“Vote for Art” kicks off at the Democratic National Convention

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!

Special Guests                                 

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

Khalil, Singer

Jessica Alba, Actress

Jay Thomas, Actor