Picture of the Charlotte skyline with CLT written across it.
Jun 11, 2021

Axios Charlotte

Hello, Friday. It's Michael.

  • ⛈ Stop me if you've heard this forecast before: High 80s and a chance of thunderstorms.

🎂 Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte members Julie Udoye, Susan McCarter, Diana McIntire, Emily Mills and Kelli Young.

🌎 Mark your calendar: More details have emerged about this September’s Charlotte SHOUT! festival, including appearances from Spike Lee, Randy Rainbow and a 23-foot sculpture of Earth.

  • Tickets are on sale for paid events (much of the festival is free).

Today's Smart Brevity count is 1,036 words, a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: Critical race theory debate heats up

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Critical race theory is the culture war of the summer, and North Carolina’s GOP-led General Assembly is one of several considering legislation to ban the teaching of it in schools.

  • But what is it? And why does it stir up emotional responses?

The big picture: The theory's framework outlines how white supremacy maintains power through the law and other legal systems, Axios’ race and justice reporter Russell Contreras writes.

  • Critical race theorists dismiss the notion that racism stems from acts of individuals, saying instead that it is ingrained in our society and comes from how the nation formed.

Why it matters: In Charlotte schools and elsewhere, it's become a fight over how to teach our children American history, and how much to emphasize that today’s racial disparities are linked to systemic racism.

The state of play: Politicians who want these lessons out of the classroom have fired up constituents who believe CRT is a ploy to liberalize children or make them feel bad for past deeds of white people.

Yes, but: Willie Griffin, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South, tells Axios that some are incorrectly conflating the teaching of African American history and its present-day impacts with the theory, which is rarely taught at the K-12 level.

Driving the news: N.C.'s Senate is considering a bill that passed the House which says, among other things, that no student should learn that the U.S. system of meritocracy "is racist or sexist, or was created by members of a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex."

  • Senate leader Phil Berger's office told Axios in a statement that he considers it a problem if kids are learning that they're responsible for things that happened before they were born.
  • But he said, "I don’t like making it illegal to teach a certain doctrine, as wrong as that doctrine may be, while saying the reason for that ban is freedom of thought."

Of note: North Carolina is one of at least 20 other states where race theory restrictions have passed or been introduced this year, according to Chalkbeat.

Full story: Explainer on critical race theory and why it matters now in Charlotte

2. 💸 Get vaccinated, win $1 million

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

North Carolina will hold $1 million cash drawings to encourage people to get the coronavirus vaccine, Axios' Katie Peralta Soloff reports.

What’s happening: Starting June 23 until August 4, the state will draw four names every two weeks to win the cash.

  • Students between 12-17 who receive a first shot will be entered into a drawing to receive $125,000 toward post-secondary education.

Eligibility: Everyone 18+ who gets vaccinated or who has already been vaccinated will be automatically entered. Plus, today going forward, anyone who gets a first shot will be entered twice for each drawing.

Full story: North Carolina launches $1 million giveaway to incentivize vaccinations

3. Scoop: Jewish deli to open on N. Graham

Early rendering of Meshugganah. Rendering courtesy of Alicia Husband and Christy Chapman of RBA Group

Jewish pop-up deli Meshugganah signed a lease for its first brick-and-mortar location: a 3,000-square-foot space at an adaptive reuse development at 1108 N. Graham St. called The Shop.

  • Katie scooped up some renderings for us. The space is large enough to build out a kitchen, have a catering business and deli seating.
  • Owner Rob Clement says his goal is to open this fall.

What to expect: The physical location will have a rotating menu that includes staples like sandwiches, matzo ball soup, knishes, blintzes and meat by the pound.

Full story: Meshugganah signs a lease for Jewish deli on Graham Street

Now hiring: 12 new job openings

🔥 Hot and fresh from our Job Board.

  1. Copywriter at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates.
  2. Purchasing coordinator at California Closets.
  3. Circulating OR & PACU registered nurse at Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery.
  4. SEO manager at Rack Room Shoes, Inc.
  5. Assistant director of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement (DICE) at Queens University of Charlotte.
  6. Content writer (contract) at Jumbo.
  7. External account manager at Healthgram.
  8. Customer success specialist at TimeTap/Lumaverse Technologies.
  9. Paid social strategist at Union.
  10. Board builder/prep person at Babe & Butcher.
  11. Market analyst & CRM administrator at Atlas Copco.
  12. Part-time sales at Bellezza Boutique.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job

4. $20 million for the arts

Firebird sculpture. Photo: Michael Graff/Axios

The city's new plan to fund the arts has exceeded expectations in at least one way.

