The Mint supports a donor’s desire to give back
By Rubie Britt-Height, Director of Community Relations
The Mint Museum recently provided over $2,000 in gift cards and reusable Food Lion grocery bags to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by an anonymous donor and Food Lion Stores, the cards were given to families of the students of the museum’s 16-year old Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program, and to members in the west Charlotte community.
A generous gift of $1,500 was given by an anonymous donor to purchase 50 Food Lion cards in denominations of $35, $25, and $20 at the north Wendover Road Food Lion store near the Grier Heights community. The Mint shared the effort with Millette Granville, vice president of talent, diversity and inclusion, learning and organizational development for Food Lion, a U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group. The company quickly responded with an additional $500 in $25 gift cards, two cases of reusable tote bags to help the family recipients, and facilitation with store No. 971 to process the cards.
“As a child, I grew up in similar challenging yet overcoming circumstances in a Charlotte housing project. I want to give back, and see that the students and families have access to having their temporal needs met, as well as to education and memorable experiences,” wrote the anonymous donor. “You all are doing good community work at the museum and I knew you could successfully facilitate our desire to help families who are trying to hold it together.”
The donations not only helped the Grier Heights community, it supported families of the McCrorey YMCA after-school program and citizens temporarily displaced at two YMCA camps in west Charlotte. Thirty bags and cards were delivered to the McCrorey YMCA, led by Executive Director Dena Jones, a former Mint docent and student of retired Mint master art teacher Rita Schumaker. Jones noted the great need of families there and those displaced.” These 30 cards and bags will be a blessing to them all, and we appreciate it. Hunger is real, even in Charlotte,” Jones says.
The Mint’s program teen team leader Alex Brown and her mother, Stacey Price Brown, PhD, president of the Grier Heights Community Improvement Organization, have deep roots in the community. They delivered the 43 bags to families during Mother’s Day weekend.
“The Grier Heights community embraces four core values: self-sufficiency, education, empowerment and family! Through our partnership with the Mint Museum you empower our families to educate themselves about their history, their cultures and their health so that they can be model citizens of self-sufficiency for themselves, their families and their communities. Through this COVID-19 pandemic, you have not stopped honoring our community’s core values by sharing care packages, Food Lion gift cards and inspiring messages to empower and educate our families to stay safe and healthy,” Brown says. “We are very thankful for partnerships and neighbors like you who have invested in our community for over 15 years, and the return on your investment has produced many youth and families who are healthier individuals mentally, physically and emotionally so that they, collectively, can go into our society making it a more livable, equitable and just place.”
DECODING : Symbols, Icons, Mysteries, & Mischief in the Art of John Thomas Biggers
Wednesday, October 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m. I UPTOWN
Free and Open to the Public
As John Biggers: Wheels in Wheels, comes to a close, this illustrated talk about NC native son John Thomas Biggers of Gastonia will explore a more intimate look at the artist through the eyes of B.E. Noel. Noel is an art consultant, art educator, fine art dealer, owner of Noel Art Liaison, Inc., former Mint Museum trustee and Spirit Award recipient. She will share her professional insights and delightful personal anecdotes on the artist, painter, print-maker, muralist, sculptor, storyteller, griot, esteemed professor and North Carolina native son John Thomas Biggers, PhD.
Following the talk, a curator-led tour will be given of the featured exhibition by Jon Stuhlman, PhD, Senior Curator of American, Modern, and Contemporary Art. Guests also will view a small display of works-on-easel by local visual artists responding to John Biggers: Wheels in Wheels.
Image:John Biggers, ‘Kumasi Market,’ 1962, oil and acrylic on panel. Collection of William O. Perkins, III. Art © John T. Biggers Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, survivors are offered free admission
The Mint Museum wishes to express its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are offering free admission to all breast cancer survivors at both Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph throughout the month of October. Simply notify the Guest Services staff of your status at the time of your visit (no documentation required).
We honor all those who have fought and are fighting breast cancer. The Mint Museum is committed to its role in sustaining a healthy community in Charlotte and beyond.
Registration open now!
Most art museum enthusiasts know that visual art experiences are valuable to a child’s growth and achievement, but do we really know why? Over the years, many studies have quantified the benefits of fine art experiences on a child’s development.
