In 1993, Central Piedmont Community College launched its Spring Literary Festival. Founded by poet and long-time English faculty member Irene Blair Honeycutt, the festival has celebrated local and regional talent and brought to CPCC renowned and prize-winning writers, including Richard Blanco, Yusef Komunyakaa, Li-Young Lee, Natasha Trethewey, and Ron Rash. This tradition continues.
In 2006, the Spring Literary Festival was renamed Sensoria. This reflected its expansion outward from literature into the wide variety of arts and cultural events now offered, celebrating CPCC’s own creative curriculum programs and endeavors.
Daytime events are scheduled to correspond with classes, and faculty bring entire classes for once-in-a-lifetime engagement with leaders in the arts. Students are encouraged to attend both day and night events, and, with the exceptions of some ticketed performances, most events are free and open to the public.
Each year, more than 15,000 students and community members attend some of the best presentations in literature, music, visual arts, history, culture (and food!) around the Charlotte region while learning more about CPCC’s outstanding creative programs. Past participants have included Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist John H. White, U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, Author Ron Rash, Joffrey School of Ballet, Carolina Voices, the Jewish Film Festival, Tosco Music Party and many more.
The Irene Blair Honeycutt Distinguished Lectureship and Awards honor Irene Blair Honeycutt, poet and founding director of the Spring Literary Festival at CPCC and a member of the College’s faculty and staff for 37 years.
Each year, the Lectureship brings a prominent national or international author to the College to deliver two public lectures, one during a daytime class period and one in the evening.
The Irene Blair Honeycutt Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts and for Legacy were established in 2004. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in the field of literary arts and outstanding contribution in service and support of local and regional writers, respectively.