Recognized as one of 10 national finalists for Americans for the Arts’ Robert E. Gard Award 2018

Culture Blocks connects communities with responsive arts, science, and history experiences close to where residents live. The program engages with creative individuals and organizations with a primary mission of arts, science, and/or history to present programs in specific geographic areas. Culture Blocks, funded by Mecklenburg County, supports cultural experiences that are planned with resident involvement and/or take place at libraries, recreation centers, parks, and relevant community spaces.

Upcoming Programs

All the events, classes and workshops listed below are FREE thanks to the generous financial support of Mecklenburg County

 

Family Pottery Workshop
When: Monday, July 26 (5:30 p.m.)
Where: Zoom. Pre-registration required. Register here

Join Clayworks via Zoom for these hands-on clay making workshops. Workshops are free but registration is required. Clay and supplies kits for each person registered will be made available for pick-up, typically a week before the workshop. Each workshop has a specific partner location for pick-up with specific dates and times. See details below.

In your materials kit, you will receive everything you need to create a fun clay project during this live Zoom workshop. A Clayworks teaching artist will give step-by-step instructions on how to pinch, coil, slip and score your way to a completed project of their choice. Since we will be using air dry clay, paint is included to finish your project once the piece dries.

Registrants will be sent the Zoom link and passcode to access the workshop a few days before the event.


Family Pottery Workshop
When: Wednesday, July 28 (5:30 p.m.)
Where: Zoom. Pre-registration required. Register here

Join Clayworks via Zoom for these hands-on clay making workshops. Workshops are free but registration is required. Clay and supplies kits for each person registered will be made available for pick-up, typically a week before the workshop. Each workshop has a specific partner location for pick-up with specific dates and times. See details below.

In your materials kit, you will receive everything you need to create a fun clay project during this live Zoom workshop. A Clayworks teaching artist will give step-by-step instructions on how to pinch, coil, slip and score your way to a completed project of their choice. Since we will be using air dry clay, paint is included to finish your project once the piece dries.

Registrants will be sent the Zoom link and passcode to access the workshop a few days before the event.


25th Anniversary screening of the classic Black film “Set It Off”
When: Saturday, July 31 (6:30 p.m.) Postponed; new date TBD
Where: West Complex (1600 W. Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28216). 

“Thelma and Louise” meets “Waiting To Exhale”, as four young Black women, whose lives are in economic crisis, turn to robbing banks to pay the bills In partnership with Shaolin Jazz, and sponsored by ASC Culture Blocks. A unique film experience screened and scored (scene-by-scene) with a blend of Hip Hop, Soul, Funk and more mixed live by DJ 2-Tone Jones. The result is a live, remixed soundtrack to the movies using music and DJ techniques to accentuate elements of specific scenes and fighting sequences.


From Jazz to Latin Boleros and Everything in Between
When: Saturday, July 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Where: Café Amaretto’s Facebook Page

Join us for a fun acoustic show where Latin-American musicians and teaching artists, Ana Lucia Divins (vocals) and Carlos Crespo (guitar) – the Café Amaretto Duo – collaborate with local Jazz musician/Guitar player John Gurske to share the richness of standard Jazz songs, combined with slow tempo Cuban and Mexican style Boleros. Presenting a fusion of rhythms, stories and cultures, in
English and in Spanish.


2021 Summer STEM Virtual Camp – Beginner
When: Monday, August 2 through Thursday, August 5
Where: Zoom. Register here.

This beginner camp will cover both the basic coding and 3D modeling concept.

Coding is becoming a major skill in any field. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the newest technology used for almost all products. These two skills are the foundations to explore STEM careers for the next generation.

Students will learn about the basic programing principle with a user friendly online platform called Scratch . Hands on exercises encourage students think like a coder to develop important logic and problem solving skills.

Students will learn about the 3D modeling via Tinkercad . Guided by our instructors, they will create basic 3D models from scratch. At the end of class, students can even 3D print their proper sized and successfully created models for keepsake!


