May 30, 2011


Whether this is your first summer in Charlotte or you’re a veteran of sizzling outdoor temperatures and arctic indoor spaces, the long days and lighter traffic make it a wonderful time to explore neighborhoods, check out our diverse cultural institutions and attend some of the events in the area. With your own bed as your hotel and readily available public transit, enjoy a low cost, mini-vacation while studying, interning and working.

First things first, enjoy the outdoors!

Right on our beautiful UNC Charlotte campus is the newly dedicated Ruth G. Shaw Trail on the Toby Creek Greenway, part of the Carolina Thread Trail ( ). For additional greenways, parks, recreational facilities and aquatic centers throughout Mecklenburg County, connect to the Park and Recreation Department:

Mecklenburg County Greenway System (Photo courtesy of John Bethune)

While you’re outside, consider attending the 2011 Charlotte Shakespeare Festival. From June 2-19, the festival presents Moliere’s comic classic “Tartuffe” (in English). The place is The Green, uptown in the shadow of the magnificent Duke Energy building. Performances are FREE.


Need more culture?

Cultural festivals abound in Spring and Fall, but there are two events that satisfy our need for a change of pace from barbecue and watermelon. On Friday, June 3, check out Azucar- A Caribbean Celebration: . By the following weekend, June 10-12, you’ll be ready for A Taste of Charlotte : . There’s no charge to stroll past the booths on Tryon Street. You can buy special tokens to use for food purchases.

Still looking for things to do?

One gateway to events and activities in Charlotte is the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority site: . There you can find links to museums, dining, conventions, concerts and special events.

Don’t forget that  is the place to find out about events at the uptown performance venues such as Belk Theatre, Knight Theatre and Spirit Square.

For more complete listings of activities and venues throughout our area, the online calendar listings of ,  ,  and  are reliable sources of information.

May 24, 2011

Friday Friends Festival- June 2

On FRIDAY, JUNE 2, from 5:45pm to 7:45pm, join hundreds of community members from all kinds of backgrounds who are interested in getting to know someone who is distinctly different from them. This event is the kickoff to what can become an ongoing friendship that YOU build through a year-long commitment to meet regularly,ask questions and share your story. No, you don't have to meet on Fridays!

The event will be held at the Levine Museum of the New South where you will also have an opportunity to view the award-winning exhibit “COURAGE: the Carolina story that changed America”.

Don’t wait until Friday to register for this FREE and rewarding community event!

Registration required by Thursday, May 26 : 

Levine Museum of the New South is located at 200 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 

The Friday Friends Festival is organized by Mecklenburg Ministries whose mission is to promote interfaith relationships, foster racial and ethnic understanding, and inspire collaboration to address social issues.

Mecklenburg Ministries is a  501(c) (3) non-profit organization of 90 member congregations including: Baha’I, Center for Positive Living, Christian, Friends, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Latter Day Saints and Unitarian Universalist.

May 3, 2011

Swedish furniture meets German opera

“The secret of IKEA’s success” (Economist, February 26, 2011)

Ikea is known for its collection of affordable contemporary design home furnishings. When it comes to larger items, one key component to its cost (and profitability) structure is efficient packaging which also makes the company environmentally friendly. This appeals to many markets, but Germany in particular.

 According to this article, Germany accounts for 15% of all sales. Ikea “has become part of German culture: in 2009 a Hamburg theatre staged an opera about it, “Wunder von Schweden” (“Miracle from Sweden”), a biography of the ‘furniture messiah’ set to Swedish folk tunes.”

Does anyone else have an example of a global commercial success which has resulted in the creation of a work of performance art?