Students observing the artwork in the Gantt Center. Photo courtesy of Ricky Singh.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture is launching a new youth program in September.

The Gantt’s Youth Residency: At the Table will allow five local high school students to create and manage Gantt Center events and community engagement opportunities. 

Through the program, students will gain a variety of skills related to marketing, design, business development and other aspects of the arts.

“The youth today are leaders for today, so we want to promote and support them in things that they do in and outside of school,” Nicole Beverly, educational initiatives manager for the Gantt, told QCity Metro.

After the launch of Mecca of Digital Arts studio (MODA) in March, Gantt Center leadership wanted to use the space to engage local high school students.

Participants will also lead youth workshop sessions in MODA during the program.

Beverly said they want youth to be able to explore more of what they can do in MODA.

Beverly said participants will partner with local brand executives and nonprofit leaders to create new business proposals and establish marketing strategies.

Program director Ricky Singh said he hopes this program will spark Charlotte’s next leaders. 

“I think sometimes we put youth and kids in boxes. We create kiddy-like experiences for them,” he said. “We’re underestimating the power that they have.”

Eligible students must attend a public, private, or charter school or be homeschooled in Mecklenburg County.

The Youth Residency program application 2023-2024 deadline to apply is September 6, and the first cohort will begin September 18.

Jalon is a general assignment reporter for QCity Metro. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and an avid sports fan. (

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