Mint Board Member Charlotte Wickham and Charlotte Ballet dancer Humberto Ramazzina will dance together at the 2024 Dancing With the Stars of Charlotte to support The Mint Museum and Charlotte Ballet.

‘Take more chances, dance more dances’

Mint Board Member Charlotte Wickham is stepping out to support The Mint Museum

By Michael J. Solender

After Charlotte Wickham relocated to Charlotte from New York City with her husband in 2008, she knew she wanted to get involved with supporting the arts and cultural community in Charlotte. While she couldn’t know it at the time, her enthusiasm for, and recognition of, how arts engagement impacts the development of children and young adults in her newly adopted community would lead her to dancing her heart out in support of The Mint Museum. 

Wickham, a Mint Museum Board of Trustees member, is one of six local community leaders paired with a professional dancer from the Charlotte Ballet in its annual Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala. The event will take place March 2 at the Knight Theater to raise funds that support the Charlotte Ballet and the local leader’s charity of choice. Wickham has selected The Mint Museum and earmarked funds raised to support museum admission for Charlotte-area K-12 school children and post-secondary school students.

Cast your vote for Charlotte!

A passion for arts education

“I’ve always thought that arts and culture are an important part of learning for children,” Wickham says. “I grew up in Raleigh. My family often went to the ballet, the symphony, and to the museums. That was such a rich part of our life. Many studies show how art, dance, and music help develop children’s brains and help them to think in different and more critical and creative ways.”

Since 2020, Wickham’s role at the Mint is fueled by her passion for arts education and community engagement. She is a believer in exposure and access to the arts for all ages.

Wickham has seized upon the metaphor of taking positive steps and enthusiastically allowed herself to be “hotboxed” by her husband and a good friend into performing with the 2024 group of dancers to support The Mint Museum and the Charlotte Ballet.

“I believe life is often done best by embracing the places our steps take us,” she says in an email to friends. “This journey is going to be a bit different, and it makes the thought of participating that much more exciting.”

Different means physical for Wickham whose pre-dance assignment exercise routine has been primarily weekly Pilates classes.

Wickham is paired with Charlotte Ballet’s Humberto Ramazzina. The São Paulo, Brazil native began his formal dance training at age 8 and is in his fifth season with  Charlotte Ballet. The two share a love for salsa, contemporary and classical dance, though Wickham is keeping close to the vest the pair’s ultimate three-minute dance and music choice a surprise.

“I don’t want to give away too much and prefer to tap into what I know will be high energy from the audience at the gala performance.”

Choreographing support

Dance pairs receive support online at Charlotte Ballet’s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala site in the run up to the event with top vote-getter ($1 per vote) receiving the People’s Choice Award. Dancers who wow the judges with the “best moves” are awarded the Judge’s Choice recognition. Since 2013, Charlotte Ballet’s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala has raised more than $10 million including nearly $4.5 million for local charities. Funds raised via ticket sales per dance pair are divided equally between the pair’s designated charity and the Charlotte Ballet.

“That our [community] star dancers have the opportunity to generate financial support for charities of their choice has such tremendous impact for our city,” says Alysha Brown, Charlotte Ballet’s special events and volunteer manager. Brown coordinates all things Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala for Charlotte Ballet and is the liaison between company dancers and their community dance partners.

“Historically we’ve had a variety of charities chosen for support alongside the ballet from housing nonprofits to other arts institutions in Charlotte. Charlotte Ballet is honored to play a role in this level of community development. The event is unlike any other in the city and shares an incredible amount of pure joy for those involved.”

In addition to identifying funds to support student access to The Mint Museum, Wickham is hopeful to encourage arts outreach beyond the walls of the museum buildings, especially into area hospitals. Her passion and enthusiasm for community collaboration aligns well with the goals of the Mint.

“Charlotte is one of our most dedicated board members,” says Todd Herman, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “She is also an avid collector and incredibly involved in so many things that we do. I’m thrilled she shares one of the goals that our museum has, which is to collaborate with other arts organizations here in Charlotte. Her being part of Dancing with The Stars of Charlotte Gala fits her enthusiasm and her love for the arts. This event underscores the Mint’s role as a cultural hub partnering with organizations throughout the city and encouraging everyone in our community to embrace the arts.” 

For Wickham, expanding her reach to embrace and support arts impact in the community is meaningful and more than worth the extra effort. “Museums are places of culture and conversation where we can think deeply and be empathetic,” she says. “We need places where we can appreciate and learn from others.” 

Cast your vote for Charlotte!

Michael J. Solender is a Charlotte-based features writer. Reach him at michaeljsolender@gmail.com or through his website, michaeljwrites.com.

