CHARLOTTE — Community members from three local production crews have unveiled their collection of 30 two-minute-long videos documenting the Charlotte region’s diversity, entrepreneurship and quality of life.

The videos, available for viewing at, are meant to highlight Charlotte’s uniqueness as the Democratic National Convention prepares to roll into the Queen City this September.

Three teams of two videographers worked together to create the videos. The teams include Charlotte Video Project’s Scott Lazes and Kevin Beaty,’s Justin Ruckman and Matt Tyndall and Darling Media Group’s Tonya Jameson and Lashawnda Becoats.

Tracy Russ, marketing director for the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee, said the videos “showcase the culture of Charlotte.”

Jameson, a former reporter for The Charlotte Observer, told the daily newspaper that she learned a great deal from the project. Working with the Latin American Women’s Association and their dance lessons in local schools was particularly memorable.

“It’s an opportunity to highlight local people and individuals who are coming together outside the typical media spotlight,” Jameson told The Observer.

Ruckman said he enjoyed profiling the local startup scene, including an interview with Igor Jablokov of automated speech recognition developer Yap.

“Third Places,” a highlight of local coffee shops and other hang outs, is among the videos on currently available. The video profiles several LGBT-friendly hotspots across the city including the South End and Plaza Midwood Common Markets, Caribou on East Blvd., NoDa’s Amelie’s and Plaza Midwood’s Central Coffee Co. Watch the video below and visit the Carolina Stories website for more.

Video description:

Locally-owned small businesses Common Market and Amelie’s serve not only as a multifunctional store/deli/bar and French bakery, respectively, but — even more importantly — as gathering spaces for the Charlotte community. These neighborhood anchors strengthen the cultural fabric of the community by bringing together diverse locals to share creative ideas and delicious food and drink. Common Market South End was recently recognized with a 2012 Vision Award for its impact on the community from Center City Partners, an economic and cultural development organization.

For more on the Common Market, visit their website:
For more on Amelie’s, visit their website:

This video is part of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee Carolina Stories Series. For more of the Carolina Stories Series, visit

Video produced by:
The Charlotte Video Project

Celeste Smith of The Charlotte Observer contributed. Read more DNC coverage at

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.