By Shawn D. Allison, II
My people, how is everyone doing? Great, I hope! This is the most important week of the year—and you want to know why? It’s my Birthday! So while you’re out having the time of your lives in these Queen City streets, I encourage you all to come and hang out with me at an event or two. Here’s the scoop on where I’ll be celebrating this weekend, check out my “Hot List” below!
- Friday—Igbo Conversation Hour at The International House
- Friday—SPECTRUM at The Tavern
- Saturday—Open Studio Saturday at The McColl Center
- Saturday—AfroPop at Apostrophe Lounge
- Sunday—Brunch, Bubbles & Beats at Sports One
- Sunday—Classic Black Cinema Series at The Gantt Center
THURSDAY, September 8
Head to LaCa Projects (Latin American Contemporary Arts) for the opening reception of the newest exhibition from Uruguayan creative, Eduardo Cardoza and his latest work entitled, “The Other Side.” This exhibition features two series within Cardozo’s graceful approach to painting, in some cases abstract nature, scenes with compositions forged through complex layers and with an often-weathered appearance, and some purely abstract. Admission is FREE to attend and the event begins at 6 p.m. LaCa Projects is located at 1429 Bryant St. on the outskirts of Uptown.
Everyone gather at The Little Rock Cultural Development Center for a Community Town Hall Meeting with Mechanics & Farmers Bank. Come hear how M&F Bank already supports our community and how they continue to do so in the midst of the “Bank Black Movement.” This event is sponsored by the Ubuntu Community Project in conjunction with #BlackOwnedCLT. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Little Rock Cultural Development Center is located at 401 N. Myers St. in Uptown.
For some true adult fun, head over to Petra’s this evening for “Potions & Pixels: Video Games, Board Games and Community.” There will be a wide variety of multiplayer games from all eras and for all skill levels. From Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Love Letter, Click Clack Lumberjack and more! Admission is FREE! Bring as many friends as you desire and have a good time! The games begin at 7 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #PotionsAndPixels
Travel back in time at The Station this evening and get ready for the “60s & 70s Shindig!” Get down and get busy to the best sounds of Soul, Psychedelia, Proto-Punk, Garage, The Funk and more! Admission is FREE to attend and the music starts at 8 p.m. The Station is located at 2131 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
FRIDAY, September 9
Put those walking shoes on and get your taste buds ready because it’s time for the 7th Annual Sip N’ Stroll Art & Wine Festival! Artists will set up booths displaying and selling artwork, additionally over 40 wine vineyards will be present allowing for wine tasting and enjoying local live music. Throughout the day guests will also have the opportunity to experience many different and unique wine seminars that are held all throughout the EpiCentre. Ticket purchases and additional info can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/7th-annual-sip-and-stroll-art-wine-festival-at-the-epicentre-tickets-26783661653?aff=FB. The EpiCentre is located at 210 E. Trade St. in Uptown.
The McColl Center for Art + Innovation invites you to the opening reception for their newest exhibition, “Shared Space: A New Era.” Featuring works by 23 international contemporary photographers and artists, “Shared Space” acts as a time capsule, traversing an evolving social landscape through photographs and video created over the span of nearly twenty-five years. Tickets can be purchased here: http://mccollcenter.org/events/shared-space/146. The event begins at 6 p.m. The McColl Center is located at 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Bring the family out to the all-new First Ward Park for another mellow and fun edition of First Ward Fridays! Get your lawn chairs and blankets set and get ready to experience the professional, energetic sounds of The Next Level Band of Charlotte! Admission is FREE to attend. The music starts at 6 p.m. First Ward Park is located at 301 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Spend an evening with the beautiful Ms. Tammy Greene aka “The Jazz Diva” at Cinebarre Arboretum Theatres as she hosts “Jazz & a Movie!” Bring your significant other and friends out to enjoy food, drinks, jazz tunes from bassist Reggie Sullivan and the premiere screening of the movie “Sully” starring Tom Hanks. Tickets can be purchased here: http://jazzandamovie.brownpapertickets.com/. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Cinebarre Arboretum is located at 8008 Providence Rd. #TheJazzLifestyle
Get your mix n’ scratch on at UNCC this evening as Watch These Handz DJ Academy hosts the #WatchMeWork DJ Battle & Cypher Competition. Come and watch UNCC students and some East Coast DJ’s compete for over $750 in prize money! Admission is FREE to attend. The battle will be held at McKnight Hall in the Cone Center on the UNCC Campus. UNCC is located at 9201 University City Campus in the University Area.