Top Five Reasons to Take an Art of Reading Public Tour at Mint Museum Randolph

1. Meet Fellow Bibliophiles.
The only thing better than reading a book you love is the opportunity to discuss it with others. Art of Reading public tours give you a chance to explore characters and analyze plot turns. The discussion is followed by a visit to the galleries to view art works that connect to the book.


2. The Sunday Afternoon Tours are Less Expensive than Panther Game Tickets.
Public tours take place on selected Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm and Sundays, 2-3:30 pm. During football season, it’s an alternative activity for a Sunday afternoon. Off season, it’s a great way to spend selected Sundays. [And remember Wednesday evening options too: admission to the museum is free after 5:00.]


3. It’s a New Way to View Mint Art. Just Imagine:
Mr. Darcy holding that Derby Porcelain coffee cup and saucer in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (Pride and Prejudice). Or, Frida Kahlo wearing a distinctive necklace similar to the jadeite one in the Ancient American Galleries (The Lacuna). Or, Tree-ear admiring the 12th Century Korean porcelain bowls in the Wares of the World Exhibition (A Single Shard). Or, Sarah Grimke learning plantation social customs by using the Staffordshire miniature tea and coffee service in the Portals to the Past Exhibition (The Invention of Wings).


4. Tours are Free.
Free to museum members; free after admission for non-members.


5. There’s A Tour for All Interests.
Choose from four current book tours: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen); The Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd); The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver); or A Single Shard (Linda Sue Park).


More information on group tours can be found here.
A fifth tour for Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns will launch at Mint Museum Uptown April 2019.

Michele Allen and Alice Ross, Docents and Members, Public Tours Task Force

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (the “YAMs”) are proud to present the Sixth Annual Fall Ball: “Mint Main Event.” The black-tie gala will take place on Saturday, November 3 from 8 PM to midnight at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts and will be themed around old Hollywood and include live entertainment and an open bar. This year’s Fall Ball will serve as a fundraiser in support of the YAMs’ contribution to the Mint’s Annual Fund to provide Mint Museum tours for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students.

In support of the YAMs’ mission of promoting and celebrating the arts, the charitable event will be an ode to old Hollywood glam featuring live music from Sammy Sinatra and the Mad Men, “the South’s premiere Vegas style lounge act with a twist,” as well as Charlotte’s own DJ Chescov. There will even be a red-carpet walk of fame highlighting the names of attendees who purchased early-bird tickets, recognizing them for their support.

“We’re proud to bring Fall Ball back to Mint Museum Uptown following their Grand Re-opening Celebration,” said Amorette Mangum, co-chair of the annual event. “To make this philanthropic event even more accessible for Charlotte’s young professional crowd, we’ve lowered the ticket prices for the first time in the event’s history.”

Tickets start at just $80 for members and $99 for non-members and include hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer and wine. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit https://13800.blackbaudhosting.com/13800/Fall-Ball-2018-MINT-MAIN-EVENT.

Special thanks to the 2018 Fall Ball title sponsor, Felix Sabates Lincoln, and our annual gold sponsor, United Global Technologies, as well as Tito’s Vodka and La Belle Helene for their contributions to this annual event. In addition to Fall Ball, the YAMs are proud to partner with UGT for their 2018-2019 signature events including the YP Mixer, Derby Days, and the Art Show.

About Felix Sabates Lincoln

Felix Sabates Lincoln, located on South Boulevard in Charlotte, has a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience satisfying customers’ needs. Felix Sabates is proud to sponsor the YAMs and the Charlotte arts community as well as serve as the title sponsor for Fall Ball: Mint Main Event.

About the United Global Technologies

For almost a decade, United Global Technologies has set the standard for US-based IT and engineering services. Founded in 2009, by Elizabeth Bernstein and Jason Monastra, UGT has excelled at meeting the diverse information technology, engineering, and operational needs of industrial and service leaders across the country and around the globe. Through the generosity and tireless efforts of UGT employees, families and friends, philanthropy has become more than an initiative — it is a way of life. UGT is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and is thrilled to be a part of the thriving community. To learn more about UGT visit https://www.ugtechnologies.com/.

About the Young Affiliates of the Mint

Established in 1990, the YAMs are a diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting The Mint Museum through cultural, social, leadership, and fundraising activities and events. All YAM event proceeds directly benefit Charlotte-Mecklenburg students by offsetting the cost of Mint Museum tours throughout the school year.

For More Information Contact:

Amorette Mangum or Victoria Mathias

Fall Ball Co-Chairs, Young Affiliates of the Mint

youngaffiliatesofthemint@gmail.com