Charlotte, NC’s premier cultural destination, Levine Center for the Arts, is celebrating the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) Art Museum Day by offering free admission to museum visitors on Friday, May 18, 2012.
Three of the cultural institutions at the South Tryon Street campus, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Mint Museum Uptown, are joining forces to offer visitors an unparalleled arts experience. The Mint Museum is also offering free admission at its other location, Mint Museum Randolph. (Normal admission is $8 each to the Bechtler and Gantt Center and $10 to the Mint, and each institution offers regular ticket discounts to visitors who purchase admission to either of the other two museums within the same 48-hour period – the Mint offers $3 off to Bechtler and Gantt visitors, and the Bechtler and Gantt offer $2 off for visitors to the Mint and each other’s institutions).
Since 2010, the AAMD has encouraged art museums across the nation to participate in conjunction with the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) International Museum Day, dedicated to promoting the value of museums in society. Over 100 AAMD member museums have participated each year. This year’s theme is “museums in a changing world.”
“Art Museum Day brings attention to the important role institutions such as the Bechtler, Mint, and Gantt Center play in maintaining Charlotte’s vibrant cultural life,” said Christopher Lawing, Vice President for Programming and Research at the Bechtler. “This special day of free admittance is a great way to introduce art museums to new audiences or welcome back those who we haven’t seen in a while.”
Visitors who are familiar with one or two of the institutions are encouraged to use the day to experience one they may not know as well.
“We are excited to join our partners on International Museum Day and will open our doors so visitors have the chance to celebrate the art, history, and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent,” said Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture President & CEO David Taylor. “We believe this is an excellent opportunity to recognize the important role that museums and cultural centers play in contemporary society. International Museum Day is a global celebration of the incredible collections and programs at museums and cultural centers around the world, and their commitment to public service and audience engagement.”
The museums are pleased to have an opportunity to highlight Charlotte’s emergence as a national leader on the arts scene. “The Levine Center for the Arts is a jewel in Charlotte’s cultural crown, and each resident of this region has reason to celebrate its presence here,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of The Mint Museum. “The Mint also welcomes visitors to experience both of our locations, including our beloved historic facility on Randolph Road, which was the state’s first art museum and is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary year.”
The Bechtler, Gantt Center, and Mint all rely on a combination of public and private fundraising to offer their world-class exhibitions and programming to the public. Annual fund drives enable the museums to offer benefits such as occasional free admission to visitors. If visitors are inspired during their free-day visits to these institutions, their leaders hope they will make a donation to enable the museums to share that same inspiration with others.
Levine Center for the Arts is one of Charlotte’s key cultural destinations, comprised of Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, John S. and James L. Knight Theater, Mint Museum Uptown, and Duke Energy Center. The Levine Center was made possible through the Campaign for Cultural Facilities, the support of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and the generosity of the Leon Levine Foundation, one of the country’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organizations.
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the exhibition of mid-20th-century modern art. It is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler, who assembled and inherited a collection created by seminal figures in modernism. The Bechtler collection comprises more than 1,400 artworks by seminal figures such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Jean Tinguely, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Sol LeWitt, Edgar Degas, Nicolas de Stael, Barbara Hepworth and Picasso. Only a handful of the artworks in the Bechtler collection have been on public view in the United States. For museum details visit (www.bechtler.org).
Founded in 1974, Charlotte’s Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) exists to present, preserve and celebrate the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through dance, music, visual and literary arts, film, educational programs, theatre productions, and community outreach. Named for Harvey B. Gantt, the prominent Charlotte architect and community leader and former Mayor of Charlotte, the Center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American art. Please visit (www.ganttcenter.org).
As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through art from around the world via innovative collections, groundbreaking exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship. The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.
Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood as the state’s first art museum. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion, European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, and features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check out (www.mintmuseum.org).