Art creates opportunities for shared understanding regardless of race, gender, language or socioeconomic status and adds significant value to the communities it serves. The Mint is committed to the ever-changing demographics of our environment by reaching beyond its walls to engage and inspire the community around it. Through interactive art, learning and camaraderie-building activities (especially for our underserved audiences), The Mint vows to put the talents of our team – as well as the depth and quality of our holdings – to work for the greater good. In doing so, The Mint Museum aspires to become the most significant center of community engagement and inspiration for Charlotte and beyond.
In September 2012, sixty high school students from West Charlotte and Mallard Creek toured three compelling and related exhibitions at three uptown Charlotte art venues. The students had conversations about their views, observations, and the impact the experience had, and will have, on their future.
Without Sanctuary (The Levine Museum of the New South), America, I AM (The Harvey B. Gantt Center of African American Art + Culture), and Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial (The Mint Museum), are exhibitions that deal with the horrific and harsh realities of American history. The collective work which addresses lynching, racism, bigotry, hatred, and oppression, were met with various emotions, including a greater appreciation for overcoming challenges through faith, music, knowledge, hope, and rebirth.
The Grier Heights Community Arts Program was founded in 2003 as an arts education project of The Mint Museum, allowing students to develop themselves as young, contributing citizens who take pride in and respect themselves and others. These students reside in marginalized inner city communities, in an ‘at-risk’ environment, in which crime and illegal drug use are high.
The artists-in-schools program is an excellent example of connecting museum, school, and community. The Mint Museum collaborates with professional artists and teachers and students from Charlotte area schools to create curriculum connections and social bridges between the museum’s galleries and the traditional classroom. In the museum’s galleries, working collaboratively with museum staff, students will explore the work that artists do: both the techniques and the ways of thinking that go into creating a work of art. Looking at art meaningfully can assist students in their own artistic practices back in the classroom. During the gallery experience, students will also gain an understanding of the cultural and historical context of select artworks and their interdisciplinary connections. Back in the classroom, working collaboratively with professional artists, students apply their museum experience to art-making. Email Joel Smeltzer for more info.