Core Team

The ArtsCharlotte Core Team are a group of artists and cultural catalysts who have come together to serve our city through the arts.

Dianne Collard

Dianne Dianne is an international speaker, intercultural trainer and a teacher. But, most of all, she is a creative catalyst with a calling to encourage artists. She serves as the Europe Ministries Director of A.C.T. Intl and is the founder/director of ArtsCharlotte. As a writer, she has contributed to a variety of publications and is the author of I Choose to Forgive: An Intimate Journey with God.

Carrie Givens

Carolyn-Givens-square Carrie Givens works in communications and the arts at Church at Charlotte and does freelance writing and editing. A displaced Northerner now exploring the foreign ways of the south, she has previously bumped around the world. She revels in good stories, good music, and wrestles with the intersection of faith, art, vocation, and culture. She’s a contributor to Story Warren, a website focused on fostering holy imagination in families, and an assistant editor for the Curator, an online arts and culture magazine. Her middle-grade fantasy book, The King’s Messenger, was published in 2017.

Penny Oliver

Throughout her working years, it was Penny’s dream that one day she would have time to “create art.” As she pursued a career in interior design, she found the passion for color and texture, creation of atmosphere, and balance of space required much the same creative energy as approaching a canvas. She enjoys working in various mediums and has far too many art supplies and too few finished pieces of art. She and her husband love to travel and she spends much of her time as a mother and grandmother. Her passion is to grow as an artist and foster creativity for others in her community. She is a member of the Cabarrus Art Guild and CIVA.

Leigh B. Williams

Leigh w- painting.jpg Leigh Williams specializes in acrylic painting and alcohol ink paintings. Her work can be seen at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte, NC and on her website She has a BFA from the College of William and Mary and her work has received numerous awards in both juried and judged shows. A jury chose her work for the 2014 inaugural ArtPop Program and her painting Desert Mountain was displayed throughout Charlotte on billboards and newsstands. A retired art instructor, she has taught all grade levels, from first grade through high school Advanced Placement art. She continues to teach workshops for adults and children in local, national, and international settings.