse, intentions, process, and impact

Danya Sherman is a strategist and writer who specializes in collaboratively developing initiatives that build a more creative and just society. Danya is a senior consultant and team member with ArtPlace America. She also runs an arts and community development consultancy based in Boston, where she works primarily on innovation and organizational effectiveness in the non-profit and government sectors. Previously she founded and directed the Department of Public Programs & Community Engagement at Friends of High Line and co-founded the MIT Case Study Initiative. Her writing has been published in Next City, Shelterforce, and by Rutgers University Press. She holds a Master’s in City Planning from MIT and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.

Presentation – Six Things Arts Can Do for Affordable Housing Work