Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chinese Lantern Festival kicks with multicolored art

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 7:00 AM

The Chinese Lantern Festival got off to a multicolored start September 7, hosted this year for the first time by Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.

CL sent intern Tate Roberts out to shoot some photos of the animals, made from rayon fabric and metal frames, and shipped all the way from China, which is about a 9,000-mile commute. In fact, the elephant statue itself was made from actual China.

But there's more than just lanterns. Here's the full nightly schedule:

5:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Family Activities
5:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Chinese Folk Art Marketplace
6 – 9 p.m.: Food Truck(s)
6 – 6:45 p.m.: Kung Fu Show followed by a Coaching Session
7 – 7:30 p.m.: Shadow Play followed by Backstage Activities
7:45 – 8:30 p.m.: Kung Fu Show followed by a Coaching Session
8:45 – 9:15 p.m.: Shadow Play followed by Backstage Activities

The festival runs every Wednesday through Sunday, from 5:50 to 9:30 p.m. until October 29.
For tickets, go here.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Muslim in Charlotte: Saad Haq

Retaking the narrative

Posted By on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Last year, CL contributor Lara Americo debuted her photo series "Trans & Queer in the Workplace" in Creative Loafing between August and December. The series was eventually picked up by Huffington Post and served as the basis for Americo's Chrysalis exhibit at C3 Lab. This year, Americo has decided to highlight another marginalized and misunderstood population, the local Muslim population. Every other week, we will be running a photo and some insights from another Muslim Charlottean, as they discuss their work, personal lives and the judgement they often live with.

Saad Haq, 38, lives with his family in Charlotte. In December 2015, he launched Muslim Storytellers, a podcast aimed at telling the stories of everyday Muslims.

Muslim in Charlotte: Saad Haq from Creative Loafing on Vimeo.

“The goal is to take back control of the narrative by telling their own stories ... It seems like our stories are being hijacked by the media and even in TV and movies where we’re being depicted as negative characters or villans where Muslims are not these villains or bad guys. We just want to blend in to society like everybody else is trying to do.

"Fortunately, I haven’t faced any direct acts of Islamophobia but my wife and my daughter have. When we were going to Charleston for vacation we stopped at a gas station to get gas and go to the bathroom. I was waiting in the car with the kids while my wife was coming out, she came to the car and she told me there was a guy in there who told her to go back to her country — to where she came from. This is why I wanted to do Muslim Storytellers, so that I have an outlet, and I can also provide people an outlet where they can use their voice to make a change, to be a positive influence on others.”

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Listen Up: Blame the Youth on CL's 'Local Vibes' Podcast

Episode 6

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

It's Pride Week in Charlotte, and we're celebrating with Amber Daniel and Francisco Gomez of Blame the Youth, who will be playing on the main stage at Charlotte Pride this year. We talk about their preparations for that show, existing as a political statement and writing songs about having sex in the woods.

Be sure to check out our iTunes page to download this episode to your phone, subscribe to the podcast, or catch up on past episodes.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Slideshow: Hundreds Rally at Marshall Park Against White Supremacy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:20 PM


More than 600 people showed up to Marshall Park on Saturday, August 19, to pay respects to Heather Heyer and other victims of an attack at the hands of a white supremacist in Charlottesville the previous week.

Activists with Charlotte Uprising organized the event as a call to action against white supremacy, and speakers took turns addressing the large crowd — many of whom held candles as a vigil for Charlottesville victims — about police violence, the prison-industrial complex and strategies for white allies to use to be most effective in the fight against racism.

Below are photos taken that night by news editor Ryan Pitkin:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Listen Up: Tony Arreaza and Davey Blackburn Talk CLT Latin Music on 'Local Vibes'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 10:41 AM

Tony Arreaza has been working to cultivate Charlotte's Latin music scene for more than two decades, and he's recently teamed up with local experimental musician Davey Blackburn to spread the music more widely. We chatted it up with the duo about their regular Latin Night in Plaza Midwood event at Snug Harbor, and the recent growth they've witnessed in the local Latin music scene as well as how music and arts can play a big role in today's political climate.

Listen below or check out our iTunes page to catch up with all our past episodes.

