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About Charlotte
Charlotte art and design school

Welcome to Charlotte, a city that offers a unique blend of bustling urban innovation and sleepy Southern tradition.

Our high quality of life, reasonable cost of living, friendly people, arts and sports, as well as educational and career opportunities, attract talented individuals from around the world. Students at The Art Institute of Charlotte become a part of this dynamic city while working to make their dreams a reality.

With four distinct but mild seasons and a central Carolinas location between two large recreational lakes, Charlotte residents are only two hours from the breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains and three hours from the Atlantic shore.

Fun Things to Do
Beyond the college, students can enjoy everything a major metropolitan area offers — from dance clubs and concerts to galleries and amusement parks, from Panthers football to NASCAR. The Mint Museum of Art and the McColl Center for Visual Art are wonderful resources for students of the applied arts, as are the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Discovery Place, ImaginOn and the dozens of art galleries throughout the city.

Students will find music, movies and terrific places to eat. Student ID cards mean discounts at the Blumenthal Center for Performing Arts, and the First Friday Night Gallery Crawls are popular in historic, high-tech SouthEnd and in the funky NoDa area.

The City's Beginnings
Referred to as the Queen City, Charlotte was named for 18th century British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg in Germany. British General George Cornwallis during the Revolutionary War referred to Charlotte as a “hornet’s nest” of patriots, and historic lore has it that the county wrote its own Mecklenburg Declaration before the U.S. Declaration of Independence was written and signed.

With a population of about 648,000, Charlotte sits in the center of the nation’s fifth largest urban region. Some 7.1 million people live within a 100-mile radius, and Charlotte ranks as one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.* The region enjoys a national reputation as a great place to live and conduct business.

Charlotte’s thriving business environment includes high-tech companies as well as corporate giants. More than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies have offices here, and Charlotte is second only to New York City as a banking center. As a leading provider of applied arts education, The Art Institute of Charlotte contributes to the growth of Charlotte’s high-technology business initiatives and healthy economy.

* According to the Greater Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte, the nation’s 21st largest city, ranks:
1st among America's most livable communities
1st in economic strength
2nd as a banking center (controls over $2 trillion in assets)
2nd best city for entrepreneurs
4th best city for relocating singles
6th in number of Fortune 500 headquarters

Links to the Region
Arts & Science Council
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
Charlotte Center City Partners
Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
Creative Loafing
Mint Museum of Art
Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
The Charlotte Observer
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
360 Charlotte

Charlotte's sunny, mild climate* invites residents and visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. The city experiences an average of 214 sunny days per year, with an average of 43.09 inches of rainfall that keeps Charlotte green year-round. Charlotte often is referred to as the "City of Trees." Bright sun and clear skies dappled with pure white clouds fill the summer days. On average, temperatures reach 100°F only a few times a year. With an average summer temperature of 76°F and an average daily range of 20 degrees, these inviting days are punctuated by cooler nights under starry skies. Spring and Fall provide a slow, enjoyable gateway into summer or winter. The average frost-free season lasts 216 days from mid-March to mid-November. Charlotte also offers a taste of winter without all the heavy shoveling. Only half of the winter days fall below freezing. Below zero (0° F) temperatures have occurred only five times since 1878. Snow is infrequent, with an average annual accumulation of less than six inches.

* US Weather Services

The Art Institute of Charlotte, a campus of South University

Three LakePointe Plaza, 2110 Water Ridge Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28217-4536
1.704.357.8020 • 1.800.872.4417
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