BOOM Charlotte sparks creativity, collaboration, and diversity in Plaza Midwood

By Branna Calloway

April 26, 2017

How often have you woken up with the thought to let your day decide where it will lead you? Art has the power to do that if you open yourself to it, and it can completely change your life for the better, often unexpectedly. Well, that’s kind of what Que-OS (pronounced Chaos), the nonprofit behind local Pecha Kucha Charlotte wants to lead you through with their latest event, BOOM.

This is the second time the artist-led showcase will be held in Charlotte. For three days, you’re invited to watch and explore experimental/contemporary performance and visual art in the mission to “spark creativity and collaboration among a diverse group.” This year’s theme is “Lighting of the Fuse,” which according to BOOM project manager, Camerin Watson means, “continuing the energy that pops up at the festival … and begin anew.”

BOOM Charlotte project manager Camerin Watson. Photo by Dick Costa

“With BOOM, I believe Que-OS is creating a space for the underground artist to shine. The bigger arts institutions may overlook or pass up the opportunity to work with local Charlotte creatives. When the amazing works of these local artists are put on display, the demand from the public creates a more authentic and diverse arts scene for the Charlotte community at-large,” says Kia O. Moore, founder of Hip Hop Orchestrated.

BOOM 2017 will feature a unique coalition of artists, performers, businesses, and organizations to make Plaza Midwood the epicenter for local arts scene while reflecting the values of the community. These values are vital in building a rapport between people who may seem so different, on the surface, to celebrate the connection between art and community. This is especially apparent in the current climate where the smallest distinctions are tearing citizens apart. You can discover or rediscover acts like Bluz, Jason Jet, XOXO, Aerial Charlotte, the Jazz Arts Initiative, 100 Words Film Festival, Hip Hop Orchestrated, Moving Poets, and more.

Taproot performance art at BOOM 2016. Photo by Deborah Triplett

If you’re a recent Charlotte transplant, native, or been around long enough to feel local, this is a great event to get out in the streets and soak-in some sun while discovering some really cool nooks in the city. Get to know the funky yet historic Plaza Midwood neighborhood in a new light. Use the outdoor stage called the “Intersection” as your center. Listen to the music spilling out of event venues including neighborhood hangouts like Petra’s and Snug Harbor. Stop and refuel at one of the food trucks serving at the festival, then get back to exploring Gallery Twenty Two, the International House and much more.

The “Intersection” stage at BOOM 2016. Photo by Deborah Triplett

For BOOM project manager Camerin Watson, “[Art] should hit you in face as you walk down the street. It should require something of you, as an individual and as a piece of the greater puzzle – something not simply to entertain, but to spark dialogue that leads to the necessary growth and development of our community. For a weekend, at least, BOOM will offer such an in-your-face collaboration of art and community here in Charlotte.”

Check out the full schedule of events for BOOM Charlotte this weekend in Plaza Midwood.

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