Charlotte Hill Wickham is a native North Carolinian. Born in Raleigh, graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and post-graduate at The New York School of Visual Arts and the Arts Students League of NY. Charlotte and her husband John have lived in NYC, London, England and are happily now back home in Charlotte, NC where they have raised their four boys.
Charlotte worked on a bond trading desk in advertising and did freelance work for MTV, none of which prepared her for Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte. She has served on the Bechtler Museum Board, Novant Presbyterian Hospital Foundation Board and the Carolina Arts Leadership Council. Charlotte is active with Visionary Initiatives in Art out of Boston and NYC and presently serves on the Board of the Mint Museum.
Charlotte is dancing for Charlotte Ballet and the Mint Museum. Her belief is that culture and exposure to cultural activities makes a positive and effective impact on the happiness and health of children and members of our community.
The Mint hosts 20,000 children each year and we need to do more to accommodate youth in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area and the state. This effort would help to make access to the museum free for all children in grades K – 12 and those studying art. Not only does art and dance help children exercise their imaginations and their minds, but it also helps all of us to understand different histories, stories and points of view. Especially now, we need a place of discourse and a place of fun, an environment in which to think creatively, uniquely and promote individual expression.
On a scientific level, visual spatial processing is developed by looking and watching and then
participating in those activities. Art helps build memory and self-control.
Neurologists have found that making art of any kind increases introspection and empathy because it strengthens the brain’s default mode network. It helps us to be kinder to ourselves and others. By making art for 45 minutes cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced by double digit percentages in children. Improvisation and original work lights up the brain in parts that are normally not as active. Art makes us better, kinder, and smarter. Also, art generally can make us feel better and with that hope, the Mint is promoting a new effort to get art out of storage and into hospitals. This will also be part of our effort here.
Charlotte hopes you will put up with her missteps to help us step in a wonderful direction for our children and our community. Her mantra for DWTS is “take more chances, dance more dances.” Martha Graham said, “Dancers are not great because of their technique – they are great because of their passion.” Let’s hope this is true! Thank you for your help, support and encouragement!