QC Family Tree’s Culture Bearer Residency program is meant to: build community by connecting individuals across points of difference; build community by nurturing, celebrating, and supporting authentic cultures and creative expression; increase relevance by using arts, science and history to address complex community issues; and increasing innovation by supporting the creation of new and groundbreaking work. This Culture Bearer Residency program highlights the strong role that artists and culture bearers play as leaders in civic engagement and social change. The program demonstrates how dynamic social change work incorporates arts and culture into efforts to positively shape the community. Former residents include Janelle Dunlap (2017), Hannah Hasan (2018), Hoan Rahlan (2021), and Dioveris Lopez (2021). The Fall 2022 residency application will open in May 2022.
Bunny Gregory and Katrina Cherry were QCFT’s Winter/Spring 2022 Culture Bearers in Residence. Both are long-time Charlotte residents with professional experience as artists. Their time with QC Family Tree included numerous community-engaged events including Free Space Studios, Bond-Fires, and She Speaks. Katrina and Bunny celebrated the grand finale of their residency with “Feeling Good” speakeasy. The speakeasy paired the artists’ new work with live music and dessert bar. “Feeling Good” was a celebration of Enderly Park, of our artists, and of the culture that Black women in particular have nourished in this city and this state. Bunny and Katrina will be artist facilitators at the QC Family Tree Change Makers’ Rehearsal Dinner in May and will show their work in the upcoming art show this summer. We had such a good experience with them that we have extended their residency an extra 17 weeks.
I see my role at QC Family Tree as a catalyst for grassroots artists to have a comfortable environment to grow in their art journey. My journey as an artists has taught me that through my art I have been able to connect with people from various cultural backgrounds. I have been able to create opportunities for other artists to recognize where they want to go with their art and for them to feel inspired and comfortable to pursue art making and healing.. I am excited about applying for this experience because I want to learn how to be more effective in being a pivotal member in my community. I want to understand the logistics of it all. I feel like this is an opportunity for me to get a better understanding of what it means to work in a community and help bring unity and healing and to be more effective in that. I want to recognize my full potential. I want to make a difference. I found a lot of healing in working in art and in community and I want to pass that on and pay that forward to others who are coming behind me and to people of various ages. I feel that whatever I am a part of, I have genuine excitement and dedication for it. I am willing to be fully present and learn so that I can be instrumental. I have the passion and have worked with many people over the years. I have learned to work with people from various backgrounds and I want to be able to sharpen that and reach more people.
I see my role as someone who encourages positive change within the community through creative engagement. I strongly feel this type of engagement teaches creative thinking, thus creating community members who want to and can make positive change. I am excited about applying for this experience because it is an opportunity to expand my self-taught knowledge of community engagement. There is so much more to learn. I think this experience can help me by showing me different ways to engage. It will help me to find different avenues to support community engagement. I want to pass on the gift of meeting people where they are in life. Allowing people to be fully accepted for who and what they see themselves as; the gift of honest, judgment-free acceptance.