23-Foot Sculpture of Planet Earth to be Displayed at Charlotte SHOUT! This Fall

Additional acts announced including Of Earth and Sky, Intrude, Spike Lee, Randy Rainbow, Nolan Glasser and more.
June 11, 2021 / Press Releases

(June 9, 2021) Charlotte, NC – Luke Jerram’s Gaia, a three-dimensional, illuminated sculpture of Earth, will be suspended in Founders Hall during this fall’s Charlotte SHOUT! festival, taking place Sept. 17-Oct. 3, 2021. Measuring 23 feet in diameter, the rotating installation will allow visitors to view Earth as it appears from the moon and serve as a reminder of the need to protect our planet.  

“Gaia reminds us of the beauty and fragility of the earth. It encourages us to think about ways that each of us can respond to protect our planet,” said Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard.  

Gaia will be free and open to the public throughout the duration of Charlotte SHOUT!. Special events at the venue — including environmental discussions, performances and fitness classes—will be announced at a later date. 

Next, Of Earth and Sky will make its debut at Charlotte SHOUT! This large-scale installation, also conceptualized by artist Luke Jerram (Gaia), features pieces from local poets. Originally presented in Gloucester, poems written by local writers will be curated and installed across multiple locations in Charlotte. Over 200 poems have already been submitted by the public, with selected pieces to be announced June 30. This instillation will be free and open to the public Sept. 10-Oct. 3, 2021. 

A fan favorite from the 2019 SHOUT! Festival will also return — Amanda Parer’s Intrude. Those very large rabbits are back, and even bigger and better, in 2021. The bunnies of Intrude will stand tall, yet relaxed, at their new home in Romare Bearden Park. This exhibition is free and open to the public throughout the duration of Charlotte SHOUT!, taking place Sept. 17-Oct. 3, 2021. 

A few additional shows have been announced as part of this year’s lineup. Charlotte SHOUT! will welcome provocateur and media icon Spike Lee; America’s favorite musical satirist, Randy Rainbow; singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer and the musical visionary of Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham; composer, pianist, author, and musicologist Nolan Gasser; and Impulse, a publicly activated light and sound experience. Blue Lapis Light dance company returns to bravely and gracefully perform 15 stories high on the side of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. Tickets for Spike Lee are on sale now. Tickets for Randy Rainbow, Lindsey Buckingham and Nolan Gasser are on sale this Friday, June 11 at 10am. Impulse and Blue Lapis Light are free and open to the public. Please see full dates below. For tickets or more information on the free events, please visit the SHOUT! website CharlotteShout.com

With so many extraordinary events coming to Uptown Charlotte as part of SHOUT!, we are pleased to announce a new website has just launched spotlighting all things SHOUT! Fans can head over to CharlotteShout.com for all the latest announcements, news and information on all events that are part of the festival.  

Charlotte SHOUT! is a joint presentation between Charlotte Center City Partners and Blumenthal Performing Arts. Additional acts will be announced throughout the summer and can be found on CharlotteShout.com


OF EARTH AND SKY – Sept. 10 – Oct. 3, 2021 – Various Locations 

Of Earth and Sky is a large-scale installation of poetry, ideas and statements created by the public through online submissions. These submissions will be curated and installed across several locations in uptown Charlotte, forming a temporary sculpture trail through our Center City during the Charlotte SHOUT! festival. In addition to the outdoor installation, selected writers will be invited to share their poem or statement through a professionally recorded video posted on the Of Earth and Sky event website, along with a brief biography and links to their social media. 

GAIA – Sept. 10 – Oct. 3, 2021 – Founders Hall 

Approved Photos: bit.ly/gaiaphotos 

Official Video (2019): bit.ly/gaiatrailer 

Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface*. The artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three-dimensions. 

The installation creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.  

The artwork also acts as a mirror to major events in society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the artwork may provide the viewer with a new perspective of our place on the planet; a sense that societies of the Earth are all interconnected and that we have a responsibility toward one another. After the lockdown, there has been a renewed respect for nature. 

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture. In Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth. 

Gaia has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. 

*The imagery for the artwork has been compiled from Visible Earth series, NASA. 

INTRUDE– Sept. 17 – Oct. 3, 2021 – Romare Bearden Park 
Why rabbits? Rabbits in artist Amanda Parer’s (Parer Studio) native Australia are an out-of-control pest, leaving a trail of ecological destruction wherever they go and defying attempts at eradication. First introduced by white settlers in 1788 they have caused a great imbalance to the country’s endemic species. The rabbit is also an animal of contradiction. They represent the fairytale animals of our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humor to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored.  

