Levine Center for the Arts Soars to New Heights

Media invited to hear Bechtler, Blumenthal, Gantt, and Mint discuss fall plans

In a new “first” for Levine Center for the Arts, members of the media and key supporters are invited to the 46th floor of the Duke Energy Center to hear details of the fall arts season for four of Charlotte’s key cultural institutions.

Executives and staff from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater; the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture; and The Mint Museum will introduce their fall cultural offerings and updated slate of collaborative events for Levine Center for the Arts. The Duke Energy Foundation has generously allowed the institutions to host the event in the “Vista” space on the 46th floor of the Duke Energy Center, one of Charlotte’s landmark skyscrapers and a key part of the Levine Center for the Arts campus.

Among the collaborative efforts they will discuss: The cultural institutions are participating in the inaugural “Uptown Crawl” gallery event, opening their spaces to uptown pedestrians and bicyclists in a FREE event on September 22; they continue to collaborate on FREE monthly ArtBreak tours targeting the uptown lunch-hour crowd; in a first-of-its-kind effort, the four young-professional organizations of the cultural institutions are collaborating on a special “progressive” event for spring 2017; and following the highly successful inaugural #LongLiveArts community festival in May, the institutions are planning a second event for June 2017. Details on these and other efforts will be available at the media event. It will be moderated by the “Arts Guy,” local personality Adam Patwa, who recently debuted as the new face of Levine Center for the Arts. The marketing effort was created by Charlotte firm Orbital Socket and made possible by the THRIVE Fund, administered by Foundation For The Carolinas.

Fall highlights at Levine Center for the Arts include:

At Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Upcoming Exhibitions

Bechtler Collection: Relaunched and Rediscovered (September 30, 2016 – April 23, 2017)

This exhibition expands on works from the museum’s collection including modern and contemporary artists. The impetus for the show comes from extensive new research into the collection and the artists in the holdings, many of whom have very little material available in English. Significant findings from the research will be included in the exhibition.

Celebrating Jean Tinguely and Santana (May 12, 2017 – September 10, 2017)

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely’s iconic sculpture Santana, completed in 1966, celebrated its 50th birthday in 2016.  To mark the occasion, the museum will offer a survey of Tinguely’s development as a sculptor through a presentation of his sculptures both from the Bechtler collection and on loan, drawings and prints, and personal correspondence between the artist and the Bechtler family.


Bechtler By Night – In partnership with Bank of America, the museum opens its four gallery floors to the public, free of charge, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the third Friday of each month.

Jazz at the Bechtler – Mid-century art meets mid-century music on the first Friday of each month. Jazz concerts are performed by the Ziad Jazz Quartet.

Music and Museums – An innovative classical music concert/lecture program that fuses image, music, and conversation to provide a deeper understanding of selected artistic works.

Modernism + Film – Investigates themes in design, engineering, architecture and modern/contemporary art through the lens of film.

Family Day – Learn about the art and artists of Bechtler Collection and engage imaginations.

Community Outreach available to the public

Low to No Vision sponsored by Horizon Eye Care – Partnering with Metrolina Association for the Blind and other local and regional organizations, the museum offers tactile tours of select pieces from the collection to present a more meaningful museum experience for the low-to-no vision community.

Museum Memories – caters to those with early stage dementia and their caregivers.

At Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater

Breakin’ Convention, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016

Breakin’ Convention, the renowned international festival of hip hop dance, is returning to the Queen City! Direct from London’s Sadler’s Wells theatre, the festival will feature performances by hip hop stars from around the globe and from the neighborhoods of Charlotte at Levine Center for the Arts Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. This two-day celebration of hip hop culture will feature Friday and Saturday night shows at the Knight Theater showcasing some of the world’s great hip hop stars. During the day on Oct 1, enjoy Street Jam – a FREE festival at Spirit Square.  Free activities and performances for the whole family include: live DJs, workshops, graffiti, and other elements of hip hop culture.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Nov. 22 – Dec. 4, 2016

Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead hit show that’s earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical. Coming direct from New York, where a most gentlemanly NPR critic said he’d “Never laughed so hard at a Broadway musical,” Gentleman’s Guide tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession, by any means necessary. The New York Times cheers, “It will lift the hearts of all those who’ve been pining for what sometimes seems a lost art form.”

At Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

The exhibitions Shaping the Vessel, Nellie Ashford: Through My Eyes and Quilts & Social Fabric remain in the galleries through January 16, 2017.

Upcoming programming includes:

  • Gantt Symposium 2016 with Anna Deavere Smith on September 22.

Acclaimed widely for her roles in “The West Wing,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “black-ish,” actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character and diversity in America and turns her interviews into scripts, transforming herself into an astonishing number of characters in this one-woman lecture performance.  A private Youth Symposium at Northwest School of the Arts the following day will serve as the launch of a new CMS partnership.

  • The Heritage & History Series features nationally noted artists and scholars who preserve Black culture through an array of disciplines.  In hosting each culture keeper, the Gantt Center invites public participation in special events and experiences that illuminate important stories and engage audiences. Series programs include The Family Collage with Journalist A’Lelia Bundles on Tuesday, October 11 and 9th Wonder, the Harvard Hip Hop Fellow on Thursday, November 17.

Continuing the yearlong theme, Redefining Art, the Gantt Center will open three new exhibitions on January 28, 2017:

o   The Future is Abstract

o   Alison Saar: Bearing Weight. Bearing Witness.

o   Jordan Casteel: Harlem

At Mint Museum Uptown

Join the Mint for the “Year of the Woman.” The museum was founded by women; has been led by women; and is celebrating female artists with its fall slate of exhibitions, both of which open to the public on the museum’s 80th anniversary – October 22, 2016. More information on the fall slate, including a FREE community weekend October 22-23, is available at mintmuseum.org/80th .

Women of Abstract Expressionism (October 22, 2016-January 22, 2016)

This fall The Mint Museum is the only East Coast venue for this groundbreaking exhibition, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the innovative women artists affiliated with the Abstract Expressionist movement during its seminal years between 1945 and 1960. Organized by the Denver Art Museum, it will feature approximately 50 energetic, colorful, large-scale paintings created by 12 artists, including Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, Judith Godwin, Perle Fine, Deborah Remington, Jay DeFeo, and Sonia Getchoff. It is presented to the community by Wells Fargo Private Bank. Additional generous support provided by the Mint Museum Auxiliary, Duke Energy, Electrolux, and Davidson College.

Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists from the Toledo Museum of Art (October 22, 2016-February 26, 2017)

Fired Up, co-organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and exclusively on view at Mint Museum Uptown, is the first American art museum exhibition about contemporary women artists who work with glass. It presents outstanding glass sculptures from Toledo’s renowned Glass Pavilion as well as recent acquisitions to their collection, on view for the first time in this exhibition. International in scope, over 40 sculptures are included in the exhibition, including works by Emily Brock, Lee Bul, Lisa Lou, Karen Lamonte, Silvia Levenson, Maya Lin, Laura de Santillana, Sibylle Peretti, Sylvie Vandenhoucke, and April Surgent. The exhibition has received generous support from Novant Health and UTC Aerospace Systems.

At Levine Center for the Arts

Levine Center for the Arts, named for local philanthropists Sandra and Leon Levine, was completed in 2010 through the support of the Campaign for Cultural Facilities; the City of Charlotte; and Mecklenburg County. A generous grant from the THRIVE Fund is enabling the four institutions to work more closely together than ever before to increase visibility and access to the unified center. The $250,000 award from the THRIVE Fund over two years is making possible the center’s first-ever joint marketing campaign. The THRIVE Fund was established in 2013 to provide financial stability for Charlotte’s cultural sector under the leadership of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America chairman and CEO, and is currently administered by the Foundation For The Carolinas. The Mint Museum spearheaded the grant and is managing the project in collaboration with the other institutions. More information at levinecenterarts.org .

WHEN: Tuesday Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Duke Energy Center, 550 South Tryon Street, Charlotte – “Vista” space on the 46th floor

WHAT: Enjoy a light breakfast, soaring views, and updates on the fall arts season at the four Levine Center for the Arts institutions – the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art; Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater;  Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture; and The Mint Museum

RSVP: No later than 9 a.m. on Monday Sept. 19. E-mail leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org or call 704.337.2009. PLEASE NOTE: All media who wish to attend must be added to Duke Energy’s admission list 24 hours in advance; no last-minute additions. Please send a “yes” even if you are still a “maybe” – it’s easier to drop off later!