Join the Arts & Science Council as they host their annual Culture Feast. Celebrate everyone and share a Southern-style community table dinner, enjoy unique cultural experiences and dance the night away in Uptown Charlotte to the sounds of local ensemble, A Sign of the Times. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/culture-feast-1. The feast will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the corner of Trade St. & Tryon St. in Uptown.
Language is one of the most powerful elements of human existence and this Friday, you are invited to The International House for “Igbo Conversation Hour.” Igbo Conversation Hour is a cultural group that teaches and advocates for learning the rich Igbo Language in its spoken and written form. Come to learn the language spoken by 25 million people around the world. Admission is FREE. 7 p.m. The International House is located at 1817 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Head out to BluNotes this evening as Dalvin & The Crew rocks you into the night. Dalvin has performed on the BluNotes stage numerous times and is ALWAYS requested back—I suggest you come out and see for yourself why. Two shows this evening: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is $4 per show and be sure to grab some delicious food and drink specials from the menu. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
Join the beautiful and vibrant Solange Ah and Saxa Lara at Abundant Life Creative Expressions this evening for a fun and energetic Afrobeats & AfroHouse Dance Class. You will have the opportunity to learn a fun and simple choreography while burning tons of calories! Admission is $12 and can be paid at the door with cash or plastic. The session begins at 7 p.m. Abundant Life Creative Expressions is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
Everyone gather at the all new Google Fiber Charlotte HQ and join local youth empowerment initiative, Playing For Others this evening as they host, “Voices of Compassion: A Community Open Mic Night.” Area artists will lend their artistic talent to share the message of creating change through compassion. All are welcome to attend and the admission is FREE. For more info and to reserve your spot on the mic, e-mail HannahH@playingforothers.org. The event begins at 7 p.m. Google Fiber Charlotte is located at 301 W. 7th St. in Uptown. #PFOImpact #VoicesOfCompassion
Join Touch One Productions this evening at UpStage as they welcome and present the bold, bad and beautiful Jae and her all-female band. Come out and give a warm Queen City welcome to these Philly divas! Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.upstagenoda.com/events/touch-one-presents-jae-the-artist/. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. UpStage is located at 3306 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
Slide out to The Tavern as Jazz N’ Soul in conjunction with local jazz maestro and enthusiast, Mayhue Bostic as they proudly present, his newly-formed sonic collective, SPECTRUM! If you have never heard these brothers jam before, you are truly missing out! Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spectrum-september-edition-funky-jazz-with-a-shot-of-soul-tickets-27399431437?aff=es2. The show begins promptly at 9 p.m. The Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. #JazzNSoul
Everyone hop in your Heavy Chevys, Bourbons, ‘Lacs, Cutlass Supremes and take a funky ride out to The Press Box for “Dope: An Ode to the Dirty South!” Enjoy and relive the gritty, trunk-rattlin’ sounds of Hip Hop from below the Mason-Dixon Line as DJ Kato and DJ Fannie Mae provide the sounds and flavor! Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dope-an-ode-to-the-dirty-south-tickets-27340245410. The event begins at 10 p.m. The Press Box is located at 9609 N. Tryon St. in the University Area.
Come to the Double Door Inn for a very special musical treat! Hailing all the way from New Orleans are the elite sound masters known as The Stooges Brass Band. The band consistently provides a welcome blast of true New Orleans spirit engaging audiences with their innovative blend of traditional New Orleans brass sounds, contemporary jazz and hip-hop beats. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/stooges-brass-band-1. The show begins at 10 p.m. The Double Door Inn is located at 1218 Charlottetowne Ave. in Uptown.
