Charlotte is a city with a lively and vibrant arts scene. The city is home to a diverse assembly of world-class museums as well as a performing arts community that rivals the largest cities in the country. Whether you are looking to be inspired by paintings and sculpture or thrilled by music and dance, Charlotte has what you are looking for.
Located in the Levine Center for the Arts in Center City, the 145,000 square foot Mint Museum Uptown was constructed in 2010 and houses large collections of a variety of art forms. Permanent exhibitions include American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, and a Crafts and Design exhibit including works of glass, metal, wood and clay art.
The Mint Uptown’s sister museum – the Mint Museum Randolph – is the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and has permanent collections that include Art of the Ancient Americas, Native American Art, and Decorative Art. Both Mint Museums host art exhibitions and collections of famous works from around the world.
Also located at the Levine Center for the Arts, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art houses an extensive collection of modern art and sculpture in its 35,000 square foot facility. Works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, and Jean Tinguely are prominently featured in the collection.
The 46,500 square foot Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture is devoted to black history, art, and culture throughout the South; while the Levine Museum of the New South focuses on the history of North Carolina after the Civil War.
Other notable museums in Charlotte include the Charlotte Museum of History, the Charlotte Nature Museum, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and the Billy Graham Library.
The Performing Arts
If the performing arts are more to your tastes, Charlotte has plenty to offer. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the finest musical ensembles in the southern United States. Giving over 100 performances before around 200,000 people each year, the orchestra’s principal home is the Belk Theater. The orchestra also gives free Pops concerts at the Symphony Park Amphitheater in South Park during the summer, and provides training for young musicians through its Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras program.
The Queen City is home to Opera Carolina which gives performances at the Belk and Knight theaters, both located at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Uptown. A world-class company that is highly respected in the opera world, Opera Carolina attracts notable guest artists from around the world throughout its season.
Founded in 1970, the Charlotte Ballet, also located at the Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts, performs an average of ten ballets a year in a season that runs from October through March, with special performances scheduled throughout the summer.
Fans of Broadway shows will definitely want to check out the PNC Broadway Lights series, which brings top Broadway shows to the Knights and Belk theaters during a season that runs from November through early July.
Though heavy local business sponsorship and the support of the Arts and Science Counsel of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the Queen City has a burgeoning fine and performing arts community that grows by the year. With many of the best museums and performing arts venues conveniently in the city’s Uptown cultural center, finding the arts you want to experience in Charlotte couldn’t be easier.