Category Archives: Events

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2015 Evening for Educators: CTI Fellows Share Curriculum Created in 2014 Seminars

CTI hosted an awesome “Evening for Educators” at the Discovery Place STEM Education Studio March 3. CTI Fellows shared the new curriculum units they developed during their 2014 CTI seminars with students, teachers and members of the community as they participated in a Gallery Crawl and viewed poster presentations.

Click here to see the full list of presenters and their curriculum unit titles.

 

Events Exploding Canons Press Releases

Charlotte Teachers Institute Explores Lake Norman in Exploding Canons: Under The Lake Oct. 21

Photos from CTI’s Exploding Canons: Under The Lake October 21, 2014

Alex Edwards-Aaron Kollar

CTI Fellows Alexandra Edwards and Aaron Kollar welcome guests.

Amy Ringwood-Alan Vitale

CTI Seminar Leader Amy Ringwood and CTI Fellow Alan Vitale set up for guests to view living things Amy collected from Lake Norman waterways.

Mary Fabian and guests

CTI Fellow and Seminar Coordinator Mary Fabian invites guests to take a closer look at creatures who live in the lake.

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Expert panelists included (l. to r.): Rebecca McKee, Jan Blodgett, Jeff Michael, Steve Jester and Bill McCoy.

PRESS RELEASE

The flow of life along the Catawba River changed dramatically about 50 years ago when Duke Energy created Lake Norman with the construction of Cowans Ford Dam in 1963. The lake and its surrounding region saw small farms, large plantations, mills and more replaced by state-of-the-art homes and businesses, nuclear power structures, and a recreational lake culture – along with less visible changes such as shifting fish populations and a rise in community activism and environmental protection.

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) will plumb the depths of Lake Norman – past, present and future – with “Exploding Canons: Under The Lake” on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 5:30-8:00 pm, at Davidson College’s Lilly Family Gallery. This installment of CTI’s flagship speakers series dives deep into the changing social and physical landscapes of Lake Norman and its profound effects on the larger region, with a diverse group of topics and experts including:

  • Lake Norman: Powering the Region — Steve Jester, Vice President of Water Strategy, Hydro Licensing and Lake Services, Duke Energy
  • Stories from Under the Lake — Jan Blodgett, College Archivist, Davidson College
  • Making Room for Nature in Man-Made Environments — Rebecca McKee, Davidson Impact Fellow, Catawba Lands Conservancy
  • From River People to Lake People: Place & Identity in the Lake Norman Area — Jeff Michael, Director, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
  • Lake Norman: A Catalyst for Growth — William J. “Bill” McCoy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, UNC Charlotte

David Martin, professor of economics and environmental studies at Davidson, will serve as moderator. Community partners including Carolina Thread Trail, Catawba Lands Conservancy and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will host information booths during the event. “CTI’s Exploding Canons programs feature new ways of looking at current topics from a variety of perspectives,” said CTI Director Scott Gartlan. “It’s fascinating to consider all the lenses through which we can look at Lake Norman – what lies beneath the lake not just physically but socially and historically, and what it likely means for us in the future.” Gartlan noted this is CTI’s 10th Exploding Canons program. The original “Under the Lake” project began with Davidson College archivist Jan Blodgett who collected oral histories and stories about the people connected to Lake Norman to mark its 50th anniversary. “Exploring the land under the lake brings together so much more than a few names on an old map,” Blodgett noted. “Those names and the land they farmed, or mills they worked in, shaped this region. All our recent economic and social changes are built on what was here before. The more we know of the stories of the lake, the richer our shared culture becomes.” “Duke Energy had a vision to harness the power of the Catawba River to provide electricity for a growing region,” explained Duke Energy’s Steve Jester.  “The completion of Cowans Ford Dam in 1963 created Lake Norman which was a catalyst for the region’s prosperity and continues to be a valuable resource for the community.” CTI’s Oct. 21 event, sponsored by Duke Energy, is free and open to the public. It begins with a reception at 5:30 pm, followed by the speakers’ presentations and panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Information and registration is available at www.charlotteteachers.org or 704-687-0047. About Charlotte Teachers Institute The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte initiated to strengthen teaching and learning in CMS. An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI provides intensive, seven-month-long seminars led by Davidson and UNC Charlotte faculty where CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other district teachers, and create new curriculum for their own classrooms. Teachers serve as leaders in the institute and choose seminar topics they deem most important and engaging for current CMS teachers and their students. Since CTI’s inception in 2009, more than 350 CMS teachers with over 70,000 students have participated in CTI seminars. CTI also reaches out to the larger community with public events such as Teachers As Scholars and the popular Exploding Canons cultural collaboration series. CTI is made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners, with additional support from the Duke Energy Foundation, Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation, Wells Fargo and the Belk Foundation. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. In 2013, CTI and its partners were recognized by the Council of Great City Schools with the Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. For more information, please visit charlotteteachers.org or contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan at 704-687-0078 or scott.gartlan@uncc.edu.

