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Tre’ McGriff, Executive Director of the Charlotte based CineOdyssey Film Festival | Photo Credit: Gwendolyn Glenn, WFAE

Sandra Davidson

The concept of “representation matters” boils down to the idea that the stories we tell and are told are models for the lives we believe we are able to lead. It is a theme that has long captured the attention and defined the work of Tre’ McGriff, director of CineOdyssey Film Festival, in Charlotte. 

Graphic that says Art Matters: News from the North Carolina Arts Council

North Carolina Arts Council

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Alando Mitchell leading A Drummer's World in a rehearsal inside a gymnasium

Samuel Gerweck

A Drummer’s World was conceived in a dream. One night in 2006 founder Alando Mitchell fell asleep thinking about ways he could support and empower youth in Goldsboro. He woke up the next morning with the vision of starting a drumline. That same morning, he went over to the Goldsboro YMCA and pitched his idea. The dream soon became reality.

Nichole and CJ Morgan, co-founders of TheGifted Arts speaking at a 2016 event

Samuel Gerweck

What does “access” mean in the context of the arts? It’s more than just making resources available. People need to know that those resources exist. They need to know that there is a bigger world than what they have been exposed to so far. That goal drives CJ Morgan’s work with TheGifted Arts.

Photograph of South Indian dance master and teacher Asha Bala, a middle aged woman in a sari, dancing.

Sandra Davidson

Understanding, respect, and tolerance are not just virtues: they are the building blocks of a healthy society. The belief in and pursuit of these values connects artists across space and time. 

Asha Bala understands this.

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