Planning under way for grant-funded projects to help local artists, businesses

Planning is under way for a range of projects that aim to help local artists and small businesses struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Charlotte awarded a $150,000 grant to the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association in July, as part of its efforts to help small business partners (like nonprofits and academic organizations) that are focusing their efforts on COVID-19 impact relief. Since then, the NoDa NBA has been busy with the planning stages of putting the grant money to good use.

The NBA plans to use the grant in three ways: Placemaking, or creating community-driven areas in public spaces that can help support small businesses; marketing and branding campaigns using local artists to create messaging and merchandise for local businesses; and COVID-19 hygiene art ups, again using local artists to design hygiene-focused art for local businesses.

So far, the highest demand has been for placemaking projects, with nine in the planning phase. These will employ 34 artists and help 28 businesses, accounting for $94,500 of the grant.

Placemaking projects

  • YMCA Adirondack chair art-up: Place 24 Adirondack chairs decorated by local artists on the YMCA lawn (sponsor group: NoDa NBA)
  • Gordon Street Alleyway mural: Paint a large mural within the Gordon Street Alleyway (sponsor group: Plaza Midwood Merchants Association)
  • HUB933: Paint a mural representing Queen Charlotte embracing all communities and people at 933 Louise Avenue (sponsor group: Belmont Community Association)
  • Freshlist: Create a large seasonal produce “clock” on the front facade of its facility at 1300 Kennon Street (sponsor group: Belmont Community Association)
  • Sweet Lew’s BBQ: Create a mural featuring significant places in neighborhood’s and city’s history at 923 Belmont Avenue (sponsor group: Belmont Community Association)
  • Arts Factory: Replace Legacy mural currently on vinyl to be permanently painted on the Art Factory Co-worker Building wall, accompanied by outdoor furnishings in the spring (sponsor group: Historic West End)
  • Queens Mini Mart: Grace the walls of the Queens Mini Mart (a convenience store) with the Sankofa bird, to remind all that we must move forward in a positive manner (sponsor group: Historic West End)
  • People’s Dry Cleaners: Bring the community remembrance of the messages of thought, love, and the responsibility to our youth as conveyed through songs by artists like Marvin Gaye, at 1930 Beatties Ford Road (sponsor group: Historic West End)
  • Trailer lot: Provide property owners, small business owners, and the community a pocket park that reflects the corridor’s history and demonstrates the culture of West Charlotte, at 1915 Beatties Ford Road (sponsor group: Historic West End)

Three marketing and branding campaigns are being planned, employing 13 artists and helping more than 150 businesses.

Marketing and branding campaigns

  • Create a promotional video for digital platforms and have professional photos done of projects and products
  • Create branding and conceptual collateral to drive people to explore the Mill District and patronize its businesses (roughly 150 neighborhood businesses will be included)
  • Hold a benefit livestream for local bar

The NBA is continuing to search for projects that can use the grant funds, particularly under the marketing and branding and hygiene art up categories, where there have been fewer responses. There are nine more slots with $2,000 per project available. If you’re interested in participating or learning more, reach out to