Category Archives: Press Releases

Press Releases

(3/1/12) CTI Presents “3 UpTown: Tchaikovsky Tchats”

CHARLOTTE – March 1, 2012 – Teachers and the public can engage with artistic leaders from three of Charlotte’s premier performing arts organizations at “3 UpTown: Tchaikovsky Tchats” on Thursday, March 15, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, at a free event presented by Charlotte Teachers Institute.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by an informal panel discussion at 6 p.m., and culminating 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 are 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 will present a variety of performances related to the iconic composer who worked in musical forms from symphony to opera to ballet. The panelists will reflect on their own relationships with Tchaikovsky’s work and provide a behind the scenes look at Opera Carolina’s performance of Eugene Onegin. read more »

Press Releases

(1/13/12) CTI Unwraps Mysteries of Mummies

CHARLOTTE – Jan. 13, 2012 – Charlotte Teachers Institute will help unwrap the secrets and complexities of mummies in its “Exploding Canons: Mysteries of Mummies of the World” at Discovery Place from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. This installment of CTI’s “Exploding Canons” discussion series focuses on Discovery Place’s highly popular Mummies of the World exhibition, the largest collection of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled.

“Exploding Canons events offer new ways of looking at hot topics,” says CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “We hear from a wide array of local academic experts whose varying expertise and focus areas help us see the issues through multidisciplinary lenses.”

The latest event brings new perspectives to Discovery Place’s Mummies of the World exhibition with a panel discussion including faculty members from UNC Charlotte, Davidson College, the Charlotte Museum of History and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The evening starts with a 6 p.m. reception, and guests can explore the exhibition afterward until 10 p.m.

“Exploding Canons:  Mysteries of Mummies of the World” presentations and panelists include:

  • The Controversies of Studying Human Remains — Helen Cho, associate professor of anthropology at Davidson College
  • The Value of Archaeological Textiles in Mummification — Angelica Docog, executive director of the Charlotte Museum of History
  • Costume Research and Cultural Findings: A High School Performance of ‘Aida’ — Barbara Wesselman, apparel and costume design teacher at Northwest School of the Arts.
  • Mummies of London — Alan Rauch, professor of English at UNC Charlotte and editor of “Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, & Technology”

Douglas Coler, coordinator of in-house education for Discovery Place, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Admission (including the exhibition visit) is free and open to the public, thanks to the event’s primary sponsor – the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Space is limited, so pre-registration at www.charlotteteachers.org by Jan. 22 is required. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend, with CMS educators’ admission sponsored by the Arts & Science Council. Discovery Place is located at 301 N. Tryon St. in uptown Charlotte. Free parking is available for guests in the Discovery Place parking deck.

Mummies of the World is a major international touring exhibition including both naturally and intentionally preserved, human and animal mummies and related artifacts from cultures around the world, offering unprecedented insights into earlier civilizations.

“Exploding Canons: Mysteries of the Mummies of the World” is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, with support from Discovery Place, Arts & Science Council and Charlotte Museum of History. “Exploding Canons” events leverage 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 Charlotte Teachers Institute

CTI is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte and is affiliated with the Yale National Initiative for Strengthening Teaching in Public Schools. CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers, offering intensive, semester-long professional development seminars for teachers as well as a variety of community programs. 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 is made possible by generous support from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation, as well as its partnering institutions.

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

Press Releases

(10/4/11) CTI Views Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions

CTI Explores Unconventional Aspects of Conventions

CHARLOTTE — Oct. 4, 2011 — Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) and its partners will present “Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, at UNC Charlotte Center City in uptown Charlotte. With this installment of its multidisciplinary speakers series, CTI invites the Charlotte community to take an unconventional look at political conventions. Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the program features five faculty members representing diverse academic disciplines from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Speakers will offer their individual perspectives on various aspects of political conventions, as well as the Democratic National Convention to be held in Charlotte in September 2012.

CTI is a high-quality, intensive professional development program involving UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and CMS that presents community events as well as long-term seminars for CMS teachers. CTI Director Scott Gartlan predicts, “This ‘Exploding Canons’ program will launch new partnerships leading up to the national conventions and provide valuable openings to address civic literacy in the public schools and throughout the Charlotte community.”