While we appreciate the scholarly research, we also like to go straight to the source for our information. For our Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Mint Summer Art Camp list below, we culled fascinating facts from recent studies, but also asked for input from the TRUE experts—kids and parents! –Leslie Strauss, Head of Family & Studio Programs
10. Art is motivating! Kids in art classes can actively engage in their experience, taking risks, and developing sustained attention and perseverance.
9. Art makes you smart! Studies have shown that kids who participate in art experiences tend to score higher in language arts and mathematics exams.
8. Think about it! Kids who learn to look closely at art, using reasoning skills to infer what they see, are able to transfer those essential reasoning skills to other fields including science.
7. Art makes good people. Making art leads to self-confidence and self-control, collaboration, empathy for others, and social tolerance.
6. I can do it! Learning new things can be challenging, and kids who are challenged to try new things develop a strong sense of accomplishment.
5. Art is messy! At the Mint, we welcome the creative disaster areas that arise when paint, clay, tape, glue, and glitter are truly activated. Why have the mess at home?
4. Drawing is awesome. As one of our kid-experts says, “If you draw something really awesome like a dragon, you can imagine it’s real!”
3. Freedom! Another kid-expert tells us “the best thing about art camp is that there’s not an exact certain way you have to do the project. You can adjust it to how you want it.” Individuality is encouraged in the arts, and kids love finding their own approaches and solutions.
2. Art is for everyone. There’s no right or wrong in art, art is noncompetitive, and we can all find a connection between ourselves and the art we see or make.
1. You’re hanging with the masters at the Mint. From the master potters of the Ancient Americas to African wood carvers to English landscape painters to contemporary craft artists, our young camp artists are among good company when they visit and sketch in the museum galleries. Engaging with authentic art from around the world is our parent-experts’ top reason for choosing the Mint, and makes the Mint summer camps truly stand out from the rest!
What did we miss? Let us know what you appreciate the most about art classes and camps. Join us this summer and help add to the list!
SUMMER ART CAMPS
June 14 – July 28
The Mint offers an exciting menu of creative camps for ages 3–18. Kids explore museum galleries, develop new skills, learn about fascinating cultures, and express themselves!
Visit mintmuseum.org/summercamps to reserve your space.
Members receive a 25 percent discount!
This article appears in the Winter + Spring 2016 issue of The Mint Museum’s member magazine, Inspired. Want a copy? Join now , visit either museum location, or call 704.337.2009.
Mint to host Johnson C. Smith University intern this spring
The Mint Museum is among 14 leading art museums chosen to participate in a national program launched by the United Negro College Fund and the Association of Art Museum Directors to foster diversity in the art museum field.
The initiative has placed 14 college juniors from private and public historically black colleges and universities in major American art museums for semester-long, paid internships to introduce them to the art museum field and help prepare them for leadership roles in the future. The pilot program also provides these students with career and job readiness coaching and professional development training. Support for this initiative has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Christie’s; Susan and David Rockefeller, Jr.; David Rockefeller; and the members of AAMD.
In partnership with Johnson C. Smith University, Gabrielle Marshall has joined the Mint as an intern in its accounting department for the spring semester. Marshall, a junior at the university, is working at the museum four days per week through May.
“We are building on the success of the first phase of our pilot program and providing more students access to the professional networks, work experience, and mentorship that are critical for removing the barriers of entry for people of color or underrepresented individuals, or African Americans who are seeking careers in the art museum field,” said Larry Griffith, Senior Vice President of Programs and Student Services at UNCF. “We are thrilled to continue our work with AAMD and to sustain this program, which we believe will effect important changes in the composition of museum leadership over time and across the country.”
“The first phase of our partnership with UNCF has been tremendously successful as a foundation for building diversity in the field, and helping to ensure that our museums represent communities around the nation,” said Christine Anagnos, Executive Director of AAMD. “AAMD is committed to addressing the lack of diversity in senior management positions in the art museum field, and this second phase of this partnership continues our work in this area. We are excited to continue our collaboration with UNCF on this program and are grateful to all our new partners and funders who are supporting this effort.”
As a part of the program, selected AAMD member museums are providing stipends for 12 weeks of the spring 2016 semester, with Fellows working a minimum of 15 hours each week in a variety of museum departments and with the museum directors. The directors will also serve as mentors to these interns and offer support and advice as the Fellows progress through their education and careers.
