Future Of Charlotte Arts In Doubt After City Council’s Decision To Defund ASC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The future of the arts in Charlotte is in serious question after city council decided to defund the Arts and Science Council.

The decision leaves hundreds of artists like Caroline Calouche wondering what’s next.

“I have a passion for teaching,” said Calouche.

When she started her studio, Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center, more than a decade ago. She relied heavily on the Arts and Science Council.

“The Arts and Science Council operates with grants and resources. We’ve been the lucky recipients of many many grants along the years,” explained Calouche.

The ASC was created by the City of Charlotte decades ago to keep some of the larger arts venues in the city afloat. It morphed over the years to help thousands of local artists received grant money and learn how to profit from their skills.

“We are artists. We are not trained for marketing and business things,” Calouche said.

Charlotte City Council voted on Monday to stop funding to ASC. Forcing the ASC to rely on private funding.

“Our goal is to continue funding. We can’t fully commit to that but this council is saying it is our intention to continue to provide substantial arts funding going forward,” said Councilman Edmund Driggs.

The money will instead go towards the large arts companies in Charlotte.

“We wanted to ensure that there was funding for the big venues that the city owns,” explains Driggs.