Alive With Arts and Culture

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arts photoCHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG'S CULTURAL community is alive and thriving with arts, science and history. The greater Charlotte community understands that diverse cultural offerings are key to providing a rich and stimulating quality of life, complementing our children’s overall education and contributing to our reputation as an outstanding city.

The Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (ASC) is committed to building appreciation, participation and support for arts and culture. The nonprofit organization serves and supports our cultural community through grant-making, planning, programs and services to ensure a vibrant community enriched with arts, science and history. ASC is poised to continue as one of the most vital United Arts Funds and Local Arts Agencies in the U.S.


Outstanding Community Support
ASC’s Annual Fund Drive raises more than $8 million with the support of 26,000 individual and corporate supporters. Additional funding is received from the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, other Mecklenburg towns and the North Carolina Arts Council. As a result of the community’s support, ASC has granted more than $14 million to support artists and cultural education, neighborhood cultural products, and many arts, science and heritage organizations.


Public Art Enhances Communities
Public art plays a role in helping to personalize community history and identity, while enriching neighborhoods and community experiences, thus enhancing quality of life. Artwork includes an interactive sound installation at Bank of America’s Seventh Street Station, a walkway trolley corridor in the Charlotte Convention Center, artwork for the Time Warner Cable Arena and a nationally recognized plaza at ImaginOn.

In 2003, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County approved ordinances that appropriate 1 percent of Capital Improvement Project funds for public art. The ordinances ensure that artwork enhances and defines public spaces, while becoming an integral part of urban and economic development efforts. For more information about ASC, visit www.artsandscience.org or call 704-333-2ASC.

Something for Everyone
The Charlotte cultural community generates $202.8 million in total economic activity and supports more than 6,240 jobs. Area cultural organizations offer volunteer and social opportunities for people of all ages.  Children have an array of cultural avenues in which to participate, including choir and theater as well as hands-on children’s museums. Residents and visitors can discover Charlotte’s rich history and heritage by exploring museums, historic plantations and cultural centers. For students, multiple colleges and universities offer training in the arts. Visit www.CharlotteCultureGuide.com to explore hundreds of local cultural events.


Cultural Organizations

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is a contemporary, professional theatre company dedicated to producing works by new and thought-provoking playwrights. It presents a diverse and challenging array of comedy and drama. 704-342-2251. www.actorstheatreofcharlotte.org

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The Bechtler museum is a jewel of a museum – only the second in the country designed by the Swiss architect Mario Botta. The art presented includes works by the most important and influential artists of the mid-20th century, including Miró Giacometti, Picasso, Calder Hepworth and Andy Warhol. The museum opened in 2010. 704-353-9200. www.bechtler.org

Carolina Actors Studio Theatre
Located in NoDa, Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST) is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit performing arts organization. CAST presents challenging works including regional premieres and Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. 704-455-8542. www.nccast.com

Carolina Raptor Center
Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental education and the conservation of birds of prey through public education, the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors, and research. More than 23 species of raptors (eagles, hawks, owls, vultures and falcons) can be found along several nature trails.
704-875-6521. www.carolinaraptorcenter.org

Carolina Voices
Carolina Voices is an umbrella organization supporting three distinct choral groups: MainStage Choir, Impromptu and Festival Singers. These vocal groups range from a 10-part vocal jazz ensemble to a 100-voice mixed adult choir. 704-374-1564. www.carolinavoices.org

Charlotte Children’s Choir
The Charlotte Children’s Choir is a broad-based community organization dedicated to choral excellence and to providing unique educational and performance opportunities to boys and girls with a goal of attaining the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music performance. 704-374-1892. www.charlottechildrenschoir.org

Charlotte Civic Orchestra
The Charlotte Civic Orchestra provides opportunities for accomplished volunteer musicians and a diverse listening public to share artistic cultural experiences through live performances. 704-344-0098. www.charlottecivicorchestra.org