Inspired Sessions
When: Tuesday, August 3 (2 p.m.). This a recurring event that takes place the first Tuesday of the month.
Where: Zoom. Register here.

Every 1st Tuesday of the Month at 2pm-3pm through zoom, featuring live art done by local Artist CFour Black and live spoken word by Jah Smalls from Grannae’s Boyz based on themes found in the book for the month in partnership with West Blvd. Library’s book club. Come share a poem or just come to listen and watch the live art. This program is sponsored by Culture Blocks – a community partnership funded by Mecklenburg County. Ages 18+


Make It and Glaze It Clay Classes
When: August 3 and 5 (9:30 a.m.) and August 10 and 12 (9:30 a.m.)
Where: McDowell Arts Center (123 E McDowell St., Matthews, NC 28105). Register here.

Campers make fun “wet clay” projects day one – then return day two to glaze them. FREE but you must register, no walk ups please. Ages 6 – 18 only.


Da’ Art of Storytellin’
When: Starting Wednesday, August 4
Where: Facebook Live

Listen to your favorite artists (or soon to be) chat about their successes, challenges and spill all the tea in their journey of becoming…


Free Art, Music + Poetry Workshops
When: Saturday, August 7 (11:30 a.m. & 12:45 p.m.). This a recurring event that takes place the first Saturday of the month.
Where: Zoom. Register here.

Join us every 1st Saturday of the month for these free art, music and poetry workshops held via zoom. Art classes are from 11:30am-12:30pm and Music / Poetry classes are from 12:45pm-1:45pm. Art supply bundles will be provided at Derita Dairy Bar + Grill (2737 W Sugar Creek). Every month will be a different theme and you can join anytime throughout the series. Open to all ages.


Unplugged+Live Concert Series: Huntersville
When: Saturday, August 7 (5 p.m.)
Where: Veterans Park (201 Huntersville-Concord Rd., Huntersville, NC 28078). Register here.

his touring concert series features live performances featuring local and touring talent, live DJs, & Food Trucks. Join us outdoors and socially-distanced.

Upcoming Dates Include: October 9 and December 16


Vinyl Versuz Summer Series

When: Saturday, August 7 (1 p.m.)
Where: Online. Register here.

Vinyl Versuz is a series of painting and collage workshops with a musical tribute twist!

During the workshops, we will be upcycling vinyl records into works of ART featuring some of your favorite music legends! This nostalgic art experience will also include a game of trivia, sing-along and so much more!


2021 Summer Virtual STEM Camp – Advanced
When: Monday, August 9 through Thursday, August 12
Where: Zoom. Register here.

For those students with some experience in 3D modeling and coding, these programs are designed to further develop your skills!

Students will use a more formal 3D online platform called Onshape to practice model development in an environment close to professionals. Additional capabilities will be covered that allow students to extend creativity further in their class projects.

Makecode Mindstorm is the chosen platform for this coding program. Students will learn how to control motors and sensors to complete the challenges. Students will demonstrate their learning via running the robot remotely thru their program.


Make It and Glaze It Clay Classes
When: August 11 and 13 (9:30 a.m.)
Where: Belle Johnston Community Center (1000 Johnston Dr., Pineville, NC 28134). Register here.

Campers make fun “wet clay” projects day one – then return day two to glaze them. FREE but you must register, no walk ups please. Ages 6 – 18 only.


Songwriter and Producer Lock-In’s at Grindhaus Studios
When: Saturday, August 14 (6 p.m.)
Where: Grindhaus Studios (3711 Latrobe Dr, Ste 510,Charlotte, NC 28211). Register here.

Our aim is to create gathering places for artists to collaborate freely through music and human connection. Attendees are placed in small groups and given each a different studio to create music and at the end of the event we share all of our song concepts and dissect them in our Skybox Studio.


