Denise Thugstable is a moniker Janelle Dunlap developed to identify herself. Her life and work mirror the character her name is derived from; Denise Huxstable, who operates in interstitial spaces of class, wealth and race.
Alluding to concepts of nature [growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL and Spartanburg, SC], and nurture [experiencing the disadvantages of the working-class paradigm in her family and community], Janelle is passionate about building bridges, blurring lines and providing visibility to moments and people who, often aren’t, but should be seen.
Janelle has worked in several capacities within her nearly 10 year career; working directly with at risk youth to community outreach for the homeless population. Based on her experience with both middle class African American privilege and “poverty” induced resilience, Janelle draws on her experiences for inspiration and energy for her activist, advocacy, outreach and community empowerment work.
“The Queen’s Cusp” is a community Vision Board presented by the Social Justice Creative in Residence at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture.
Highlighting the realities of rapid urban development and contextualizing Charlotte’s tumultuous year and a half, “The Queen’s Cusp” will bring community members face to face with the process and results of gentrification.
“The Queen’s Cusp” acts as a mirror to the troubling realities of Charlotte’s racial and socio-economic climate. Created from a 4ft x 8ft piece of plywood, this project will begin in Plaza Midwood during the 2nd annual BOOM Festival, and will then travel to neighborhoods across the city with the intention of engaging audiences of all ages, races, genders, sexes, and classes.
Charlotte residents, Plaza Midwood neighbors, and BOOM festival attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to this unique collaboration focused on progress and social responsibility. News and media cover stories– featuring topics such as economic mobility, urban development, HB2, the CMPD murders of Keith Lamont Scott and Justin Carr—will be used as reference material.
The Queen’s Cusp’s Community Vision Board will not only generate discussion but also aims to inform and to bring communities together to strategize solutions.
Showing at: Intersection (Snug Harbor Front Yard)
Friday, April 28 from 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 29 from 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sunday, April 30 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Admission is FREE
Social Justice Creative in Residence at the Harvey. B Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture will host its first residency of this kind; a Social Justice Creative in Residence. The Gantt Center sits on land that once housed the historical district of Brooklyn, a thriving middle class Black community displaced by urban renewal.
Per a study conducted in 2014 by Harvard University, the city of Charlotte, NC ranked number 50 in the US for access to economic upward mobility. The Social Justice Creative in Residence is intended to address, not only, the social climate of our city, but specifically moments of gentrification throughout the history of Charlotte.
Through process-driven data collection, a series multidisciplinary art installations, and a community pop-up coffee shop, this residency will help the community reinvesting, reclaming and shaping the framework and environment of social capital in the Lockwood, Cherry, Beatties Ford and Belmont neighborhoods of Charlotte.
Collaborating with organizations and institutions such as BOOM Festival, Davidson College, Hackerspace, JCSU, West Charlotte High School, The Charlotte Historical Society, Renaissance West and Northwest School of the Arts, the Social Justice Creative in Residence will display the results of their research of those negatively affected by, as well as those who benefit from, urban renewal.