Project Details

A development site in the heart of Charlotte becomes a dynamic gathering place every Friday, but sits empty 164 hours per week. I will lead residents through the process of envisioning a "neighborhood living room," then seed a crowdfunding campaign to enhance this underutilized space with temporary amenities like flexible furniture, bike racks, and WiFi. This project will engage a new generation of millennial Charlotteans and show them what is possible when they work together to implement lighter, quicker, cheaper solutions in their community.

More info here: www.storehouse.co/stories/438pu-varian-shrum

Varian Shrum's Biography


Project Update

popup living room mert jones

February 2016
Inspired by the impact of the CLT Living Room, Historic South End Charlotte, the local business improvement association where Varian works full-time, launched a micro-grant program for new placemaking projects. The program will award $1,000 grants to innovative projects that improve the public realm in the Historic South End.
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November 2015
Varian hosted Charlotte's first CLTLiving Room from October 15-18. The weekend was jam-packed with creative programming and events including: pop-up coffee shops, food vendors, beer samples and boutique shopping by local restaurants and entrepreneurs; live music; an art crawl; outdoor morning yoga; and storytelling for children. It all concluded with a Sunday afternoon tailgate for a Carolina Panthers game.

The launch of the CLT Living Room featured remarks from 8 80 Cities' own Gil Penalosa. The project was deemed an immediate success and attracted heaps of attention from local media. 

varian tcwSeptember 2015
Varian is the urbanist queen of Queen City. In July, Varian hosted a Community Walk and Talk to collect ideas for her Neighbourhood Living Room concept. This new public space and community gathering spot is schedule to open on October 15, and close on October 18 (with a tailgate/viewing party for the Panthers v. Seattle game). In August, Varian's work landed her on the cover of Today's Charlotte Woman.


Follow Varian on Twitter and on theCLT Living Room website

A neighborhood living room is coming to South End
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Have you met Varian Shrum?
"Five years from now, I would love to see some of today's young civic innovators involved in local public service and finding creative ways to implement systemic change."
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Come Together: Varian Shrum Works to Unite Historic South End
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A Neighborhood Living Room – What's All the Buzz About?
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Initiative brings South End together Neighborhood Living Room for everyone
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Pop-up Living Room Part of Movement to Better Use Public Spaces
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Top image credit: Mert Jones

Project Update
Project Update