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,” 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, the “Exploding Canons” panel will showcase a CMS teacher who is also a CTI fellow and steering committee member.

“Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” begins with a reception in the Center City Atrium at 5:30 pm., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Center City Auditorium. Featured topics and discussion leaders are:

  • “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, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute associate director, urban and regional affairs and former editorial board member and columnist for The Charlotte Observer, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Community partners include the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, UNC Charlotte Center City, the UNC Charlotte 49er 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 “Exploding Canons” event is free and open to the public. 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.

UNC Charlotte Center City is located at 320 E. 9th Street, at the corner of Ninth and Brevard Streets.

 

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute, a collaboration among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. 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 is made possible by generous support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Belk Foundation and the Knight Foundation.

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

Press Releases

(8/24/11) Charlotte Teachers Institute Names New Executive Director

CHARLOTTE – August 24, 2011 – Scott R. Gartlan has been named the new executive director of Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI).

CTI, an educational partnership among UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), is designed to strengthen teaching and learning in public schools. Affiliated with the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI provides intensive, high quality, professional development for CMS teachers. Each year about 100 CMS teachers enroll in CTI’s innovative, content-rich, seven-month-long seminars, led by tenured university and college faculty.

“The CTI model is a one-of-a-kind program for CMS teachers.  I am thrilled and honored to be part of a professional development program that so closely aligns the needs of students, the experience of teachers, and the expertise of professors.  It is this unique university-school design that separates CTI from all other programs locally and nationally,” Gartlan said.

As CTI’s executive director, Gartlan will lead the Institute in its day-to-day operations, program management and evaluation, fiscal oversight and development activities. “Having previously served as CTI’s program evaluation project director, Scott comes into his new role with valuable experience and understanding of the mission of the Institute, and is well poised to guide it in its next stage of development,” said Nancy Gutierrez, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UNC Charlotte.

Gartlan brings CTI a variety of relevant experience in teacher professional development, including five years of teaching experience in area schools. At the Cannon School, he taught AP Psychology and Honors Ethics and was also the school’s Character Education Coordinator. More recently, at Charlotte Country Day, he taught AP and IB Psychology. In addition, Gartlan was previously program coordinator for curriculum development at the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished New York City Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University, and he worked on the Moral Development Team with the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education in Portland, Oregon.

“CMS is delighted to have Scott Gartlan at the helm of the Charlotte Teachers Institute for this critical next phase of the organization’s development and expansion. Scott brings great skills to the program in the area of research and evaluation as well as experience as a classroom teacher. His leadership will undoubtedly allow CTI to realize its goal of being the premier professional development opportunity available to teachers in CMS,” said Ann Clark, Chief Academic Officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Gartlan received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Washington College, and his Ed.M. in Education Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UNC Charlotte. Gartlan also serves as a member of the Diversity and Public Policy Advisory Board for the Center for Professional Ethics at UNC Charlotte.

In welcoming Gartlan to his new post, Davidson College Vice President for Academic Affairs Clark Ross said, “We look forward to our continued relationship with this exemplary program that links Davidson College with the fine teachers in our Charlotte-Mecklenburg system. Our participating Davidson faculty continue to be enriched through their engagement with this program and the dedicated public school teachers with whom they collaborate.

Jim Vivian, director of the Yale National Initiative, offered his support for Gartlan’s work with CTI. “We are eager to embark on the next phase of our work together. We look forward to working with Scott and to continuing a productive and rewarding association with the teachers and faculty in the Charlotte Teachers Institute.”

CTI’s core seminar program resumes for the fall semester on September 20.  These eight seminars will meet weekly where Fellows discuss content knowledge related to their discipline, ways to integrate that new knowledge into the curriculum, and build relationship with fellow teachers throughout the district.

For more information about Charlotte Teachers Institute, contact:  CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-2026, info@charlotteteachers.org

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Media contacts:

LaTarzja Henry, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 980-344-0009, l.henry@cms.k12.nc.us

Stacey Schmeidel, Davidson College, 704-894-2798, stschmeidel@davidson.edu

Buffie Stephens, UNC Charlotte, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu

Press Releases

(7/21/11) CTI Hosts Popular Yale University Scientist

CHARLOTTE – July 21, 2011 – Charlotte Teachers Institute will host a public reception for Dr. Mark Saltzman, chair of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University and a favorite seminar leader among CTI’s Yale National Fellows, on Wednesday, July 27, from 4 to 6 pm at UNC Charlotte’s Student Union.

