Meet the 18 people who will shape much of Charlotte’s arts and culture landscape

The City of Charlotte and Foundation For The Carolinas announced the names of 18 people who will serve on the city’s newly created Arts and Culture Advisory Board.

The board, created by City Council, will determine how millions of dollars are spent each year in support of the city’s arts sector.

The board will allocate about $4.4 million remaining for fiscal year 2021-22, then $12 million each in fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The money is a combination of city tax dollars and private donations.

Priya Sircar, the city’s Arts and Culture Officer appointed in August, will lead the board.

“I look forward to working with them and with Charlotte residents to shape an inclusive and thriving future for Charlotte arts and culture together,” Sircar said in a statement.

Nine members were appointed to the board by the private sector. Of the remaining nine, three were appointed by Mayor Vi Lyles, and six were appointed by City Council. The mayor also selects the board’s chairperson from among the 18 members.

Appointed by Charlotte City Council

  • Carla Aaron-Lopez, independent artist and arts educator
  • Aisha Dew, artist/arts administrator and community activist
  • Tim Miner, co-founder, Charlotte is Creative
  • Shefalee Patel, independent artist and community volunteer
  • Kevin Patterson, arts and community board member
  • Nick Tosco, musician and local government attorney, Poyner Spruill LLP

Appointed by Mayor Vi Lyles

  • Irisol Gonzales, fine artist and muralist
  • Lex Kimbrough, gilmmaker, Brave Boy Media
  • Corey Mitchell, arts educator and founder/artistic director, Theatre Gap Initiative

Appointed by Foundation For The Carolinas

  • Cyndee Patterson (named Chair of the board by Mayor Lyles), president, Lee Institute/The Duke Mansion
  • Sandra Fernandes, global returnship program director, Glide – Relaunch, Wells Fargo
  • Su Ping Lu, general counsel – securities, governance and corporate finance, Honeywell
  • Anna Spangler Nelson, chair, Spangler Companies Inc.
  • Grace Nystrum, senior vice president – strategic marketing executive, global banking and markets, Bank of America
  • Marisa Thalberg, executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer, Lowe’s
  • Charles Thomas, Charlotte program director, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • April Whitlock, head of corporate citizenship, LendingTree; executive director, LendingTree Foundation

Appointed by the Arts & Science Council

  • Philip Thomas, civic leader

Each board member will serve a three-year term.

Foundation For The Carolinas President and CEO Michael Marsicano said the board may be one of the most “diverse” ever assembled in Charlotte.”

“Over the next three years, the board’s work will transform our cultural landscape and have a profound impact on our entire community,” Marsicano said.

For decades, the city’s arts funding had been funneled through the Arts & Science Council, but earlier this year, City Council voted to switch course and created the Arts and Culture Advisory Board, which will hold its first meeting in December.

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