SATURDAY, September 10
The Sickle Cell Partners of The Carolinas proudly presents the, “Sickle Cell Disease…Let’s Talk About It” day conference. This informative health forum is geared towards education and open dialogue about one of our community’s biggest health threats—Sickle Cell Anemia. Morning and afternoon meals will be provided, as well as health sessions for all age groups, info on health care benefits and more! Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sickle-cell-diseaselets-talk-about-it-tickets-24651955663. This forum will begin at 8 a.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. 3400 Beatties Ford Rd.
Parents, bring your family out to the Richardson YMCA this morning and introduce your youth to the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at The 2016 Science and Technology Fair: Domestic and Global Expansion. It will include academic disciplines in the following fields: engineering, computer science, agriculture and more! There will be 25 + participants from science ministries, colleges, universities, institutes, youth organizations and more. Admission is FREE to attend, but please be sure to RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-2016-science-and-technology-fair-domestic-and-global-expansion-tickets-26852430342?aff=es2. The event begins at 9 a.m. The Richardson YMCA is located at 1946 West Blvd.
Gather at The Park Expo & Conference Center this morning for the Mental Health Workshop. Hosted by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas, this workshop is designed to provide information regarding the most common mental health illnesses and how to address them. Admission is $5 and tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mental-health-workshop-tickets-26332339737?aff=eac2. The event begins at 9 a.m. The Park Expo is located at 800 Briar Creek Rd.
Calling all teachers! Come to The Discovery Place for “Educator Saturdays in September!” Network with other educators and create your own Saturday school session with kids of all ages as you explore the array of hands-on exhibitions, labs, live shows, outdoor adventures and IMAX films that enhance student learning. Admission is FREE to attend and the fun starts at 10 a.m. Discovery Place is located at 301 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Have you ever been interested in working with the youth in your community? Do you have a passion for Music, Arts, Athletics, Technology, or just have a desire to help kids? Here’s your opportunity to make a change! Join youth empowerment initiative Center 360 as they host a volunteer orientation this morning as they are looking for passionate volunteers who would love to spend some of their free time with their youth. Please sign up to be a Youth Advocate for their Fall after school programs with Reid Park Academy. There are plenty of shifts/needs between the dates of Sept 12th thru Dec 2nd. Be sure to RSVP here: http://www.center360.org/volunteer. The orientation will be held at The Amay James Recreation Center. 2425 Lester Ave.
Gather at Charlotte Marriott City Center this morning for the 14th Annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon. This signature fundraising event for The UNCF is named in honor beloved friend and volunteer, Dr. Maya Angelou which highlights women who are leaders and have brought positive recognition locally, statewide and nationally. Tickets can be purchased here: http://uncf.org/events/event/2016-uncf-maya-angelou-women-who-lead-luncheon-charlotte. The event begins at 10 a.m. Charlotte Marriott City Center is located at 100 W. Trade St. in Uptown.
Pottery lovers and collectors, you are welcomed out to the Randolph Rd. branch of the Mint Museum for the Potter’s Market Invitational! There will be over fifty pottery vendors, demonstrations, food, live music, and more! Admission to this invitational is $10 and your ticket is also valid for museum admission. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.mintmuseum.org/happenings/1026/mint-museums-potters-market-invitational-2016/. The event begins at 10 a.m. The address is 2730 Randolph Rd. near the Cotswold Area.
Ladies, swing those hips down to Sacchi Enterprise this morning and come out for a dance session with the girls of 4Thirty-Two. You will learn a hip-hop routine choreographed by Charity Holloway and taught with the help of members of 4Thirty-Two, Charlotte’s plus-size hip-hop dance group. There will also be a raffle to win a free 4Thirty-Two t-shirt! Tickets for the event can be purchased here: http://www.eventbee.com/v/4thirtytwo/event?eid=137349203. The session begins at 11 a.m. Sacchi Enterprise is located at 1801 N. Tryon St.
Get your hearts and souls in rhythm and head out to nearby Huntersville for the ADC Cure for the Soul Jazz & Shopping Experience. Come out for this feel-good gathering filled with vendors, fellowship and live music from Buff Dillard, John Dillard, Letron Brantley, Rod McCoy & B.I.E.W. and the lovely Cassey June. All donations will go towards finding a cure for cancer. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adc-cure-for-the-soul-tickets-26976961819. The event will begin at 11 a.m. The address of the event is 11901 Sam Furr Rd. in Huntersville.
