On the latest episode of the Nooze Hounds podcast, Ryan talks to Priya Sircar, who was named the city’s first arts and culture officer just over a year ago.
Priya explains how she and the newly formed Arts and Culture Advisory Board have been working with national organizations (Lord Cultural Resources) and local ones (Civility Localized) to get as much community engagement as possible as they formulate the city’s new Arts and Culture Plan, a rough preliminary draft of which is expected next month.
The cultural plan will take a comprehensive look at Charlotte’s arts, culture and creative economy and ecosystem, and create a roadmap for future cultural programming, infrastructure and investment. A key goal of the plan is developing sustainable funding for arts and culture in Charlotte while maximizing the economic impact of the sector.
A community survey is still available online for all residents to offer feedback through Oct. 30.
The two also discuss how Priya came to be working in Charlotte after living in Austin, New York and Miami, as well as some of the debate around what role Charlotte City Council should play in the work of the Arts and Culture Advisory Board.
Sircar was hired in August 2021 after serving as director of arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, where she oversaw Knight’s arts investments in and across the eight cities in which Knight has offices, including Charlotte.
The plan to hire an Arts and Culture Officer and form an Arts and Culture Advisory Board came following a years-long discussion among city and county leaders about how to reform arts funding, including a failed ballot referendum that would have implemented a quarter-cent sales tax increase and allocated nearly of the estimated $55 million in resulting revenue to arts and culture.
Remember you can catch Nooze Hounds on Spotify and other places where you find podcasts, and be sure to check out Queen City Podcast Network for a slew of other great Charlotte podcasts that aren’t quite as good as ours but pretty damn close. Find past Nooze Hounds episodes here.
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