Dr. Saltzman is the Goizueta Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale. As a leading researcher and prize-winning teacher, he works to create safer and more effective medical and surgical therapy, as well as the most economical, transportable and accessible methods for disease prevention.

His particular expertise in nanoscale science brings him to Charlotte as keynote speaker for the UNC Charlotte Chemistry Department’s National Science Foundation NanoSURE Symposium on Thursday, July 28. Dr. Saltzman’s address will be from 11:00 a.m. to noon at UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services Building, Room 159.

Both the July 27 reception and the July 28 NanoSURE Symposium are free and open to the public, thanks to sponsorship by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Teachers are especially encouraged to attend. Registration for both events is available at www.charlotteteachers.org.

Dr. Saltzman is committed to training a new generation of chemical and biomedical engineers. He believes in providing a stimulating and collaborative environment that promotes the free exchange of ideas and encourages creative blending of technology and modern biological science. CTI Yale National Fellows Connie Wood and Conchita Austin, both biology teachers at East Mecklenburg High School, count themselves lucky to have participated in Dr. Saltzman’s Yale Summer Intensive Seminars and shared their perspectives on his work:

“Mark epitomizes the type of Seminar Leader the Yale Institute and CTI try to recruit. He has the ability to take complicated topics like neurobiology and nanotechnology and present them in a way that can be understood by anyone, regardless of their science background. He is gracious in acknowledging and giving credit for the ideas and contributions of students and Fellows in his seminars. CTI members often refer to his research when teaching units on the brain and nanotechnology. Mark has a long list of impressive credentials. He has a Ph.D. in Medical Engineering from M.I.T. and previously taught at John Hopkins University and Cornell University. Not only is he Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University, he also has been recognized with numerous awards for teaching. It is this talent he brings to seminars he leads at the Yale National Teacher Institute, where teachers from all over the country come to learn and create curriculum units for their classrooms.”

For more information about Dr. Mark Saltzman visit: http://www.seas.yale.edu/faculty-detail.php?id=977.

 

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute, a partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. CTI’s community events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and Charlotte’s cultural organizations produce forums for teachers to explore topics through multi-disciplinary lenses. CTI is generously supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

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For more information, contact CTI Interim Director Robin Mara, (704) 687-2049, info@charlotteteachers.org

Press Releases

(6/20/11) Belk Foundation Awards CTI $50,000 Grant

CHARLOTTE —  June 20, 2011 — The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from The Belk Foundation to support the Institute’s work in providing and evaluating its innovative professional development program for teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). CTI is an educational partnership among the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Davidson College and CMS that offers CMS teachers the opportunity to engage in in-depth, long-term seminars with college faculty in a wide range of academic areas. Current seminars run the gamut from chemistry and physics to art, political science and philosophy.

The Belk Foundation grant will assist in funding CTI’s general programming and will also allow CTI to expand its comprehensive program evaluation project, which it piloted in 2010-11. Results of that initial study are currently being analyzed and compiled by CTI’s evaluation team at UNC Charlotte. The next stage of the program evaluation is a two-year, comprehensive, mixed-methods research study including seminar observations, teacher surveys and interviews, classroom observations, and teacher effectiveness measures. The Belk Foundation grant will help fund the evaluation project into 2013.

An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI was established in 2009 as a local alliance designed to strengthen teaching in CMS by cultivating content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Through seminars led by UNC Charlotte and Davidson College faculty, CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other teachers, and develop new curricula for their students. Presently, 98 teachers are enrolled in eight CTI seminars at UNC Charlotte, Davidson College, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum. Fifty teachers were involved in CTI’s initial series of four seminars in 2009, and in 2010 CTI doubled its seminars and the number of teachers served.

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 Belk Foundation. The Belk Foundation, a private family foundation based in Charlotte, has a mission to invest in schools and organizations that work aggressively to ensure all students graduate from high school and continue on an intentional path toward college, career and life. CTI Interim Director Robin Mara said CTI is grateful for The Belk Foundation’s continued commitment to the development of effective professional development for teachers. She said The Belk Foundation also supported CTI with a $20,000 grant in 2010.