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CTI News Current Events Events News Other Special Events

2014 CTI Teachers As Scholars: The Nature of Energy

8.5_11natureenergyCTI Fellows Share New Curricula on Energy Science

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CTI will share bright new ideas for teaching and learning about energy in a special Teachers As Scholars event on Tuesday, Sept. 30, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the EnergyExplorium at McGuire Nuclear Station in Huntersville. The program features CTI Fellows who collaborated on the topic “The Nature of Energy: How We Use and Store It to Power Our Everyday Lives,” and highlights innovative curriculum they developed in their CTI seminar. Seminar Leader Susan Trammell, professor of physics and optical science at UNC Charlotte, will also share her energy expertise.

Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy, the event is free and open to the public. It begins with a reception and viewing of the EnergyExplorium’s exhibits from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by presentations and a panel discussion with Trammell and CTI Fellows until 8 p.m.

Featured topics and teachers include:

  • The Nature of Energy: How to Use and Store It to Power our Everyday Lives – Trammell
  • Energy in Our World – Cindy Woolery, Science, Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School
  • Cruising Continents and an Awesome Asthenosphere: How Convection and Geothermal Energy Fuel Earth’s Ever Changing Surface! – Julie Ruziska Tiddy, Science, Carmel Middle School
  • Mama Did Not Take the Kodachrome Away But Charge-Coupled Devices Did – Deb Semmler, Physics, East Mecklenburg High School

Read the Press Release

View all 13 curriculum units developed by CTI Fellows in The Nature of Energy seminar.

REGISTER NOW

Current Events Events Exploding Canons

CTI Presents Exploding Canons: Sports by the Numbers October 22, 2013

sportsbynumbers_8.5x11_FINALCharlotte Teachers Institute Tackles “Sports by the Numbers” October 22

Ever wondered whether your favorite team should punt or go for it – or who’s really Number 1? CTI will tackle these tough questions and more as we explore the intersection of sports and math in the next installment of our flagship speakers series “Exploding Canons” on Tuesday, October 22. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8 pm at UNC Charlotte’s EPIC Building, next to the new Jerry Richardson Football Stadium on the university’s main campus.

In “Exploding Canons: Sports by the Numbers,” faculty from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools along with professional sports statisticians will offer a variety of perspectives on how numbers and data are used in sports performance, development, analysis and decision-making – by athletes, coaches, teams, economists, teachers and everyday people. Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas with additional support from the Charlotte Bobcats, the event is free and open to the public. All attendees will receive special ticket offers from the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Checkers.

The event begins with a reception and local sports expo in the EPIC atrium at 5:30 p.m., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Siemens Energy Lecture Hall (EPIC G256). Space is limited, so pre-registration  is recommended. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend.

Program topics and featured speakers include:

  • Who’s Number 1? How to Create Predictive Sports Rankings — Tim Chartier, associate professor of mathematics, Davidson College
  • Using Math to Run Lightning Fast: Usain Bolt by the Numbers — Sharonda LeBlanc, postdoctoral fellow in mechanical engineering, UNC Charlotte, and West Charlotte High School track and field coach
  • The Hot-Hand Phenomenon: Is It Real? — Michael Pillsbury, secondary math specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Thinking Like a Statistician in the Huddle, the Dugout and on the Bench — Jason W. Rosenfeld, manager of basketball analytics, Charlotte Bobcats
  • Sports Economics: Using Sports Data to Understand the World — Fred Smith, professor and chair of economics, Davidson College

Brian Ralph, vice president of enrollment management at Queens University of Charlotte, will serve as moderator.

