Founder, Outreach Lead
Hannah Blanton is the co-founder of About Face CLT and the owner and director of Sozo Gallery in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Hannah founded and chairs the Charlotte Uptown Crawl, providing free art experiences for our community once a month. She also founded Grier’s Gallery, a non-profit foundation at Hemby Children’s hospital providing art and arts education for children and their families. Hannah is a certified yoga instructor and has taught children and families yoga and breath work at Hemby Children’s Hospital and currently teaches at Y2 yoga.
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God.
Dana L. Endsley is an artist, filmmaker and workshop facilitator with a passion for sharing stories as a powerful way to build connection. Dana excels at designing experiences that bring individuals and creative process together to create a larger whole. She has extensive experience in creating and leading events for a group or community with the intention of bringing people into connection with each other, particularly around issues of social justice. She holds a BA in psychology, is a graduate of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and has over 30 years of professional experience combining art, the use of story and the healing arts.
A wise teacher once told me, “Find what breaks your heart and then commit to working with that”. As I went through the list of things that break my heart it became clear very quickly that the common thread was a lack of connection: with self, others, spirit, the earth. Everything that broke my heart could be traced back to one of these. That realization lead me to a life long commitment to use my creative energy and artistic expression to find ways to create community, guide people to go deeper within themselves, and bring greater understanding to causes for social justice, religious tolerance and environmental concerns.
As I connect the dots in my life, I can see how every moment has lead me to where I am now. The joys and heartaches of raising a family, 30 years working in the healing arts, directing programs for persons with disabilities, having a private bodywork practice, completing documentary film school at Duke, a mystical experience in Paris. Every spiritual teacher and art mentor has been nudging and sometimes pushing me to fully step into the next phase of my life.
Through “Art for a Better Planet”, the umbrella company, for my painting, filmmaking, workshops and community events, I am able to develop ways to bring people into a deeper sense of connection. One of the most powerful vehicles I have found to develop connection is through story.
Whether I am working in paint, paper or video I am passionate about telling the stories of everyday people that need to be told.
Founder, Creative Lead
Scott graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a degree in cinematography. He has shot and produced documentary television shows for National Geographic, Red Bull, ABC, Discovery Channel and more. He is also a photographer whose commercial work includes posters for films shown at the Cannes, Sundance, and Berlin film festivals. His fine art photography has been shown in galleries across the country and is in private and corporate collections. He has been a guest lecturer at both the college and high school level, and recently completed an artist in residency program at the McColl Center for Art+Innovation.
My whole life I’ve been looking for something.
I’ve looked for it in many ways. Trying to express myself through art, making money, chasing after love, seeking the praise of others…
But something was always missing.
I’ve always read and been inspired by the great wisdom teachers. Jesus. Buddha. Patanjali. Shams of Tabriz. Pema Chodron. Hafiz. Thomas Merton. They all spoke to that thing I was searching for. But for some reason it always took a back seat to my own desires, my own fears, my own restless searching. I just kept running around, looking for something out there.
I think the answer is right here, right now.
For me, that means service. It means doing what my teachers have been saying for so, so long. Serve others. Fill my heart with love and offer myself up for the good of all. Get down on my damn knees and wash the feet of the least of us. Let go of me and mine, and find we and ours.
It ain’t easy. I get so caught up in my own life and my own small struggles that I don’t see all the people around me who are struggling with burdens far greater than my own. I like to think I have a kind heart, but I find myself forgetting to care. I forget to love my neighbor and hold their well-being sacred. I forget that we are all divine children. I remember to be stressed about money, and I remember to fret over my appearance, but I forget to serve my fellow humans. I forget to tend the sick and suffering. I forget SO much.
So this project is my attempt to serve. My attempt to live a life of love and kindness 100% of the time. Right now I’m probably at 2%. But I’m trying to move the dial. 3% would be pretty sweet. Life is precious. And brief. I want mine to be well spent. My hope is that these photos and stories ring a bell inside you, and inspire you. Magical shit happens when we all get together.
Attorney, Robinson Bradshaw
Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Davidson College
Artist, Guggenheim Fellow
Financial Advisor @ Merrill Lynch, Founder of the Lydia W. Smith Foundation, former NFL linebacker
Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Social Worker @ Bruns Academy, Leading on Opportunity Task Force
Writer, Charlotte Observer, Pulitzer Finalist, WFAE…
Artist, activist, community leader