'Local Vibes' Aug. 17 crew: CL editor Mark Kemp (from left) with Tony Arreaza, Davey Blackburn, Oscar Huerta of UltimaNota, and CL's Ryan Pitkin
  • 'Local Vibes' Aug. 17 crew: CL editor Mark Kemp (from left) with Tony Arreaza, Davey Blackburn, Oscar Huerta of UltimaNota, and CL's Ryan Pitkin

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Listen Up: LeAnna Eden Strums, Sings and Chats Us Up on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 4

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 10:38 AM

For Episode 4 of Local Vibes, LeAnna Eden of LeAnna Eden and the Garden Of brought her guitar with her and blessed us with a couple of in-studio performances. Also, Mark and Ryan finally get to the bottom of how to say and spell her name, which has been bothering them for some time.

Listen above, or check out our iTunes page for any of the previous episodes.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Advocacy Groups Challenge 'Fake' Repeal of HB2

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. (Photo by James Willamor)
  • Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. (Photo by James Willamor)

Two civil rights organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and Lambda Legal, announced today that they are expanding their lawsuit that once challenged the infamous House Bill 2 to include House Bill 142, the law that replaced HB2.

In a press release, the ACLU called the repeal of HB2 "fake" and pointed out that HB142 is equally discriminatory in its restrictions to cities and towns that would like to pass anti-discrimination laws allowing transgender people to use the restrooms of the gender they identify with.

Charlotte City Council repealed the transgender-inclusive amendments to its nondiscrimination ordinance in order to have HB2 repealed, and HB142 restricts the city or any other municipality in North Carolina from passing similar ordinances until 2020, at the earliest.

“After publicly vilifying transgender people for more than a year, legislators can’t just abandon transgender people to fend for themselves in the toxic environment of fear and animosity that the legislature itself created," Tara Borelli, counsel with Lambda Legal, said in the release. "HB142 doubles down on many of the worst harms of HB2 and leaves transgender people in a legal limbo where they remain uniquely vulnerable to discrimination. Transgender people face an impossible situation where no door leads to safety. Anyone would find that intolerable.”

The advocacy groups also added two new plaintiffs to its suit: Madeline "Maddy" Goss, a transgender woman from Raleigh who teaches Tae Kwon Do and lobbies the state legislature in her free time; and Quinton Harper, a community organizer from Carrboro who has been a longtime advocate for people living with HIV.

“I don’t have the option to use the men’s restroom, and I don’t have the luxury to not think about my safety every time I use the women’s restroom,” said Goss. “I know all too well what can happen to a transgender person in the restroom because a stranger won’t just let you be. It’s even scarier now that there is so much confusion about which restrooms I can use and I worry that I am not safe to use any restroom in North Carolina because of this discrimination.”

Goss and Harper join four other plaintiffs in Carcaño v. McCrory, now known as Carcaño v. Cooper, which is now more than a year old.

“LGBT North Carolinians deserve to feel secure in knowing that when they go about their daily lives and interact with businesses open to the public, any discrimination they encounter is illegal, but HB142 robs of them of that security,” said Chris Brook, legal director with ACLU of North Carolina, in the release. “This law continues to invite discrimination against LGBT people, particularly transgender people, and sends a daily message that LGBT people across the state are not worthy of equal dignity and respect.”

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Trudy Wade Aims to Take Two Scoops From Newspapers

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM

N.C. Sen. Trudy Wade
  • N.C. Sen. Trudy Wade
N.C. Sen. Trudy Wade is known for her efforts to cut environmental regulations, but over the past month she has been pushing an even more Trump-esque agenda: punishing papers because of her distaste for the media.

Wade is pushing a bill that would hurt newspapers in two ways, by allowing municipalities to publish legal notices on their own websites — meaning they wouldn't have to pay newspapers to do so, as has been the case for much of modern history — and forcing newspapers to classify their part-time carriers as employees instead of independent contractors.

As stated by the News & Observer editorial board in an op-ed that ran today,
  We agree, and though it's something we've been used to for some time now, it's tough for us journalists to report on politicians' efforts to burn down the planet we're living on when they're also trying to burn up the checks we make a living off of.

But that's the point, isn't it, Senator?

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Five Names For Your Irish Pub That Aren't Milestone

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Earlier this week, a Charlotte Agenda article caused some debate around town when it announced the upcoming opening of a new bar in Dilworth. What’s the fuss? Its owner Jackie McHugh, who recently moved here from New York, plans to name it Milestone.

Though the Agenda article failed to mention it, Charlotte already has a bar called The Milestone. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: world famous, been here since 1969, Nirvana played there, historic local icon…?

You may be wondering why this dude would want to brand his new bar with the same name as one of the city’s most beloved establishments, simultaneously confusing and pissing off potential patrons before the doors even open. The answer: it’s a tribute to his 11-month old son, Miles, who gives zero fux about your precious punk rock mecca.

