9:16 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Civil War Play Thrives With Hip Hop Voice

left: Mark Sutton, Chaz Pofahl and Mason “Quill” Parker in a hip hop stage adaptation of author Stephen Crane's 1895 novel "Red Badge of Courage"
Credit Donna Bise /

  A 118-year-old literary masterpiece of Civil War fiction, told as a hip hop story? Really?

Yes. "The Red Badge of Courage" -- presented by Children's Theatre of Charlotte at ImaginOn's Wells Fargo Playhouse through March 16 -- takes an unlikely marriage of art forms and makes them resonate. Eric Schmiedl's adaption for the stage flourishes because he uses hip hop to accentuate the story's timeless themes rather than overshadow them.

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Arts & Life
9:56 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Morganton's 'Music Lady' Finds Her Calling Behind Bars

"I try very hard not to be judgmental and offer these guys understanding," says Gordon. "They desperately need someone to listen to them."
Briana Duggan

North Carolina has sixty-six prisons, housing more than 37,000 inmates. Morganton’s Western Youth Institution is meant for the youngest of them; It houses about 430 inmates for sentences ranging from ninety days to life in prison.

It also has a flourishing music program, a rarity in the state’s prison system.  It was started by Millicent Gordon thirty years ago. Now in her eighties, the Juilliard-trained pianist has found her meaning behind bars.

Only one person at Western Youth Institution has a reserved parking space, and it’s not the warden.

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Arts & Life
12:29 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Bechtler Exhibit Examines Art Through Artists' Relationships

Above: Alexander Calder, Glacier with Coloured Petals, Wool on linen and cotton, 1971 Below: Joan Miró Danseuse Espagnole (Spanish Dancer), Wool and cotton, ca. 1962
Briana Duggan

Warhol and Basquiat, Monet and Renoir ; Some of history’s greatest artists were also great friends.

A new exhibit at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art looks into some of modern art’s greatest relationships, using its collection as inspiration. On display until July 29, the exhibit pairs together art by lovers, mentors, and friends as a way to see how these relationships may be reflected in the art.

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Arts & Life
9:45 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Symphony Takes Steps To Diversify Audience

At Pop Up Opera, the Charlotte Symphony displayed facts about composers, musicians, and the operas. The KnightSounds series is geared toward attracting young, and diverse audiences, while also engaging its traditional supporters in new ways.
Briana Duggan

The Charlotte Symphony is in the midst of change. For 10 years, the Symphony’s been running a deficit. It is now trying to appeal to a younger and more diverse audience without upsetting its traditional supporters.

The KnightSounds series is part of that effort. It’s a series of informal concerts geared to attracting first-timers to the Symphony. The latest show was called Pop Up Opera it’s an effort that’s still evolving.

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Arts & Life
9:23 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Anonymous Donors Give Charlotte Symphony $2 Million

Charlotte Symphony

A group of anonymous donors is giving the Charlotte Symphony $2 million. The donors’ contribution could increase if some financial goals are met.

The donation represents about one-quarter of the Symphony’s $9 million budget.

Two-thirds of that comes from fundraising, but it’s been 10 years since the Symphony met its fundraising goals, says Robert Stickler. He’s the Symphony’s Interim Executive Director.

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2:01 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A Beginner's Guide To Fela

  When news broke that the musical stage play "Fela!" was scheduled to hit Charlotte (specifically the Belk Theater) February 25 and 26, folks familiar with the Tony-winning production undoubtedly jumped for joy.

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4:34 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Rewriting The Bard: AJ Harltey's Cross-Genre Work

AJ Hartley

  This past July, when A.J. Hartley made his annual journey to New York City’s Thrillerfest, the UNC Charlotte theatre professor found himself swapping stories with a fellow Brit, New York Times best-selling author Lee Child of Jack Reacher fame. While sharing drinks at the cocktail hour, the two compared notes about growing up in England. While Childs drew on his experience of being the biggest, baddest dude in his neighborhood to create his larger than life Reacher character, Hartley took a softer, more cerebral route.

He became a Shakespeare professor.

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Arts & Life
9:38 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Charity Auctions Art To Benefit Shelter

Safe Alliance

This weekend art will be auctioned off to help victims of domestic violence. 

The event is called "Art with a Heart." Donated paintings and sculptures will be auctioned off at Founders hall on Saturday night.  

The event has raised over $1 million over the past 13 years for the group, Safe Alliance.  

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Arts & Life
9:36 am
Fri February 1, 2013

When Cameras Are Part Of The Party

Credit Dina Litovsky

A new exhibit at the Light Factory documents our desire to, well, document everything. It’s called Connected There but Not Always Here and it questions our relationship with social media and how it influences our relationships with each other. The exhibit will be on display through May 19. 

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Arts & Life
12:04 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Elephants Stop Uptown Traffic

Elephants are escorted through Uptown on Tuesday January 29, 2013 as part of Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus Grand Animal Walk. The circus will be performing in Time Warner Cable Arena until Sunday.
Briana Duggan

Elephants paraded through Uptown on Tuesday as part of Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus Grand Animal Walk. The circus will be performing in Time Warner Cable Arena until Sunday.