Creative + Connected Charlotte


In an empathetic city, diversity is celebrated and people who live there are connected and engaged.

To that end, the Innovation Institute at McColl Center for Art + Innovation has developed Creative + Connected Charlotte, a five-month, arts-based intervention designed to cultivate creativity, empathy, and socially intelligent systems in community members who can impact our city. The initiative is generously funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Creative + Connected Charlotte participants will include fifteen individuals from diverse backgrounds, organizations, and industries representing cross-sector leadership at every level. 

Participants will attend sixty-two hours of in-person programs at McColl Center for Art + Innovation over the course of five months.

This includes:

  • five artist-led sessions;
  • two design-thinking sessions, and
  • two action learning sessions to support the prototyping of ideas with fellow cohort members.

Sessions will be led by McColl Center alumni artists Bayeté Ross Smith, Shaun Cassidy, Kevin Hogan, Susan Harbage Page, and Ellen Kochansky alongside facilitators Vicki Taylor and David Phillips. 

If you are interested participating in Creative + Connected Charlotte, the application is open until November 30, 2017.

APPLY NOW [application period closed]

Individuals will be notified by December 8, 2017. Participation in the program is free of charge.

Individuals should apply if they:

  • live or work in Charlotte,
  • are ready to collaborate with others and engage with new ideas,
  • have a desire to make a difference in our communities, and
  • can commit to attending all dates and times.

Selected participants should anticipate spending ten to fifteen hours on individual assignments and group projects over the course of the program in addition to the dates and times listed below.

  • Thursday, January 11 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, January 25 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, February 8 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, February 22 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, March 8 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, March 22 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Friday, March 23 from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday, April 12 from 1 to 5 PM
  • Thursday, May 10 from 2:30 to 5 PM

The Innovation Institute at McColl Center for Art + Innovation is primarily and fundamentally an experience-based program designed to develop creativity and engage people through active participation. Programs are led by accomplished artists and professional facilitators who help participants leverage their innate creativity through hands-on experiences and group discussions. Innovation Institute provides an opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of creativity and broaden the ability to apply it in their life.

McColl Center is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or physical ability.

For more information about the program, contact Susan Jedrzejewski, Director of Innovation Institute and New Initiatives, at or 704-944-8224.