For more information, please contact: CTI Interim Director Robin Mara at rmara@uncc.edu or 704-687-2049.

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UNC Charlotte Public Relations contact, Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu

Press Releases

(5/19/11) CTI Awarded $75,000 Gift from Wells Fargo

CHARLOTTE – May 19, 2011 – The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) received a $75,000 gift from The Wells Fargo Foundation to support the Institute’s work providing professional development for teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). An innovative partnership among the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson College and CMS, Charlotte Teachers Institute brings together faculty, staff and other resources to engage teachers in academic seminars. The Wells Fargo Foundation gift was presented to the UNC Charlotte Foundation on behalf of CTI.

The Wells Fargo Foundation has supported CTI since its inception in 2009. This most recent gift will support CTI’s general programming, including the 2011 round of seminars which began in late April. Through seminars led by UNC Charlotte and Davidson College faculty, CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other teachers, and develop new curricula for their students. Teachers serve as leaders in the Institute and choose seminar topics they deem most important and engaging for current CMS teachers and their students.

An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI is a local alliance designed to strengthen teaching in CMS by cultivating content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. CTI programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations such as the popular Exploding Canons cultural collaboration series.

Currently 98 CMS teachers in grades K-12 are enrolled in eight, multidisciplinary seminars that continue until December. The seminars’ weekly meetings recess during the summer, while teachers immerse themselves in reading and research related to the curriculum units they are developing for their own 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.

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 Wells Fargo Foundation.

For more information, contact CTI Interim Director Robin Mara at rmara@uncc.edu or 704-687-2049.

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UNC Charlotte Public Relations contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704.687.5830, 980.355.3110, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu

Press Releases

(6/22/11) Knight Foundation Grant Supports CTI Special Events

CHARLOTTE – June 22, 2011 – The Knight Foundation recently awarded Charlotte Teachers Institute a $35,000 grant to support educational outreach programs such as CTI’s Exploding Canons series which engages and educates teachers and the community at large. The Knight Foundation will serve as principal sponsor for CTI’s special events throughout 2011.

So far this year, the Knight Foundation has sponsored Exploding Canons: The Unexpected Impact of Romare Bearden, 2 UpTown: A Night of Myths and Archetypes and Exploding Conceptions: Race. The Foundation also served as benefactor for 100 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers to attend the Charlotte Symphony’s “Light My Fire” concert (as part of 2 UpTown) and for another 100 teachers to participate in Race Exchanges at Discovery Place during the Race: Are We So Different exhibit.

Additional CTI special events are currently being planned for Fall 2011, thanks to Knight Foundation support. CTI’s community outreach programs seek to engage teachers and the general public in stimulating and informative collaborations with local educational and cultural resources. As part of these programs, faculty members from colleges and universities and other local experts examine a wide variety of topics through multidisciplinary and culturally diverse lenses, inviting participants to explore new ways of thinking.

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts, believing that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information about The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation visit http://www.knightfoundation.org/

For more information about Charlotte Teachers Institute contact CTI Interim Director Robin Mara at info@charlotteteachers.org.

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Press Releases

(3/14/11) Charlotte Teachers Institute Premieres “2 UpTown”

Two Uptown Cultural Events in One Lively Night

CHARLOTTE – March 14, 2011 – Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) will partner with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Charlotte Symphony to premiere “2 UpTown,” highlighting two great cultural experiences in one lively night on Friday, March 25, at the Levine Center for the Arts in uptown Charlotte.

CTI is a high-quality, intensive professional development program for teachers involving UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). “Thanks to generous grants from our supporters and meaningful collaboration with our cultural partners, CTI offers a variety of innovative programs to engage and educate teachers and the Charlotte community-at-large,” said CTI Founding Director Molly Shaw. “With ‘2 UpTown,’ CTI connects teachers with Charlotte’s cultural treasures, two at a time.”

