BUNNY GREGORY
Charlotte Magazine|March 2021
Art changed Bunny Gregory’s life. She hopes it can change her community, too
ALLISON BRADEN

MICHELLE “BUNNY” GREGORY, 55, grew up on Charlotte’s west side, and she’s watched the area change, imperceptibly at first. In the mid-2010s, as gentrification gained momentum there, Gregory launched The Underground, a collective to support young Black artists. Since then, The Underground (not related to the Live Nation venue of the same name) has evolved from a venue and gathering space—first at a warehouse in NoDa, then at another on Monroe Road that closed in 2016—to a community that organizes and hosts an assortment of arts-related events, from regular bonfires to art shows around town.

Last year, Gregory achieved her longtime goal of acquiring a school bus to deliver art instruction and activities to neighborhoods throughout Charlotte, especially where she grew up. The force behind each of The Underground’s iterations is Gregory herself, who’s driven by the belief that art can create opportunity—and help the west side maintain and celebrate its historically Black character.

Here’s Gregory in her own words, edited for space and clarity.

I STARTED DOING The Underground thing over 10 years ago. It was all about me finding other Black artists here, which, growing up in the ’80s in Charlotte, I didn’t think existed. I didn’t know where to meet them or how to be a part of that movement.

I’M THINKING, Probably not going to be around long. Nobody’s going to come through. When I first opened the doors, that place was crowded ’til the doors closed. I met so many Black artists here in Charlotte: visual artists, chefs, gardeners. We had a bonfire every Tuesday night, rain or shine. The first bonfire, there were about 11 of us. After that, it could be anywhere from 50 to 120 people.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CHARLOTTE MAGAZINEView All

Head First

Guyana native Akash Prasad conceived a crown-inspired jewelry line in his adopted hometown

2 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

MORE SIZZLE IN SOUTHPARK

Steak 48 is worth the buzz—and the splurge

2 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

FRESH PICKS

Plan a Charlotte dining day with stops at these recently opened restaurants from our 2021 list of the city’s best (and enjoy a few treats in between)

2 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

KOUNTER HONORS THE FRIENDSHIP NINE

Chef Rob Masone brings something new to Rock Hill’s culinary scene—without losing sight of the past

3 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

FORM AND SUBSTANCE

Three-dimensional public art is forging a new landscape

2 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

Plaza Midwood's Fertile Storefront

Not one but two Fortune 500 companies took root at nondescript 1508-1510 Central Ave.

3 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

Birder's-Eye View

When the pandemic struck, thousands discovered the physical, mental, and ecological benefits of birding. Spring migration is the perfect time to join the flock

6 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

The Case for Charlotte Music, Post-COVID

Just as Charlotte began to lay a foundation for something it’s notoriously lacked over the years—the ability to sustain a vibrant, distinctive local music scene—the pandemic snatched it away, as it did so much else. Was it a lethal blow? This magazine’s longtime editor, now a driver of a local music initiative, grabs the mic to argue: Hell, no

10+ mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

BUNNY GREGORY

Art changed Bunny Gregory’s life. She hopes it can change her community, too

5 mins read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021

Bem-vindo!

The stretch of Monroe Road where you can find little pieces of Brazil

1 min read
Charlotte Magazine
March 2021
RELATED STORIES

BUFFY & HER PUPPY!

The Akita to Happiness Los Angeles, April 21

1 min read
Star
May 17, 2021

Belinda Carlisle on the Best (and Worst) of The Go-Go's

IN 1982, the Go-Go’s became the first and only (yes, still) all-women band who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to have a No. 1 album on the Billboard charts with 1981’s Beauty and the Beat.

4 mins read
New York magazine
March 29 - April 11, 2021

RUSHING TO JUDGMENT

The Jets’ edge rush did flash at times in 2020, led by players such as Tarell Basham and Bryce Huff, but clearly the Jets are still looking for a dominating pass rusher for whom other teams need to game plan.

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

PLUGGED IN

While furloughed from his job, Chris Torres began talking about Topps Project 2020. And plenty of people listened.

9 mins read
Sports Card Monthly
January 2021

Golden Present

Memories of Gold Dollars for the Holidays

9 mins read
COINage Magazine
December 2020 - January 2021

Advanced props, rudders provide new efficiencies below the waterline

It took a decade or two from the invention of the marine propeller in the 19th century for the technology to become widely accepted. Thereafter, adoption has been nearly universal, but progress toward improved efficiencies has come in fits and starts.

5 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

COLDER MONTHS CAN BE PERFECT TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH GARDENS

The coronavirus has led more people to spend time outdoors, and many find themselves walking the same paths and gazing at the same trees or shrubs day after day.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #472

Intel Launches 11th Generation Core ‘Tiger Lake' Laptop Processors

Intel’s next-generation Tiger Lake processors, unveiled this week, will bring refined artificial intelligence processing and dramatically improved graphics performance to new premium ultraportable laptops this fall.

4 mins read
PC Magazine
October 2020

Great Expectations

Look to new luxury properties opening soon for your 2021 travel inspiration.

5 mins read
Global Traveler
Class Act 2020

Was Charlotte Dod the Greatest Athlete Ever?

The remarkable career of a Victorian athletic phenom—and the legacy that wasn’t

9 mins read
The Atlantic
October 2020