CHARLOTTE — In 2005, a new community initiative, Crossroads Charlotte, set out to build bridges across lines of difference and diversity. They compiled four stories, each depicting a possible future for the Queen City. In 2009, those stories were adapted into a film — a story we covered then for its inclusion of a gay youth’s story line. This weekend, those stories come alive to the sound of music.

Then in high school, local actor and Charlotte native Stephen Friedrich (left) played the role of Sam, a gay teen who hides his sexuality from his mother, in 2009's “Crossroads Charlotte: The Movie.” Photo Credit: Film still.

In the ensuing couple of years since the release of “Crossroads Charlotte: The Movie,” as national and local economies still roiled from 2008’s financial meltdown, Crossroads Charlotte’s focus has been on broader issues of economic and social equity, though issues of LGBT equality — heightened by recent movements forward in places like New York and potential moves backward in North Carolina — remain a part of the group’s overall mission.

On Friday, Crossroads Charlotte will again explore its four possible futures. This time, however, it’s asked local artists to imagine what these futures sound like.

“These stories have already proven to be a powerful tool to help people imagine possible futures for our community,” Crossroads Charlotte Executive Director Tracy Russ, who is openly gay, said in a release. “The artists who interpret these stories help take them to an entirely new level. This is why Crossroads Charlotte has relied so heavily upon the artistic community in its messaging. The goal is to inspire people to act to create a positive future for Charlotte. Art inspires.”

Confirmed artists for the event, which runs 6-10 p.m. at NoDa’s Salvador Deli, 3215 N. Davidson St., include Hot Damn Band, Brass Connection, Slam Charlotte and Heavy Rotation.

This event is free and open to the public.


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