Kayla Hamilton: Dance and Storytelling - Photo courtesy of the artist

The BOOM festival – an artist-led showcase of contemporary and experimental art – returns to Plaza Midwood with three days of dance, theater, visual art and family activities April 28-30.

BOOM features local and national artists with a focus on provocative work in theater, dance, spoken word and music. This year’s performers include:

• Bluz Rogers of Charlotte uses two constants in his life — traveling and music — in a performance titled “Road Trippin”, which recreates the people, places, and songs that have made him who he is. Using his background in spoken word poetry, Rogers tells the story of his military “brat” childhood, becoming a husband and father, and his life as a traveling artist. Performs at: Snug Harbor April 28 at 6:00 pm; April 29 at 6:30 p.m., April 30 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $10.

Kayla Hamilton from Texas presents “Nearly Sighted,” a solo project that gives the audience an opportunity to see through her eyes. She moves through the world with a chronic illness that has left her sight impaired. Integrating the voices and aesthetics of five black female choreographers; Francine E. Ott, Nia Love, Christal Brown, Crystal U. Davis and Jaimè Dzandu, this work seeks to draw attention to new stories. Performs at Rabbit Hole, April 29 at 12:30 p.m.,  April 29 at 6:30 p.m., April 30 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Naimah Kisoki of New York is the Artistic Director/Founder of Living And Breathing Con/Temporary Dance. “Made You Look” is a combination of short original pieces that deal with how the community deals with issues around social justice. “Made You Look” sets out to promote awareness of our diverse community, and action toward perseverance toward a brighter tomorrow. Performs at: Rabbit Hole, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.,  April 29 at 5:00 p.m., April 30 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

New for the second annual festival: International House and Gallery Twenty-Two will showcase the visual arts and special guests, including the 100 Words Film Festival and Tosco Music Party.

Free events and family activities will be at International House; the Intersection Stage: 1920 Commonwealth: Audience and community members can congregate in an outdoor living room with couches and a fire pit; children’s activity spaces will keep the kids entertained. The Intersection will include public installation and participatory visual art and games. Free performances include Jazz Arts Initiative, Tosco Music Party, Drumstrong, Baran Dance, Mint Museum class for kids and adults, Charlotte Symphony hands on learning, Hip Hop Orchestrated.

“We’ve gathered a unique coalition of artists, volunteers, nonprofits, local businesses and neighborhood organizations to transform the way art is made and shared in Charlotte,” said BOOM founder Manoj Kesavan.

“Our goal has always been to create connections between diverse artists and the widest ranging community, and we’ve intentionally chosen to do that outside of the center city. And we seek out unexpected or unused spaces like small venues, alleyways and parking lots for creative installations and events. Plaza Midwood offers all this, and is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Charlotte,” Kesavan said.


Ticketed performances will be at the small music venues Snug Harbor: 1228 Gordon St.; The Rabbit Hole: 1801 Commonwealth Ave.; Petra’s Bar: 1919 Commonwealth Ave.

 A list of all performances — free and paid.
 Performance schedule
 Buy tickets
BOOM festival map