This weekend, Arts & Science Council (ASC) is giving everyone in the Charlotte area a chance to experience a wide range of arts, science, history and heritage for free at its annual Connect with Culture Days, two days of events hosted at museums and other cultural venues throughout the county.
“Ensuring Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents have access to arts and cultural experiences close to where they live is a vital part of the work we do,” said ASC President Jeep Bryant in a release. “ASC’s Connect with Culture Days is just one way for residents and visitors to sample the variety of diverse cultural experiences provided by organizations and artists right here in their community.”
More than 7,000 people participated in Connect with Culture Days last year, and with so much going on, we thought you could benefit from a guide to what’s happening.
Connect with Culture Days kicks off on Friday, Feb. 7 with free cultural experiences taking place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. along the Lynx Blue Line from University City to Bland Street Station.
Shoppes at University Place: Multiple musicians will perform at University City, adding good vibes to the boardwalk, where you’ll find folks with local organizations like Girls Rock Charlotte, El Alma de la Luna dance academy, Brand New Sheriff Productions and the Purple Charlotte Steppers Club doing their thing.
8929 J M Keynes Drive
Brewers at 4001 Yancey: Take part in an interactive art project with multimedia artist Janelle Dunlap. Create collaborative abstract pieces of art by filling in a pre-painted portrait of Queen Charlotte with colors that represent the modern-day Queen City.
4001-A Yancey Road
The Collector’s Room at Beau Monde: Those who make a $25 donation can extend the opening-night activities at The Collector’s Room from 7-10 p.m. Enjoy a festive multicultural food experience with an open bar, live performances by Nicci Canada and Nouveau Sud, and other interactive art experiences from Jonathan Grauel.
1520 S. Tryon St.
ASC is allowing free admission to museums in Uptown all day. With each stop, visitors have the ability to enjoy different parts of the history and culture that Charlotte has to offer.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
551 S. Tryon St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Charlotte Wells Fargo Museum
401 S. Tryon St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts
500 S. Tryon St., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. 7th St., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
McColl Center for Art + Innovation
721 N. Tryon St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, schools and other community facilities will become “arts and cultural hubs” presenting cultural programming at the neighborhood level across Mecklenburg County. We’ll present a quick rundown of what’s happening, but be sure to visit the ASC website for full details of what’s going on, because it’s a lot.
Charlotte Ballet and Charlotte Symphony host events at the elementary school, while nearby, the James K. Polk State Historic Site offers free admission and tours.
Pineville Elementary, 204 Lowry St., Pineville; 10 a.m- 2 p.m.
James K. Polk State Historic Site, 12037 Lancaster Hwy.; 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Charlotte Museum of History hosts 10 events ranging from martial arts to meditation, from backcountry cooking demos to Vietnamese lion dancers.
Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Among other happenings, local artist J Stacy Utley hosts a discussion about his upcoming enhancement projects in the Five Points area.
First Baptist Church — West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Highlights include building LEGO robots with Digi-Bridge and hearing the talented Janeta Jackson perform selections from Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill by Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Lebanon Road Elementary School, 7300 Lebanon Road; 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
An exciting lineup includes a discussion of Mecklenburg history with historian Dr. Tom Hanchett, live Latin American music from Café Amaretto and a scratch art workshop with local artist Irisol Gonzalez, while the Carolina Raptor Center offers free admission and hosts a clay workshop.
Huntersville Elementary School, 200 Gilead Road, Huntersville; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Carolina Raptor Center, 6000 Sample Road, Huntersville; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, TV anchor and educator Dr. Maha Gingrich, founder of the popular Dances of India, performs with her team.
Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 9401 S. Tryon St.; 10:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
The afternoon begins with wheel throwing, which doesn’t have a description but sounds self-explanatory enough, followed by a Nouveau Sud performance and an artist talk with Suikang Zhao, plus more.
Morrison YMCA, 9504 Bryant Farms Road; 1-3:45 p.m.
Wing Haven offers free admission and offers workshops in photography, mixed-media art and a nature makerspace.
Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Ave.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Experience the spontaneous creation of music on a variety of drums and percussion instruments outside of the library.
West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Blvd.; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Opera Carolina‘s Opera Xpress presents The Ugly Duckling.
St. John’s Baptist Church, Broach Hall, 300 Hawthorne Lane; 10:30-11:30 a.m.