Community partners featured during the opening reception’s Sports Expo include: the Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Checkers, Charlotte Knights, NASCAR Hall of Fame, as well as UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Queens University athletic programs.

Event directions and parking information.

Events Other Special Events

Teachers as Scholars: African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – 2/7/13

CTI Fellows will share new curriculum they created about African American literature relating to civil rights, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture in uptown Charlotte.

Sponsored by Charlotte Teachers Institute, the Gantt Center and PNC Bank, this “Teachers as Scholars” event will feature CMS teachers who collaborated in an intensive, semester-long CTI seminar, “African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement.” Brenda Flanagan, the Edward Armfield Professor of English at Davidson College, led the seminar.

Dr. Flanagan’s seminar explored the Black Arts Movement and poetry and drama that reflected and paralleled the modern civil rights movement from 1955 to 2000. Each of the 13 CTI Fellows in the seminar produced an extensive, student-centered curriculum unit for their own classroom, and to be shared with for teachers everywhere. Three of these teachers, from elementary, middle and high school levels, will present their work during the Feb. 7 Teachers as Scholars program.

“One of CTI’s strategic goals is to provide opportunities to showcase CMS teachers’ innovative scholarship created in CTI seminars to a wider community audience,” said Scott Gartlan, CTI executive director. “This partnership with the Gantt Center will serve as an important step in fulfilling this goal.”

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with a reception and viewing of the Gantt exhibition “America I AM: The African American Imprint.” Presentations and a panel discussion with Dr. Flanagan and the three fellows will follow at 6:30 p.m. Featured topics and teachers will include:

  • African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – Brenda Flanagan, Davidson College.
  • Using Poetry to Teach Children about the Civil Rights Movement – Elouise Payton, kindergarten-third-grade teacher, Barringer Academic Center.
  • The Power Perspective: Reading the Literature of the Civil Rights Movement through a Socio-Historical Lens – Stefanie Carter-Dodson, eighth-grade language arts teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
  • Art and Black Identity in the Civil Rights Movement – Larry Bosc, social studies teacher, East Mecklenburg High School.

Each of the 13 teachers in the seminar produced a unique set of lessons related to African American literature of the civil rights movement and designed specifically for their own students.
“We hope that these units inspire other teachers to share their creativity with colleagues in an effort to benefit more students in more classrooms across the district,” Gartlan said. Dr. Flanagan’s seminar was one of eight CTI conducted on a wide range of topics for a total of 94 CMS teachers from all grade levels and subject areas, led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte faculty. The units developed in all eight seminars will be posted soon on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites for use by teachers around the world. CTI recently announced a new set of eight seminars for CMS teachers to begin in April.

 

Exploding Canons

Exploding Canons: All the Time in the World – 1/25/13

The next installment in the series will be Exploding Canons: All the Time in the World on Friday, January 25, at the McColl Center for Visual Art from 5:30 to 9 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Register Now

Exploring and expressing the concept of time intrigues artists and scientists alike, and Exploding Canons: All the Time in the World will continue the exploration in this special event presented by CTI and the McColl Center for Visual Art.

The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a discussion at 6:30 p.m. when national and local academic experts including the McColl’s visiting artists, will consider time through art, physics, biology, environmental science and personal experiences. Following the panel, the art exhibition “All the Time in the World” will remain open until 9 p.m. CTI designed the event in conjunction with the exhibition, which opens that evening.

Read More…

CTI News Events Exploding Canons Press Releases

Exploding Canons: Sustainability in Charlotte and Beyond – 10/16/12

Charlotte Teachers Institute’s “Exploding Canons” speakers series sets its sights on sustainable living in an interdisciplinary panel discussion and information expo on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at UNC Charlotte Center City at 320 E. 9thStreet.

