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Local Grant Helps Artists Design Trash Cans in Charlotte

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Murals aren’t the only thing artists are painting in Charlotte.

In fact, if you walk through NoDa, you’ll likely find artwork in the most unlikely places.

Evan Plante is a graphic designer and print maker. He's spent the last 13 years living in NoDa where he's come to love the Neighborhood Theatre.

Not only is it historic, but when it's as renovated and turned into a music venue, it was done in a grassroots scale," he says.

He loves the theatre so much that his artwork sits right in front it.

Over the summer Plante took his knowledge of print making and graphic design to decorate a trash can, featuring famous North Carolina musicians.

“John Coltrane and Nina Simone…she was from here. Oh, and then like George Clinton, he was from here. Oh and then Thelonious Monk, he’s from here," he says. "Before I realized it I was actually celebrating like four groundbreaking Black pioneers in music that were from North Carolina.”

Throughout NoDa you’ll find seven other uniquely designed trash cans all done by local artists.

Jacob Horr is the president of the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association.

Earlier this year, they were awarded a $150,000 grant from the city of Charlotte that allowed them to help put artists to work during the pandemic by funding different art projects.

“Artists are the lifeblood of NoDA if not all of Charlotte, and having a way to support them and the city showing that they’re willing to invest in supporting them as well is so great," says Horr.

Horr says the eight trash cans designed by artists were actually purchased by the neighborhood in 2018.

He says they have plans to design five more trash cans in the neighborhood, and he’s hoping they can work with the city to design even more.

Plante admits, because of the pandemic, he hasn’t had the opportunity to truly take in his work, but he hopes others that walk by it will.

I like the idea of art inspiring people into discovery," he says.

The NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association says it is currently working on more art projects in Charlotte's Historic West End, Plaza Midwood, and other neighborhoods thanks to the grant money the city has provided. 

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