On March 27, 2017, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force published its long-awaited report on addressing the barriers low-income members of our community face in trying to move out of poverty.  The report, entitled Leading on Opportunity, was nearly two-years in the making and was the result of a national study that found Charlotte Mecklenburg ranked dead last in upward mobility for children born into the lowest income category.

The report is impressive in its scope, and as many expected, it suggests that there are no magic bullets to fix this situation. Rather, the report outlines nearly 100 recommendations across three primary areas of focus: Early Care and Education, College and Career Readiness, and Child and Family Stability.

With such a monumental task ahead, it is a time for all of us to consider how to support the efforts outlined in the report, and that includes the cultural sector. And not as an after-thought, but as a leading force to affect change.

Through June, Next Stage’s Josh Jacobson welcomes arts advocate and creative thinker Hannah Grannemann as a guest author as the two further explore the role of the arts in achieving the goals of Leading on Opportunity.

We will try to “stay in our lane” in this series and not claim knowledge or expertise in areas we don’t have. However, we are also trying to make the argument for and share ideas about a more prominent place for arts and culture in making progress on social issues, which is stretching the field beyond its current position in our community

Check back tomorrow for Hannah’s first post on the subject – “The Arts as Springboard & Galvanizing Force.” We hope that you will participate in this series by commenting and asking questions about what we’ve written and adding your own ideas for how arts and culture can be a part of the solution to the lack of social mobility in Charlotte.

Series Links

About the Authors

HannahHannah Grannemann is an arts administrator based in Charlotte, NC. She has worked in theatre and the arts for 17 years, including with Yale Repertory Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and as a fundraising and strategic planning consultant. She is a Board member of Arts NC, the statewide advocacy group and Theatre for Young Audiences/USA and serves on an advisory council for the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Hannah holds an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

JoshJosh Jacobson is Managing Director of Next Stage Consulting, a Charlotte-based firm focused on organizational development and fund development for the nonprofit sector. Josh has worked with more than 150 nonprofit organizations throughout the Carolinas, including both human services and arts organiations. Before relocating to NC, Josh spent his formative years working in the cultural sector as a fundraiser for The Juilliard School and Manhattan Theatre Club. Josh is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is President Elect for the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.