Museum hosts VIPs throughout the week
The Democratic National Convention provided a big boost in visitation and revenue to the Mint, as the museum saw more than six times as many visitors as the same week last year, and enjoyed Museum Shop sales that more than tripled the levels of the same week a year ago.
Between special events and regular admissions, more than 11,000 people visited both Mint locations from September 1-7. The biggest day was CarolinaFest on Labor Day, when more than 3,100 people enjoyed free admission to Mint Museum Uptown.
The convention dates coincided with the launch of “Vote for Art,” a project allowing museum visitors to help contribute to the museum’s permanent collection by casting ballots for their favorites among six specially-chosen works of art on view throughout the museum. After votes are tallied, the museum plans to acquire the winning work or works of art.
“Early voting” ran from Sept. 1-7, while the general public voting period runs during October and early November. The winners will be announced at the Ballot Ball gala at Mint Museum Uptown on November 9.
Many delegates from the states of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Hawaii, and Ohio voted during the delegate welcoming reception at the Mint on Sunday September 2, which also featured a marching band and national-champion cheerleader performances. Throughout the week, the Mint played host to an array of famous visitors, including governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Dr. Jill Biden, and celebrities including actress Jessica Alba, "CSI: NY" actor Hill Harper, singer Khalil, television personality Ty Pennington, and even “Queen Charlotte” herself!
The early votes have been tallied – and more than 4,500 were cast during the week, including more than 600 votes from children under 18! “Exit polling” has begun to indicate who some of the favorites are: “Before Midnight,” a representation of Cinderella’s carriage covered in tar by Italian artist Mattia Biagi; “Birth of Venus II,” a re-creation of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” made out of garbage by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz; and “Slice Chair Paper,” a chair assembled from sheets of paper by Danish artist Mathias Bengtsson, are some of the early leaders, but it’s still anybody’s race! Very close to them in the polls are the other three contenders: “Wood Branches” by Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell, “Dora’s Dance” by North Carolina native Beverly McIver, and “Porcupine Cabinet” by Sebastian Errazuriz of Chile.
If you want your chance to cast a “Vote for Art” ballot, come back to the museum for our FREE community day on Saturday, September 29! All visitors on that day will be offered ballots in a special kick-off of the general voting period.
If you have a favorite work, you can cast multiple votes by returning to the museum – one ballot per visitor per day.
So make your views count – visit the Mint and Vote for Art!
During DNC week included:
Governor Neil Abercrombie HI
Congressman Xavier Becerra CA
Senator Robert Casey PA
Congressman Jim Clyburn SC
Congressman Gerry Connolly VA
Fmr. Governor Howard Dean VT
Fmr. Governor Michael Dukakis MA
Senator Al Franken MN
Senator Kay Hagan NC
Congressman Steny Hoyer MD
Senator Daniel Inouye HI
Senator John Kerry MA
Congressman Dennis Kucinich OH
Congressman John Lewis GA
Governor Dan Malloy CT
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi CA
Senator Harry Reid NV
Congressman Jan Schakowsky IL
Senator Elizabeth Warren MA
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse RI
Dr. Jill Biden (wife of Vice President Biden)
Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State
Wesley Clark, General (Ret.)
Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
Hill Harper, Actor
Jessica Alba, Actress
Jay Thomas, Actor