News and Press Releases


The VAPA Center is so proud to support the Visual Artists, Musicians, and Theater performers of the Charlotte community.

Showcasing artists, galleries, indoor and outdoor concerts, sound stages, traditional theater performances, and comedy shows, VAPA will provide to the community a full season of live entertainment options. Please see the schedules on our events page.

Please visit this page often and sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive information for upcoming events, classes, and programs at VAPA.




The entrance to The VAPA Center is now located on College Street. Please exit our parking lot via Montford Point only.
Due to the Sheriff’s Department’s acquisition of part of our lot, access to The VAPA Center from North Tryon Street is no longer available.
But, as always, parking is FREE at The VAPA Center.


The Vapa center awarded nearly $2 Million in funding from Mecklenburg County and a 5 year lease extension

CHARLOTTE, (May 23, 2024) – The VAPA Center Awarded Nearly $2 Million in Funding from Mecklenburg County

The VAPA Center (The Visual and Performing Arts Center), will receive $1.7 million in funding from Mecklenburg County to improve current building conditions. By improving the building, VAPA will be able to continue in its mission to provide affordable spaces for artist businesses and make various, diverse art experiences accessible for residents.

The VAPA Center is more than just a building.  It’s a community of artists and a commitment to value the work they produce and present. We are so thankful to Mecklenburg County for their generous support of VAPA and of the more than 350 creatives that call VAPA their home,” said Executive Director, Arthur Rogers, Jr. 

Since opening in 2022, the VAPA Center has experienced remarkable growth – averaging nearly 7,000 visitors in January 2024, a more than 2000% year-over-year increase. The center’s booming growth highlights the Charlotte community’s appetite for diverse, engaging cultural experiences and led to a five-year lease extension from Mecklenburg County. With that growth comes the need to ensure both the longevity and safety of the building for residents which VAPA’s architect of record, Little Diversified, will oversee beginning July 2024. Funding from the county will enable critical upgrades for the building including: spray fireproofing, egress updates, exit signage, sprinkler modifications, a DOAS (Dedicated Outside Air Supply) system, and fire alarm system upgrades.

Located at 700 N Tryon Street, The VAPA center was originally home to Sears before becoming The Hal Marshall Center. In an agreement with Mecklenburg County, The VAPA Center was formed in 2021 following planned demolition of Spirit Square which left multiple artists without adequate workspace. Recognized as the northern end of Charlotte’s “Creative Mile”, VAPA is a non-profit organization providing an inclusive environment where artists can work and the public can interact with the creative process. VAPA has received multiple awards and is now home to over 350 artists. Click here for more information about our organization

Community donations to the VAPA Center ensure continued preservation of diverse, engaging arts experiences for Charlotte area residents. When you donate to support and sustain The VAPA Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, you are making an investment not only in VAPA but also in Charlotte’s vibrant, dynamic community of exciting, innovative artists! Click here to make your gift to VAPA today! 

About The VAPA Center

Founded in February 2021, VAPA (The Visual and Performing Arts Center), is a non-profit organization committed to cultivating affordable, accessible space for artists to create, practice, exhibit, and perform. Bringing vibrant arts experiences to the heart of Charlotte, VAPA is home to hundreds of artists and creative organizations who regularly showcase a diverse range of events including art galleries, indoor and outdoor concerts, sound stages, traditional theater performances, and comedy shows throughout the year. For more information about The VAPA Center, visit


The VAPA Center Honored at the VISION Awards

CHARLOTTE, (April 3, 2024) – The VAPA Center was awarded a Trailblazer award at the 16th Annual Vision Awards presented by Center City Partners.

The Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals, organizations, small businesses, or institutions that have been foundational to or were key community pioneers in Center City’s history.

Founded in 2021, The VAPA Center (Visual and Performing Arts Center) was created out of a need to provide much-needed space for artists and creative entrepreneurs to create, practice, exhibit, and perform. The founders of VAPA , along with Mecklenburg County, came together to identify an underused space in Uptown that could be leveraged for this mission. Housed in the former Hal Marshall County Services Center, VAPA is home to hundreds of artists and creative organizations, providing them with a place to nurture and showcase their work.

Accepting the award on stage was, Arthur Rogers, Jr., Executive Director and a founding member, Joanne Rogers, Owner and founder of Nine Eighteen Nine Studio Gallery, and also a founding member, Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager, and Mecklenburg County Board Chair, George Dunlap.



