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Weekend In Entertainment: A Night In Rio


It’s our regular Thursday segment on the weekend entertainment scene around Charlotte. We’re in a very short lull between the NBA All-Star Game and next week’s CIAA tournament in Charlotte to be followed by the ACC Men’s basketball tournament next month! This weekend, you might want to make a “fast break” for one or more arts-related events around town.  

Ryan Pitkin
Credit Ryan Pitkin
Ryan Pitkin, founder and editor of Queen City Nerve.

Joining WFAE's All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey for a sneak peek is Ryan Pitkin with Queen City Nerve.  

Ryan Pitkin: Hey Mark, it's good to see you and I'm enjoying the puns already.

Mark Rumsey: Well let's start at the McColl Center for Arts and Innovation uptown. On Saturday, there is an event there entitled honoring black artists a celebration and discussion. Tell us about that?

Pitkin: Yeah that runs from 1:00 – 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday. It’s a good time to get out and do something with your day and the black arts scene in Charlotte has just had so much momentum in the last five years or so. This has got a great lineup of speakers who are leading this discussion, Antoine Williams, who is currently a resident at the McColl Center. You’ve got John W. Love jr., Michaela Pilar Brown, Lydia Thompson. These are just all great people who have really invaluable insight into why it's important to celebrate Black Art here in Charlotte and where it sort of fits into the scene.

Rumsey: Okay good deal. And Saturday evening there's an event also uptown on South Tryon at the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art. This is Art with Heart and this is an annual event with an important purpose right?

Pitkin: Right. Absolutely. Art with Heart has been going on nearly 20 years now. And in that time it's raised $1.8 million for Safe Alliance, one of the organizations that's close to my heart here in Charlotte. They help support domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. And there's always just a great show out of artists who show up and donate their art. Bree Newsome, Elizabeth Palmisano are two this year that have sort of been curating and gathering other artists from around town, too. And I've seen some of the pieces already, the collections are great. It's one of the nicer high-end events but also not too snooty or anything like that. It’s always inclusive. And it's just a great time on a Saturday night. So I'll be there for sure. And I would definitely suggest anybody else show up.

Rumsey: And that’s an auction, a silent auction?

Pitkin: Silent auction, but also they get up and do the jury art competition, there are vendors, there’s a gallery. You can walk around and meet a lot of the artist that are around. It’s just a great all-around art event.  

Rumsey: Well in a different vein this weekend how about A Night in Rio. This is another recurring event in Noda. The 10th Annual Brazilian carnival experience?

Pitkin: Right. It’s turning 10 years old this Saturday. If you're looking for more of a party vibe this is definitely the party you want to go to. You can check out Queen City Nerve’s current issue on the racks for an in-depth story about it, but long story short Silva and Tony Arias have worked in the last 10 years to get the most authentic Brazilian event celebrating Carnival, which is a worldwide event celebrated by a bunch of different countries, but the Brazilian one is sort of the one that everyone knows of. And they've been working to really make that as authentic an event as possible there in NODA’s Neighborhood Theatre.

Rumsey: So is that all indoors or do they get out on the streets?

Pitkin: Last year they did get out on the street. Apparently this year they're going to keep it a little bit more shut down. It was a little harder to get the city to agree to what happened last year which a snake was going all the way down North Davidson Street. But they will actually march around the little complex that they're in which includes Neighborhood Theatre near the Mercury apartments and stuff like that. So they'll still get out and get some fresh air during the dancing.

Rumsey:  Okay, sounds like plenty of entertainment variety after this mostly chilly and wet week in Charlotte. A lot of places to stay dry. Ryan Pitkin with Queen City Nerve. Thanks a lot.  

Pitkin: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it Mark.

Every Thursday tune into All Things Considered on WFAE 90.7 for our latest Weekend in Entertainment segment featuring voices from Charlotte’s media scene bringing you the latest music, cultural and social events.