Academic and community experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds will examine the topic of sustainability, at the “Sustainability in Charlotte and Beyond” event. Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas with support from the Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place, the event is free and open to the public.

“The breadth of speakers on this Exploding Canons panel reflects the relation of sustainability to many aspects of life,” said CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “The expo will present a wide representation of organizations and businesses who are working diligently to address current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. This will be a great opportunity for the community to connect with academic experts in a variety of fields, as well as get practical information about daily living and viable business choices.”

The event begins with a reception and information expo in the atrium at 5:30 p.m., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium. The panel includes faculty from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte, Wake Forest University and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Follow-up conversation, coffee and the expo continue after the panel discussion until 9 p.m.  Space is limited, so registration at https://charlotteteachers.org is recommended. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend.

Featured topics and speakers include:

  • “The Politics of Sustainability,” Graham Bullock, assistant professor of political science and environmental studies, Davidson College
  • “The Business Case for Sustainability,” Dan Fogel, executive professor of business and associate director of the Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, Wake Forest University
  • “Air Quality: When the ‘Top Ten’ is Not the Goal,” Cindy DeForest Hauser, associate professor of chemistry, Davidson College
  • “Visualizing Alternative Futures of Urbanization and Sustainable Growth,” Ross Meentemeyer, professor of geography and earth sciences and executive director of the Center for Applied Geographic Information Science, UNC Charlotte
  • “Small Changes/Big Results: Creating a Positive Impact on the Environment,” Jashonai Payne, 5th grade teacher, Clear Creek Elementary School; and Deb Semmler, physics teacher, East Mecklenburg High School
  • “New Materials for Modern Infrastructure,” Brett Tempest, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, UNC Charlotte

Rob Phocas, energy and sustainability manager for the City of Charlotte, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Participating groups in the information expo include Catawba River District, Center for Sustainability/Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Charlotte Nature Museum, City of Charlotte, Clean Air Carolina, Davidson College’s Office of Sustainability, Discovery Place, Duke Energy – Smart Energy Now, Envision Charlotte, Friendship Gardens, Garinger High School Fit and Green, Juice from Juice, McColl Center for Visual Art, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Greenway Program, Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Services (Wipe Out Waste), North Carolina Air Awareness, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Piedmont Natural Gas , Project for Innovation, Energy and Sustainability – North Carolina (PiES), Queen City Forward, Sustain Charlotte, UNC Charlotte Levine Scholars Program, UNC Charlotte’s Office of Sustainability, US Green Buildings Council – Charlotte Region Chapter, and others.

The “Exploding Canons” speakers series leverages the partnerships among CTI to offer educators and the public collaborative educational opportunities that highlight university and college faculty, explore diverse topics in an interdisciplinary manner, and encourage community conversation.

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that works to improve teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations. CTI’s “Exploding Canons” events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and a variety of partnering organizations produce forums for college and university faculty and other educators to examine topics through multi-disciplinary lenses.

CTI programs are made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Currently, 102 CMS teachers in grades K-12 are enrolled in eight, multidisciplinary seminars that began in the spring and continue until December. The seminars’ weekly meetings recess during the summer, while teachers immerse themselves in reading and research related to curriculum units they are developing for their students. These curriculum units generate learning beyond each teacher’s classroom, as the final units are shared with teachers’ school colleagues and are also published on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites, making them accessible to teachers worldwide.

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For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-2026, info@charlotteteachers.org

 

Exploding Canons

Exploding Canons: Violins of Hope, Courage and Music – 4/16/12

CTI presented Exploding Canons: Violins of Hope, Courage and Music

Monday, April 16, 2012, 5:15 – 8:30 p.m. at UNC Charlotte Center City – Uptown

Local academic experts and music educators reflected on 18 special violins and their extraordinary histories related to the Holocaust, considering their structure, their pasts and their power. The community engaged with CTI for a reception and panel discussion, and then viewed the instruments and met the visionaries who brought the “Violins of Hope” exhibition to life.

Exploding Canons

Exploding Canons: Mysteries of Mummies of the World – 01/26/12

Charlotte Teachers Institute unwrapped the secrets and complexities of mummies in its “Exploding Canons: Mysteries of Mummies of the World” at Discovery Place on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, from 6 to 10 p.m.