“2 UpTown: A Night of Myths and Archetypes” begins at 5:15 p.m. with a tour of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s new exhibition “Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology.” The tour is followed by 2 UpTown Talks with speakers from the Bechtler and the Charlotte Symphony in the Wells Fargo Auditorium at 6:15 pm.  The 2 UpTown museum tour and talks are free and open to the public. Space is limited, so registration at https://charlotteteachers.org is recommended.

Participants may also purchase tickets to the Charlotte Symphony’s “Light My Fire” reception and concert that night, at 6:45 and 7:30 pm respectively, at the Knight Theater. CTI and the Charlotte Symphony are providing 100 concert tickets to CMS teachers at a special price of $10 (regularly $30); CMS teachers may purchase them by calling the Symphony box office at 704-972-2000 by 5:30 pm March 21.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s “Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology” exhibition celebrates the artist’s extraordinary appetite for myths and legends as interpreted through her dynamic sculpture, paintings and prints. The exhibition presents 55 works inside the museum and five large-scale outdoor sculptures across the street in The Green park, as well as the “Firebird” sculpture that graces the museum’s plaza. The show provides intellectual inquiry mixed with a sense of provocation, joy and delight.

“Niki de Saint Phalle’s popular ‘Firebird’ sculpture makes a spectacular centerpiece for this 2 UpTown event,” said CTI’s Shaw. Much of the night’s offerings relate to the Firebird and other myths and archetypes. The 2 UpTown Talks include: “Archetypes of Splendor and Redemption” presented by Bechtler President and CEO John Boyer, and “Seduction and Salvation: Fiery Myths and Archetypes in Music” by Meg Whalen, director of community development for the Charlotte Symphony.

According to Boyer, Niki de Saint Phalle explored cultural archetypes from around the globe and representing societies and religions over the centuries. Two iconic motifs trace her personal life and artistic career from her origins as a young painter struggling with a terribly difficult family background to her rise as a confident, adventurous and self-reinventing, creative figure. Whalen’s presentation will explore fire-based myths and archetypes in the music to be performed by the Charlotte Symphony following the 2 UpTown Talks. Examples in the Symphony’s “Light My Fire” concert include the fiery temptress arias of “Carmen,” the magical celebration of Handel’s “Royal Fireworks,” and the mystery and redemption in De Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird.”

“2 UpTown: A Night of Myths and Archetypes” is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute
The Charlotte Teachers Institute, a partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. CTI’s community events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and Charlotte’s cultural organizations produce forums for teachers to explore topics through multi-disciplinary lenses. CTI is generously supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

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For more information, contact CTI Founding Director Molly Shaw, (704) 687-0078, info@charlotteteachers.org

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Stacey Schmeidel, (704) 894-2798, stschmeidel@davidson.edu

UNC Charlotte Public Relations media contact: Buffie Stephens, (704) 687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu

Press Releases

(1/24/11) CTI Presents “Exploding Canons: The Unexpected Impact of Romare Bearden”

CHARLOTTE – Jan. 24, 2011 – The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI), in partnership with local cultural organizations and foundations, will host “Exploding Canons: The Unexpected Impact of Romare Bearden,” Thursday, Feb. 10, at 5:15 p.m., at the North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT).

CTI is a high-quality, intensive professional development program involving UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). “Thanks to innovative collaboration and generous grants from our supporters, CTI is able to also engage and educate teachers and the Charlotte community-at-large through its ‘Exploding Canons’ events,” said Institute Director Molly Shaw.

Faculty members from Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University and UNC Charlotte will take part in an interdisciplinary presentation highlighting Bearden’s far-reaching influence. “Bearden is mainly recognized for his visual art,” said Shaw, “and while this event will feature Bearden as an artist, it will also explore his impact on the modern world in visual and performing arts, literature, art history and social activism.”

