Since she was three years old, Sharon Dowell knew that she wanted to be an artist. It seemed like an odd choice for the daughter of a safety chemical engineer. But she’s built an amazing career that she loves and deeply enjoys. But there’s a shadow side to Dowell’s success. “I’ve been dealing with anxiety my whole life,” confessed Dowell. “It’s my secret.” Quoting Winston Churchill, Dowell said the panic attacks are like a black dog that attacks suddenly out of the blue. According to studies, 15-20% of the U.S. population are HSPs (highly sensitive persons), and Dowell is herself an HSP. Sometimes things areRead More →

Today. Today is yours, claim it. This life is yours, live it. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Jen shares her story of using her imagination and how she started Playing For Others. It all started when she started working at a camp. This camp wasn’t just your ordinary camp. For example, one girl had AIDS. Who would want to work with sick, dying kids? The way reality could be is possibility, Are you afraid of the unknown? Those trouble seeds that doubt has sewn? Another camp experience altered her life path. One week of camp was for burn survivors. It’s painful — in moreRead More →

Fresh off winning the McColl Award, CarlosAlexis Cruz stepped onto the stage in a white jumpsuit, looking like a gardener or a house painter. “I’m your typical Mexican gangster,” said Cruz. “I can play any of those typical Latino characters. ‘Salsa dancer to the left.’” (laughter) “I’ve worked for Telemundo!” (more laughter) “That is not just who I am.” “I am not your gardener. I’m also an actor. I’m a director. A stage producer. I founded my own company. I’m an artist.” He’s also a circus performer! Cruz created a contemporary circus show that got funding and toured the West Coast. He’s since produced otherRead More →

Chris McLeod was five years old when she first saw a $100 bill. She was at her friend’s house and all she could do was to imagine how much candy she could buy with all that money! There was a lot of tension around money in Chris’ house, but the opposite was true in her friend Amy’s house. Her grandfather filed for bankruptcy when the family business failed, and her grandmother got a job outside of the house for the first time at the age of 50. Her grandfather passed away a year later. Money beliefs get passed down from the parents to their children,Read More →

Title: Hope for the Oceans: Getting Fishing Right Kicking things off for TEDxCharlotte 2014: Renewal, Douglas Rader, the Chief Oceans Scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), admitted, “Because I’m a serious scientist, they wouldn’t let me up here unless I promised not to bore you to death with endless charts and graphs.” He lied. There was one chart. One Rader colorfully called “the death spiral to hell for fish.” How’s that for not boring? But the vision Rader laid out for renewing our ocean fishing systems through implementing “catch shares” was inspiring and hopeful. “Most people view the oceans as boundless,” said Rader. “Most scientists viewRead More →

Sharon Dowell is a painter, public art commissioned artist, and Rowe Galleries Coordinator and Adjunct Professor at UNC Charlotte. She exhibits nationally and her work is in the collections of The Federal Reserve Bank, SPX, Renaissance Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Pricewaterhousecoopers, Fidelity Investments, and Duke Energy, among others. She kicked off her public art career in 2008 with a mural through The Arts and Science Council and in 2013, murals for The City of Concord, NC. Currently she is underway on a CATS Transit Blue Line light rail extension station, bus shelters for Durham’s Bull City Connector bus line, and an Elizabeth neighborhood public art projectRead More →

  CarlosAlexis Cruz is currently an assistant professor of voice and movement at UNC Charlotte and a recent winner of the McColl Award for the project “Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque,” which translates to “New South, New Circus.”   He holds an MFA from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre where he studied a range of movement techniques. For his thesis project, Carlos developed a study on the convergence of circus and theater, during which he trained under the tutelage of Master Coach Lu Yi at the San Francisco Circus Center, specializing in the disciplines of aerial straps and acrobatic rope. He was a full-timeRead More →

Chris McLeod is a licensed attorney with more than 20 years of fundraising experience. She is the President and Founder of Giving Matters, Inc., an intentionally small consulting firm focused on providing counsel to individuals, families, private foundations, donor-advised funds and businesses that want to make a difference with their charitable giving. Prior to founding Giving Matters, Chris McLeod held leadership roles at Habitat for Humanity, UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Foundation For The Carolinas, one of the 10 largest community foundations in the country with over $1 billion in assets. Chris is the co-founder of The Institute for Philanthropic Leadership and itsRead More →

We are very excited to present another TEDxCharlotte event on October 24, 2014, at Label @ NC Music Factory. We all love bringing TED to Charlotte in TEDxCharlotte form. The community that spawns from this event is truly life-changing and inspirational. This is a labor of love for all the organizers, and we couldn’t be happier to share it with Charlotte. While we are happy to return to a normal size event, we expect tickets will still be a hot commodity. Therefore, tickets will be released in two rounds. The first beginning today (September 16th) and the second on October 1st. A limited number ofRead More →

“I think this was a setup,” began Karla Williams, addressing the emerging theme of this year’s TEDxCharlotte. “Holy cow! If I were your age, and I was sitting in this audience, whatever age you are, I’d be thinking ‘This is a very big world, how am I going to find that place, if I haven’t found it by now?’” The theme is action for social change. And for Williams, the big idea is higher civic engagement in the non-profit sector of the Charlotte community. Williams is a passionate champion for the non-profit world. According to Williams, there are 1.5 million non-profits in the United States,Read More →