IMPULSE – Sept. 17 – Oct. 3, 2021 – Location: TBD 
A hit attraction at Charlotte SHOUT! 2019, IMPULSE is a publicly activated light and sound experience. Families get to play with a series of interactive illuminated seesaws that respond and transform when put into motion by people.  

SPIKE LEE – Sept. 21, 2021 – Belk Theater 
SPIKE LEE needs no introduction. In person, the provocateur and media icon is never at a loss for words. As one of the most outspoken African American voices, he talks candidly, and with authority, about issues of race in mainstream media and Hollywood, using as a backdrop a rare behind-the-scenes look at his celebrated body of work.  

Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. You already know the Academy Award-winning BlacKkKlansman, which was called his best film in a decade, taking viewers on a journey into “White America’s heart of darkness” (New York Times). You know and love the classic Do the Right Thing, and the Cannes’ favourite Jungle Fever. You cheered at Malcolm X, screamed during Summer of Sam, and felt enraged and empathetic watching When the Levees Broke, his Peabody-winning HBO documentary on Hurricane Katrina. You know the Nike Air Jordan ads. He’s one of the most influential directors of his generation. But do you really know Spike Lee? 

Rumor has it that Shelton Jackson Lee was nicknamed “Spike” by his mother because he was so tough. Though born in Atlanta, Lee grew up in Brooklyn—the future setting for many of his films. Studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Lee made a thesis film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, which became the first student film ever to be showcased in the Lincoln Center’s New directors New Films Festival. His first feature, She’s Gotta Have It, shot on just $175,000, grossed over seven million at the box office. Lee has since produced and directed countless movies—or, as they’re known in the vernacular, “Spike Lee Joints.” He’s also penned a dozen screenplays and appeared in everything from his own Clockers to Saturday Night Live. Four of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry, securing their permanent place in the Library of Congress for being “historically, culturally, or aesthetically significant.” In 2020, it was announced that Lee will lead this year's Cannes Film Festival jury, making history as the first black person ever to do so in its 73 years of existence. 

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM – Sept. 21, 2021 – Knight Theater 
Over the last four decades, Buckingham has developed a radical sense of experimentation and an unrivaled savvy as a producer. 

He first honed these skills as a singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer and the musical visionary of Fleetwood Mac, for which he wrote and produced several Top Ten hits, including “Go Your Own Way,” “Tusk” and “Big Love.” Under Buckingham’s direction, Fleetwood Mac became one of the best-selling and most beloved rock groups of all time. 

As a solo artist, Buckingham often plays nearly every instrument himself; his complex arrangements and inventive production choices make his solo work thrilling to experience. Earlier this year, he appeared on “Caution,” the newest single from the Killers. 

He remains a highly sought-after collaborator, a maverick and a visionary. 


NOLAN GASSER is a composer, pianist, author, and musicologist—most notably, the architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project. His original works include the musical Benny & Joon (Paper Mill), the opera Secret Garden (SF Opera), and the orchestral works Cosmic Reflection (Baltimore Symphony) and the World Concerto (cellist Maya Beiser). Nolan’s recent book is Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste (Macmillan, 2019)—called “a work of staggering erudition and breadth” by The Economist. 

RANDY RAINBOW – Oct. 2, 2021 – Belk Theater 

America’s favorite musical satirist, RANDY RAINBOW, is taking his act on the road! On The Pink Glasses Tour, the two-time Emmy-nominated singer, writer, and comedian will take on the hottest topics and skewer politicos of the day as only he can, as he brings his most viral video song parodies to life onstage. Featuring live accompaniment by some of Broadway’s finest musicians, the show will also include personal stories, an audience Q&A, and brand-new original songs written by Rainbow with Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Mary Poppins Returns) and Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast).  

BLUE LAPIS LIGHT – Oct. 1-3, 2021 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center 
After wowing audiences in 2019, Blue Lapis Light dance company returns to bravely and gracefully perform 15 stories high on the side of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. Witness celestial aerialists transform a buttoned-up municipal environment into an inspired work of art as they fly across the face of the building, offering a sense of wonder, courage and possibility. Each breathtaking movement creates images of transcendent beauty while highlighting the human journey. 

Founded by Artistic Director Sally Jacques in 2005, Blue Lapis Light produces large scale performances in unexpected places. The bold aerial dance company is committed to challenging physical limitations and inspiring audiences. Come curious, leave amazed. 

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