Festival puts BOOM Into Charlotte’s Artistic Diversity

The Charlotte PostThe Charlotte Post says Boom redefines what art access looks like. Here’s an excerpt:


Festival puts BOOM Into Charlotte’s Artistic Diversity

Published Monday, April 2, 2018 12:05 pm by Ashley Mahoney

Boom redefines what art access looks like.

Charlotte’s annual fringe festival boasts unprecedented diversity because of its open-ended structure.

“If it is a truly neutral and open structure, then how can you not have this kind of diversity,” festival director Manoj Kesavan said. “We kind of entered that space where people felt that need to mix everything up, and bring everyone together. That’s why we grew so fast. We never expected to grow into this size.”

BOOM returns to Plaza Midwood April 20-22. While the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere acts as a kind of venue in itself, official performance sites include Petra’s Bar, Snug Harbor and Open Door Studios. Tickets are $10 with multiple free performances at the Intersection, Boom’s outdoor stage and central point. Over 250 artists are scheduled to participate at the festival.

“It has grown in diversity, not just racially, but in the kinds of media and in the age range, too,” Kesavan said. “A lot of people used to think that we were a New South city. We don’t have the issues that plagued the South for decades or centuries. There was a wakeup call, and everyone was so made aware of the lack of diversity in these spaces, and it has been a struggle ever since. We realized that we don’t have that issue. Ours is so organically inclusive.”

Charlotte has invested in mainstream media in and around Uptown, but events like BOOM offer a reminder that there’s more to the Queen City than its urban core.


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