From Jazz to Latin Boleros and Everything in Between – Full Band Virtual Show
When: Saturday, August 28 at 7:30 pm
Where: Café Amaretto’s Facebook Page

Join us for a fun full band show where Latin-American musicians and teaching artists, Ana Lucia Divins (vocals) and Carlos Crespo (guitar) – the Café Amaretto Duo – collaborate with a band of local Jazz and Latin musicians to share the richness of standard Jazz songs, combined with slow tempo Cuban and
Mexican style Boleros. Presenting a fusion of rhythms, stories and cultures, in English and in Spanish.


Drum Circle with Drums 4 Life
When: Every Saturday (12 p.m.), starting September 11
Where: Hickory Grove Recreational Center (6709 Pence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28215)

All ages and levels are welcome to play along!


Unplugged+Live Concert Series: Lunchtime Edition
When: Saturday, September 11 (12 p.m.)
Where: Eastway Regional Recreation Center (423 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205). Register here.

Dear Soul Music Co Presents the Unplugged+Live Concert Series! This touring concert series features live performances featuring local and touring talent, live DJs, & Food Trucks. Join us outdoors and socially-distanced.

Upcoming Dates Include: November 13

 

Ongoing Programs

 

Virtually Yours! Summer Edition: BALLET WORKSHOP/DEMONSTRATION
When: Sunday, July 25 through Saturday, July 31
Where: Online. Watch here.

Four gifted young ballet dancers join Martha in her private studio for a demonstration of classical ballet technique and solo variations from well-known ballets. Can be enjoyed by Children-Adult. Running time: 50 minutes.


Watch Me Dance – Soul Line Dance
When: Mondays (6 p.m.)
Where: Crews Recreation Center (1201 Crews Rd., Matthews, NC 28105). Register here.

Purple Charlotte Steppers presents Watch Me Dance, an interactive dance series that promotes social connectivity and health through movement. This series celebrates American style social dancing. Watch Me Dance highlights the American social dance styles birthed in African-American communities, including Chicago Stepping, Detroit Ballroom and Soul Line Dancing. This series is open to children 10+ and adult children of all ages! This series features a new class customized for the visually impaired.


West African Dance Class
When: Mondays (6 p.m.)
Where: Tyvola Senior Center (2225 Tyvola Rd., Charlotte, NC 28210)

Open to all ages and skill levels.


Latin Dance Class
When: Mondays (7 p.m.)
Where: Belle Johnston Community Center (1000 Johnston Dr., Pineville, NC 28134)

Open to all ages and skill levels.


Senior Dance Class
When: Tuesdays (12 p.m.)
Where: Sugaw Creek Recreation Center (943 W. Sugar Creek Rd., Charlotte, NC 28213)

Open to all ages and skill levels.


Watch Me Dance – Detroit Ballroom
When: Tuesdays (7 p.m.)
Where: West Charlotte Recreation Center (2401 Kendell Dr., Charlotte, NC 28216). Register here.

Purple Charlotte Steppers presents Watch Me Dance, an interactive dance series that promotes social connectivity and health through movement. This series celebrates American style social dancing. Watch Me Dance highlights the American social dance styles birthed in African-American communities, including Chicago Stepping, Detroit Ballroom and Soul Line Dancing. This series is open to children 10+ and adult children of all ages! This series features a new class customized for the visually impaired.


Jazz Dance Class
When: Wednesdays (6 p.m.)
Where: Berewick Recreation Center (5910 Dixie River Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278)

Open to all ages and skill levels.


Therapeutic & Inclusive Dance Class
When: Thursdays (5 p.m.)
Where: Virtual. Register here.

Open to all ages and skill levels.


Watch Me Dance – Chicago Stepping
When: Fridays (7 p.m.)
Where: Huntersville Arts & Culture Center (109 S. Old Statesville Rd., Huntersville, NC 28078). Register here.

Purple Charlotte Steppers presents Watch Me Dance, an interactive dance series that promotes social connectivity and health through movement. This series celebrates American style social dancing. Watch Me Dance highlights the American social dance styles birthed in African-American communities, including Chicago Stepping, Detroit Ballroom and Soul Line Dancing. This series is open to children 10+ and adult children of all ages! This series features a new class customized for the visually impaired.


