City Awards $1.2M in Opportunity Fund Grants

Published on June 20, 2024

Mural with hearts in different colors

The City of Charlotte Arts and Culture Advisory Board is distributing nearly $1.2 million to local artists and arts and cultural groups via Opportunity Fund grants, bringing the total of the Opportunity Fund's investments to more than $2.7 million in the last two years.

The Opportunity Fund offers support for near-term projects and initiatives that align with the recently approved Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan. The grants fund projects, programs and initiatives that advance strategies in the plan.

"These grants signify the first action to implement the Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan, investing over $1 million while advancing five priorities of the plan," said Priya Sircar, the city's arts and culture officer. "It is inspiring to see the creativity and ambition that fuels our arts and culture ecosystem and is so critical to vibrancy and character of our city and region. The volumen and variety of proposals demonstrates the breadth of incredible work being done around the Queen City."

The 2024 grantees, organized alphabetically within the plan priority the project supports, are:

2024 Grantees
Awardee Project Amount Plan Priority
Dammit Wesley The Hunnid Dollar Art Fair $25,000 1
Gay Men's Chorus of Charlotte, Inc. ActOUT Theater Company $40,000 1
Arts+ Arts+ on The Plaza $40,000 4
Logan Phillips - Villa Heights Community Organization Activation Studios $34,000 4
VisArt, Inc VisArt's Affordable Creative Space Program $34,348 4
We Rock Charlotte We Rock Together: Inclusive Venue Transformation $40,000 4
Charlotte Gaymers Network Project Saturn $24,000 5
Charlotte Pride Band (CPB) Better Access Through Technology $33,028.50 5
Cine Casual Charlotte Latino Film Festival (2nd Edition) $20,000 5
Depeña Studio "Remote" $40,000 5
Goodyear Arts Goodyear Arts Space Development $30,000 5
Lion Services Inc. Charlotte Braille Trail $40,000 5
Moving Spirits, Inc. Echoes of Freedom $40,000 5
Osiris Rain The TAOH Outdoor Gallery $39,958 5
Phoenix Down RPG Campfire Tales $38,252.50 5
Que-OS/BOOM Charlotte BOOM Echoes Expansion $36,250 5
RA Arts for All Welcome Here $38,600 5
Smithville Community Coalition Don't Lose Heart $13,000 5
ZABS PLACE Inclusive Art Club $35,000 5
Carla Aaron-Lopez 15 TO FAME: A Comedy Showcase for Local Legends $25,000 7
Piedmont Music Therapy Music Therapy Workshop for Veterans & Caregivers $9,215 7
POTIONS & PIXELS NONPROFIT Nexus: Where Art, Tech, and Gaming Converge $40,000 7
Queens University of Charlotte/Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement The Connected Campus 2024- For the People: Democracy in Conversation $40,000 7
BraveWorks Arts Skill Development and Workforce Development for Underserved Women $40,000 8
Elizabeth Palmisano Charlotte Professional Teaching Artist Certification Program $35,800 8
InReach Troupe 801 $29,390 8
Lorien Academy of the Arts, Inc After-School Art CLubs $40,000 8
Michelle Campbell-Gregory Mural Warriors Cohort $33,000 8
My Brother's Keeper Charlotte-Mecklenburg Creative Pathways: Empowering Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Production Workforce $40,000 8
Open Door Dance Foundation Expand Movement Spring Showcase Expansion $40,000 8
Quincy Woodard Intro to 3D Modeling Workshop $6,400 8
Steven of An Atelier The Container Plaza design project $40,000 8
Sugar Creek Charter School Sugar Creek Charter School Arts Growth Initiative $40,000 8
The Arts Empowerment Project Artist Residency $40,000 8
The Greater Enrichment Program (w/ Lena Hopkins-Jackson) "The Fahrenheit 704 Project" $20,836 8
TOTAL $1,161,462


The Opportunity Fund is a flexible and innovative mechanism of the Infusion Fund, a public-private partnership of the city, Foundation For The Carolinas and private donors to stabilize the Charlotte-Mecklenburg arts and culture sector for the fiscal years 2022 to 2024 (ending June 30, 2024).

In keeping with strategies in the Arts and Culture Plan to strengthen the capacity and skills of artists and groups and to enhance reach and visibility through partnerships, the grant recipients will receive additional support in the form of:

  • Guidance and assistance from UNC Charlotte with measurement and evaluation of their Opportunity Grant-funded projects.
  • Marketing support from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Over 300 individuals and groups submitted applications requesting up to $40,000 each, totaling nearly $10 million. Applicants who met the eligibility requirements then submitted full proposals. A unique addition to this grant cycle was the provision of support by grant writing coaches at no cost to applicants, helping applicants develop the strongest proposals possible and build skills that would serve them in future fundraising endeavors.

Of the awardees, two-thirds are nonprofits and one-third are individual artists and other groups. The funded projects will advance 13 strategies across five priorities of the Arts and Culture Plan, including ensuring sustainable and reliable funding; providing access to affordable space; eliminating barriers to arts and culture creation and participation; fostering collaboration and cooperation; and expanding arts education experiences.

Another priority of the plan is equitable and inclusive support and funding. Reflecting this, half the awardees indicated their mission is to serve ALAANA communities (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American ethnic or racial background); over one-third serve communities in the Corridors of Opportunity and people with different abilities or disabilities; and nearly one-third serve people of the LGBTQ+ community, with some overlap in these missions.

Grants will be distributed in July. Learn more about the investment in arts and culture in Charlotte, including the historic $11 million dedication in the recently passed fiscal year 2025 budget.

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