Along with the Mint, participating museums are: Birmingham Museum of Art, Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries (Atlanta, GA), Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, SC), Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville), Hampton University Art Museum (Hampton, VA), High Museum of Art (Atlanta), Mississippi Museum of Art (Jackson), National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), New Orleans Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art (Atlanta), The Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond), and the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore).
UNCF, which has more than 20 years of experience in creating pipeline programs for students of color, is providing crucial leadership in management and implementation of this initiative. This includes recruitment of university and college partners, student outreach and recruitment, application management, and implementation of a career and job readiness component. Additionally, UNCF acts as the fiscal agent, administering the program funds and coordinating payments of stipends to the Fellows.
In addition to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, other college and university partners include: Allen University (Columbia, SC), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta), Dillard University (New Orleans), Fisk University (Nashville), Hampton University (Hampton, VA), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Miles College (Fairfield, AL), Morehouse College (Atlanta), Morgan State University (Baltimore), Spelman College (Atlanta), Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, MS), University of the District of Columbia, and Virginia Union University (Richmond).
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community, and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org .
The Association of Art Museum Directors, representing 238 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, promotes the vital role of art museums throughout North America and advances the profession by cultivating leadership and communicating standards of excellence in museum practice. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at aamd.org .
Bre’Anna Washington credits the Mint’s program with leading her to serve others
By Rebecca Morgan, Mint Museum Intern
Not far from Mint Museum Randolph’s historic home is a neighborhood whose challenges led the Mint in 2003 to create the Grier Heights Community Arts Program to offer after-school alternatives to students who may be living in challenged environments.
This year, the program celebrated a success story with a graduate whose experience led her to feel called to serve and educate young people.
Bre’Anna Washington, 19, is following her calling by joining the AmeriCorps VISTA Program, where she will be tutoring, counseling, and mentoring students. AmeriCorps is a national service program that places young people at roles in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community- and faith-based programs around the country.
“True greatness is measured by service’ is something I’m proud to say I learned from The Mint Museum’s Grier Heights Program”
said Washington, who participated throughout her youth while growing up near the Grier Heights community.
When asked what inspired her to join AmeriCorps, Washington says: “It wasn’t by inspiration at first. I was looking for scholarships for my school, and AmeriCorps just popped up, I clicked the link and watched what these people do. In AmeriCorps, their principle is to bridge the gap between student and potential.” With a laugh, she added: “And I think that’s wonderful.”
The idea of bridging gaps is core to Rubie Britt-Height, who leads the Grier Heights Community Arts Program as the Mint’s Director of Community Relations.
“This program uses the Mint’s collection and exhibitions as a springboard to creativity”
to allow dialogue and activities that encourage self and mutual respect, making wise choices, being confident and an engaged servant leader, and having a high standard of excellence in all things,” she said. “Bre’Anna Washington is one of the program’s shining stars.”
“I’m excited to meet new people and spread light to new people,” said Washington, who’s currently a sophomore Dean’s List student at Fayetteville State University. Following her AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship, she hopes to become a middle school history teacher and eventually a professor.
Washington says the Grier Heights Program taught her how to live a healthy life, think critically, and make smart choices. However, the most important thing the program taught her, she said, is “to be who you are. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who your parents are, it’s about growing and learning within yourself, and taking pride in yourself, taking pride in your health, and taking pride in your intellect.”
Washington says she is grateful for the program and those who run it. “I don’t think I would be here without the Grier Heights Program and without my mentors in the program.”
Added Britt-Height: “She always showed great promise in our program: writing thoughtful poetry, creating mixed media art, serving as team leader, and setting an example for the other students. She’s going to be a very relevant change agent and community leader.”
Says Washington: “The program taught me how to make my life what I want it to be, which is filled with art, knowledge, growth, and sharing that with others.”
Want to know more?
Learn more about the Grier Heights Community Arts Program or the Mint’s numerous community outreach programs and initiatives, by visiting mintmuseum.org/community .
This article appeared in the Fall + Winter 2015 issue of The Mint Museum’s member magazine, Inspire. Want a copy? Visit either museum location or call 704.337.2009.
Art History Symposium is March 22 at Mint Museum Randolph
A longstanding Mint Museum event is celebrating twenty-five years of scholarship. The Mint Museum’s 25th Annual Regional Collegiate Art History Symposium happens Sunday, March 22, from 1-4 p.m. at Mint Museum RANDOLPH, 2730 Randolph Road. Admission is free, and a light reception follows the event.
