Charlene Earle, commonly known as Charlie, was a devoted and cherished member of the community. An artist and soft-hearted soul by nature, Charlie was a multidisciplinary artist and a comedian known for her enchanting and powerful voice in Peterborough’s music scene. Charlie continues to bring shivers down the spine song after song, and the memory of her continues to delve deep in the hearts and minds of many. To this day, Charlie’s legacy gives a glimpse of hope and a helping hand to many artists through the Charlie Earl’s Memorial Grant. A prize founded in group effort by family and friends and provided by the Centre for Women and Trans People.
As expressed in the Centre for Women and Trans People’s Website, the Charlie Earle grant is an annual micro-grant awarded to a Black woman or Non-Binary artist who epitomizes Charlie’s legacy. Ethel Nalule is the former winner of the Charlie Earle Micro-Grant in 2020. Nalule is a 22 year Trent student majoring in forensic science and biology and passionate about directing and photography. Her work denotes an ode to Blackness, its cultural richness and natural splendour through spellbinding portraits and conceptual photography.
As we can all agree, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a devastating year for an overwhelming majority. Like many other employees, independent or free-lance artists have had to endure an unprecedented year of declining employment opportunities and lockdowns. Social distancing has ultimately hindered the possibility for artists and audiences to come together and revitalize one another. Not to mention the artist’s own possibility to ensure economic stability; grappling with balancing their creative endeavours and their survival.
As 2021 begins and we enter another lockdown, artists of various disciplines continue to struggle to keep their heads above water. Charlie’s Memorial Grant offers a beacon of hope and support in these uncertain times. Like Ethel, Black women artists or non-binary artists who meet the qualifications have the possibility to win this grant and are highly encouraged to apply. The application involves a three-step process which includes a brief bio, a short personal essay and examples of your art; all which have to be sent to The Centre’s email. Submissions will be reviewed and the winner will be decided by a panel of people including Tina Earle (Charlie’s mom), a friend of hers and Cheyenne Buck, a bandmate.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Centre has been unable to host in-person events and continues working remotely. This has hindered the possibility of promoting the grant and allowing local artists to connect the same way it did during last year’s event. Nonetheless, The Centre, Charlie’s family and friends persevere in their quest to help local artists and likewise, commemorate and honour Charlene’s memory and her undeniable mark on the heart of the community.
Applications close on January 22, so be sure to apply!
If you do not fit the requirements necessary to participate, the Charlie Earle Micro-Grant team is currently in need of donations in order to keep this award alive and continue to give back to artists that brighten Peterborough’s art scene. No amount is too small to make a difference.
To make a donation send an e-transfer at firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Charlie" in the memo.
If you would like to support other funds that seek to help artists in need, the Peterborough Musicians Benevolent Association is a non-profit organization created to raise funds for musicians in need in Peterborough. The PMBA has helped many artists through injuries that prevented them from performing. You can learn more about them on facebook by searching “Peterborough Musicians Association PMBA.”
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