CHARLOTTE —You don’t have to consider yourself artsy to be artistic.
Arts+, the nonprofit that has been furthering arts education in Charlotte for more than 50 years, has a slew of upcoming free opportunities to help flex creative muscles.
Arts+ has activities at the Uptown Farmers Market, 300 S. Davidson St., 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.the first Saturday of each month, through the end of the year. The next opportunity to get creative is Sept. 3.
The Uptown Farmers Market was established in Spring 2020 as a 501c3 nonprofit to engage neighbors around locally grown, fresh foods, support local farmers, educate about healthy eating and address food insecurity. The market in the heart of the center city is SNAP-approved and accessible by more than 110,000 residents that live within a three-mile radius.
“We want to engage with neighbors of all backgrounds,” said Devlin McNeil, Arts+ president and executive director. “You don’t need to have any artistic experience to participate in the activities, nor do you need to have an existing relationship with Arts+. We’re here to meet new faces who may have an interest in creating and continue to engage with those that are already familiar with us.
”One component of the Arts+ mission is accessibility, McNeil says, bringing the art directly to the community. “So while you make plans to support local farmers and makers, you can also engage in a fun and educational art activity that the entire family can enjoy.”
The response since the farmers market program launched in Spring 2021 has been positive, due in part to the range in medium and interests, McNeil said.
“We make a point to use sustainable materials and/or promote health and nutrition,” he said. “You could be making natural paints, creating vegetable prints, crafting paper flowers, or practicing with fiber weaving. The offerings are always varied so that even regular market attendees have something new to enjoy. The activities are also designed to be appropriate for younger children, but easily adaptable for the adults who want to participate as well.”
The monthly art activations have helped maintain a sense of public-facing continuity for the organization. The group moved out of Spirit Square in September of last year (the organization’s home since 1998), and is headed to 7,300 square feet of space inside the Children & Family Services Center at 601 E. 5th St. within the next month.The bulk of the space at the new office will be dedicated to Studio 345, the county-funded,free digital media after-school program open to all Mecklenburg high school students.