The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Oct 28, 2010

Opera at the Cosmetics Counter – Random Acts of Culture™ Charlotte Update

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

The Random Acts of Culture™ continue to roll along in Charlotte! We had performances in two more venues this month. On Monday, October 18, we took a string quartet from the Charlotte Symphony and two very talented tango artists to concourses D and E at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Using lessons from our first airport RAC, we timed the RAC (with help from Erika Helm with the airport) to occur when the concourse would be busiest.

We cleared airport security around 2:30 p.m. then made our way to the concourse, which is primarily used for international departures. At 3:30, the quartet began playing. Shortly after, the tango artists began dancing around the quartet. The crowd was entertained and dazzled. The performance was repeated in concourse E to stunned passersby. The performance made such an impact, people came up to us during and after the performance to express their appreciation. Krista Terrell, ASC’s VP of public relations and communications got an e-mail thanking ASC and the performers. Fred Bayley wrote:

“Kudos for a job well done at the Charlotte airport today! Thanks for making my day. It was such a delight to have my schedule of flying out of one of my favorite cities paused while I enjoyed your Random Act of Culture. As a result of my encounter today I have told many people and made a special effort to make other people's days. I am a trainer and I can assure you that this performance will be brought up many times during my workshops.”


Our second Random Act of Culture took place on Saturday, October 23 in the cosmetics department of the Belk department store at Southpark Mall. In their third RAC performance, our friends at Opera Carolina were awesome! With performers dressed like employees of the store and in position behind counters, no one was the wiser. The performances went off with stunned crowds stopping to watch, participate and clap along. Again, as with the airport, the crowds were so appreciative of the performers, they lined up afterward to thank them and give kudos.

It’s hard to believe we’ve already got five Random Acts of Culture™ under our belt! We continue to learn so much about what works and what doesn’t. And the interest from groups and venues continues to grow. We couldn’t be happier with how everything is going.

If you’re in Charlotte in November (and beyond), keep your eyes open … you never know when you’re going to experience a Random Act of Culture!

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