This event is among many community events that will celebrate this world-renowned, Charlotte-born artist during a year-long, 100th anniversary celebration of his birth. Bearden is best known for his arresting collages incorporating visual metaphors gathered throughout his life, including his youth in Mecklenburg County. His work is represented in major museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The “Exploding Canons” event begins at 5:15 p.m. with a reception, featuring jazz music by The Queens Collective and original Bearden art exhibited by Jerald Melberg Gallery. Participants will also be able to view NCDT dancers rehearsing for the company’s World Premiere ballet inspired by the life and work of Bearden, along with slide videos of his work from the collections of The Mint Museum and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

The panel discussion takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m., followed by informal conversation with the presenters until 8 p.m. Featured topics and discussion leaders include:

  • “The Inter-relationship of Dance in Bearden’s Life and Work,” Pamela Sofras, professor and chair of dance at UNC Charlotte
  • “Romare Bearden and Ralph Ellison: Artistic Kinfolk,” Jeffrey Leak, associate professor of English at UNC Charlotte
  • “Resounding Places of Memory: Collecting and Recollecting the Art of Romare Bearden,” Shaw Smith, professor of art history at Davidson College
  • “Color Struck: Evidence and Essence — Decoding and Living the Legacy of Romare Bearden,” Hasaan Kirkland, associate professor of fine art at Johnson C. Smith University

Jerald Melberg of Jerald Melberg Gallery will serve as the panel moderator. Melberg was curator of The Mint Museum of Art from 1977 to 1982, where he organized the first major retrospective of Bearden’s work.

This event is free and open to the public. 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.

The North Carolina Dance Theatre is located in uptown Charlotte at 701 N. Tryon St. in the Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance.

This “Exploding Canons” event is sponsored by the Charlotte Teachers Institute, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Arts & Science Council and the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund at UNC Charlotte. Cultural partners include the North Carolina Dance Theatre, Jerald Melberg Gallery, the Gantt Center for African American Culture + Art, and The Mint Museum.

“Exploding Canons” 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, a collaboration among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. CTI’s “Exploding Canons” events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and Charlotte’s cultural organizations produce forums for university faculty to examine topics through multi-disciplinary lenses. CTI is made possible by generous support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, the Belk Foundation and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation.

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For more information, contact CTI Founding Director Molly Shaw, 704-687-0078, info@charlotteteachers.org

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Stacey Schmeidel, 704-894-2798, stschmeidel@davidson.edu

UNC Charlotte Public Relations media contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu

Press Releases

(10/7/10) CTI Explores the Planets in “Exploding Canons” Event

CHARLOTTE – Oct. 7, 2010 – The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI), in partnership with area cultural organizations and community foundation support, is presenting the next installment of its groundbreaking discussion series, “Exploding Canons,” with a multimedia presentation of “The Planets in Outer Space and Beyond,” Friday, Oct. 22, at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Faculty members from Winthrop University, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte, along with WDAV’s program director, will participate in an interdisciplinary panel discussion that will examine new ways of looking at outer space.

“We’ve planned a full evening of planetary exploration,” says CTI Director Molly Shaw. “Stellar speakers from a variety of disciplines will guide the audience through uncharted intellectual territory, and the evening will conclude with a live performance by the Charlotte Symphony.”

The “Exploding Canons” event begins at 5 p.m. with a reception in the lobby of the Bechtler Museum, featuring a planetarium show hosted by Discovery Place. The panel discussion will take place in the Wells Fargo Auditorium at 5:45 p.m., followed by the Charlotte Symphony’s performance of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Knight Theater.

Featured topics and discussion leaders include:

  • 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 are free and open to the public; however, tickets must be purchased for the Symphony performance that follows in the Knight Theater. CTI and the Charlotte Symphony will provide free tickets to the Holst concert for the first 150 Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools teachers (one free ticket per teacher) who contact CTI at info@charlotteteachers.org by October 18.

Others may contact the Charlotte Symphony ticket office at 704-972-2000 for concert tickets. Please RSVP to CTI for the reception and panel discussion. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend all aspects of the program.

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

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute
The Charlotte Teachers Institute, a collaboration among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills, and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. CTI’s “Exploding Canons” events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and Charlotte’s cultural organizations produce forums for university faculty to examine topics through multi-disciplinary lenses. CTI is made possible by generous support from the Belk Foundation, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, and The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

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For more information about Charlotte Teachers Institute, contact, CTI Founding Director Molly Shaw, (704) 687-0078, info@charlotteteachers.org

For more information about the Charlotte Symphony contact, Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement Meg Freeman Whalen, (704) 714-5114, megw@charlottesymphony.org

UNC Charlotte Public Relations media contact: Buffie Stephens, (704) 687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu