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Cruz Receives 2014 McColl Award

Performing artist CarlosAlexis Cruz is the 2014 McColl Award winner. An assistant professor of voice and movement in the College of Arts + Architecture, Cruz received the honor for the project "Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque," which translates to "New South, New Circus." Presented by the Arts & Science Council, the McColl Award is named in honor of Hugh and Jane McColl; it is given every three years. The award comes with a $25,000 grant that Cruz will use to implement his project.

Cruz will learn and incorporate "underground" dance, acrobatic and physical theater scenes that thrive within local ethnic communities into cirque-style performances. The project will include neighborhood residencies expected to take place between January and December 2015 and a main stage production in the spring of 2016.

"Nothing like this has ever been done in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, so we are excited to see what Carlos creates," said ASC President Robert Bush. "It’s something that will bring our community together in the truest sense – not only will Carlos bring talented underground performers to the forefront, but his project will tie their stories and traditions to the larger story of our city and county."

Mellichamp Authors 'Native Plants of the Southeast'

Larry Mellichamp, director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, has written Native Plants of the Southeast, which was published by Timber Press.

Billed as a comprehensive guide to the best 460 species for the garden, Native Plants of the Southeast features the most beautiful native plants that adapt well to garden cultivation, have multi-season appeal and attract native butterflies, birds and other beneficial wildlife, according to the publisher. The work includes profiles on hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, grasses, aquatics and ferns, and it covers the entire southeast region of the United States.