Charlotte Museum of History
The Charlotte Museum of History consists of 36,000 square feet of exhibition space in four galleries. It is home to the American Freedom Bell and the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite, Charlotte’s oldest home dating to 1774. 704-568-1774.  www.charlottemuseum.org

arts photoCharlotte Symphony
The Charlotte Symphony is the region’s full-time professional symphony orchestra, performing nearly 100 concerts annually including Classics, POPS, KnightSounds, Lollipops and Summer Pops concerts in Charlotte and the outlying communities.  704-972.2000. www.charlottesymphony.org

Charlotte Trolley, Inc.
Charlotte Trolley, Inc. is a volunteer organization dedicated to returning vintage streetcars to Charlotte. 704-375-0850. www.charlottetrolley.org

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, located in ImaginOn, specializes in professional adult theatre for youth and educational programming for ages three to 18. Productions include classics, innovative new works and issue-oriented productions. 704-973-2800. www.ctcharlotte.org

Clayworks
Clayworks is dedicated to the promotion of ceramic arts and offers workshops, classes, community outreach, studio space and gallery sales. 704-344-0795. www.clayworksinc.org

Community Arts Project
The Community Arts Project serves as a hub for arts enthusiasts of all ages. The organization strives to encourage creativity, expand the community’s access to a broad array of art experiences and promote the region’s local artists. 704-896-8823. www.thecommunityartsproject.org

Community School of the Arts
Community School of the Arts provides quality arts education to all children, youth and adults, while cultivating appreciation and enjoyment of the arts. 704-377-4187.  www.csarts.org

Davidson Community Players
For the past 46 years, Davidson Community Players’ mission has been to engage, educate, entertain and enrich the community through live theater. While offering summer workshops and year-round classes for youth ages four to 18, it also holds multiple productions annually. 704-892-7953. www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org


arts photoDiscovery Place
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining exhibits that foster experiences in areas that range from life science to space exploration. More than a half-million people from all over the United States visit Discovery Place, its IMAX Dome Theatre and its planetarium each year. 704-372-6261. www.discoveryplace.org.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
The Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture serves the community through music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education programs, literature and community outreach.  The center showcases the life experiences, struggles and talents of the African and African-American experiences.  704-547-3700. www.ganttcenter.org


Historic Latta Plantation
Built in 1800, Latta Plantation is the last remaining Catawba River Plantation open to the public. This 52-acre farm of James Latta, a Scotch-Irish merchant, consists of the original home and smokehouse and is enhanced by outbuildings, fields, farm animals, a garden, a visitor center and interpreters in period clothing. 704-875-2312. www.lattaplantation.org

Historic Rosedale Plantation
Constructed in 1815, Historic Rosedale Plantation is one of the finest examples of Federal period architecture in North Carolina. The plantation promotes the heritage of the southern Piedmont through the preservation, exhibition and interpretation of the decorative arts and lifestyle of the 19th century Catawba River Valley region. 704-335-0325. www.historicrosedale.org

Levine Museum of the New South
The Levine Museum of the New South houses the nation’s most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War Southern society. Interactive, multi-sensory exhibits engage visitors of all ages. With vibrant, inviting spaces, the museum presents history that inspires and challenges, educates and amuses. 704-333-1887. www.museumofthenewsouth.org

The Light Factory Contemporary  and Museum of Photography and Film
As one of four photography and film museums in the U.S., the Light Factory promotes the power of image and regularly presents changing solo and group exhibitions by local, regional, national and international artists. 704-333-9755. www.lightfactory.org

McColl Center for Visual Art
McColl Center for Visual Art is dedicated to connecting art and artists to the community by providing a state-of-the-art facility, a challenging and dynamic environment, collaboration among artists and the community, bold exhibitions and strong affiliations with arts organizations worldwide. 704-332-5535. www.mccollcenter.org

