CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Bringing light to dark places and turning an area like the alley on Third Street uptown into a destination spot.  

That’s one of the goals for organizers of Charlotte Shout. Another one is to highlight local artists for the showcase coming Friday. 

Artists are still carefully painting a mural in the alleyway, each stroke adding beauty to the Queen City. 

“They’re from ages 19 to 72,” said Sydney Duarte, one of the organizing artists for the project. “We have fine artists, we have street artists, we have a little bit of in between.” 

The area off South Tryon Street is called Luminous Lane, where 33 artists are putting their vision on a wall as part of the two-week-long art festival. 

“It’s so great to bring all of this art to the city,” added Moira Quinn, spokesperson for Charlotte Center City Partners. “So, art, music, ideas and food. To bring all of this together. We believe sincerely that every artist should be paid for his or her work, and that’s part of what Charlotte Shout does. 

That’s a lot of checks for the 17-day festival which boasts over 200 different art installations, interactive exhibits and a way to turn spaces once considered an eyesore, into a destination spot. 

“The people I’ve met in the area were afraid to walk down this space beforehand,” said Duarte. “Now I am seeing families, older folks, like a wide array of people coming because they feel welcomed and safe.” 

Young Charlotteans check out sculptures uptown that are part of Charlotte Shout.

The art caught the eye of Joshua Yang, visiting Charlotte with a friend who wanted to meet the person behind the work.

“It was quite captivating actually so it kind of made us stop,” said Yang. “Plus, my friend wanted to talk to him because he is really big into that.” 

People attending the festival can see the artists complete the mural, and the businesses have signed a contract to keep the installation once it’s complete. The hope is after the festival, city leaders realize how important this added design is to a growing city.

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“It’s a battle that we are all fighting,” Duarte said. “Trying to get the city to understand why art is so important.” 

Charlotte Shout starts on March 31 and runs through April 16.