2017: A Delicious Evening with Vivian Howard


Connecting people, places, food and stories

This year’s Carnegie Circle donor appreciation event was delicious in every way.

The annual dinner, presented this year by Bank of America and supported by Foundation For The Carolinas, is an opportunity for the Library Foundation to recognize and thank donors who invest $1,000 or more each year in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. It was held on February 13 at Foundation For The Carolinas, where a crowd of 160 Library supporters gathered to mix, mingle and hear from Vivian Howard: chef, television host, and cookbook author.

Vivian spoke from her heart about the universal connections between place, people, food, and stories.  She learned as a child in Deep Run, NC to appreciate the ebb and flow of eating with the seasons, and after several years in New York City, Vivian and her husband returned to Kinston, NC to open their farm-to-fork restaurant Chef & the Farmer. In 2012, she launched the first season of “A Chef’s Life,” a PBS series that celebrates family, work, and Eastern North Carolina’s food traditions. Through food, Vivian discovered pride in humble ingredients and beginnings, and she is steadily building an Eastern North Carolina food movement. She spoke of pride in place, hard work, and the challenges of balancing and following multiple passions as a mother of young children.

An accomplished chef with an award-winning restaurant and television show, Vivian told the crowd how honored she was to be invited by a Library to speak as an author. She recalled that as a child, regular visits to the Library opened her eyes and her heart to a world beyond her small rural town. “I hope my children know the Library as I did – as an egalitarian place to feed their curiosity and spark their imaginations.”

Vivian’s first cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, is a comprehensive record of modern Southern cooking. Carnegie Circle members left the event with signed cookbooks, full bellies, and an appetite for more of the stories that connect us all.

About the Carnegie Circle

The Carnegie Circle honors and extends the rich legacy of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated funds to help build more than 2,500 libraries around the world, including a new library in Charlotte in 1901. We can’t think of a better way to recognize those individuals, businesses, and foundations who demonstrate similar philanthropic leadership to support the future of our Library in the 21st century.

Over the past four years, the Carnegie Circle, a special group of Library donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more, has grown by 87%. This growth reflects our community’s generosity and commitment to the belief that free and open access to information can change lives for the better and build a brighter future for our community.

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