This installment of CTI’s “Exploding Canons” discussion series focused on Discovery Place’s highly popular Mummies of the World exhibition, the largest collection of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. (Click HERE to view Discovery Place’s “Mummies of the World” info and video.)

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Events

WFAE Public Conversation – community forum: “How Should We Grade Our Teachers?”

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011; 7:00p.m. – 8:30p.m.

Where: Northwest School of the Arts

Format: WFAE moderator + community panelists w/audience participation

Moderator: Lisa Miller, WFAE

Panelists:

  • Larry Bosc, Teacher, East Mecklenburg High School, and CTI Fellow in “Exploring Big Questions” Seminar
  • Scott Gartlan, Executive Director, Charlotte Teachers Institute
  • Dan Habrat, Chief Human Resources Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Program overview: This forum will explore the issue of how schools in Charlotte should determine teacher effectiveness and pay. The discussion will outline traditional methods and recent trends in evaluating and compensating teachers, both locally and nationally. The forum will specifically address the concept of performance-based compensation and will focus on evolving strategies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools regarding teacher pay and effectiveness.

WFAE’s ongoing series of Public Conversations forums is designed to convene Charlotte-area residents for discussion of timely and relevant topics. The goal is to create comfortable settings that encourage a stimulating and enlightening exchange of ideas. By organizing these Public Conversations forums, WFAE intends to serve as a catalyst for community dialogue.

Click here to view flyer for event.

Exploding Canons

Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions – 10/14/11

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) and its partners presented “Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” on Friday, Oct. 14 at the UNC Charlotte Center City in Uptown Charlotte. With this installment of its multidisciplinary speakers series, CTI invited the Charlotte community to take an unconventional look at political conventions.

Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the program featured five faculty members representing diverse academic disciplines from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Speakers offered their individual perspectives on various aspects of political conventions, as well as the Democratic National Convention to be held inCharlotte in September 2012.

CTI’s Exploding Canons events present unique forums for the public to hear insights from faculty experts related to a common topic. “It’s an opportunity for the public to learn about interesting people and what they study – to hear from experts in a variety of fields,” CTI Director Scott Gartlan explained. “The general theme of the event is loosely centered around the DNC coming to Charlotte in 2012, but each panelist is encouraged to develop a talk that is engaging and reflects their own personal expertise and area of research.” For the first time, this Exploding Canons panel showcased a CMS teacher who is also a CTI Fellow and Steering Committee Member: Jeff Joyce of Hough High School.

Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions began with a catered reception in the Center City Atrium at 5:30 pm.

The event was followed by a panel discussion from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Center City Auditorium. Featured topics and discussion leaders included:

From Candidate to Nominee: The Rules Behind the 2012 Presidential Nominations, Josh Putnam, visiting assistant professor of Political Science, Davidson College

Charlotte: The (Un)Conventional City, Heather Smith, associate professor of geography and earth studies and Urban Institute faculty research associate, UNC Charlotte

Political Socialization: Find Ourselves in Film, Jeff Joyce, social studies department chair and AP government teacher, W. A. Hough High School

Beyond Citizens-in-the-Making: Changing Understandings of Youth Political Identities, Jessica Taft, assistant professor of sociology, Davidson College

Time to Come Together: How Convention Spaces Shape Unity and Dissent, Dan Grano, associate professor of communication studies, UNC Charlotte

Mary Newsom, associate director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and former editorial board member and columnist for The Charlotte Observer, served as moderator for the panel discussion

Gartlan predicts this Exploding Canons program will launch new partnerships leading up to the national conventions and provide valuable openings to address civics literacy in the public schools and throughout the Charlotte community. CTI’s community partners for this Exploding Canons event included the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, UNC Charlotte Center City, the UNC Charlotte Forty Niner Democracy Experience, and Kids Voting Mecklenburg. The Exploding Canons speakers series leverages the partnerships among CTI to offer educators and the public collaborative educational opportunities that highlight university and college faculty, explore diverse topics in an interdisciplinary manner, and encourage community conversation.

This special event was free and open to the public.

