Lawing Fellows Endowment


Established in June 2020, the Lawing Fellows Endowment was developed to celebrate the life, and preserve the legacy, of Christopher Lawing who served as Executive Vice President of the Bechtler from 2009 – 2019. On June 2, 2020, Christopher lost his valiant 10-year battle with cancer.


During his 10 years with the Bechtler, Christopher created innovative programming and community outreach that are now as integral to the Bechtler identity as its modern art collection. He combined the skills of a commercially successful producer with the heart of a community leader.

From the Bechtler’s Jail Arts Initiative to working with Medical Professionals, people with Low-To-No-Vision, and those with early onset dementia and their care-partners, these ongoing programs are a testament to his commitment to serve non-traditional audiences throughout the Charlotte community. He also shaped core public programming, including Bechtler By Night, Modernism + Film, and Family Days. Christopher’s first love was music so, not surprisingly, he introduced Music and Museum and our largest and most well-attended music program, Jazz at the Bechtler.

Christopher’s legacy is much greater than our public-facing programs. His lasting impact is the mentoring and development of young arts professionals. During his leadership tenure, he inspired the Bechtler staff and built their capabilities to deliver excellent programs – and to step up and lead when his illness prevailed.


This endowment will be directed toward supporting the professional training and development of emerging arts professionals on the Bechtler staff through art and museum conferences, continuing museum education courses, and management and leadership programs in the non-profit and museum field. Individuals awarded the annual Lawing Fellows Endowment will exemplify the passion and drive for museum and career advancement that Christopher modeled and be reflective of those that he would have taken under his wing to mentor.

Applications will be reviewed annually by the Executive Director, senior leadership, and Bechtler Museum Board representatives. Lawing Fellows will join staff, museum board representatives, Matthew Robbins, husband of Christopher Lawing, and Nell Lawing, mother of Christopher Lawing, for an annual remembrance of Christopher’s life and legacy through this ongoing endowment.


Upon his passing, Christopher requested that any donations in his name be made to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. With a $90,000 goal, an initial $30,000 was committed in order to establish the Lawing Fellows Endowment.

The next $30,000 of contributions will be matched on a 1:1 basis and your support will help preserve Christopher’s legacy and allow his memory to live on at the Bechtler Museum in perpetuity.

Whether you knew him personally or have primarily come to know him through his imprint on the Bechtler, and Charlotte’s art community, we hope you are inspired to respond to our challenge to help secure Christopher’s legacy.


Bob Scheer, Vice President of Development
E-mail |
Phone | 704.353.9216

Christopher Lawing Dedicated Jazz Concert

On Friday, July 17 we hosted the season premier of Jazz at the Bechtler with a live streaming concert featuring Ziad Rabie, and the Ziad Jazz Quartet, who played a selection of jazz favorites dedicated to the life and legacy of former Executive Vice President and champion of Jazz at the Bechtler, Christopher Lawing. Click the image below to view the performance. 

Virtual Cocktails + Conversation

We invite you to view our Virtual Cocktails + Conversation: Jazz Edition where Ziad Rabie, saxophonist and artistic director of Jazz at the Bechtler and Bob Scheer, Vice President of Development discussed all things jazz, shared the history of the program, the impact of Jazz at the Bechtler, both on the museum and the city of Charlotte, and shared memories and photographs from the legacy and influence that former Executive Vice President, Christopher Lawing had in creating of one of Charlotte's most popular music events, Jazz at the Bechtler.

ex © 2023 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
© 2023 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art | 420 South Tryon Street | Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 | 704.353.9200