The McColl Center hosts the opening of the Fall 2016 Open Studio Saturdays. This Open Studio Saturday will feature a series of Artist Talks throughout the afternoon, where Artists-in-Residence Jason Woodberry, Marcus Kiser, Sheila Wyne, Orit Hofshi, and Mark Steven Greenfield will share personal stories and residency goals. Admission is FREE to attend and all ages are welcome. The event begins at 12 noon. The McColl Center is located at 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Come down to AvidXchange Music Factory for the “Eat From A Truck Festival.” Come and sample and wide range of scrumptious meals from a variety of these culinary chariots from around The Carolinas! There will be vendors, live music, fellowship and of course—lots and lots of food! Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.eatfromatruck.com/. The mouth watering begins at 12 p.m. AvidXchange is located at 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. on the outskirts of Uptown.
The Urban Ministry Center’s ArtWorks 945 program will host a heartfelt art showcase entitled, “Creatively Constructive.” Join others and celebrate the creations from the past year, and to support our neighbors who struggle with homelessness. Admission is FREE to attend and the event begins at 4 p.m. The Urban Ministry Center is located at 945 N. College St. in Uptown.
Get those joints loose, come on out to Advent Coworking and witness history as Pamper Us Mobile debuts the first official mobile massage bus, “The Pamper Lounge” for service in The Carolinas. Everything included in this grand opening—drinks, food, entertainment from 4 Thirty Two Plus Size Dance Group, and massages are all FREE! Also, there will be a live painting from local creative, Dammit Wesley. Please be sure to RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-pamper-lounge-grand-opening-tickets-27266980272?aff=efbevent. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Advent Coworking is located at 933 Louise Ave in the Plaza-Midwood District. #RelaxationSimplified #ThePamperLounge
Join the lovely ladies of Revolution EGO as they host an eclectic and awe-inspiring art showcase entitled, “Trinity of Oneness!” Come enjoy the works of Cedric Umoja–The Visual Alchemist, The Infamous JeanClaude, and Dogon Krigga. Meet the artists themselves, feel the positive and creative energy and enjoy the powerful tunes of Jah Freedom. Admission is FREE and the showcase begins at 7 p.m. Revolution EGO is located at 312 N. Myers St., Suite #115 in Uptown.
Come and engage in meaningful, thought-provoking dialogue called “Candid Conversations with Tina.” Promising good vibes with authentic individuals, there will be discussions of several hot topics such as police/community relations, money matters, local politics and the courtship world. DJ Coreio will give the sounds and refreshments will be provided by Chef Imani of Imani’s Fusion Café. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/candid-conversations-with-tina-tickets-27159967193. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at The Wadsworth Estate. 400 South Summit Ave. in the Wesley Heights Community.
LaCa Projects hosts their Charlotte Bloc Party this evening with fun for all you grown folks! Enjoy games, fellowship, drink specials, raffle prizes, giveaways and live entertainment from one of the baddest bands in the QC—Diverse Groove! Admission is FREE to attend and the get-down starts at 7 p.m. LaCa Projects is located at 1429 Bryant St. which is on the outskirts of Uptown.
This Saturday at BluNotes, join GiGi Mack for “Blues & Grooves.” If you’ve never heard Ms. Mack sing before, you are missing out. There will be two shows this evening: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is $4 for each show. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
Don’t miss “Loose Leaves Showcase” at The Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square. This colorful concoction of choreography features new and unexpected dance works by local Charlotte choreographers in a variety of styles. There will be two shows: Saturday, 9/10 and Sunday, 9/11—both performances are at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/loose-leaves-showcase-2. The Duke Energy Theater is located at 345 N. College St. in Uptown.