The Mint Museum of Art and The Mint Museum of Craft + Design
The Mint Museum of Art houses important holdings of American paintings, furniture and decorative arts; African, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art; an internationally acclaimed collection of porcelain and pottery; regional crafts; and historic costumes. The Mint Museum of Craft + Design is hailed as a leader in the field. The museum features studio craft in ceramics, glass, wood, fiber and metals from leading artists throughout the world in addition to historic crafts from the early 19th century to the modern era. 704-337-2000. www.mintmuseums.org

North Carolina Dance Theatre
North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT) is the oldest professional dance company in N.C. with a versatile repertoire ranging from full-length classical ballets to contemporary works. The NCDT School of Dance offers classes to dance enthusiasts of all ages. 704-372-0101. www.ncdance.org

Opera Carolina
Opera Carolina is North Carolina’s premiere professional opera company, presenting productions of traditional grand operas, operettas and contemporary operas starring international guest artists alongside the finest regional artists. 704-332-7177. www.operacarolina.org

Theatre Charlotte
Theatre Charlotte is North Carolina’s oldest community theatre with a tradition dating back to 1927. It is volunteer-driven and stages five mainstage plays each season as well as innovative theatre productions and in-school classes in conjunction with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. 704-376-3777. www.theatrecharlotte.org

Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary
Wing Haven is a sanctuary for wild birds created for the enjoyment and education of the general public. The gardens, circa 1927, are enclosed on all sides by brick walls and encompass more than three acres in the heart of Charlotte. 704-331-0664. www.winghavengardens.com

Performing Arts Facilities

Knight Theater

Located at Levine Center for the Arts, Knight Theater is the primary venue for the North Carolina Dance Theatre and holds performances by Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Symphony as well as touring productions. The design of the 1,150 seat theater provides for artistic grandeur in an intimate setting. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalcenter.org

N.C. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is a multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue with a mission to educate and vitalize the regional community in and through the performing arts. Blumenthal Performing Arts presents the Duke Energy Broadway Lights Series, which features national touring Broadway shows, several family attractions, celebrated headliners and international artists. The center is also home to several resident arts organizations including the Charlotte Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina. The center houses Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse and Stage Door Theater and manages and programs Spirit Square, a venue for the performing and visual arts with two theaters (180 and 720 seats), three art galleries and a host of classroom and studio spaces. 704-372-1000.  www.blumenthalcenter.org

Ovens Auditorium
This 2,460-seat facility was built as part of a Coliseum-Auditorium complex in the mid-1950s and still serves the community well. A wide variety of performances are held here including concerts, symphony concerts, opera and touring Broadway shows. 704-372-3600. www.ovensauditorium.com

Spirit Square
This historic facility is a focal point for innovative theater productions, probing exhibits, exciting performances and wonderfully diverse educational opportunities for all ages. Three interconnected buildings house two performance theaters, three galleries, studios and various classroom spaces. The 730-seat McGlohon Theatre continues to be the pride of Spirit Square. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalcenter.org


Additional Facilities


Concert Facilities

Whether is is a small, intimate show or an amphitheater full of thousands of people, Charlotte has the perfect venue to support all local and international acts. Charlotte has something to offer for every fan, artist and season, with live music found all over the city.

NASCAR Hall of Fame
The 150,000 square foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue opened in 2010 and is designed to educate and entertain race fans and visitors of all ages. 704-654-4400. www.nascarhall.com


Education and Training in the Arts
Colleges, universities and schools located in Charlotte enrich the community’s arts environment. They provide diverse educational opportunities as well as outstanding performances in music, theater and dance.

Art Institute of Charlotte 704-357-8020  www.artinstitutes.edu/charlotte

Central Piedmont Community College 704-330-2722  www.cpcc.edu

Davidson College 704-894-2000  www.davidson.edu


Johnson & Wales University 866-598-2427
www.jwu.edu/charlotte

Johnson C. Smith University 704-378-1010  www.jcsu.edu


Pfeiffer University 704-945-7320 
charlotte.pfeiffer.edu

Queens University of Charlotte 704-337-2200 
www.queens.edu

University of North Carolina at Charlotte 704-687-2000  www.uncc.edu