Sometimes, listening really is the best plan of action, and so Culture Blocks came to be. Dedicated to building stronger relationships with specific geographic areas, Culture Blocks helps vibrant programming meet people exactly where they are: at the recreation center, at the library, and beyond.
What is Culture Blocks?
Culture Blocks embraces and celebrates the cultural life and desires of residents, connects communities to arts and culture activities that speak to their interests, and seeks to address barriers to participation with major cultural institutions.
Culture Blocks is funded by Mecklenburg County and aligns to bringing cultural experiences closer to where residents live.
How does Culture Blocks work?
Culture Blocks program staff learn more about what is happening within the community through conversation with residents. Those conversations take place while in attendance at neighborhood meetings and community events, at ASC hosted gatherings and facilitated discussions, and by including community leaders and residents in process of identifying programming priorities.
Through resource sharing and support of relevant programming, Culture Blocks supports the scaling of existing cultural infrastructure and augments existing happenings with additional feedback based programming.
To view a list of the feedback ASC has received from the community, click here.
Where does Culture Blocks work?
Funded by Mecklenburg County, Culture Blocks is a community partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to provide cultural programming in seven geographical blocks of Mecklenburg County.
Culture Blocks funded experiences take place closer to where residents live at libraries, parks, recreation centers, and relevant community spaces to increase access and reduce transportation and parking barriers.
How can i get involved with Culture Blocks?
As the program grows, ASC staff continue to work with community representatives and cultural program providers to identify partnerships, priorities, and resources to address participation barriers impacting area residents.
To provide programming, individuals and organizations can get involved with Culture Blocks through two applications.
- The Culture Blocks Creative Activator Fellowship provides funding for creative individuals, culture bearers and keepers, and artisans living within the program geography to execute art, science, history, and/or heritage activities in the area where they live. Fellowship awards of $5,000 are made to Individuals to support the design and facilitation of community-based and community-engaged creative activities that occur in spaces close to where the intended audience and fellow live. Fellowship activities may range in size and duration from a multi-month series of small-scale events to single day large-scale events. Apply now.
- The Culture Blocks Program Investment Application provides funding to organizations to connect relevant cultural experiences closer to where residents live. The funded programming explicitly integrates arts, science, and/or history experiences with community feedback as listed within the Culture Blocks Program Themes. The programming is open to the public and seeks to increase access to creative programming for residents. Apply now.
To stay involved, area residents and neighborhood organizations can connect with the program in numerous ways.
- Attend ASC hosted gatherings and facilitated discussions or sponsored cultural events
- Invite ASC staff to attend neighborhood meetings and community events
- Serve on panels and planning committees
- Share information about upcoming cultural events by inviting neighbors, posting on social media, and/or listing events in community newsletters
- Opt-in to the Culture Blocks text messaging program by texting the word CULTURE to 797979
To stay informed and engaged, contact Culture Blocks Program Director, Tiera Swanson, at 704-335-3043 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.