NC Humanities Council Plans Move to Charlotte

NC Humanities Council Plans Move to Charlotte

The North Carolina Humanities Council (NCHC) will move its administrative offices to Charlotte in early 2015, to take advantage of what its leaders believe are new and exciting opportunities for organizational development and collaborations in the state’s largest city.

NCHC is a statewide non-profit agency that provides advocacy, grant-making and activities to support understanding of the humanities, especially literature, history, art, music and philosophy. Among the programs funded by NCHC are the “Let’s Talk About It” book discussion series, Roads Scholars speakers series and Museum on Main Street exhibit in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution.

The Council had been based in Greensboro since inception in 1972. On January 31, 2015, it will open new offices located in the UNC Charlotte Center City campus building at 320 East 9th Street, in the city’s historic First Ward neighborhood.

“Charlotte is the state’s most dynamic metropolitan market, increasingly cosmopolitan and home of vibrant business, education and cultural sectors. We are excited about being there and having access to its ample resources and opportunities,” said Neva Specht, chair of NCHC Board of Trustees and Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University. “Although based in Charlotte, the Council will remain a state-wide organization dedicated to providing excellent humanities initiatives in all 100 counties in North Carolina.”

Specht said NCHC values the “long and happy relationship” it has built with the Greensboro community. “Of course, the Greensboro and the Triad region remain important to the Council, and we will work hard to maintain and build on our ties there in the future.”

Over the past four years, NCHC has provided more than $559,000 in grants, with an additional $131,000 budgeted for the current fiscal year. Since 2009, NCHC funding has supported the presentation of nearly 800 programs in 80+ North Carolina counties for more than 50,000 participants. All programs are free of charge and open to the public.

NCHC’s executive director, Paula Watkins, will relocate to Charlotte immediately. The four other current staff members declined to move and will no longer be employed by the organization, effective January 31, 2015. Each will receive a severance package. “The staff has been extremely committed and able representatives of and advocates for the Council and the humanities in general. We applaud each of them for their work, which has brought great benefit to our state and its citizens,” Specht said.

Watkins said staff openings will be posted immediately and she expects to have new personnel in place during the first quarter of 2015. She and Specht anticipate little if any impact of the move on the Council’s programming and grant-making activities.