The Random Acts of Culture™ continue to roll along in Charlotte! We had performances in two more venues this month. On Monday, October 18, we took a string quartet from the Charlotte Symphony and two very talented tango artists to concourses D and E at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Using lessons from our first airport RAC, we timed the RAC (with help from Erika Helm with the airport) to occur when the concourse would be busiest.

We cleared airport security around 2:30 p.m. then made our way to the concourse, which is primarily used for international departures. At 3:30, the quartet began playing. Shortly after, the tango artists began dancing around the quartet. The crowd was entertained and dazzled. The performance was repeated in concourse E to stunned passersby. The performance made such an impact, people came up to us during and after the performance to express their appreciation. Krista Terrell, ASC’s VP of public relations and communications got an e-mail thanking ASC and the performers. Fred Bayley wrote:

“Kudos for a job well done at the Charlotte airport today! Thanks for making my day. It was such a delight to have my schedule of flying out of one of my favorite cities paused while I enjoyed your Random Act of Culture. As a result of my encounter today I have told many people and made a special effort to make other people’s days. I am a trainer and I can assure you that this performance will be brought up many times during my workshops.”

Our second Random Act of Culture took place on Saturday, October 23 in the cosmetics department of the Belk department store at Southpark Mall. In their third RAC performance, our friends at Opera Carolina were awesome! With performers dressed like employees of the store and in position behind counters, no one was the wiser. The performances went off with stunned crowds stopping to watch, participate and clap along. Again, as with the airport, the crowds were so appreciative of the performers, they lined up afterward to thank them and give kudos.

It’s hard to believe we’ve already got five Random Acts of Culture™ under our belt! We continue to learn so much about what works and what doesn’t. And the interest from groups and venues continues to grow. We couldn’t be happier with how everything is going.

If you’re in Charlotte in November (and beyond), keep your eyes open … you never know when you’re going to experience a Random Act of Culture!

23 Responses to “Opera at the Cosmetics Counter – Random Acts of Culture™ Charlotte Update”

  1. mabel mayer says:

    Fantastic!!What a wonderful positive, cultural, fun way
    to communicate……glad to hear you are doing this all over
    the world.

  2. Ruth Seymour says:

    Wow. I’m a teacher near Detroit who yesterday had a very bad classroom day,
    This morning, I happened to watch some Random Acts of Culture videos on YouTube, and suddenly found myself with the strength to reach for a stack of papers and start grading!

    I honestly care more about my students more than I did a short half-hour ago.


  3. Susan says:

    This is terrific!! I hope to “catch” them one day on my travels. The one in Macy’s in Philly brought tears to my eyes as I remember as a child being in that store at Christmas when it was Wanamakers. Love it!

  4. Deb says:

    I followed this website from a posting of the Hallelujah Chorus. I think this is a marvelous idea. Even people who would probably not identify themselves as opera fans were stunned speechless and delighted by the perfomances. I wish our Symphony and Mastersingers could do something like that here in Texas!

  5. Pat says:

    It was a long week…and a friend sent the link to the Macy’s Philly presentation and I found myself smiling and teary. What wonderful gift. Thank you and keep the positive experience of culture going!

  6. I am the baritone in the “Opera at the Cosmetics Counter” RAoC in Charlotte, and I can tell you that it was a wonderful experience. Even the employees at the counter I stood at did not know what was going on, and asked if I was new and in security!

    I am so glad to get the chance to participate in this kind of event. People need to see and hear what they are missing, and hopefully spur one or two people to come see us!

    • Helen Keller-Wallace says:

      What a beautiful voice you have. You had shoppers clapping. What an awesome way to educate the public. It makes me want to drive the hour from Blythewood, SC to try to find another random act! Where do you sing on a regular basis?

    • Jay says:

      We need Random Acts of Culture in Boston! (PS – Mr. Washington, you have a MAGNIFICENT voice.)

  7. Lyn says:

    Love it, Please come to Richmond, Va !!!

  8. Michelle Ward says:

    Thanks so much to everyone who’s a part of this. The world needs more people like you.

  9. Ann Kay says:


    Now, I wonder how many ways you could dream up to entice those observers to make music with you?

    We’ve collectively forgotten that music making is a natural human behavior that enhances vitality and health for EVERYONE.

    I’ve featured one of your videos on the website for the Center for Lifelong Music Making: http://www.LifelongMusicMaking.org

    Thank you.

  10. james halligan says:

    Fantastic,,, Beautiful,,,Dynamic,,,, this is what the world needs , something that can bring together Not tear apart , Absolutely AWSOME

  11. Barbara Kindon says:

    What a WONDERFUL gift you have given to SO many – the chance to experience a style of music that some of us had feared was gone, or available only to the elite… I have watched several of the RAC youtube clips and can tell you music eases pain – as a person with MS I don’t get out often – thank you for bringing this joy to my desk !

    God Bless you and keep you – may He cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

  12. Deseree says:

    I would love to see them one day… Absolutely beautiful!!!!

  13. Holy Moly says:

    There just aren’t any words to explain how absolutely, positively, downright delightful this is! GREAT job – not just the randomness – and sincerest appreciation to the Knights for their love of the Arts – but the performances and performers themselves were as good as it gets. Thank you thank you thank you for bringing it to the people.

  14. oohrahma says:

    Please God tell me when you will be within 200 miles of Phoenix, I will be there!

  15. Nancy HM says:

    All of these beautiful Random Acts of Culture bring me both, to tears and goosebumps of pure joy. With so much negativity in todays culture we need much more Random Acts PLEASE!!!!!

  16. william Harris says:

    I sent it to ALL of my mail contacts lists! ALL!
    I also sent the links for a few of the events. If I can help in any way, advise.

    I have had The Macy’s event for five hours, and played it 7 times already and it is as fresh as the first playing.


  17. diane albrecht says:

    Absolutely wonder-ful!! Please come to the Galleria Mall in Buffalo.

  18. Susan Kenler says:

    This is inspired and inspiring!

  19. Reta Wetherall says:

    I am totally overwhelmed and crying with joy after watching the Macy’s video. How wonderful! What a joyous thing to do! You truly brought joy to many many that day and to those who like me are watching the video. Thank you!

    Northern Ireland

  20. Phoebe Collins says:

    I was blessed on Thanksgiving Day, to have my daughter-in-law send this email to me. Thank you for the wonderful Random Acts! I wish I had randomly been where you were!

  21. This brought me to tears! I just loved it. What a great way to inspire people and just take their mind off everyday problems. I just loved it!! Great job and absolutely wonderful vocals!!

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