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Creative Connections offers a chance for artists to meet

By Michael Knox
For the Salisbury Post
CONCORD — Cabarrus County’s creative community is vibrant, with artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, jugglers, circus performers and Carolina Renaissance Festival performers living in the area. But often these creative people are not connected with other arts advocates in their community, sometimes making them feel like they are on an island creating work on their own.

To help unite those creative individuals, Kannapolis Arts/Downtown Kannapolis Inc. is organizing Creative Connections with the Concord Downtown Development Corp. and ClearWater Artist Studios.

Creative Connections is designed to be a networking resource for artists and performers in Cabarrus County and surrounding communities. The aim is to form partnerships that can lead to collaboration among local artists, musicians and others in the community.

The event will include a breakout session to discuss the kinds of arts and culture endeavors to work on, such as painting murals or staging outdoor theater productions.

Creative Connections will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Piedmont Renaissance Center, 51 Union St. S., No. 101, in Concord.

Bailey Watson Wingler, a Salisbury-based artist who has participated in Kannapolis Arts events, said he plans to attend the inaugural Creative Connections.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with other ‘creatives’ in the area. Artists and communities benefit substantially from collaborating with one another and sharing ideas,” Wingler said. “When I travel, I am always astonished by the makers’ spaces, the community art centers, public sculpture displays and murals.”

The idea for Creative Connections stemmed from the Kannapolis Arts-organized Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Festival series in Kannapolis, which brought artists and performers together.

Many participants met other artists and writers in their community for the first time. But because they were running a booth or tent at the festival, they didn’t have time to talk and connect with the people they met. Creative Connections is designed to give those people time to meet one another and plan for future arts and culture activities.

The organizers for Creative Connections chose downtown Concord as the site for the first event because it is centrally located, making it easier for people from Mount Pleasant, Midland, Harrisburg and Kannapolis to participate.

Other networking events are being discussed, with ClearWater Artist Studios as a possible location.

“I am especially excited when I see these projects being used in a way that encourages community engagement, inspires young minds and integrates athletic and educational initiatives,” Wingler said. “It is very exciting to have the opportunity to grow our community through the arts.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/KannapolisArts/ to learn more about Kannapolis Arts. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1633163316974556/ to sign up to attend Creative Connections. Visit http://downtownkannapolis.org/ for more information on Downtown Kannapolis Inc. Visit http://www.concorddowntown.com/ for more information on the Concord Downtown Development Corp. Visit http://www.clearwaterartists.com/ for more information on ClearWater Artist Studios. Visit http://www.prc-concord.com/ for more information on the Piedmont Renaissance Center.




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