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McColl Center for Visual Art to Launch Artist-Lead Arts & Ecology Community Campus

McColl Center for Visual Art will create an artist-lead Arts & Ecology Community Campus in alliance with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership in the Brightwalk Community at Historic Double Oaks, with $400,000 in support from ArtPlace America. The Arts and Ecology Campus was chosen from more than 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative placemaking.

ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking – putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities. This is ArtPlace America’s third cycle of grant awards. With this round of grants, in total, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants to 124 organizations in 79 communities for a total of $42.1 million.
In partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, McColl Center for Visual Art will use the funding to bring national and international artists to Charlotte for three-month long residencies. During their residencies, these artists will work closely with residents of Brightwalk, an emerging mixed-income village, and the surrounding Statesville Avenue Corridor. They will design and install original works of art that address an identified environmental challenge in the community and provide safe, inviting outdoor gathering spaces. Artists will also mentor students from local universities who are interested in pursuing careers in art, ecology, engineering, or design. Through the Environmental Artist-in-Residence Program at Brightwalk, participants will learn to engage the community, participate in the design and building of environmental art installations and eventually become mentors to area high school students themselves.

Suzanne Fetscher, President/CEO of McColl Center for Visual Art comments, “For over a decade McColl Center for Visual Art has been involving its artists-in-residence in meaningful community engagement. The Center’s ‘Spheres of Impact’ were identified recently by the community as issues of highest importance to the future of Charlotte. The environment is one of ten ‘Spheres.’ I am proud of the recognition the Center is receiving as a result of this incredibility important grant and look forward to the impact the environmental artists will have on the Brightwalk neighborhood and beyond.”

McColl Center for Visual Art and its partners are committed to creating spaces that truly belong to residents of Statesville Avenue Corridor and inspire environmental stewardship, creative capacity, and a sense of empowerment. Workshops, festivals, and volunteer opportunities will promote civic engagement and neighborhood cohesion. The installation of eco-artworks and the creation of a student mentorship program will provide opportunities for integrative teaching and high quality summer and out-of-school learning.

“The McColl Center project embeds art firmly into the community by creating a meeting place for artists and residents to discuss the impact of culture and arts on local progress,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation vice president for arts. “Through this dialogue residents can develop a long term stake in their communities and foster collaboration toward a more vibrant future.”

The Miami-based Knight Foundation, which believes in the power of the arts to engage communities, has been a founding funder of ArtPlace.

“ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities.” Said Rip Rapson, chair of ArtPlace America’s Presidents’ Council. “With this grant award ArtPlace America is directing individual project support to scores of creative, high-impact projects throughout the country.”

“ArtPlace America is also continuing to break new ground in drawing together some of the nation's leading foundations to think -- in a concerted way -- about how these kind of projects can become more widespread.” Continued Rapson.

The 54 organizations that received grants were selected from over 1,200 applications. Inquiries came from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Grant amounts range from $750,000 to $33,000 with an average grant size of just over $280,000.  

The complete list of 2013/2014 ArtPlace America awards can be found at


ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants totaling $42.1 million to 124 organizations in 79 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut).

Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.  

ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

ArtPlace America is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.


McColl Center for Visual Art is a nationally acclaimed contemporary art center dedicated to connecting art and resident artists with the community.  Located in a historic neo-Gothic church in uptown Charlotte, the Center houses nine studios for resident artists and over 5,000 square feet of gallery space. The Center’s goal is to present art and artists in a way that engages and enriches the public while revealing the creative process through open studios, outreaches, community projects, educational programs, and the Innovation Institute. The gallery is free and open to the public, Thursday and Friday from 3 to 9 PM and Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.  

The Environmental Artist-in-Residence Program at McColl Center for Visual Art offers opportunities for established and emerging artists, architects, landscape architects, conservationists, or other art/design professionals to engage in community-based environmental or ecological projects. The program was founded on the principal that integrated art, science, community engagement, and education can create innovative and effective ecological interventions; and that a pairing of artists with ecological problem spots in Charlotte’s parks and public lands will result in successful environmental remediation projects.

McColl Center for Visual Art is supported, in part, with a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts and Science Council as well as the North Carolina Arts Council with funding from the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art and the generosity of corporate and individual donors.


For additional information on McColl Center for Visual Art, visit or contact Susan Jedrzejewski at or 704-332-5535.