The mission of the symposium has been to showcase undergraduate research in art history while providing students a unique opportunity to present their research in a professional environment and gain valuable academic experience. “UNC Greensboro Mint Museum presenters have published their findings in Explorations, the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities for the State of North Carolina and many of our representatives have gone on to pursue Masters Degrees and Ph.D.s in Art History,” says Dr. Elizabeth Perrill, a professor at UNC Greensboro.
In addition to providing a valuable platform for students studying art history, the symposium increases research and knowledge of the Mint’s permanent collections. The students’ research papers are archived in the J.A. Jones Reference Library at Mint Museum Randolph.
“Since 1990, the Mint Museum’s Regional Art History Symposium has provided a dynamic forum for young art historians to share their passion for art and their art history scholarship. We salute the 100 college scholars who have presented their research to the community. We also would like to acknowledge the museum’s ongoing partnership with local art history departments and their faculty for their efforts to make the symposium a continued success,” said Cynthia Moreno, the Mint’s assistant director of lifelong learning.
This year, the museum celebrates the 25th year of this innovative and integral part of the museum’s educational mission, we are thrilled and look forward to many more years of this enriching program.
Over the years the symposium has featured over ten different higher education institutions from the regional area and well over one-hundred students; this year’s presenters include:
Kristine Guhne | University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Junior
Grete Marks: Transcending Circumstances through Clay
Cathryn Smith | Winthrop University, Senior
Ritual Significance of the Human Body in Pre- and Post-Colonial Central American Art
Mills Brown | Wofford College, Senior
Elemental South: a TJC exhibition
Lauren Glazer | Queens University of Charlotte, Senior
Vik Muniz and the Found Object: The Path to Visual Literacy
In-kind grant will enhance Museum’s roadside signage
The Mint Museum has been awarded an “Identifying Our Community” in-kind grant of signage services by SouthWood Corporation of Charlotte. The $5,000 grant from SouthWood includes the design, fabrication and installation of new signage at the Mint Museum of Art on Randolph Road.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to receive SouthWood’s ‘Identifying Our Community’ grant,” said Executive Director Phil Kline. “The new signage will provide the Mint Museum of Art with a much improved roadside sign reflecting our current design initiatives.”
The timing of the signage is ideal, as the collections at the Mint Museum of Art will be reinstalled following the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown in October 2010. A new sign will serve as a reflection of all the changes that will take place within the historic United States Mint structure.
The award to The Mint Museum is the fifth in a series of grants to be awarded by SouthWood to nonprofits in the Charlotte area. SouthWood’s “Identifying Our Community” grant program will award a total of $100,000 worth of signage and services to eligible nonprofit organizations to install new signage or upgrade existing signage to create a positive environment. Grants will be awarded in $5,000 increments to a different nonprofit every quarter.
Public program spotlights undergraduate research by local students
Six area undergraduate art history students will present their research papers at The Mint Museum’s 20th Annual Regional Collegiate Art History Symposium on Saturday, March 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum Randolph (2730 Randolph Road). From the works of a Renaissance engraver to music’s influence on the visual arts, the students’ papers explore works of art from the Mint’s diverse global collections, or artists represented within the collections.
Since 1990, the Symposium has had the distinction of being one of the country’s few forums that spotlight undergraduate art history research. After the students present their findings at the program, their research papers will become permanent, bound additions to The Mint Museum’s library. Both the program and the reception following are open to the public and free with museum admission.
The 2010 Symposium participants are:
• Olutomi Balogun, Senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Hometown: Concord, NC
Topic: Harlem Scene and Baggy Jeans: Reflections of Jazz and Hip-Hop on the Visual Arts
• Dottie Bryan, Senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Topic: Pieter van der Heyden’s Autumn (1570) and Corresponding Works from the Four Winds Series
• Catherine Carlisle, Senior at Queens University
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Topic: Portraits of a Foreign Queen
• Jordan C. Cole, Senior at Davidson College
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Topic: The Feminine Grotesque: Near and Far
• McKensie Hall, Graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate
Hometown: Campobello, SC
Topic: Romare Bearden: Seaming Art, History and Narrative
• Amber Rhye, Senior at Winthrop University
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Topic: Angelica Kauffman: Exploring the Female Artist Through History Paintings