CHARLOTTE, (February 8, 2023) – The Queen City’s Charlotte Acting ( classes were diverted in 2020 because of Spirit Square’s closure and Covid. Charlotte Acting’s owner Linda Ann Watt took that time to write a book and she offered Zoom classes to her students in the interim.

She has announced classes are back in person at Visual Arts and Performing Arts (VAPA) Center which is a mecca for visual and performing arts in the heart of Charlotte. She also launched her new book The Actors Manifesto; Create a Successful Acting Career, available on Amazon. The book complements Watt’s classes and can be used as an encyclopedia of reference for actors.

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Charlotte’s Latinx photographers find a home at OBRA Collective

CHARLOTTE, (June 16, 2022) – A Charlotte-based arts collective will gather on June 17 at 7 p.m., with an invitation to explore the worlds of five local, Latinx photographers. The event is being held at the Visual and Performing Arts Center, also known as VAPA, on North Tryon Street. –

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Artistas latinos exponen obras en nuevo espacio cultural de Charlotte: Centro VAPA

CHARLOTTE, (March 06, 2022) – Once organizaciones artísticas de Charlotte, incluida una de latinos, inauguraron el cinco de marzo el Centro de Artes Visuales y Escénicas (VAPA Center) en el antiguo edificio Hal Marshall, ubicado en 700 North Tryon Street. – La Noticia – por José Cordero

Read More… [ESP]

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VAPA brings a vibrant arts space to uptown Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, (March 05, 2022) – The Visual and Performing Arts Center, or VAPA, will officially open to the public in Charlotte on March 5. According to an earlier press release, “The intent of VAPA is to create a space which brings together artists to create, practice and exhibit their respective arts. Born out of necessity, due to the closing of Spirit Square and the lingering impact of the pandemic, a space was needed for artists to come together to continue to teach classes, rehearse shows and perform.”    –

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The VAPA Center Open House / March 5, 2022 – 1 – 6 pm


Together we brought a new artist community to Uptown Charlotte.

The VAPA Center now houses over 120 Visual and Performing Artists.

Join us as we celebrate!

Saturday, March 5, 2022
1-6 pm.

Tour the center, meet the artists and performers and learn how this collaborative space is connecting with the arts community.

The event and parking is FREE!

Art is a verb. Art, Everyday!

Special thanks to @mecklenburgcounty



Welcome to the Visual and Performing Arts Center
Press Release

CHARLOTTE, (September 21, 2021) – The Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA) today announced the opening of its new collaboration with Mecklenburg County. The intent of VAPA is to create a space which brings together artists to create, practice and exhibit their respective arts. Born out of necessity, due to the closing of Spirit Square and the lingering impact of the pandemic, a space was needed for artists to come together to continue to teach classes, rehearse shows and perform. The McColl Center and Charlotte Ballet, part of the founding member group of artists, worked with Mecklenburg County to identify and understand a space in the Uptown area which could be repurposed as an arts center. 

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From Sears and Roebuck to Arts and Entertainment 
Charlotte’s VAPA Center Brings Local A&E to the Community

CHARLOTTE, (September 13, 2021) – Take a look or walk around Charlotte these days, and you can’t help but notice the area’s budding artist community. Massive murals and open-air entertainment events seem to be popping up everywhere. 

Given the current state of the pandemic, you may find yourself asking: just where are all these folks rehearsing, storing supplies or holding their event planning meetings? 

There’s no question about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and how it has forced many spaces to shut their doors or limit occupancy and availability. But, there might just be a silver lining around this cloud that could produce quite a rainbow. 

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The VAPA Center Awarded Grant
Small Business Innovation Fund – Charlotte Center City Partners

CHARLOTTE, (August 18, 2021) – The Charlotte Center City Small Business Innovation Fund today announced it has awarded $1,034,00 in grants to 27 more small businesses within Center City to spur and support innovation as they continue to adapt to the new economic realities and opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 27 recipients in Round 4, which finishes allocating all available funding, join the 116 recipients from Rounds 1-3. In all, 143 Charlotte small businesses received innovation grants totaling more than $4.6M. 

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The VAPA Center Approved by County Commissioners

CHARLOTTE, (July 7,  2021) – The Mecklenburg County Commissioners unanimously approved the initial terms of the lease agreements for The VAPA Center to take principal occupancy of the Hal Marshall building located at 700 North Tryon Street, Uptown Charlotte.

The recorded County Commissioners meeting can be viewed by clicking the button below. The discussion and approval is at the 03.56.00 minute mark.

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Featured Video

Drone footage: Tyler Capel
Edited: 9189 Creative Services
Mural: @puckmcgruff
@hookermedia @ledania
Model: @alifeofclarity