Art + Ecology Community Campus at Brightwalk located at Historic Double Oaks

McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Funding Received: 2013
Charlotte, NC
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 28, 2013

Update and Reflection

McColl Center is looking forward to a bright future at Brightwalk.  The Center is continuing with site visits for potential artists and this has proven to be invaluable.  These well coordinated meet and greets with residents, experts and potential collaborators, give artists and community members opportunity to build a relationship long before the beginning of their residency.  Artists are able to have conversations with the neighbors, observe interaction, survey sites and work with each group of stakeholders to begin the community problem solving sequence.

Tattfoo Tan and Daniel McCormick both just finished separate site visits to Charlotte.  Both were energized and excited about submitting proposals to support the important work at Brightwalk.  Daniel is investigating stream restoration and making inquiries into habitat restoration, and looks forward to creating prototypes to test different interventions.  Tattfoo, a self-declared tinkerer, is looking forward to participating in conversations around food, healthy eating and stewardship.  While visiting, he met the Mayor and fellowshipped with residents during the National Night Out Celebration in a neighborhood adjacent to Brightwalk in the Statesville Avenue Corridor.

Recent Wins

Kidz Place Academy @ Brightwalk will open its doors this August.  A fun-filled day is planned which will include a special appearance by American Idol Winner & National Recording Artist Fantasia Barrino.  Building on the rich history of the former Double Oaks Nursery, Kidz Place Academy @ BrightWalk will take a holistic approach to early childhood development focusing on families as well as children with its At-Risk Feeding and Fit60™Programs.

Creative Loafing, “Charlotte’s go-to source for all things arts and entertainment in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area of North Carolina, including music, film, visual and performing arts, dining, style, sex and love, as well the region’s most fearless, hard-hitting news stories,” released its “Urban Explorer’s Handbook”.  This handbook provides a guide to eight of Charlotte’s historic and burgeoning neighborhoods.  Brightwalk made the cut!  The article touted the renaissance happening in the corridor and the benefit of McColl’s ArtPlace America Award to the revitalization efforts in the Statesville Avenue Corridor.  Read the article; it conveys the momentum of this ambitious revitalization..

Insight and Provocation

Leveraging creative potential already in place: It’s bubbling up, as we conduct site visits and dive deeper into the neighborhoods in and around Brightwalk, we are unearthing its own rich artistic and ecological history.  Neighbors are opening their doors, sharing their passions and knowledge revealing the rich cultural assets that already exists in their community.  Just crossing the street and walking to a neighbor’s home and introducing the artist brings forth a wealth of information, resources and joy.  We experienced this while visiting a horse farm and boarding stable owned by an African American Cowboy.  He raised his kids there and to hear him tell it the neighborhood’s kids too….  His dream?  To have his legacy live on; he wants to talk about it with his neighbors and us over some bbq.  These spontaneous conversations and interactions provide a lens into the vibrancy that already exists and light the pathway for the future.