New event center in Spencer looks to connect kids with passions
Published 12:05 am Thursday, January 27, 2022
SPENCER — Even for Kevan Glover, explaining his company’s and foundation’s multitude of far-ranging programs and services can be difficult.
Glover is the founder and CEO of The Konnected and The Konnected Foundation Inc. One is a media management and production company and the other is a charitable organization aimed at helping the area’s youth. They’re two arms on the same body, both overlapping in their focus on media.
“It’s a lot of moving pieces,” Glover said.
Both ventures are now housed at The Konnected Entertainment and Wellness Center. At 1625 N. U.S. 29 in Spencer, the center is located at what was formerly a vacated truck weigh station.
Since moving operations onto the property in late 2020, Glover has overseen a painstaking renovation process. A large, covered stage is the centerpiece of the location, but there are also multiple buildings containing recording, photography and production equipment. A green room primed for lights, camera and action now inhabits what was once an automotive mechanic bay.
Glover founded The Konnected about 15 years ago in Charlotte. He launched the company with a MySpace-themed party that attracted more than 1,000 guests and showcased local musical artists. Since then, Glover has continued to give local creators a platform, through the Konnected magazine, radio and television stations. He’s hosted countless concerts and gatherings in the Charlotte area.
Not long after founding The Konnected, Glover launched a foundation. With the motto “Build a better life thru the arts,” the nonprofit seeks to equip teens with photography, music, videography, event planning, journalism and hosting skills. The foundation also participates in more traditional forms of charity such as donating meals to families during the holidays and providing teens with academic scholarships.
“There’s nothing like that feeling that we get when we’re able to actually help out and do something for somebody,” Glover said.
The foundation’s biggest fundraiser each year is the Queen City Awards. The annual event, hosted by Glover, bestows awards to local musicians based on input from a panel of judges and a fan vote. The 15th Queen City Awards was hosted at Livingstone College earlier this month.
Although The Konnected and The Konnected Foundation, Inc. were started and located in Charlotte, Glover decided to move his operations to Spencer after a friend showed him the former weigh station property. That same friend implored him to bring his charitable work to the Spencer community.
“I was reluctant at first, but I came out here and saw the facility and was like, ‘I think we can do something out here,’” Glover said. “Once I started channeling in on the news out here, I saw there was a lot of violence out here and I knew our company could get those kids involved in some other things besides gang activity.”
In the spring, Glover opened the center to the public for the first time and invited first responders for an appreciation event. Since then, he’s also held concerts and reunions. In December, Glover brought dozens of families to the center for a Christmas party during which the foundation gave away free food and toys. On New Year’s Eve, Glover hosted a countdown with a large “K” for Konnected being dropped to the ground.
While Glover imagines the center becoming a place for parties and philanthropy, he also wants it to be a place where local teens come to discover new passions and potential career paths. He’s developing a multi-week educational program called T.E.A.C.H. (Technology, Engineering, Arts, Communication, Horticulture) to give middle school students a chance to learn new skills.
“We just want to be a safe haven where kids can come, get out of their particular area and be in a fenced in environment where they can focus and find a different passion, or passions they didn’t even know they had,” Glover said.
Financial assistance for the T.E.A.C.H. program will be provided to students who need it, Glover said.
Eventually, Glover said students will use their newfound media skills to host a teen talent show where they control the sound, lighting, shoot pictures and write about the event afterward.
Another goal of Glover’s is to open a building at the center as a wellness and mental health hub, where teens can go to talk to someone other than their parents and receive counseling or guidance.
Glover said he is working to form partnerships in the community. He’s already established a relationship with Communities in Schools of Rowan County and plans on meeting with North Rowan Middle School administrators soon. Glover is currently in search of professionals with media skills who can donate their time to mentor teens.
More information about The Konnected Entertainment and Wellness Center can be found online at keawc.com. More information about The Konnected Foundation Inc. can be found online at thekonnectedfoundationinc.com.