Driving the news: The Foundation for the Carolinas announced another round of big donations last night — including $1 million apiece from Lowes and Honeywell, and $750,000 from Lending Tree — that helped push the private-sector portion of the funds to $20 million.

  • That exceeds the commitment of $18 million, and it comes just before city council will adopt a budget on Monday that will commit a public match of $6 million a year for three years.

Why it matters: Charlotte relied on the Arts & Science Council to fund the arts for years. But this year's council came up with a controversial plan to move to a public-private approach.

  • The rapid raise indicates enthusiasm on the private side.
5. Hot homes in Charlotte this week

The Commonwealth Avenue home is just across from Veterans Park. Photo courtesy of Redfin

Axios' Brianna Crane's rundown of hot homes ranges from a $398K home on Castleton Road in southeast Charlotte, to a $975K entertainer's dream in Myers Park.

  • In between you'll find that big-porched beauty above, sitting there on Commonwealth Avenue waiting for someone to buy it for $820K.

Full story: 5 houses for sale in Charlotte starting at $398K

The loop (we're keeping you in it)

🌀 News you can use from our super cool, very important Axios Charlotte partners.

  • Showroom quality isn’t just for the new car lot. Echo That. EchoPark’s cars are all only 1-4 years-old and go through a 190-point inspection and reconditioning process.
  • Discovery Place Science always has cool exhibits to check out. Right now, you can explore Fantastic Frogs and Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine. Both are included with museum admission.
6. Babe & Butcher opens this Saturday

Coming soon to Camp North End. Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Cult-favorite charcuterie business Babe & Butcher is opening its first physical store at Camp North End on Saturday, Emma writes.

Background: Partners Lindsay Anvik and Rob Henricks launched Babe & Butcher in 2019, and the demand for their boards was almost immediate. In their first year, they created upwards of 13 boards a day.

  • The boards are complex — more like art than just a tray of meats and cheeses.

Full story: Build your own cheese board at Babe & Butcher's new storefront.

7. Charlotte Pride announces parade date

Photo: Katie Levans/Axios Charlotte archives

Details: Oct. 24, 2021, Uptown.

The big picture: Charlotte's Pride parade grew into the city's largest parade and one of the biggest Pride parades in the South. And it did that while being run every year in August, in the dead of summer.

  • Late-October sure sounds cooler.
Events to keep on your radar

📅 Get some itinerary inspiration straight from our Event Board.

  • CCI Graduate Programs Info Session via Zoom next Wednesday, June 16: Upgrade your career in tech at UNC Charlotte's College of Computing and Informatics (CCI). Free. 
  • Crave Charlotte on Wednesday, June 23 - Sunday, June 27: Enjoy 8 different culinary experiences over 5 days and across 6 Charlotte neighborhoods. $75+.
  • An Appalachian Summer Festival at Appalachian State University on July 2-31: Appalachian State University's annual arts festival features live (and livestreamed) performances by top artists and more of the best in music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts programming. $0-100.

Want more things to do? Check out our Event Board

Hosting? Purchase an Event Listing

8. 1 Friday pizza thing to go

Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared

A New York pizza joint has already secured its second Charlotte location, just before it opens the first one.

Details: Emmy Squared will have its second spot in the newly built Hawk tower at the corner of Doggett and Hawkins near South End’s Design Center. Development writer Jason Thomas first reported the news.

  • An Emmy Squared spokesperson tells Emma they’re still on track for a summer opening in Plaza Midwood at 1508 Central Ave.
  • An opening timeline wasn’t yet available for Emmy’s South End location.

Full story: Emmy Squared expanding Charlotte footprint fast with second location

I'm not a big podcast person like some folks, but my new favorite one is "70 over 70," a series of interviews with remarkable people over 70 years old. The first few include Sister Helen Prejean and Dionne Warwick.

  • Grateful for their wisdom.