The one true Milestone. Photo by Daniel Coston.
  • The one true Milestone. Photo by Daniel Coston.

Here at Creative Loafing, we can appreciate Mr. McHugh’s dedication to his son, but we can’t get behind the name. We’ve come up with other suggestions -- all of which are a better idea:

This name is hitting on several levels. Here’s a word that incorporates Miles’ name, conveys the happy feeling customers can expect to have when they visit, and potentially lends itself to a cool Irish tagline (Something about “When Irish eyes are smiling…”).

Daddy’s Pub
Like the fictional “Paddy’s Pub” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – only this one is a tribute to being a dad. Bonus: It’s likely to become the go-to meeting place for old rich guys and the hot young gold-diggers who “love” them.

The Dilhole
A watering hole in Dilworth? It begs for this name.

Because if you’re going to steal the name of an iconic punk club, make it one from the city you just left, not the one you’re setting up shop in.

It’s a name that says “Around here we’re Irish. Also, we have no idea how to Google a name before claiming it as our own.”

Mr. McHugh, you are free to use any of these. We don’t expect a consultant fee, public acknowledgement or even a free beer (although that would be nice). We consider it a public service.

Oh and by the way, welcome to Charlotte!

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

8 Social Entrepreneur Hacks That Can Help Get Your Community Project Funded

Posted By on Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 6:49 PM

In 2016, Creative Loafing contributor Kia O. Moore was one of two winners of the Knight Foundation's Emerging City Champions program in Charlotte. With the $5,000 grant she received, Moore started Hip Hop Orchestrated to blend hip-hop culture with orchestral-music culture in ways that will engage young people in the arts in Charlotte. In this blog post, Moore shares some tips she got from the Knight Foundation's program director, Charles Thomas, on how others can work with grants programs to make their good ideas about community engagement come to fruition. Editor

  • Moore
Have you ever flirted with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur? How about starting a nonprofit? If yes, then there may be an Emerging City Champion in you.

The Emerging City Champions is a fellowship program for young civic innovators who have transformative ideas. You provide the vision, drive and determination, and the ECC provides the guidance and funding to get you started. It's open to anyone between the ages of 19 and 35 with an innovative idea focused on at least one of the following elements associated with a livable community: enhancing civic engagement, improving mobility or activating public life in public spaces.

The ECC is looking for diverse voices with enough passion, talent and commitment to improve their neighborhoods or communities in one of the 26 cities in which the Knight Foundation invests. Charlotte is one of those cities. If you are interested in applying, the deadline to submit your idea is Wednesday, April 26. Head to the ECC website where you can learn more and gain access to the application.

Whether or not you win an ECC fellowship, or if you are over the age of 35 and don't qualify, your idea to help improve Charlotte still needs to be heard. Lots of Charlotte-area businesses have strong community engagement departments looking to provide funds to social entrepreneurs. Also, many nonprofits are looking for partnerships with people who have innovative ideas for social improvement. Through strong community partnerships and a little cash, you can find ways to make your idea happen. But once you take the leap into the social entrepreneurial life, you will need a few business hacks to help you along the way.

  • Thomas
Charles Thomas, the Knight Foundation's program director in Charlotte, recently helped me come up with eight social entrepreneurial business hacks that I would like to pass along to you as you work to scale your positive impact in the Queen City.

1) Own your vision. Hone your talent. Delegate the rest.
You don’t have to know how to do everything to run your own social venture. If you have the vision and you can master several aspects of making it work, you then pull in other people who have the skills you lack.

2) Trust in your light.
When you find your light ⏤ your life’s purpose ⏤ you can no longer question it. You cannot let others redirect, dim or steal your light from you. You must trust yourself and the process of learning and growing as a social entrepreneur.

3) Introverted networking works just as well as extroverted networking.
Going to a networking event does not always mean you have to attempt to meet everyone in the room. Sometimes those funders, partners, mentors and clients just need to see your face in places all around town. Just seeing your face over and over works to your advantage. It even becomes a conversation starter. “Hey! I see you everywhere! What’s your name?”

4) Categorize your meetings.
As a founder and/or executive director, there are going to be a lot of people who want your attention and time. To use your meeting time most effectively you have to become very astute at categorizing your meeting interactions. Some meeting requests are emails, other are phone calls, and some meeting requests do not align with your immediate goals at all. Sometimes you are going to need to push those meetings to a later time in the year when you can actually meet with new people.

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