The Bantu Fete Team proudly presents the fourth edition of the wildly popular “AfroPop Charlotte.” This new monthly groove for the QC celebrates all things Black through Afrobeat, Soca, fashion, networking, high-energy dance vendors art and fellowship! All sounds will be spun by DJ Kato and DJ Steel Wheel. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afropop-charlotte-vol-4-afrobeats-soca-fashion-vendors-live-art-tickets-27365455815. The joint begins at 10 p.m. The Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. #AfricanaConnections
SUNDAY, September 11
Start your Sunday off with “Brunch, Bubbles & Beats” at Sports One Bar & Lounge. Cool out after worship service with a fine Sunday brunch menu, drink specials and the hottest tunes from talented violinist Emanuel Wynter. Admission is FREE and if you choose to reserve a table, please visit http://www.sportsoneclt.com. The brunch begins at 11 a.m. Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown. #TerryBerryEvents
Parents and youth! It’s time once again for “Sunday Funday” at the Mint Museum. This month, explore how history, tradition, and family informed the art of Gastonia-born John Biggers, pose for a family portrait, and celebrate with creative projects! You will get to craft an African textile-inspired paper quilt square, raw from live models at the Sketching Studio, engage in an art tour and more! Admission is FREE for children and Mint members and $6 for non-members. The fun begins at 1 p.m. The Mint Museum is located at 500 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Back spinning again this afternoon, come out to the Tip Top Daily Market for another musical explorative edition of “Digger’s Delight Pop-Up Record Swap.” Music lovers, vinyl enthusiasts and collectors come out and dig in the crates for some unheard albums ranging from Soul, Hip Hop, R&B, Funk, Rock, Jazz and much more! You can bring some of your own collection in to swap or make a purchase for some. The digging begins at 2 p.m. Tip Top Daily Market is located at 2902 The Plaza Rd. in the Plaza-Midwood District
Join Mr. Felix Curtis this afternoon at The Harvey B. Gantt Center for another historically fun screening of Classic Black Cinema Series. Today’s feature is the 1970s classic “Melinda,” starring the great Calvin Lockhart. It’s the story of murder, romance and revenge! Don’t miss this rare screening! The film will begin at 2 p.m. and is FREE with museum admission. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. #CBCS
It’s the end of the season and competition is growing fierce on the field. This afternoon, come out for the playoffs and championship game of M.A.R.S. Summer Co-Ed Kickball. See some intense action from all participating teams from this season kick, throw, slide and run their way to victory and take home the trophy! The kickoff is at 4 p.m. All games will be played at Park Road Park on Field #1. 6220 Park Rd. #MARS #Funletics
Relax to some smooth and mellow tunes this evening at The Tavern and enjoy the return of Jazzy Sundays. One of the most beautiful voices and vocalists—Gena Chambers will be blessing your ears along with the precise grooves of The Tempo All-Stars! Charlotte radio staple Chirl Girl will be your host and DJ 06 will provide some fly music on the turntables afterwards. The event begins at 6 p.m. and admission is FREE until 7 p.m. The Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown.
Rounding out your spectacular Sunday, head out to Petra’s Bar for the “Second Sunday Jazz Workshop & Improv.” Join host, instrumentalist and local jazz enthusiast, John Shaughnessy as he conducts a live jazz session in front of an intimate audience. All are welcome to join in! Whether you are a flautist, guitarist, funky drummer, vocalist, horn-blower, percussionist or ivory tickler, this is the workshop for you! FREE. The jam session begins at 8 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
MONDAY, September 12
Enjoy some other-worldly grooves at The McColl Center this evening and come out for another fine jazz edition of “New Frequencies @ McColl Center.” Tonight’s musical guests are the genre-defying saxophone quartet, Battle Trance and Mexico City-based trumpet player Jacob Wick. Tickets can be purchased here: https://53393.blackbaudhosting.com/53393/NEW-FREQUENCIES-at-McCOLL-CENTER-JAZZ–Battle-Trance. Performance starts at 8 p.m. The McColl Center is located at 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Think you got the skills to spell? Head over to Petra’s for the Buzzed Spelling Bee. Enjoy a fun and “spirited” spelling bee filled with strange, obscure words while drinking libations! Admission is FREE to attend and participate. Registration starts at 8:30 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Everyone have a fantastic weekend! If you see me out, please show me some birthday love and return the favor by showing love to a stranger! Peace.
Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.