Watch Me Dance – Detroit Ballroom for the visually impaired
When: Saturdays (11 a.m.)
Where: Mallard Creek Recreation Center (2530 Johnston-Oehler Rd., Charlotte, NC 28269). Register here.

Purple Charlotte Steppers presents Watch Me Dance, an interactive dance series that promotes social connectivity and health through movement. This series celebrates American style social dancing. Watch Me Dance highlights the American social dance styles birthed in African-American communities, including Chicago Stepping, Detroit Ballroom and Soul Line Dancing. This series is open to children 10+ and adult children of all ages! This series features a new class customized for the visually impaired.


Virtual Drum Circle with Drums 4 Life
When: Every Saturday (12 p.m.) through September 4
Where: Facebook and Instagram

Tune in with your drums, pots, pans and water jugs. All ages and levels are welcome to play along!


Community Through Clay Workshop Series
When: Starting, Wednesday, June 23
Where: Online. Register here.

In this 9-week series of ceramic workshops, participants will learn traditional ceramic hand-building techniques that they will use to create unique hand-built ceramic projects inspired by varied cultural influences including Zuni Pottery made by Indigenous Americans and Face Jugs made by Enslaved Africans in the South. Each week there will be a different project exploring the work of a different artist and/or culture.

Participants will be provided a kit that includes clay, hand-building tools, chipboard, and a step by step insert that they will be able to pick up locally. A week prior to the event they will be able to register for the Zoom workshop where they will also receive a special link to the class the following week. At the completion of the workshop participants will be able to drop off their work locally to be fired and glazed with an expected turn around time of 4-6 weeks. Each class is capped at 40 participants with one project per person. These workshops will be taught by both Danielle Carelock and Susan Hendley, local Charlotte ceramic artists.


Inspire Inclusion Dance Summer Classes and Camps
When: Monday, June 21 through Saturday, July 31
Where: Zoom. Register here.

Join us for the long haul, these camps meet once weekly for six weeks, each week will have a different theme or concept to explore.


The Art of Sound: Music Production For Beginners
When: July 8 – Aug 12 / Thursdays at 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: Zoom. Register here.

The Art of Sound: Music Production For Beginners is an introductory course for aspiring music producers and artists looking to record their own works! During this 7-week course, participants (ages 16+) will learn the art and technology of music production to create professional music compositions with equipment they have at home – a smartphone, tablet, computer, or home studio. This FREE workshop is a chance to develop your creativity as a Music Producer.


Project Harmony
When: Mondays and Wednesdays (4 p.m.) and Tuesdays and Thursdays (4:30 p.m.)
Where: Online. Enroll here.

Project Harmony is a free after school orchestra program for 2nd through 5th grade students. An intensive afterschool youth program focused on Charlotte communities with the fewest resources, Project Harmony is a music and leadership program aimed at expanding the vision of what’s possible in the lives of area youth. Students attend free virtual group music classes two days per week (depending on location) after school. Beginners will have the opportunity to learn about string and wind instruments. Returning students will continue their journey on their instrument from last year.

FOR PROVIDERS: VIEW HERE



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 Culture Blocks hosted gatherings and facilitated discussions, and including residents in the 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 Culture Blocks has received from the community, click here.


Where Do Culture blocks programs take place? 

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.

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 ten geographical blocks of Mecklenburg County.

Clay workshop by Clayworks

how can i become involved with culture blocks?

  • Attend Culture Blocks hosted gatherings and facilitated discussions or sponsored cultural events
  • Invite Culture Blocks staff to attend neighborhood meetings and community events
  • Serve as a volunteer at Culture Blocks events or on planning committees
  • Share information about upcoming Culture Blocks 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 the Culture Blocks team at cultureblocks@artsandscience.org.

Tosco Music Community Outreach

Culture Blocks is made possible thanks to the generous financial support of Mecklenburg County.

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