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Artist Stories

Goodbye Spirit Square – JazzArts Charlotte Finds a New Arts Space

October 2021 — With the inevitable closing of Spirit Square this month, JazzArts Charlotte has new address, and new partnership opportunities.

JazzArts Charlotte is proud to be one of the eleven founding arts organizations advocating to Mecklenburg County for a new creative facility, resulting in a shared space for many of Charlotte’s beloved arts organization. The building once named Hal Marshall, now called the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA), opens this month as a much–needed arts incubator for artists and organizations to create, rehearse, exhibit, and perform their respective arts.

Due the closing of Spirit Square and the pandemic, many of Charlotte’s most innovative and cherished arts organizations lost an essential space to teach classes, rehearse shows and perform. JazzArts Charlotte is bidding a poignant farewell to Spirit Square, the organization’s home after seven memorable years. JazzArts Charlotte’s first large theater performance was featuring the Grammy-award winning trumpeter and composer Terrance Blanchard at the McGlohon Theater in 2012.  (A little slice of history video of that event here.)  JazzArts has held many free educational workshops and mini performances in the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square. For several years, our audiences have also enjoyed the JAZZ ROOM Holiday edition pre-event, walking through the lobby with a glass of wine and a dessert in hand together, chatting, and bidding on auction treasures. This summer marked the organization’s final program at the Spirit Square location, our JazzArts Summer Music Camp, where students enjoyed the run of the building from music studio to outdoor courtyard, to a final performance in the grandeur of the McGlohon.

“We will miss our long-time home base and all the great memories and seeing the JazzArts banner on the ‘Wall of Honor’ along with the other amazing arts organizations that shared this cherished community space,” says JazzArts Charlotte President Lonnie Davis. “We look forward to making new connections with our creative neighbors in our new location at VAPA starting this fall.”

The Spirit Square space is earmarked for a new state-of-the-art Main Library. The construction is part of a larger public-private effort to replace aging infrastructure, invigorate a stretch of Center City and create a catalyst for growth. Eventually, the 7th Street/Tryon Street site will include restaurants and shops, a 25-30-story office tower, residences, a walkable plaza, sidewalk cafes, plus above-ground and underground parking. This is just one piece of a much broader set of renovations across the surrounding blocks.

Spirit Square has been threatened with demolition for many years, to the annual consternation of its fans and residents. With the plans finally coming to fruition, a group of art leaders worked with Mecklenburg County officials to identify a solution in uptown, formerly the Hal Marshal Building, that could be repurposed as an improvised arts center.

The VAPA Center Organization exemplifies the innovation and creativity that can result when a diverse group work together towards shared goals. JazzArts Charlotte believes this is a partnership that can lead to more unique and meaningful collaborative efforts in future.

So, where are we?

While JazzArts Charlotte will primarily use our new mailing address, our physical location is now at The Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA) in uptown.

JazzArts Charlotte
801 E. Morehead St.
Ste 105 #3404
Charlotte, NC 28202

Note: Please use only the mailing address for communications – we are not able to receive mail at our physical location. The mailing address must include “JazzArts Charlotte” to avoid delays.

VAPA Center
Attn: JazzArts Charlotte
700 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

See VAPA Visual and Performing Arts Center ( ) for more information about the new collaborative space. We ask for your patience as we update materials with our new information.

A useful resource describing the Spirit Square renovation plans.

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