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Charlotte groups to receive $1.2 million to help spread art throughout the city

Cine Casual launched in 2020 at Camp North End. Now it's hosted at The Independent Picture House.
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Cine Casual
Cine Casual launched in 2020 and is now hosted at The Independent Picture House. The group will receive a $20,000 Opportunity Fund grant to support the second edition of the Charlotte Latino Film Festival.

The city of Charlotte announced on Thursday plans to distribute nearly $1.2 million to local artists and groups through the Opportunity Fund.

The money is a mix of public and private dollars that will support the projects of 35 artists and nonprofits. The aim is to provide resources to groups that serve diverse communities and help remove barriers that prohibit some from participating in the arts.

The Lorien Academy of the Arts will receive the maximum grant amount of $40,000. It runs extracurricular arts programs at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with high poverty levels.

“If we didn’t get this Opportunity Fund grant, we kind of knew we would have to do something significant scaling of our programming. This is definitely significant in our ability to accomplish our mission,” said Michael Khoe, the group’s founder and executive director.

Other projects the grants will support include the Charlotte Latino Film Festival, a braille trail, a 3D modeling workshop, and a music therapy course for veterans and caregivers.

A research team at UNC Charlotte will give grant recipients the ability to measure and evaluate the projects’ impacts.

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Elvis Menayese is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race and equity for WFAE. He previously was a member of the Queens University News Service. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health.