The Charlotte Center for Literary Arts, more commonly known as Charlotte Lit, is a nonprofit arts organization, but it is also a place. Since its founding in 2015, Charlotte Lit has aspired to provide area writers with an inviting place to take writing classes and workshops, participate in conversations and readings, and write and reflect in a space that promotes creativity and conviviality. For more information about Charlotte Lit, please click on the following link: https://www.charlottelit.org/about/
For a number of years, Charlotte Lit found rooms of its own (to paraphrase Virginia Wolfe) in the Midwood International and Cultural Center in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood. Recently, however, Charlotte Lit learned that it needed to find a new place to call home. I am pleased to report that it has just relocated to a new space not far from its original location.
I recently contacted Paul Reali, Charlotte Lit’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, and asked him for more information about Charlotte Lit’s big move. Here is what he sent to me:
Have you heard the news? Charlotte Lit is moving on down the road! Our new digs at hygge coworking’s Belmont location are only a mile from our studios at the Midwood International and Cultural Center (MICC). It’s a bright, lively space with a creative vibe and lots of free parking. And, though we weren’t exactly eager to leave MICC, team hygge’s enthusiastic welcome has made the transition easy—dare I say, even a little fun.
Strangely, moving to hygge is a little like returning to our coworking roots. Shortly after finishing a PhD in mythology, Charlotte Lit cofounder Kathie Collins found herself longing for the kind of “synergetic” community she’d experienced in graduate school, so she set out to build one. After searching long and hard for affordable space, she lucked into a beautiful, light-filled re-purposed classroom at MICC and set out her shingle as August Moon Creative Co-op. The original plan was to recruit 6-8 people to share space, rent, and creative energy. Coworking was a relatively new concept in Charlotte at the time, however. Kathie had just one taker. Me.
Fortunately, we discovered a shared passion for writing and a desire to create a literary center focused on offering the kind of creative writing classes and literature-based programming largely missing from Charlotte’s arts landscape. In early 2016, August Moon went dark and Charlotte Lit was born. Since then, we’ve built a nonprofit organization that now offers more than 100 writing classes and two dozen special events each year. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve such a feat without the foundation MICC provided us in our first six years, and we’ll remain forever grateful for the center and all the friends we made there.
Alas, times change. Development comes for all, especially in Plaza Midwood. MICC was sold in 2021, with all tenant leases ending in June 2023. We searched far and wide for affordable studio/office space with adequate parking but quickly realized Charlotte’s commercial real estate market doesn’t exactly cater to nonprofit arts organizations with limited budgets. We also realized we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. We thrived in MICC’s collaborative environment during our first six years; perhaps coworking was the solution we had been gravitating toward all along.
At hygge coworking Belmont, we’ve found a new creative community in a central location that will allow us to continue serving a diverse cross-section of Charlotte—and all the features essential to Lit’s success: affordability, accessibility, parking, the right vibe. Best of all, we’ve found a management team dedicated to making us feel at home. When Kathie and I first met hygge owner Garrett Titchy, he said: we want you here and we’ll make it work. He and his staff have done just that!
Our staff began working at hygge in November. We’ll hold in-person classes in the new space beginning in January. Check the new space out beforehand at our annual holiday party on December 14. We’ll have music and mingling, drinks and snacks. We hope we’ll have you, too. Please let us know you’re coming, here: https://charlottelit.configio.com/pd/132/holiday-party. See you soon!
I know that I speak for everyone in Storied Charlotte in wishing Paul Reali, Kathie Collins, and everyone else associated with Charlotte Lit all the best as they settle into their new home.