To view more photos, visit the Charlotte Teachers Institute Facebook page.

To view videos of panelists speaking, visit the new Charlotte Teachers Institute Youtube page.


Other Special Events

Exploding Conceptions: Race – 04/12/11

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) invited CMS teachers to Exploding Conceptions: Race – an opportunity to explore Discovery Place’s Race: Are We So Different? exhibit and to engage in Race Exchanges (please see details below) on Tuesday, April, 12, 2011, from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m.

This event was free and open only to CMS teachers. There is a set limit of 100 participants (pre-paid by CTI), so please be certain you can commit to being present before registering.

CTI wishes to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for its generous support of this CTI event at Discovery Place.

Are we all different? Or just variations of the same?

read more »

Other Special Events

3 UpTown: Tchaikovsky Tchats – 03/15/12

Teachers and the public engaged with artistic leaders from three of Charlotte’s premier performing arts organizations at “3 UpTown: Tchaikovsky Tchats” on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, at a free event presented by Charlotte Teachers Institute.

The evening began with a reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by an informal panel discussion at 6 p.m., and culminated with Opera Carolina’s “Student Night at the Opera” performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at 7 p.m.

The “3 UpTown: Tchaikovsky Tchats” panelists were James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina; Jacomo Bairos, associate conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, president and artistic director of the North Carolina Dance Theatre. The three organizations are collaborating to produce Charlotte’s Ulysses Spring Arts Festival, with this year’s focus on the Russian composer Peter Illych Tchaikovsky. Each presented a variety of performances related to the iconic composer who worked in musical forms from symphony to opera to ballet. The panelists reflected on their own relationships with Tchaikovsky’s work and provided a behind the scenes look at Opera Carolina’s performance of Eugene Onegin.

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Exploding Canons

Exploding Canons: The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Site of the 2010 Exploding Canons events

Exploding Canons: The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond

October 22, 2010

CHARLOTTE – Oct. 22, 2010 – The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI), in partnership with area cultural organizations and community foundation support, presented the second installment of its groundbreaking discussion series, Exploding Canons, with a multimedia presentation of “The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond,” Friday, Oct. 22. About 225 people attended this interdisciplinary event at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Faculty members from Winthrop University, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte, along with WDAV’s program director, participated in a stimulating panel discussion examining new ways of looking at outer space.

“We were pleased to present a full evening of planetary exploration,” said CTI Director Molly Shaw. “Stellar speakers from a variety of disciplines guided our audience through uncharted intellectual territory, and the evening culminated in a live performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets by the Charlotte Symphony.”

The evening’s full schedule of events began with a reception in the lobby of the Bechtler Museum, featuring a planetarium show hosted by Discovery Place. The interactive panel discussion followed, highlighting a variety of topics and expert leaders:

  • Spiritual Connections with the Heavens — Indigenous Star and Planetary Lore, Richard Chacon, associate professor of anthropology at Winthrop University
  • Vagabond Stars — The Planets of Early Greek Thought, Keyne Cheshire, associate professor of classics at Davidson College
  • From Mythology to Hollywood — The Inspiration and Impact of Holst’s “The Planets,” Frank Dominguez, program director, WDAV
  • Picturesque Planets — The Science Behind Planetary Images, Susan Trammell, associate professor of physics and optical science at UNC Charlotte.

The reception and panel discussion were free and open to the public, and CTI and the Charlotte Symphony provided 150 free tickets to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools teachers for the symphony’s Holst concert at the Knight Theater following the Exploding Canons discussion.

This encore Exploding Canons event was sponsored by the Arts & Science Council, the Imago Mundi Endowment Fund, and the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund at UNC Charlotte, and was made possible by community partnerships with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Charlotte Symphony, Discovery Place and WDAV.

Attendees enjoying the reception

The audience of the panel discussion

Richard Chacon’s presentation on Spiritual Connections with the Heavens

Keyne Cheshire’s presentation: Vagabond Stars — The Planets of Early Greek Thought

Frank Dominguez shares the life story of inspirational composer Gustov Holtz.

Susan Trammell provides fantastic imagery of the planets within the solar system.

The panel answers questions asked by the audience.