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Keith Womck

Keith Womack

homegrown

Weird Charlotte: Are you originally from Charlotte, or did you come here from somewhere else? If you came here from somewhere else, where was that, when did you land here, and why?

Keith: Yeah, I was born right here in the QC and currently live in the small yet fast-growing town of Waxhaw. It's about 35 minutes away, but allows me to keep up with the goings-on of the "big city", my weekend getaway.

WC: Of all you've contributed to the cultural fabric of Charlotte, what are some of your personal favorites?

Keith: I don't really know if I've added much to the cultural fabric yet, other than being someone who tries their best to encourage creativity and self expression in any way possible. I'm gonna start throwing some of my work out in local galleries, or wherever else will take it. I shop local and really just try my best to support what little community we have in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Right now I've kinda tuned in to some of the local neighborhoods and organizations, learning about the area, just searching for ways to get involved.

WC: What strengthens your dedication to do what you do, in spite of the fact that Charlotte has not yet developed a critical mass of creatively-attuned people?

Keith: From my experiences with artsy folk, creative people often find something wrong with wherever they live, then try thier darndest to make it better. I use adversity to fuel my creativity – it just challenges me more, and I enjoy that.

WC: What sometimes discourages you about Charlotte and makes you dream of living somewhere else? And where would that somewhere else be?

Keith: Sorry for the cliché, but there are a lot of closed-minded people walking around. I've seen some amazing things in Charlotte, and rarely is there ever a crowd anywhere near the size the event deserves. From music to art and theatre, there are still quite a few boundaries that have to be passed and new ideas that must eventually be accepted for us to really grow into a community that supports creativity and actually has the audience for more adventurous venues.

As for living somewhere else, well, I've always had a severe case of wanderlust, so my plans for future living arrangments change frequently and drastically. Previous ideas have included France and Washington state... my wants and needs change, so by the time I'm actually ready to move on, who knows where I'll end up.

WC: What would help make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

Keith: We need to try and preserve what little history we have. Our city is trying so hard to look cool to the other bigger cities that instead of developing our own feel, we just keep wiping the slate clean and tracing whatever is popular at the moment. I think that the city, like some of it's residents, is afraid to take to many chances, to be a little different.

And another thing, I don't think it would the worst thing in the world to actually try embracing different cultures rather than just exploiting them. It would also really add to the somewhat bland flavor of our banking town. Does anybody else get tired of seeing the same thing plastered to billboards? They just seem a bit pale...

WC: What can we do right now to make Charlotte a more vibrant cultural city?

Keith: Education. Not neccessarily school, or anything formal, but more approachable ways to bring people into the creative side of themselves, and introduce it to others. A lot of people have the potential to make great things happen, but either don't know how, or don't understand that you can hold down a 9 to 5 job, have a family, and still come home in the evening and build giant monkey sculptures, or whatever you're into. I just think that people who enjoy art and other cultural aspects of life shouldn't be afraid to share it with those around them, or worry about finding it for themselves.

WC: Let's say there's some creative person out there who's considering moving to Charlotte. If you could say one thing to them, what would it be?

Keith: If you wanna move here, we'll welcome you with open arms (we need the help) and if you don't, then don't. If you're stuck here, try your best to make it work for you. Don't hesitate to do your research when it comes to finding what you want out of Charlotte, always be on the lookout for things that interest you, and never think twice about talking to someone about how to get involved with whatever it is you want to do.

defectivebaby13@aim.com

myspace.com/keithsart13

7/20/08