About Face Charlotte Presents “The Future is Now” for Charlotte SHOUT! May 9
Installation designed to inspire people to build a future where all children have the opportunity and support to realize their dreams
About Face Charlotte is no stranger to social awareness projects used to inspire those around them to connect with others. Beginning on May 9, for Charlotte SHOUT! they will be displaying their latest project, The Future is Now, featuring portraits of 250 students from four Charlotte Mecklenburg schools across the city by printing them and wrapping them across the exterior of the main branch of the public library uptown. The project was made possible through the generous support of the ReEmprise Fund and Center City Partners. “The mission of About Face is to raise awareness, stir hearts and provide opportunities for people to work together to build a caring, connected community,” says About Face Co-Founder, Hannah Blanton. She adds, “Our current project focuses on children, who literally are the future of our city.”
The children featured within the project are from all over Charlotte and reflect a diversity of ages, ethnic backgrounds and abilities. For The Future is Now project, the children were interviewed by Dr. Susan Campbell, the Child Advocacy Lead for About Face Charlotte. “We talked to the children about things that are important to them: what they look for in a friend, what they hope to be when they grow up, ways people make them feel important and loved,” says Dr. Campbell. She adds, “Regardless of their circumstances, their answers were similar — all children want to be around people who are kind, who they can trust and who make them feel safe. They all have big dreams for their futures.”
The Future is Now is created in partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte Center City Partners and Share Charlotte. Additionally, The Future is Now is an Inside Out Project Group Action. “My creative goal in doing The Future is Now was to use the power of art and image to bring awareness to issues affecting our community,” says Programming Lead, Dana Endsley. She adds, “By showcasing the beautiful faces of 250 children in Charlotte we are asking people to spend some time really seeing our children, hearing some of their wishes and wisdom and then exploring ways to help all children on the path to their future.”
“My mom and my grandmother were both teachers, so the education and the wellbeing of children has always been close to my heart,” says About Face Co-Founder and Creative Lead, Scott Gardner. “With this project, we hope to inspire the city of Charlotte to love all children as if they were their own, and invest in their future.”
To see The Future is Now project, visit the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library at 310 N Tryon St.
About About Face Charlotte:
About Face Charlotte is a photographic and storytelling project that connects people to people in our community, elevates compassion and empathy and encourages ongoing acts of love and altruism. Founded in 2015, About Face Charlotte was created by photographer, Scott Gardner and gallery owner, Hannah Blanton. What began as an idea turned into a passion project and now is becoming a social movement. Learn more about what they do at aboutfaceclt.org.
Connect with About Face Charlotte on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About The Inside Out Project:
Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the projectʼs co-creators, for them to exhibit in their own communities.
Posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window, to a wall of an abandoned building, or in a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and be made available online at insideoutproject.net.
The Inside Out project is a creation of the artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize (watch JR's TED talk here).
About The TED Prize:
The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $1,000,000 and the TED community’s resources and expertise to spark global change. The award offers support to build a project's core infrastructure quickly - so that others can add their own collaborative action. The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world's leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world - one Wish at a time. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED Community to spur global change has evolved into one of the most prestigious prizes. A TED Prize winner is a rare and powerful combination of someone who knows how to capture the imaginations and make a measurable impact, a visionary and a pragmatist, a dreamer and a doer. From Bono’s the ONE Campaign (’05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (’10 recipient) and JR’s Inside Out Project (’11 recipient), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education and inspire art around the world. For more information on the TED Prize, visit ted.com/prize.